Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

Ari, a seventeen year-old with a unique look: silver hair and teal eyes, has always felt out of place. Abandoned at a young age, Ari was thrust into the foster care system. Now, she's determined to find out what happened to her mother even if it leads her to New 2, the rebuilt city of New Orleans. Having been destroyed by hurricanes, with a government unwilling to rebuild, the most powerful families of New Orleans pool their massive wealth in order to buy what is left of New Orleans. The rebuild and New 2 is the result. A place unlike any other where rumors of supernatural creatures run rampant.

Ari's quest to find out who she is leads her to this unfamiliar territory. However, with her otherworldly looks and her general otherness, Ari finds that she feels at home among the freaks and outcasts of New 2. But the more she learns about herself and her ancestry, Ari finds that perhaps she is a freak among the freaks. Just what sort of monster might she become?

Overall, Darkness Becomes Her was an enjoyable read although much darker and disturbing than most of the other paranormals out there. However, there was at least one aspect of the story that I found lacking.
But let's start with what I liked.

I liked that Ari was such a strong female character considering all that she'd been through. Having been abandoned at a young age Ari ended up in the foster care system and suffered some unspeakable horrors, many of which are merely alluded to in the book, while other atrocities are mentioned outright. I know that some readers have difficulty reading about abuse inflicted on children, so these forays into Ari's past may be a turn-off for some readers. However, Ari tries not to dwell on her past but to focus on the here and now.

I think Ari's difficult past allows her to handle all the weirdness that is thrown at her. She doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on why things are happening, she just accepts things and reacts accordingly. For those that enjoy a fast paced read, Darkness Becomes Her certainly fits the bill. There is nary a lull in the action.

The secondary characters in Darkness Becomes Her added to my enjoyment of the story. They're colorful, intriguing characters. Especially Violet and her albino alligator.

The romance aspect of this book felt rushed. While I think Sebastian will be an excellent, swoon worthy character. I felt the romance between Ari and Sebastian was a bit premature. Because there is so much action in the book I didn't buy into the romance between these two. Had their relationship developed a little more, I'd have been ok with it, but as it stands I thought that aspect of the novel was weak.

Darkness Becomes Her mixes a lot of supernatural beings from voo-doo priestess to vamps to Greek gods and goddesses. Sometimes I have a hard time when an author mixes so many supernatural entities. I feel like the world building can suffer so far that doesn't seem to be the case with Darkness Becomes Her but I am wary of the amount of supernatural aspects. I hope Keaton can keep it all in check!

Darkness Becomes Her mixes traditional supernatural creatures with Greek mythology and the result is the start of a darkly, disturbing, action packed paranormal series.


Challenge(s) Fulfilled: Debut Author & E-book

Disclosure: I received this ARC from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for this review.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I've been busy and haven't had much time to update the blog. I need to write my reviews for the following books (and audio books)! So keep an eye out for them. Hopefully I'll have one up tomorrow!

Audio books:
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr

Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it's his art that truly soothes his troubled soul.

Stung personally and professionally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock has rented an old Victorian with a promising garden in Virgin River. She's looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.
Both are looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives, but when Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there's an instant connection. And in Virgin River, sometimes love is the simplest choice of all…
Wild Man Creek is easily one of my favorite installments of Virgin River series. That's saying a lot, considering there are thirteen books (including novellas)!

We met our heroine, Jillian, in Promise Canyon she, along with her sister Kelly and two of her best friends, happened to stop in Virgin River on their way back from their week long girls vacation. Jillian fell in love with a huge Victorian House that reminded her of her Nana and felt like home. Months later, after Jillian has been betrayed by her boyfriend and forced to take a leave of absence from her high stress job, she finds herself drawn back to Virgin River and the house that felt like home.

There she discovers a passion for gardening the rare fruits and vegetables that her Nana once harvested. Whereas most people garden as a hobby, Jillian's drive and passion turn it into something more. Something that she think may, one day, make a promising business venture.

