WELCOME to the Small Book Blog! I am a voracious reader. I love losing myself in books and cannot wait to read myself into my next adventure. It is because of this love for books that I created this blog. I want to share my passion of books with you! I hope you enjoy my recommendations and reviews. My goal is that they will lead you to a new book, series or author, that you can fall in love with and recommend to others as well.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Larissa Ione's Pleasure Unbound

This novel was a great surprise! I have been on a run of trying out new authors lately… some disappointments, some were okay, but Larissa Ione was a great find! I am definitely going to read more of her Demonica series. Ione has created strong female characters and supporting protective men that leave you panting in this series. The characters are inviting, fresh and dynamic.

Pleasure Unbound is just as it sounds… It is a romantic suspense featuring demons (and some were’s and vamps). It is the first in the Demonica series. It was also sizzling sensual and erotic. This novel introduces us to the world of demons and how they are integrated (or not) in the human world. Some of them are downright nasty to even picture wandering around our streets. Pleasure Unbound follows Tayla, a passionate demon slayer, and Eidolon, a sexy doctor incubus. They are enemies by nature but their chance meeting sets in motion an ecstasy of forbidden pleasure that could cost them their lives.

Unlike many novels, the two characters start “tangoing in the sheets” from the start. From there they have to learn to trust each other (or kill each other). The tension mounts as events unfold and lives of friends and ways of thinking are threatened. Ione has created a world that has many species of demons (some evil, some bad, some misunderstood, some good and some the same as humans but with different DNA). Tayla has always thought of demons-all demons- as evil incarnate. However, her rising state of emotions spurred by her unlikely sexual relationship with Eidolon have her second guessing if she can trust some demons and maybe they are not all evil. Ione’s novel creates real tension and anxiety with the reader as to whether Tayla and Eidolon will risk everything for a chance at love as they find themselves increasingly drawn to each other, fighting side by side, and seeking out each other’s trust. Pleasure Unbound is erotic, dark, and action packed. Give it a read!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper

Kate Morton’s newest novel, The Secret Keeper, was a masterpiece. I absolutely loved it and want to recommend The Secret Keeper, as well as Kate Morton’s previous novels, as must reads. The novel starts out feeling a little cut up but as you start piecing the scenes together you get so involved in the story that is unfolding before you that you cannot put the book down, or at least I could not- even a few times when I was getting mad at the characters! I really enjoyed how Morton chose to introduce us to the characters and players in the story as well as how she plotted out her mystery. Kate Morton is a master at telling a tale through levels and over decades.

The Secret Keeper starts in present day London with a dying woman and her grown up children visiting her. The eldest child recalls a violent memory of her childhood and from there the novel rolls out a suspense filled mystery. We see the sleuthing of a couple of the grown kids, Laurel and her brother, in present day piecing together their mothers past. Laurel is chasing the threads of the story and trying to unravel the mystery of her mother, who she was and is, and what kind of person she is. Then the reader is thrown back in time to the mother as a teenager and older. The story unfolds for us as if it were happening for the first time and we experience the love, tragedy, greed, selfishness, despair, and joy as their mother experienced it during war ridden London in the 1940’s. The stories work in tandem, filling in holes, swelling mundane articles of information found in the present with the feelings of the past, and painting a beautiful historical mystery. I was enthralled from the first chapter and could not wait to find out what Laurel and her brother would discover.

Kate Morton is a must read for anyone interested in mysteries, historical fiction, family intrigue, or novels that toggle between present day and the past to untangle tales.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lora Leigh's Navarro's Promise (Breeds #24)

Navarro's Promise
Navarro’s Promise was a fast paced novel that gives focus to the bigger obstacles the Breeds are trying to overcome and understand. This allows Leigh to show the ever evolving roller coaster of mating heat, with Navarro and Mica, in all its frustratingly erotic and emotionally crazed glory. Lora Leigh has created a deliciously dangerous plot that is as addicting to read as it is volcanically sensual in the bedroom.  For personal preference I think I am fan of the Wolf Breeds and there sexual anomalies more than the Feline Breeds.

If you are looking for an erotic read of the paranormal variety I absolutely recommend this novel.

