Desert Rose

History, Adventure and Romance

Cossacks In Paris - Jeffrey Perren

"Cossacks in Paris" is a very simple title, for such a deep book. Between the political conflict, personal conflict, human drama, and following true world-changing history, this book is certainly one you get lost in. It sucks you in and keeps your attention throughout the book, not letting up until the very end. 

Mr. Perren did a fantastic job with this book. He takes his readers on an amazing adventure that puts them up close and personal with the main ringleaders of the War of 1812. He forces you think about this intense dramatic event as something more than just random, distant facts on a piece of paper. He makes it real, and truly makes you feel as though you're experiencing the events fold out in real time.

More than just the events, are the people involved. The descriptions of the characters and their personalities are fantastic, and I loved learning about each one. Mr. Perren did an excellent job in describing them all, and it's obvious he put a lot of effort and time into every detail of this book. I very much enjoyed reading from several different points of view, and seeing an epic conflict unfold from various angles. 

While reading this book, I told my husband many times how "It feels like I'm reading a documentary!" When I say documentary, I mean one of those really good ones- the kind you actually like watching, and one that keeps you completely enthralled. This book is just that, and I think even better- a film would be hard pressed to beat the entertainment and craftsmanship of this book.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone who enjoys historical novels. This isn't one that will bore you at all- it will have you biting your nails, feeling the emotion of the characters, and the tension created by Napoleon and Czar Alexander. 

*I was given an eBook copy, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Vision of Secrets (The Vision Series Prequel)

Vision of Secrets (The Vision Series Prequel) - Vincent Morrone I had Vision of Shadows on my list of books to read for review, and since Vision of Secrets is the prequel novella introducing Bristol, I figured I'd read that first.

This is a quick read, that introduces you to a young girl, with a unique gift. It wraps up neatly and easily, leaving no loose ends, and gets you ready for the first book in the series. It definitely leaves you wanting to read the next book, and see what happens with Bristol and her dream-boy.

I enjoyed the writing style, and the fluidity of the story. I'm looking forward to the first book in the series, and would recommend this novella to anyone getting ready to read this series, or anyone who already has.
Vision of Shadows (Book 1) - Vincent Morrone This book has personality, humor, and danger- all great elements of a book. Put that together with talented writing and an interesting plot, and you have yourself a new favorite read.

Bristol is an awesome female lead character. I get nervous sometimes, reading from a female POV, written by a guy, and vice versa. Sometimes it can be a bit painful, but Vincent Morrone did a really great job. Bristol is funny, honest, and really acts closer to the way a normal girl would act, than a lot of books I read nowadays. I also really enjoyed Payne's character. Everything from his name to his personality had me hooked, as it was meant to. He's an addictive kind of guy, and it was interesting to read about how he and Bristol acted with each other.

The plot set around these two is interesting, and has several levels. There are personal issues, family issues, town issues, community issues, an after-life issues, all wrapped up into a book full of "I can't believe that just happened!" moments. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to read the sequel. I would recommend this book to any fan of young adult/new adult paranormal romance.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author's publisher, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Taken By Force (Taken Trilogy #2)

Taken By Force (Taken Trilogy #2) - Jessica Frances The prequel to this book, [b:Taken By Surprise|18375303|Taken By Surprise (Taken Trilogy #1)|Jessica Frances||25988743], introduced us to the main group in this series: Zoe, Charlie, Rose, and Will. These four young people are unique, with special abilities they've tried their best to hide from the world. We were also introduced to P.A.G.E., the rouge government organization with the goal of bringing about yet another war, using super-humans to fight their battles. We also met Joel, who was used as a puppet to commit a crime that lead to his torture. All five have something else in common: they were captured, they escaped, and they went into hiding.

They had plans to regroup after a year, hoping P.A.G.E. wouldn't be able to find them, and they'd be off the radar. They were wrong. [b:Taken By Force|18592788|Taken By Force (Taken Trilogy #2)|Jessica Frances||26337849] picks up 8 months after the group split up and went into hiding. Forced to choose between "fight" or "flight" they face capture again, and do everything they can to survive. We learn more about each character, and meet several other characters. One in particular, who was a surprise from the last book.

This series is a non-stop adventure, that will leave you on the edge of your seat, wringing your hands at the suspense and emotion. This is an amazing story, and I cant wait to read the third book in the trilogy, [b:Taken By Choice|18802386|Taken By Choice (Taken Trilogy #3)|Jessica Frances||26729844]. Jessica Frances is an amazing writer, and I would recommend her books to anyone.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

The Labyrinth Wall (Obsidian Series)

The Labyrinth Wall - Emilyann Girdner I enjoy books about puzzles, mysteries, riddles, adventure and suspense. Some of the best books for those ingredients are stories involving a labyrinth. There aren't many books that deliver the same kind of entertainment and excitement as a well-written labyrinth adventure. This is one such book, and is one I really enjoyed.

