Saturday, January 29, 2011

YOUNG ADULT HISTORICAL ROMANCE GIVEAWAY





Hello everyone :)

Since my blogoversary is coming up and Valentine's day is just around the corner, I've decided to do a giveaway!And what more fitting than a couple of Young Adult Historical Romance books to set up the mood for V day?
Oh, I know! Four YA Historical Romance books!That's right!One lucky winner will win the whole HR package which consists of the following books:






Vixen by Jillian Larkin (Hardback copy)



(thank you St.Martins!)




RULES

*Contest is open to US residents only.If you have a relative or a friend who lives in the US,I'd be more than happy to send the books to them.I am really sorry international readers!Books are in the US and I cannot afford to pay for international shipping right now :(

*You don't have to be a follower to enter the contest, although if you do chose to follow it'd be much appreciated :)

*Contest ends February 28th. Winners will be announced on the blog and notified by email.If you fail to get back to me within a week, I will pick a new winner.

*Fill out this FORM in order to enter the contest.Comments will not count as entries, but feel free to leave one.

Good luck :)

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

READING : Slice Of Cherry by Dia Reeves

Slice Of Cherry by Dia Reeves

Publication date: January 4th, 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Gift
Rating: I'll leave this one up to you

Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around.

It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill. What starts as a fascination with slicing open and stitching up quickly spirals into a gratifying murder spree. Of course, the sisters aren’t killing just anyone, only the people who truly deserve it. But the girls have learned from the mistakes of their father, and know that a shred of evidence could get them caught. So when Fancy stumbles upon a mysterious and invisible doorway to another world, she opens a door to endless possibilities….
Slice Of Cherry is one of the weirdest, most disturbing and perverse books I have ever read.Do I like these kind of books?Hell,yeah!Did I like this one?I am still not sure.I seriously struggled with the 1st half but found myself loving the 2nd half.I am really torn when it comes to Slice Of Cherry and even now that I had some time to think it over, I still can't wrap my head around everything that went on and rate this book properly.Hope you won't hold that against me.

Let me start by saying that before you read Slice Of Cherry, I'd suggest reading Bleeding Violet first, Reeves's debut novel.Even though it has nothing to do with SOC's story or characters, it introduces you to Portero, a town well, let's just say A LOT different from the ones we are accustomed to.So if you find yourself wondering what the frak is going on when you read about people absent-mindendly kicking heads of dead bodies around on the street, stop and read Bleeding Violet.I hadn't, and it practically ruined the 1st half of the book for me, because I found it very hard to get into the book.

What I am certain of, however,is that Reeves's writing is beyond amazing!I mean, her imagination for one will leave you completely stunned as you feel you're constantly in a dream state while reading. You can forget about reality and anything slightly conventional.Just a pure,although pure has nothing to do with it,old gory, dark and twisted story, taken to a whole other level because of Reeves's exquisite writing that pulls you right in, even though the first thing you want to do is close the book and run as far away from it as possible.

I loved the sisters, Kit and Fancy, even though the normal reaction would be to hate them with a fiery passion for all the terrible and disgusting things they do to other people.But there is something genuine and honest behind their actions which you may not admire or condone but it will surely make you think twice before judging them. Also their idea of love and loyalty is so pragmatic and almost rational that you can't believe that it's possible for creatures like them, who take so much pleasure in torturing people, to think or feel that way.Kit and Fancy are without a doubt abominable and disgusting characters, who you just can't bring yourself to hate! 

Slice Of Cherry is a mixture of Lewis Carroll, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, Graham Joyce all wrapped up in one dark, intense and twisted novel that will surely be the cause of many sleepless nights!

Oh and one last thing: this book is most definitely NOT a YA book!Why do people insist on categorizing it as YA, is beyond me!

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

READING : Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost

Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost
Published by: Avon










First, I would like to take a second and say a ginormus thanks to my friend Anna@Books To Brighten Your Mood who practically shoved these books in my hands and who, since the day I met her, has been insisting I read them because I would simply love them.
Right you are,luv! (as a certain someone would say)


Wow, how do I even begin this?This last week I have been completely taken in by Jeaniene Frost's world, blissfully ignorant of the real world outside.To say that I completely and utterly adored these books, would certainly be an understatement. Granted, you may not like all the books equally.I know I didn't. You may like some stories or characters more than others.Some will majorly piss you off, I have no doubt about it.
But, at the end of the day, you come to realise that it just doesn't matter!