Krystal Wade's Wilde's Fire

Wilde's Fire
Wilde’s Fire introduces us to the world of fantasy, which is a newer genre for me. Wilde’s Fire was a great “introductory” novel unlocking the world of fantasy. The author introduces us to magic, daemonic creatures, and portals into other worlds. Wilde’s Fire gives the reader a foundation into a new world that I found myself holding my breathe to see if we are going to have the tools and knowledge to save it from the corroding darkness that has taken over Encarda.

Wilde’s Fire is a fun novel. It has strong bones and sets the tone for future adventures. The author has had fun creating varying levels of intrigue, mystery and journeys for us to want to follow in future books. I also believe that the author will be one to watch for stellar writing. I think her voice will only continue to develop and get stronger as she carries on with her writing. The romance was sweet, pure and just as frustratingly tantalizing for us as for Arland and Kate (I would imagine). I am definitely rooting for love and light to win the day over darkness and looking forward to Krystal Wade’s future novels.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl

Gone Girl is a psychological thriller written in a creative way. I really enjoyed the voice the author writes the characters with…each of the main characters, the husband and wife, are written in first person within their own chapters. By the end I was not super engaged but wanted to see what kinks the author would give to finally resolve the twisted puzzle she pieced together for us. All the reviews I read before reading Gone Girl told me I would not be able to put it down even though I may want to throw the book against the nearest wall. I agree with this, but by the end I found myself growing weary with both characters and just wanted to get to the end of the tale. The story, on a very basic level, is about an unhappy couple and on their 5th wedding anniversary the wife disappears. From there a full investigation is launched to find her and the husband goes from victim of loss to the main suspect in a possible murder.  How the reader is given the story though is what I loved. It is through chapters that toggle between the wife and husband. The husband is all present day about what is going on and him taking you through everything, reminiscent of his past relationships, and covering his present tracks. The first part of the novel for the wife’s part of the tale is all given by her various diary entries from the past so we are given a glimpse of her as well as their relationship. Each is very different on their perceptions of what is happening.  The book is broken into three parts. By the second part, while still toggling between chapters and voices, we get to know the “real” wife through her actual voice. That’s when the investigation as well as the story really picks up. I felt like the pace of the novel was written as the investigation went. Sometimes slow and collecting evidence while others were nonstop and go-go-go!

Gone Girl is a well written novel that is dark, twisted, and intelligent. You will find that the author and characters love to play with your mind throughout this book. Give it a whirl!

Chelsea M. Cameron's My Favorite Mistake

I found this book while looking for a new (and yes cheap) e-book to download on my nook. I read Beautiful Disaster this past year and after reading the synopsis for My Favorite Mistake, I was almost appalled that it sounded like almost the same book. However, I am happy to report that after reading both they are not the same. Once I was engaged in the world of characters Cameron introduces us to and the two different approaches the authors take, the differences are more obvious. My Favorite Mistake stayed positive and did not have as many of the thrills that Beautiful Disaster gave readers. My Favorite Mistake is a contemporary romance. While reading, I found myself waiting for the bottom to drop out but it really did not. It may have a little, what is a good novel or life for that matter without a little of the bottom dropping out from under us, but there was always support for Hunter and Taylor to lean on.

This novel was about not being a victim, and about love in all its forms- luck, trust, forgiveness, happiness, support, and love that lasts forever. I loved the determination of the characters as then navigated their lives and that they fought through the quagmire of tests life can throw at us because of love, even when we are not sure that is what it is all for. I will also add there were some cute roommate scenes that made me miss my college years as well as sizzling bedroom scenes that made my cheeks flush.

I recommend My Favorite Mistake as a contemporary romance for readers. Also for readers looking for a new novel, new author, book about hope and determination, or the thrill of falling in love and all its crazy ups and downs.

Andrea Cremer's Wolfsbane and Bloodrose

If you enjoyed, even a little bit, Andrea Cremer’s novel Nightshade, do yourself a favor and get the next two novels in this series: Wolfsbane and Bloodrose. You will not want to put them down. This Nightshade series is one of the best YA book series I have read in quite a long time. The novels are addicting, the story has great action, I loved the characters and the chemistry sizzles. Andrea Cremer has created a fantastic world of Guardians, Keepers and Searchers that enthralls the reader. We get their various histories, current issues that draw us into the story, and are thrown into the middle of the action to save the world. The love triangle is titillating (as are all the side romances) and I was left breathless trying to pick who Call’s mate should be and would be by the end of the trilogy.

