March 22, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Publisher's Summary: It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are...”

On her 17th birthday, everything will change for Violet Eden. The boy she loves will betray her. Her enemy will save her. She will have to decide just how much she’s willing to sacrifice.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, EMBRACE is a compelling novel of good and evil, seductive desires and impossible choices. A centuries old war between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity chooses a new fighter. It’s a battle Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. If angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden.

My Take: When I first started reading Embrace, I seesawed back and forth over how I felt about this book. The problem was I’d reach a point where I would put the book down and daydream about the book, thinking that what had happened was awesome. But then I’d suddenly realize that I really wasn’t all that satisfied. I started to get nervous because I felt the story was leading in a direction that would be way too similar to another book I read. I think at one point I even considered not picking the book back up. But I am so glad I finished! Because it didn’t take very long after that for me to realize that I was absolutely wrong! Luckily, at that very point, I really started to get sucked into the story that Jessica Shirvington created. And, the twist at the end of Embrace was awesome!

The more I think about it, the more I think my problem was mostly with the main character, Violet! For example, really early on in the story, Violet finds out something she didn’t know about herself, and then when she finds out that her best friend Lincoln (who I particularly think is pretty hot) knew about and had kept this secret from her, she becomes extremely unforgiving to everyone. It really bothered me how bitter she was throughout the whole book because of this personal betrayal. I wanted to scream at her, “He obviously feels bad! Get over it already!” And then when Violet meets Phoenix (equally hot), I was also bothered by his character because I just had this bizarre feeling about him. It was as if I just didn’t really like the guy!

There is a lot of craziness and action throughout Embrace! And there are some equally awesome creative scenes that take place while Violet struggles to discover who and what she truly is.

To top it all off, everything that was bothering me at the beginning of and throughout the book, actually played a huge part in the end, and I don’t think the story could have been done any better…because all of that stuff actually made the whole book so much better! And Violet actually turns out to be one truly kick-butt chick! I'm really looking forward to reading the next, because I really want to see where this series will lead.

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March 21, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick

Summary: A secret government agency has developed a drug called Revive that can bring people back from the dead, and Daisy Appleby, a test subject, has been revived five times in fifteen years. Daisy takes extraordinary risks, knowing that she can beat death, but with each new death also means a new name, a new city, and a new life. When she meets Matt McKean, Daisy begins to question the moral implications of Revive, and she discovers the agency's true goals, she realizes she's at the center of something much larger - and more sinister - than she ever imagined.

My Take: I don’t quite know what I fully expected when I picked up Revived, but I had high hopes for this one. I’ll have to say, though, that I was a little disappointed. I can’t say that I didn’t like Revived because I did like it. I just didn’t love it. But I did love the creative concept of Revive and how we learn about why it was so important to keep the project and the agency’s identity a secret from society.

I’d say that the best part of the story is that the characters are very likable. When Daisy moves to a new town she meets this girl, Audrey, who I just adored. I would even say the description of Matt is pretty hot, and I grew to really like him as well! But the part that had the biggest effect on me was a tragedy that happens about midway through the book…I was literally sobbing because of the poignant significance to this tragedy that changed my whole outlook on the Revive serum. Like, “What is the point?”

Overall, throughout the book I kept hoping for something more significant to develop, but it never really did. There were several twists in the end, but to me they weren't a huge shocker.

I think overall, this one just wasn't really for me but it might be for you.
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March 20, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Publisher's Summary: Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She's aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn't until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He's the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?
My Take: This book was more than amazing for more than a few reasons! I don’t think I can put into words exactly how awesome this book is…I just don’t think I can do it justice, not by a long shot! Normally I would wait till the end of my review to say whether or not I would recommend a book. But I need to say NOW, up front, that you need to pre-order this book…LIKE RIGHT NOW…even before you finish reading my review, dang it! In fact, even though I’ve already read Sweet Evil, I’m pre-ordering my finished copy today! And I’m going to stalk Wendy Higgins’ blog to wait for any updates on book signings…because I’m in major need of an autographed copy. And I have a feeling that I’ll be busting down doors to force this book on everyone I know.

