Thursday, December 27, 2012

Her Heart for the Asking

Promises made...secrets kept...

Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for life on the rodeo circuit eight years before. He once promised he'd love her forever. But he'd abandoned their love for the rodeo and she hadn't seen him since. Now she's back in Texas. Her uncle’s heart is failing and Mandy has to convince him that surgery will save his life. She never dreamed the first thing she’d see when she stepped off the plane would be her biggest nightmare...the one man she’d never stopped loving.

Beau Gentry had the fever for two things: the rodeo and Mandy Morgan. But for Beau, loving Mandy was complicated by his father’s vendetta against her uncle and a promise he'd made to an old friend. Hank Promise, Mandy's uncle, was more like a father to Beau than his old man had been. The hardest thing Beau had ever done was leave Mandy behind for the rodeo. He can still see the bitterness and hurt on her face. It has killed him all these years to think Mandy had forgotten him...maybe even in the arms of another man. But now they’re both back in Texas, and Beau's going to do all he can to win back her love.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Lisa Mondello reveals the truth behind the secrets of love in her novel, Her Heart for the Asking. After Mandy returns to Texas neither she nor her old flame, Beau, waste any time in rekindling old feelings. Though the main reason she returned isn't for him, but for her Uncle whose heart is running out of time. 

Mandy is the main character and the book is mainly told in her point of view. She's a very loving character, though wary about her feelings. She often flips back and forth between uncertainty and security when it comes to Beau. Readers will bond with Mandy because of her naive past and ideal first love memories. The bond will strengthen when readers realize that she's grown into a stronger woman who needs a strong man. 

Beau Gentry is the love interest, one of the main characters, and also shares the narrative with Mandy. However, it isn't quite easy to tell when they've switched. At certain points, it took me over a paragraph to realize that the POV had changed characters. Though Beau did lie to and hurt Mandy in the past, the reader learns that there's much more to the story. Readers will connect with Beau based on his reasoning and his love for Mandy. 

The plot is interesting, but flies by! The novel is only 182 pages, but it seems much shorter than that. I really wanted to see more of the surgery and how it affects the main characters. That part of the novel was little more than a single page. Though it was entertaining, I didn't feel the book was long enough as a whole to create a convincing love story.

Not that I won't consider the next books in the Texas Hearts series. =) Recommended for a short, light, fun read. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

WWW Wednesday (34)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading:
I am currently in-between books at the moment. I finished one last night and will start another tonight after work. =) Had to take a break to watch the snow blanket the city after a fantastic Christmas.

02. Recently Finished:
Her Heart for the Asking by Lisa Mondello. Cute book about returning home to find the truth and lost love. I'll be posting a review soon.

03. Reading Next:
Beirut by Alexander McNabb. When a political leader is found out to have warheads, nothing will stop intelligence officers from tracking it down.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (41)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Her Heart for the Asking (Kindle Loc. 375-77)
   - Lisa Mondello

"I'm not sure, but no matter what anyone tries to tell him, he insists he's not going under the knife. Maybe he'll listen to you."

Should Be Reading @ Wordpress

Merry Christmas readers! 
Hope that you get every book you put on your Christmas list! =) 

Don't forget to stop by and sign up for The Coffee Pot's Christmas Giveaway

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Hidden Fire

"No secret stays hidden forever."

A phone call from an old friend sets Dr. Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery he'd abandoned years before. He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Elizabeth Hunter gives vampires the four main elements to supplement their power in her novel, A Hidden Fire, the first in her Elemental Mysteries series. 

Giovanni has lived for over 500 years as a fire vampire. During which his beloved manuscripts and books were stolen from him. With mysterious letters appearing randomly, he knows that something isn't right. As the mystery unravels, readers will come to know Gio as more than a book loving vamp. Giovanni is a very likeable character; especially when paired with his supporting cast of vampire friends. He's truthful, dependable, and always puts his loved one's needs before his own. Readers will connect with him based on the empathy his story evokes.

