30 January 2013

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Thriller, Suspense, Mystery.
Publication : November 8th 2012 by Phoenix (first published May 24th 2012).
There are two sides to every story...This is THE US No. 1 bestselling novel that everyone is talking about...

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

This book is messed up on so many levels. Yet, I'm torn between appreciating the brilliance of it and cringing in disgust/shock.

The story is told in multiple POVs. It begins with Nick, a laid-back and fun-loving guy who takes things lightly. It's Nick and Amy's 5-year anniversary and they're in an unhappy marriage. It's not surprising considering the fact that Nick and Amy are polar opposites. Nick walks into the kitchen that morning, wondering how to tell Amy that he wants a divorce but he puts it off at the sight of Amy cheerfully cooking breakfast, trying to fix things between them.

Later that day, Nick comes back from work to find his house invaded and Amy missing. Nick's the main suspect.

In most novels, it's the characters that drive the story and with some, it's the plot. However, Gone Girl is one of those rare, addictive novels which are both character and plot driven. Let me tell you, this book grips you from the very first page and it's impossible to stop reading until you get to the end.
I still can't get over how well planned this book is. Gillian Flynn's descriptions of the characters' thoughts are so vivid, you feel like you're literally in their heads and you know them better than anyone.

If you're the kind of reader that likes things to be black and white, this book may not be right for you. The entire novel takes place in a gray area - a dirty, messed up gray area where nothing makes sense.

Since this is a suspense novel, I don't want to ruin the story for you.
All I can say is that Gone Girl has two of the most complex characters I've read about, along with an incredibly detailed plot. Although I'm not a fan of the ending (or the last 10% of the book really), Gone Girl certainly deserves all the attention it's got and is a must-read for all suspense/thriller/mystery fans out there!

*Thanks to My Smart Price for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review!*

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25 January 2013

Rage Within (Dark Inside #2) by Jeyn Roberts

Rage Within (Dark Inside #2) by Jeyn Roberts.
Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Dystopia.
Publication : August 30th 2012 by Macmillan Children's Books.
After the earthquakes came the infectious rage, turning friends into deadly enemies. For survivors Michael, Aries, Mason and Clementine the battle to stay alive is about to get even tougher. The new world is organising itself, with camps that promise protection for the uninfected. But the reality of the sites is far more sinister. Besides, nobody is safe from the rage within their own soul...

Reviewed by Priya.

Rage Within was an exercise in pain. At one hand, I couldn't wait to find out what happens next. But how to deal with this awesome book slowly coming to an end? It was hard. I couldn't find it in me to stop since Jeyn Roberts always left me wanting for more. It had been painful. Extremely painful. Because on the other hand, I had to watch characters I had come to love go through so much. Jeyn Roberts has been merciless. And that is exactly why I love this book. It is a conjunction of such strong emotions that it leaves you jarred. Pretty much like a jump in icy cold water, leaving you feeling both shaken and numb.

When I started Rage Within, I was afraid that it won't be able to pull me in like Dark Inside did. While Dark Inside had shown the beginnings of a hopeless world being ravaged by darkness and death, I had feared its sequel won't be able to provide anything new as sequels usually are not-so-original anymore and tend to be disappointing. But I was wrong. Not only did Rage Within continue the story with the same breathtaking pace and plot, it also took it to another level. But, sadly, this book was not as much creepy and intensely breaking as Dark Inside was. And I believe it was mostly because when I started Rage Within, I was pretty much set to the distressing, hopeless tone that this series is set on. Yet, the story was compelling and difficult to keep down. The characters were no longer trying to survive, but were fighting back too.

As in Dark Inside, I loved Aries, Mason and Daniel in Rage Within as well. The direction their lives and relationship with each other took was more than I could ask for my fangirling side. Though Jeyn Roberts has an army for supporting characters, all of them are unique with their own personalities and voices and none of them are a least bit forgettable. Nothing and his infinite wisdom were the star of the show all over again. And I still strongly believe that Daniel is Nothing.

Mind you, this book is neither for those who are faint- or soft-hearted nor for those who prefer their characters perfectly flawless, extremely selfless, annoyingly unreal and one-faceted. The characters in this book are raw and real, they make mistakes and they regret it, they fight and sometimes they lose. Sometimes they give up and they are always changed.

