Tag Archive | YA Paranormal Romance

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

cursedcoverDying Sucks…

and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things–including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he’s a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she’s more than interested. There’s just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden’s adopted father, a man she’s sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out. However, she’s willing to do anything to hold her sister’s hand again. And hell, she’d also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn’t?

But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not’ve been an accident at all, she’s not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life.

For real this time.

Buy at Amazon


Review:

I found the blurb interesting and thought I’d pick it up. This is a stand-alone novel written by one of my favorite authors.  As usual, the character development was amazing and the author really does get into different people’s motivations very well. While this is a YA paranormal romance, it isn’t part of a series, and I think it should stay that way, personally. I didn’t get into Hayden as much as some of JLArmentrout’s other boys, but he’s a decent enough type of guy.  Ember was as usual easy to relate to and get into and I really did like her.  Yet she isn’t like a super awesome character like Kat in the Lux series.

What sets this novel apart really is that there is a lot more mystery in it. It’s a bit of a who-dun-it type novel regarding to certain aspects of Ember’s past – or rather her death. Although, I kind of did see the villain coming a mile away.  I really can’t wax poetically about the plot or characters.

So overall, a decent read, but nothing I’d write home about or give fangirl squeals over. I recommend this to any JLArmentrout fan as we all like to read her, but otherwise, it’s a decent read if you want to pick it up.  Don’t expect the usual brilliance though.  I rate it 3.5 stars!


jlarmentroutStalker Links:

Jennifer L. Armentrout – website

JLArmentrout’s Blog

Author’s Facebook

Twitter

JLA Goodreads

Amazon


Anyone else pick this up to read?  What were your thoughts?  And would you read a book by a favorite author, simply because it’s by your favorite author?

Advertisements

Review: The Dark Elements Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

darkelementscovers

I usually try to wait for a few novels of a series to come out before I start them. Mostly, because I am an impatient girl. However, I was in a YA mood after rereading Lux and Covenant series and I do adore JLA, so off I went.

I am so incredibly glad I did. A nice little war between gargoyles – or Wardens as they call themselves – and demons. What could be better? And the main character, a girl who is half-Warden and half-demon and wham, you’re in for some fun. This series is also a YA paranormal romance and I have to say, I was excited to start it.

bittersweetlovecoverBitter Sweet Love (Dark Elements prequel 0.5)

This is the story of Jasmine and Dez, before the start of the main series. You even get to meet the main protagonists in this novel, although they are much younger.

Review:

I think this story is set up as a way of explaining a lot of Warden-type traditions and rules within their mating and romance areas before the main show begins. Or at least that’s how it felt to me. However, the emotions behind each of the main characters here, plus Jasmine’s sister, seemed very real and potent to the reader. It definitely wasn’t a filler read. The world Jennifer L. Armentrout is creating this time is as in-depth as her Lux and Covenant universes and I can’t wait to see where it goes. The prequel didn’t impress me that much though, but I do like Dez and Jasmine well enough. Maybe it was because I knew it was only a prequel to the actual real protagonists of the series which put me off.  I read this one first, so maybe it should be read in another order.  So my rating is 3.5 stars.  Sorry JLArmentrout!

Get your copy at Amazon

whitehotkisscoverWhite Hot Kiss (Dark Elements 1.0)

Synopsis:

One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world

Review:

I’m going to go a girly squeal of happiness because I absolutely, completely, totally (yes I am being redundant) LOVE Roth. I just do. He’s great. He’s hot. He pops up out of no where, talks Layla into doing crazy things, and he likes her. What’s not to like about the beginning of this series?

Well okay, I do have one peeve. It’s the age of Roth. JLA explains it and everything within the novel, but honestly… eh, I’d have preferred a more traditional, “he’s been around since demons were created” type story. However, I can overlook that with the awesomeness of this novel.

Firstly, the world JLArmentrout created with the Wardens and demons was nicely done. I have my own theories on them and the Alphas and what exactly is the reasoning behind it, but I won’t share. That would involve spoilers of what was explained in the novel and I honestly try to avoid those in reviews. In the beginning, Wardens equaled the good guys, and demons were all evil. By the end of the novel, you knew not everything was what is seemed, although not nearly enough was explained. Hence, I’m holding my breath for the next novel.