I absolutely recommend this series. These are novels I just stumbled across, fell in love with, but would have trouble explaining why… Just read them!!! (Or at least the first novel, Nightshade, to see if you might enjoy them as well.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lara Adrian's Taken by Midnight

This was an action packed thriller with enticing romance thrown into the mix. I found Taken by Midnight while looking for new authors to try in a used book store. Lara Adrian was a fun find. I have not been reading as many vampire novels lately but decided to take a chance with this one. The Order did not really feel like vampires. They have an alien twist to them. I am not a real fan of aliens but there was not a huge focus on what the alien in them might be, they are on basic level hot, muscled, smoldering vampires, so I was happy. I was a little surprised that while they exhibited vampire powers and instincts (like their super human speed or inability to be in the sun) and these were utilized throughout the plot, it was surprisingly not used much for the sensual sex scenes (aaah the erotic blood sharing, LOL).

I would recommend Lara Adrian as a new author of the paranormal romantic suspense readers (if you haven’t found her yet). Taken by Midnight was the eighth book in the series. It felt like a whole book but also a “to be continued” book in future novels. The main point seemed to be “boy gets girl” and then in the future we will get more of “What is happening to Jenna.” I have already bought the first book in this series to start at the beginning because there is much more to the backstory than just meeting the other characters. I cannot wait!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Forged & Guest Visit with Author Becky Banks

The Small Book Blog wants to welcome author Becky Banks and introduce her newest novel Forged. Forged is scheduled for release on October 26, 2012, and is already #10 on Amazon’s Romantic Suspense list! Forged is a high octane romance complete with thrills, chills, love, dark pasts, lusciously sensual scenes and sexy mechanics. Without further ado here is an introduction to Forged, our Q&A with the fabulous author Becky Banks, and my review of Forged.

Introducing Forged:
Eva Lynn Rodgers, the daughter of a mechanic, grew up with a need for speed. So did her best friend, and later boyfriend, Nathaniel Vellanova. But when Eva left the drizzling rain of Portland, Oregon, for a high-powered career in New York, she left both Nathaniel and her past behind.

Now Eva's back, and her BMW—like her life in general—could use a little love. Her new mechanic is the right man for the job, but he's got some scores to settle with the girl who peeled out for the East Coast when he needed her most.

It's time for Eva and Nathaniel to confront their demons. Passionate and dangerous sparks ignite as Nathaniel's brutal youth rises up and pulls Eva Lynn back to him—forging a bond that, this time, won't be denied.

Q&A with Author Becky Banks:

Q: In a previous interview you mentioned that you listen to music when you write to set the mood. Did you continue this tradition with Forged? What music helped set the mood for this gritty tale of lost love?

Hello Annie and thanks for hosting me again! Yes! I did listen to music while writing Forged, and as you can imagine the playlist was quite different from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch - for those who don't know, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch is a Scottish romance - I listened to Black Keys (old and new stuff), True Blood Soundtrack, Cee Lo Green, The Cardigans, etc. Here’s a clip of the one song that played for the majority of the love scenes. ;0)

Note, the sound quality on the CD is fathoms better than the YouTube version, and at 100db on a rocking set of headphones, it’s luscious.

Q: There was a fantastic connection between Eve and Nate. Was there anything from you personally or from research that helped forge that bond? Did Eve and Nate just demand that we feel and “see” the connection to further enjoy their adventure?

Yes, Eve and Nate came to me like that. Before I got started writing Forged I got a bee in my bonnet from girlfriends talking to me about their first loves and wondering, where they are now? My husband and I are first loves (very rare I know...) and for the first few years of our relationship we separated at our college summer breaks. I went home to Maui and he stayed in Oregon. A lot of that pain and angst that they feel I channeled from my early years when we left each other. Regarding the chemistry between the two, they came with that all by themselves. But, I should mention, my family are highly passionate people, both vocally and in the bedroom (my cousin for example knocked up his wife who had been previously diagnosed as infertile). So that type of chemistry wasn't foreign to me. 

Q: Do you research, act out scenes to make sure they feel and sound right?