There is no official news of a third book in the series as of yet, but Jeyn Roberts did mention of there being one. That is good enough for me put on my "This Fangirl Awaits" cap and well, wait.

“Some things you can't take back. Some things take you farther into the darkness.”

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18 January 2013

Blog Tour : If You Believe in Me by Natalie J. Damschroder (Excerpt + Giveaway)

If You Believe in Me by Natalie J. Damschroder.
Audience/Genre : Women/Category Romance.
Publication : December 18th 2012 by Entangled Publishing.
Three years ago, Amber Benedict fell in love with Kale Riker and pledged to wait for him to return from military service. Even though she rarely hears from him, she’s steadfast in her belief: he’s coming home to her, and soon. Then the government tells Kale’s family that he’s missing in action, and the Rikers have given him up for dead. Now the entire town is set on convincing Amber to let go of a dead man and move on.

Amber is certain Kale is still alive and on his way home, but can she hold out against an entire town pushing her to give up on love?

Today's Kindle and Me's stop in the If You Believe in Me Blog Tour! I've an excerpt and an e-book giveaway for you guys. Thanks to Natalie & Entangled Publishing for providing the excerpt and a giveaway copy! :)


The sun blazed out of a pale sky, bouncing off rocks and sand, radiating in every direction. Kale, prone between a boulder and a ragged rock face, hadn’t moved in so long he thought his body might literally be cooked. The breeze that kicked up every so often did nothing more than blow sand in his face.

He blinked dust out of his eyes and repositioned the binoculars. His index finger nudged the focus button until his view into the shack’s window was crisp.

Their mission target reportedly had a mole directly below the right corner of his mouth and a scar bisecting his left eyebrow. Both identifying marks were clear on the man centered in Kale’s glasses. Thank God. He was so done with all of this. Done with the sand, the heat, the setbacks. Done with the shadow world he’d lived in for far too long.

Their last two missions had resulted in the capture of two warlords who had been terrorizing locals and the humanitarian groups trying to bring them food and medicine. Those successes had spoiled Kale and his team. They’d expected this mission to go the same way. Easy in, easy out, leaving this part of the world a marginally better place.

He should have known better. Completing this mission would get Kale home. So of course it was FUBAR from the get-go. Bad intel, malfunctioning equipment, a freaking flu sweeping through the team. You name it, it had bitten them in the ass.

But not this time.

So focus, asshole. They’d finally found the tangos they were tasked to bring in. Bad enough the predicted window meant they had to do this during the day. He had damned well better not fuck it up just because he could only think about Christmas and the plan he’d refined in his head over long hours of forced downtime.

He thumbed his throat mike. “Jacobus. Report.” He listened to his team members repeat the details
they’d laid out fifteen minutes ago. It was easy to concentrate during the reports, but once they all lapsed into silence again, his mind drifted back to the last time he saw Amber. Her flippy little red skirt revealing her gorgeous legs. Creamy cleavage flashing at him every time she set a baby on his knee. Her laughter, the love in her eyes, the way she went all serious when he pulled her down into his lap. Her warm mouth opening for him, her hands clutching the thick sleeves of his Santa suit, her throat releasing a quiet moan.

Fuck. He had to stop that. Distraction was a bigger enemy than the tangos in that shack. He was better
than this.

He snorted at the irony. So much time had passed since that goodbye precisely because he was so good at his job. When he returned from his last leave, his commanding officer told him he’d been selected for a black ops mission that required him to go dark. He’d been excited, God help him. Chosen for a joint service team to infiltrate enemy territory and take out a heinous criminal most people back home didn’t even know existed. They’d done so well on that first mission they were released to the jurisdiction of an alphabet soup of “security” agencies and assigned to one task after another. Then the team leader was wounded and sent home, and Kale was promoted. At first, he hadn’t paid attention to how much time had passed, how long he’d gone without talking to Amber or his parents. He was that driven, that involved in their assignments. But then one of the guys mentioned his ex, and it flipped a switch in Kale’s brain.

The shadow agency had selected him and the rest of the team because they were dedicated, skilled
servicemen with no major outside obligations. But that was on paper. None of them were married or had kids, but that didn’t mean they hadn’t left anyone behind.

Too much time had passed. All of them had been here longer than they’d expected. Kale’s original discharge was supposed to go through a year ago, but when he agreed to this transfer, he missed the part where it obligated him to additional time and nullified the letter he’d dropped to resign his commission. After fighting for months, he’d finally gotten them to agree to resubmit his letter so he could go home. After this mission was over.