I’m freaking obsessed with this book, in a very non-healthy way! The moment I picked up Sweet Evil I was immediately sucked in, so much so that I would get irritated whenever I needed to put the book down…for any reason! Normal stuff to survive was getting in the way of my precious moments with this dang book, like going to the restroom or sitting down to eat dinner with my family, or even when my husband asked if I’d watch a movie with him…and boy was I pissed off because the movie was awful and it kept me from reading Sweet Evil! So I think I was up until 4am, determined to finish it. It took all my will power to not skip to the end and find out how this book ends. And I’m so happy that I didn’t because I would be beating myself up now if I did.

I absolutely adore some of the multiple characters in this book! I loved how sweet, innocent, honest and pure Anna is. Normally I’d think that a main character that is "that good” would get on my nerves, but her virtue, mixed with her personality, was just the perfect combination. She can't even tell a lie for crying out loud! Anna rocks! And Patti, Anna’s adopted mother, is the very definition of the sweetest mother on earth. Jay, Anna’s best friend, is an all-around good guy who’d drop anything for Anna, and he needs her as much as she needs him. And even Anna’s dad is kick *ss! There are also these four Nephilim that come into the story later that I heart! And then there is Kaidan! Yummy!!! *drool* He is for sure up there with my all-time-favorite fictional boyfriends! Hello, he’s a drummer in a popular local band and he’s the son of the demon hmmmm you will have to read and find out! I really truly cannot pinpoint a single fictional character that I’m more attracted to! But just as much as I adore some of the characters, I’m just as horrified by some others…like the demons! And boy, are they sick, twisted and evil. Just thinking about them makes me cringe.

The romance in Sweet Evil is the very definition of the title! It is sweet, evil, hot, intense, heart melting and heart breaking. Even though the story between the insanely intense romance scenes was more than awesome and compelling, the whole time I could only think about, and crave for, more of those intense romance scenes! I’m surprised this book didn’t lead to a more adult book…because Wendy Higgins could totally pull it off. I’m glad she kept it YA because I don’t think I could’ve handled it.

Like I just said, not only is the romance amazing but the whole story is awesome! There were some crazy intense scenes and some majorly horrific moments too. Wendy Higgins didn’t hold back on how evil the demons could truly be. But it wasn’t just the moments with the demons that were horrific. Learning about what the demons actually expected of the Nephilim, and then living those expectations with Anna was equally horrific but at the same time awesomely intense…as I would sit at the edge of my seat with my eyes bugging out of my head. Yep! That good!!! There were more than enough crazy intense scenes throughout and right when you’d think that it couldn’t get any worse, it does.

It’s all over and I need more! Sweet Evil hasn’t even been released and I need book 2 right now! I think I’ll have to read this book over and over again to fill the void.

Here's a couple of teasers from the Uncorrected Proof of Sweet Evil.
He was smokin' hot. As in H-O-T-T hott. I'd never understood until that moment why girls insisted on adding an extra t. This guy was extra-t worthy.

"How's your orange juice, Ann? Does it have a touch of Lime?"
The glass paused at my lips as I processed his innuendo, and I took a second to make sure my embarrassment stayed hidden inside. I let the drink swish over my tongue a moment before swallowing and answering.
"Actually it's a little sour," I said, and he laughed.
"That's a shame." He picked up a green pear from his plate and bit into it, licking juice that dripped down his thumb. My cheeks warmed as I set down my glass.
"OK, now you're just being crude," I said.
He grinned with lazy satisfaction.
"I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm just enjoying my breakfast."

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March 19, 2012

Hello hotties! #PureTourJLA The Covenant Series!


