Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











18046744From Goodreads: Orphaned at six and sent to live with abusive relatives in Bucharest, Mariah learned early in life to box up violent, agonizing memories and put them in permanent mental storage. Now almost nineteen, she has a paying job, a tiny apartment, and a plan to attend university. She loves her independence and is steadily overcoming her past, but when an enigmatic stranger walks into the pub where she works and the trajectory of her life changes yet again, she begins to wonder if she’ll run out of mental shelf space.

The only females unafraid of the Mephisto brothers are the extremely rare Anabo, born without Original Sin. Over one hundred years ago, Phoenix was first to find one, but he made a fatal mistake and she was murdered by his oldest brother and enemy, Eryx. Phoenix soldiered through the next century wrapped up in grief and guilt, his only outlet planning takedowns of those who pledged their souls to Eryx. When one of his brothers brings Mariah to Mephisto Mountain, he’s torn between his instinctive, powerful need to pursue her, and his certainty that he can never have her.

Drawn into the world of the Mephisto, Mariah sees the pain and misery Eryx unleashes on humanity, and the boxes in her mind begin to fly open, one by one. All that keeps her from slipping off the edge is her unlikely, sexually charged friendship with Phoenix. He’s incredibly screwed up; she’s completely broken. It would take a miracle for them to find happiness. Then Eryx brings the war for Hell to a whole new level, forcing Mariah and Phoenix to make a choice that will bind them together for all eternity, or rip them apart forever.

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Perhaps the darkest novel of The Mephisto Covenant series to date, Trinity Faegen once again captivates readers as she tackles the very raw topic of abuse.  Mariah, biological sister to Jordan (who is the heroine of the second novel, The Mephisto Kiss), takes the forefront in this third installment, allowing readers to connect with her on a much more personal level as the story delves deeper into her life, unleashing the scars of her past that readers so briefly learned about in The Mephisto Kiss.    

Readers beware, this novel touches upon both physical and sexual abuse, and while extreme details are not given, the allusion of these acts against a child create vivid enough depictions and it is impossible not to feel Mariah’s pain as she attempts to heal, especially as she begins to open up to Phoenix and tell how she survived.

Faegen does something extremely interesting in this series, which is something not often attempted by writers, and it is that she overlaps the storyline of The Mephisto Mark with its prequel, The Mephisto Kiss.  For those who have read the prior novels in the series, you may note that Mariah’s story sounds very familiar because we’ve indeed heard it before in the second novel.  However, whereas The Mephisto Kiss skates over much of Mariah’s life, focusing more so on the points that deal with Jordan, from her adoption from an orphanage to her reuniting with Mariah, readers get the other side of the story in The Mephisto Mark.  Here, readers who wondered how Mariah survived while Jordan grew up in luxury get their answers, and while it isn’t a pleasant or happy story, it is beautifully told.  It’s gut wrenching at times, but Mariah is a triumphant survivor of abuse, and as she works through her past, she opens doors for others, such as Phoenix, allowing him to move on and do what’s right by all his brothers and the memory of Jane.

The Mephisto Mark also charges on past the cliffhanger from The Mephisto Kiss, shedding light on what happens after Jordan’s naive decision concerning Eryx, weaving the two novels together even more as the story unfolds.  It’s a perfect set up, in my opinion, and I love how seamlessly both novels intertwine.  This is also why I strongly believe that readers of this series should read these novels in order.  While it is true that a new reader to the series could actually begin with The Mephisto Mark, I strongly advise against it for a number of reasons.  Because of the deep intertwining between The Mephisto Kiss and The Mephisto Mark, I believe too much information would be divulged concerning the events in The Mephisto Kiss and Jordan.  Likewise, a truth is outted in The Mephisto Mark that, until this third installment, I believed to be wholeheartedly true.  I was surprised to learn that it wasn’t, which is turn changed everything, especially as it’s a main focus in both of the prior novels, and this is another reason I believe this series should be read in order; otherwise it will take away from the extreme surprise Faegen has in store for her readers.

In my humble opinion, all the novels in The Mephisto Covenant series has been perfectly executed, and I’ve loved them all immensely.  I highly suggest you read all three because they’re that superb, but book three is now definitely my favorite.  It’s so raw and deep, getting under your skin, leaving long lasting memories.

I am excited to see where this series goes from here, especially as Faegen gives readers a hint of what’s to come in the fourth installment of this epic series.  And, based on what I know from The Mephisto Mark, the fourth installment is going to go into uncharted waters.  It will be like none other, that’s for sure, and I can’t wait. Five stars.

5 stars

Pink Publishing, LLC has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this amazing novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on September 24, 2013.