Now, I am not gonna review each book separately. I'd love to, but I am not gonna, since, for fear of revealing any spoilers, I know I'll just repeat the same things over and over.But I will like to say some things about the series overall.

I've been trying to think of what to write next for the last 15 minutes and only one word keeps popping up, forcing my hands to type it.
Bones.
Bones, Bones, Bones,Bones!There I said it!
Bones is one of the most, if not THE most, beautiful, amazing male book characters in both YA and adult.He has everything, and I mean everything!, working for him.He's hot as hell(duh), loving, caring, tender, funny, but also devilishly lethal and dangerous.Oh, did I mention he's English too?Yeah, that pretty much did it for me.I know that a lot of people may have been or will be put off by his striking resemblance to Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer series, peroxide-moster that he is.Believe me when I tell you though, that I would be the first to not get past the first chapters of Halfway To The Grave if Bones reminded me of Spike, whom I loved in BTVS, even a little bit. But I am here to tell you that Bones is nothing like Spike and that it would be a shame to dismiss these books under a misassumption. 
I could go on and on about Bones and his awesomeness but I think whatever I'd choose to write about him, won't do him a bit of justice.So just read the books and marvel at his brilliance!

Apart from Bones however,there are a lot,A LOT,of other amazing characters.Cat, the female lead, is so insufferably human, you can't help but love her.Did I want to slap her hard across her face to put some sense into her at certain points?Hell, yeah!But that was what made her likeable to me.That despite her being a half breed and a bad ass herself, she has all these weak spots which granted, make her annoying as hell sometimes, while others you can't help but be fascinated by her humane reaction to immensely dire supernatural situations. It's so unreasonable and admirable at the same time.

I haven't mentioned this because I don't think I have to, but just in case: these books are Adult Paranormal Romance books.They are in NO way books for Young  Adults or Middle Graders.
And that brings me to Frost's writing and some specific scenes which are guaranteed to blow your mind!(Ahem Book 2,infamous Chapter 32 Ahem)While I overall love Frost's writing along with her enviable sense of humor, I would much rather the setting was the same in every book.Cat and Bones have traveled so much and lived in so many different places that made it difficult for me to acclimate to all these new and different surroundings,which made it even harder to care at some point, if you know what I mean.I would love for them to stay at one place which I can get attached to and consecutively,to them too.Like that lovely, quite cave in Halfway To The Grave, for instance.Ah, how I love that cave!

Bottom line: if you aren't so lucky to have a friend who knows what she's talking about and force you to read these books, then you absolutely, definitely,certainly,without a doubt must go to your nearest bookstore and buy the whole series RIGHT.NOW.You will definitely not regret it!


If you're a fan already, don't forget!Book 5, This Side Of The Grave, is coming out February 22nd by Avon.You can read the first 2 chapters here: http://jeanienefrost.com/read-the-first-two-chapters/

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (27)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::




A Season Of Eden by J.M.Warwick
(this was a recommendation from a super cool person aka Tori from Book Faery.
Read it-liked it a lot!!!I am not sure if I'm gonna write a review,though.Still struggling with that)


* Infinity by Sarah Dessen
Dhampir by Barb&J.C.Hendee 
(both were a gift from my friend Evi.Thank you :D)


* Slice Of Cherry by Dia Reeves
(this is an Xmas gift from my amazing,awesome friend Eleni @ La Femme Readers!
Love ya, mwah!)




What did you get in your mailbox?


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

READING : Timeless by Alexandra Monir

Timeless by Alexandra Monir


Publication date: January 11th, 2011
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011

When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.
The premise of Timeless is amazing!2010-a girl moving into her grandparents' manor in New York and travels back in time in 1910 and meets the boy of her dreams.Who wouldn't like that?Well, as awesome the beginning and ending were, the middle felt short for me.

Monir's writing was great!I liked how she described New York of that era, the estates, the balls, the gowns.However, even though I am very much into time travelling in books, I caught myself getting easily lost at times by the constant back and forth to 1910,1925,1944 and 2010.Everything was happening too quickly for me and before I had the time to realise  which year she had travelled to and start adjusting, she just vanished again to the present.If you're not familiar with the time traveling "process" or you just can't wrap your head around the whole - my going back to the past changed the future - situation, I think you'll soon get pretty lost.

