Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu | ARC Review

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Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Date Published: January 2, 2018

Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers

Date Read: January 8, 2018

Setting: Gotham City

Number of Pages: 272

Source: Part of a blog tour hosted by JM from The Book Freak Revelations

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon, Book Depository

 

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Before anything else, I would like to thank Penguin Random House International and JM of The Book Freak Revelations  for making me a part of this Book Tour! You can check JM’s review here.

Batman: Nightwalker is the second book in the DC Icons, the first one being Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo, the third one Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas and the fourth one is Superman by Matt Dela Pena. In Batman: Nighwalker,  we follow the origin story of Bruce Wayne during his teen days, back when he is not Batman just yet. We are taken into this story where we get to know more about Bruce Wayne and how everything started. To be upfront, I am not a fan of Batman, I am more of  a Superman kind of girl, but this book showed a different side of Batman that made me like him more than I do before. Neither I am a fan of the comics, I am not a connoisseur by a long stretch of imagination, thus I have the most meagre knowledge of the history of DC Superheroes especially Batman. I have barely scratched the surface of the DC world, but I hope you won’t discount my thoughts on this book. Even with my palpable lack of vast knowledge about the DC world, I find this book quite an enjoyable read. Maybe the fact that everything seemed new to me added to the thrill of finding out what’s about to unfold. And I guess it would be safe to say, that whether you’re a big fan of DC or not, you will still find yourself engrossed in the story. Win-win situation for everyone if you ask me.

Would you believe me if I say this is the first Marie Lu book I have ever read? Yes, it’s true my friends, I am quite ashamed about that and I am slowly remedying it. Marie Lu from a Marie Lu virgin’s opinion is quite the story teller, I now can understand why she is loved by many. She has this way with words that truly jump out of the page, and has this sense of depth into her writing that made the atmosphere of each scene almost tangible. She sets the perfect tone in each page it as if you can very well feel the cold mist descending upon you and instantly sends shivers down your spine. That’s what I first adored in this book, its power to make it as real as it could get.

Bruce Wayne‘s character always had this reserved and quiet persona, which is more often than not construed to be mysterious. This book was able to highlight Bruce Wayne’s more vulnerable side, which I appreciate a whole lot. We got to see a different side that isn’t exposed all the time. (I don’t watch the TV show Gotham too, so pardon me for this) Also Bruce Wayne’s friends, Harvey and Dianne, are quite fun to read too, especially Dianne, who is a Filipino, ahhh you don’t know how much this made me happy! Harvey, however felt like he was pushed on the side line and not given much exposure as a character should have been given. And then we have Madeleine Wallace this enigmatic girl whom Bruce met in the Arkham Asylum when he was doing his community service. I love how Madeleine Wallace’s character was written, she toys with Bruce’s mind as well as the reader’s. You are constantly questioning whether she is telling the truth or not, which is a plus for me. I loved how this tactic works its way up to the reader’s mind and make them stick to the story and find out how everything will unfold. The perfect formula to keep the readers interested, if you ask me. Now, let’s talk about the Nightwalkers, to be completely honest, they fell a little short for me, I was expecting so much more from them. I think it could have been executed well than what they have been portrayed in the book. There was definitely build up as the book progressed but the excitement was lost on me.

The book was well-paced, not too slow and not too fast either. Just right for a book under three hundred pages. And though short, this book definitely packed some punch, not entirely the wow-it-left-me-in-daze kind of impact but enough to keep me at the edge of my seat. There was the right amount of intensity, mystery and grit. That plot twist though, I can’t say I saw that one coming, but it was something I have already seen countless times before, that when it finally unfolded I wasn’t so shocked at all.

So all in all, you should give this book a try, you’ll never know you might enjoy it like I did, even if you’re not the biggest fan of DC Superheroes out there *peace*.