Secondly, the characters are as always diverse and realistic. Layla with her issues of belonging because of her heritage, yet her strength in not giving into most of her self-doubts. Roth, well he’s a little hard to read sometimes, but he’s great. And the fact he hums Guns N Roses makes me grin. (I’m a Guns N Roses fan, it’s my decade, so yeah, I LOVE it!)  Of course, Zayne is a sweetheart, but I was so angry with him in this novel. Layla has it so hard and to go and do some of the absentminded things he did…. Wow. And of course Dez and Jasmine as well as their twins were here, plus Jasmine’s sister. The patriarch of the clan, some dissenters who hate Layla’s very presence, and add in an evil bad-guy hunting for Layla and the action and drama never stop!

Lastly, the story was wonderfully done in that it gave you enough to explain what was going on, yet kept some things from the reader so you have more to learn next time. Nice balancing, that. All in all, 5 stars!

Get your copy of White Hot Kiss at Amazon


Coming Soon

StoneColdTouchcoverTo be released on October 21, 2014:

Stone Cold Touch

Every touch has it’s price.

Layla Shaw is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life—no easy task for a seventeen-year-old who’s pretty sure things can’t get worse. Her impossibly gorgeous best friend, Zayne, is forever off-limits thanks to the mysterious powers of her soul-stealing kiss. The Warden clan that has always protected her is suddenly keeping dangerous secrets. And she can barely think about Roth, the wickedly hot demon prince who understood her in ways no one else could.

But sometimes rock bottom is only the beginning. Because suddenly Layla’s powers begin to evolve, and she’s offered a tantalizing taste of what has always been forbidden.  Then, when she least expects it, Roth returns, bringing news that could change her world forever. She’s finally getting what she always wanted, but with hell literally breaking loose and the body count adding up, the price may be higher than Layla is willing to pay…

Pre-order from Amazon


jlarmentroutStalker Links:

Jennifer L. Armentrout – website

JLArmentrout’s Blog

Author’s Facebook

Twitter

JLA Goodreads

Amazon


Do you read YA?  If you do, why do you like them?  If not, why don’t you want to read them?  Comment away!

The Covenant Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

covenantseriesbanner

After finishing the Lux series (and it’s newest release), I just had to reread this series. For those who didn’t read my post on the Lux series, I will once again state that I am not a huge fan of Young Adult type novels, although I have read and enjoyed them. While this one doesn’t deal with aliens like the previous series I reviewed, it does deal with deities – and their demigod children and THEIR children, etc. I’m more open to deities and such in my paranormal novels than aliens, YET I loved the Lux series just slightly better. Odd, isn’t it?

From the short synopsis of book one: 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. Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

That is the world in which the series starts. It’s a YA paranormal series told from a young half-blood girl’s point of view, and her struggles within the system and without it as it crumbles.

Before I get started on the individual reviews, I just wanted to say the series overall was another ‘stay up too late to just finish one more chapter’ type series. It was excellently done.

I was also excited to see this series did differ from the Lux series by adding a more serious love threat and how the two main protagonist interact. JLArmentrout is an amazingly talented writer who can vary her characters as they should be. I do not like feeling like I’m rereading the same characters acting out a different plot. You all know what I’m saying?

daimoncoverDaimon (Covenant 0.5 prequel)

The prequel to the entire Covenant series, it tells the story of what exactly happened to Alex’s mother before Aiden finds her at the beginning of the first novel.

To be honest, I read and enjoy romance more than any other major genre in novels. If it doesn’t have romance in it, I usually blah my way through the book. A fantasy novel is great, as long as the main character loves someone, doesn’t have to be in the main part of the story but it usually has to be there. This novel had none. If I remember right, there was a hint of a former crush of Alex’s before she left the Covenant, but other than that, nada. I do not count that date at the beginning of the story. The boy was weak and stupid.

Also, and while I love JLArmentrout to pieces, honestly I thought the series could have taken or left this story. It didn’t exactly add much to the story except you got a peek into Alex’s relationship with her mother before it all fell apart. While that is important, it could have also been done in the main series with memories or stories told to Alex’s best friend Caleb, or something, you know? So I wasn’t impressed by this installment.

I did only read this story after starting the series, so I guess that’s why I kept at it. So because I didn’t feel it added much to the overall series that needed to be there, but because I did like it, I’m going with 3.5 stars.

halfbloodcoverHalf-Blood (Covenant 1.0)

Alex returns to the Covenant – a special school for those training to become Sentinels – after a three year absence. She has to learn to adjust from being out among humans, reacquaint herself with old friends, fight off her attraction to her trainer, Aiden, and brave the pit of vipers that is the politics of these beings.

