The Second Sign

The Second Sign by Elizabeth Arroyo

This book trailer caught my eye while searching through posts in one of my groups on Goodreads. The music and visual aspects of the video appealed to me enough that I wanted to know more. Plus I liked the whole daughter of an Angel aspect as I’ve read few books in this sub genre.

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Synopsis:

Bred to believe in the war between angels and demons, Gabby has come to the conclusion that love is responsible for war, jealousy, and all the other deadly sins she can think of. So when she’s exiled to the middle of nowhere for getting kicked out of her fifth school for fighting, she doesn’t expect to meet Jake. Much less fall in love. But Jake is quickly drawn to the eerie beauty of her violet eyes while Gabby is unsettled by their undeniable connection.

When a demon guardian comes to collect her soul, she refuses to give it up. She’s not a demon. She can’t be. Her father and twin brother are angels. The demon gives Gabby twenty-four hours to decide her allegiance and then starts killing her short list of friends, leaving a message behind: She is the Second Sign.

As Gabby and Jake begin to unravel the mystery behind the Second Sign, she learns Jake may be the key to saving her soul. But it means a sacrifice has to be made that will change their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

Gabby – A seventeen year old girl with anger issues, tends to punch first ask questions later. She’s been expelled from five schools for her volatile temper. She’s half human half angel and her twin is a full-fledged angel. She suffers from envy and low self esteem, which leads to her incessant need to push people away before she becomes attached. This habit may make her difficult to like at first but she grows on you. As a psychic, she doesn’t like to be touched or touch anyone else and she’s never had a real boyfriend.

Jake – He was an adrenalin junkie who found himself captivated by Gabby from the first sight of her. He’s confused by his obsession for her, the way he’s drawn to her like a moth to a flame. It’s not like he has never had a girlfriend before, she’s just the first that ever mattered.

The POV switched back and forth between Gabby and Jake allowing the reader a better feel for both sides of the story line. The plot line is pretty easy to pick up on. She’s the daughter of an angel and the demons want her soul. This book has a great setting for its YA targeted audience and would be an excellent read for those who enjoy romance with dark connotations.

The author captured me from the first chapter. The macabre setting not what I expected at all. I started reading this anticipating a romance and while this book has romance in it the essence of the story is so much more than that. The teen drama of Chapters Two and Three drug a bit for me, but I’m not the target audience for this book so I expected that in some places. By Chapter Four I was completely hooked once more.

I really enjoyed this book and its unconventional aspects. I found the author’s portrayal of Angel and Demon roles fascinating. This story held an interesting mixture of romance, coming of age, angels, demons and psychic abilities all wrapped up with a dark twist. While it left some questions unanswered the ending wrapped up nicely for a lead into Book Two.

This story contains dark violent scenes so if you’re expecting a sappy romance this is probably not for you. I recommend this for anyone who likes to dip into the more sinister and eerie side of the paranormal world. While I will not be reviewing the next book in the series, The Second Shadow on my website I do intend to work it into my reading line up. I think a knife with blood dripping might be better suited for the rating scale but alas my webmaster said no. 🙁 I give this book 4 hearts.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Spiritus

Spiritus by Dana Michelle Burnett

I found this book trailer while looking through paranormal trailers on youtube and was pleasantly surprised to find the book free on Amazon. To tell you the truth I had a hard time verifying it as an official trailer. I eventually found the link on Amazon’s author page, but that seems to be the only place it’s advertised, not sure why.

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Synopsis:

A love that refuses to die…

“As I watched him vanish into a soft mist that faded away, I knew that he was no ordinary spirit…I knew that he was a dangerous entity that could be in some corner of another realm planning his revenge, but I also knew that I was hopelessly in love with him.”

When Becca moves into her ancestral home in Corydon, Indiana, her life takes a puzzling and thrilling turn when she meets the ghost haunting the halls. As the seductive spirit lures her closer and closer, she learns about her own past and starts to understand that some mistakes are meant to last.

Becca McAllister has always been different from other girls her age. Never part of the “in crowd”, Becca never really fit in anywhere. When her mother dies and her father moves them to the small town of Corydon, Indiana, Becca didn’t expect things to change.

