#BSMPhotoADay - January Edition & Giveaway!

Aaaaaaand we’re back with a new #BSMPhotoADay! Woohoo!
Let’s kick the year off with fun photo prompts AND a giveaway shall we?!

It’s super easy peasy to join our challenge! First, take the picture above and share it on Instagram to let your friends know you’ll be joining! :) 
Then all you have to do is take a picture each day with the photo prompt of the day. For example, the first day of January is ‘Bookish goals’ so you’d simply take a picture of your bookish goals. It can be your tbr list for 2015, or a book you’d like to read in January…. anything! Once you take the picture, upload it to Instagram or Twitter and tag us @Booksoulmates and use hashtag #BSMPhotoADay. Remember, this month you’ll be entered to win a $15 Amazon gift card so make sure you use that hashtag and tag us! Giveaway open to international book lovers too! Good luck lovelies!

  • This challenge is conducted on Instagram, but you're welcome to join via Twitter or Facebook.
  • Please tag all photos with #BSMPhotoADay.
  • Please feel free to tag us in your pics as well @Booksoulmates
  • This giveaway is open to international book lovers.
  • The gift card will be purchased on Amazon and will be emailed to the winner.
  • The winner will be announced the beginning of February on a separate post and on Instagram so remember to check back!
Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions on any of our daily prompts!
Have fun and see you on Instagram!


Top Ten Tuesday 12.30.14

This week’s topic is:
Top Ten Goals/Resolutions For 2015 -- bookish, blogging or otherwise!
Vanessa Signature
My top ten goals for this year are…
1. Read 40 books - The past few years have sucked for me in regards to reading. I’d like to get back to my happy hobby so I’m going to push myself to read at least 40 books. This may not sound like much to some but for me it’s quite a bit lol.
2. Review the majority of the books I read. I usually don’t like to review books but I feel like I’ve finally found ‘my voice’. At last!
3. Be consistent with posts.
4. Create new features for the blog.
5. Make more time for myself as well as family and friends. ♥
6. Call Isalys more! And hopefully go visit her this year. #IMissMyBestie
7. Lose weight and get healthy.
8. Manage my time better
9. Make more money!
10.  Vacation more :)
Isalys Signature
Isalys has one main goal:
To take a break! She wants to step back from blogging a bit and focus on her personal life. Don’t fret though! She’ll still be around. Just not as much as usual. :)
What are YOUR goals for the coming year? :)

Our 2015 Reading Challenge

{Cr: http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458}
Hi guys! This year Isalys and I have decided to keep things rather simple in regards to challenges so when we came across this one hosted by Pop Sugar we thought ‘Perfect!’. When you look through the list it seems both doable and challenging which we love!
So how about you guys? What challenges will you guys  be doing? :)


Cover Reveal: Ricochet by Keri Lake

Expected Release Date: Spring 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance (Standalone)
Image credit: Specular

I can't even deal with how hot this cover is!!! -♥Isalys
The only sure way to destroy a man is to take what he cannot live without.

Three years ago, I had everything.

A beautiful wife.
A son.
A reason for living.

Until a ruthless task force, assembled under Mayor Michael Culling, with a brutal strategy to make the streets of Detroit ‘safe’, ripped away everything I loved in a deadly hunt called The Culling.

They tried to kill me, too. I wish they had. Now I’m cursed by the memories of that night, and the words I whispered to my dying wife.

A promise—to avenge the wrong and set it right.

I’m no longer Nick Ryder. I’m a masked vigilante. Faceless. Loveless. Fearless. A man with nothing left to lose—one who’s seen the dark and violent truth behind the city’s flawless veneer.

Michael Culling doesn’t know who I am. Or what I want. All he knows is that I’ve kidnapped his beautiful wife.

An eye for an eye—isn’t that how the saying goes? And Aubree Culling is the perfect pawn to destroy him.

If she doesn’t destroy me first.

To be notified when the book goes live, join Keri Lake’s VIP EMAIL LIST!!
WARNING:  Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to graphic violence, sex and strong language.


Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

Welcome to the official blog tour for THE REAL THING by Cassie Mae

THE REAL THING Written by Cassie Mae
Published by Flirt
August 19, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-553-39253-1

In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had. 

