Friday, April 18, 2014

Styxx (Dark-Hunter, #22) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Styxx (Dark-Hunter Novels (Unnumbered Paperback)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Series: Dark-Hunter (Book 23)
Format: Hardcover; 848 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 3, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1250029880
ISBN-13: 978-1250029881
Author's Website:
Notes: I bought this one.

Once upon a time a King and Queen were blessed with the birth of twin sons. But as the two babies were being inspected and bathed, the words no parent wishes to hear were uttered--that one of the boys was malformed. In the days of old, when Gods still walked among us, such a birth defect could mean only one thing--at least one of the twins was not the King's, but rather the son of a God. Instantly a family was torn apart. A wife and Queen was accused of adultery, the paternity of both boys was called into question, and a King, loyal to his Gods, lost a little if not all of his faith.

The Fates, in this instance, were particularly cruel. For one of the boys was indeed the son of a God but also the son of a Goddess. He had been placed in a human surrogate to protect him. For the Fates, three of the most powerful beings in their pantheon, had declared he would be then end of them all and thus he had a target figuratively tattooed on his back. For what the fates declared always came to be and so the Gods began a race against time to find the babe and kill him before he came into his full powers at the age of 21.

The twin suspected of being a God's was shunned by the King and at the age of 7, was sent off to be raised by his uncle, a man who should have had the young child's best interest at heart, but didn't. He was sold to the highest bidder to fulfill their every sexual fantasy and desire. His name was Archeron. The other twin was groomed to be his father's heir, and by all historical accounts, was the beloved son of his father. But as been said time and time again through the ages, you can't always believe what you read nor what is whispered. For until you walk in another man's shoes, you truly don't know his true and full story.

“Life has a way of breaking even the strongest among us.”

This is Styxx's story, and what you think you know of the man isn't going to compare to what you don't. 

“The most beautiful heart of all is the one that can still love even while it bleeds, and especially after its been broken into thousands of pieces.”


Sherrilyn Kenyon is in my top ten list of favorite authors. She excels at writing the tales of tortured heroes, quotable dialogue, and stories which inspire the downtrodden to never give up and to believe things will get better. In an age where suicide seems all too common, Ms. Kenyon's stories masterfully bring a ray of hope to her readers one book at a time. That said, at times this book was too painful to read and that's something I don't think I've ever said about a book before. On several occasions I had to put the book down, something I've never had to do, because what happens to Styxx was just too unbearable--the emotions and pain conjured up were just too much to take in. I needed to skip over some scenes because I just couldn't take that amount of abuse in one sitting. Nor did I wish to.

From all our previous knowledge of Styxx it appeared he'd done his brother wrong and had written him off many years ago. Acheron's impression of him was that he was pampered, conceited, spoiled, and arrogant. Funny how the interpretation of how another person acts or responds to particular situations can easily be misinterpreted to mean one thing when the exact opposite can be true. I feel the following passage accurately describes Styxx. “The strongest of metals is forged under the most violent of conditions, my lord. It is buried deep in the hottest coals and then beat and pounded until it is bent into shape. Then it becomes the strongest, most lethal of weapons. A thing of absolute beauty and force.”  This story delves into how, without being able to step into another individual's shoes or mind, we can't truly determine if our interpretation of them is correct--and that is so very true of Styxx.

What blew me away about this tale is how perfectly all the pieces of Styxx's story fit together with the previous stories we've read in the series. The amount of planning and forethought that had to go in to this is mind boggling and awe inspiring. I feel like I've watched a magic trick and need to go back now and reread a bunch of the previous books to make sure I saw what my mind thinks it saw. The next time you wish you could swap places with someone you admire or envy, remember to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes that seemingly perfect life someone leads is only the facade they let you see. Some scars, as Ms. Kenyon would probably say, can't be seen by the naked eye--they run much deeper. Others lie all to close to the surface while remaining unseen carefully hidden under that which clothes us.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 roses. I can't help but wonder if the book was as painful to write as it was for me to read. A tale of about deception, deceit, misconceptions, misinterpretations, hope, forgiveness, love, loss, and joy. A word of caution to anyone wishing to read this one, make sure you're in a good state of mind because you will be taken on a journey to a place where the word nightmare isn't truly strong enough. I kept hoping Kenyon had done her worst and then she'd take us down even lower. I'll leave off with my favorite quote which we all should keep in mind, “Every man, woman, and child is capable of extreme and utter prejudice and cruelty when they feel justified in their hatred. Right or wrong. We are all capable of lashing out when we’re in pain. No one, not even you or I, is immune from that. As Plato said, be kind to everyone you meet for we are all fighting difficult battles."