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“People always expect you to move on so quickly after loss, don’t they?” Madeleine looked away.”For the first few months the sympathy pours on you. Then, gradually, it dwindles down, and one day you find yourself standing alone at the grave site, wondering why everyone else has moved on to caring about something else while you still stay right here, silently, carrying the same hurt. People get bored with grief. They want something new to talk about. So you stop bringing it up, because you don’t want to bore anyone” 

– Marie Lu; Batman: Nightwalker 

phonto

 

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The Animal Under The Fur by E.J. Mellow ARC Review

Kombibros.

Synopsis from GoodreadsFrom award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

Publisher: Four Eyed Owl

Date of Publication: March 31, 2017

Date Read: March 27, 2017

Source: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

About The Author:

EJ

E.J. Mellow is the award-winning author of the contemporary fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series and The Animal Under The Fur. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.
Author links:
BOOK REVIEW
Animal Under The Fur

/anəməl/ /ˈəndər/ /T͟Hə/ /fər/ noun

1. bad-ass, kick-ass
2. your next favorite book
3. a book that you shove someone else’s face for them to read, explanation is optional

Solid 5/5 stars for The Animal Under The Fur. This book screams amazing at every turn of the page, I’m not even exaggerating. It was well though-out and well-plotted. This is the kind of female protagonist I’ve been waiting my whole life. This is the kind of story that I would read over and over. This is the kind of book that will have you raising your hand in prayer, thanking the book gods for its existence. The word bad-ass doesn’t even begin to cover it, it’s bad-ass multiplied to million! Trust me on this, it is not often you come across something this engaging and entertaining, so do yourself a favor and get your copy and read right away. Don’t second guess it, you can thank me later.

The Animal Under The Fur is all I wanted in a book.

Unconventional Romance? Check

Love-Hate relationship? Oh boy, yes!

Funny and Witty banters? This one is brimming with it!

Bad-Ass Female Protagonist? Hell yes! Think how bad-ass Jennifer Garner is in Alias, or Angelina Jolie in Salt, or Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow – that’s Nashville Brown for you guys! All that and so much more. Have I convinced you yet?

Hard-To-Resist Male protagonist? Oh good heavens, you’ll love Carter Smith! I’m talking about a new book boyfriend to swoon over and over. He’ll plague your mind every chance he gets.

The Animal Under The Fur is an action-packed novel, full of wit and amazing twist and turns. It was an intoxicating reading experience if you ask me. The constant change in setting added to the flavor of the book. And did I say it was hard to put down? I read it every chance I get, that’s how gripping it was, that’s how I have become attached to it like my own limb. I was so engrossed reading I almost missed my train stop, twice. This was the first EJ Mellow book I have read and I am so happy I’ve signed up for the book tour – best decision I’ve made! I didn’t read the blurb, to be completely honest it was the cover that made me decide to join the book tour, yes without even knowing what it was about. I’d like to surprise myself like that. Also, there wouldn’t be any preconceived notion or high expectations. It works for me, and I’ve been doing that for quite some time now. Call it love at first sight. The first time I laid my eyes on this cover, I just knew I have to read it as soon as it comes out. And boy, I am not disappointed.

The Animal Under The Fur is begging to be made into a movie. The extensive research made by the author is highly commendable. Also A+ genes, the closest thing to a super hero, what’s cooler than that? I also loved how the author painted her characters. We have 3 or Nashville Brown, who was such a kick-ass! God I love her. I loved how the author made a strong heroine out of Nashville’s character. How she ain’t the usual whiny, insecure, female protagonist we often read in books. This is the kind of character women should be reading these days. And of course, we have Carter Smith, this tall guy with moss green eyes. Can he be any more dreamy? I loved that his character, though not at par with that of Nashville, is also something so enjoyable to read. I loved his sass and quick comebacks. Carter and Nash is definitely the perfect pair! You know how much I love love-hate relationships and banters with palpable sexual tension, goodness, I live for those things! This book is definitely high on that list. In every romance book, I always look forward to the first meeting of the main characters, if it’s meet-cute or just some forgettable, cliche kind. The Animal Under The Fur took the cake on this one, it was definitely not the meet-cute kind, but something more fitting to their characters, and I wouldn’t elaborate on this one, I want you to find it out for yourself! The other characters were very interesting as well, especially Akoni and his cool shirts! I loved Ceci too, kind of reminded me of my best friend as well! I’d love to read more of this “cross-pollination” of K-Ops. Can it be possible to make another story with K-Ops? Hahah I would definitely be the first one in line to read it.

