Because you can't judge a book by its cover



Here in America it is Thanksgiving week. For me this means time spent eating way too much yummy food (completely ignoring the fact that I have several pounds left to lose before I will be able to fully fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes), time spent with the family (love to see them and love to leave them after a couple of days) and time spent in the car traveling to see the family. For me, this also means some down-time where I get to tackle some of my ridiculous TBR pile (so much to read, so little time). So I thought I would share with all of you some (notice I say some and not all) of the books I am hoping to read this coming week.

enders gameEnder’s Game by Orson Scott Card

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

erasedErased by Jennifer Rush

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.
After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

     Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth — before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?
This is the second book in the Altered series (you can find my review of the first book here).

the ghost next doorThe Ghost Next Door by Ginny Baird


When destiny takes a hand…
You’ve got to hold on tight.

When single mom Elizabeth Jennings gets sent to a new town to revamp its weekly paper, she resists. Her daughter Claire is just fifteen, and has recently started high school. But Elizabeth’s boss insists, so the two pack up and move to the tiny Virginia town, which isn’t even on most maps. Their luck goes from bad to worse when they discover the house Elizabeth rented online cozies up to an abandoned house. When creepy things start occurring next door, Elizabeth’s glad to have the small-town sheriff in their corner. Nathan Thorpe is not just a stand-up guy they can trust, he’s cool to have around when things go bump in the night. Elizabeth also learns he’s good at holding her tight. And, when she’s wrapped in his arms, she becomes afraid of more than ghostly happenings. She fears she’s losing her heart.

Like most folks in Blayton, Nathan Thorpe is here for a reason. Only, he didn’t fully understand what that reason was until a stunning brunette and her daughter came to town. Nathan’s immediately drawn to Elizabeth and feels motivated to protect her and Claire, believing that means shielding them from nonsensical small-town lore. With Halloween approaching, there are rumors swirling about concerning the old Fenton place located across the street from the graveyard, and next to the newer home occupied by the Jennings. Nathan’s a calm thinker who can find a rational explanation for almost anything. Yet there are deeper mysteries in Blayton than Nathan can explain. When he learns the truth, will he still be able to hold onto the woman he loves?

cold spellCold Spell by Jackson Pearce

     Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.
     But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.
If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?
Iinnocent bloodnnocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
     A vicious attack at a ranch in California thrusts archaeologist Erin Granger back into the folds of the Sanguines, an immortal order founded on the blood of Christ and tasked with protecting the world from the beasts haunting its shadows and waiting to break free into the sunlight.  Following the prophetic words found in the Blood Gospel–a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries–Erin must join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and the dark mystery that is Father Rhun Korza to discover and protect a boy believed to be an angel given flesh.But an enigmatic enemy of immense power and terrifying ambition seeks the same child–not to save the world, but to hasten its destruction.  For any hope of victory, Erin must discover the truth behind Christ’s early years and understand His first true miracle, an event wrapped in sin and destruction, an act that yet remains unfulfilled and holds the only hope for the world.
The search for the truth will take Erin and the others across centuries and around the world, from the dusty plains of the Holy Land to the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, from the catacombs of Rome to an iron fortress in the Mediterranean Sea, and at last to the very gates of Hell itself, where their destiny–and the fate of mankind–awaits.
Okay, so I probably won’t be able to get to all of these gems this week but I will do my best. :-) What fabulous reads do you have lined up for this holiday week?

summer-reading-590x442It is that fabulous time of year again, SUMMER, where it feels like we have permission to stop…take a breathe….and read without feeling guilty. Not that I ever feel that guilty for reading (although I probably should given the amount of time I spend reading) but it seems like it is more permissible to read without guilt during the summer time. I don’t know if it is the fact that most of us take a vacation, that everything seems to slow down or that it is just too hot to care about what we should be doing and instead do what we want. This has been on my mind for two reasons, 1) I just got back from spending a couple of days on a houseboat on Lake Powell (where I did get some reading in) and 2) it is SOOOOO hot here in Phoenix that I am refusing to go outside until it cools down a little.  I didn’t get a picture of it (but I wish I would have) but at one point on the houseboat I looked up to realize that I and five of my extended family members were all reading books on ereaders.

For summer reading I have found that I like to mix it up, read some old goodies and some new possible favorites. I thought I would share with you some of the books on my summer reading list:


Frederica by Georgette Heyer

When Frederica brings her younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, she seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.

Lord Alverstoke cant resist wanting to help her

Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising – and altogether entertaining – country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled…


hex hall

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.



Firelight by Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness forces her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is the gorgeous, elusive Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.


Roses in Moonlight by Lynn Kurland

ESroses in moonlightCAPING INTO THE PAST…

Derrick Cameron, antiquities dealer and adventurer, is furious when the priceless piece of Elizabethan lace he’s been pursuing slips right by him, in the improbable custody of a mousy textile historian! But he will retrieve it, even if it means dragging a very skeptical, albeit adorable, Samantha back in time with him. After all, he is used to living dangerously—in whatever century he finds himself.

Conscientious Samantha Drummond never dreamed the package her British employer gave her would lead her into places an ordinary gal should never go—like Elizabethan England!—or throw her into the company of one extremely attractive, but highly suspect Highlander who not only thinks she’s a thief, but insists on involving her in his mad schemes to retrieve his stolen treasure.


Trapped first in Elizabethan England, then caught in a web of modern-day intrigues, Samantha and Derrick are forced into an unlikely alliance by peril, never imagining that what they’re forging is a timeless love….
can't stop believing
Can’t Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas
In New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas’s small town of Harmony, Texas, “there’s always something brewing” (Fallen Angel Reviews). Now, a generations-old feud is about to come to a head—and the stakes couldn’t be higher with two hearts on the line…Cord McDowell gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to explain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition—she has to sleep in his bed every night for as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy—and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband of necessity, she discovers something unexpected—a love so deep it takes her breath away.

Hopefully you get to spend some fabulous time either waterside, lakeside or couchside reading. What’s on your summer reading list?

Bridal 23Novel Reaction wants to wish our long-time reviewer Jillian a Congratulations on her wedding! For the romantics out there (which most of us are or we wouldn’t read romance novels like we do), Jill wore the same dress that her mother and grandmother were married in. Yes, that is an original 1940′s dress that amazingly fit her like a glove. Jill is the only one of her sisters to wear the dress (although we all wanted to but it didn’t fit the rest of us and the fabric was too old to safely alter) and it meant even more to her because our mother passed away almost six years ago. Jill has promised that once the wedding chaos has died down she will once again be providing regular reviews for Novel Reaction so we will get to read/hear her entertaining voice again soon. Congrats Jill!


What happened at Novel Reaction? Why have there been no postings for weeks? I know that I posted I would be doing regular reviews and Books-to-Movie Challenges again, and I really meant to. But in addition to everything I shared on my posting titled “We interrupt our regularly scheduled postings“, I am pregnant. Which is fabulous! My hubby and I are both very excited to be welcoming a new book worm to the family in October (and yes, I have already started buying books for him). B-U-T in addition to being pregnant I have been suffering from nausea, which means the last thing I want to do is turn my computer on.  I have joked with my hubby that lately I have become a bump on the couch, not moving much but the cat has sure been enjoying my inactivity. :-)

So what does a bookworm do when she doesn’t feel good? She reads of course. But, I have found that when I am not feeling great I want to reread favorites. So while I have been flying through at least a book a day for the last month, they have all been rereads of old friends. Georgette Heyer, Betty Neels, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn, Terry Pratchett, to name just a few. What about yourself? What do you read when not feeling fabulous?

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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