Feb 052016

The HighwaymanThe Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne
Book #1 in Victorian Rebels

Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: 

Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…

But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?

Angie’s Review – 3 Skulls – B-

I was so excited to read The Highwayman. This book has so many glowing reviews, and I saw it on a few Top 10 lists for 2015. Sadly, I wasn’t as enamored with this book as my reading buddies were. It starts off wonderfully and gives us a glimpse of Farah Leigh in all her innocence as she pledges her heart and life at a very young age to Dougan Mackenzie. While it was sweet, I felt like it went on just a bit too long wished for a more swift transition into the main part of the story.

Once we do get into the story, things get exciting really quickly. And for the first half of the book, I was enthralled. The writing was beautiful, and the author captures emotions wonderfully. Dorian Blackwell is one of the most tortured souls I have ever come across in historical romance. Unfortunately, his biggest torturer at this point in his life is himself, and it was too much. There’s no denying his past was heartbreaking; it just went on too long for me. The thought of Dorian trying to give Farah everything she’s ever wanted only to push her away when she makes it clear all she wants is him just didn’t ring true for me. And when we get to the scene where love is finally declared, I was left confused. I didn’t see any evidence of Dorian falling in love with Farah. He was too wrapped up himself and so guarded I just couldn’t believe it. It was also hard to connect with either character. Dorian was so stand-offish and mean, and most things Farah Leigh did was in reaction to what Dorian did, so I feel like we missed out not seeing them apart more. I would have liked to see more of Farah without Dorian.

This book was a mash-up of The Princess Bride and Beauty and the Beast, and the narrator sounded like Clark Gable to me. I was half expecting him to say ‘As you wish’ or ‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.’ He did a wonderful job conveying the character’s emotions, but I do wonder if I’d like this book better upon reread. I think maybe the narrator was part of what made Dorian so tortured for me, and I wouldn’t have heard such a gruff, angry voice in my head as I was reading.

While this book wasn’t for me, I very much liked the author’s writing and will try something else from her. If you’re a fan of tortured heroes, The Highwayman was written for you!

Rating: 3 Stars

Series Reading Order:
1. The Highwayman
2. The Hunter
3. The Highlander (Expected Publication: August 2nd, 2016)

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Feb 042016
New Release Review: Kings Rising by C. S. Pacat

  Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat Book #3 in Captive Prince Genre: M/M, Fantasy Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Berkley Synopsis from Goodreads: “Damianos of Akielos has returned.” Damen’s identity has been revealed, and now he must face his master, Prince Laurent, as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill. The struggle that ensues takes them deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of two kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, [ Read More of this Review ]

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Feb 032016
A Badass Read-Along: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Welcome to our first Badass Read-Along discussion! If you’ve read the book, feel free to join the discussion in the comment section.  We’re looking forward to seeing what you liked and didn’t like about the first Lunar Chronicles book, Cinder. We’ve decided not to list the short stories as part of the read along, but please feel free to mention them in the discussion. This includes the prequel Fairest. Please be advised, as this isn’t a review, that since we’re specifically discussing the aspects of the story it’s very likely there will be spoilers. Cinder by Marissa Meyer #1 The Lunar [ Read More of this Review ]

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Feb 022016
Release Day Review: Wickedly Powerful and Wickedly Ever After by Deborah Blake

Wickedly Powerful by Deborah Blake Book #3 in Baba Yaga Genre: Paranormal Romance Publication Date: February 2nd 2016 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Berkley Romance Synopsis from Goodreads: Known as the wicked witch of Russian fairy tales, Baba Yaga is not one woman, but rather a title carried by a chosen few. They keep the balance of nature and guard the borders of our world, but don’t make the mistake of crossing one of them… The only thing more fiery than Bella Young’s red hair is her temper. She knows that a Baba Yaga’s power without strict control can leave the [ Read More of this Review ]

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Feb 012016
Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: October 18th, 2011 Publisher: Scholastic   Synopsis from Goodreads: It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 292016
Review: The Assassins of Altis by Jack Campbell

The Assassins of Altis by Jack Campbell Series: The Pillars of Reality #3 Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction Release Date: Aug 25, 2015 Audiobook Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews Trapped within the dead city of Marandur, Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain must escape both merciless barbarians and the pitiless Imperial Legion. Beyond those dangers lie the mightiest and most unforgiving powers in the world of Dematr: the Great Guilds that rule the world with iron fists. Mari’s Mechanics Guild and Alain’s Mage Guild have always been enemies, but they are united in wanting to kill their rogue members before Mari can fulfill [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 282016
Review: Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews

Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews Book #2 in The Innkeeper Chronicles Genre: Urban Fantasy Publication Date: November 13th 2015 Synopsis from Goodreads: Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance. Unfortunately, for [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 272016
Early Review: Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill Genre: New Adult/Romance Publication Date: February 9th, 2016 ARC provided by Netgalley and Random House Synopsis from Goodreads: Clementine Daly knows she’s the black sheep. Her wealthy, powerful family has watched her very closely since she almostgot caught in an embarrassing scandal a few years ago. So when Clementine’s sent on a mission to live up to the Daly name, politely declining isn’t even an option. Of course, the last thing Clementine does before departure is grab a stranger’s phone by mistake—leaving the hunky journalist with her phone. Soon his sexy voice is on the [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 262016
Release Day Group Review: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace Genre: YA Paranormal Publication Date: January 26th 2016 ARC Provided by Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books Synopsis from Goodreads: For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes. When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 252016
Review: Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan

Winter Wonderland by Heidi Cullinan #3 in Minnesota Christmas Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance Publication Date: November 10th, 2016 Publisher: Samhain Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun. Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch. Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 222016
Early Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan Book #1 in Reign of Shadows Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy Publication Date: February 9th, 2016 ARC provided by Edelweiss and HarperTeen Synopsis from Goodreads: Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead. But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 212016
New Release Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan

Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan Book #1 in Sword and Verse Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: January 19th 2016 ARC Provided by Edelweiss and Harper Teen Synopsis from Goodreads: Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 202016
New Release Review: Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

Cold Fusion by Harper Fox Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance Publication Date: January 5th, 2016 Publisher: Samhain Publishing   Synopsis from Goodreads: Their love is the catalyst that could save the planet…or cost their lives. As an environmental activist for Peace Warrior, Kier Mallory never hesitated to throw himself into dangerous situations. Until his hotheadedness costs the lives of two fellow crewmembers on an anti-whaling mission. He finds no refuge in his hometown on Scotland’s north coast, where everyone knows what this son of a broken fisherman has done. Effectively homeless, Mal returns to one of his favorite places—Spindrift, a rustic colony of [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 182016
Announcement! A Badass Read-Along: The Lunar Chronicles

Recently there’s been a lot of talk regarding The Lunar Chronicles, and how spectacular it is.  It’s over now.  Finito.  A few of us at Badass feel like maybe we missed the boat with this one. Maybe you do too, or maybe you read them and you thought they were so amazing that you want to read again? If so, this is your chance! After caving to the peer pressure of Wendy’s daughter to give this series a go, we decided to bring this to our readers, believing that there may be others out there who feel the same way.   Between [ Read More of this Review ]

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 Posted by on January 18, 2016 at 7:46 am
Jan 142016
New Release Review: The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine

The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine Genre: YA Fantasy Publication Date: January 5th 2016 ARC Provided by Edelweiss and  Margaret K. McElderry Books Synopsis from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule. But [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 132016
Early Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin Genre: Young Adult Publication Date: January 26th, 2015 ARC provided by Edelweiss and Simon Pulse Synopsis from Goodreads: Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan. Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 122016
Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt & Giveaway for Strange Girl by Christopher Pike

Strange Girl by Christopher Pike Genre: Paranormal Mystery Publication Date: November 17th, 2015 Physical copy provided by Simon Pulse Synopsis from Goodreads: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Christopher Pike comes a brand-new fascinating and seductive new novel about a girl with a mysterious ability—but one that carries an unimaginable cost. From the moment Fred meets Aja, he knows she’s different. She’s pretty, soft-spoken, shy—yet seems to radiate an unusual peace. Fred quickly finds himself falling in love with her. Then strange things begin to happen around Aja. A riot breaks out that Aja is able to stop by merely speaking a few words. [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 112016
Release Day Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

The Score by Elle Kennedy Series: Off-Campus #3 Genre: New Adult Release Date: Jan 11, 2016 ARC provided by the author via Nina Bocci PR He knows how to score, on and off the ice…Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 082016
New Release Review: Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole Series: Immortals After Dark #16 Genre: Paranormal Romance Release Date: Dec 1st, 2015 Audiobook Narrated by: Robert Petkoff A foundling raised in a world of humans ~ Growing up, orphaned Josephine didn’t know who or what she was—just that she was “bad,” an outcast with strange powers. Protecting her baby brother Thaddeus became her entire life. The day he was taken away began Jo’s transition from angry girl…to would-be superhero…to enchanting villain. A lethally sensual enforcer on a mission ~ Whether by bow or in bed, archer Rune the Baneblood never fails to eliminate his [ Read More of this Review ]

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Jan 072016
New Release Review: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken Book #1 in Passenger Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fantasy, Time Travel Publication Date: January 5th 2016 ARC Provided by Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion Synopsis from Goodreads: passage, n. i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes. ii. A journey by water; a voyage. iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time. In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles [ Read More of this Review ]

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