The Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski

The Butterfly CodeThe Butterfly Code by Sue Wyshynski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aeris Thorne is a talented musician that is taking the summer to visit her father before starting performing in the much sought after position she was offered. On a night out Aeris meets the mysterious Dr. Hunter Cayman and finds herself immediately drawn to him even though everyone warns Aeris to stay away from Hunter. When Aeris’s life is threatened Hunter comes to the rescue but then Aeris find herself in the middle of the secrets that Hunter has been hiding.

Starting out reading The Butterfly Code the first thoughts crossing my mind is this has a somewhat Twilight-ish vibe to it. The young somewhat naive girl is taken by the mysterious guy that she’s been warned away from. Then the whole saving Aeris part really reminded me of Twilight so I was honestly thinking to myself what is this, a vampire book? The synopsis is a bit vague really but in the end there weren’t any glittering vampires anywhere to be found and the story turns to an interesting sci-fi plot.

I would say my only complaint really when reading this was towards the beginning, I just felt it had a slow start to it when it took me a while to realize I wasn’t reading another vampire novel. Instead this story has it’s own twists and turns dealing with Hunter being with the Phoenix Research Lab for Highly Contagious Diseases and that will be the only hint I will give at where the story goes. It definitely picks up though and becomes very engaging once the meat of the plot starts to unfold.

Overall, a bit slow start but became a fast paced page turner in the end. A mix of sci-fi, thriller, and romance all wrapped into one.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Roman Rescue by Michelle Gilliam blitz with giveaway

Roman Rescue: Who Will Save The Hero?
Michelle Gilliam
Publication date: May 21st 2016
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Romance

Maggie has always been a sassy, headstrong Southern girl. But running off to Rome, Italy on summer break from college is the most impulsive thing she’s ever done. Her brother is in trouble, and she’s determined to rescue him- after all, he’s the older, wiser, military officer who has never needed her help before. Paul is in a mess with an Italian ex-girlfriend who has cut ties with him…but is pregnant with his child. Maggie thinks she can fix it.

After all, a break from her life would be nice, too. She just broke up with her long time boyfriend, and her estranged mother keeps hopelessly trying to reconnect with her. Italy sounds like the perfect refuge. Until she meets Paul’s best friend, Marine Sargeant, Luke Seager. He complicates things in every way. He persists to play tour guide and asserts his way into her plans at every chance. Maggie prefers to become a hero on her own, but as she digs into the truth about Paul’s predicament, danger builds around them. While the tension and mystery grows, so do her feelings for Luke- a man with his own shrouded past.

Nothing is as it seems when Maggie gets more than she bargained for with the girlfriend’s mafia ties, Luke’s dangerous connections, and unexpected guests from home. Finding out the truth lands Maggie in more trouble than she can escape. Who will save the hero now?

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EXCERPT:

I strolled further down until I found a pizza place and dove in for a slice of basil, mozzarella, and sausage. I ordered a Coke, but it came at room temperature, so I changed it to water instead. But, pizza and water weren’t the right combinations. Maybe I tasted the tomatoes more, or the sauce’s bright red color made it look too eerie. Again, I blamed it on Fear whispering warnings of stares from unsmiling

eyes. Wasn’t Rome the city of romance? Then why did I see figures in the shadows, taxi drivers with guns, and blood in the pizza sauce?

On the way home, I tried to ignore the shadowed alleys and drivers staring me down as they passed by. I double-checked that my debit card hadn’t fallen out of my bra. It was still there, safe from thieves.

The night air, fruity and moist, smelled unlike the air back home. I walked, taking deep breaths with my nose to the sky. Going through the park, a breeze whipped by, causing me to imagine the world before cars, a time when the Roman statues were real. I could see it. I could see me in it, wearing a long tunic. What did Dr. Francisco call it in English class? A stola, yes. I would look good in a stola, gold chains strapped around me. I imagined the horse dung in the streets and stopped romanticizing. I wouldn’t call it pessimism but realism. Life had taught me not to believe in the wonderful, magical, or romantic. Not that I hadn’t tried.

I pulled the key out of my bra and entered the apartment. I glanced around for a television and spotted the floating stairs. At the top of the stairs was Kayla’s and Luke’s bedroom, tidy and simple with a triple-tier shelving of masculine books: Shooter, Abraham Lincoln, and various spy novels. I also found a TV. I smiled and threw myself into a chair after emptying the clothes from it.