Jennifer Armentrout Jennifer Armentrout

Me: Hi Aiden and Seth! I am more than thrilled to have not only one, but two hotties stop by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads! I am also super excited that I get the opportunity to ask two of my favorite fictional boyfriends (did I just say that out loud?) some questions! Here on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, we appreciate it when a hot guy removes a clothing item for the interview, so feel free to do so if you wouldn’t mind. Hehehehe.

Aiden: If Seth removes any of his clothing I may claw my eyes out.
Seth: Whatever. You hope I remove my clothing.

Me: Each question is for both of you unless I address you personally.

Me: What do you wear to bed?
Aiden: Gods, I almost hate to answer this question, but usually I avoid sleep clothes. Too constricting.
Seth: Depends on who I'm sleeping with. You know what I mean, Aiden.
Aiden: I hate you.

Me: Who, when and where was your first kiss? I like deets!
Aiden: I was fifteen. In the courtyard.
Seth: I was ten. At the Covenant in England.
Aiden: Ten?
Seth: I started young.

Me: How far along would you go on a first date?
Aiden: Obviously not as far as Seth.
Seth: Don't hate the player.

Me: What physical attributes do you find attractive in a girl?
Aiden: Eyes. I have a thing for eyes.
Seth: Breasts.
Aiden: That was classy.
Seth: Just being honest.

Me: Have you ever been in love?...assuming you are not in love now.
Aiden: Yes. Yes I have.
Seth: Does being in love with yourself count?
Aiden: Nice.

Me: What do you like most about Alex? *hides jealousy*
Aiden: Everything that I shouldn't.
Seth: Breasts.
Aiden: I'm going to physically harm you.
Seth: Just kidding. She's a good girl. There's a lot about her to like.

Me: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Aiden: Seth
Seth: Aiden

Me: Do you have a phobia or something that creeps you out?
Aiden: Clowns.
Seth: That is hilarious
Aiden: Shut up.
Seth: I don't like zombies.

Me: Seth - Being the Apollyon, what is your primary role or job?
Seth: To keep the order. I'm kind of like the last ditch effort when problems get out of hand.

Me: Seth - Were there any signs before you turned 18 that made you aware that you were different (special) then other Halfs?
Seth: Nope. Not until I saw Alex.

Me: Aiden - Being Sentinel, what is your primary role or job?
Aiden: To hunt and eradicate pures and halfs who have become addicted to aether.

Me: Aiden - When did you decide that you wanted to be Sentinel?
Aiden: When I was a kid.

Me: I personally feel like the rules set for the Halfs are absurd and drive me absolutely nutty!

Me: Aiden - You being a Pure are there any rules set for the Halfs that you don’t agree with?
Aiden: I don't agree with any of them to be honest.

Me:Seth - You being a Half, (even though they don’t really apply to you much since you are The Apollyon) but are there any rules set for the Halfs that you don’t agree with?
Seth: I think it sucks for them. That's about it.

Me: This was fun! *swoon* Thank you for stopping by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads and I hope that we get the opportunity to see you again!
Aiden: Thanks for having me.
Seth: Okay, where is the cake... someone said there would be cake here...

Daimon: The Prequel of Half-Blood
A Covenant Novella
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards... and that she'll never be prepared for that duty.

According to her mother, that’s a good thing.

But as every descendent of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill.

The daimons have found her.

This is available as a FREE download in several different formats.

A Covenant Novel
by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

The Second Covenant Novel
by Jennifer L. Armentrout
There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

Make sure you follow the tour by clicking on the media button!



GIVEAWAY: To gain an entry in either/both of the tour giveaways for Pure, leave a comment here about The Q&A here on this post and then go to StuckInBooks and/or A Cupcake and a Latte with this link to complete your entry.


March 18, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway - Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand *Signed*


In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to Unearthly, Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

Enter to win a signed copy of Unearthly AND Hallowed by Cynthia Hand!!! This giveaway is open for US Shipping only. Please read my Official Giveaway Rules before entering and then simply fill out the form to enter! Giveaway ends March 20, 2012 at 11:59 EST! ***ENDED***

Michelle A.