Beatrice, the siren, the innocent bystander who is sucked into a world she didn't know existed. Beatrice keeps this book interesting. Hunter did a wonderful job crafting this character as she is full of wit, sarcasm, extremely smart, and full of love. Between the banter of Beatrice and other characters, plus the romantic notion Giovanni holds for her, readers will love Beatrice. They may have trouble connecting with her at first, but as the novel progresses and she opens up, so will the minds of readers. 

The plot of A Hidden Fire was rough getting off of the ground. It tumbles and twirls without a hint as to where it's going for a chapter or so, but then it gets on track. The mystery plot sometimes seemed to fall to the wayside during the beginning/middle of the book, as the author focused more on Beatrice and Giovanni, but the character development was ahead of the game. Toward the end, Hunter set a good pace as the mystery began to be solved, though it will carry over into the next books in the series. 

Overall, A Hidden Fire was a wonderful mystery novel about vampires, which is rare to see. Though the vampires played main parts, the plot specifically wasn't about vampires. I would have to say that I liked that, and highly recommend this series. I know that I will be continuing on to the next book. Hopefully very soon. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

Merry Christmas Eve! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fall Into Reading 2012 Results

As the first days of winter speed by us carrying us quickly to Christmas, it's time to say goodbye to the Fall Into Reading 2012 Challenge hosted by Callapidder Days. The challenge was to make a list of all the books you wanted to read and then see if you were able to accomplish that task.

My challenge list held only five books, so it was quite easy for me to finish the list. The book that had me scared I wouldn't finish was Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. You don't realize how long it will take to read this doorstop of a book, as I've heard many people call it, until you actually start it. I even had to take notes for every chapter so that I could remember what was going on.

But it was definitely worth it in the end! Especially since I did successfully finish the Fall Into Reading 2012 Challenge.

My Fall Into Reading 2012 List: (Click Title to read review)
01. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
02. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
03. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
04. The Rules of Life by Richard Templar
05. Bone Blind by Abigail Padgett

How did everyone else do?!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Soul Search

Three years ago, one horrific night changed his life forever. And now the wolf soul that was invoked to save him is taking over his body, day by day.

Can he master his animal instincts in time to discover who is stealing children's souls before the delicate balance we all depend upon is shattered?

Or will he reject the one woman who can help heal his body and his soul?

*May Contain Spoilers*

Amber Scott brings wolves to the forefront as soul guardians in her novel, Soul Search. With a missing nephew and a wolf within who's clawing to emerge, Grant Connel must atone for his indiscretions. 

Grant, one of the main characters, is racked with guilt that he allowed his nephew, Tristan, to be kidnapped. It's been three years and no one knows where he may be. His only chance is a medium, Leigh, who may be able to use the spiritual world to track Tristan. Grant is a grounded, loving, yet tortured character. He yearns for the chance to make everything right and he will stop at nothing to find Tristan. Readers will form a bond with Grant founded by his hope to set his wrongs, right. As the novel continues, more of history is revealed and his true character comes out allowing the bond to strengthen. 

Leigh, the medium, is the other main character and Scott writes some of the novel from her point of view. She's a hopeful, naive, spiritualist who always has a ghost by her side. Her main goal is to make it back to her mother, in California, which she left for Europe in order to reconnect with her fiance. Who happens to break it off as soon as she arrives. Readers will connect with Leigh based on her personality. She's very loving and willing to use her gift to help those around her. 

The plot of this novel is full of mystery and paranormal occurrences. The hunt for Tristan is finally leading somewhere as Leigh begins having visions and dreams of him. Paired with Grant's ability to see the glow of stolen souls, the mystery is slowly unraveled. Scott's story line is impeccable and incredibly creative. With a sub-plot of romance that sometimes steals the stage, readers will love Soul Search

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Giveaway 2012

This year, The Coffee Pot is helping you get everything you want for Christmas! There will be 6! winners for this giveaway and anyone can enter (as long as I can mail you the autographed book swag). Just enter below! The contest opens on December 20th and runs until December 31st. Winners will be announced and contacted on January 1st-2nd by e-mail.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prizes Explained:

1 Person will win a paperback copy of Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter (which quotes The Coffee Pot review!) along with an autographed doorhanger.