Are you spying on me? How’d you know that’s what I do?? :0)  
Aston Martin DB9 [via]
Yes, I do research, but in the most awesome way possible. For example when researching the Aston Martin DB9 - yes I did a touch of Wiki searching - my main source of info was from the brilliant BBC television show Top Gear. They drive the shit out of the cars they get and whilst driving them, hold a commentary about how it’s handling, feels, and overall vibe. This is something that cannot be got from Wikipedia data gathering. Though, in reality I would have loved to have climbed into the drivers seat of the DB9 and drove it like a bat outta hell through the coastal range like Nate and Eva do in the book. Instead, I combined my knowledge of cars in general with the DB9 and wove together what it would have been like. Note, I did drive a similar section of the coastal range like a bat out of hell (and been a passenger when the person I was with was using Nate’s rule: if you’re not slidin’ you’re not drivin’) in a stick, front wheel drive two door inline 4. I just made that last part up to make it sound fancy, but it was just a Ford Focus. The Focus though, shouldn't be mocked, as I've experienced, the the smaller the car the more you feel like you might die at lower speeds (read: more exhilarating). For example a Ford Focus doing 50mph through a tight turn can feel like death is eminent, where as in a luxury car (take a BMW 5-series for example) taken at twice the speed you might feel the same. So, small cars are safer and more exhilarating. Which, I might add is a large tangent from your original question. :0)

Q: Do you still consider yourself a romantic? Previously, with The Legend of Lady MacLoach you said you realized you were a romantic. Do you, expanding on your assessment that you like to “take unlikely people and make them fall in love”, feel that you did that with Nate and Eve?

Oh absolutely. Nate and Eve are complete opposites, and the bond that cements them together is the love they share for each other. I’m absolutely infatuated with opposites attracting, it’s what gets me giddy inside. We’ll see more of that from my future writings, no doubt.

Q: This novel takes place in Portland, Oregon. The setting for many famous books, movies and television (Grimm is currently shot in the Portland area for fans of that show) shows. If the city were ever to create a tour of famous and popular novel scenes and television/movie scenes that have taken place in Portland and the surrounding areas, do you think you would be able to have parts of Forged on the tour? Are there real places in Portland you wrote about or was it more the feel of a city you were familiar with?

Speaking of Grimm, I actually got to watch the making of one of the episodes. They were filming in a girlfriend of mine’s neighborhood and I cruised by at lunch for a peek! See pic below.

The car of main character in Grimm and a 'prop' police car!
As far as Forged goes, yes, nearly all the scenes were set in real places. Though of course the construction on the bridge that the end scene happens on is fictionalized. It was the Broadway that was getting major reconstruction, which gave me the idea to set it on the Fremont (one of the taller bridges in Portland). Also, Nate’s auto shop is based loosely on Pro Tek Automotive off of Sandy where I take my BMW and the locations of where Nate and Eva live are real places.

Q: What’s next for you? Are you already writing another novel?

Yes! I am writing another novel! After much demand (read: death threats) this winter I’ll be writing the sequel to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, we head back to Scotland for round two of the adventure. In this new book I'll introduce to readers new characters such as Minory relatives that Cole uncovers, a little old woman who reads tea leaves, a handsome undergraduate researcher and a woman from London that Rowan should not have forgotten about...

Thanks again Annie for having me! 


Becky Banks is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. Her newest novel, Forged releases October 26th. Get it FREE all week on the Kindle, October 22nd - 26th.

Available through Amazon Oct. 26.

or visit www.beckybanksonline.com

The Small Book Blog Review of Forged:
While author Becky Banks has remained a believer in the power of love, her upcoming novel Forged is a dark, sexy and gritty tale when compared to her debut novel The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. I was privileged to read the early unedited version of Forged and was blown away at how different it is in style from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, how once again Banks creates characters and situations that are believable with descriptions that throw you into the scenes, and Eva (our heroine) is a kick ass woman of our time, she is someone we all wish we could be at one point or another throughout our life. I am not going to get into too much of the story and plot, Banks still has work to do before Forged is released later this year, but I will say that it is about Nate and Eva, two characters who we meet separately only to learn that we have been dropped into their story years after it happened. They grew up together, dated and their love just was not enough. Forged occurs after all bridges are burned between these two, however, what lies ahead (for them and us dear readers) is the story of Nate and Eva’s reunion and if what they had and what they will experience will be enough to forge their friendship into a love that will last lifetime or if they will remain people with a shared past seen over the remains of their burned bridge.
Banks paints very visceral scenes with amazing descriptions that, while reading it, are like watching a play in my head. Forged is going to be one of those great novels that you find yourself invested in and do not want to put down. However, for our time management, I appreciated that Banks puts breaks with the ends of the chapters by switching to other characters perspectives or scenes. Trust me, this was essential for me while reading so I could get dinner on the table and sleep at night. I also found that Banks has created a real energy with the main characters, Nate and Eva, and their relationships and interactions with their friends and co-workers. It flowed seamlessly and had me feeling like one of the pals, talking trash, feeling concerned, giggling at their inside jokes, and I appreciated this because I find it helps a novel when the “B” characters have personality.
Overall Forged is going to be a steamy, sexy, high octane adventure (in and out of the bedroom) with some suspense and grittiness thrown in, of the strength of love and forging the path to see if it is worth the heat of making it stronger or if it will remain a burned out lie. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jamie McGuire's Providence, Requiem and Eden Trilogy

