Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Searching for Arthur

About Searching for Arthur by Donna HosieLegend tells of King Arthur, mortally wounded at the hand of the traitorous Mordred in the final battle of Camlann. Before he was taken to the magical Vale of Avalon, Arthur declared that one day he would return, when the kingdom of Logres was once more in need of his leadership.

That day has now come.

It is hard to make friends when you’re constantly on the move. Seventeen-year-old Natasha Roth’s father is a diplomat, and so her mother – who is paranoid about terrorists – has moved Natasha and her brother, Arthur, to their eighteenth house in seventeen years: Avalon Cottage, deep in the heart of a Welsh forest.

Yet the terrorists are closer than they realize.
While out running, Natasha falls into a hidden tomb and awakens the legendary knights of Camelot: young warriors who have been in an enchanted sleep for a thousand years. All have been waiting patiently for the return of Arthur from the mysterious land of Avalon.
And now the knights are awake, they intend to reclaim their king.
When Arthur goes missing, Natasha joins forces with his girlfriend, “Slurpy” Samantha, in order to look for him. Natasha believes Samantha has fewer brain cells than an amoeba; Samantha believes Natasha is a freak. Retracing Natasha’s original steps to the hidden tomb, they bicker their way into a Welsh mountain and beyond, to the realm of Logres where the Knights of the Round Table are rallying once more.
Natasha falls in love with Sir Bedivere, the most loyal of knights to Arthur. He may be in dire need of a 21st Century razor, but he still possesses a set of lime-green eyes that can melt the soul. Yet just as Natasha starts to find confidence in this mystical land, Samantha deserts her. People who play by the rules are of no use to “Slurpy”. Samantha will take her own path to Arthur, aided and abetted by the dark arts which she willingly absorbs from a hot young stranger called Mordred.
A race across magical yet deadly lands is on. Natasha battles dwarf-riders, dragons, and eventually “Slurpy” to reach Camelot, where Arthur is held captive by the barbarian Saxon, Balvidore. 

Natasha’s woes become numerous. What will happen to her and Arthur when the knights realise the eighteen-year-old boy they thought was their king, is in fact a math student with appalling taste in girls? Can two people with a one thousand year age gap really have a relationship? And for the love of all things holy, how is a girl supposed to ride bareback in a pair of skinny jeans?

My take: I've always been a big fan of King Arthur. Read as much Camelot as I could get my hands on when I was younger. This was an interesting twist on the story and I found it difficult to put down. I will be checking out the next book in the series to see what happens. What I didn't like: the profanity and the teenage sex, and while it wasn't descriptive or necessary, I'm not OK with it. Also had some difficulty with mistaking the bad guy, Balvidore, for the amazing Knight in Shining Armor, Bedivere (liked him a lot). The names were just too close in spelling and so a few times I had to stop until I realized my mistake. I also thought Ms. Hosie did a nice job with Natasha's character growth. Would have liked to have seen the parents a little more sympathetic and am still confused by the reference to 'terrorists'. The modern term didn't fit for me. 

Disclaimer: a copy of this book was provided for review, no other compensation was given.

Monday, June 18, 2012

More Summer Reading

So recently I was fortunate to vacation in Hawaii for a week with my Knight In Shining Armor. Hawaii, as always, was fabulous. I had lots of time to relax, eat local food (YUM!), catch up with friends, and yes, read some great books. These are the books that I read: Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson, Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden, Surrender (ARC) by Elana Johnson, The Duke's Undoing by G.G. Vandagriff.

I will give you my thoughts on each one (don't worry, I'll keep it short).

Edenbrook: I read it twice. Yes, it was that good. One of the best books I've read in a long time. It's a regency romance and I loved the characters and the way they fit so nicely into their roles (Donaldson makes it look so easy, but it's really not). The characters have stayed with me and I know I will read this one again. One of the best things about it is that I can recommend it to my friends! (and some of you know, I have).

 Seeking Persephone: Loved this one, too. Eden does a great job weaving the story and the characters. A serious tale sprinkled with humor in all the right spots. Wishing I could get my hands on more of her stuff. Sigh.

Surrender: Umm. It you haven't read Possession (book one of this series), buy it, read it, and then move on to Surrender. Liked it more than I did Possession. I'll admit, I was a little apprehensive about starting this one as I didn't like the ending of book one. But, after a few days of staring at the book, I gave in. Ah, sweet surrender. If you're a fan of dystopian, this is a must-read. Get it, read it. Today.

The Duke's Undoing: Liked the story, liked the characters, but the ending fell a little flat for me. I felt like there were things that weren't really wrapped up (or maybe just not wrapped up the way I thought they should be). It's a sweet regency romance, and I love those, so it was good reading, just a little disappointed at the end.

Enjoy your summer reading.

Disclaimer: I bought these books and received no compensation (other than great reading!) for these reviews.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Caribbean Crossroads by Connie E. Sokol

Caribbean Crossroads, by Connie E. Sokol

Back of the Book Blurb: New college grad Megan McCormick just got dumped. Hard. Swearing off men and relationships, Megan is coaxed into performing on a cruise ship where she meets the star performer, Bryant Johnson. Handsome and charismatic, he looks like trouble, but she can't deny the intense attraction between them. 

Urged to find a wife and run the family lumber business, Bryant is torn between his family's expectations for his life and his own. However, when he meets spunky, but love-skittish Megan McCormick, settling down doesn't look so bad. Just when Megan begins to trust again, and Bryant makes some big decisions regarding his future, her former fiance' returns with a malicious surprise, taking Megan and Bryant to their own CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS.

First off, don't you love the cover? I did. This book doesn't disappoint either. It really is the perfect summer read. I had a hard time putting it down--and it made me want to go on a cruise with my own sweetheart. I cheered for the characters and really liked that the typical ‘mean girl’ character had her nice moments. Loved Bryant, the hunky jock who can also sing and dance, (think Zac Efron in HS Musical—only much hunkier). Yum. And the main character Megan with all her love angst, I sometimes wanted to shake and say ‘look what you have right here in front of you!’ but at the same time wanted her to hurry and get her life figured out. Those characters, the twists and turns, and some fabulous secondary characters make it an enjoyable read. Definitely put this on your summer reading list.

Connie E. Sokol has several things going on in her life including her writing. To check out her author page, click here Connie E. Sokol. To check out her fabulous   Back to Basics progam, visit her Back to Basics website. To go straight to Amazon and buy this fun book, click CARIBBEAN CROSSROADS. Spice up your summer with a heart-warming story.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book, but that did not influence my review.