Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - August 16, 2014

Stacking the Shelves is an awesome meme hosted by Tynga's Review.

Bloggers share the books they've received, bought, borrowed - and I collect more and more books for my 'must acquire' list.

This week the focus is on books I've received in the last two weeks for review:

Upside Down by Lia Riley

If You Never Get Lost, You'll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.
Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart. 

Chelsea's Thoughts: I reviewed this one already, and *loved* it. It's a gorgeous debut title, and I look forward to reading more from Lia Riley

Lady Elinor's Wicked Adventures by Lillian Marek

Harry DeVaux, Viscount Tunbury, loves Lady Elinor Tremaine, but is convinced that his past makes him unworthy of her. He agrees to accompany the Tremaine family to Italy to explore Etruscan ruins, even if it chips away at his resolve to stay away from the delightful woman he loves.

Amid the sightseeing and treasure hunting, Elinor comes to realize that she wants far more from Harry than friendship, but when a dangerous discovery leaves them fighting for their lives, it might just be too late...

Chelsea's Thoughts: Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca, I liked the idea that the hero is in love already and that our heroine is awesome enough to be sightseeing and treasure hunting instead of husband hunting in London.

This is Falling by Ginger Scott

First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it.

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I’d made a choice—I was going to cross back to the other side, tolive with the living. I just didn’t know how.

And then I met Nate Preeter.

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn’t supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn’t want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn’t.

My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing.

And then he showed me how to fall.

Chelsea's Thoughts: Cute cover, right? I've already read and written the review for this - it's scheduled for later this month. The book is amazing.

Slow Satisfaction by Cecilia Tan

James has finally pushed Karina beyond her limit--not her limit for kinky sex play, but for his extreme secrecy. She has had enough and breaks things off. But James won't give up on Karina and will do whatever it takes to get her back. He's ready to share his deepest, darkest secrets, but is Karina ready to hear them? 

James offers Karina not only the truth but a place at his side... onstage. He wants Karina to star in his final musical production and enter his life and his world fully and completely. As the two work together, they rekindle the trust and love they'd lost. But James's world is full of deceit. When he is blackmailed by an unscrupulous music industry executive, James must give in to unreasonable demands or risk exposure of his and Karina's secret sex life. 

Will Karina and James's love be strong enough to withstand the many obstacles being thrown their way?

Chelsea's Thoughts: The second book grew on me after I finished reading it, and I ended up moving from 3.5 to 4 stars, so I'm intrigued to see what this one has to offer. Plus it sounds like a lot more time is spent with Karina and James together than in book two which is already a significant improvement in my opinion!

Penumbra by Keri Arthur

Agent Sam Ryan is sick of feeling lonely. It?s time to take control and get a life outside of work. But Stephan, her boss, won?t let her go easily. Offered the choice between guarding a clone, or remaining stuck in her office, Sam reluctantly accepts the former, even though she suspects Stephan is using her as bait to draw out the dangerous Sethanon. Gabriel is relieved to discover he?s finally shaken Sam as his partner, until he learns her new assignment is guarding Wetherton. He and Stephan know Wetherton could only have come from Hopeworth, the base involved in DNA experiments for decades, where it is more than likely that Sam was created. But there is a growing likelihood that the military base is also the home of Sethanon himself. Gabriel is determined to protect her, yet all too soon he discovers the connection between he and Sam is far deeper than anyone could ever have imagined.

Chelsea's Thoughts: So when I went looking to grab a cover for this blog post, I discovered that the review copy I got is for a new edition of the book. And, in fact, I have all three of the Spook Squad books loaded up for review. Not sure what I want to make of that - I enjoyed the books and they didn't suffer from that usual bane of re-releases of an author's earlier works: feeling dated. 

Factory Town by Jon Bassoff

Russell Carver, an enigmatic and tortured man in search of a young girl gone missing, has come to Factory Town, a post-industrial wasteland of abandoned buildings, crumbling asphalt, deadly characters, hidden secrets and unspeakable depravity. Wandering deeper and deeper into the dangerous, dream-like and darkly mysterious labyrinths in town, Russell stumbles upon clues that not only lead him closer to the missing girl, but to his own troubled past as well. Because in Factory Town nothing is what it seems, no one is safe, and there's no such thing as a clean escape. 

From Jon Bassoff, author of Corrosion, comes a dark, gritty and surreal novel that is at once a compelling mystery and an exploration into the darkest recesses of the human soul. Welcome to the haunting, frightening and disturbing experience that is Russell Carver's search for the truth... 

Welcome to FACTORY TOWN.

Chelsea's Thoughts: I requested this one after I finished I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga, because I figured I had such great success reading that outside my normal genres, I should give other books a try!

Her Lone Wolf by Paige Tyler

It took everything she had for FBI Special Agent Danica Beckett to walk away from the man she loved. But if she wants to save his life, she has to keep her distance. Now, with a killer on the loose and the stakes higher than ever before, the Department of Covert Ops is forcing these former lovers into an uneasy alliance…whether they like it or not.

Seeing her again is even worse

The last thing Clayne Buchanan wants is to be shackled to the woman who broke his heart. She gets under his skin in a way no one ever has and makes him want things he has no right to anymore. All he has to do is suffer through this case and he can be free of her for good. But when Clayne finds out why Danica left in the first place, everything he’s tried to bury comes roaring back—and there’s no way this wolf shifter is going to take no for an answer this time.