Get your copy of THE REAL THING

(from Chapter Two)

It’s been three hours since I’ve turned our sauna into an icebox. I keep waiting for Em to crawl out of her room to congratulate me on my newly formed handyman skills, or follow through on that threat she made, but it’s been pretty quiet. She closed the door and I don’t know if she’s taking a nap or what, but that little ego boost she gave me earlier has sort of faded into oblivion. Maybe she wasn’t as thrilled to spend time with me as I was with her. Or maybe she thinks I’m boring. Maybe it’s still weird, and we’re adjusting to seeing each other after so long.
     Or maybe I’m just being a damn pussy.
     I hoist myself off the couch, tossing the remote behind me. The sweat from earlier left my clothes damp, and now that it’s about twenty degrees cooler, it causes a chill to run up my spine. I check over my shoulder before lifting my arm up to sniff my pit. Shit, no wonder . . . she could probably smell my hard work the second I came back inside.
     Grabbing the bottom of my cold, sweat-riddled shirt, I pull it off on my way to the bathroom. Hopefully she’ll hear the shower and know I’m doing something about the stink, and that it’ll be safe to venture out as soon as I get my sweaty ass washed.
     Her door opens with a bang, and I bolt into the bathroom so she doesn’t see me. I know it’s stupid, but give me ten pounds more muscle and twenty pounds less fat, and maybe I’ll be okay with her catching me without a shirt on.
     “Hey Eric!” she calls from her room.
     “Uh, yeah?”
     “Could you come here for a second?”
     My hands fumble over my counter for cologne, deodorant . . . something, just let me find something. “Give me a minute . . .” I dive for the counter under the sink and praise the heavens when I spot the air freshener. I know I told her I’d be living like I normally do, but as I spray the air freshener out in front of me and walk through it, then do it three more times, I’m pretty sure I lied. After a few sprays on my shirt, I tug it back on, rolling it down my torso.


Cassie Mae is a full-time writer and mother from Utah. She loves being glued to the computer, thinking up new stories, and writing the day away while the kids run wild at her feet. When she finished her first novel, she started a blog that now gets more than five thousand hits a month. Her group blog is also dedicated to reaching out to aspiring authors by providing critiques and other marketing tools to help them succeed in the industry. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Connect with Cassie
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Pinterest 

Connect with Flirt
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

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Review: One Past Midnight by Jessica Shirvington

Title: One Past Midnight
Publication:  July 22, 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Reviewed by: Isalys
Rating:  5 Stars
Reason for Reviewing:  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Above all else, though I try not to think about it, I know which life I prefer. And every night when I Cinderella myself from one life to the next a very small, but definite, piece of me dies. The hardest part is that nothing about my situation has ever changed. There is no loophole.

Until now, that is...

For as long as she can remember, Sabine has lived two lives. Every 24 hours she Shifts to her ′other′ life - a life where she is exactly the same, but absolutely everything else is different: different family, different friends, different social expectations. In one life she has a sister, in the other she does not. In one life she′s a straight-A student with the perfect boyfriend, in the other she′s considered a reckless delinquent. Nothing about her situation has ever changed, until the day when she discovers a glitch: the arm she breaks in one life is perfectly fine in the other.

With this new knowledge, Sabine begins a series of increasingly risky experiments which bring her dangerously close to the life she′s always wanted... But just what - and who - is she really risking?

Sabine is unlike anyone she's ever known.  Every night, at precisely midnight, she is transported to a parallel world where she lives an entirely different life for 24 hours.  Her name and physical appearance remain the same, but she has different families, different friends, different lifestyles. In her Roxbury life, she's a bit of a punk/delinquent who has a strained relationship with her family but a little sister she adores.  In her Wellesley life, she's a rich socialite who despite her parent's divorce, maintains a good relationship with both of them, although her big brothers are jerks to her. She, along with her two best friends, rule the school and is of course dating the most popular boy!  She's spent 18 years of her life bouncing from one life to another and she hates it.

Sabine wants nothing more than to be normal.  To have one life, no matter how imperfect it may be that she can focus all her attention on; one life where the people in it know who she really, truly is (not this person with the world's biggest secret).  She's accepted the duality of her life if only because she can't do anything about it, until one little glitch changes everything.

One day while hanging out with a friend in her Roxbury life, she trips and breaks her arm.  That night, at midnight, she "quantum leaps" into her Wellesley life fully expecting her injury to carry over as it always does except that this time, it didn't.  She hatches a dangerous plan to begin testing her theory that if she can eliminate one version of herself, she can carry on as the other.

