In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show off their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Swapped:

"Impossible" by Nancy Werlin


This one is supposed to be fantastic!!

"Generation Dead" by Daniel Waters


I've heard a lot of mixed reviews lately of this one, but I guess I'll find out for myself soon!

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery



This is another one I've read great reviews about!


What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

"An Indecent Proposition"


"An Indecent Proposition"
by Emma Wildes

Source: Swapped

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

My review:

This book was so romantic! Emma Wildes was able to mix up a dreamy romance while the relationships remained totally realistic, not to mention there are some very funny parts of the story too.

Lady Caroline Wynn suffered in her arranged marriage. Her dead husband had put her down so forcefully, and often, that she started to believe she was incapable of feeling passion-just like he accused her. When infamous playboys Nicholas Manning, the Duke of Rothay, and Derek Drake, the Earl of Manderville, make a ridiculous bet over who is the better lover, Caroline sees it as a way to find out if her husband was right after all.

It's easy to see where this story will lead as soon as Caroline and Nicholas meet for the first time. The story becomes not about a game or a bet, but a slow, tender journey to love between two people scarred by their past relationships. Caroline was emotionally abused by her husband, and Nicholas was made cynical by his first love who crushed his heart.

I loved how there was a secondary romance and all four of the characters became friends through each other. Derek is a light contrast to Nicholas' serious intensity. He provides a lot of comic relief in his egging on of Nicholas. Derek's love for Annabel is just as strong as what Nicholas and Caroline feel for each other, and he's much more eager to let her know how he feels. But he has a huge mistake from the past that he must make up for before she will give him a chance.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
(love the secondary romance!)
Setting: 4/5
Romance: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5

Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: I was very surprised, considering the premise of the wager, but this was one of the most sweetly romantic books I've read for awhile. I will definitely be reading Emma Wilde's next historical romance!

Waiting On Wednesday (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:
"Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake"
by Sarah MacLean

Avon
Release Date: March 30, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com:



It's a well-known rule that a proper young lady should never steal into the house of a notorious marquess and demand a passionate kiss.

But to romance this rake, Lady Calpurnia Hartwell will break
all the rules.



Many of you might have already read this author's YA book, "The Season." A lot of bloggers have already read this book too and have given it rave reviews! I am on a historical romance binge right now, so I'm eagerly awaiting this one!!

What are you waiting on this week??

Twitter!

I've finally joined Twitter, everyone!!

I'm going to be adding everyone so I can follow all of you via twitter as well!

In the meantime, I'd love it if all of you followed me at https://twitter.com/in_the_hammock


Follow in_the_hammock on Twitter

Thank you and I look forward to your tweets!!

What are You Reading on Mondays (5)


What are You Reading on Mondays is a weekly event at J. Kaye's Book Blog. It's a great way to show everyone what you are reading this week, and maybe what you just finished or are planning to read, too!

Books I finished reading last week:

"Not Quite A Husband" by Sherry Thomas
I loved it! My review is coming soon!



Currently Reading:
"Sold to a Laird" by Karen Ranney
Very good despite the uncomfortable title! And I love the cover :)


I'm on a historical romance binge this week!!

What are you reading this week??

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show off their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Swapped:

"The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein" by Libby Schmais



I've read so many great reviews of this one! It looks so cute!

Won:
"Black Tie Affair" by Sherrill Bodine


I won this one in a Goodreads Firstreads contest, it was sent to me by Hachette books. I love the fashion storyline, it looks so fun!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

"The Amaranth Enchantment"


"The Amaranth Enchantment"
by Julie Berry

Source: Borrowed

My Rating: 5+ out of 5 stars

My Review:

"The Amaranth Enchantment" was an excellent fantasy book with lovable characters, a fast-paced plot, and a swoon-worthy romance!