Chelsea's Thoughts: I think this one could easily go either way for me. It could be fun, action-packed urban fantasy, or it could be an alpha male disaster. Only time will tell!

Betting on Julia by Nina Croft

Small, blonde, bubbly, and with a penchant for all things pink, Julia Melville has always considered herself a nice girl – until she was attacked by a werewolf. Months later, and still in total denial, Julia spends the time between full moons fantasizing that her life is normal. And who could be better to help her with that than her new neighbor, handsome accountant, Sebastian Crane.

For two hundred years, Sebastian, a powerful warlock, has been possessed by a demon. Each day, his soul grows darker, and he knows that soon he will be beyond salvation. But the demon loves to gamble, and he’s made Bastian one final bet—get a good woman to say the words “I love you” and he’ll be free.

Julia wants a normal guy. Bastian needs a good woman. Maybe together they can find something far more valuable…redemption.

Chelsea's Thoughts: And on a shallow note, yes, that cover did do some of the enticing here....

His Secret Superheroine by Patricia Eisner

All kindergarten teacher Peyton Pearson wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, quiet isn't something she's had a lot of after tainted medicine turns her into a superhero. She's single, and saving the city from criminals—which is increasingly dangerous as the anti-superhero movement in St. Louis gains traction. Then there's her hot next door neighbor who makes her think super-dirty thoughts, and has no idea who she really is. 

Police officer Dylan Wilson is trying to make the world safe by working to unmask all superheroes. When his sexy neighbor, Peyton, is evicted, Dylan offers her his spare room, unknowingly opening his home—and his heart—to the city's most reluctant superhero.

Can love survive when the masks come off?

Chelsea's Thoughts: First, I love that *she* is the superhero, and second, I love that it's a romance novel featuring a superhero!

Broken Forest by Eliza Tilton

Hopeless he'll never be more than the boy who didn't save his brother, 17-year-old Avikar accepts his life as the family stable boy, trying to forget the past. But when his sister, Jeslyn, is kidnapped, the thought of losing another sibling catapults him on a desperate quest. With his best friend by his side, and using the tracking skills he learned from his father, he discovers Jeslyn has been taken, kidnapped by one Lucino, the young lord of Daath, a mystical place thought only to exist in fables. 

And Lucino has plans for Jeslyn.

His shape-shifting brethren feed off the auras of humans, and Jeslyn's golden hue is exactly what Lucino needs to increase his power. The longer it takes Avikar to reach her, the more entranced she becomes with Lucino's world, and the harder it will be for Avikar to set her free.

He failed his family once. He won't fail again.

Chelsea's Thoughts: The first of three ebooks I received from Curiosity Quills Press to review over the last two weeks, I'm excited by traveling into 'a mystical place thought only to exist in fables.'

Guild Assassin by Berley Kerr

Wendy Magdalena Braca lived in a Victorian mansion under three moons in Jupiter City. But her privileged upbringing falters when after the death of her father and the murder of her mother, she is shipped away to Greenleaf Asylum for Troubled Girls and lived there for years until she is “rescued” by a strange guild that shows Wendy their world; the world of Guild Assassins made up of the Cæcus (normal humans), the Validus (magic-users), and Half-Breeds (demi-gods). In this world, Wendy discovers she is the most special and powerful Validus known to exist, the Curse Breaker.

Chelsea's Thoughts: Look at the steampunk cover. I had to request it. Had to!

The Traveler's Wake by JP Moynahan

Wesley Rourke is a mouthy, Irish-lucky millionaire, trotting the globe in search of the perfect place to kill his most hated enemy, himself. 

Blowing his money on charity, and booze as he zooms from city to city, he lays his course towards Lima, Peru. 

Once he arrives, he sets about his grisly task only to be inconvenienced by the lure of a pretty young tourist, the daughter of a prominent British lawmaker. A few days after their first date, he awakens in a hospital to find her missing and he himself embroiled in a media blitz and massive manhunt. 

With time running out, and wracked with horrifying night-terrors, Wesley is forced to face his past cowardice and wade into the bowels of a pitiless underworld in search of his one ray of hope. 

The city of Lima awaits him.

Chelsea's Thoughts: I've never read a book set in Lima before, so I'm excited about the setting. I also got reeled in by this book's cover.

So there we have it, my review haul from the last two weeks. I ended up with two more books received than total reviews that went live on the blog over the same period, but I've got myself a nice buffer of pre-written review posts now, and I'm confident that I read far more than twelve books in the same period!  Mind, I also signed up for a number of blog tours for which I haven't yet received ARCs (and thus didn't include in my haul this week...). 

What did you get in your haul this week? Anything that you're particularly excited to have received or to see in my review haul?  Next week we're back to books purchased/acquired for entertainment purposes only - should be a pretty short post after that haul from my birthday last week!


  1. Many new books and I confess I'm quite intrigued about some because it's the first time I hear about them. Happy reading!

    here is mine

  2. Looks like you've got a pretty good haul here. Lots of variety! I love the cover of Guild Assassin. Happy reading!

    SP & STS
    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  3. New follower via bloglovin'. Nice haul you got this week, hope you enjoy your books :)
    Here's my STS
    Have a great week!