What really got my attention when I decided to read this book was the notion of one person living parallel lives.  I'd never read a book set in parallel worlds before and I'm so glad I started with this one.  I really admired Sabine's ability to be so strong and composed while managing her two vastly different lives without confusing her memories or blowing her cover.  It would be a lot for anyone to keep up with!  I loved that Jessica Shirvington managed to write the same person in two entirely different lights and still make her wholly likable in both.

The plot is seemingly simple. To try to find a way to rid herself of one life so she can live the other...but how do you decide which life is the one worth living?  Do you go with the obvious choice if it means losing people you love but gaining uncertainties?  She thinks she knows which one she wants to live out, but in trying to determine if this is even possible for her, things begin to shift and the life that she thought she no longer wanted is now far more appealing when a guy named Ethan walks into it....and most importantly, tells her he believes her and he believes in her!

There are two guys in Sabine's lives; one in each respectively.  But it's Ethan in her Roxbury life that steals the show and her heart (and mine too!).  What started as a friendship not only evolved into love, but into something so meaningful and profound that it changes her entire view on the meaning of life!  Toward the end of the book, Jessica Shirvington wrote one of the most heartbreaking and beautiful scenes I had ever read, and I relived those moments in my memory long past my bedtime.
By the end, I think I had more questions than answers, like why did Sabine have two lives? Was she the only one or did other people also have multiple lives and just didn't know it?  You know what though, I was okay with that because these are some pretty heavy questions and if our first-person narrator doesn't know the answer than I can't expect to know it either.  I guess there are some mysteries that life prefers to keep a secret!

One Past Midnight is a wonderfully written, riveting, and unquestionably clever story filled with unexpected twists that will have YOU thinking about the depth of life and love.


Author Friend In Need!

Hi friends!

I'm going to go off script for a moment here because I'd like to let the book community know about an author friend in need.

I recently learned that romance author, Kristine Cheney has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of invasive ductal carcinoma, a common but malignant form of breast cancer.  Sadly, she does NOT have any health insurance and to qualify for any medical assistance through her hospital, she is required to quit her job. 

Just last year, her young granddaughter (2 years old) also fought a battle against Leukemia and thankfully she is now in remission.

As you can imagine, she and her family have faced some very serious personal challenges and the long road continues, not only with regard to her own health but her finances as well.

I was not asked to write this.  I was not asked to share her story.  I was not asked to donate anything.  I wanted to write this post because I know her to be a really sweet lady who needs help but doesn't ask for it.  Another friend of hers started a fundraiser to help raise money to help cover the MANY daunting medical expenses that she'll have coming up and I made a small donation.

Please do not feel any obligation to donate money!  A kind word on her page or a share on Facebook or Twitter would be equally great!
If you are interesting in donating though, you can find her fundraising page HERE

Get to know Kristine a little better by find her on own site or on her Facebook Fan Page.

Thank you!

Blast: Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz

Witch Hunter Olivia
by T.A. Kunz

In the town of Piedmont Pointe, where paranormal is the norm, a girl can easily get herself in over her head with a single wrong move. Unfortunately for Olivia Adams, she’s about to make several.

Starting over is never easy, but it seemed like the only option to Olivia. The decision to turn her back on the Guild of Witch Hunters, the very group she devoted her entire life to, was one of the hardest things she ever did. It meant leaving her family, her friends, and her old identity behind forever. Coming to terms with what caused her to abandon her duties in the first place was even harder.

While trying to lay low and stay off the Guild’s radar, Olivia finds herself thrust back into her old ways after unknowingly interrupting an assassination hit on a powerful witch. What follows is the last thing she ever thought she’d agree to do—protect the very thing she was groomed to hunt.

To complicate things even further, Olivia begins to develop feelings for a tattoo artist who also happens to be half warlock, and no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she can’t resist her inescapable draw to him. Olivia’s forbidden relationship isn’t her only issue though, because once the mystery behind the assassination attempt starts to unravel, she’s forced to choose sides when the loyalties still tied to her past life are tested again.

So much for the idea of a fresh start.