All the characters in Timeless were likeable.As the book mainly focuses on Michele and Philip, I admit their romance and love for each other was believable, but very quick for me.From the very first time their eyes met, she knew he was the love of her life.Why?It doesn't say.Because he was good looking, I assume.To be honest, I still can't tell you what Michele or Philip looked like.So either they were not fully described, details left to the reader's imagination,  or I've somehow missed it.

What I didn't find believable was her great grandmother's, Lillie, story. Again, time travel and how one's meddling in the past can change the future in all sorts of ways, comes into play.It just doesn't sit well with me how all the tragic things that happened to her, which eventually led her to move to NY, were somehow "supposed" to happen so she could go back and change history.I know I am being awfully vague, but I'm trying so hard to avoid revealing any crucial parts of the story.

That being said, the ending will surely leave you speechless!I didn't not see that coming at all!
So, if you don't mind the complexity of time travel and not worry too much about getting answers and want to read a nice, light, romance book, I think Timeless is a great choice!



*Alexandra Monir is also a singer/ song writer and she made some songs for the book which will be released on January 11th on iTunes! 
Thanks to Looksie @ Looksie Lovitz:Books And Wits for the info :)
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

READING: Princess Of The Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Princess Of The Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George


Publication date: January 20th, 2009
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.
What a cute, beautiful fairytale!It was the perfect read for the Christmas holidays!

Princess Of The Midnight Ball is the retelling of the well known fairytale Twelve Dancing Princesses.Personally,I haven't heard of that specific fairytale before reading POTMB and in some way I am glad I hadn't because I had no expectations whatsoever going into POTMB.

The book basically tells the story of 12 princesses (sisters) who were cursed to dance every night till dawn in the underground kingdom of the evil King Under Stone.When nobody in the whole kingdom can find out why the princesses slippers are worn out every day, a former soldier and handsome young boy named Galen, steps up and tries to solve the mystery of the  worn out slippers and brake the curse that binds the princesses once and for all.

George's writing was beautiful, capturing perfectly the melancholy and sadness of the princesses, the foulness of Under Stone and the kindness of Galen.I liked each and every sister.And they are a lot!You could feel their pain as each and every night they exhausted themselves, dancing for 6 hours for the king,his sons and their creepy guests.I'm telling you, I am not sure how I feel about dancing anymore!
I found the love story believable but personally, I would like to have seen more of it.More interaction between the couple that could justify their deep love.

Princess Of The Midnight Ball is the perfect read for someone who wants to get lost in a beautiful, mythical world of princesses, kings, castles and a lot of dancing!
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

READING : Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


Publication date: January 4th, 2011
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011!

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 yet another book about angels.It is also yet another book with a love triangle.I admit Unearthly was an OK read, but is that enough?Sometimes it just isn't.

Hand's writing is simple and precise, right to the point. She has a story to tell and she's not being wishy washy about it.There was not a moment of boredom when reading Unearthly, even though the book itself is pretty long.But that doesn't mean there were moments of indescribable excitement and awesomeness either,I'm afraid.

Characters are all likable.Some more/less than others.My least favourite was Clara's mother. Her constant secretiveness,for no reason other than to be dramatic,was tiring, to say the least.She expects her daughter,and pressures her at some point,to fulfill her destiny, to succeed in her "purpose" and still she doesn't fill her in on anything that could possibly help her.And whenever Clara asks her a straightforward question, seeking some guidance from her mother and mentor, she refuses every time!There was absolutely no need for that, in my opinion.

Clara is undoubtedly Unearthly's protagonist.The story is told from her POV and everything that happens include and affect her.She is also the center of a love triangle (no surprise there!) which was formed basically because she is so unworldly beautiful (no surprise there,either).Hold on a second,though!What you don't know is that she can't decide between who her heart dictates to be the one and the one her mind and logic tells her she should be with.
Oh.Yeah.That's not really a surprise either,uh?That's  exactly my point.The writing can be as good as it gets and the story more than decent but if you feel you have read the some things like a 100 times in the past, what does eventually make this book special, make it stand out?Well, in my opinion, not much.Except maybe for the ending. Unearthly had a satisfactory conclusion but also one that leaves a lot of stuff out in the open and questions unanswered. Not in a cliffhanger-y, frustrating sort of way, but in all honesty, it made me wish I had the second book with me so I could start reading it right away.And that's a huge deal for me,considering it's a book I didn't very much enjoy in its entirety.