Enter, Colin Roirdian. The sexy, scruffy ex-pilot, current painter shows up, with easel in hand in the back yard of Jillian's new temporary home. Colin is taking a breather in Virgin River after recovering from a near fatal helicopter crash followed by rehab for his addiction to his prescription pain meds. Unfortunately, his career in the armed forces has been cut short. Colin's accident has given him the time and opportunity to focus on his wildlife painting, however he does not intend to give up flying for good. He plans to, after his stint in Virgin River, to travel to Africa to photograph wildlife to use in his future paintings as well as investigate any flying opportunities abroad.

Jillian and Colin's attraction is immediate and their relationship progresses quickly. Surprisingly, there's little drama where there was potential for it. Jillian was betrayed by her previous boyfriend which could easily have made for trust issues. Jillian doesn't demand Colin forgo Africa for her. It was refreshing to see Jillian encourage Colin's pursuit of his dreams and goals. Both parties know going into their relationship that it has an expiration date. Jillian will eventually have to give up her gardening to return to the corporate world and Colin has his African safari planned. Or can they build a new life, together, in Virgin River?

I love, love, loved Wild Man Creek. I loved Jillian and Colin's relationship, while not perfect, it was loving and supportive with out a lot of drama where drama could easily have complicated their relationship.  As I've said before, and will likely continue to say in all my reviews of Virgin River books they're my warm fuzzy reads. When I need to feel like all is right with the world, I can always visit Virgin River for uplifting stories about friends, family, love, and community.


Challenge(s) Fulfilled: E-book

Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Audiobites: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Narrators: Bahni Turpin, Octavia Spencer, Jenna Lamia, & Cassandra Campbell
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Hours: 18 hours, 19 minutes
Awards: 2010 Audie Award Winner - Fiction & Distinguished Achievement in Production
Audio Excerpt

The Story:

The Help is set in 1962, during civil rights movement, in Jackson, Mississippi . It is told from three different points of view; two African American maids, Aibileen and Minny, and one twenty-three year old socialite, known as "Skeeter". Together, these three women risk everything to tell the true story of the lives of African American maids working in Jackson: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Narration:

The Help was one of my Book Club's selections. I'd read that the audio book version was excellent, especially with the southern accents and dialect, so I decided to give it a try. I'm so glad I did! The three main narrators for this book were excellent.

The only issue I had, at first, was with the narrator, Bahni Turpin,  reading Aibileen's part. Aibileen is in her 50's and the narrator just did not sound age appropriate. Her voice didn't have the age and wisdom I would have expected from Aibileen. However, after awhile, it didn't bother me.

The narrator for Minny, Octavia Spencer, is also playing Minny in the film version of The Help due out later this year. I thought Octavia's narration of Minny was spot on. She's an outspoken, sassy woman and Octavia delivered Minny's narration flawlessly.

Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan's character is narrated by Jenna Lamia. I thought Lamia did an excellent job of narrating Skeeter. Skeeter is still caught in that limbo between young adulthood and adulthood. Lamia's narration conveys Skeeter's struggle with being the proper daughter of a southern family and her desire to be an independent, working writer and journalist.

What I loved about the multiple narrators in this audio book is that these three women become the reader's friend. Listening to the narrators and characters come to life we, as readers, become part of their inner circle. That's why when Chapter 25 (or 26, not sure) rolls around, listeners get quite a shock. This chapter details the events of the much anticipated Junior League gala event.

This chapter, unlike the rest of the book, is told in third person. This way we, as readers, get an clear picture of how the event goes down with no one character's version. In the print version, the chapter looks different so readers are aware that there's a change in the point of view. For this chapter only, in the audio book, we get a different narrator.

I can't tell you how jarring it was to have gotten used to the three main narrator only to have a completely alien voice take over. I was so confused and flustered that I listened to about half of the chapter before skipping forward to make sure that the rest of the audio book was told by our three main narrators. The abrupt narrator change was akin to having a serious discussion with friends only to be interrupted by a a complete stranger.

Aside from this little snafu, I can easily say that The Help is one of the best audio books I've ever listened to! When my Book Club met to discuss The Help one of the things many of them had trouble with was reading Abileen and Minny's dialect. Having listened to the audio, I didn't have this problem and found the accents and dialect rich and ensnaring.

