book reviews · books

Book Review: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan 
Series: Heroes of Olympus, #3
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 586 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 2, 2012
Rick Riordan: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
I read the Finnish version, “Athenan Merkki”. 

Synopsis:
Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that’s only one of her worries. In her pocket, Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving command: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth’s biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he’s now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader—but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side

Narrated by four different demigods, The Mark of Athena is an unforgettable journey across land and sea to Rome, where important discoveries, surprising sacrifices, and unspeakable horrors await. Climb aboard the Argo II, if you dare. . . .

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Buddy Read: Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole


Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole 
Series: Immortals After Dark, #5
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 388 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on May 20, 2008
Kresley Cole: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
A seductive beauty he can never have. Yet can’t resist…
Cadeon Woede will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought we could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she should fear, but can’t deny…

Raised as a human, Holly never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon’s wicked touch.

Surrender to dark desires…

Yet just when he earns Holly’s trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can state his wildest needs–and claim his heart?

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Book Review: The Struggle by Jennifer L. Armentrout


The Struggle by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: Titan, #2
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: New Adult
Format: Paperback, 368 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on March 20, 2017
Jennifer L. Armentrout: Website | Twitter | Goodread

Synopsis:

A bloody path has been chosen…

The war against the Titans continues, and they remain determined to wreak havoc on the world, but Seth has become something all gods fear. Now the most dangerous, most absolute power no longer resides in those who have been freed from their tombs.

The Great War fought by the few is coming…

All may doubt and fear what Seth has become. All except the one woman who might be his final chance at redemption. Josie will do anything to prove that Seth is on their side, but fate has a nasty way of changing lives, of changing people.

In the end, the sun will fall…

The only way they can save the future and save themselves is by facing the unknown together. It will take more than trust and faith. It will take love and the kind of strength not easily broken. No matter what, their lives will never be the same.

For what the gods have feared has come to pass. The end of the old is here and the beginning of the new has been ushered in…

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Book Review: Kissing Her by Alexa Riley


Kissing Her by Alexa Riley 
Series: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance | Erotica
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: eBook
Source: Scribd
Published on March 27, 2019
Alexa Riley: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
Bee Armstrong is used to being the ugly duckling in her family. Her sister is the one who gets all the love and affection, including from her parents. She’s learned to deal with being alone, so when a strange man can’t keep his eyes off her, she’s not prepared for what she feels.

Ragnar Black isn’t a decent man. He makes his money illegally and does whatever it takes to get what he wants. One night he’s walking home after a job and sees a girl so beautiful he can’t believe his eyes. He should walk away and not look back, but she calls to him like nothing ever has before.

Warning: Will Ragnar do every dirty thing in the book to his sweet, innocent Bee? Come on, this is us, and we wouldn’t let you down! Find out just how far he’s willing to go to make her his. Spoiler: it’s all the way!

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Buddy Read: Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole


Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole 
Series: Immortals After Dark, #4
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on April 29, 2008
Kresley Cole: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist.

A RAVEN-HAIRED TEMPTRESS OF THE DARK…

Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers — until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself.

A VAMPIRE WARRIOR CONSUMED BY MADNESS…

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth’s brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.

HOW FAR WILL HE GO TO CLAIM HER?

Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

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Book Review: The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout


The Power by Jennifer L. Armentrout 
Series: Titan, #2
Genre: Fantasy | Romance | Paranormal
Age Range: New Adult
Format: Paperback, 344 pages.
Source: My Copy
Published on February 23, 2016
Jennifer L. Armentrout: Website | Twitter | Goodread

Synopsis:

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.

Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve. Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.

But the gods are sensing a greater threat.

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

 

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Buddy Read: Freed by E.L James


Freed by E.L James 
Series: Fifty Shades Of Grey As Told By Christian, #3
Genre: Romance | Erotica
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 546 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on June 1, 2021
E.L James: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
You are cordially invited to the wedding of the decade, when Christian Grey will make Anastasia Steele his wife. But is he really husband material? His dad is unsure, his brother wants to organize one helluva bachelor party, and his fiancée won’t vow to obey…

And marriage brings its own challenges. Their passion for each other burns hotter and deeper than ever, but Ana’s defiant spirit continues to stir Christian’s darkest fears and tests his need for control. As old rivalries and resentments endanger them both, one misjudgment threatens to tear them apart.

Can Christian overcome the nightmares of his childhood and the torments of his youth, and save himself? And once he’s discovered the truth of his origins, can he find forgiveness and accept Ana’s unconditional love?

Can Christian finally be freed?

Relive the sensuality, the romance, and the drama of Fifty Shades Freed – the love story that enthralled millions of readers around the world – through the thoughts, reflections, and dreams of Christian Grey.

E.L. James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.

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Buddy Read: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole


Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole 
Series: Immortals After Dark, #3
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 359 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on September 24, 2007
Kresley Cole: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
This seductive paranormal series continues with a brutal Highland werewolf and an exquisite young witch, adversaries with a blood vendetta between them.

Her breathless kiss haunts him…

Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed—until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive.

His slow, hot touch is irresistible…

Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. It’s rumored that no one can tempt Bowen’s hardened heart, but soon passion burns between them. Though a future together is impossible, she fears he has no intention of letting her go.

No deed is too wicked for her seduction…

If they defeat the evil that surrounds them, can Mari deny Bowen when he demands her body and soul—or will she risk everything for her fierce protector?

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ARC Review: The Loner’s Obsession by Felicity Raine


The Loner’s Obsession by Felicity Raine 
Series: Men of Burly Bear, #2
Genre: Contemporary | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: eBook
Source: Booksprout
Publication Date: May 14, 2021
Felicity Raine: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:

She’s been off-limits from the moment I laid eyes on her. Stranded on the side of the road, she became more than that beautiful woman I saved one night. She became my obsession. Even though she’s only nineteen, and I’m nearly twice her age.

I’ve basically become her stalker, but I can’t help it. Months ago, her big sister Katie was almost the victim of a serial killer during a first date gone wrong. Nothing like that is ever going to happen to my Chrissie.

Keeping her safe is all I care about.

Until the night my surveillance catches her talking about wanting to lose her v-card.

That’s when the real obsession begins…

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Buddy Read: No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole


No Rest for the Wicked by Kresley Cole 
Series: Immortals After Dark, #2
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Romance
Age Range: Adult Audience
Format: Paperback, 356 pages
Source: My Copy
Published on October 31st 2006 by Pocket Star
Kresley Cole: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Synopsis:
In this next installment in the Immortals After Dark Series, USA Today Bestselling author Kresley Cole delivers a scorching tale about a forbidding vampire who lives in the shadows and the beautiful assassin who hunts him there.

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire—a nightmare in his mind—against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her sorrow—accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings—particularly lust—emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, forever, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity—as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world—to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

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