Review: Friend Me by John Faubion

Friend Me

Friend Me By John Faubion

Melissa Montalvo folded her hands on her lap and stared across the table art her final interviewer.

Scott and Rachel are a married couple that has grown more than complacent in their relationship., Scott is a financial investor is facing a predicament that is putting a lot more pressure than he is used to. Perhaps, more than he can bare. Rachel is a stay at home mom for their two kids. She is longing for adult interaction and has growing doubts about Scott and his love for her. Enter Melissa and This is a techno company that has developed software that will allow people to create a virtual that is essentially real in every aspect except for physical bodies.  Rachel decides to recreate a virtual friend with the personality of her dead friend Suzanne. When the pressure begins to get to be too much for Scott at work, he creates a friend Alicia. Through backdoor programming, Melissa is looking for the person that is her perfect match. That programming matches her with Scott. She sees him being married as a mild stepping stone, especially when Scott has gone further astray then he thought it was possible.

Okay, I am just going to say it. This book is twisted. From the very beginning. There really isn’t a build up before we see just how crazy Melissa is. And then Faubion just keeps it going. I enjoyed this not just because it was about her killing/stalking habits. It examines an average marriage and how easy it is to become complacent in it.  Don’t get me wrong, Melissa setting her sights on Scorr didn’t help the marriage. But Scott and Rachel’s relationship had issues, the first and most obvious one was lack of communication. Scott didn’t tell Rachel that he loved her and he didn’t talk to her about what was going on at work. And despite the popular opinion, it wasn’t because he thought she was too dumb to understand or that he was falling out of love with her. He felt that he was failing Rachel as a husband and wanted to protect her. Rachel, on the same hand, thought that she was failing him as a wife.  Both come to the realization, almost too late, that their marriage was something worth fighting for.

I am going to point out something that may be overlooked in all of the action. I am not making an excuse or even saying that it was alright. But Scott was a decent guy. He made a virtual friend, not  in the hopes of replacing his wife or even to get some side action. It was a way to relieve the stress and pressure of his job. He did this with the understanding that the virtual friend was not software that had human behind it. Alicia was supposed to be virtual in every single way. Thankfully Melissa’s crazy pulled him out of the rabbit hole before he went irreversibly too far.  But isn’t that how it always start? When someone pulls up some porn, it’s not to replace their significant other. When a married person finds themselves alone with a coworker/church member/friend of the opposite sex, it’s not always because they sought that person out. It is very easy to fall down the emotional rabbit hole, unless a couple is conscious of the pitfalls and actively put up safeguards. And this is a lesson that Scott and Rachel learn when they decide that they are going to fight for their marriage and do everything that they can to protect their family.

Was it all believable? No, there were some things that were a bit of a stretch. But this story was realistic. And it happens in some form, maybe without the life and death drama, all too frequently.

3 stars 

Once again, as it had years before, Scott’s heart thrilled in the knowledge that this real and wonderful girl was his wife.

A copy of this book was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Always Shine! 

Friend Me is currently available!

If you want to know more about John Faubion or his books, check out his website,

Bookshelf Spotlight October 18, 2016

This idea was inspired from the Waiting on Wednesday feature, hosted by Breaking the Spine.

I am really trying to focus on reading the books on my shelf as much as possible. (In fact that may be my only reading goal that I stick to next year.)  So as I was flipping through book hauls on blogs that I follow as well as on Booktube, I got an idea.

book mail 2

BookShelf Spotlight is an opportunity to look at the books that I already own and see which one I am looking forward to reading to the most. Because it is my intent to work whatever book I spotlight into my reading, I will only do a spotlight once I have read the chosen book.

I enjoy waiting for new books to drop and for me to get my hands on them., but in the hustle and bustle of that I tend to forget about the jewels that I already have on my shelf.  Since this is my first one, I will be spotlighting 2 books. Picking just one is very difficult for me.

The October List

The October List by Jeffery Deaver

October 1, 2o13

Goodreads Summary:  Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter.
At last, the door opens.
But it’s not the negotiators. It’s not the FBI.
It’s the kidnapper.
And he has a gun.

How did it come to this?

