Welcome to our blog!
Amy and Jennifer ARE Seduced by Books. We’re both in our 30’s, moms, close friends, work together, and share many of the same interests including our love of reading. Amy grew up in Maryland and has been obsessed with Vampires for as long as she can remember. Jenn grew up in Florida and loves the furry, the fey, and the fangs, in that order. Currently we are both in Orlando, FL. When we can be pulled away from books, Amy loves to bake and Jenn loves to take pictures and scrap.
We decided to create a place where we could direct friends, and acquaintances for, book suggestions/recommendations (Jenn’s been known to talk to strangers on the train while traveling in NYC). Once we started out with a simple page, we evolved from there. Now we are sharing our book reviews, fun comments, recipes, and giveaways. We try to give reviews on new releases, pre-releases, and oldies but goodies that we read, or are reading. We’re going to be adding author interviews for established and up and coming authors soon.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs

Once again, I’m catching up on reading existing series as well as pushing together a review of the series instead of each book individually.
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series was a big one to read on my list because once again, it’s mostly shifters :)

Briggs gives you a strong female living on her own as a ….mechanic. She’s a loner coyote raised by werewolves. She’s forced herself to be independent and doesn’t cow down to the local wolf pack or their Alpha who just happens to live behind her. She finds herself in interesting situations throughout the series when she really just wanted to be left alone. Briggs brings in the difficult politics of a wolf pack and the world of the paranormal as Mercy tries to navigate. 
Being the lower end of her where she was raised, Mercy has worked hard to take self-defense classes and ground herself to being strong. She’s constantly driving the alpha mad in a both humorous ways as well as sensual. Mercy finds herself in trouble several times throughout the series, but she works to get herself out. Very determined to keep that independent streak. Briggs brings in the romantic twist as her alpha wolf can’t deny her, just when things would start to align, she tosses in a triangle to keep you on your toes.  Briggs turns up the heat and adds some fun play with dating.

I enjoyed the banter as well as the feelings Mercy has to deal with to figure out her life. A favorite, as I’ve said before, I love when the series revolves around the main characters in every book. In the third book, Mercy has already battled the vamps and won, the fae and won, but now she battles an emotional tragedy when she is held captive. There are videos to prove what she’s gone through and her alpha has seen them. It’s a rough go but Briggs did this book so well. The reality of things just don’t go away over night and Mercy really has to work through them just was frankly well done. Supporting characters really show their true colors as they help Mercy heal (loved Ben, with out him who knows what would have happened). As Mercy navigates being the 2nd in the wolf pack betrayals will happen. Through it all she fights to defend herself.
Briggs takes every turn and brings in an interesting paranormal mystery, she pulls in every form of other there is and it just blends so well. I look forward to the next in the series (6 Books so far- in order-, Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked). I’d say books 2, 3 and 4 were may favorites so far in the series.  Excited to see where Adam and Mercy end up next and what happens with Samuel and Stefan.

4 slices for the series

Lover Reborn by J R Ward

What I can say about this one is INTENSE – We all loved Wellsie and what she gave back to John and how Tohr gave himself to her when she passed. Knowing this was Tohr’s book, I went in as open minded as I could. We learned more of his past in Lover Mine and Lover Unleashed as we learned about Xhex and No’One.

Ward definitely turned the corners on this book. So much has happened in the story line. The B.o.B. are in full force, the lessers are coming out of the wood work, and the Brothers still have to validate their worth to the glymera. Ward takes Tohr through some crazy Shasta – because he can not let go, he’s hooked Wellsie in between, she can never settle. Not your typical love story – two broken souls just getting by – most of the book (which is set over about a year) Tohr goes through the motions…it’s not working.

What I love about Ward is one book does not end a couple’s story, and what I loved most about this book, probably because Xhex is one of my favorite characters, is John and Xhex. John is just unbelievable. This installment had me looking inside my own life and reflecting. I enjoyed the dive into Xhex and her mom.

I could have smacked Tohr half the time with some of his comments, but then we have all become to love these guys like our own Brothers. In series, they always have a book that is a bridge between the series continuing on, most of the times that bridge, is a small one and insignificant. This book is the fricking Golden Gate. It’s huge and not just in pages, the story line is up, down, around, flips you back, forward, you name it. It’s all good, as I said in the beginning, Intense. That is the only way I can describe it with out giving anything away. I am so looking forward to the next, Quinn and Blay’s book. After the turns of events here in Lover Reborn, it’s going to be another fricking ride for sure!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I fought hard not to read the Hunger Games series. I didn’t want to read a book just because it was popular. Sure, I would get to it, because I’m obsessed with reading, but in time. Then, the movie was coming out and my friend started to ask me if I got them yet…

So I grabbed it. Let me tell you now - Hunger Games is worth all the hype! The concept of districts in North America rebuilding themselves from the revolution but set in a more sci-fi direction was intriguing. Separated into 12 districts and the Capitol, America is not what it seems.

Book 1 starts to explain where we are and how the Hunger Games have come to fruition. Of course, it comes quickly to the action of Katniss and how she has been “selected” to represent District 12. Lives are impacted drastically, as Katniss is stripped from her family. She no stranger to hardship and fighting for her life. Collins manages to quickly wrap you into her characters emotionally. From less than half way through book 1, you are so emotionally vested, I felt like I was on the train and in the capitol. Collins kept the descriptions real, crisp, I could picture it but not overly descriptive where I wanted to skim.

Peeta and Katniss tackle the Games head on. Katniss is amazing. The character dimensions are so deep. On to the bond Katniss and Peeta form, as much as Kat has been through, when it comes to Peeta she assumes the worst. She’s so intuitive to survive and I just wanted her to fall in love. Trust me , I’m not at all disappointed at Book 1, it caught me offguard as I was expecting one thing to come to another. Could Peeta be the ying to her yang?