The Animal Under The Fur is a feisty, enjoyable, kick-ass read! You won’t regret picking it up. If you’re someone trying to break free from the norm of Romance books with an insecure girl and all that so 2012 stuff, then you have to get this book. This book offers something fresh and delicious on the table, something you will not definitely pass up. This book is now on my Top Books of 2017 list – it’s that good. Just a reminder though, be wary of your surroundings while reading this book, you might accidentally step on someone’s foot, or bump into another person, or have elevator doors close on your very face, or miss a step and make a total fool of yourself in the process. The above-mentioned may or may not have happened to me while reading it, depends on who’s asking. I won’t bore you with too much blabbering now, go ahead and get this book, we can fangirl later!

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“I’ve killed more people more years than I’ve been alive. And I’m twenty-six.”

E.J. Mellow, The Animal Under the Fur

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me in on this book tour! Had a blast!

You can get your copy here:

Purchase:

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Just A Kiss by Denise Hunter: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads:   Riley Callahan’s plans to reveal his secret feelings for his best friend are derailed when his life is drastically altered in Afghanistan.

Watching the love of his life fall for his brother was enough to send Riley straight to boot camp. But over a year later, he’s officially a marine, and Beau and Paige are no longer an item. When Riley’s tour in Afghanistan is up, he intends to confess his feelings to Paige and win his best friend’s heart once and for all.

But all that changes when an IED takes the life of a comrade and leaves Riley an amputee. Now he’s heading home, injured and troubled. His plans to win Paige are a distant dream. She deserves so much more than the man that’s left. All he can do now is put some healthy distance between them. But upon his return he discovers his family has arranged for him to stay with Paige.

Paige is a nurturer at heart and happy to take care of her best buddy. By all appearances Riley is adjusting miraculously well to his disability. But as the days pass, Paige begins to see that the smiles and laughter are just a mask for the pain he’s hiding. To make matters worse, her job is in serious jeopardy. The animal shelter that she’s poured her heart into has lost its funding, and she has three months to come up with the money needed to save it.

As the weeks wear on, Paige’s feelings for Riley begin to shift into uncharted territory. Why is she suddenly noticing his arm muscles and the way his lips curl at the corners? Will she be able to deny her feelings for another Callahan brother? And will Riley let his heart heal so he can let Paige in?

Publisher: Smith Publicity Inc.

Date Published: September 6, 2016

Date Read: October 13, 2016

Source: Advanced Reader Copy provided by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Setting: Summer Harbor, Maine

REVIEW

The publisher provided me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Smith Publicity Inc.

I think this is my first Christian Contemporary Romance, I’ve been raking my brains out to remember if I have read one before but came up empty. Maybe I have read some before, I just don’t remember them. It happens, right? Anyways, so yes I’m gonna claim this as my first Christian Contemporary Romance. Just A Kiss is the third book in the Summer Harbor Series, but it is a stand alone – which I appreciate a lot. I’m not a huge series fan lately for multitudes of reasons, the number one being: I just don’t have the time to invest in a series now. So when Smith Publicity Inc. contacted me and explained that Just A Kiss can be read on its own, I immediately agreed. But the main reason why I agreed to review a copy is because the male protagonist is a Marine. If you have known me for quite a while, you’ll understand my obsession about marines in books.I don’t really know what is it about marines that I love so much, but I immensely enjoy reading about them. Gahhhh it is so hard to explain. Maybe because they start off as brooding men but definitely has a soft side.

