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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
tagged: currently-reading
At the King's Pleasure
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2017 Reading Challenge

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Posted by on February 10, 2017

When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites. For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war. When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.

At long last here is my final review of books I read in 2016. I know it seems like I took forever and I did a bit, but here it is. Long live 2017 from now on.

This book was alright, I would not jump up and down and call this my next big vampire series to read but I also didn’t hate it. It is a fast and easy read at only about 190 pages. What kept me from truly being able to fully love this book instead of just feeling lukewarm about it was that everything just felt a little bit on the surface. If the book had been longer, we may have been able to dig into it more, get more connected to the characters and their stories.

Due to the fact that so much of it was just right on the surface there were quite a few plot holes big enough to drive a mack truck through. I hate saying that, but sometimes you have to call a spade a spade. The format is there, the interesting characters and other items that could have really drawn the reader in are all there but they are only lightly touched on. Case in point Nikki is hunting down the Vampire who turned her into a vampire. His name is Thomas, when he came, he killed Nikki’s entire family, but allowed her to not only live but turned her. Why? What was his motivation in doing that? Why not kill her as well, so that he was not leaving someone behind who could seek vengeance upon him? Let alone turning her into a creature like him with long life so that she could basically hold on to that grudge. What was his thinking behind that? It wasn’t like she stayed around as his companion or anything.

Shane also came across as a character that was a little creepy. He was more than happy to have a sexual relationship with someone who looked much younger? I had some of the same issues with Twilight, but at least Edward was dating in his own, age pool per-say. He didn’t look like an adult going out with a teenager. With all of that said, it was not the worst book I have read and even if it was superficial I did enjoy it. I would not be picking on these exact points if I didn’t. I just wanted to enjoy it much more.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 18, 2017

The world is changing.

For thousands of years, witch song has controlled everything from the winds to the shifting of the seasons. But not anymore. All the Witches are gone, taken captive by the dark Witch, Espen.

As the last echoes of witch song fade, Espen grows stronger as winter and summer come within the space of a day. Now she’s coming for the one she missed—a shy, untrained girl of fifteen named Brusenna.

Somehow, Brusenna has to succeed where every other Witch has failed. Find Espen. Fight her. Defeat her.

Or there won’t be anything left to save.

I had such high hopes for this book. I love powerful books where women go on a journey to find themselves, witchcraft is always a plus for me and just the genre in general. The cover was interesting and yes, I know not to judge a book by its cover, but I was judging it in a positive way. Perhaps I went in having hopes that were too high, because for the most part they fell flat. The first red flag for me should have been on the books good read page where the author herself posted a 5 star review that literally just says, “Well, I think it’s fabulous. But I wrote it . . . ;)”. I know it seems petty to mention that, but it is one of my peeves, but I really was excited about the book so I just chalked it up to a very excited author which is understandable and dug into the book.

The main character of the story, the lovely heroine witch Brusenna is pretty 2 dimensional to me. She has everything you expect to see in a book heroine, all the right basics, but beyond that I myself just did not see much depth. I don’t mind having characters that are built on a template base, it is pretty common after all in the different genres. However, what truly makes a character for me is what comes after that template all the good things you pour into the simple base. Brusenna was just kind of there, the base and with that basic base I just really could not find a connection which never bodes well in my opinion for a book I am reading. When the main male character also comes up to be a bit of a basic base without depth like I felt Joshen was, I know I am going to end up sighing. Honestly, there were a few times even though it is a shorter book I thought I would set it down as a DNF but I try not to do that so once more into the breach my friends once more I soldiered on.

There is a lot of action and obstacles and lots of things that have to be overcome through this story. Some of the witch spells, or songs as they are presented were creative and interesting. Some of them weren’t anything new to me, but they still seemed to be built solidly. The fact that they all had to rhyme, well, I have never been a fan of that kind of spell craft, but since it was about songs it got a little bit of a pass. Did I mention that they then throw seeds with the song? Yes, seeds like the things that grow tree’s and flowers and what have you. There were points where I wondered what would happen to a bird if they came along and ate one of those seeds. That might have been amusing.

So before I ramble on anymore about this, the bottom line is while the book did have some bright spots, I really didn’t enjoy it that much. There are a lot of readers who did enjoy it though according to Goodreads. So I will put this one in the try it if you want, but honestly, you might be better off taking a look for a different witch story. This is, as noted by the title, having a #1 in it a series and I know sometimes it can take a little time to get a series rolling. Unfortunately, I myself am not going to be giving any of the other books in this series a read, unless someone forces me to. Another end of 2016 book, another meh feeling.