Two days ago, Gabriela’s life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She’s given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and find a mysterious document known as the “October List” within 30 hours, or she’ll never see her child again.

A mind-bending novel with twists and turns that unfold from its dramatic climax back to its surprising beginning, THE OCTOBER LIST is Jeffery Deaver at his masterful, inventive best.

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir 

August 30, 2016

Goodreads Summary:  Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Always Shine!

Sexytimes Romance Report: Omega

Omega (Penton Legacy, #3)

Omega By Susannah Sandlin 

The Penton Legacy #3

David Jackson’s back slammed into the wall with enough force to crack the plaster, sending a cloud of dust, splintered lathing and blood-covered plaster chips pluming outward.

Challenge: #readmyowndamnbooks and Complete a series

I picked this book off of my shelf as a reading palate cleanser, as the previous book left me with a bad taste. I have been meaning to get to this book for a while. A really long  while. I read the first and second book of this series almost four years ago. (I can’t believe that it’s been that long, but that’s what Goodreads says….) While normally I wouldn’t recommend going 4 years between books in a series, at least not without rereading from the beginning, I wasn’t lost with this book. This is in part because each book is in itself its own story within a bigger story.

For those who have not read the first two books, I won’t go into this book with too much detail. But this series follows a scathe of vampires who are trying to survive the blood shortage caused by a human vaccination. Aidan Murphy started this scathe between vampires who are willing to live by a strong moral code and unvaccinated humans who agree to be feeders in exchange for living in peace. In short, the Penton scathe is an anomaly in the vampire world, and not vampires are happy about it. The vampire tribunal, the vampires’ governing body, at best, is passive about the Penton Scathe. Until a power hungry, morally bankrupt and twisted vampire, Matthias, starts whispering in their ear. This starts a chain of events putting the Penton scathe on the defensive, not just with assaults led by Matthias, but with the tribunal as well.

I am not sure if I did a good job explaining the series, but I promise you that it’s really really good. While  the overall story is about the Penton scathe trying to convince the tribunal that they are innocent and that Matthias is the bad guy, each book focuses on a particular couple. Redemption  is Aidan and Khrys’ story;  Absolution is Mirren and Glory’s story; Omega is Will and Randa’s story.

Will and Randa have had a rocky relationship, both carrying huge bricks from their past on their shoulders. Both are certain that the other hates them, but the grudgingly do what they have to since Aidan has made them patrol partners. Then things begin to change, and they realized that the other was carrying some baggage and their public personas was just a way to cope and deal with those issues.  As they are digging deeper with each other, for the sake of their partnership, they begin to uncover (or admit) the growing attraction between them. In this book, both will have to confront the truth of themselves as well as the truth of their fathers.

But this is not just your average romance. Ir’s not just hot and steamy. This love story is full of some blush worthy sexytimes.  There is almost sex, definite sex and loving sex. But don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are done with great taste and it’s done between two people who deeply care for each other, even if they do not realize how deep their feelings go. While it is graphic descriptively, it is not smutty.

What I really, really enjoyed about this book is that the story could have stood on its own without the sex.  What I mean is that the scenes didn’t just set up the next sex encounter,  they were a part of the whole. And while the story would have been a great story without the sexytimes, it was also made much richer with the sexytimes.

This is a series that I would definitely recommend. I found the story engaging. I found the characters lovable and I am still invested in all of the characters, well all of the good guys. I found myself laughing out loud, because despite the danger that they are in, they’re still funny as hell at times.

5 Stars 

He leaned over and kissed her long and hard, ignoring the throbbing pain in his chest and the fact she’d accidentally beaned him in the head with her cast.

If you want to learn more about Susannh Sandlin and her books, you can check out her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Always Shine!

Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab 

Monsters of Verity #1

The night Kate Harker decided to burn down the school chapel, she wasn’t angry or drunk. She was desperate.

Kate is a human whose father controls the north of V-City by  controlling the monsters and offering protection to those who pay. August is a monster whose adopted father controls the south of V-City, by having three of the most powerful monsters on his side. The truce that has held the peace for so long after the world was torn into chaos is threatened. Both Kate and August will learn what it means to be humans, and that monsters aren’t all made of shadows and claws.