Monday, April 7, 2014

Attention! Attention! Do you have what it takes to be one of the next Avon Addicts?

Avon is once again looking for 25 super readers for its Avon Addicts program. During the course of 6 months, if you're chosen, you'll receive lots of books, lots of swag, and lots of insider information as well as get to know some of the authors a little more personally than you would otherwise. So if you're looking for a little fun, a lot of romance, and good times and are willing to write some reviews and get the word out about new releases, then you may be the person Avon is looking for. To apply simply fill out an application by CLICKING HERE. You have until May 1st to apply. As a former Avon Addict myself, I highly recommend the experience and if given the opportunity I'd do it all over again. Good luck.

Wondering who some of the Avon's Authors are? Here's a list:

Candis Terry              Carla Swafford        Caroline Linden               Cathy Maxwell
Cynthia Sax               Elizabeth Boyle      Eloisa James                  Emma Cane
Gaelen Foley             Gayle Callen           Jeaniene Frost                Jennifer Bernard
Jennifer McQuiston    Joss Ware              Julia Quinn                      Julie Anne Long
Karen Ranney           Katharine Ashe        Kay Thomas                   Kerrelyn Sparks
Laura Kaye               Laura Lee Guhrke    Lecia Cornwall                 Lena Diaz
Lisa Marie Rice         Lizbeth Selvig          Lori Wilde                       Lorraine Heath
Margo Maguire          Maya Rodale           Miranda Neville                Pamela Palmer
Sara Bennett             Sarah MacLean       Sophia Nash                   Sophie Barnes
Sophie Jordan           Stephanie Laurens   Susan Elizabeth Phillips  Tessa Dare
Toni Blake

Plus, Ilona Andrews is about to join the crew.

Wondering what kind of things you'll get? Here are some examples of what I got:


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Cover Reveal of Burn For Me (Hidden Legacy 1) by Ilona Andrews

A brand new series by the one of my favorite authors--Ilona Andrews:

Ilona Andrews on her reaction to the cover for BURN FOR ME:
It is such a gorgeous, distinctive cover, melding together unique paranormal aspect of the world and the sizzle of the relationship between Mad Rogan and Nevada. It's rare when the cover captures a scene from the book exactly the way the author had imagined it. You learn to resign yourself to it. Covers aren't meant to be a literal representation of the narrative, but BURN FOR ME is. It actually shows a pivotal scene, especially when combined with the aerial view splashback. If you read the book, you'll know exactly what I mean. When I got the cover file, I sent it to a friend. She emailed back in minutes. The email said, "Who did you sacrifice to Cover Gods to get this?"

Erika Tsang, Ilona’s Editor extraordinaire's thoughts about the HIDDEN LEGACY series:
BURN FOR ME is a slight departure from Ilona Andrews’ other bestselling urban fantasy series. There’s still the trademark snappy dialogue/narrative and action-packed scenes, but there’s a stronger romance thread here that we wanted to get across right away with this cover. Our hero Rogan is not just hot and sexy, but he’s powerful. Like kill-you-with-a-stare powerful. And Nevada is just as strong, only she doesn’t realize her full potential yet. So I wanted to show off our couple, have that intimacy between them and not lose any kickass-ness (I know, not a real word, sorry). The background with the exploding buildings around them…the idea was Ilona’s and the execution is just exquisite.

About Burn For Me:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career-a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan-a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

About Ilona Andrews:

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Author Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored three series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels, the romantic urban fantasy of The Edge and now the new urban fantasy the Hidden Legacy series.

