Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Hero's Lot Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

About the book:

The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr
The Staff and the Sword: Book 2
Bethany House
When Sarin Valon, the corrupt secondus of the conclave, flees Erinon and the kingdom, Errol Stone believes his troubles have at last ended. But other forces bent on the destruction of the kingdom remain and conspire to accuse Errol and his friends of a conspiracy to usurp the throne.

In a bid to keep the three of them from the axe, Archbenefice Canon sends Martin and Luis to Errol's home village, Callowford, to discover what makes him so important to the kingdom. But Errol is also accused of consorting with spirits. Convicted, his punishment is a journey to the enemy kingdom of Merakh, where he must find Sarin Valon, and kill him. To enforce their sentence, Errol is placed under a compulsion, and he is driven to accomplish his task or die resisting.

My review:

The Hero’s Lot is the second book in Patrick Carr’s The Staff and the Sword series and it was just as great as the first! Carr is a new and refreshing voice in fantasy and I can’t wait to get my hands on the conclusion to this fantastic series.
            The story picks up right where we left off in A Cast of Stones. Errol, now Earl Stone, is trying to find is place in Erinon and the church he doesn’t fully trust. The traitor Sarin Valon has fled to Merakh and left chaos and suspicion in his wake. There is word of ferrals throughout the kingdom and the king is growing ever closer to his heirless end. Plans go amok and Errol is placed under compulsion to track down and kill Valon while Luis, Martin and Cruk and sent back to Callowford to discover Errol’s importance.
            I’m happy to say that The Hero’s Lot did not suffer from middle book syndrome and was a page turner to the end. Errol continues to grow as a character and is supported by a wonderful supporting cast. I was delighted to see a few favorite characters from the first book make their returns as well. The story doesn’t just rely on its action either, there is a healthy bit of mystery included that promises to carry through to the end of the series. My only issue was the romance between Errol and Adora. It seemed to have come out of nowhere and I feel like a little build up would have made it more believable.
            I would recommend this series to any fantast fan and am eagerly awaiting A Draw of Kings.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.* 


Sweat, hot and salty, flowed into Errol's eyes in the sticky heat of the early fall afternoon. He forced a quick blink to shed the distraction, not daring to risk the split-second it would take to wipe his brow. A welt as long as his hand burned his left ribcage. its twin worked to numb his right shoulder. The staff in his hands blurred and buzzed like an angry insect, nearly invisible, but as yet he had managed only a single strike against his opponent.

And he was tiring.

The man opposite him, stronger and fresher, darted like a snake, the blade of his sword disappeared as his arms corded and he struck. Errol parried at the last moment and flowed into a counterattack. The clack of staff against sword filled his ears like the sound of a drummer's rim beats.

For a moment he dared hope that he would penetrate his opponent's defense, but the attack exhausted itself and he retreated to defend against those cursed whip-like strokes of the swordsman's counter.

Pain blossomed in his side as the sword found its mark. It was no use. Four weeks of food and rest had almost restored him to complete health after Sarin's attack against the kingdom. But 'almost' was insufficient against such an opponent.


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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Review: A Most Peculiar Circumstance

About the book:

A Most Peculiar Circumstance by Jen Turano
Ladies of Distinction: Book 2
Bethany House

    Arabella Beckett is a pistol toting suffragette who has a hard time staying out of trouble. Theodore Wilder is a no nonsense private investigator who is as chauvinistic as they come. When one of Arabella’s misguided attempts to help others land her in jail, covered in mud and accused of shooting a man, she sends up a prayer for a little help. The form that help arrives in, the infuriating Mr. Wilder, is less than appreciated. However, it seems trouble isn’t done with the two of them just yet. Can the two of them sort out their differences long enough to figure out who is behind it all and what they have in store for Arabella?

A Most Peculiar Circumstance is full of chuckle worthy mayhem and characters you cannot help but adore. Arabella is a lively heroine with plenty of attitude that I had no problem getting behind and rooting for. She also experiences a good deal of personal and spiritual growth throughout the novel right alongside our swoon worthy hero Theodore. Their romance starts out the way I like it best. With plenty of quips and barbs! The secondary characters are also very well developed and easy to love.
This book is easily one of my favorites of the year so far and I eagerly looking forward to reading the rest of the series!
I should note that this book is the second in a series and would probably be best enjoyed if read in the proper order. I wasn’t able to read the first book before this one and while I had no problem following along with the story I could tell there were a few characters and situations that were introduced in the first book that I was missing out on.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

King Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway

About the book:

King by R.J. Larson
Books of the Infinite: Book 3
Bethany House 

Akabe of Siphra is certain his people are insane.