Okay, so I really wanted to like this book. I did. I was excited because most of the booktube channels that I watched was raving on and on about Schwab and her previous books. So, when I had the opportunity to get a review copy, I snagged it. I put off reading it, wanting it to be close to publication as possible. But in the way life goes, I missed the pub date. But, I picked this up back in August. Towards the end of August, but still August.

Yes folks, it has taken me that long to get through this book. A part of that is because it was on my kindle. Another part was because I was taking a break from review books to just read for fun. But a disappointing part was because the book wasn’t all that interesting. I got excited when I saw a few reviews that said TSS was slow in the beginning but picked up towards the middle.

What they should have said was that it starts to pick up around page 250, (which is a little past the middle of the book) and that it doesn’t kick up until page three hundred and something. With it beingonly 427 pages, that’s a long time for a book to get started.  In fact it wasn’t until page 323 where I was certain that I wasn’t going to mark it as DNF.

Here’s the good news, the ending was very very good. Things happened that I didn’t expect. While there wasn’t a happily ever after, I do believe the story came to a nice resolution, while also setting up the rest of the series. But, if you are like me and just don’t have time for books to take forever to get to the meat of the story, you could read it as a standalone.

Here’s the bad news. While the ending partially redeemed itself, and there are parts that I did enjoy, the longevity of the novel and the excessiveness of the irrevelant words and scenes has turned me off of Schwab’s writing and I doubt if I will continue with this series or read anymore of her work.

2.5 Stars

She turned back to the window, and looked ouy toward the city , and the Seam. her fingers drifted to the still-cracked glass, and against the dark  she drew a star, and then another, and another. August wrapped his arms around his sister’s shoulders and watched her fill the sky.

A copy of this title was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

If you want to know about Victoria Schwab or her books you can check out her websiteFacebook, or Twitter.

Always Shine!

My Reading in September


Okay, so I am still reading what I want. And for the most part, it’s working out for me. I have enjoyed most of what I’ve read, and I’ve only DNF’d 3 books.  I did get distracted from the series that I was reading, but I am making up for it now.

Saying that, I have decided to focus on series that I’ve already started and reading things for two challenges that I started late (100 best fairy tale retellings and 100 Science Fiction books written by women). That’s not to say that I won’t read other books, but I need to clear some books out of my shelves and out of boxes. I need the space, and since most of the series are ones that I’ve collected I want to read but not keep this seems the fastest way to do some shelf cleaning. Know what I mean?

Anyway, this is what  I read in September:

Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4)   Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5)

Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris  Sookie Stackhouse #4/ Dead as a Doornail  Sookie Stackhouse #5- I have been listening to this series on audio, and I love it! I really enjoy the narrator, the accents and voices. It makes the story that much better. Maybe next year I will read the series and see if I enjoy it that way as well.

Finn's Choice  (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #4)

Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #4-  This was the review book I picked for September, and the review has been posted. I really enjoyed this series, I love the characters and how everything ended. Though it was sad to say good-bye, I loved this book.

Magic Mourns (Kate Daniels, #3.5)

Magic Mourns By Ilona Andrews  Kate Daniels 3.5/ Retribution Clause  Kate Daniels World/ Magic Test  Kate Daniels 5.3- I took a break from the actual novels to go back and read the novellas. And while they have no bearing on the overall storyline, the novellas were enjoyable and provided insight to the other characters.  I liked getting glimpses into characters that would normally be in the background of the main characters and main events. Each one was treated with as much respect as the full-length novel and was just as enjoyable and engaging.

VSI by Nancy Holder  and  Spellcaster 2.0 by Jonathan Maberry – I read these two short stories as I was reading the Kate Daniels stories. I was very excited to see that the anthologies carried these authors, as I had been wanting to read some Jonathan Maberry (who has been an awesome facebook person) and wanting to get back into some Nancy Holder. Both of these stories I enjoyed. And I know that I need to get my hands on some of their full-length work sooner rather than later.

Books I didn’t finish:

Among Others by Jo Walton-  This was one of the books for the 100 best science fiction books written by women challenge. The person I partner read this with enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, I didn’t connect or even like the main character, and I didn’t like the diary format that it was written in.