That is where Luke found me, asleep in his bedroom chair. His wide shoulders and his body blocked out the light. It alarmed me. Only a dark sketch of him stood there, looking down at me.

“According to this note, you must be Maggie.”

“Please, tell me your name is Luke, so I won’t have to kill you,” I managed to get out while stretching my arms and rubbing my eyes, barely awake—barely thinking—but not afraid.

“Yep, you’re Maggie. I’ve heard of your quipped tongue.”

I sighed. “Great, my reputation has preceded me all the way to Italy. At nineteen, I’m not sure that’s a good thing.”

“Nineteen, just a baby.”

That riled me. When I should have asked to stay on his couch, I couldn’t. I stood. “I’m not a baby.” I squinted at his dark silhouette and tried to look him straight in the eyes. I stood on my tippy-toes, but his eyes were still inches away, taller and higher, out of my reach. “Well, damn, are you six-four, or what?”

“Maybe six-three,” he said with pride.

I composed myself after a thick swallow. “Must be hard to be that tall.”

“Sometimes.” His insecurity showed. His voice wavered or his shoulders dropped; it was so subtle and so quick. I don’t know, I could just tell.

I took the clothes from the bed and put them back on the chair.

“You don’t have to mess with that.”

“I moved them; I’ll return them. What time is it?”

“Twelve-thirty.”

I took a deep breath, walked over to the top of the stairs, and looked back. That’s when I noticed Luke’s face: soft reddish-tan complexion and pool-water blue eyes. I paused, wordless for too long.


Author Bio:

Michelle Gilliam, BSN lives in Tennessee with her husband and three sons, two of which are college football players. She was raised by a southern mother and a British father and her accent is quite a mess with California, Florida, and Texas influences. She loves to read, analyze, and create. But all of that comes after a good cup of coffee and a conversation with a close friend or while treating her patients. That and her dreams are the source of her stories. She first began writing poetry and it is apparent when you see the use of descriptive launguage as she paints rooms, international settings, and people.

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The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Oomerbhoy blitz with giveaway

The Last of the Firedrakes
Farah Oomerbhoy
(The Avalonia Chronicles #1)
Publication date: August 15th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way.

Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

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EXCERPT:

For a second that felt like a lifetime, everything stopped; I felt like I was floating in nothingness. Then I blinked, and, when I finally opened my eyes and focused again through the tears, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

I found myself standing at the mouth of a small cave situated on a hill and overlooking a quiet, moonlit valley. On my left, a dark forest stretched out as far as the eye could see, treetops glistening silver in the light of the full moon. The hills around us undulated into wildflower-filled meadows that lay sleeping in the dewy night.

Far down in the valley, I could see a little village, its lights twinkling in the distance. To my right, a waterfall splashed playfully into a small river that ran down into a lake, next to which the little village was built. The moon here was fuller and larger than I had ever seen it, and the night sky was awash with a fantastic array of glittering stars.

Had I passed through the tapestry? Where was I?

I looked around, disbelief clouding my judgment. I was still trying to get my bearings after that strange moment when I had been inside the tapestry and nowhere at the same time. It gave me a funny feeling, as though I had been lifted out of my own consciousness and then put back into my body.

A warm breeze brushed past my face and played with my hair. Gone were the cloudy grey mist and the cold, nipping wind of the English countryside. I drew in a sharp breath—the air was crisp and clear, sweet smelling, and fresh. The moonlit valley was filled with fruit trees, wildflowers, and rolling meadows.

“How did we come here? Where are we?” I asked, still confused.

“You really are ignorant,” said Oblek, glancing at me. “I take it your uncle didn’t tell you anything?”

I shook my head and looked down. Oblek had tied my hands with a rope he had with him while I was still dazed and looking around. It was humiliating, and the rough ropes cut into my wrists, rubbing them raw every time he pulled me forward.

I had to find some way out of this. And, at the moment, the only thing I could do was discover more about where I was. Then, when I got an opportunity, I could escape and find my way back up to the cave on the hill, where we had arrived out of the tapestry.

But then what?

