Book Review + Giveaway: Devoured by Emily Snow

20130612-084842.jpgTitle: Devoured (Devoured #1)

Author: Emily Snow

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Sienna Jensen had no plans to return home when she graduated college last spring—after all, her dreams lie in California. But when she discovers her grandmother’s Nashville home has been foreclosed, and the new owner has started the eviction process, Sienna has no other choice but go back to Music City. And she comes face to face with the flawed, gorgeous man she never thought she’d see again. The man who now holds the deed to her grandma’s estate.

When millionaire rock star Lucas Wolfe finds the outspoken redhead glaring at him from across a courtroom, he’s both infuriated and intrigued. He still can’t get the night Sienna almost spent with him out of his mind, and the chemistry between them is as undeniable as it was two years ago. He craves Sienna more than ever. And just like everything Lucas hungers for, he’s determined to have her.

Now, Lucas will do whatever it takes to lure Sienna into his bed, even if that means making a deal with her: ten days with him, playing by his rules, and he’ll hand over the deed to her grandmother’s home. Though she agrees to the arrangement, Sienna is conflicted. Because of her duty to her family. Because of promises she’s made to herself and a past that still haunts her. And as Lucas’s game of seduction continues, and Sienna is introduced to his dark, erotic world and even darker background, she realizes that at any moment, she could be devoured.

*This novel contains adult situations and content*

My Review: Sienna has a troubled home life and has been all but traumatized by her upbringing. She is pretty timid and although she has strong opinions has trouble standing up for herself. Well to everyone but Lucas. The memory of their last encounter is not easy for her and as much as she is attracted to him, she refuses to allow him the opportunity to humiliate her again. However, this agreement they make- 10 days where she works for him, changes her and opens both of their eyes. That what they share is more than an explosive chemistry, they share the potential to fall in love.

I kind of had a love/hate relationship going on with this book. First off, the first couple of chapters seemed to drag for me. I had trouble connecting to Sienna and that in turn made it difficult for me to connect to the book. But then the romance starts. You guys know how much I love romance right? Well it starts and then I start getting a better understanding of Sienna and her and Lucas’ relationship. Secondly, there were a couple of times when certain actions would just leave my head reeling. Seriously. It’s like Sienna would get from point A to point B without any explanation or transition. It would just happen and I would sit for a second, scratching my head, flipping pages back and forth and absolutely confused as to how this all came to be. And for the record, the second reading did nothing to ease my confusion. Third, this book deals a bit with domination. As in a little Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as I enjoyed Fifty Shades, here it felt at times that that novel was being channelled. You guys know how much I enjoy originality right? Well luckily that channelling did not last long and I was able to enjoy Snow’s writing for what it is. A novel all of her own.

So, yes, I had a few ups and downs with Devoured but my final opinions of it are pretty positive. I loved the romance between these two and watching them help each other grow. They each had to get past some of their personal demons for them to really give their relationship a shot and they got past these with the support of the other. I really enjoyed watching Sienna’s character grow and seeing her get some backbone. And the ending. The ending was pretty amazing to me. It definitely had its bit of sappiness but I loved the happy ending. It was creative and heartwarming and definitely made the read worth it.

Giveaway: Now you get a chance to win a paperback copy of Emily Snow’s Devoured. Remember that it’s not exactly Young Adult and sex is involved. So, for you appropriate audiences hop on over to Rafflecopter for your chance to win a copy. This giveaway is limited to the US. To enter Click Here.

Book Review + Giveaway: Mask City

Mask City

Title: Mask City

Author: James Agee Jr

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Blurb: With James Agee, Jr.’s second work of fiction, Mask City, he presents a world where two siblings, Thomas and Lacy Farthur, are thrust out of their seemingly harmless world into a society they formerly didn’t know existed: an underground domain where the common adage, “A person is not a person without a mask,” is exploited in the most dreadful manner. Thomas and Lacy, through a series of dramatic and horrendous undertakings, eventually find themselves challenging the system that took everything away from them. This work is an exploration of friendship, trust, redemption, and discovering purpose.

My Review: Mask City is an interesting novel to say the least. As the blurb says, this story is about two siblings: Thomas and Lacy. The relationship between the siblings was loving and honest which I also enjoyed. They live a very sheltered life away from civilization. Honestly, at the beginning I kept asking myself what the title has to do with the story; Then the story unfolds and I was left with no clue what to expect.

After a series of events that I never saw coming, these two siblings end up in Mask City. I was very intrigued by the brother and sister in the story. In particular I really enjoyed Thomas. His way of surviving took me a few minutes to understand. His way of knowing his choices were taken away from him and that he must do as told to survive was kind of humbling. In literature, I have come to expect the protagonist to fight against the system. For his way of surviving to be, I don’t know, kind of heroic. Agee, in this novel showed that there are times where the only way to survive is to follow the rules set forth.

Mask City is intriguing and with the exception of the chapter where Thomas receives his mask, this was a pretty quick read. Every chapter has a little cartoon/ animation at the beginning. I really enjoyed these and thought it did wonders for setting the scene. In that particular chapter, the animation is someone crying and I’ll admit, it scared me off. I was expecting a very creepy and painful scene- and it was. So with the exception of my irrational fear of this scene I mostly read this novel straight through. It was intriguing and tended to be unexpected.

Now, I am a sucker for happy endings and Mask City had it in spades. Seriously, it was pretty great. After reading Jim, Agee’s short story, I was looking forward to seeing how he would do with a novel. Mask City is a fast paced novel, which I enjoyed, yet I was left feeling that the characters could have been better developed. I think that had there been more character development, I would have felt more of a connection to the characters- in particular that has more to do with Lacy. I sadly felt no connection to her at all. I think that had I felt that connection to the characters I wold have enjoyed the ending a lot more. Also as unreasonable as this complaint may seem, I felt as if that happy ending came a little too easily. Not that the characters didn’t suffer enough, it’s more that I feel the actions leading to it were just too lucky, too convenient. Everything just fell into their laps and the happy ending I first hoped for came about too quickly. I feel like a bit of an idiot with this complaint. No doubt, the novel was good, and I fully enjoyed reading it but I got to the ending and was left looking for pages. Like, is that it?

So even with the afore mentioned complaint, I enjoyed the novel. It was well developed and a page turner. This a novel that is unique and even their mundane kept me guessing and entertained. It was a guessing game and I never knew what to expect from it. Which tends I be something I enjoy.

Now, here is your chance to get a copy of Mask City and form your own opinion of it. James Agee Jr is giving away four ebook copies of this novel. Since Rafflecopter truly seems to be the way to go just click here to enter. Giveaway ends January 12, 2013

*I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review