I love stories about best friends turning into lovers. There’s nothing more satisfying than that. I am always such a sucker for these kinds of books, so much so that I have drafted bazillion stories like it, in the hopes of having it published someday. That’s for another time, you are here for my review right? Haha I always get sidetracked. Okay, so on to Just A Kiss. Have you watched Hallmark movies? So for those who aren’t aware of Hallmark movies, these are cutesy, heartwarming, and just ohhh so good and decent if I may add, romance films.  Just A Kiss is a Hallmark movie in book form. Am I making any sense? It was cute, heartwarming, so so good and very decent. What more could one possibly ask for? Just A Kiss is the perfect mixture of self-discovery, resilience, regrets, tragedy, self-acceptance, second chances, love and all the emotional excitement that goes with it. I loved how the story was as real as it could get.

In Just A Kiss we follow the story of Riley and Paige, who are best friends. Riley has been harboring feelings for Paige for a long time.While Riley and Paige dance around, refusing to acknowledge what they feel for each other, it is kind of nice to look forward to how all will unfold and how both of them will find out their true feelings for each other, it is as if you feel for them, root for them to end up together once and for all. And when that moment finally arrived, it was nothing short of perfect. I loved how everything unfolded, how they ease into each other’s lives like they were born to do just that. But of course there had to be some setbacks, and I appreciate that it was well played out, there was just the right drama that surrounded it and the perfect resolution to the whole story. It was a feel good at best, and I have found a go-to author for whenever I want to read some heartwarming stories with a good lesson or two.

So if you are a new Denise Hunter fan just like me, or just looking for a good romance, then this book is the answer. I loved how it made me feel, like everything in the world is right again! Can’t wait to read more of her books!

Rating: rating_4stars

Maybe he’ll come around, and maybe he won’t. But if there’s anything I’ve learned  in all these years it’s that you can’t contol someone else. You can only control yourself – on a good day. You need to find something productive to keeo your mind busy. Focus on you. On being the best that you can be.

– Just A Kiss; Denise Hunter

 

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The Bonus by AJ ADAMS: Book Review

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Synopsis: Chloe is a seasoned drug courier who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.Facing a lingering and painful death at the hands of the Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal cartel, she persuades their enforcer to claim her. Has Chloe made a huge mistake, or will her choice prove her salvation – and his?

Warning: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex. It is for adults only.

Date Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: Smashwords

No. of Pages: 176

Date Read: January 30, 2015

Source: Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW:

For fans of Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts, this book is definitely for you.

The author contacted me if I will be willing to receive a copy and subsequently make an honest review. I said why not, since it’s been a long time since the last time I read a book with the same storyline. You see, I am not a picky reader, I read whatever floats my boat, if I am in the mood for some erotica, I would sit down and read one.

The Bonus is quite the book! The first chapter was too graphic for my own liking, I was rather uncomfortable, thinking if I would continue reading or not. But I’m glad I continued reading, I enjoyed the book more than I thought possible. I love the two point of views and how they are so distinct from one another, Kyle was the serious type and Chloe was the tough girl with loads of wits and humour! I seriously enjoy all the puns. Ah Chloe and her smart mouth. I loved how the author was able to build such world that not a lot of people know about.

This book is certainly not for everyone, especially the squirmish ones. It has explicit and abusive contents, that light-hearted people may not properly grasp or take. You see, it is the kind of book that you will either love or hate passionately. The sex scenes were very descriptive and too graphic, I am not really into that kind of stories, but I guess that’s what the scene in the book required.

All things considered, I enjoyed reading this one, and to be honest it will be one of those books that I will never forget. It was well-written and the author took an effort with the research and all. And oh I have always loved reading about a Marine!

Sorry I was rather vague with this review, I just didn’t want to give much away.