 Here's what New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors are saying about Witch Hunter Olivia by T.A. Kunz:
"Witch hunters and sexy tattoo artists? This New Adult Paranormal is EVERYTHING fans of romance and action are looking for."
- #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout

"A fun, action-packed, enjoyable read!"
- New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack

"The perfect blend of New Adult and Paranormal. It's absolutely fantastic!" - New York Times bestselling author Nichole Chase

AmazonAmazon UKAmazon AUSB&NiBooksKobo

Author T.A. Kunz has always had a fondness for reading thrilling mysteries and action-packed urban fantasies. So, it was no surprise when T.A. decided to write stories that they’d fall into one of those two genres. T.A. lives in Central Florida with two fur babies and a mechanical engineer who also happens to be quite the culinary badass, which there are no complaints about. Being a self-diagnosed caffeine addict, many joke that T.A.’s addiction to Starbucks coffee will likely be their downfall later in life.

Review: Anthem's Fall by S.L. Dunn

Title: Anthem’s Fall
Author: S.L. Dunn
Publication: Prospect Hill Press, July 2014
Reviewed by: Stephanie
Rating: 4 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review
Above a horrified New York City, genetics and ethics collide as the fallen emperor and a banished exile of the same herculean race ignite into battle over the city’s rooftops. In the streets below, a brilliant young scientist has discovered a technology that can defeat them both, yet might be more terrible than either.

Set both in modern New York City and in the technologically sophisticated yet politically savage world of Anthem, Anthem’s Fall unfurls into a plot where larger than life characters born with the prowess of gods are pitted against the shrewd brilliance of a familiar and unlikely heroine.

A story of beings with the strength of gods causing the genocide of neighboring planets while tampering with genetic organisms to further their own race...um yeah, that sounds like my kind of book. When I read the synopsis for this book I was extremely impatient to devour each page. The beginning starts off very slow so please keep with the story and soldier through. I know I kept having to stop and refresh myself with a caffeinated beverage before diving back into Kristen Jordan's chapters in the story. I’m not sure what I didn’t like about this character. Maybe it was that I didn’t really get to know her much and she just sounded a bit white and black with no shades of grey. I wanted her to become a kick ass character or shock me, but nope... all she did was blush when people said she looked way too young. I still have faith she could redeem herself in the second book so fingers crossed.

I truly enjoyed the chapters about Anthem and the Primus race. I found that whole Sejero upgrade race thing fascinating and how the Felixes turned on their masters. These scenes were kinda gory but I’m not a squeamish type so if you are just a heads up. I just wanted more backstory about this savage planet and the inhabitants that coldly devalue other’s life that are not Primus. Perhaps I’m partial to science fiction intergalactic alien themes and just wanted more Anthem but was only given a glance. I know...I know, patience young padawan. Haha.

The recurring thought that drifts off the pages is just how far, for example, will the human race go to tamper with genetics? Indeed that is the question and very valid one at that. I think what freaked me out the most about this story was the possibility of creating a life form such as an animal or human with unmeasurable strength. I can hear that scene in Jurassic Park where Dr. Malcolm says, “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.” I think we rarely think if we should and in the case of Anthem, they fall victim to that same scenario. Well, before I get way off track here, let’s talk about the ending and the book as a whole, shall we?

The ending was just WOW and UGH and now I am left wanting mooooore! You wicked wicked author, S.L. Dunn! I know that I didn’t quite tell you what happened, but that would ruin the ending and we can’t have that. *wink* Just be prepared for what may come and is probably not what you expect at all. Okay, I’m done with the hints. You will get no more out of me unless you have a cookie. *sinister grin* Yes...yes I could tell you more for some cookies. *rubs hands together* Muahahaha!

Moving on to the book as a whole. Well, what can I say other than, this book has it’s dull moments which are in the very beginning, but once that is in your back mirror, it’s action scenes with super strength giants, creepy blue eyed murderous Felixes, a hunky exiled royal hero, bloody battlegrounds in Anthem/Chicago/New York, and cool Sejero names like Gravitas and Vengelis. So if these themes appeal to you, then I suggest you definitely get a copy of Anthem’s Fall today. I look forward to reading the next book, Herculaneum.

Blast: Blind Spot by Laura Ellen

Blind Spot


There’s none so blind as they that won’t see.
Seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni’s body floated to the surface of Alaska’s Birch River six months after the night she disappeared. The night Roz Hart had a fight with her. The night Roz can’t remember. Roz, who struggles with macular degeneration, is used to assembling fragments to make sense of the world around her. But this time it’s her memory that needs piecing together—to clear her name... to find a murderer.