But things do change when Becca accidentally makes contact with a one hundred and sixty year old ghost, Alastor Sinclair, that haunts the halls of her new home.

To Becca, Alastor is a seductive spirit that seems to see straight into her soul. To Alastor, Becca is what he has waited a century for–A second chance.

But the closer they get, the more Becca realizes that this isn’t the first time she and Alastor have known each other. Worse still, is she the one responsible for his death so long ago? And if so, did he come back for love or revenge?

My Thoughts:

I loved the premise of this book it held an originality I haven’t seen in the paranormal world of books for a while. The storyline maintained a steady pace with plenty to keep me busy and entertained. The only complaint I might have with this story is questions about their past that I felt wasn’t answered sufficiently, but maybe those answers are in a future book.

It was short and sweet a great read for one of those afternoons when you just want to curl up with a blanket and a warm fire. I like how the author mixed true history into the story. Contemporary mixed with a backdrop of true American history, a nice touch.

I enjoyed this book immensely. I’m not the type that needs a predictable HEA to appreciate the romance, therefore this was perfect for me. I find myself torn between a desire to read books two and three to find out where the author took this wonderful story and a wish to just leave it ended this way. A real winner for the young adult with a romantic heart. I give it 4 hearts.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Love in the Afternoon

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas

Love in the Afternoon is Beatrix’s story, the youngest of the Hathaway girls, and the last book in the series. Though drawn to this book because it was the final story and not due to the trailer I still felt it appropriate to add this book and trailer to my Book Trailer Wednesday picks.

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Synopsis:

As a lover of animals and nature, Beatrix Hathaway has always been more comfortable outdoors than in the ballroom. Even though she participated in the London season in the past, the classic beauty and free-spirited Beatrix has never been swept away or seriously courted…and she has resigned herself to the fate of never finding love. Has the time come for the most unconventional of the Hathaway sisters to settle for an ordinary man—just to avoid spinsterhood?

Captain Christopher Phelan is a handsome, daring soldier who plans to marry Beatrix’s friend, the vivacious flirt Prudence Mercer, when he returns from fighting abroad. But, as he explains in his letters to Pru, life on the battlefield has darkened his soul—and it’s becoming clear that Christopher won’t come back as the same man. When Beatrix learns of Pru’s disappointment, she decides to help by concocting Pru’s letters to Christopher for her. Soon the correspondence between Beatrix and Christopher develops into something fulfilling and deep…and when Christopher comes home, he’s determined to claim the woman he loves. What began as Beatrix’s innocent deception has resulted in the agony of unfulfilled love—and a passion that can’t be denied…

My Thoughts:
I believe that to get the true feel of this series a person should read all the books from start to finish. It gives you a chance to really get to know each character more fully as they grow into the women and men who become the heroes and heroines of their own stories. While Book Four wasn’t my favorite partially because of the time taken away for back story, I loved Book Five.

Love in the Afternoon, the embodiment of just about every emotion you could feel in a romance. I laughed, worried and cried right along with Beatrix. Many times throughout the story I felt a strong desire to smack her. That it took her so long to realize the truth, she loved the hero, puzzled me.

I enjoyed the letter aspect of the story very much. The heroes inability to puzzle out his the true identity of his pen pal frustrated me, but only because I disliked Pru. His mistaken belief in the need for someone so shallow left me wondering if he deserved the exuberance and lust for life that Bea brought him.

I loved the entire Hathaway series and would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys animal humor, a dark brooding man, mixed with a bit of history and a love that changes everything. The final book in the series, Love in the Afternoon is my favorite. I think it was the wounded soul of the war hero more than the animal antics that drew me to this book though. I give it a solid 5 hearts.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Sound of the Heart

Sound of the Heart by Genevieve Graham

 Most of the book trailers I’ve found recently are part of a series, which causes a dilemma for me. I debated for several days on the merits of reviewing every book in a series compared to reviewing only one or two. After much deliberation I made the decision to review the first book in any given series and then pick my favorite of the remaining choices, of course the contingent that it has a compelling book trailer still exists as well.

By choosing in this way I share two books in each series, one of which is my favorite. Let’s be honest some book series’ are quite lengthy and the idea of a review for each book can become daunting. Feel free to follow my reviews on Goodreads if you’re interested in my thoughts on the other books in any series or one of the many books I read each week.