Glad I only have one more 2016 books to finish the write up for, people are going to start thinking all I read is books that make me go meh.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 11, 2017

There ARE creatures lurking in the dead of night… Seventeen year old Nikki and her twin brother, Nathan, move to the small town of Shore Lake to start over after their mother is brutally attacked. When a missing teenager washes up on shore during their first night at the cabin and there are whispers of vampires in Shore Lake, Nikki begins to realize that there are things roaming in the darkness that are far more sinister than what they left behind in the big city.

This book contains some graphic language, violence, and mild sexual situations.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Another book where I cannot help but giggle that they had to put a little warning disclaimer in the description of the book about adult content. Maybe this is a new trend that I am not aware of? Just last time I checked when you were choosing an Erotica or romance. Now with that said again (sorry about the broken record), time to sink into the review.

This is not the worst book I have ever read, but again like many of the last books I read in 2016 this book just really fell short of what I hoped it would be. This book was so rushed it really felt like perhaps the author was frantic just to get words typed out and shoved into a book. Yes short books are always going to be a little rushed, but with a skilled hand, you can still manage to make them feel less so (I think anyways) and you can deepen the plot and characters.

Nikki is just a one dimensional cut out of hormones that I simply could not connect with. At times I even got flashes of Anita Blake once she started being a bit hyper sexual too (I hope I can bring myself to continue the series after Cerulean Sins), and well that just boded badly. The monsters and other characters of the book all fell pretty flat for me. I rolled my eyes so much when I was reading this one that I was sure they were going to get stuck up there.

The book gets a 2 rating instead of anything lower because there were a few little points that I did enjoy. The idea could be better if it was fleshed out better, if it had not been so rushed awkward and cheesy. Nathan was the character for me that had the most promise, he was a bit better fleshed out for me.

So the short of it is, if you want a fast read that won’t bore you to tears, but is not fully fleshed out you might like this one more then I did. I also find myself once again pleading with Indie/Self published authors, please for the love of all the Gods please stop rushing things. Take the time to make the story longer, to give the characters more life and the plot a bit of time to simmer and truly come together. Instead of making a long series of really short stories just make one or two longer ones. Please. You might take a little bit longer to get it done, but if you spend that extra time on it there is a much bigger chance that you will get loyal readers! That makes the extra time worth it, really it does. Oh, and for the love of Gaia please at least give the story a brief proofread! Please! I beg this on behalf of all readers out there who really do try and support smaller authors. Totally random and not really something that matters this one hurt a little bit extra because the Author is from/in my hometown.



Posted by on January 7, 2017

Iliana Ravensworth was a reluctant but powerful witch while Marcus Swan was an orphan who knew there was something different about him but didn’t know about his warlock bloodline.

And Iliana was about to find him so she could bring him to the Council of magical beings where he could be educated about his powers. Although she did not regularly mingle with other covens or witches except her mother, she has no choice but to follow this directive.

So she went to New Orleans to find this Marcus and hopefully be back to New York on her birthday in Samhain. But the weather did not permit her to leave after finding Marcus and his awesome castle. He was not what she expected–handsome, young, filthy rich and obviously drawn to her, too. And on the eve of Samhain, they shared a kiss.

And that first explosive kiss revealed everything.

Can’t stand the suspense? Download and find out what happens next!

READER ADVISORY: HOW PLEASUREFUL DO YOU LIKE YOUR STORIES? This story contains content that some readers may find objectionable. This includes sex, extended orgasms, and erotic themes. All of the characters are 18 years of age or older.

I was closing out 2016 I was trying to read shorter stories that had been on my TBR pile for a while. This was another short freebie and I thought it would be fun. I really find myself enjoying paranormal romance more lately. So this book looked like it would be a hit for me on every side. Sadly, I was left wanting. The biggest problem with this book is that it is way too short for any real development, and it really does not deal with the paranormal much it is more of a standard Erotica.

The premise of the book is great, two characters bound together and trying to find one another, one a witch the other a warlock. All the ingredients were once again in place, but they just did not seem to come together to make the yummy dish I was hoping for. Sadly, that seemed to be how I was destined to finish my 2016 reading. While I understand this book was meant to be short, even shorter books can make things come together. I wish the writers of these shorter books would give it a little more of a try, make the books a little longer and give the characters a little more time to develop. Overall, it just seems to be a wham bam thank you ma’am situation. They meet they are in bed and that is pretty much the end of it. This book gets two instead of 1 because I did feel there was a huge amount of potential there and I really wanted it all to come together well. Sadly, it didn’t, but it was a freebie so I can’t complain too much.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 6, 2017

When witch for hire, Megan Stephens, is assigned to help the local werewolf pack leader find a mate, she thinks the job will be easy. Get in, get him up and get gone. But when she meets Zack Connor, she realizes her future might have a lot more dog jokes in it than she ever imagined.

This is a short story– approximately 40 pages in length– and includes an excerpt from Love is Darkness, the first book in the Valerie Dearborn series.