I read Jamie McGuire’s Providence trilogy as one long novel. I loved McGuire’s novel Beautiful Disaster and decided to try out her backlist. While this trilogy was not anywhere near as endearing and captivating as Beautiful Disaster, it was a fun trilogy. There was intrigue, romance, thrill, chills, and battles to be won (essentially to save the world).  In today’s day and age of all things were or vampire Providence, Requiem and Eden gives us a paranormal world in the now where people actually have guardian angels and God keeps a checks and balances attitude with angels, demons and people. I think many paranormal readers will get “that feeling” that this series is very much like Twilight, Beautiful Disaster or other popular literature these days. It was reminiscent of…something…while I was reading it. Beyond that, I would recommend this for YA readers, paranormal junkies, and paranormal romance readers looking for something while waiting on their next favorite authors novel to come out. I am not saying they are bad or not worth the read, they just were a little disappointing after falling in love with McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster.

I’ll think about revising my review after time passes and I think on it more. LOL! As you can tell I was a little disappointed.

Andrea Cremer's Nightshade

Nightshade was a huge surprise to me. I was wandering in the airport one day, wasting time between flights and checking out the bookstore. I was caught by the book cover (a teenage girls head with a wolf layered together) and looked up Nightshade on Goodreads. I was amazed at the 4.06 rating it was getting out of so many reviews. I bought it and read it for one of my Halloween reads. I was absolutely not disappointed with my purchase.

Nightshade is a YA book that gave so much more to its characters, chemistry and plot than most YA novels I have read the last few years. It was well written, thought out for a series and had great character development. I just wanted more by the time I got to the end of the novel. I also should point out, especially for adult readers out there, that while most YA novels are disappointing on the romance (aka sexual) scale, Nightshade was sexy, lusciously sensual (as it could be) and yet still appropriate for the YA audience. I think it was the chemistry that enhanced the scenes and gave it that extra spark.

Nightshade is a thrilling paranormal romance about alpha wolf Calla, who is to be mated out of high school to ladies’ man and alpha wolf Ren. They are supposed to keep traditions alive and begin a new pack designed to guard a sacred site for the Keepers. (The history and detail of the world Andrea Cremer has created are explained as you read.) Calla soon finds herself questioning everything she grew up believing and risking her life to save those she loves most as her world is challenged and turned upside down. As the book cover so eloquently puts it, “She can control her pack, but not her heart.” Nightshade is riddled with love, longing, desire, action packed adventure, a touch of mayhem and the fear of the unknown. I recommend this novel for YA readers, paranormal romance lovers, and someone looking for a new author.



Johanna Lindsey's Captive of My Desires

Johanna Lindsey’s Captive of My Desires was recommended by a friend. Captive of my Desires was a swashbuckling and adventurous historical novel with a winsome plot, sensual men, and feisty women. While this was the eighth book in the Malory Family series, it was fine on its own.  Our heroine is a cheeky- take charge heroine- and yes, she does take prisoners. I also enjoyed and what captivated my attention as different from many historical romance novels that take place in England, is that Captive of my Desires showed more than just the usual socially ruled lives of regent England characters. It was neither your Jane Austen romance nor the misunderstood yet awesome wallflower that gets the best man of the season.  Rather, Captive of my Desires has us on the high seas meeting pirates, visiting the Caribbean, and falling prey (scandalously) to outspoken Americans, while also being subjected to stogy English society.

Captive of my Desires was a spunky historical romance that left me with warm fuzzies when it was over. It was deliciously sensual, wickedly entertaining and a thrilling adventure.  I am excited to try more of Johanna Lindsey’s novels and I do recommend her to readers of historical romance or those in need of a spirited love story.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FORGED IS HERE- October 26, 2012!