Without giving away too much else, I’ll simply have to say that Alex is a rash girl who does things I would have dreamed of doing, but never would have, and the forbidden attraction to Aiden makes things interesting. However, it is a little hard to figure out exactly what the man is thinking a lot of the time, but that is part of his charm. The world JLArmentrout created is detailed as well and she creates such intricate character personalities. It always leaves you guessing as to what exactly is going on. Great read! 4.5 stars!

 

purecoverPure (Covenant 2.0)

Wow, things get kind of heated a bit in this one. You throw in Seth, who is supposed to be Alex’s other half, yet she still loves Aiden, the forbidden one. Throw in a summons to the council and plots to destroy her because of what she is, and Alex’s life just can’t get more messed up.

I like Seth. I really do, he’s a bit of an ass, but I like my fictional men a little like that. In all honesty, it really does seem like the only person outside of himself he cares for is Alex. The different personalities that JLA can create astound me sometimes. Although I do wished Aiden and Alex’s relationship would go a bit faster, but to be honest, it was perfectly done to keep us aching for it. This is definitely another ‘stay up all night just to finish one more chapter’ type of book. 5 stars!

 

Burning hibiscus flowerDeity (Covenant 3.0)

So hard to do this without spoilers! I’m not doing synopsis’s of each book simply because they have minor spoilers in them, and while I personally don’t mind some spoilers, some people are fanatic about them. I simply want people to NOT tell me the major plot reveals and endings. That’s all. However, to be fair for those who wish to read it and enjoy it like I did – spoiler free – I’ll try to stay away from it.

In the previous book, Aiden does something so profound it could destroy his life if anyone ever learns of it, all to protect Alex. In this one, she’s dealing with the worry of that, the slow suspicion surrounding Seth, despite the fact she wants to believe in him. She keeps onto that hope and as well as trying to understand the difference between need and love, fate and choice. She keeps ignoring her suspicions, holding onto that deep friendship she has with Seth. Plus she has to dodge assassins from a fanatical cult bent on killing her. Oh, and keep her distance from the Pure she loves.

This is a slightly darker read, but the agony and worry really do infect the reader. Although I did want to strangle Alex a few times for purposely ignoring warning signs regarding one of the men in her life, but it is excusable once you understand it, so I’ll let that pass. Luckily for us readers, we really get to see a lot of Alex and Aiden moments, although he’s still a little difficult to read. By the end of the novel – a horrible cliffhanger – you are dying for the next one! I’m wavering between 4 and 5 stars here, so I’ll split the difference. 4.5 stars!

elixircoverElixir (Covenant 3.5)

This shorter little piece is told exclusively from Aiden St. Clair’s point of view during his desperation in trying to break the connection between his beloved Alex and Seth. He’s faced with horrible choices and it’s his struggle to find a way to help her before Apollo is forced to do something drastic.

I loved this one. I didn’t like Alex in it for obvious reasons, but the view into Aiden’s mind was a welcome one. I adored it. It needed to be told and I’m happy it did. Plus the choice he came up with in the end shows just how much he does love her, despite the taboo on their relationship. JLArmentrout does an amazing job when she finally writes from the male protagonist’s side and this just might be my favorite of all of the Covenant books. 5 stars!

 

apollyoncoverApollyon (Covenant 4.0)

Things really come to a head in this installment. Poor Aiden continues to suffer the abuse from Alex, all the while keeping the faith that she’ll severe the connection to Seth on her own. It’s beautiful how he feels about her in giving her that trust, even when everyone else has given up hope. Every girl’s dream.

Of course, the real battle is soon to come and Team Alex is striving to find a way to keep Seth from becoming the god-killer.

Some of the things in this novel are dark but needed. I love the dynamics between all of the characters and the twists in the plot I almost never see coming. I hate psycho-Alex, but her normal self is a strong girl whom I think most of us can relate to. Of course, my favorite god is still Apollo. He’s just great. So while this installment was as usual excellent, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous ones, so I give it 4 stars!!

sentinelcoverSentinel (Covenant 5.0)

The end of another great series by JLArmentrout. It always makes me sad, yet I devoured this book just like the rest. It’s filled with surprises, Alex’s trauma from the fight in the previous book, and as always, love.

I am back to liking Seth in this book, and even feel a bit for him. Aiden is of course the favorite, now that he’s a bit more open. Alex, of course, kicks ass. But you never know the way it’s going to go until the very end and after all the losses Alex has suffered, it’s amazing how strong she is. This book is a strong ending to this great series, and I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. Except for the deal with Seth of course… I hear a new spin-off series is coming out with Seth in it. We’ll see how that goes!