Most stories involving labyrinths follow someone from the outside who becomes trapped inside one, trying to find their way out. A unique twist in this book, the characters the story follows were created inside the labyrinth, and have never escaped. Desperate to find something more to life than living as an eternal prisoner, constantly in a state of near starvation and death, Araina teams up with several other people, most of whom she knows she can't trust, in order to find a way out of the labyrinth.

Full of exciting situations, humor, and a good look at the human psyche of a labyrinth prisoner, this book pulls you in, and doesn't let you go until the very end. This story mesmerizes you with fights against guards, cannibals, saber tooth mutts, and some slightly insane creatures. Well written and smooth, Emilyann Girdner has created a wonderful reality with this labyrinth experience. I look forward to reading more books from her in the future, and would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fight-for-survival adventure.

*I was given an ARC eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my post for The Labyrinth Wall Monster Wall Party!! See the book trailer, explore the map, learn about monsters of The Labyrinth, and more!! Check it out here!

Scapemaker (Scapemaker #1)

Scapemaker (Scapemaker #1) - Steve V. Cypert Dreams are things most of us deal with. We wake up grasping at wisps of images, and usually shake them out of our heads with our morning shower. Scapemaker poses a different kind of scenario: what if dreams aren't just in our heads? What if there's a dream world, and it's real?

The idea for this story is as fascinating as it is exciting. Matthew is thrown into a surreal world where dreams are real, even more real than the waking world, all while trying to save his innocent father from a lifetime in the dream-world prison. Battling night-terrors, extraordinary creatures, and his own past full of secrets, Matthew finds himself in a fantastic adventure against evil and darkness. While he tries to win the heart of his dream girl, he learns to use his new-found powers, and with the help of his new friends, he will help protect the future of dreams.

Mr. Cypert created an awesome story with this book. His attention to detail was wonderful, creating a well-rounded and complete alternate reality. I look forward to the sequel, and would certainly recommend this book to any fan of paranormal/supernatural adventure stories.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Princess of Light (Heirs of a Broken Land Series, #1)

Princess of Light (Heirs of a Broken Land Series, #1) - Marie Bilodeau "She would have to make a much more important decision soon, between independence and marriage, duty and love, life and magic." Forced to choose between a future of danger or luxury, Cassara embarks on a wild adventure to save her home and those she holds dear.

Attacked by evil creatures, Princess Cassara soon finds her world torn apart, and filled with danger she never imagined. Overcoming her fears, she sets out to rescue her kidnapped brother, and save what she can of her beloved kingdom. New people come out of the woodwork, and she fights to recognize who are her allies, and who are her enemies, while learning to control her magic.

Well written, and flowing quickly, this story is full of adventure, danger, secrets, and betrayals, sure to satisfy any reader. I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and would recommend to anyone who loves a good fantasy adventure.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.


Shattered - Sandra Madera, Susan Blevins The first thing that attracted me to this book, was honestly the cover. It's eye-catching and unique, and mixed with a synopsis that promises a good mystery, it seemed like something worth reading.

While it is listed as a "short story," I think I would probably categorize it as a novella. There are several characters the story follows, and it definitely has some intense and suspense-filled situations. The mystery of who killed the twin is awesome, and was very well done. I had no clue who it was until the last chapter, which left me biting my nails and had my stomach in knots.

I enjoyed Sandra Madera's writing style. It was quick, and she described the characters and surroundings very well. My only complaint, was the fact that in some places, especially in the high-suspense scenes, the author took the time to detail and describe things that I didn't really need to know, and it pulled me out of the intensity that scene was supposed to have. Some readers may enjoy knowing the color of the couch at the climax of the story, but I'm more of a "get to the action" reader, which is the reason for the four stars, instead of five. For a stand-alone mystery though, it was very good, and is one I would certainly recommend.

The Santa Claus League

The Santa Claus League - Stephen D. Miller Most people love Christmas, and the Holiday Season. I'm one of those people, through and through. I love everything about Christmas- I love celebrating the birth of Jesus, Winter is my favorite season, December is my favorite month, and living at the North Pole would make me incredibly happy. Most of all, I love curling up in front of the fire, with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I love books about Christmas, and now, I have a new favorite to add to the collection: The Santa Claus League.

I adore this book! The story in these pages is fantastic- it's exciting, sweet, magical, and completely wonderful. The twists Stephen Miller put on Christmas and Santa Claus are very creative, and sent my imagination whirling. The true love story between Mason and Julia is touching, and I loved watching them grow together. Along with their friend John, the three of them go on a fantastic adventure, taking on evil and learning more about Christmas Magic than they'd ever dreamed.