Lucinda is an orphan, taken in by her uncle and wicked aunt. She is treated like a servant in their house and in their goldsmith shop. One day, everything changes when the mysterious woman known as the Amaranth Witch brings a spectacular gem into their shop to be set. The same day, Lucinda meets Prince Gregor, who is in search of a bauble to give his betrothed, whom he has never even met. Combine the magical world of the Amaranth Witch, the handsome and gallant Prince Gregor, a lovable street rat named Peter, and an endearingly loyal goat who thinks he's a dog, and you get one fantastic story!

I loved all of the characters in this book, and the way they were all so cleverly intertwined in each other's lives. Lucinda was a strong-willed heroine who had been through a lot, but she still had a soft and tender heart underneath it all. She wasn't so strong and hardened that she couldn't cry or be vulnerable with her emotions.

Lucinda's romance (almost a love triangle, actually) was just exactly what I love to read. Gregor and Lucinda's special night at the Winter Festival is exactly what every young girl dreams of. Gregor's small gestures of affection were heart stopping and really stood out as very romantic.

Peter was a lovable rascal and he was just like a cute puppy who you could never really be angry with no matter how many times he messes up. And Dog, the goat, practically steals the entire show-what a hero!

The only complaint I could possibly have about this book is that it could have been longer and the characters and situations even more fleshed out. There was so much to love, all of the scenes could have been even more in depth. However, the simplicity and innocence of the book was one of its charms.


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line:
I loved this book and will definitely put it on my keeper shelf! The characters really put this story over the top!

Contest Reminder!! "Gone" by Michael Grant

Just a reminder in case you haven't entered the contest to win "Gone" by Michael Grant yet!



Contest ends Jan 31st!!

Good luck!

Win "Glee" Soundtrack at Teens Read and Write!

Contest Alert!!

Enter to win your choice of either of the Glee Soundtracks at Teens Read and Write! Let's support this awesome blog run by some great people, Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory!!

Tell them "In the Hammock Blog" sent you and we'll both get extra entries!!

Good luck!!

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:
"Jekel Loves Hyde"
by Beth Fantaskey

Harcourt Children's Books
Release Date: May 3, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com:


Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship. To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.

Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde isn't the most obvious choice for the inspiration for a YA novel, and I think that's part of what makes this book so intriguing to me. Also, I love the fact that the heroine is wearing glasses on the cover, that's so cool!! Is she an unconventional, intelligent beauty?? I can't wait to find out all about Jekel and Hyde.

What are you waiting for this week??

In My Mailbox (9)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show off their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Swapped:

"Alice I Have Been" by Melanie Benjamin


This novel is based on Alice in Wonderland, I've been waiting to read this one for so long!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??

Don't forget to enter my contest to win "Gone" by Michael Grant!! The giveaway ends Jan 31!! Good luck and thanks for entering!

Waiting on Wednesday (7)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:
"13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale"
by Shannon Delany

St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: June 22, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com:

Something strange is stalking the small town of Junction… When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort. The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.

This book sounds great, I can't wait for it to come out! I've heard great things about this one already and it hasn't even been released yet! Gotta love a werewolf story :)

What are you waiting on this week??

What Are You Reading on Mondays (4)



What are You Reading on Mondays is a weekly event at J. Kaye's Book Blog. It's a great way to show everyone what you are reading this week, and maybe what you just finished or are planning to read, too!

Books I finished reading last week:

"Seduced by His Touch" by Tracy Anne Warren
(My Review)

Currently Reading:

"The Amaranth Enchantment" by Julie Berry

What are you reading this week??

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show off their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Swapped:

Seducing the Heiress by Olivia Drake

I've read a lot of great reviews of this one! Can't wait to read it!

"Sorcery and Cecilia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot" by Patricia C. Wrede

I've loved everything I've read by this author, I hope this series is great too!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week?

"Seduced by His Touch"


"Seduced by His Touch"
by Tracy Anne Warren

Source: Bought

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Lord Jack Byron agrees to marry spinster-ish Grace Danvers in order to erase a large gambling debt owed to her father. However, Grace's father knows she won't agree to the situation outright. So Jack must win her heart before proposing. Jack starts to fall hard for Grace as he courts her, but will she still be in love with him if she finds out their entire courtship is based on a bet?