His watch vibrated. Time to move. One last report to confirm the details. Four men, all armed, plus the
leader. No civilians, children, women. They just needed to clear the way. Kale tasked his ordnance expert with scouting the open land between their hiding place on the bluff and the shack, laid out the plan, and set it in motion.

The stopwatch in his brain ticked off the time as they leapfrogged into position around the outside of
the shack. The tangos’ voices came through the open window, only so much babble to Kale. He pressed his comm deeper into his ear so Stelmat’s translation was clearer. The targets were planning an attack on a nearby village, one friendly to the occupying forces. Exactly the reason Kale’s team had been given to round up this group.

Kale gave the order to move in.

Bodies in motion, controlled, determined. Choreographed by thousands of hours of training and
working together. Then shouts. Short bursts of fire. The tangos on the ground, secured. Stelmat slammed the leader against the wall, his hands already strapped. All according to plan.

Except the leader was…laughing.


Kale shouted an order too late. A trapdoor burst open and two men came out firing before their heads
even cleared the floor. Kale’s men fired back, diving for cover. Everyone was shouting—his team, the tangos, their boss. Kale flipped the table over and braced his arms on its edge, taking careful aim with his sidearm. He fired. One shooter down. He squeezed the trigger again…and the world exploded in a wave of red with golden lights.

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Natalie J. Damschroder’s works span the continuum of escapist literature—and what’s wrong with that? Pleasure is as much a part of life as suffering, and there is no nobility in denial. At least, not when it comes to reading. Her works encompass worlds of romance from here to space and other dimensions, worlds never before seen. Worlds of passion and adventure, and worlds just like our own. Whether in bite-sized pieces (short stories), heftier snacks (novellas), or full-course meals (novels), you are invited to Indulge Yourself…

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15 January 2013

Blog Tour : Kiss of the Betrayer (Bringer and the Bane #2) by Boone Brux (Book Spotlight and Teaser)

Hi everyone! Today's Kindle and Me's stop on the Kiss of the Betrayer Blog Tour and I've a little teaser for you guys today. Read on :)

Kiss of the Betrayer (Bringer and the Bane #2) by Boone Brux.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Paranormal Romance, Fantasy with Romance.
Publication : December 11th 2012 by Entangled Select (first published 2012).
For fifteen years Luc Le Daun has blamed himself for the death of the woman he loved. His secret guilt has led him into a life of danger, risking all and committing to none.

Killing Luc Le Daun has been all Jade Kendell has thought about for years. But when her plan goes awry and she’s brought into the Bringers’ fold, her own dark secret threatens to be revealed. Desire for a better life wars with a promise made long before she understood the ramifications.

In a deadly mission, Jade and Luc embark on a journey into the Shadow World. As they attempt the impossible, ignoring the attraction growing between them becomes harder to deny. The slightest misstep could mean the loss of their souls and give the Demon King exactly what he needs to open the Abyss of Souls and annihilate the Bringers.

Book Teaser.

A twinge of guilt poked at her. They were on a mission, in essence, to kill her sister, and here she was lusting for the one man she'd been trained to hate.

As a multi-published and an award winning author, Boone's writing drips with experiences from real life. Addicted to anything that might make a good story, she weaves tales that range from dark fantasy to humorous romance. Settled in the icy regions of Alaska with the love of her life and twin daughters, it's not uncommon to find her tapping away on her iPad on a windy beach or the barren tundra. Be warned, anyone and every event is fodder for one of Boone's novels.

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08 January 2013

Blog Tour : Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman (Guest Post + Giveaway)

I'm so happy to have Robin Bielman here again! Her new novel, Yours at Midnight is the perfect read to start off the new year! Keep reading for a chance to win a $50 Giftcard to get yourself books or something bookish, along with a digital copy of Yours at Midnight!
Click here to follow the rest of the tour!

Yours at Midnight by Robin Bielman.
Audience/Genre : Adult/Contemporary Romance.
Publication : December 18th 2012 by Entangled Publishing.
Lyric Whetsone only had eyes for Quinn Sobel's brother Oliver, until a car crash took Oliver's life on New Year's Eve. Then, a moment of shared grief between Quinn and Lyric became something more impassioned, something that frightened Quinn so much he ran from Lyric's bed and her life, disappearing for four long years.