This unflinchingly emotional novel is written in the powerful first-person voice of a legally blind teen who just wants to be like everyone else.
Available now at these fine retailers in eBook and Hardcover, and in paperback on
June 10, 2014
Bio: Laura Ellen writes YA contemporary mysteries and thrillers from her home in Arizona, while also freelancing as a manuscript consultant for aspiring authors. She has a MA in Children's Literature and began her career as a teacher in both Language Arts and special education. Diagnosed with juvenile macular degeneration as a teen, she drew upon her own experiences with vision loss to write her debut YA thriller Blind Spot, an emotional and suspenseful page-turner. Laura is represented by Jill Corcoran at Jill Corcoran Literary Agency and is part of the Sleuths, Spies, and Alibis blog crew. Want to know more about Laura Ellen? Go to www.lauraellenbooks.com or catch her on twitter @lauraellenbooks or facebook
One Winner will get signed copies of BLIND SPOT and DEAR TEEN ME as well as a BLIND SPOT swag pack that includes, gum, magnet and magnifying glass bookmark.
Open to US Only | Must Be 13 + to enter.
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Review: The Sound by Sarah Alderson

Title: The Sound
Publication:  May 13th 2014 by Simon Pulse
Reviewed by: Taryn
Rating: 3 stars
Reason for Reviewing: Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review.
When aspiring music journalist Ren Kingston takes a job nannying for a wealthy family on the exclusive island of Nantucket, playground for Boston's elite, she's hoping for a low-key summer reading books and blogging about bands. Boys are firmly off the agenda.

What she doesn't count on is falling in with a bunch of party-loving private school kids who are hiding some dark secrets, falling (possibly) in love with the local bad boy, and falling out with a dangerous serial killer...

The gripping new stand-alone novel from the author of Hunting Lila.

Ren Kingston, an almost-18-year-old aspiring music journalist, takes a summer job nannying for a wealthy family on Nantucket Island. Ren is from Bromley, a South London suburb, and life with the Tripp family couldn’t be any more different than she’s used to. The Tripps may have hired a nanny, but they still plan to send baby Braiden to daycare and 4-year-old Brodie to camp, so Ren’s nanny services are only really needed in the mornings and evenings. The rest of her time, including most weekends, is free. This is great news to Ren, who is looking forward to a quiet, mellow summer as she recovers from a heartbreak. 

However, Ren soon finds herself swept up with a group of young and rich private school kids, attending parties and cozying up to handsome and preppy Jeremy Thorne. Despite her plans to swear off boys for the summer, Ren spends a lot of time with Jeremy and also starts getting to know the local “bad boy”, Jesse Miller, at the same time. Jeremy and his friends don’t like Jesse and warn Ren to stay away from him. It turns out that Jesse has spent time in juvie in the past due to beating up one of Jeremy’s good friends. But Ren has a strange feeling that there’s more to Jesse’s story than everyone lets on, and she’s not really sure who on the island she can truly trust. When young, foreign nannies start being attacked and left for dead on the beach, Ren’s hopes for a peaceful summer are ruined. Will she survive the summer, or will the Nantucket Nanny serial killer strike again? 

The Sound was a fast-paced read that I flew through in just one day. The first few pages hooked me with a suspenseful prologue in which Ren was trying to escape a dangerous man (a glimpse of what was to come!). Then it flashed back to the present day, and I was immediately intrigued by the vivid setting and the interesting cast of characters. 

I had a pretty good idea who the serial killer would turn out to be, so the big reveal wasn’t much of a surprise to me in the end. And actually, the serial killer plot didn’t seem to get as much attention as the romantic/love triangle plot over the course of the book, so the whole story felt a little off balance to me. But ultimately, The Sound was an entertaining read that I would recommend to fans of contemporary YA thrillers.

Happy Release Day: Tease by Sophie Jordan

Tease (The Ivy Chronicles #2)

A young college woman gets schooled in life, sex, and love in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s sizzling New Adult romance series—where three Ivy League suite-mates testing their boundaries as they seek higher knowledge of just how far they can go.

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She’s always chosen her hook-ups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:

Never let them see the real you.
Never fall in love.
Always leave them begging for more.

Then comes Shaw. A hotty from the wrong side of the tracks, he’s immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn’t even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy dark-eyed bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, she finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she’s throwing out her rulebook. Suddenly, she’s the one panting for a guy she can’t control. A guy who won’t settle for anything less than the real Emerson, who forces her to do things she’s never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more . . .


