Obsidian (LUX Novel 1): Book Review

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Book Blurb:

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.

My Humble Opinion:
I love this book. Because … Aliens!!!
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Always had a secret little fetish for Aliens. Add to that my love for superheros with awesome powers and my exasperation with realistic stories of unrequited love and the impossibility of inter-species relationships (cough cough Sookie Stackhouse series cough cough), this book was an absolute breath of needed fresh air.

Won’t go into the story here. That’s for you to read and me to be smug over having read it already.

We have the other-alien-villain-race that is hell bent on obliterating Daemon’s people. Secret government organizations that track and try to keep ahead of each of these races. Under cover human-alien experiments. And a missing, suspected dead, twin, who needs to be found. Makes for the light but engrossing kind of page turner, with all the elements of a superhero romance put in for the kicks.
Now quite a lot of readers have said that Obsidian is reminiscent of Twilight and what not. But honestly folks, I liked Obsidian (and Onyx and Opal, and all the other books in the LUX series) much more than the famed Twilight series, or the other regular dark hero stuff going around. The main tipping point being, Daemon Black, the hero who while being a jerk, is not a depressed debby downer and the heroine is a normal human being, not a weepy dishrag!
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So Daemon Black is dreamy. He totally owns his otherness, his powers, his beauty and the whole frikking show. So when he comes up in a scene, the nerd in me does a happy dance and claps gleefully, because Daemon Black is not ashamed of what he is. He is actually quite proud of himself and his powers. SOOO not an ANTIHERO! (I think the Daemon they got on the book cover is meh and totally picture Bill Skarsgard in the role but that’s besides the point😀 ) The heroine, Katy (I loved her nickname Kitten by the way) is the regular teen. She is not uncoordinated, not shy, just a little awkward like most of us are at the age. Katy is funny, butts heads with the best of them and loves fiercely. She reads a lot, also like a lot of us. The best part is that she writes a book blog.
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The day my internet was hooked up was better than having a hot guy check out my butt and ask for my phone number.
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And Thank God for no insta-love. The story develops from Katy and Daemon cutting each other to pieces, amidst checking each other out…
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“You’re such an ass. Has anyone ever told you that?”
He flashed a genuinly amused smile. “Oh, Kitten, every single day of my blessed life.”
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My palms itched to have a close encounter of the bitch-slap kind with his face.
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“The son of a bitch blew up my laptop.”
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…to being forced and then actual friends, albeit simultaneously getting hot for each other …
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“You don’t look like an alien!’ It seemed important to point that out.

He arched a brow. ‘And what do aliens look like?’

‘Not…not like you,’ I sputtered. ‘They aren’t gorgeous–‘

‘You think I’m gorgeous?’ He smiled.”

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…to eventually give in and become lovers.
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“Will you show me what you really look like? You don’t sparkle, do you? And please tell me I didn’t almost kiss a giant brain-eating insect, because seriously, I’m gonna—”

“Kat!”

“Sorry,” I muttered.”page_end

“I won’t hurt you, Kat.” His tone was softer, but still laced with fury as he tried to control me without doing any real damage. “I could never hurt you.”
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Obsidian, the first book in the LUX series, is an awesome SCI-FI, YA, action packed romantic adventure series with twists, turns and lotsa surprises.
I finished Obsidian in one sitting, started after dinner and was finished the next morning. I then promptly started with the next books of the series, household duties be damned.  I loved it. I would completely recommend it to the readers of the supernatural/fantasy/scifi romance genre.

Hide and Seek (Poem)

You don’t know how it feels in here,

you’re not in my head, you see,

to keep you out, I’d lie to you,

I’d lie to keep the peace left to me.

 

I got it all jumbled, the up and the down,

Don’t know what’s good from bad,

I’d still fight to keep the good I can,

and take what bad is to be had.

 

Hide and seek’s the game we play,

a game of screens and smoke,

I hide you seek, I seek you hide,

and what’s left to unearth is hoax.

Sakshi Chopra

19 May 2016

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Happily Ever Ninja: Book Review

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Book Blurb:

There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true.

Except… not.