In any case, this was a strong finish, lots of emotional ups and downs and determined warriors doing their best to avert the gods’ wrath. It was lovely. 4.5 stars. Great job, JLArmentrout.


Stalker Links

jlarmentroutJennifer L. Armentrout – website

JLArmentrout’s Blog

Author’s Facebook

Twitter

JLA Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

 

 

The Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

luxseriesbanner

So I spent like a week rereading the Lux series (plus the Covenant series and read for the first time the Dark Elements series) and all because Opposition finally came out! Woo!

Of course, then my dang computer freaked out on me, so I had to wait to write these short reviews. So naturally I’m so behind on writing!  What sucks is I think I broke my A key….

In any case, for those of you who don’t know, the Lux series is a YA paranormal romance (…although I guess this one could be Sci-fi too) by the talented Jennifer L. Armentrout (not to be confused with the OTHER Armintrout who writes paranormal romance – mostly vampires that I saw/read). To be honest, I’m not a gigantic fan of YA/NA although some authors can just rope me in. And JLArmentrout does that and more.

Not only is this series one of the subgenres (or would that be sub-subgenres of romance?) I don’t really read often, but she throws in a type of protagonist or subject I don’t usually go for in romances either. Aliens. Yeah, I am not usually a big alien romance reader. Can’t help it, just isn’t my thing. However, this series is still amazing!

Synopsis (from Amazon):

When seventeen-year-old Katy Swartz moved to West Virginia right before her senior year, she’d pretty much resigned herself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring, but then she spotted her hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up . . . until he opened his mouth. Daemon Black is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. It’s hate at first sight, but when a stranger attacks her and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something . . . unexpected happens. The hot guy next door? Well, he’s an alien. Turns out that Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities and Katy is caught in the crosshairs. Daemon’s touch has lit her up like the Vegas Strip and the only way she’s getting out of this alive is by sticking close to him until her alien mojo fades. That is, if she doesn’t kill him first.

shadowscoverShadows (prequel)

Dawson and Bethany’s story. A beautiful full-length novel detailing the account of Dawson and Bethany’s meeting, whirlwind romance, and lastly, what really happened before they’re disappearance.

Short Review: I missed Daemon and Katy reading this. I really did. However, Dawson and Bethany’s such intense, immediate chemistry turned me into a squealing teenage girl. I was so thrilled at the romance between the two. It was a beautiful love story with some of the best chemistry I have ever read in any novel. And that’s saying something. I’m trying not to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say, Dawson got planted on his ass the moment he laid eyes on her and nothing – and I mean nothing – would keep him from her. It was beautiful. I cried at the end of this story and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I am not much of a crier, but if you don’t need tissues by the end (especially if you are reading this after starting the main Lux series), then you are a tougher woman than I. I’d have to say – despite the lack of my main character couple – this is a definite 5 stars!

obsidiancoverObsidian (Lux 1.0)

The beginning of Daemon and Katy’s story and the start of an amazing series. Like I stated before, Katy moves to a new town and it turns out her hot – but assholish – neighbor is an alien. I know what it sounds like – if you’re like me and go “eh? Aliens…. how about no?” but I honestly couldn’t put this book – or series – down!

A YA paranormal romance series by one of the best YA authors I’ve read. Honestly, you want to pick up this book. Just give it a try and see if I’m wrong. It’s what I did.

I absolute adored Katy! She had the usual teenage hormones, but a more adult attitude due to spending a lot of time taking care of herself, and it is just classic how she deals with Daemon and his anti-human sentiment at first. She’s feisty, a reader (and blogger!!), and she does not take Daemon’s attitude even when he hurts her feelings. It’s glorious.

As for Daemon, you of course want to beat him over the head with the nearest tree branch for the first half of the book because he is such a complete jackass to Katy – and well, everyone else except his sister and his sometimes girlfriend Ash.

And yes, I know, most of you all hate Ash. Heck I did to, especially in this book. But you have got to have that mean girl in a High School setting. Just have to. Otherwise it wouldn’t really be realistically high school, right? We’ve been there, done that, wouldn’t want to go back. Or at least I wouldn’t, and the mean girls weren’t even mean to me! In any case, like most humans – or in Ash’s case, most Luxens – she has issues as we’ll learn later.

Overall, this is a glorious start of a series that had me reaching for the next immediately (even during this session of rereading). So even if YA, paranormal romance, or aliens aren’t your thing, I STILL suggest you pick up a copy (or borrow from the library, your friend, whoever) and try it out with this novel. If it can make me rant and rave on the greatness of Alien hotties, then it can have any of you doing the same.