Now Quinn's back for another New Year's Eve, struggling for closure, desperate to leave his grief in the past and make amends with the girl of his dreams.

But Lyric has a secret--one that could drive Quinn from her life forever. Will Quinn run away from the love and acceptance he's always wanted...or will he claim his New Year's kiss and make her his at midnight?

Thanks so much for having me back on Kindle and Me, Anjana! I’m so happy to be here again!

My latest release from Entangled Publishing, Yours At Midnight, takes place during the holidays and New Year’s Eve plays an important role. Quinn and Lyric, my hero and heroine, grew up next door to each other. They’ve celebrated many holidays together, albeit not on friendly terms, but this year the terms are different. ☺ The one thing that always stays the same as the new year approaches, though, is resolutions. We all make them, right? So I thought it would be fun to share Lyric and Quinn’s resolutions with you.

Lyric’s resolution to find a man opens the book… and you’ll have to read it to find out if that resolve comes true ~wink~ but she’s got a couple of others too. Here they are in her own words:

*Keep an open mind. Living with a plan is good, but I don’t want to shut myself off anymore.
*Learn a second language. I know just the person to teach me.
*Adopt a puppy from the animal shelter. It’s about time we had our very own four-legged friend.
*No more secrets.
*Plan a trip—or two or three or four—to New York.

Quinn’s never made a resolution, but this year he’s got a few, too:

*Tell the people I care about how much they mean to me.
*Work less and play more.
*Plan a trip to Disneyland, Legoland, the zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
*Write love letters to a certain someone when we’re apart.
*Finish what I start

I admit, I’ve made lots of resolutions over the years, but I’m not sure I’ve kept any for the entire year. Usually because they involve eating better and I’ve got a huge sweet tooth.

How about you? I’d love to hear about your resolutions! Leave me a comment and you’re entered to win an eBook copy of Yours At Midnight. Open internationally.

Happy New Year!

$50 (Bookish) Giftcard Giveaway!

Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

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    E-Book Giveaway!

    Giveaway Terms and Conditions :

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    • The author/publisher is responsible to ensure that the winner gets the book.
    • Giveaway ends on January 18th, 2013.

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    Robin lives in Southern California, a bike ride away from the ocean if she's feeling really adventurous, with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and a very cute mini labradoodle named Harry (after Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books). When Robin's not reading or writing her next story, she loves to bake, run, hike, and dream of all the travel adventures she hopes to have. She is addicted to cafe mochas, and if every day were Cupcake Day, she'd be a happy camper. She writes contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing.

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  • 07 January 2013

    Blog Tour : Vain by Fisher Amelie (Review + Excerpt)

    Vain by Fisher Amelie.
    Audience/Genre : New Adult/Contemporary.
    Publication : December 25th 2012 (Self-Published).
    If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

    Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

    I’m Sophie Price and this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

    4.5 Stars.

    I've heard a lot about the awesomeness of Fisher's writing, so when a friend sent me the link to sign up for the blog tour of her latest novel, Vain, I jumped at the chance. I mean, the blurb alone was enough to make me jump up and down but after watching the trailer, I went to bed praying hoping I'd have an e-mail from Fisher when I woke up.

    Vain did not disappoint. In fact, it was so good that I spent the whole day on January 1st ignoring my family and friends to read it. I devoured the entire book in one sitting.

    Sophie is a spoilt, rich, back-stabbing, egotistical, selfish, mean girl with no regard for anyone else; she's a girl who is used to getting what she wants. When I started reading this book, I really thought that I wouldn't be able to stand Sophie; she seemed so shallow and bitchy and I just couldn't see even one redeeming quality in her.
    However, after an 'incident' at a party which led to her arrest, she gets ordered by the court to go to an orphanage in Africa and help the people there. I seriously didn't think someone as messed up as Sophie could change within a few months but I was so wrong. Fisher Amelie totally pulled this off and possibly in the only way it could've been done because from the minute Sophie landed in Africa, not only did her life change but I literally could not take my eyes off my Kindle! I loved watching Sophie realize what truly matters and that the life she had before wasn't a life at all.