Christopher was probably dead, and Aunt Arianna would doubtless blame me for everything since I had disappeared at the same time. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t really want to go back, and, now that my adoptive parents were dead, I had nothing to return to.

I was starting to panic. I had nowhere to go, and my mind was imagining an array of horrible outcomes of my kidnapping. My palms had become sweaty, and my racing heart was thundering in my chest as I half-walked and half-ran, desperately trying to keep up with Oblek’s giant strides.

“Why are you doing this?” I pleaded with my kidnapper.

But Lord Oblek said nothing. He didn’t even look at me. He just kept walking ahead and dragging me along behind him, with no more explanations as to what he was planning to do with me.

I was terrified, and I had no idea if I was going to survive this. But I tried to be brave. Maybe I could talk my way out of this?

“You do know that this is called kidnapping?” I said, trying to reason with Oblek.

He didn’t bother to answer.

“What will happen to me now?” I squeaked, my voice breaking, as I tried not to cry.

“Queen Morgana will decide what is to be done with you,” said Oblek, finally.

Queen Morgana! The woman from my dream? It was not possible that this, too, was a coincidence. It must be the same Morgana, the one who had tried to kill my real mother.

Who the hell was she?

Suddenly all of this seemed extremely scary. I hoped that I was still dreaming and that there was no way I had actually traveled through a magical tapestry into some strange land. It all seemed very exciting in books. But actually being kidnapped and then hauled around like an animal, traveling deep into a land I knew nothing about, was not my idea of fun.

I had to get away from this horrible man, and fast.

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Author Bio:

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.

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Wake the Hollow by Gaby Triana

Wake the HollowWake the Hollow by Gaby Triana
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

After six years Micaela Burgos is now returning to the town of Sleepy Hollow after she received news of her mother’s death. Mica had chosen to leave the town and live with her father in Miami when her mother became obsessed with history and ignoring her daughter when Mica was only twelve and needed a parent in her life that paid attention to her.

The town of Sleepy Hollow was made immortal by literature but it’s a very real place that has Mica drawn into figuring out just what her mother had been obsessed with finding out about their lineage and what really happened to her. Mica is haunted by her dreams and the ghosts of the past during her investigation into her mother’s murder and the town is all on a treasure hunt to claim the reward for anything revealing info into the author of Sleepy Hollow’s past.

I was a bit back and forth with this story as I was reading. I really enjoyed the setting and incorporating the story of Sleepy Hollow into a new modern story but there seemed to be a few holes in the story here and there and a bit confusing to start out as to where it was really going.

For me personally I think what I’d like to have seen was to forget about any kind of romance aspect being added in and focus more on the investigation/paranormal aspect of the book. I think with Mica just losing her mother it felt off to have her worried about the next cute boy she meets throughout the story. And with that being added I think the “ghosts” of the story didn’t get enough attention that they deserved to make it really give the spooky feel that it should have had.

Overall, 3.5 stars for Wake the Hollow. While I enjoyed it I think it could’ve have been done a bit better to rate higher in my opinion.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For All to See (Bureau Series Book 1) by Megan Mitcham

For All to See (Bureau Series Book 1)For All to See by Megan Mitcham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On the island of Tortola in the Virgin Islands there’s a bit more that sun, surf and beautiful scenery, Tortola is also the home to a serial killer. After three years on the “Field-Dresser” case, Special Agent Nathan Brewer is sure that he knows who the next victim is going to be. The killer has always killed women close to each other and after the latest body had been discovered Nathan is sure Madelyn Garrett is in danger, now to just convince her to trust him and let him protect her.

For All to See is one of those books I went in expecting it to lean more towards the chasing a killer type of a story but it ended up really focusing more on a developing romance between the investigating agent and the potential victim. This is not necessarily a bad thing as I do enjoy a suspenseful romance read too but I had gone in wanting a bit more to the case than I ended up getting.

Also, I’m find with the idea of the sexy agent and the potential victim story line and the pair forming a relationship but I’m not sure if this just felt rushed into or quite what it was overall that just didn’t completely jive with me. There’s one scene that really kind of turned me off between the pair that bordered on creepy in my opinion that just kind of ruined the tone of rooting for the couple to fall in love.

Overall, decided on three stars for this one. I’d like to have been more invested in the couple and seen more of the solving of the case.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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