March 16, 2012

Cover Reveal!

by J.L. Spelbring
Expected Publish Date:
May 7, 2013

Publisher's Summary: The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.

Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.

Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.

But he does.

His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.


Blogoversary Giveaway - Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready *Signed*


Publisher's Summary: Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

Enter to win a signed copy of Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready!!! One lucky person has a chance to win a signed copy!!! This giveaway is open for US Shipping only. Please read my Official Giveaway Rules before entering and then simply fill out the form to enter! Giveaway ends March 17, 2012 at 11:59 EST! ***ENDED***

Erin L.


March 15, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Publisher's Summary: Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
My Take: This book was freakin’ SICK!!! From the very first page until the very last, Unraveling was utterly epic! And even though I loved the book from the very start, I think the last 30 pages took the cake! So, do you think I liked this one? Yep, you got that right! I absolutely loved it, and I think this is truly a new fave of mine.

There are so many reasons why I thought this book was amazing, but I do have to say one of the biggest reasons is that this book consistently kept shocking me in so many different ways. And I would NEVER have guessed that the book would take the direction it did in the end! Did I tell you how awesome it was? Oh yeah, I already did.

The first shock comes only moments into the story when the protagonist, Janelle, suddenly and horribly gets hit by some random truck . . . and DIES! But, mysteriously, she is brought back to life and not by the Paramedic/CPR kind of way! More like by some crazy science fiction type of way, by a loner/stoner kid from school named Ben Michaels who Janelle never really “noticed” before.

Janelle knows that no one will ever believe that she was ever really dead and then brought back to life so the only person she tells is her best friend and he just brushes it off. But the one thing Janelle’s BFF, Alex, actually does believe is that there’s something really, really strange about the guy who hit her! Not only is the guy freakin’ strange, but his truck is even stranger! And all of this opens a huge can of mystery that Janelle and Alex are obsessed with solving, even if it means getting caught snooping into Janelle’s dad’s FBI files (Janelle’s dad is in the FBI). And to top it all off, during Janelle and Alex’s snooping and ear hustling they suddenly realize there’s an even more mysterious countdown to some other equally mysterious who-knows-what. Even if no one knows what the countdown will lead to, the countdown clock plays a huge role in this book. In fact, each chapter is titled with the time remaining on the countdown clock. I loved following that dang clock.

Oh, my, GOSH! I effin’ love Ben Michaels! There is just one thing after another that keeps me falling harder and harder for that boy! I effin’ love you Ben Michaels! And you will totally get why I’m saying that when you read Unraveling. But I do effin’ love Ben Michaels! Dang it! Just thinking about him gives me the butterflies in my tummy and I start grinning like a love sick puppy.

Another thing I loved about this book was how the story developed. Not only are we following this countdown (sometimes minute-by-minute and other times hour-by-hour), but we are also following flashbacks from the past, from Janelle’s memory. I can’t think of another author that developed a character’s past better, and with such amazing intricacy, as has Elizabeth Norris did with Janelle. Elizabeth surreptitiously weaves a phenomenal story about why Janelle doesn’t have a relationship with her ex-best friend anymore, why Janelle doesn’t remotely care about dating a guy only days after the guy broke up with his girlfriend or why Janelle is pretty much her little brother’s only mother.

Oh, I forgot to mention that about midway through the book, there was this really sad part that had me crying for at least 30, maybe even 40 pages. And by the time I was done with all the emotional rollercoasters...toward the end of the book I was so drained of emotion that I was literally numb…and then comes that epic ending…and then I was reeling all over again!

OK…so enough about my rambling on and on about this book because I think I could go on FOREVER! So if you have a copy to read, read it now…and if you don’t, preorder it now because this is a book that I want EVERYONE to read. It’s really THAT good!

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Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.