What I really love about this book though, is the overall message. That Christmas is about sacrifice and love, being selfless and kind, in spite of everything the world throws at you. It's a truly inspiring message, and I loved seeing that message put to action in this amazing adventure.

Mr. Miller is a fantastic writer. The story he's created is amazing, and I loved the details and descriptions he had for everything. From Santa's pocket-watch, to The North Pole, this book is truly filled with magic. I can't wait for the sequel to this story, so I can read more about Mason, Julia and John, and the incredible adventures they find, while living every day as if it were Christmas. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Christmas story, because this is sure to become a fast favorite, and possibly a true classic.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author's publisher (V&E Enterprises), to read in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my blog post for this book!! Includes an excerpt from the book, and awesome interview with the author! Check it out here!

Path Unchosen (Daughter of Ravenswood, #1)

Path Unchosen (Daughter of Ravenswood, #1) - Kim Cleary When I first saw this book up for a review tour, I figured it may end up being interesting, especially with the haunting cover. Since I'm trying to broaden my reading scope to include zombie stories, I figured I'd give it a shot. I liked this story, but it was just average.

What I did like about this story, was the honesty of the main character. She was treated badly in the orphanage she grew up in, and instead of rolling over and taking it for the rest of her adult life, she wanted to do something else, and figure out who she was. What I enjoyed most though, was Rose's character- partially because she shares my name, but mainly because of her strong and feisty personality.

What I didn't like about this book, was how it sped through everything. It kind of felt like a story on fast-forward. The romance and "feelings" Judy has for some of the other characters was a bit hasty, and seemed shallow. I also wasn't sure whether it was in an alternate world, or in our future after some sort of previous zombie plague (which is what I'm assuming happened). There just seemed to be some details that were left out, and would have made things more clear.

Overall, this was a book I liked ok. I think it would appeal to zombie fans, as it did have several creepy scenes, ghosts, a bit of suspense, and did leave me feeling creeped out. The overall writing, (flow, grammar, spelling, etc.) was good, and I didn't notice anything that really pulled me out of the story, except for a few plot confusions. I would recommend this book, if it sounds interesting to you.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Xpresso Book Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my blog post for this book! For a limited time, includes a giveaway!! Check it out here!

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective - Christine Amsden Wow. You know when you read a book, and it leaves you incapable of thinking anything but "wow" on repeat? Well, this is a "wow" book, for sure.

Growing up, I used to love mystery novels. I've gotten more into paranormal books recently, so the idea of reading a paranormal mystery seemed pretty interesting. Luckily for me, this book is just awesome! It's like a Nancy Drew novel, for adults...with vampires and magic, of course.

The beginning reminded me of the intro to "Father of the Bride." Instead of George Banks explaining why his house is trashed, or why he looks miserable in a tux, we have Cassie Scot, introducing herself, her family, situation, and odd little town. From then on, she continues to tell us about how her world is thrown into danger and chaos...repeatedly. That's one of the things I loved about this book though, is the POV. We follow Cassie, but it's not in the typical way, where we follow her around like a fly on the wall, seeing what's going on from the outside. Instead, Cassie is telling the reader her story- she's leading us, narrating to us, while the story plays out like a movie. I adore books written like that, and this one was done very, very well.

Cassie is an awesome character. Being the outcast in not only a magical family, but an entire town filled with sorcerers, she feels out of place, and unwelcome in her own life. She has a few friends, but no one she can truly open up to, and be herself with. She's lonely, lost, and vulnerable...until Evan waltzes back into her life, that is. In one chaotic day, her life is flipped completely upside-down, and in the days that follow, it's tossed around and stretched til it breaks. Her whole life alters drastically in every way she can imagine, and watching her deal with the changes was fantastic.

Evan is an awesome character as well. He's completely mysterious, and throughout the book, I couldn't figure him out. I didn't know if he was a good guy, or a bad guy, which of course, made me want to keep reading to find out more. Surrounding him are all the mysteries Cassie ends up having to figure out, and he challenges her in ways she probably wouldn't have been before.

All I can say is, I'm really glad there's a sequel, because I'm not ready to be done with this story. There were several things left unanswered, and several questions that popped up toward the end of the book that just have to be answered. Overall, this is a book I'd recommend, to any mystery, paranormal, adventure, or romance fan.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Goddess Fish Promotions, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my blog post for this book! Includes an excerpt, extended book info, and for a limited time, a giveaway!! Check it out here!

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot)

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot) - Christine Amsden In the first book of this series, we found magic, mystery, danger, and vampires. Well, take out the vamps, add a werewolf, up the danger, and you've got a good idea of this sequel.