The second book in Genevieve Graham’s MacDonnell Series is this week’s pick for two reasons. First, Sound of the Heart was my initial find for this series and I felt it only appropriate to include a review for it. My second reason for my choice is more obvious, the book was my favorite. Maybe it’s the sexy wardrobe. Who can resist a man in a kilt?

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Review:

Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold. Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.

My Thoughts:

Like the first book this well written sequel contains a stunning combination of historical accuracy, smooth flowing dialogue, action and tender romance. Dougal’s extensive character development and the plot surrounding him held me enthralled from cover to cover. Graham’s descriptions of the times and conditions as well as her battle scenes allowed my imagination to flow easily.

Unlike the first book there is interaction from nearly the beginning between the two main characters, allowing us to watch the romance develop. The author did a great job of showing the stages in their relationship, going from strangers, to protector, to friend and trusted companion and then leading to something far more intimate.

I liked the way the author incorporated fate and destiny into the story line and of course we still have a bit of the mysticism that was covered in the first book. My biggest disappointment had to be the ending. No, I’m not going to leak a spoiler and ruin it either. I’ll just say that though it was a good ending I felt like it could have been better with maybe one more chapter.

At this point I have read all three books and enjoyed each one. Though all of them are intertwined because of family each story has its own uniqueness that I love. The reader is left with a feeling of fulfillment that isn’t always there in a series. I would highly recommend all three books. I’m giving this book 4.5 hearts.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Mine Till Midnight

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

 While searching through book trailers I found a historical romance by an author I recognized and decided to see what she could do with modern technology. I’ve found a lot of the historical romance book trailers a bit lacking, but she did a great job.

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Review:

This is Book One of a five book series. It starts with the oldest daughter and her love interest.

When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….

 

My Thoughts:

Amelia Hathaway – Unmarried at age 26 she is a spinster whose primary mission in life is to hold her family together. Her lively family consists of 3 sisters, an older brother and a Roma the family adopted years before. A broken promise of love from her past leaves her with no faith in men.

Cam Rohan – Manager of a gaming club and half gypsy, bored with women and finds little satisfaction in life. He is surprised when he finds himself intrigued by a prim and proper gadjo, a white woman. A possessive man, with the patience of a saint to put up with all Amelia’s shenanigans.

This story brought back characters from Kleypas’ Wallflower series, which I greatly loved and mixed in the quaint, quirky Hathaway Family. Full of humor, a bit of mysticism and love. The love scenes are just the right amount of hot and sexy. A supernatural twist that though not surprising was heartbreaking in its intensity. I also enjoyed the opportunity given by the author to get to know the other members of the family through their character development.

Love – The love of a sister for the family she wishes to protect and the love of a woman for a man she shouldn’t desire. A forbidden kiss on the streets outside a brothel changed both their lives forever.

Amelia is a wonderfully stubborn woman, afraid of losing herself to a man’s domineering ways. She finds herself struggling between her feelings for a man she once loved and the man whose arms she found comfort in.

Together – A man who believed that fate guided everything, and a woman who could find no logic in either fate or luck. For the sake of both their happiness Cam must convince her to take a leap of faith.

Honestly I loved this book. It contained two of my favorite things, historical romance and erotic tension. An enjoyable read from start to finish with a supernatural twist thrown in for good measure. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would. A hot read with lots a sex appeal.

Since all the books are reasonably priced I obtained the collection and am presently reading Book 4 in the series.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Absence From Social Media

Book Trailer Wednesday and all my other social media activity are put on hold at the moment. My daughter is ill and her care has been taking up a lot of my time. My family is my life and must come first I hope everyone understands. When she is better I will be more active once more until then have a safe holidays.

Under the Same Sky

Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham

 This week’s pick for Book Trailer Wednesday is Under the Same Sky a unique and very surprising Historical Romance.

I found this trailer completely by accident, as I searched for something to read over the weekend. Book Two showed up in my recommendations and while I love a good series I’m the type that has to read them in order. I found myself pleasantly surprised that each book in the series has its very own book trailer.

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Review:

As I mentioned this Historical Romance is Book One in a series.