I liked that the focus was on the romance in this story, instead of a subplot, but the hero and heroine weren't likeable in my opinion. Jack was like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde to me. When he was good, he was so sweet-a loving and doting suitor to Grace. But when he was bad, he was so mean to her and did some really unforgiveable things. This back and forth made him unlikeable to me, I couldn't really appreciate the good things he did towards the end because I was already turned off. Poor Grace, I just felt sorry for her for most of the book. In the beginning, I felt bad because Jack was completely deceiving her. And then Jack just used her over and over again.


Main Characters: 2/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
(there weren't really any that stood out)
Setting: 3/5
Romance: 2/5
Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
(awww, pretty)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line:
The writing was strong, but this book would have been better for me with a more honorable hero and a stronger heroine. I'm a fan of a sweeter, very romantic story, and this one didn't live up for me.

Waiting On Wednesday (6)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose:
"Everlasting"
by Angie Frazier

Scholastic Press
Release Date: June 1, 2010

The following description is from Goodreads.com:


Sailing aboard her father’s trade ship is all seventeen-year-old Camille Rowen has ever wanted. But as a girl of society in 1855 San Francisco, her future is set: marry a man she doesn’t love, or condemn herself and her father to poverty.

On her final voyage before the wedding, the stormy arms of the Tasman Sea claim her father, and a terrible family secret is revealed. A secret intertwined with a fabled map, the mother Camille has long believed dead, and an ancient stone that wields a dangerous—and alluring—magic.

The only person Camille can depend on is Oscar, a handsome young sailor whom she is undeniably drawn to. Torn between trusting her instincts and keeping her promises to her father, Camille embarks on a perilous quest into the Australian wilderness to find the enchanted stone. As she and Oscar elude murderous bushrangers and unravel Camille’s father’s lies, they come closer to making the ultimate decision of who—and what—matters most.

Beautifully written and feverishly paced, Everlasting is an unforgettable journey of passion, secrecy, and adventure.


This book sounds so good! I love a high seas adventure any day! And a handsome sailor is a great bonus! The cover is so adorable too, it reminds me of The Little Mermaid.

What are you waiting on this week??

My First Contest!!!

CONTEST HAS ENDED.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ENTERED.

Giveaway!!

"Gone" by Michael Grant

(My review)



To celebrate 50 followers on my blog, I am having a contest to give away my copy of "Gone" by Michael Grant. I bought this paperback copy new and it has been read only once! A lot of readers left comments about this book in this week's In My Mailbox post, so I decided to give away my copy to a lucky commenter!

Since this is my first contest, the rules are super easy!! First, I'm sorry to international readers, but this contest will be for the US only. You must be a follwer to enter, just leave me a comment with your email address so I can reach you if you win! Winners will have 5 days to contact me after I send the email, otherwise another winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen via random.org.

Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • Ends Jan 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

"Gone"

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!
I'm giving away my copy of "Gone" to one lucky reader! Click here for the contest!


"Gone"
by Michael Grant

Source: Bought

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

My Review:

The kids of Perdido Beach suddenly-very suddenly-find themselves alone. Everyone over age 14 has disappeared without a trace. It's up to the kids to make their own society to keep themselves alive. Most of the kids want Sam to lead them, but he's not sure he's comfortable in the role. His new friends, Astrid and Edilio, and his best friend, Quinn, have to help convince him to take his place as the leader of their newfound society, as well as struggle to stay alive amidst chaos, bullies, and the strange students from rival school, Coates Academy. Did I mention that Sam can shoot lightning bolts from his hands? And he's not the only one with supernatural powers.

I think this book just wasn't my style more than anything else, but I do enjoy most YA fiction so I wanted to share my honest feelings about the book. I didn't realize that the teens in this book were so young, only 14. I also didn't know there would be so much violence.

The main reason that I didn't really enjoy this book was because of the violence. There is a lot of violence in this book, the author does not gloss over any gory details. Also, there are some downright evil characters with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The line between good and evil is very clear cut here. The teens are either very good or very bad. In fact, there were only one or two charcters who struggled with whether or not they were on the side of good or evil. Those characters, Quinn and Orc, really stand out as the most interesting to me.