The Mephisto Covenant (#1)

The Mephisto Kiss (#2)

The Mephisto Mark (#3)



17158158From Goodreads: Everyone has secrets.
Some are buried so deep, their existence is forgotten.
But a secret never told can turn into a lie.
And in love, a lie is one thing:
Poison.

Reid’s in love with Dori, though she hasn’t told her parents that she’s fallen hard for the guy they’d forbidden her to see. Now she’s leaving for college, and Reid’s promise not to push her to go public is wearing thin, especially when she can’t – or won’t – return those three important words he wants to hear.

Five years ago, Brooke and Reid were a Thing. That relationship is long gone, detonated amid allegations of cheating – but they still share a secret that would stun everyone they know and alter public perception of them both if it ever comes out. And it’s about to do just that.

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Here Without You, a moving story that will grip readers’ hearts, brings about the perfect closure to the Between the Lines series, a series that is very dear to me.  Beginning with the epic novels, Between the Lines and Where You Are, readers of this series have learned much about young Hollywood stars Reid, Brooke, Graham, and Emma through Webber’s in-depth characterization and first-person narration, giving all her exceptional characters a voice while allowing readers to connect with them on a deeper level, learning the truths in their hearts as their souls are laid bare.

But while the first two novels, Between the Lines and Where You Are focus on the intertwined lives of Reid, Brooke, Graham, and Emma, the last two novels, Good For You and Here Without You, focus mainly on Reid and newcomer, Dori, and it is through their relationship that readers really begin to see Reid change for the better.  And in this fourth novel, the introduction of another new character, River, provides a raw, gripping point-of-view that is beautifully executed in this final installment, which will leave readers raw and full of emotion; a full box of tissues nearby is a must for this heart-rending read.

Perhaps more so that Webber’s other novels, Here Without You deals with some extremely tender subjects, ones that actually cannot be mentioned without triggering a spoiler here or there.  But readers should know that this extremely powerful story will have them falling in love with all their favorite (and not so favorite) characters all over again.  It is, in a word, perfect.  Five stars.

5 stars

I purchased this novel from Amazon.

Tammara_Webber_Fan_ClubCheck out all the books in this awesome series!

Between the Lines (#1)

Where You Are (#2)

Good For You (#3)

Here Without You (#4)



17325147From Goodreads: What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

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I read some reviews about Left Drowning prior to reading it, which is something I hardly ever do, but as the note above states that it’s a novel for mature audiences as it includes strong language and sexual content, recommended for Ages 17+, I wanted to do a little research first.  Those of you who have read my reviews on the blog over the past few years already know that I’m a bit of a prude, and those of you who haven’t read my reviews, well… I’m a bit of a prude.  And, as the New Adult genre has become more prolific (and I love it), I’ve learned to research my novels with the above warnings prior to reading them because I don’t want any surprises.  That being said, I feel like the reviews I read prepared me quite well for this novel’s delving into the sexual aspect, but not so much for the intensity of the characters as they bare their souls.

This read is intense.  The characters are extremely deep and their plights really moved me. Both Blythe and Chris are extremely raw inside, running from their pasts, and it’s hard to keep from crying as you read through their situations. And it’s not just them, it’s every character.  Park reels her readers in with the authenticity of her characters, splitting them wide open and forcing them to work through the pain, face their pasts, and triumph or die trying.  Originally I thought this novel was just about Blythe and Chris, but really it’s about them all: Sabin, Eric, Estelle, Zach, and James… each one playing an integral part in this story; each one is hurting, and though it takes a while for protective walls to come down around the characters for the reader to really see their true selves, it’s there, it’s raw, full of emotion, and I just loved how Park portrayed them, forcing them deep into my heart and making me feel like I truly know them. The fact that this novel took place over a few years was an ingenious idea that further connected me to the characters as I watched them graduate from college and begin living lives on their own, and while I don’t agree with all the decisions the characters make, it’s absolutely beautiful.

Honestly, I really enjoyed this novel, even more than I originally thought I would, and it all has to do with Park’s undeniable ability to create characters and events so real that the reader cannot walk away untouched.  Park focuses on some very difficult topics in this novel and she does so with extreme care, and though my emotions were all over the place as I read, I wouldn’t have it any other way (make sure you have tissues nearby). The one aspect I, personally, could have done without, though, were the very graphic “mature” scenes that I felt were a bit too long (I really prefer fade to black sequences, but to each their own), but overall, the power of the novel really overrides that aspect for me.  Four stars.

4 stars

Amazon Publishing has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on July 16, 2013.



et cetera
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