Award winning author Becky Banks will be joining us on October 25, 2012, to talk about her upcoming novel Forged!
Forged is a novel of first loves, dark pasts, and fast cars that collide in a high-octane adventure (in and out of the bedroom).

For more information about Becky, her novels, to order her book and of course to follow her blog tour, visit Author Becky Banks blog..

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween Reveal It!

Fall is here! I love it! The autumn season is definitely one of my favorite times of the year. The weather changes so I can dress in layers, the trees transform their colors and shed their leaves, the pumpkins come out to fulfill their destiny, the subtle scraping of leaves blowing along the streets follows you while walking to your car, there’s football, gatherings with loved ones, street faires, and sooooo much more! Now, I am wracking my brain trying to figure out what my holiday themed reading should be. I generally try to read holiday themed books for the Halloween and Christmas seasons. I also love watching the various holiday movies from October through the New Year. Movies are so much easier to find it seems.
Thinking of fall, and the upcoming Harvest Faire I am attending this weekend, had me looking at my calendar. Halloween is right around the corner! We are already in the double digits of October for crying out loud! So, with that in mind, is anyone reading a book or books for this trick-o-treat period of October? I have decided to look through my to-read book shelves at home and come up with a book or two that is spooky and frightful. If I get really lucky the book may even be written for this season! Last year I read Dracula and then the new sequel Dracula the Un-Dead. Right now I think Gone Girl will be my first frightening read.
Let me know if anyone has reading suggestions or other reading traditions they want to share! Have a frightfully fabulous day!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Got Caged Blog Spotlight:

Welcome to the Got Caged blog tour! Author Amber Lynn Natusch has provided us with a glimpse into her series Caged. Caged is an action packed (sometimes even a blood-bathe), exciting series with a creative twist on werewolves! Below is a guest blog post from the author, a quick sneak-peek of the novel, my interview with the author and my review of the first book in the series aptly titled Caged.

That said let’s give a warm welcome to author of the Caged series, Amber Lynn Natusch:

When I was asked to compose a guest blog post, I had no idea what to write. As an author, it was an especially low moment. Then a great friend suggested that I take an excerpt from the first novel in my series, Caged, and explain what I loved about it. Genius! Times like this illustrate my need for a team of levelheaded people around me―an entourage of rational thinkers.

The unfortunate reality for me was that my favorite scenes from Caged all contain spoilers, but I still managed to find some good ones :)

For this blog, I chose a scene that involves three of my favorite characters: Ruby, Sean, and Ronnie. The combination of them together in one scenario led to some cheeky dialogue and a whole lot of tension. Ronnie's keen observational skills combined with Sean's uncanny ability to disarm Ruby create a recipe for her complete embarrassment. Unfortunately for Ruby, it's not the first time.

Without further ado, I give you Ruby, Sean, and Ronnie, in the infamous “Crash” scene.

To continue with our blog spot, please go to the Author Corner: Got Caged Blog Tour with Amber Lynn Natusch

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Don't Forget....

Next Saturday, September 29th, is our blog stop on the Caged blog tour!
Author Amber Lynn Natusch will stop by with a quick hello; share a little insight about herself, give a short interview with The Small Book Blog, and I will share my review of the first book in her Caged series.

Darynda Jone's First Grave on the Right

Darynda Jones introduces us to Charley Davidson. Charley is a cheeky heroine who is a private investigator, has a contract with the police department since she can talk to the departed (comes in handy for her detective uncle and his case closing stats) to help them solve murders and who is also a Grimm reaper (she is actually in our realm and the departed realm allowing her to talk and touch ghosts as well as humans). First Grave on the Right was surprisingly a cute, corny, and quirky story. We also meet endearing characters…well, except for Reyes, he is just a super-hot sexy mystery.

First Grave on the Right is a great story; it keeps building throughout the novel weaving multiple stories to keep the reader engrossed. The novel has a fun ending that has me wanting to read the next book in this series to see what is next for Charlie and Reyes. I was excited about the back story and history of Reyes and Charlie. It was unexpected and very different from what I anticipated. I appreciated, also, that the author gave us insight into Charlie's childhood and what happened to shape her into the person she is today. Her past definitely lends to the explanation of why she hides behind her shield of sarcasm so people won't look too closely at her.

