Thursday, 27 November 2014

Book Review -- Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala

Claiming Carlos (Sanchez Sisters, #2)Claiming Carlos by Rachelle Ayala
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This peppy and racy romance story proved to be a great read. Choco is devoted to her responsibilities in life - her family's Filipino restaurant and her education. She hopes to have and run her own restaurant some day. She is caught in the frustrating loop of monotony that comes with daily life. Carlos is the head chef in the family restaurant and has been her loyal and best friend. Johnny Dee is a consultant who has been assigned the task of handling the expansion of her family's restaurant. He showers attention on Choco - exactly what Choco had been craving for. Choco lets herself get enchanted with Johnny's attention and before she realises it, she transforms herself into someone she doesn't recognise - leaving her hollow and crushed inside. She covers up her numbness inside and tries to go with the flow, but Carlos is having none of it. He hates to see what his friend has turned into, and he has had enough of being just her friend. He gets into the battle scene to claim the true Choco and her heart back. Does he succeed, is what the book takes us through.

I thoroughly loved the characterisation of the protagonists. Choco's helplessness and confusion, conjoined with Carlo's initial bewilderment and eventual determination have all been churned out well and served nice and warm by Ayala. The plot is pacy and keep's the reader's attention throughout. Being completely new to Filipino food and culture, I was pleasantly surprised when the book smoothly enlightened me on a lot of points about both. What is remarkable about the book is that neither the characters, nor their words are shallow at any point - the author doesn't make light of any situation in the book and brushes it off with cliche sentences. Instead she has carefully carved out the emotional dynamics in the different scenes throughout and the dialogues, thoughts and language are all used in sync with this.

I would definitely recommend this to lovers of romance and drama.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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Book Review -- Winter Wolf by RJ Blain

Winter WolfWinter Wolf by R.J. Blain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.

The second installment in the Witch and Wolf series, Winter Wolf is an enjoyably multi-genre read. Having not read the first book in the series, Inquisitor, I was initially apprehensive about how well I would be able to follow this book. I ended up thoroughly loving it. The book was thoroughly gripping and kept my interest throughout.

The tale revolves around Nicole - a wizard, but a secretive and reluctant one at that. She has the power to control electricity. But she will be in massive and fatal trouble if the Inquisition finds out her secret.

The protagonist of Winter Wolf is Nicole, who's hiding a secret - she's a wizard. That means she can control electricity, and that if the Inquisition finds out who she is, she'll be executed. Struggling to make ends meet, she takes to acting. When a young guy dies right in her vicinity, she sets about finding what killed the man, and discovers that it's a deadly disease that could end up wiping out her entire race. She has the choice of either using her powers and facing the wrath of the Inquisition, or risk savaging the safety of her whole race.

It had multiple layers within one plot, all well handled. Nicole's predicament, the lurking danger and the action are all enjoyable. I liked the characterisation of Nicole and the internal conflicts that come with her. I am now keen on reading the first book, Inquisitor.

I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of paranormal adventure.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will run a $25 Amazon/BN gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming...

Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.

Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.

Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.


Enjoy an excerpt:

Men are brilliantly stupid.

For one thing, guys carry the most cash with them anywhere. Didn’t anyone ever tell them cash was dead?

I nestled myself in one of the side branches of Citadel Mall. I picked my way through a Claire’s but the lights were too bright reflecting off the sparkling plastic and crystals of the teeny bopper jewelry and handbags. I ducked into a shoe store where the lighting was dimmer and the window wasn’t as obstructed. Waiting was the hardest part.

My favorite place to find dumb guys with lots of cash was the mall. Always fairly crowded on a weekend; I could count on at least a couple of twenties for every wallet I temporarily borrowed.

I never kept all of it. Forty to sixty dollars at the most. Not enough to bother reporting to the cops. I didn’t mess with credit cards, or bother with selling ID cards. That’s the kind of crazy stuff that gets you sent to prison. I always left the wallets and the rest of the leftovers tucked away in the food court and on benches where management would see it and find the owner. That way, the people wouldn’t have to get new ID, which is a huge hassle.

And they never suspected a thing. All they saw when I accidentally bumped into them was batting eyelashes and as much cleavage as I could muster the absurdity to expose without dry heaving.

About the Author: C. L. Stone once lived in Charleston, SC, and currently lives among Cajuns. She writes about cute boys and uncomfortable situations, usually mixed together. You can email her at Sign up for email updates, get exclusive info on upcoming release dates, get notified when freebies are offered, and sometimes sneak peeks!

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