So things have been a little quiet over here at Muggle-Born, and here’s why:
I’ve officially decided to quit blogging upcoming books at this blog. I’ll probably keep reviewing here for fun on books that I’ve read and have already been released. But if you’re looking for my thoughts on upcoming or recently released books, you can find them over at PostScript’d.
What is PostScript’d, you might ask? Well, it is a brand new, amazing site for all things books. In addition to bookish articles and reviews, our team does hit lists of books to watch out for as well as on-camera interviews with your favorite authors.
I’m really excited about being a part of the team over there, even if it means I’m spending less time blogging at Muggle-Born.
But just to recap on the books I’ve been reading lately…
Fields’ Rule #1: Don’t fall for the enemy.
Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either.
So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death.
But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?
With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.
Expected Publication Date: June 11th 2013 by Egmont
I really enjoyed this one. My review of Spies and Prejudice will be up on PostScript’d soon.
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown
Ashleigh’s boyfriend, Kaleb, is about to leave for college, and Ashleigh is worried that he’ll forget about her while he’s away. So at a legendary end-of-summer pool party, Ashleigh’s friends suggest she text him a picture of herself — sans swimsuit — to take with him. Before she can talk herself out of it, Ashleigh strides off to the bathroom, snaps a photo in the full-length mirror, and hits “send.”
But when Kaleb and Ashleigh go through a bad breakup, Kaleb takes revenge by forwarding the text to his baseball team. Soon the photo has gone viral, attracting the attention of the school board, the local police, and the media. As her friends and family try to distance themselves from the scandal, Ashleigh feels completely alone — until she meets Mack while serving her court-ordered community service. Not only does Mack offer a fresh chance at friendship, but he’s the one person in town who received the text of Ashleigh’s photo — and didn’t look.
Acclaimed author Jennifer Brown brings readers a gripping novel about honesty and betrayal, redemption and friendship, attraction and integrity, as Ashleigh finds that while a picture may be worth a thousand words . . . it doesn’t always tell the whole story.
Expected Publication Date: May 21st 2013 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
I couldn’t put this one down.
Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff
Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.
When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.
Expected Publication Date: June 11th 2013 by Little, Brown & CO BYR
Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff is an action-packed read, but the writing style was not for me.
Born of Illusion by Teri Brown
Anna Van Housen is thirteen the first time she breaks her mother out of jail. By sixteen she’s street smart and savvy, assisting her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, and easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums and mentalists in 1920’s New York City. Handcuffs and sleight of hand illusions have never been much of a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her true gifts secret from her opportunistic mother, who will stop at nothing to gain her ambition of becoming the most famous medium who ever lived. But when a strange, serious young man moves into the flat downstairs, introducing her to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, he threatens to reveal the secrets Anna has fought so hard to keep, forcing her to face the truth about her past. Could the stories her mother has told her really be true? Could she really be the illegitimate daughter of the greatest magician of all?
Expected Publication Date: June 11th 2013 by Balzer & Bray
I enjoyed Born of Illusion so much that I’m willing to give video reviewing another shot. I’ll definitely post up a link to my video once I’ve recorded it.
Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.
Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing—and persistent—admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition…but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.
Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon—and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon’s passionate embrace and tempting kisses…and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.
Heroine: I like that Annabelle is willing to marry to save her family from ruin. I like that she has her family in mind, but she isn’t desperate enough to be someone’s mistress. I like that she was still able to hold on to whatever dignity she has left even if she doesn’t have much money.
Hero: I like that Simon didn’t come from the nobility class. It was refreshing and different, and I liked how it reflected the changing environment in England due to science and technology. However, one thing that bothered me about his character is the fact that it took him basically the whole book to tell Annabelle what he really wanted was marriage. For someone that’s so set on Annabelle, I don’t know why he didn’t make his intentions clear in the beginning.
Supporting Cast: I really love the Wallflowers and this group of friends – it makes me wonder why I didn’t choose to read this sooner!
Plot: I love the concept of the Wallflowers coming together to find husbands for each other. Furthermore, I really enjoyed that the story doesn’t end at the marriage. We get a glimpse into their married life, which usually doesn’t happen in romance novels. I think it worked for Secrets of a Summer Night, and I never felt once that the resolution was too stretched out.
Romance: I looked forward to a lot of the Simon/Annabelle interactions. I’m already a fan of Lisa Kleypas so I knew that the romance would be up to par. I was not disappointed with Secrets of a Summer Night.
Love Potion Strength:
- Exceeds Expectations
I’m definitely reading the rest of the Wallflowers series as soon as possible.
Summary: WIFE WANTED…
Italian billionaire seeks faux fiancée. Willing to agree to anything in return…
In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!
Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!
But have they found the perfect arrangement… or are they trapped in a make-believe marriage?
Heroine: Maggie’s character genuinely surprised me. She comes off as a really confident woman, but she’s guarded when it comes to feelings and relationships. I guess I didn’t really believe her that she had reason to be guarded until her character finally reveals the trauma she’s been through in the past.
I thought that Maggie got a little excessive at times when she kept insisting that Michael was in love with her best friend, but I got over it. Minor complaint. If it had only been the only bump in the road that preventing Michael and Maggie from getting together, then we would have had issues. But it wasn’t, so I’ll stop whining about it.
Hero: I don’t really have much to say about Michael. I mean, he’s also a deeply layered character who tries so hard to be the best he can for his family. Except sometimes he doesn’t realize that his sisters have grown up and he needs to listen to what they want in life. I thought it was great that Maggie was able to make him see what he was doing wrong.
Supporting Cast: If you are a fan of this series, you will definitely love the supporting cast. I think that the connections are a little confusing if you haven’t read the books in a while, and it took me a while to acclimate myself with the characters’ relationships. Family is a big deal in the Marriage to a Billionaire series and I really enjoy it.
Plot: I am a sucker for a good arranged marriage plot. Since I already read the third book before this one, I had a vague idea of how it was going to play out so any suspense was lost on me. Still, I enjoyed how the story played out.
Romance: Probst is always spot on when it comes to building sexual tension and chemistry with the characters. This is no exception.
Love Potion Strength:
- Exceeds Expectations
So I finally am up to date to the Marriage to a Billionaire series and I am sad. I want more yummy contemporary romance. Trust me, I will be reading all of Jennifer Probst’s books.
Guys, I should mention that this book has lots of details on cooking Italian food and good wine. It will make you crave both.