Darynda Jones is an author for anyone who likes paranormal books and especially cheeky heroines and is stumped on what to read next. I can definitely see why Jones won the RITA award for Best First Book with First Grave on the Right. It will have you laughing, frustrated, tensing up and rooting for Charley and all her bad luck, clumsiness and on the spot decision making.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kelley Armstrong's Thirteen

Kelley Armstrong took on QUITE A CHALLENGE for her vision of this last book in the Women of the Otherworld series. Armstrong had all the key players involved in the plot that we have grown to love and the novel was teeming with action, action, action. However, I almost feel as though Armstrong would rather have given each couple their own novella, rather than one last book. In the end, the overall big battle and farewell to our beloved characters was a fond one. Of course there is also the possibility of more novels in the future but if not, we know everyone lived happily ever after and as we the readers predicted.

I would recommend this to lovers of this series. If you haven’t read the series and met the characters I would definitely not start with this final novel.

David Liss' The Twelfth Enchantment

The Twelfth Enchantment was a treasure to discover in an airport bookstore and read. It is definitely an Austenite novel with a magical twist. David Liss gives us a world that is fascinating yet touches on the depressing and dangerous times of the 19th century. For people who love this time period of literature Liss has written the prose for Regency England but weaved an intriguing adventure riddled with compelling and engaging characters. Liss must have had fun introducing “bad girls” and an enjoyable portrait of Lord Byron. Is he the good guy or the bad guy? Lucy, our heroine, definitely tries to rival Elizabeth Bennet’s place in history. (As a spoiler there are actual Austen characters in this novel!) Plus, you have to love a book that has an attacking tortoise.

The Twelfth Enchantment is definitely a romantic historical with a magical and gothic twist. There was a moment when I was reading the novel and I just started laughing because it was hilarious to think that a novel that was structured and almost an homage to Jane Austen also talked about Lord Byron pissing in the corner of his run down castle and the heroine was trying desperately to not listen to his splashing.

I would recommend this novel to lovers of Jane Austen, Jonathan Strange, Deborah Harkness, and Katherine Howe. They share that wonderful gothic and historical flair and are more beloved with each read. I am excited to see what Liss will write us in the future.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Carly Phillips' Kiss Me If You Can

Kiss Me If You Can by Carly Phillips was a cute contemporary romance. It had pizazz, sex, thrills, chills, crazy family, a mystery, and the challenges to ensure the love of the two main characters (Sam Cooper and Lexie Davis) will live happily ever after. Phillips, I think, is hit or miss regarding if she goes around the corner and predictable side of contemporary romance, but this novel, Kiss Me If You Can stayed on the straight path to laughter, mystery and love.

I would recommend this novel. It reminded me of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Victoria Dahl, Christie Ridgeway and so many others out there. I will warn you though to check my blog or Goodreads for Phillips other novels as some may disappoint you.

Got Caged? Blog Tour Announcement

The Small Book Blog is going to be part of author Amber Lynn Natusch’s Got Caged? Blog Tour! Natusch will be touring from September 3rd and runs to October 1st. Our blog stop will be September 29th. Natusch will visit us with a guest post, author interview and I will post my review of the first novel in her Caged series, Caged. Feel free to stop in and say hi! For those of you interested in more info here is her link on Goodreads.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fun Update on author Becky Banks!

As some of you know I am a peer reviewer for author Becky Banks (hopefully all of you remember her or know of her from her first fabulous novel The Legend of Lady MacLaoch) . I am excited to announce Banks’ new novel Forged finally has a publish date! Watch for it as an ebook, soon followed with the paper version, October 26, 2012! Feel free to read my early review of Forged as a teaser or add it to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads (here's the link). I’m off to harass, oops, I mean ask, Banks to remember us for her next blog tour and giveaways! I’ll keep you posted as I know more.
P.S. There ARE sexy new uses for duct tape...  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Reveal It!

I wanted to drop in and reveal some fun and exciting news, especially since it will absolutely affect The Small Book Blog! First, I am happy to let all you fabulous readers know that I am busy peer reviewing for author Becky Banks upcoming novel, Forged. Forged should be out this fall for us readers to voraciously read and share. It is going to be a high-octane, ultra sexy, thriller- to spice up our long winter nights.  My second bit of news is that I was recently contacted to host a- new to me- author this September or October during her blog tour to promote her new book. That is about all the details (minus who it is and the book series) I have to share at this time.