2 People will win e-copies of both Entangled and Duplicity paired with an autographed Entangled bookmark.

3 People will win an autographed doorhanger.

This is the biggest giveaway that The Coffee Pot has done yet, so enter for more chances to win these AWESOME prizes. =)

The Other Guy

Emory James is, by his own admission, not the type of person the adjective exciting would ever deign to touch with a ten-foot pole. Cautious, reserved and staid, however, all crowd around him like best friends. Still, he gets by -- or at least he gets by up until his fiancée dumps him at the altar. Out of spite, he takes a solo honeymoon to Thailand, where he can pretend to be someone better than himself for a little while. In meeting Nate, a fellow traveler, Emory slowly discovers how to stop pretending.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Cary Attwell tells the story after the love story with his novel, The Other Guy. It's the story no one wonders about. What happens to the guy who gets dumped at the alter by his fiancee? After watching the romantic comedy - everyone cheering for the Ex, the other guy gets lost in the details. 

Until now. 

Emory is a reserved, stable, reliable man. The kind women always talk about wanting. And, at least in fiction, the man that they usually end up leaving behind. From the start of this novel, readers will connect with Emory based on the sympathy they feel for him immediately. Being left alone at the alter will definitely play on people's hearts. From that single string of hope readers will feel for him, the bond will only strengthen as The Other Guy turns into an evolution for Emory. With an unexpected twist that most readers won't see coming. I know I didn't. 

And I don't feel too spoiler-ish in revealing that the unexpected twist is Nate. (Could-be-Abercrombie-model-photographer who goes with his gut feeling.) Readers will love him right off the bat. He provides the adventure Emory needs to heal his broken heart. But he also allows Emory to come to terms with who he really may be. 

As someone who hides away his true self so that others will like him, Emory's life needs a bit of shaking up. And Nate aims to please. This love story will have readers laughing, wiping away stray tears, and cheering with hope that the guy gets the guy this time. 

Told from Emory's point of view, The Other Guy gives the usually "left-behind-guy" a fighting chance to reclaim his life and his ability to love.  

Rating: 4/5 Cups

WWW Wednesday (33)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading:
The Other Guy by Cary Attwell. After Emory gets dumped at the alter, he decides to hide on his honeymoon for the next week. What he doesn't expect is Mr. Nate Harris, photographer and hottie, showing up and playing nicer than nice.

02. Recently Finished:
Shift by Zack Mason. Novel about a time traveling company and how it got started. A little confusing, but very interesting historically. Not sure if I'll continue the series but definitely worth the read.

03. Reading Next:
Soul Search by Amber Scott. The third novel in the romance box set that I purchased a while ago. A novel about a man whose body is being taken over by a wolf soul. Enter woman who can help. Assuming, that love ensues. =)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (40)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Other Guy (Kindle Loc. 890-91)
   - Cary Attwell

When people tell you that things look better in the morning, you should consider severing ties with them immediately, because they are lying to your face.

Should Be Reading @ Wordpress

Monday, December 17, 2012


What is the worst thing that could happen to you? For Mark Carpen, it is the death of his children at the hands of a drunk driver. In the tragic aftermath, he also loses his wife, his job and everything else of value. Grief stricken, Mark turns his back on society for a life wandering through the North Georgia woods.

That is until he finds a strange watch in the middle of those woods. A very special watch. One that gives its wearer the power to travel through time at will rectifying past wrongs and stopping tragedies before they happen.