    There were so many touching moments in this story. Fisher's descriptions of the kids and life at Africa really made me think. As for Ian, I felt all warm and gooey every time he showed up! The romance between Sophie and Ian was so incredibly sweet and made me smile numerous times throughout the novel.

    All I have left to say is READ THIS NOW!!!



    Vain by Fisher Amelie (Chapter 1)

    Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first 'mama' patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, 'Jonah', and her Beta, 'Whale'. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn't mind all that much because life isn't worth living if it isn't entertaining, right?

    Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn't put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, "Hey, I like writing". She's a bit dense. "No, I'm not." "Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can't take any more." "You're rude." "Yeah, yeah." Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the 'other readers' microscope. "No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me a ra...." (mumbling)

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    04 January 2013

    Dearly Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

    Dearly Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel.
    Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Paranormal, Steampunk.
    Publication : September 29th 2011 by Doubleday Children's Books.
    Love can never die.

    Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

    In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

    Reviewed by Priya.


    Explosive. That is my one word review for Dearly Departed. On a longer note, I am completely blown away by this book. I had quite a lot of expectations from Dearly, Departed and this book not only met, but surpassed them all. This book is wickedly and wildly imaginative with a strong plot that leaves you turning pages, wishing for just another bite (it's a zombie book, so pun is definitely intended).

    I am absolutely smitten by Lia Habel's writing. With her hormonal teenage observations and witty responses, I found myself giggling or outright laughing a lot of times. Habel has talent, I gotta say. She can do humor (awesomely), she can do drama, she can do action and she certainly can do romance. She created characters of a wide range with their own voice, own views and beliefs and quite colorful many-faceted personalities; nothing was overrated and nothing was too cheesy.

    Habel created a world that isn't much far from history. Differences arise, society is divided and everyone wants their right because everyone has their own opinions. That is one of the major crux point of the story. First, it was the New Victorians and the Punks. Then, the living against the undead. People live in fear of what they don't understand, Habel took advantage of that very fact and executed it in different aspects of her novel wonderfully.

    Another plus point for Habel is that, there are consequences for her character's actions. Everything is not rainbows and unicorns, everything doesn't work your way, everything isn't black and white. Bram, Nora and everybody are in a world being ravaged by a sickness with an increasing number of undead, life isn't easy in such a time and Habel definitely didn't make it any easier for them. Dearly, Departed left me gut-wrenchingly broken, somewhat glued me back and then smashed me into infinite little pieces.

    “I really sucked at this whole "I am very attracted to you and would like to demonstrate this to you via attention and creative uses of my disposable income" thing.”

    The romance between Nora and Bram is what I call well-written and realistic (as any zombie-human romance can be). Not at all like - girl is food, boy shines and bam, insta-love. No, this were two teenagers overcoming fear and confusion, finding friendship and attraction. There was a foundation, a base, on which their relationship was built and developed. I was continually fascinated by the ever-changing dynamics in Bram and Nora's relationship, which Habel executed brilliantly.

    “The fact that she made this beeline for me both warmed my soul and made me want to turn around, walk out the door, and find a cliff to fling myself off of.” 

    Dearly, Departed did have its share of wild old-world words, too. From being strange like milquetoast and rump to quite hilarious ones like hoity-toity (it was Bram! Why Bram, why did you use such a feminine-sounding word? Why?!) and poppycock, I wonder how anyone kept a straight face in the Victorian Era.

    “She tried to compose herself then, with several deep breaths. I gave her as long as she needed, all the while mentally designing my tombstone. 'R.I.P, Captain Abraham R. Griswold. He was completely useless and made girls cry'.”

    Bram Griswold. Where to start about this magnificent, unfortunately fictional piece of well-preserved undead masculinity. First of all, I'm so glad he was no 'I am dead and you are my food' kind of deal, neither he was too chauvinistic or dominating or insufferably controlling or depressingly aloof. He liked Nora and he tried to woo her, he made attempts to make her happy, he was worried about his looks, he was easily embarrassed by his friends and did things he was not proud of. He was like any other normal teenager and that side of him, in my opinion, made him easily likable and a great male protagonist.

    “I wondered if there was a crazy person's license you had to apply for, some seminar you had to attend, or if you could just walk out of the house one day and get started.”

    Nora Dearly was just the right kind of stubborn, not too annoying, not too easily convinced. She knew when she was being helpful and when she needed to be out of the way for others to do their thing. She was snarky, she was sarcastic, she was unreasonable and she was impulsive. She was real like any other character in this book, with her plus points and weaknesses. And, I loved her for it.