I know that a lot of people who have already read Unearthly loved it and I am pretty sure more will follow.
As for me?Well.I believe it was a fine read, but nothing I haven't already read before.

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Monday, January 3, 2011

READING : Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Publication date: January 4th, 2011
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011!

Zoe and Cara were as close as friends could be—until Zoe moved away. Miserable without Zoe, Cara grew into an unhappy sixteen-year-old, tormented by the popular girls and nursing a hopeless crush. Then one day Cara returns home from a miserable day at school to find Zoe sitting on her bed. Shocked and delighted, Cara agrees to hide Zoe from troubles at home and the two resume their friendship as though no time has passed. Zoe even helps Cara get up the courage to stand up for herself and talk to her crush. But when one of the popular girls winds up dead, Cara begins to suspect that Zoe is responsible, and her questions only feed Zoe’s anger. As Cara searches for answers, she is forced to confront a deadly truth…
In Choker we are introduced to Cara, a teenage girl who is a bit of a loner, someone who other people just don't chose to hang out with.When she was a little girl her family had to move, thus leaving her best friend Zoe behind.But when Zoe suddenly comes back in to her life can Cara handle it or will she find her best friend completely changed?

Choker was a pretty decent debut novel,it was twisted and disturbing and pretty damn scary at parts.
Cara is a character that inspires your pity from the very beginning.You feel so sad for her throughout the whole book.Her classmates decide it'd be awesome to make fun of her because she dared choke on a carrot during lunch at school, hence the nickname. Imagine that you're about to die from a stupid carrot, at 17,and then saved,only to have the whole school call you Choker wherever you go!Plus, she was obviously still traumatized even after all these years from the move and from losing Zoe, whom she practically adored.Add totally absent and in my opinion uncaring parents in the mix, and you have yourself a very unhappy teenage girl.

Wood's writing was good, very dark and glum.There were scenes like a certain someone's decay while still alive(!) which was so morbid and twisted, it was beautiful!
What put me off in Choker though is the ending. Not what actually happened in the end, but the fact that I saw it coming miles away, after finishing the 1st half of the book to be exact.I mean, if the book has this demented feel to it and Woods wanted it to be dark and bleak,she should have tried to make the ending a liiiitle bit more unexpected, because otherwise it takes away its grimness and spookiness.

Very short review, I tried to stay away from potential spoilers as much as I could.
If you don't figure out Choker's ending early, then it's guaranteed that it will blow your mind!
Recommended. 

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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Books Of 2011

Here is where I will keep track of every book I read in 2011.I will write down the title of the book and the author and then link to my review, if I have written one.Said reviews will also be posted on Reviews by Title and Reviews by Author.




Also, since I am participating in the Debut Author Challenge this year, hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren, books that are eligible to the challenge will have the letter (D) next to each title.I will make sure to state if a book is eligible to DAC 2011 in my review, as well.