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia – This was another for the 100 best science fiction books written by women challenge. I made it half way through it. I enjoyed the first part, but then got bored quickly.

Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner –  I picked this up because a friend was raving about the author. Being curious and wanting to branch out I picked up this title. It was okay to start, but it didn’t hold my attention. And this time it was a me problem and not a book problem.

Well that is all of my reading in Septemeber. We will see what happens in October.

Always Shine !

Review: Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut

Finn's Choice  (The Adventures of Finn MacCullen, #4)

Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut 

The Adventures of Finn MacCullen #4

The problem with being an immortal Celtic warrior – okay, an apprentice immortal Celtic warrior – is that fate has a long time to mess with me. In a bad way. Ol’ fate has sure been having some fun with me lately.

I won’t go over, again, how  much of a fan I am of Karchut’s. Yes, I am biased. Yes, she is one of my D.E.A.R. authors.

Ok, this is the 5th time that I have attempted to write this review. I am stuck between gushing over it and trying to be impartial. if you  have been following me for a while, you  know that I am a huge fan of Karchut, and that I have yet to be disappointed by anything of hers that I’ve read. And at this point, I believe that I have read everything that is available.

This is the final book in The Adventures of Finn MacCullen series. This time, Finn is facing his biggest challenge. In the other books, it was more about saving the world or at least other people. This time around it is just about Finn, and saving him from an uncertain future and losing everything that he has grown to love. There are special cameos that made my heart smile.

I loved this book! Despite it being the final book, I think this is my favorite. Things didn’t end the way that I expected. There was no secret catch behind the challenges. Finn’s choice revealed so much more about him than I was expecting.  While everything was wrapped up nicely, there was also a glimpse into what was to come for Finn and Gideon that ultimately let my heart rest.  This is a series that I will reread for the pleasure of it, but it is also one that I will love sharing with my son and my nephew and anyone else that I can force to sit down and read it.

If you  have not started this series, I highly recommend it. And if you have but are waiting on this book, I say go get it now and read it tonight.

5  Stars

“Oh, no doubt. Perhaps even more. But, the day will come sooner than you think, when you will no longer be an apprentice. You’ll be a knight, with the occasional apprentice to train, and maybe even a family of your own.” Gideon sighed. “Ye gods.”

Always Shine!

A copy of this book was given to me, free. in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Finn’s Choice is currently available.

For more about the author, check out her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Reading Check In 8/17

book mail 2

Hi guys! I just wanted to drop in and let you all know what’s been going on with me. I have been reading, but most of the books that I’ve read are either part of a series (and I am waiting til I finish the series to do a review) or simply not really  worth a review. I do have some review books that I’ve been reading or will be reading , so review posts will be coming.

But I kind of sort of took a break. At least from the rat race of reviewing. It’s hard to write reviews for books that were just “meh” or that are part of a series (since I don’t want to give anything away).  And after talking with my friend, I decided to go “old school” with my reading. You  know – if you’re old enough to have experienced this- before technology got involved. If you read an amazing book, or at least one that made a deeper impression than “that was ok”, you would talk it up to your friends, strangers, anyone standing around looking lost.  I have accepted that not every book that I read will need a review. If it’s not something that I would talk about to my friends in real life, it’s probably not worth the time and effort it takes to write a review for my blog.

That’s not the only change I’ve made. I don’t use Goodreads anymore. It is a great way to track the books you’ve read and that you want to read. But, that just helped me lose control and if I live 5 lifetimes I would not be able to read everything on that list. I use libib, to keep track of my physical and digital libraries, as well as the digital books that I have for review (because I have so many that I forgot about them. You know out of sight, out of mind.) And I have been keeping an old fashioned paper and pen reading journal.  Since I have started this in the beginning of July, I have read 13 books. My reading goal for the year was to read 80 books. So add that with the total books that I had read tracking Goodreads and a few that GR didn’t count because they were re-reads, and I am at 90+ books.  Not bad if I say so myself.

In case you want to know what I’ve been reading:

I have finished Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

I am currently half way through the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

I have started the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine.

Always Shine!