If you don’t like it, you can always ignore the rest of the series and tell me I suck for torturing you with a bad pick. But I’m pretty sure you’ll devour the series like I did.

5 stars!!

onyxcoverOnyx (Lux 2.0)

Katy and Daemon are again in trouble as they try to figure out everything that’s going on with the DOD and the new boy in school and the strange things that have been going on with Katy, and to make matters worse (for Katy), Daemon has decided that he wants her and will stop at nothing to convince her to be with him. As if life couldn’t get even more complicated….

I keep raving about this series, and the second book is really no exception. Katy is too mature for her own good – and her background explains it nicely – and keeps this book a one-sitting type of book. You can’t put it down, waiting and waiting for Katy to finally give in to Daemon. Plus you throw in the mysterious boy Blake and you’re in for a load of drama. It was very nicely done! Again 5 stars!

 

 

opalcoverOpal (Lux 3.0)

This is the novel when Katy and Daemon’s relationship really heats up and betrayals and some answers come to the surface. Finally. I was waiting for it and waiting for it and waiting for it! It doesn’t disappoint! JLArmentrout is amazing at the heat between these two and yet she also masterfully keeps from from jumping in the sack, without immediately saying “I’m not ready, let’s wait and hold hands” etc. It was masterfully done and I honestly don’t have anything to complain about there. Again, 5 stars!

 

 

 

 

origincoverOrigin (Lux 4.0)

This installment is a lot darker than the others. I’m trying so hard not to give spoilers here, but I think it’ll be safe to say that Katy and Daemon got split up and neither one of them are taking that well. Daemon would burn the world for her and it shows in this novel. It’s also the first time you get to read from Daemon’s point of view in the entire series. Half of it is from Katy’s POV of course, but the other half is all Daemon. I was an emotional wreck throughout this entire novel. Ups and downs and “awww so want my own Daemon” moments had me all over the place. Once again, it was a one-sitting novel and I ate it up. It was beautiful and amazing and so angst-filled, I have no words. If I could rate it higher than 5 stars, I would. It was that good.

 

oppositioncoverOpposition (Lux 5.0 Final)

The final novel in the Lux series (and yes, Obsession – the adult spin-off – will be reviewed below too) and I must say, it was worth the wait. Abso-freaking-lutely worth the wait to read.

The angst, the drama, the fear – all of it – was very tangible to me as a reader. It was just…. perfectly done. Daemon and Katy are adorable together – and hot for each other of course – and the other couple is just too sweet for words. I adore Luc and Archer, I feel so badly for Dee, and everything comes to a nice dramatic – and violent – head in this novel.

The writing is up to it’s usual wonderful standards and as always, you’re kept guessing until the end. And of course, the tears. I lost it at one point in the book and actually had to set it down. JLArmentrout is a masterful storyteller and I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. Beautiful, edge-of-your-seat page-turner. 5 stars!

To pick up your copy of the latest – and final – installment of the Lux series:  Amazon (and any other Lux novels you wish)


obsessioncoverObsession (Arum novel – a Lux adult spin-off)

This is Hunter and Serena’s tale. An Arum and a human, can you imagine? This is also definitely an adult installment in the Lux universe. You meet Hunter in the main series briefly and later on in Opposition where he plays a more pivotal role. You also see him with Serena and how much he cares for her and this is their story.

Serena’s friend witnesses a pair of Luxen arguing and discovers they’re not human. She confides in Serena and is later murdered before her eyes. The DOD steps in and orders Hunter to guard her and figure out if she knows anything more. When the DOD turns on her, Hunter has to make a choice.

This novel was nicely done! Of course, while it was nice to see that the villains aren’t all evil people-eating monsters, I wasn’t thrilled about reading this installment at first. However, the heat between Hunter and Serena nearly melt the pages of the book and you get a nice taste of how the other side see things. It made for a nice change of pace, the humanizing of the Arum. JLArmentrout did an amazing job with the adult interactions – she’s definitely not a one-trick pony.

Although I loved how fiesty Serena was and how very, very dangerous Hunter was to her. This is the only book in the Lux universe however that I can remember one slight flaw – to me anyway. I felt the whole ‘lust-to-love’ moment went a little fast. One minute all he can think of is getting in her pants and is a bit possessive, next it’s all wham, she’s no longer in danger of being eaten. Other than that, though, I loved this installment! I’ll give it a 4.5 stars!


Stalker Links

jlarmentroutJennifer L. Armentrout – website

JLArmentrout’s Blog

Author’s Facebook

Twitter

JLA Goodreads

Amazon