    Pamela Roe, simply put, became an idol of mine and my respect for her grew with every other chapter on her. Her POV was a powerful description of a fighter's survival in a world descending into sickness and chaos. Renfield Merriweather was another character I loved. I truly hope he too gets the love he desires for. And Baldwin Samedi? Can I say he is the just most awesome, coolest and hilarious of all characters? Because he sure as hell was. Then there was Chas, Tom, Coalhouse, Beryl, Vespertine Mink...  by this time, I have realized it is quite hard to not like any character created by Habel, lead and supporting both.

    While, I am still mourning the end of Dearly, Departed, I definitely can't wait to sink my teeth - and hands - into Dearly, Beloved, the second novel in the Gone With the Respiration series (can we take a moment to bask in the awesomeness that is this series name).

    “No, not really. But …” Okay, I couldn’t help but gloat a little. “She likes me.”
    Samedi didn’t even look at me. “Well of course, you’ve had that bloody uniform on all day. I was half ready to tell you how much I liked you.”

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    03 January 2013

    Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) by Rachel Caine

    Devil's Bargain (Red Letter Days #1) by Rachel Caine.
    Audience/Genre : Adult/Paranormal, Urban Fantasy.
    Publication : October 5th 2012 by Mira Ink.
    What's the price of a deal with the devil?

    Playing by the psychic underworld's rules has cost.

    Jazz Callender's whole life just got turned upside down. Her friend Ben's been convicted of a crime he didn't commit, and Jazz is determined to clear his name, even if it means enlisting the help of dark forces.

    Enter James, a stranger with a mysterious offer. If Jazz pledges to work for The Cross Society, a shadowy secret organisation, he'll help her save Ben.

    But as she's thrust into a world of psychic powers and dangerous magic, Jazz isn't just bargain for her friend's freedom. She's bargaining for her soul too.

    And how high a price is she willing to pay?

    Reviewed by Kelly.

    Jazz seems just down and out when we begin this and by the end.... things take quite a turn.

    Jazz is in a bar she has never been in before drowning her sorrows, when a man comes in and changes her life forever. He carries a red envelope and says he has an offer for her. He calls her by name and knows more than he should about her. She wants no part of him and we end up in a bar fight where we see how, ahem, “bad ass” she is. She wipes everyone’s butts and the guy who came to find her is definitely not a butt kicker. But she ends up leaving the bar with him and trying to let him explain. She is both freaked out by him and intrigued.

    He offers her a job starting a detective agency with lots of money to fund it. He also gives her a resume of who her partner will be. Lucia is her name and she is past FBI. They meet and reluctantly agree. They just have to do occasional jobs for "them". Who "them" is exactly takes a while to really figure out.

    Jazz wants to find the evidence that will free her past homicide detective partner. She also needs the money. She has a friend, Manny, who helps her tracking things she needs done on the side. Manny has had a traumatic event and he is skittish and distrustful but is also a genius.

    Jazz has constant contact with the man who originally offered her the job and finds out he is a lawyer for the firm that sends them the jobs. His name is James Borden and there is a slow relationship building with them.

    Lucia, Jazz’s current detective partner, is everything Jazz isn’t. She always looks fresh and well manicured and always seems to have a gun or whatever is needed.

    The story really revolves around these red envelopes with jobs in them. Most of them don’t require any thing to be done just observe and photograph. Something is fishy with all this, because how is it that these red letters always instruct on exactly what time and where to be and who to watch down to the very last detail? It drives Jazz and Lucia (AND ME) crazy. There is constant action, crazy car chases, lots of guns going off, hospital visits and more than one person who is finding romance mixed in.

    Finally, they ask for more info on how and why this is. They learn a lot. I can’t say exactly how it works, because you have to read it, but they parallel it to playing chess and everyone having a part. But some people don’t make any difference and some do. You don’t get the full jest until almost the end how it all works. But “if everything we do makes a difference, is this right? Are we doing the right thing?....... You could make yourself crazy, thinking these things.” I went crazy thinking these things! It is a constant how is this possible until the end where Jazz starts to deviate from the instructions and finds herself in a heap of trouble and then... well, I don’t know because that's where it ends and I need to go and buy the next book ,now,to see what happens next.

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