**Please be aware that this book contains sex. And not in a fade-to-black-sort-of-way but an-OMG-that’s-in-public-sort-of-way**

Okay, first I have to say I can’t help but giggle a little bit at the fact that I am finding more and more erotica/romance books with the beware of sex in this book listed on the description. Okay, that is just a personal little giggle of mine.

On to the review, I got this as a free book and honestly I am glad that it was free. The premise of this book is good, the idea and the basic components of something that should be a riveting read is all here. It just seems to have all gone sideways somehow. Like a perfectly prepared souffle that then just falls flat. The book is extremely short and all very slap dash put together honestly. You get no depth to the characters of the book, no real plot development and what little plot there is felt very convoluted. It felt like the author just did not know where to put ideas and thought they all needed to be shoved into the smallest shortest group of chapters possible.

I gave a two gem/star rating because the heroine was sassy and what development of her was there was enjoyable. I also gave it that extra star because I really did want to like it. I really wanted everything to come together in a fun fast read. You can of course try it for yourself and perhaps you will like it a bit better then I did.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 5, 2017

What happens when the most beautiful girl in the world marries the handsomest prince of all time and he turns out to be…well…a lot less than the man of her dreams?

As a boy, William Goldman claims, he loved to hear his father read the S. Morgenstern classic, The Princess Bride. But as a grown-up he discovered that the boring parts were left out of good old Dad’s recitation, and only the “good parts” reached his ears.

Now Goldman does Dad one better. He’s reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere.

What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex.

In short, it’s about everything

What is there to day about this classic? I have always loved the Princess Bride both the book and the film. The characters come alive and seem to leap off the page when you read this book. I for one make a point to come back every few years and re-read this favorite. I feel a little silly making such a short review, but really what is there to say about such a classic? It is wonderful, there is everything you could want in a book so it has a wonderful pace. You have action, romance and of course a great deal of humor. Bottom line if you are a rare person who has not read this book yet, well what are you waiting for?

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 3, 2017

Becky Holgate’s lost her focus. It’s complicated…she didn’t mean to fall in love with another woman’s guy. How could she be a matchmaker for other people if all she could think about was her own heart? Determined to ignore her growing infatuation, she set her sight on building her career. Only Reed Amwell was making it hard to concentrate; every encounter left her breathless.

Reed didn’t mean to fall for the curvy girl, but she was carefree, silly, and fresh. Her soft curves and playful heart had him questioning his current relationship. Could he be with the wrong girl? He needed to figure it out fast, because his wedding day was getting closer by the minute.

With a laugh-out-loud best friend, an insane cat, and a business to run, Becky Holgate didn’t have time for guys like Reed Amwell…until time was running out.

This was a fun read, short but very fun. I can’t say that it was a super deep book but cute fast reads generally aren’t all that deep. There are a fair amount of grammar errors in this one and that made it a little tough, but overall it was just a little enjoyable read. Sometimes you just have to enjoy what is going on around you and accept its just something simple.

The heroine is not very deep but I like that she is different from the traditions. Sadly our heroine was not confident at all. She was rather insecure at every turn. That happens and real life can be that way of course, but sometimes you just would rather dive in away from the world. The long and short of things this is an alright book to read but it might not be for everyone.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on January 1, 2017


On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake.

A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.

She is kidnapped to an island where the sun is eternally forbidden to shine.
An island uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet. She wakes here as a slave, a captive in chains.

Sofia’s life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is the one selected out of hundreds of girls to join the harem of Derek Novak, the dark royal Prince.

Despite his addiction to power and obsessive thirst for her blood, Sofia soon realizes that the safest place on the island is within his quarters, and she must do all within her power to win him over if she is to survive even one more night.

Will she succeed? …or is she destined to the same fate that all other girls have met at the hands of the Novaks

I wish I could say this was the first book of the new year right on New years day, alas it isn’t. I am going to post the rest of my reviews from 2016 before diving in and hopefully keeping up on my reviews as I read the books this year!

Ah a new vampire story to sink my teeth into (pun fully intended) and I have to say, although this one has been on my TBR for a long time once I did pull it up I was very excited about it. Sadly. I should not have gotten my hopes up about it. I should have been wary when I heard some of the buzz around it (when I first got it as a freebie), and those who liked it were calling it better then Twilight. Honestly, it is not that hard to be better than Twilight and I say that as someone who actually LIKES Twilight.

While at first look the idea of this book looks very different and unique, once you actually start reading you will end up seeing most of the typical tropes. Maybe if you like that sort of thing you will enjoy it more than I did. Alas, as I went through this fairly short read I just sighed a little. Honestly, I got bored enough at one point I nearly decided to mark it down as a DNF, and I try very hard never to do that.