Rating: 3 stars

Life’s a bitch, ‘cause if it was a slut, it’d be easy.

Candy Darling: Memoirs of an Andy Warhol Superstar by Candy Darling, James Rasin (Book Review)

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Synopsis: A look into what moved Andy Warhol’s greatest muse

Located at 33 Union Square West in the heart of New York City’s pulsing downtown scene, Andy Warhol’s Factory was an artistic anomaly. Not simply a painter’s studio, it was the center of Warhol’s assembly-line production of films, books, art, and the groundbreaking Interviewmagazine. Although Warhol’s first Factory on East 47th Street was known for its space-age silver interior, the Union Square Factory became the heart, brain, eyes, and soul of all things Warhol—and was, famously, the site of the assassination attempt that nearly took his life. It also produced a subculture of Factory denizens known as superstars, a collection of talented and ambitious misfits, the most glamorous and provocative of whom was the transgender pioneer Candy Darling.

Born James Slattery in Queens in 1944 and raised on Long Island, the author began developing a female identity as a young child. Carefully imitating the sirens of Hollywood’s golden age, young Jimmy had, by his early twenties, transformed into Candy, embodying the essence of silver-screen femininity, and in the process became her true self.

Warhol, who found the whole dizzying package irresistible, cast Candy in his films Flesh and Women in Revolt and turned her into the superstar she was born to be. In her writing, Darling provides an illuminating look at what it was like to be transgender at a time when the gay rights movement was coming into its own. Blessed with a candor, wit, and style that inspired not only Warhol, but Tennessee Williams, Lou Reed, and Robert Mapplethorpe, Darling made an indelible mark on American culture during one of its most revolutionary eras. These memoirs depict a talented and tragic heroine who was taken away from us far too soon

Publication date: February 17, 2015

Date Read: January 15, 2015

Source: Net Galley

Publisher: Open Road Media

No. of Pages: 230

Review:

Inspirational as it was tragic. 

I requested a copy from NetGalley and they were more than willing to approve said request. And I was more than happy to have read such an inspiring and moving book. I particularly loved that I could identify with the book in more ways than one, though there are close to none similarities between Candy Darling’s life then and my life now. I guess everything she said in her letters still hold true today. The fact that Candy Darling stayed true to who she was, despite the few setbacks and despite that her being a transgender was not as openly accepted as it is today – she was her own beacon of hope, her own light at the end of the tunnel. She truly believed in herself and her capabilities – she took the word respectable to whole new level. I loved how this memoir depicted her struggles to be accepted and respected, and to be loved – in which until today these are what people truly long for, just in a different circumstance. Her passion in everything she did will never go unnoticed. She was a dreamer and a pursuer, I loved how this book was able to send its message across – that life is what we make of it, and in the end it will always be our choice that would matter.

Her diary entries and letters shed a light on how she lived her life, how there were struggles and there were victories, how there was longing for acceptance and validation. It is very inspiring, her voice is so alive as if she was the one talking to you. It was tragic that her life ended too soon at the age of 29, she could have seen better days. Through her diary and letters her life lives on, she left a legacy, she left something truly amazing.

The cover is amazing, showed how colorful Candy Darling’s life was. I had issues with the format of the whole book, but I overlooked said fact, as I was after the contents of the memoir.

RATING: 5 stars

You must always be yourself no matter what the price. It is the highest form of morality. We should both try to live it. You’ve got to always keep your heart and mind open. You can disguise your emotions, you can even numb them, and finally you can paralyze them. And that is tragic. Our emotions are the only clues to our identity. The only true meaning in life is passion. The passion to learn, to paint, to love, etc. Don’t dare destroy your passion for the sake of others. When you do you’ve lost the beauty of life, and that’s what a sin is. By robbing yourself of your very reason to exist, you have cheated. You must laugh when you must laugh, you must weep when you must weep, and you must love when you must love.”