For a wonderful listening experience, or if you're at all interested in reading The Help, I would highly recommend the audio book!


Challenge Fullfilled: Whisper Stories in My Ear Audiobook Challenge

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Attention Historical Romance Readers!

You won't want to miss the 1st Annual March Madness Blog Party!!!!

While Historical Romance has not always been my first choice in genres, two of my favorite reads from 2010 were Historical Romances. I'm looking forward to discovering other authors in the genre by participating in author Ashley March's 1st Annual March Madness Blog Party! Please see the following information on this event celebrating all things Historical Romance!
Some people might think of March as the month for basketball tournaments and St. Patrick’s Day, but starting this year March will be known for a celebration of historical romance readers and writers. From Tuesday, March 1st through Thursday, March 31st, come interact with some of your favorite authors, meet new ones, and enter to win 40+ prizes as Ashley March hosts the 1st Annual March Madness Blog Party at
A fantastic line-up of historical romance authors will be guest blogging with giveaways every single day, and a special daily feature will highlight romance community sites, reviewers, and bloggers who support historical romance.

In addition to the recent releases, upcoming books, and ARCs given away by historical romance authors each day, historical romance readers will also have a chance at winning:

1.A bundle of 5 historical romances every Sunday.
2.8 Victorian lady postcards
3.8 “Do you know the way to Pemberley?” postcards
4.8 “Well behaved women rarely make history” medieval postcards
5.A “Romance Reader & Proud of It” tote bag
6.Two secret prizes (to be announced during the month)
7.A Grand Prize package of historical romance books and a Victorian-styled lovebirds necklace
Aspiring historical romance writers also have a couple of things to be excited about:

1) Kris Kennedy’s agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, has generously agreed to give away a partial critique to the writer she believes has the best 3-sentence written pitch. One of Kris Kennedy’s books will also be given away, as an example of the type of work Barbara loves.

2) Ashley March will provide a full critique of another aspiring historical writer’s completed novel.

Rules of Eligibility

Daily Author Giveaways

To enter to win one of the books given away daily by our guest authors, simply reply with a relevant comment. A winner will be chosen randomly from all participants. Authors will decide whether the giveaway will be open to US and international residents; this information will be posted at the bottom of each blog.

Historical Romance Reader Prizes

1.Each Sunday, all the daily participants’ names from the last week will be gathered and one random winner will be drawn to receive a bundle of 5 historical romance books. To increase your chances of winning, make you sure you post a relevant comment on each blog. This includes guest author blogs and Featured Romance Site of the Day blogs. (Note: More than one comment on a post will not increase your chances of winning.) These prizes will be open to US and international residents.

2.The 3 packages of historical-themed postcards will be given away randomly throughout the month. To enter to win, you must post a relevant comment on the blog announcing each random giveaway. These prizes will be open to US and international residents.

3.The 2 secret prizes will be announced randomly during the month, with the rules contained in the individual blog posts. These prizes will be open to US and international residents.

4.The winner of the “Romance Reader & Proud of It” tote bag will be the first person to correctly answer a set of trivia questions about historical romance books and authors. Hints will be provided in the form of an online scavenger hunt. The trivia contest will be presented on a random day during the month. This prize will be open to US and international residents.

5.On April 1st, all the daily participants’ names from the entire month of March will be gathered and one random winner will be drawn to receive the Grand Prize. To increase your chances of winning, make sure you post a relevant comment on guest author blogs and Featured Romance Site of the Day blogs. (Note: Posts for other giveaways such as the postcards, tote bag, and aspiring writer prizes will not be counted.)
This prize will be open to US and international residents.

Aspiring Historical Romance Writer Prizes

The rules for the partial critique & giveaway and full critique will be posted with the individual blogs announcing the contests. Make sure you visit daily to find out when each contest opens!

Our thanks to all of you who read, write, and support historical romance. We look forward to seeing you soon at the 1st Annual March Madness Blog Party!