Now, with all of those complaints stated it is not the worst book I have ever read. There is some potential in the characters and if they were a little more fleshed out the book might actually hold my interest more. It is a YA book so some of those tropes should be expected. My biggest issue with the story is that within only a second of seeing our heroine, Derek the old vampire who just woke up falls in love. Yeah, you read that right, and yes, I know YA has a lot of nearly instant love stories, but this truly was instantaneous and frankly, I thought a vampire who is older than 400 years (he has been asleep for 400) would have more sense than that. The girl I would expect it from but him? Come on now. Of course, his instant love means he won’t feed from her and all of that.

Maybe it gets better, there are a lot more books in the series. Alas, I don’t think I will be reading them, it is very short and the POV switches without warning which just kinda makes for a headache. So I am going to end this review with a GIF I took off another review from good reads. I tried, I really did I wanted to like this book I wanted another Vampire series I could love. Alas, back to the drawing board I will go with that.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on December 31, 2016

In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited to the home. But spirited young Madlen finds her calling as assistant to the city’s trusted midwife, Clara. Working alongside Clara, Madlen develops a surprisingly soothing technique and quickly becomes a talented healer.

After Clara’s tragic death, Madlen alone rushes to assist the birth of a local nobleman’s child. But rather than the joy of birth, Madlen walks into an accusation of murder and witchcraft because of her extraordinary gifts. Forced to flee her own town, she establishes a new identity in the home of her aunt. Yet even though it endangers her life, she cannot resist the urge to help the sick patients who seek out her miraculous treatment. When she meets handsome Johannes—an investigator hired by the Church to bring her to justice for sacrilegious acts—she becomes drawn to the very man who could destroy her.

Will Madlen’s gifts bring about her downfall? Or can love and reason prevail in a time of fearful superstition?

I love a good historical fiction that has a healer in it. This was a fun and fast paced read. The only thing that kept it from being a full 5 gemstone rating for me was that a few of the characters could have used a little more rounding, they were a little bit flat. Overall, however, this was a great read and that flatness could just be something lost in translation.

You can’t help but feel sorry for a wonderful woman like Madlen, especially as things like this did actually happen often back in these times. A woman who knew how herbal medicines worked, how to help calm people while sick and bring them through a bad fever among other things. They were the ones who could help the most and yet they were treated the worst, so many of them killed purely for having knowledge. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but Madlen certainly goes through the ringer. Each and every time that she thinks she has finally found a way she can enjoy life, be happy for a while things turn terrible for her. I know not everyone will agree with me, but I think this book is certainly worth your time to read it.

My Gemstone Rating:

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Posted by on December 30, 2016

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall,
Who is the Fairest of them all?

In the sequel to UnEnchanted, Mina Grime discovers that all is not fair when it comes to the Fae and their tales, especially when they don’t all play by the rules. Barely surviving the Story’s first fairy tale quest, Mina still has hundreds to go before she can end the curse on her family. But a new player arises to challenge Mina while new rules revamp the game she has just barely begun to understand.

All the while, people are mysteriously disappearing, including Jared, whom Mina must finally determine to be friend or foe. And with the loss of her greatest weapon, Mina must try to outwit a deadly hunter. Can Mina survive the most difficult quest yet while protecting those she loves from falling victim to one of the lethal tales of all? Or will she become a pawn when she strikes a bargain with the Queen of Fae

Book two and we are spending time with Mina again as she works on completing the stories and lifting the curse from her family. This time Mina is going to find out that things are even more difficult than she first thought they were, and things were hard before. Mina learns a hard lesson that the Fae especially the Sidhe never play fair when it comes to making deals and getting things their own way, even in their own fairy tales. If Mina didn’t have it hard enough, she loses the Grimoire and Jared, while other people are going missing too.

“Even a pawn can take down a queen.”

This is my favorite sentence from the entire book, of course it is one I have heard before anyways, but I will always like it. Much like the first book of the series I really enjoyed this book. I admit there were a few more things in this one that annoyed me, and that is why I couldn’t give it the full 5 gems. I really wanted to because the book is captivating. It deepens a lot of the characters and it is the kind of book you can enjoy in one short sitting and then move onto the next.

So you ask what annoyed you then Ambrosia?

Sad to say Mina annoyed me a fair amount. I know this is YA and you are going to see that happen with YA, but oh man I just wanted to shake her sometimes. Perhaps that is a reflection on me and getting older. There were a lot of times where Mina was very selfish and so impatient she did more harm than good for things. I hope this is just part of the growth of the character, that her impatience will be something that improves as the series goes. But I will admit for this book, it really did annoy me, she could have saved herself a lot of trouble by being a little bit more patient. Mina did seem to grow a bit near the end of the book, so perhaps that is a glimpse at things to come.

Of course I also just adore Jared, at this point I feel like I enjoy him more than Mina. He is one of those male characters that has depth and you would love to spend time with in real life. To sum it all up, this is a solid installment and enough to make me more than likely read the next in the series soon.

My Gemstone Rating:

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