The Games … wow, you get the craziness of the entire concept, and with it comes the brutality of what is set to occur. It’s a fight for only 1 to survive. Thank goodness I could roll immediately into book 2. Collins just dug into my heart as she ended book 1 – my heart ached.

Book 2 (Catching Fire) is packed. We’re back from the Games, we’re touring and we’re thrown, spinning in the crazy web of the Capitol. Bonds have been formed, everything is on the table to be broken. Collins delivers intense emotion and action. The train, it gets me every time. Again, we’re invested in these characters. The losses we’ve had, having us together again. Collins brings in new characters and tosses up the dynamic.

Once again, Peeta rocks an interview. I don’t want to spoil anything about these books. What I can say is the shake up is insane! Collins in her cliffhanger end, takes it away with this one. I now know why people were so insane to get Mockingjay.

If I thought Book 2 had so much going on, book 3 tosses so much more into this series. Collins has to take you full circle and conclude the series. I would not have imagined she could do it so well in this 1 book. I felt it was a little rushed toward the end, but I was so pleased with the outcome I could overlook it. Although there is no true “game” in this book, there is still heart-wrenching war and destruction. Katniss has to come to terms with herself and her role in this mess while figuring out who to trust. Collins did a remarkable job.

Overall I give this series a 6 – I did not put it down, nor has any of my friends who read it since. Well played, the romance is sweet and the Games are brutal.

On a movie note, I thought the casting is just as I pictured. Well done and I’m anxiously awaiting the next movies. I hope they keep as close to the book as the first did.

On a “Battle Royale” note, I have this on my TBR pile, I heard of it after I read the series. The book holds a similar story line but with out the romance from what I hear and the continuation as we have in Mockingjay. I don’t think Collins “stole” the story, and I hope that Battle Royale is a great read as well. There are many books out there where there is a similar note, and if one does better than another and brings them both to light, that’s cool. The more there is to read the better. Just want our blog readers to know, I’m not in the blind about the book and will read it as well.

“Deep in the meadow, under the willow

A bed of grass, a soft green pillow

Lay down your head, and close your eyes And when they open, the sun will rise.”

Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn


There are so many series/authors I missed while I was ‘not reading’ after I finished school. I can never thank Amy enough for getting me back into reading 3 years ago. That being said, I’m playing catch up and finding great paranormal authors that have been out long before the “Twilight” craze.

Carrie Vaughn is one of those authors I had on my “To Be Read” list. I finally got the chance to start her Kitty Norville series. As you know I’m a fan of the shifters/weres, while I love all the fae, vamps, witches, etc, shifters remain my favorite. I’m going to combine the reviews for the books as one for the series. I read the 9 books (plus short stories) in about a week so the line between what happens in each is a little blurry for me.

Starting out with Kitty and the Midnight Hour we meet our radio talk show host. Kitty Norville is the ost of the late night talk show and dives into the paranormal talking to callers about their wacky experiences. Guess what….KITTY is a werewolf. Yep, that’s right, her name is Kitty and she’s a dog one night a month, and thus you can see Vaughn sets up a humorous line that keeps you smiling throughout the series. Of course, the radio public starts out having no idea she is a wolf. It’s all taken with a grain to the ‘norms’ of the world as she talks freely about the world of Others and only she has to deal with the angry vamps and weres. As Vaughn sets up the characters, book 1 started out just a little slow, but definitely takes off about midway through. Kitty is in a dysfunctional pack. Vaughn manages to give us a female character that isn’t very tough at all and has been a dependent wolf, but you just instantly like her. Tricky Vaughn pulls Kitty into fighting for her place and building her up to be our heroine. And then, some one puts a hit out on her which comes to light right on her show and the world learns she’s a wolf. Of course, just like you will be, America (and her would be assassin) adores their talk show host and they only want more of her.

Vaughn resolves the hit against Kitty and Book 1 ends with a very violent, emotional end. Kitty is a lone wolf roaming America doing her show once a week at various sister radio stations. As book 2 starts, she’s formed an interesting bond with her former assassin and his cousin, her now lawyer. Vaughn keeps the books packed with humor and action. So far, there is just a little heat tossed in. I will say, I truly love a series where the main character is the main character in all the books, you get to know them and watch their character evolve. (The Hollows, Anita Blake, Merry Gentry, Kate Daniels, World of the Lupi, just to name a few) Vaughn definitely does that here, you are watching Kitty go from a terrified wolf to a loner. Kitty ends up in Washington, and just as her wolf secret was outed before publicly, she is yet in another horrible situation. There is always a main mystery/plot and a few subplots to keep you going in Vaughn’s books. Don’t forget, a little humor and a little heat, which we start seeing much more from Kitty here in book 2 and the remaining books.

I won’t take you through a summary of the other 7 books currently out (book 10 due out July 2012) but these first 2 truly set up Kitty’s character with the crucial events surrounding her wolf. Vaughn further develops Kitty into an Alpha, she ends up treating a turned wolf (and close friend), falling in love, getting married, and all while defending her place in the world. Vaughn doesn’t give you the expected in those scenarios either. Vaughn also doesn’t let everything just ‘work out’, just as in reality, there are things Kitty can’t control and she’s not above the law, you also get aggravated when she doesn’t think some things through. Kitty works with vamps, meets odd packs, has a couple more attempts on her life, and works hard to not lose herself.  As I said, action is not lacking in these books, there a win all around. 

 I give the series 4 slices – Start book 1 and I think you will be pleased and looking for more of this little wolf they call Kitty.