13. Bloodfever-Karen Marie Moning 
14. Faefever-Karen Marie Moning
15. DreamFever-Karen Marie Moning
16. ShadowFever-Karen Marie Moning
17. Book Of Spells-Kate Brian
18. Secret Society-Tom Dolby
19. Wanted-Sara Shepard
20. Demonglass-Rachel Hawkins
(D) 21. Haven-Kristi Cook
(D) 22. Clarity-Kim Harrington
23. This Side Of The Grave-Jeaniene Frost
(D) 24. The Vespertine-Saundra Mitchell
(D) 25. The Liar Society-Lisa&Laura Roecker
(D) 26. Dark Mirror-M.J.Putney
(D) 27. Wither-Lauren DeStefano
28. 7 Kinds Of Ordinary Catastrophes-Amber Kizer
29. Ominous-Kate Brian
30. If I Stay-Gayle Forman
31. Where She Went-Gayle Forman
32. A Kingdom Of Dreams-Judith McNaught
(D) 33. The Goddess Test-Aimee Carter
34. Throat-R.A.Nelson
35. Ash-Malinda Lo
36. Huntress-Malinda Lo
(D) 37. Die For Me-Amy Plum
38. The Gathering-Kelley Armstrong 
(D) 39. Bumped-Megan McCafferty
40. Wrapped-Jennifer Bradbury
(D) 41. The Magnolia League-Katie Crouch 
(D) 42. The Girl In The Steel Corset-Kady Cross
43. Tall Tales And Wedding Veils-Jane Graves
(D) 44. Hereafter-Tara Hudson
45. Rules Of Attraction-Simone Elkeles
46. Imaginary Girls-Nova Ren Suma
47. Shift-Jeri Smith-Ready
(D) 48. Born At Midnight-C.C.Hunter
(D) 49. Enclave-Ann Aguirre
50. Rosebush-Michele Jaffe
(D) 51. Warped-Maurissa Guibord
52. Nightshade-Andrea Cremer
53. Wolfsbane-Andrea Cremer
54. The Girl Who Was On Fire-Anthology
(D) 55. Divergent-Veronica Roth
56. Dead Reckoning-Charlaine Harris
(D) 57. Wildefire-Karsten Knight
58. Love Story-Jennifer Echols
59. Ultraviolet-R.J.Anderson
(D) 60. Popular-Alissa Grosso
61. Beauty Queens-Libba Bray
62. In The Shadow Of The Lamp-Susanne Dunlap
63. Across Eternity-Aris Whittier
64. Forever-Maggie Stiefvater
65. Bite Club-Rachel Caine
(D) 66. Sirenz-Charlotte Bennardo&Natalie Zaman
(D) 67. Hourglass-Myra McEntire
68. She's So Dead To Us-Kieran Scott
69. He's So Not Worth It-Kieran Scott
70. Bloodlines-Richelle Mead
(D) 71. The Near Witch-Victoria Schwab
(D) 72. Possession-Elana Johnson
73. Twisted-Sara Shepard
74. Witches Of The East End-Melissa De La Cruz
75. A Hunger Like No Other-Kresley Cole
76. No Rest For The Wicked-Kresley Cole
(D) 77. Dead Rules-Randy Russell
78. Firelight-Sophie Jordan
79. Vanish-Sophie Jordan
80. A Clash Of Kings-George R. R. Martin
(D) 81. Flawless-Lara Chapman
(D) 82. The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer-Michelle Hodkin
(D) 83. Wake Unto Me-Lisa Cach
84. A Storm Of Swords Pt.I-George R.R.Martin
85. Cold Kiss-Amy Garvey
86. Daughter Of Smoke And Bone-Laini Taylor
87. Chain Reaction-Simone Elkeles
88. The Secrets Of Boys-Hailey Abbott
89. Never Have I Ever-Sara Shepard
90. Vengeance-Kate Brian
91. Beautiful Disaster-Jamie McGuire
92. Tris&Izzie-Matte Ivie Harrison
(D) 93. Girl Of Fire And Thorns-Rae Carson
(D) 94. The Mephisto Covenant-Trinity Faegen
95. You Are My Only-Beth Kephart
96. A Storm Of Swords Pt.2-George R.R.Martin
97. Lola And The Boy Next Door-Stephanie Perkins
98. Poison Study-Maria V. Snyder
99. The Iron Knight-Julie Kagawa
100. Silence-Becca Fitzpatrick
101. Betrayal-Lee Nichols
102. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me-Sarra Manning
103. Anna Dressed In Blood-Kendare Blake
104. Lost In Time-Melissa De La Cruz
105. Eve-Anna Carey
106. The Pledge-Kimberly Derting
107. The Ivy-Lauren Kunze&Rina Onur
108. Secrets-Lauren Kunze&Rina Onur
109. Burn Bright-Marianne De Pierres
110. Catching Jordan-Miranda Kenneally
111. Shatter Me-Tahereh Mafi
112. Darker Still-Leanna Renee Hieber
113. Half-Blood-Jennifer L. Armentrout
114. Flat-Out Love-Jessica Park
115. Obsidian-Jennifer L. Armentrout
116. Working Stiff-Rachel Caine
117. Hallowed-Cynthia Hand
118. Vicious Little Darlings-Katherine Easer
119. Every Other Day-Jennifer Lynn Barnes
120. Hunting Lila-Sarah Alderson
121. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo-Stieg Larsson
122. Pure-Jennifer L. Armentrout
123. Ruthless-Sara Shepard
124. Suddenly You-Lisa Kleypas
125. Private Arrangements-Sherry Thomas
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