Guest Author
Featured Site
Other Prizes
Tuesday 3/1

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Saturday 3/5

Sunday 3/6
Book Bundle
Monday 3/7

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Sunday 3/13
Book Bundle
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Saturday 3/19

Sunday 3/20
Book Bundle
Monday 3/21

Tuesday 3/22
Elizabeth Essex

Wednesday 3/23

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Sunday 3/27
Book Bundle
Monday 3/28

Tuesday 3/29

Wednesday 3/30

Thursday 3/31

Friday 4/1

Grand Prize

Please let me know if I have erroneously linked to the wrong website/blog. I think I got them right though!

Help promote this event by blogging about it or grab the button below:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reveiw: Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr

After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River’s new veterinary assistant. The secluded community’s wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he’s been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone except Lilly Yazhi.
Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within her own aboriginal community, and she’s not interested in coming back for more. In her eyes, Clay’s earthy, sexy appeal is just an act used to charm wealthy women like his ex-wife. She can’t deny his gift for gentling horses, but she’s not about to let him control her. There’s just one small problem—she can’t control her attraction to Clay.
But in Virgin River, faith in new beginnings and the power of love has doors opening everywhere...
Promise Canyon is book 10 (13 counting novellas) in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series, the first in the latest trilogy which is followed by Wild Man Creek and Harvest Moon. Like any series with so many installments there will be books that are better than others and Promise Canyon isn't one of my favorites nor is it my least favorite. It falls somewhere in the middle.

Virgin River reminds me very much of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, not in content or genre but because of the multiple story arcs, recurring characters, and character development over time. However, Promise Canyon introduces us to a new hero and heroine and I found it harder to get into.

I did enjoy the main relationship but I just didn't feel as connected to the characters as I have in the past. In Promise Canyon both main characters are Native Americans but from different tribes. Clay is Navajo and Lilly is Hopi. Lilly, having been jaded at a very young age by another Navajo is determined to avoid the new Native veterinary assistant, but Clay has other plans.

Clay patiently befriends and eventually worms his way into Lilly's heart. Lilly is resistant to her attraction to Clay and allows her past to cloud her judgement of the man Clay is, unfairly, comparing him to a reckless Navajo boy who once broke her heart. Clay is wonderful hero, sexy, steadfast. Not in the least bit tortured. Just a good guy with some baggage in the form of an ex-wife who eventually shows up to add additional conflict to Clay and Lilly's relationship.

In Promise Canyon, Virgin River says good bye to one of their own and also welcomes new faces who will, no doubt, one day star in their very own Virgin River adventure. While not my favorite in the series, Promise Canyon advances the series and is, overall, a good addition to the series. Every time I review one of these books I use the same description, because it's always true; Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is always heartwarming and uplifting.


Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.

The series in order:
Challenge: E-book

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reading Recap: January 2011

I didn't read as many books in January as I thought I did. Because many of the reviews I posted in January were books I actually finished in December.

Read in January:
  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Audio book) - 5 Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Review to come!)
  2. The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  3. Libertine's Kiss by Judith James - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  4. Eddie and the Cruisers by P.F. Kluge - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  5. Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr - 3 Chocolate Covered Strawberries (Review to come!)

Currently Reading
  1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan (Audio book)
  2. Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr
Read in December but reviewed in January:
  1. Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - 5 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  2. Night Betrayed by Joss Ware - 4 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
  3. Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann - 3 Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Of the books I actually read in January the two that stand out the most are The Help which was amazing on audio but it's such complex story, I'm having trouble writing my review. Keep an eye out for it though! Secondly, was Judith James' Libertine's Kiss. I've mentioned this before but Judith James and Courtney Milan are easily two of my favorite historical romance authors. If you have read them, get on it!!!!

How is 2011 starting off for everyone else?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Look!

You may have noticed that Book Fare Delights has a new look! That is unless you're reading via a feed reader. So take a minute to check out the new look and let me know what you think!

I enjoyed the old one but this is more simplistic but still has lots of pink!

I adapted the "Shopping Bag" Blogger Template to suit my needs.

I'm loving it and hope you enjoy it as well! Anything missing that you think I just have to have? Input is greatly appreciated!
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