Why have they made him a king?
What, in the name of peacetime boredom do kings do?

Frustrated by a lengthy silence from his Creator, the Infinite, Akabe decides to prove himself as king by undertaking a monumental task, his own lifelong dream: Rebuild the Infinite’s temple in Siphra.

But Akabe’s impulsive decision sweeps him into a storm of controversy. The Infinite’s enemies join forces in Siphra, and beyond, conspiring to destroy the emerging temple—and to kill their king and his mysterious new queen.

My review

Akabe Garric is now the unwilling king of Siphra, looking to rebuild the Infinite’s temple. However, on the first day of construction, the deal with the landowner of the temple site goes south and Akabe is forced to negotiate new terms. Lord Thaenfall, a known Atean and enemy to the Infinite, insists that the only way he will sell the land is if the King marries his daughter. Akabe makes a brash decision and soon finds himself and his new wife Caitria the targets of many assassination attempts by Atean rebels. Along the way the King and Queen receive some help from their friends Ela, prophet of the Infinite and Kien, now exiled from his home in the Tracelands. Can Akabe and Caitria weather the onslaught of Atean rebels and find true love despite their differences?

King was a fantastic ending to a well loved series! I enjoyed delving deeper into Akabe’s character as well and discovering a wonderful new addition to the series in Queen Caitria. Afterall the harsh treatment and abandonment from her family, Caitria cannot help but be suspicious of other and a little cold. It was wonderful to watch her come out of her shell and warm to Akabe and their friends. Fans of Ela and Kien (like myself) will be extremely pleased with the direction their relationship goes in this book! The biblical references were fun to pick out while the author still managed to make the story its own.

Last, but certainly not least, is Scythe (a.k.a. Pet) the destroyer with a big attitude and an even bigger appetite. Scythe dolls out his regular amount of grumblings, all while fiercely protecting Kien and Ela, and his usual amount of destruction. Is their nothing this horse won’t eat! Unfortunately for Ela, an old friend decides to run for political office and his only hope of election is to return to her his own destroyer Flame, Scythe’s beloved, who is in a delicate condition (as if the word delicate and destroyer would ever go together in the same sentence). What will she and Kien do with a whole family of destroyers?

This book has it all, romance, humor and action! I would definitely recommend it to others and am looking forward to more from this wonderful author!

*I received a copy of this from the publisher, by way of NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Here's an exciting excerpt from the beginning of the book:

A hired servant brought cups, then filled the with juice from a metal pitcher beaded with moisture. They all waited until the king lifted his cup. Following his lead, they drank.

Ela couldn't help draining her juice, despite its tartness. Let Tamri and Prill frown at her appalling manners-she was thirsty. Finished, she looked for the servant, but he'd vanished.

Beside her, little Garth grumbled, "Mine tastes sour."

Akabe grimaced at the pitcher left in their midst. "True. The aftertaste is bitter."

Aware of an unpleasant icy burning around her lips and down her throat, Ela flung aside her cup. "Majesty!"

She wrenched Barth's half-empty cup from his small hands. He already looked sick.

Matron Prill threw down her own cup and said the word Ela feared to voice.


The giveaway is for a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash and ends 7/23/13.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade

About the book:

Undeniably Yours by Becky Wade
A Porter Family Novel : Book 1
 Bethany House

Meg Cole, Texas oil heiress, is perfectly happy living off her own small salary until her father unexpectedly dies, leaving her with a large fortune and control of a company she never wanted. She also finds herself with a large Thoroughbred racehorse farm she has no interest in keeping. However, when she attempts to shut the farm down the manager, Bo Porter, talks her into giving him six months to pay off the farms debt and break even. As Meg attempts to fill her father’s oil baron shoes and Bo tries to prove the horse farm is worth keeping, both discover an attraction that becomes increasingly hard to fight.
Undeniably Yours is a fun, light read that had me hooked from the start. Meg made me chuckle and she was so kind hearted and willing to help those in need. Bo is a charming, swoon worthy cowboy who is always looking out for Meg and her best interests despite his own desires. The novel also boasts a slew of strong supporting characters. Meg’s old nanny Sadie Jo is a sweet, elderly woman who truly loves Meg and enjoys nothing more than fawning over children and worrying over wet diapers. Mr. Son, the landscaper, is stoic but also calm and wise. Amber and Jayden, a young mother and her son who have an uncomfortable tie to Meg, help her begin to find God’s direction for her life and her resources.

I would recommend this book for fans of chick lit, sweet contemporary romances or anyone looking for a fun, light read.

*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*