This book definitely took some cues from "Lord of the Flies", so it didn't seem like a totally new concept. Also, I really felt like I as reading James Patterson's "Maximum Ride" all over again, although I did enjoy this book more.

The writing in the book was good and I liked the fact that there were so many characters to read about. Each one was fully fleshed out. I liked the way that the characters were split up into different subplots before coming together at the end. I was most interested in Lana, left stranded in the woods with her dog, Patrick, after the 'poof.' Also, I liked Albert and the way he took over running the McDonalds to keep everyone fed. I found the main characters, Sam, Astrid, and Caine, pretty average and I didn't like reading about Mary changing diapers at the day care at all.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5
Romance: 2/5
Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
(Love it! The picture is beautiful and the yellow is so eye grabbing!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line:
Mostly I was turned off by the graphic details of violence and too much detail about dirty diapers, etc. However, the writing was great and fast-paced, and I can see how someone with different tastes would enjoy the story.


What are You Reading on Mondays (3)


What are You Reading on Mondays is a meme from J. Kaye's Book Blog. It's a great way to show everyone what you are reading this week, and maybe what you just finished or are planning to read, too!

Books I finished reading last week:

"When Seducing the Duke" by Kathryn Smith
(My Review)


"Gone" by Michael Grant
Review Coming Soon!

"A Dog Named Christmas" by Greg Kincaid
Review Coming Soon!

Currently Reading:

"An Indecent Proposition" by Emma Wildes

"Seduced by His Touch" by Tracy Anne Warren

I have so many reviews to catch up on! I'll be posting a lot of reviews during the week!

What are you reading this week??


"When Seducing A Duke"


"When Seducing a Duke"
by Kathryn Smith

Source: Bought

My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

After her father's death, Rose Danvers and her mother are under the protection of Greyden Kane, the Duke of Ryeton. The Duke is scarred from a scorned lover slashing his face, and has become reclusive. He hates the society he used to be a part of and will only appear in public wearing a mask. Rose is one of the few people he allows to see his face. Rose has always loved and respected Grey for taking her mother and herself into his home when they had no where else to go. She has no idea that Grey loves her too, but has put her so high on a pedestal that he feels unworthy of her love and she has become untouchable.

I personally love a really sweet romance, and this book just wasn't sweet enough for me. It was quite the opposite, really. I was turned off by all the cursing and vulgar language.

In the beginning of the book, I thought I was really going to enjoy the story. I love a scarred hero and Grey practically worshipped the ground Rose walked on at the beginning. I thought this would be a hero that I would find irresistible. But as soon as he learned of Rose's feelings for him, his personality changed completely. He became grouchy and the book went downhill for me.

Another thing missing in this story for me was a sense of humor and a strong supporting cast. The Duke's brother, Archer, did provide some much needed comic relief, but the overall tone of the story was a bit too melancholy for me.

Kathryn Smith's writing is always great and I liked how there was no silly side story about stolen jewels or spies, the focus was on the romance.

Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 2/5
(with the exception of Archer who is a 5!)
Setting: 3/5
Romance: 2/5
Uniqueness: 2.5/5
Cover: 5/5
(Love it! The picture is beautiful and the yellow is so eye grabbing!)
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: Overall, the sad tone and overuse of vulgar language turned me off of this book. If Kathryn Smith wasn't one of my favorite authors, I might not have finished this one.

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show off their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

Bought:

"Perfect Chemistry" by Simone Elkeles

I've been wanting to read this book for a long time! I've read so many great reviews! It's sort of kind of a modern take on Romeo and Juliet!


Swapped:


"Secrets of a Christmas Box" by Steven Hornby

Yes, I'm still in the holiday spirit! I swapped this book on paperbackswap and was so surprised to see that it is autographed by the author too!! I've seen great reviews for this book as well!

What did you receive in your mailbox this week??
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