Review: House of The Rising Sun by Kristen Painter

Title: House of The Rising Sun (Crescent City #1)
Publication: May 13, 2014 by Orbit
Reviewed by: Isalys
Rating:  4 Stars
Reason for Reviewing:  ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
Augustine lives the perfect life in the Haven city of New Orleans. He rarely works a real job, spends most of his nights with a different human woman, and resides in a spectacular Garden District mansion paid for by retired movie star Olivia Goodwin, who has come to think of him as an adopted son, providing him room and board and whatever else he needs.

But when Augustine returns home to find Olivia's been attacked by vampires, he knows his idyllic life has comes to an end. It's time for revenge—and to take up the mantle of the city's Guardian.

House of The Rising Sun is a spin-off off Kristen Painter's exciting Urban Fantasy series, House of Comarré.  In this series, we get to know previously introduced characters better as we follow their adventures in 'Nawlins'.

If you're familiar with House of Comarré then you already know that Augustine is Mortalis' half-brother, which also makes him part-shadeux and part-smokesinger fae.  He's returned home to New Orleans after having fled for helping Chrysabelle (our heroine in House of Comarré) enter Claustrum (a fae realm that non-fae are not allowed to visit).  He's just getting settled when he learns that a vampire infestation has taken over the city and killed someone he deeply cared about.  This turn of events forces him to become the new Guardian, a job he really did not want.  As Guardian, he's now responsible for the welfare of all New Orleans' citizens, human and supernaturals alike.

Meanwhile, our current heroine Harlow Goodwin is in deep herself.  She faces some pretty hefty charges for cyber crimes that she thinks she was set up for.  She has no choice but to return to New Orleans to face her estranged mother in the hopes that maybe she can help her get out of this jam.

Harlow's relationship with her mother, Olivia Goodwin is complicated at best.  Harlow never knew her father and she can't understand why her mother refuses to share anything about him with her.  What she really doesn't know is that Olivia kept those secrets for very good reason.

Harlow and Augustine's paths cross when they learn that Olivia was a sort-of adopted mother to Augustine.  This in turn raises some even more complicated feelings [toward Augustine], in addition to the attraction that she's hellbent on fighting.

As a fan of House of Comarré, I was really excited about diving back into the world that Kristen Painter created.  My thoughts and feelings about this book varied quite a bit though.  There were some details that I had issue with, starting with the cover.  Artistically, it's beautiful.  Actually, all of Painter's covers are breathtaking.  However, in this book, I really felt that Augustine's voice was the strongest.  It's his path that affects the plot and storyline most so I think he should have been featured on the cover instead, or at least as well.

One of Kristen Painter's trademark writing techniques is the inclusion of many points of view.  I was very pleased that in this title, we really just focused on Augustine & Harlow.  Speaking of...  Augustine is a delight.  A quintessential hero.  He is so incredibly well-rounded.  He's kind and charming, strong and capable, brave and a little reckless, but smart and just a touch vulnerable.  On the other hand, Harlow has a lot of growing up to do.  I wanted to like her and in some ways I did, but she was bratty and petulant at times.  I would get frustrated at her and her mother's lack of communication.  They could have saved themselves a world of drama if they were just honest with each other.  The good news that as secrets are revealed and villains are brought to light, she begins to understand that it's there's more at stake than her own hurt feelings.  By the end of the story, I could already see an improvement in her and I look forward to seeing her develop even more :)

While we're being honest, I was confused about the timeline.  Augustine and Harlow are relatively close in age, if Augie has been with Olivia since he was 14 (because, if I can be perfectly frank, his mother was a bitch) then why is Harlow just now discovering that her own mother had been raising him all this time?  Has she been on her own since she was a kid?

On a positive note, the mystery behind the plot was very well done and will keep you on the hook.  Kristen Painter has a knack for creating interesting plots that are not boring or easy to figure out, yet not convoluted either.  There were still a few loose ends but that's okay because we have book 2, City of Eternal Night to look forward to.

I also really loved the setting.  I've never been to New Orleans, something I must rectify pronto, but I can clearly see it through Painter's eyes.  {Painter painted a a helluva picture! HA}  Seriously though, I love the passion with which she so obviously writes.  The juxtaposition of NOLA's old world charm with the youthful, party vibe lends it a charm that is hard to resist.

Overall, I remain a true blue fan of Kristen Painter's work and recommend this to any fans of good Urban Fantasy.  Although, if I may, I suggest starting with her House of Comarré series since it really lays the groundwork for her awesome world-building.

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