Review: The Working Elf Blues by Piper Vaughn

The Working Elf Blues by Piper Vaughn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: December 17th 2014
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, M/M romance, Christmas.

BLURB:

Garnet Evergreen has never heard of an elf abandoning the North Pole for a human, but he yearns to be the first. Ever since he saw Wes, the boy with sorrowful eyes, Garnet felt an undeniable kinship. Over the years, he’s watched that boy grow into a man, and now he’s determined to give Wes a Christmas he’ll never forget. If only Garnet had thought to test his father’s sleigh before leaving…

Orphaned as a child, Wes spends every Christmas alone at his cabin. When he’s woken by a suspicious boom and finds a wrecked sleigh and an unconscious elf, he doesn’t know how to react. Wes isn’t fanciful. He doesn’t give much credence to the stories about Santa Claus and flying reindeer. But a part of him wants desperately to believe when Garnet promises forever, even if life has taught him that no one ever stays… Continue reading

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Review: Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker

Sock it to Me, Santa! by Madison Parker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: November 12th 2012
Publisher: Smashwords
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, M/M romance, Drama, High School, Holidays.

BLURB:

Ryan is assigned to Jamie Peterson for his class’s secret gift exchange. If word gets out that he has to make a handcrafted gift for flamboyant and openly gay Jamie, Ryan will be the laughing stock of the school. It’s a good thing no self-respecting boy would be caught dead in a craft store, because otherwise he’d be at risk of being spotted when his mom drags him to her weekly craft workshops. He hopes Jamie will appreciate all the trouble he’s going to for this assignment. Finding the perfect gift is gonna be tricky. Jamie deserves something good, though, after all the crap he has to put up with at school. At least, Ryan tells himself that’s the reason he’s putting so much thought into the gift. It couldn’t be that he has feelings for Jamie, could it? Continue reading

Review: Under My Skin (Immortality Strain #1) by Shawntelle Madison

Under My Skin by Shawntelle Madison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Publisher: indie
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Dystopia, Dark, Manipulation, Love, Friendship, Family.

BLURB:

Everyone wants to either be a member of the Guild or work for them. Little does the populace know that the Guild hides sinister secrets…

For Tate Sullivan, life in her small, coastal town is far from glamorous. The affluent lives of the Guild members and their servants isn’t something she has ever wanted. But all sixteen year-olds must take a simple test, and Tate’s result thrusts her into the Guild’s world, one where they hide horrible plans for those they select. Tate must fight the relentless General Dagon for control of her mind, body, and soul to keep the one precious thing she has always taken for granted: herself.

Her only ally is the same handsome boy she is pitted against in General Dagon’s deadly game. Quinn desires nothing more than to end the life of General Dagon who has taken over Tate’s mind. While romance blooms between Tate and Quinn, General Dagon plots to eventually take over Tate’s body, and love might end before it even begins. Continue reading

Review: Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall

Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: September 22nd 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, M/M romance, Short Story.

BLURB:

Once upon a time . . . that’s how the old stories always begin.

Once upon a time there was a king of a fallen kingdom. He was just and he was beloved. Or so the numbers said. One day, he gathered together the greatest, wisest minds in all the land—not sorcerers, but scientists—and he bade them fashion him a son. A prince. A perfect prince to embody his father’s legacy.

The scientists each brought the prince a gift: beauty, strength, ambition, intellect, pride. But they must have forgotten something because when he saw the mermaids dance at the Cirque de la Mer, he ran away to join them.

For a year, he trained them, performed with them, thought he was happy. For a year he thought he was free. But then Nerites came: A merman who refused to be tamed. A captive from another kingdom. A beast in a glass cage.

The old stories always end with happy ever after. But this isn’t one of the old stories. This is a story of princes and monsters. Continue reading

Review: The Rose Master by Valentina Cano

The Rose Master by Valentina Cano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2014
Publisher: REUTS Publications, LLC
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Magic, Fairy Tales.

BLURB:

The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that’s hardly the most upsetting news. She’s being dismissed from the home she’s served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she’s never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:

There’s something wrong with Rosewood Manor.

Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.

As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them–some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.

When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn’t prepared for. The creature is very real, and she’s the only one who can help him stop it.

Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she’s grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can. Continue reading

Review: Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

Puddle Jumping by Amber L. Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: bought
Publication Date: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Self Pub
Genres & Themes: NA, Contemporary, Fiction, High School, Friendship, Disability.

BLURB:

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart. Continue reading

Review: Crane (The Legends Saga #1) by Stacey Rourke

Crane by Stacey Rourke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: May 26th 2014
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Genres & Themes: NA, Paranormal, Legends, Romance, Suspense, Mystery.

BLURB:

The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.

What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?

Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.

But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides? Continue reading