Pre-Order At:
Barnes and Noble:

Most Anticipated New Releases of April 2014

The following list is comprised of books and novellas my friends, family, and I are most looking forward to reading in April. It also consists of books by popular authors and others I've heard a lot of hype about. I am not flawless and sometimes I'll accidentally leave one or more books off the list that I shouldn't. Let me know if one of your favorites is missing. Sometimes my search techniques just don't work as well as I wish they did.

The list is divided into weekly releases. If you'd like to read a book's description, just click on the cover photo and you'll be magically transferred to Goodreads. Remember a book a day keeps the boredom at bay! Happy reading.

April 1st - A Biscuit, a Casket (A Pawsitively Organic Mystery) by Mugavero, Liz
April 1st - Ghost of a Gamble (Granny Apples Mystery) by Sue Ann Jaffarian
April 1st - I've Got You Under My Skin: A Novel by Clark, Mary Higgins
April 1st - Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
April 1st - The Insider (Kingdom Keepers VII) by Pearson, Ridley
April 1st - A Killing Notion (A Magical Dressmaking Mystery) by Melissa Bourbon
April 1st - The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward
April 1st - Love Letters to the Dead by Dellaira, Ava
April 1st - A Roux of Revenge (A Soup Lover's Mystery) by Archer, Connie
April 1st - Saucer: Savage Planet by Stephen Coonts
April 1st - A Shocking Delight by Beverley, Jo
April 1st - Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen
April 1st - Sugar and Iced (Cupcake Bakery Mystery) by McKinlay, Jenn
April 1st - Vampire's Hunger (The Awakening Series) by Garner, Cynthia
April 1st - The Whole Cat and Caboodle: Second Chance Cat Mystery by Sofie Ryan
April 1st - Wild Wolf (Shifters Unbound Series #6) by Jennifer Ashley
April 1st - The Winter Bride (A Chance Sisters Romance) by Gracie, Anne

April 8th - Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington) by Stuart Woods
The Here and Now by Brashares, Ann
April 8th - Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
April 8th - Night Diver: A Novel by Elizabeth Lowell
April 8th - Rebel Belle by Hawkins, Rachel
April 8th - Sea of Shadows (Age of Legends 1) by Kelley Armstrong
April 8th - Toxic Heart (Mystic City, #2) by Theo Lawrence
April 10th - Dare to Desire (Dare to Love) by Phillips, Carly

April 15th - Falling for Owen: Book Two: The McBrides by Jennifer Ryan
April 15th - Far Gone by Laura Griffin
April 15th - The Forever Song (Blood of Eden) by Kagawa, Julie
April 15th - Once Upon a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club Novel) eBook ONLY by Jessica Clare
April 15th - Seasons of Tomorrow: Book Four in the Amish Vines and Orchards Series by Woodsmall, Cindy
April 15th - The Space Between: An Outlander Novella by Diana Gabaldon
April 15th - Sunrise (Ashfall #3) by Mike Mullin
April 15th - What I Thought Was True by Fitzpatrick, Huntley
April 17th - Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor

April 21st - Slope of Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons, Book 4) by Melissa Foster
April 22nd - Everything to Lose: A Novel by Andrew Gross
April 22nd - The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret, #1) by Andrea Cremer
April 22nd - Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick
April 22nd - The Serpent of Venice: A Novel by Moore, Christopher
April 22, 2014 - To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

April 29th - Burning Dawn (Hqn) by Showalter, Gena
April 29th - Dead Giveaway by Joanne Fluke
April 29th - Dreams of Lilacs by Kurland, Lynn
April 29th - How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days (An American Heiress in London) by Guhrke, Laura Lee
April 29th - How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) (Love at Stake) by Kerrelyn Sparks
April 29th - Live to See Tomorrow (Catherine Ling) by Iris Johansen
April 29th - The Masterful Mr. Montague: A Casebook of Barnaby Adair Novel by Stephanie Laurens
April 29th - Searching for Perfect by Probst, Jennifer
April 29th - Secrets of Seduction (Legendary Lovers) by Jordan, Nicole
April 29th - Sweet Reckoning (Sweet Evil) by Wendy Higgins
April 29th - The Taking (The Taking #1)by Kimberly Derting
April 29th - The Witch of Clan Sinclair by Ranney, Karen
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