Mark is determined to use the watch to save his kids, yet certain mysterious forces are poised to stand in his way and a shadowy group of assassins has decided that Mark Carpen must die.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Zack Mason changes history with his novel, Shift. From creating time paradoxes to accruing billions of dollars, the main character Mark stays busy in various historical eras. 

Mark's character is an easy one to connect with. Who can't like a guy who would focus on saving his kids from death after stumbling across a time-travel device? Mason writes his character perfectly to make readers immediately form a friendship with Mark. After Mark discovers that his kids are fated to die, he focuses all of his attention on saving random people throughout history from horrible occurrences. 

The plot that Mason crafts is full of historical references and Mark intervenes, often changing history. From the Vietnam war to the Kennedy assassination, Mark and his cohorts are present trying to alter what happens. When an IRS agent catches on to what Mark is doing, because of his large sums of money, he tries to stop Mark by going into the future and stealing the watches from Mark's two friends.

As the story develops, things get a bit chaotic for Mark and his friends, Hardy and Ty. A little foreshadowing   on Mason's part muddles the future for the three heroes of history. As the first installment in a trilogy, this book sets up readers for the long haul. Recommended for anyone who is interested in history and time travel, especially men - as male readers will further connect with Mark based on his circumstances. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

P.S. After reading the novel, definitely go play around on to try and crack the code. The work that went into this website is amazing and quite fun. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Wander Home

Death is what you make it. . . .

Eleanor never wanted to leave the daughter she loved so much. The overpowering urge to wander -- to search, without knowing what she sought -- drove her away. She left little Cassidy in her family's loving care. But Cassidy and the others died in an accident before Eleanor could find her way home.

Now, they are all reunited, in an afterlife where nothing is truly lost: places once loved may be revisited, memories relived and even shared. Surely this is a place where they can understand and heal. And yet, the restlessness that shaped Eleanor's life still haunts her in death. Somehow, she must solve the mystery of her life -- or none of them will be at peace.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Karen Wyle explores death and the ramifications of reincarnation in her novel, Wander Home. When Eleanor reunites with her family in the afterlife she begins having dreams and memories of another woman - Jordana. A woman she never met in life. 

Eleanor begins the novel as a character that is misunderstood and will possibly be disliked by many readers. After all, various forms of judgement are often bestowed upon women who abandon their children. Wyle writes Eleanor as a wanderer, constantly harboring the need to move on, to search for something she doesn't understand. 

As the plot unfolds, readers will come to understand Eleanor, and Jordana, in such a way where judgement falls to the wayside. Eleanor emerges as a woman full of love, good intentions, and a generous soul. Wyle takes a risk by portraying a woman who wanted nothing more than a child who ends up leaving her behind in life. But after death, Eleanor is determined to rekindle her relationship with her daughter, Cassidy. 

Readers will align with Cassidy straight away. They will feel her abandonment and the joy at regaining her mother. Readers will bond more quickly with Cassidy than with Eleanor but in the end, readers will understand and come to love them both. 

The plot is well paced and opens the imagination of the readers. The afterlife that Wyle creates is brimming with memories, places to visit, and amazing people to meet. It's written in such a way that it is truly life after death. The characters can be confusing at first, but they quickly claim their independence. Wander Home is a magical story that delves to the depths of the human psyche and is definitely recommended. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WWW Wednesday (32)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

01. Currently Reading: 
Wander Home by Karen Wyle. Set after death, a family is in the afterlife preparing to welcome another member and help her understand the choices she made and how that affected her. So far, so good. =)

02. Recently Finished: 
Hera: Queen of Gods by T.D. Thomas. Absolutely amazing YA (18+) book! Greek gods come back to Earth as teenagers because the Fates are missing. It's up to them to find them, save them, and avoid apocalyptic chaos. 

03. Reading Next: 
Shift (Chronoshift) by Zack Mason. I'll probably start this one as it's been on my Kindle for awhile. About a man who finds a time traveling device and decides that he wants to travel back in time to save his kids from death.