This is going to be an exciting end of summer/fall. I cannot wait to share all this with you guys. Check in soon for more updates! Have a fun and safe weekend!

Kelley Armstrong's Spell Bound (The Otherworld Series 12)

For fans of The Women of the Otherworld series you will not be disappointed in Spell Bound. Spell Bound is the second to last novel in this fantastic series. Many books that come right before the end are set ups for the big finally and are a letdown, ask more questions than give answers or (I think) have trouble with their character development. Kelley Armstrong does not disappoint on any of those issues. She is continually setting up for the big war to come in her novel Thirteen and while doing that has an entire plot for the novel Spell Bound. Savannah, one of the few characters left waiting to be coupled with her love by the author, continues to grow and develop from the bratty little witch we first met into a bad ass yet caring woman. I am ready for the big show now. I cannot wait to see what Armstrong has in store. For readers of this author and series I give it a rating of:

For readers who are new to this author or series I would suggest started at the beginning and reading your way through her series. Spell Bound would be an awkward first novel to start with. You will enjoy it so much more, especially since you get to meet the various main characters over and over (even if they are not the main players in that novel). Also, Armstrong is hard to become tired of since she is continually shuffling through her characters for each novel, breaking that habit we as readers get sometimes of antsiness to switch around or annoyance because you want to know what is happening with so-and-so. This also allows her plots to change rather than stay completely formulaic. I love this series and absolutely recommend it to anyone interested in supernatural/paranormal romance and suspense. For new reads this novel gets a rating of:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Anne Rice's The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty

I want to warn you, before you delve any farther into this recommendation; it is not a positive one. I read Anne Rice’s erotic novel, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty. It is the first book in an erotic trilogy. I was lured in because I thought it would be an erotic twist of a beloved fairy tale. Instead I feel almost like a victim for having read it. I want to warn readers out there that this is not another Fifty Shades of Grey meets Sleeping Beauty. Some S&M I was prepared to be okay with. What Rice presents to us goes beyond the comfort level of most (I assume) of the general public. The love slaves (all the Princes and Princesses in the land), including Sleeping Beauty, are continually humiliated, debased, molested, raped, sodomized, forced against their will to do outrageous acts, and brain washed by ALL the Lords and Ladies of the Kingdom. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty would be a fantastic novel for behavior analysis and victimization profiling. I found myself wishing that the Feds would arrive, busting into the castle and arrest everyone, saving the love slaves from their pain turned into pleasure warped minds. To me, they were treated like todays slave trade but they do not get all the drugs to help them. I am still trying to figure out how Anne Rice could write this novel in such a third person blasé voice. She knows her subject and is very detailed about it. It just, to me, is not erotic. I cannot imagine getting turned on by these books. Prince Alexi’s stories of his beginnings with the Queen were horrific and still make my stomach turn from what he went through.

So, all that said I would not recommend this series. However, if you are looking into victimization, fairy tales gone beyond bad (hopefully for a school paper), behavioral analysis, or are absolutely sure you are okay reading detailed rapings, beatings, and sodomizing scenes then this may be a book for you to read.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster was a fantastic novel that I just stumbled across. I am a member of NetGalley and Beautiful Disaster was a recommendation from them. Generally I do not jump online and download them but I was intrigued by the cover art and book name. I am so happy I downloaded this novel. I read it in 3 days! This book, at its core, is mostly about overcoming your past, the beauty and disaster of love, and hoping you can grow into a new (and better) person than you think you are. I loved how involved the friends are in Abby and Travis’ lives. They definitely needed all the help and support they could get. Reading this novel was a little stressful. I know that Abby and Travis were fighting their emotions and themselves as well as each other. Despite their best efforts they were connected on a level they could not ignore. As a reader, I kept wondering if this novel was going to have a happy ending or a horrible ending. I decided I did not care; I had to know what would be Abby and Travis’ destiny. For fans of the tv show Friends, reading about Abby and Travis was like watching the emotional rollercoaster that was Ross and Rachel.

I absolutely recommend Beautiful Disaster. Abby is a strong, throws the first punch, can’t turn down a bet, kinda gal (I wish I could be sometimes). Travis is a sexy, tattooed, fighter and playboy who just wants love and give love. As friends they are fantastic, as lovers they are hot and steamy, as a couple it definitely is a beautiful disaster.

I should also add, after updating Goodreads, that this is the first book in a series. I wonder what McGuire has in store for us in the next book!