This book starts off right where the first one ended. With Cassie's family relationships strained, and her romantic life complicated beyond sanity, her world feels even more out of control than ever. Taking a case with Evan sets events in motion that cause even more danger, mysteries, and swirling confusion to surround her.

This book is just as good as the first one, although it did have me much more worried, mainly for Cassie's well-being. She is fiercely independent and stubborn, and dare I say, overly prideful. Because of this, she ends up causing herself some grief and headaches she didn't need. Throughout the book, I kept thinking "Girl, slow down, stop assuming, and just talk to Evan!" The roller-coaster that is their relationship is nerve-wracking, and in the end, left me completely shocked.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I desperately hope there's a third part to this series. It is written just as well as the first, with maybe a slightly faster pace, and the same honest humor as the first book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery, danger, magic, or romance.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Goddess Fish Promotions, to read in exchange for an honest review.

See my review for book 1 in this series, Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective

Check out my blog post for this book! Includes an excerpt, extended book info, and for a limited time, a giveaway!! Check it out here!

Luminous (Psyne, #1)

Luminous (Psyne, #1) - Jasmine Angell If you were to mix magic, sci-fi, fantasy, mermaids, romance, and a bit of adventure, you'd get Luminous. The mermaids were fun to read about- graceful, near perfect creatures, who value life and harmony above all else, travel to our world to help when we're faced with trouble. This book reminded me a bit of Stargate: Atlantas, with the other-world portals, alien beings, and the powerful enemy they are made to face.

Ilauria is quite a character. Rebellious against a group of leaders she feels are wrong, she sets out on an adventure to save a world she loves, and rescue her missing sisters. Paired with some quirky companions, she faces dangerous creatures who threaten not only Earth, but the rest of life as well.

This was an interesting story to jump into. Starting out with emotion and vivid descriptions, the story kept up a good pace of adventure and intrigue throughout the book. The writing was eloquent and smart, and very well suited to sci-fi fans. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventures, sci-fi, or any of the shows on the sci-fi channel.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Read Between The Lines Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review.


Cottingley - Heather Farthing Interesting little short story. If you could imagine being a fly on the wall during a man's session with his therapist, this would be what you heard. The descriptions of his dreams, some of the characters, and events, were very colorful and eccentric.

The writing was good- the author explained everything very well, and created a natural situation of a therapy session. I enjoyed this short story, and would recommend it to others.


Shipwrecked - Heather Farthing This is a very quick read, only 10 pages or so. As such, the story is rushed and sped through. The plot-line is a story that is deep, and could be very easily expanded on, to a novella or even a full novel. Instead, it's squished into a very short story, which makes it feel like you're getting the highlights or extended synopsis for a full story. Still enjoyable, but actually somewhat bitter-sweet, because it's quite interesting.

The writing is good, and apart from being rushed and having details and events smashed together, I enjoyed this book. The descriptions of the mermaids are very interesting, and different from any other mermaid-book I've read so far. I'd recommend it, if you enjoy stories of mermaids, feeling free from an constricting society, and short stories.

The Heart-Shaped Emblor (The Ewlishash Series)

The Heart-Shaped Emblor - Alaina Ewing Mystery, secrets, and personal growth. These three words come to mind, when thinking of how to describe this book. The challenges Aislinn is forced to face, mixed with the personal growth and coming-of-age issues most of us deal with at 17, mix to make an interesting sci-fi story. Granted, she has to deal with college, ghosts, and freak-out worthy supernatural experiences, so that adds a bit of interest too...

The book starts off with a big dose of realistic issues and, as with any teen girl, drama. Friend drama, boyfriend drama, and personal I-can-see-ghosts drama. Not necessarily unpleasant, especially for those of us who read a lot of Young Adult books, but was definitely more apparent than with other books I've read. You're pulled into the emotional roller-coaster that Aislinn is dealing with at the moment, as she finds out who she is, and faces personal secrets she wasn't entirely prepared for.

As a leading character, Aislinn was alright. She's honest, quirky, gives into peer-pressure some times, but tries to do the right thing...or at least, knows what the right thing is, and wants to do it. Surrounding her are quite a few characters, some who leave quite early in the story, and others who stick around. The most note-worthy character, Alexander, is one I enjoyed. He's mysterious, strong, and charming. Not a bad mix, for a leading man. Plus, he has a dimple...don't you just love guys with dimples?

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Alaina Ewing's writing is very smooth and fluid, and she quickly pulled me into the world she's created. I enjoyed her way of describing things, surroundings, emotions, and situations. There were things I would have changed, or didn't care for completely, but the overall entertainment value was there, and I'd be happy to read the sequel. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good supernatural YA romance.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Reading Addiction Book Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review.

Check out my blog post for this book! Includes an excerpt from the book! Check it out here!

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