In 1746, a woman from South Carolina and a Scottish Highlander share an intimacy and devotion beyond understanding. They have known each other their entire lives. And yet they have never met…

Maggie Johnson has had “the Sight” since she was a child, dreaming visions of the future and of a presence she knows is real. She calls him Wolf, and has seen him grow from a young boy into a fearsome warrior. And when her life is torn asunder by unspeakable tragedy, he is her only hope.

Andrew MacDonnell is entranced by a beautiful woman who has always dwelt in his dreams. When war ravages his land, he leaves the Scottish Highlands on a perilous journey to the New World to find her…

Their quest to unite across a treacherous wilderness will test the limits of courage and endurance, guided only by their dreams—and by the belief in the true love they share…

My Thoughts:

When I first saw this trailer I thought it was going to be your typical romance with a historical setting. I was so very wrong. While the setting is definitely historical this book is anything but typical.

It’s a romance, but only in its purist form. Connected at a soul deep level, they both struggle with their own journeys and hardships but never forget their goal. In sleep their souls always drifted to one another.

They support, encourage and even love one another without ever meeting. This is a unique blend of tragedy, war, hope, betrayal and conspiracy. Two stories, two lives connected by dreams and magic. The tale unravels with unexpected twists as each struggles to reach the other.

A historical romance like no other, I enjoyed every minute spent reading it. Book Three just came out in November that gives me two more books in this captivating series that I look forward to reading. I give this book a solid 5 hearts.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Finding You

Finding You by S.K. Hartley

 I came across this week’s pick for Book Trailer Wednesday while combing through Youtube. After watching the trailer for Finding You, I had no doubt this was my next read.

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Review:

Armed with the knowledge that this book was part of a continued series, I began reading it right away. The story took two days to read with interruptions and left me willing to buy other books by her.

Finding You – Book One in ‘The Bad Boy Series’

‘I will always take care of you’

My pain started when I was just ten years old, it was the day my mom got that dreaded phone call. Life has never been the same….

‘I will always protect you’

I am all kinds of broken….

I have known Logan White since forever, he is my brothers best friend and my secret protector. I used to have nightmares that drew me into a dark place and when the nightmares got too much, Logan was by my side. The nightmares are few and far between now, but my life is centered around the tragedy of my past.

Logan is the definition of ‘man whore’, with girls lining around the block to drop their panties at the click of his fingers. But after an unexpected moment things change. Now Logan is somebody else; hot, sexy and so damn delicious and I want to know him. Desperately.

But then there is Angel Walker who is far from the angelic nature of his name, with eyes so hypnotic that I lose my inhabitation’s just by staring into them. But he is a broken man who just screams sin. He doesn’t want to protect me or care for me, He just wants me.

Do I want the man who can cut through all of my pain or the man who could cause me more?

Fists will fly, hearts will shatter and desire will be fueled.

Characters:

This story consists of three main characters:

Neva – The guilt ridden young woman who is haunted by the nightmares of her past. Shaped by the death of the one man she loved – her father. She is a bit messed up and obviously confused by her attraction to two men.

Angel – Exotic, blue eyed, sex god that she feels a drawn to. She sensed him long before she ever lays on him, an unexplained attraction.

Logan – Her brother’s best friend and self proclaimed protector since she was a child.

My Thoughts:

Though at times I wanted to slap Neva for her foolishness, I found this story to have a compelling mixture of entertainment and turmoil. The author did an excellent job of drawing me into the story, with me laughing one moment and crying the next. I found myself joining Neva on her emotional roller coaster and actually enjoying the ride.

The sex scenes and language are not so explicit that readers would be offended. Yet, the author gives enough detail to hold the attention of someone who is used to much more graphic descriptions.

If you judge books by a moral compass this might not be your cup of tea, but I found it realistic for a college setting. There is hot sweaty sex and enticing sexual moments that left me fanning myself. This is a love triangle so be prepared for a bit of promiscuity.

I expected this to be your typical boy meets girl – girl struggles to decide who she loves, even as I was reading this the ending was so… unexpected. While the cliffhanger was annoying, that is not what left me asking, “What the…” A plot twist that surprises me in a romance is rare. Great job.

To wrap things up let me just reiterate, this book has one heck of a cliffhanger. That being said I would still recommend it. Good news, book two comes out at the end of January.

 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)