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

Meet Greg Archer:)

And this is Fiona …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happily Ever Ninja is the fifth book in one of favorite book series – Knitting in the City by Penny Reid. (Check out my pinterest Penny Reid board https://www.pinterest.com/sakshichopra26/penny-reid-appreciation-board-d/ . She is pure gold people). Although Greg and Fiona’s story is stand alone, I would recommend reading all the books in the series for full enjoyment of all the wonderful characters.

I love all Penny Reid books and especially this series. But when I was around the fifty percent mark, I thought I won’t give Happily Ever Ninja a five out of five star rating. I thought it was too close to reality and therefore, did not fulfill/assuage my dire need to escape from real life; something that I usually want to experience while reading romance books. Mundane things like picking up dirty clothes after your husband leaves them all over the floor (bedroom or bathroom or hallway or under the sofa or anywhere actually), doing the dishes, wiping down the counters, paying bills, thinking about investments, following up on the gazillion things that pop up randomly at all hours and so on and so forth aren’t high on my list of things to feel about while reading a romance book.

However, something happened when I wasn’t deterred by the things I wasn’t liking (don’t we all need a break precisely from these things when we read? I know I do) and kept reading anyways. The story grew. The characters grew and kept getting deeper. Instead of just laughing at Penny Reid’s characters’ antics, I started getting very emotionally invested and cried along with Fiona when she cried and finally opened up about her needs and wants. My heart beat right along with Greg even when he was being an ass. I completely understood Fiona’s frequent urge to kiss Greg and then choke him and then kiss him again. Reluctantly I also understood Greg’s need of shielding Fiona (and consequently his children) from all the nastiness going on. I got the characters, I laughed with them and cried with them and made them my own.

What I am trying to say is, by the time I finished, I had fallen in love with this book. Not because it had a perfectly perfect romance, but because it so beautifully described and handled the perfect imperfections of the marriage and the love story of two headstrong, independent, intelligent and self reliant people. People who struggled with but finally understood the notion that relying on each other makes them stronger, not weaker. That needing your husband/wife/partner/family/friends is the most natural thing for a human being and nothing to be ashamed of. That asking and expecting love, respect and companionship from your husband/wife doesn’t make you selfish or entitled or needy. It just means that you want them and that’s that. Took Greg and Fiona the whole book, but then oh well…That was what the story was about, for me at least.

The knitting group made it’s appearance and now has a new member, Aunty Gregina (LOLZ)…All of my beloved characters were there once again to support each other. I swear I go through a crocheting face after reading another book in the Knitting series.

The love story is sneaky here. Penny Reid is being a sneaky ninja. The hero and heroine have a long distance relationship for most of their lives which might not be inherently romantic but once you start thinking about it, the fact that they have been together through thick and thin and so much distance and absence makes this one of the most optimistic and deeply romantic story I have read. Most people give up a relationship as soon as the term ‘long distance’ is thrown in the mix. These two didn’t and didn’t for years. Greg and Fiona argue about any and everything. But then they work and fight so hard for their relationship, through all the realities of managing two kids and jobs and dreams and aspirations.

I am giving Happily Ever Ninja a five star rating because Greg and Fiona’s love story happened and thrived in the midst of raising kids, saving the world’s environment, managing household bills and investments, battling terrorists, doing laundry, being spies, washing pots and pans and teaching kids stuff you don’t want them to learn on the streets! Such a wonderful book:)

Oh and I made a banner… Cookie for me😀

Amour Amour: Book Review

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How high do you dare to dream?

How much do you give up for it?

How far are you ready to go?

How much are you prepared to loose?

Amour Amour is the story of Thora James, an acrobat gymnast and amateur aerialist, who dreams of making it to one of the best circus shows of the world, Las Vegas’ Amour. A rare lead position has opened up in Amour and the show producers are looking for a female gymnast who has it in her to shine on stage. If Thora lands the role, it means a minimum one year contract with Amour, not to mention the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

No one believes Thora can make it. Her parents expect her to play it safe and finish her remaining year of college education in accounting, which she got through a gymnastics scholarship. Her best friend and fellow gymnast Shay is strongly against her up and leaving everything she has, for a pipedream she wants to chase. He reminds Thora repeatedly that she cannot dance, has an average face that is forever fixed in a scowl and is too tight laced to perform with the kind of sensuality required for a love ballet. Her dream is impractical. Her hopes are childish. Her move to Las Vegas doesn’t make sense.

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I’m average. And the longer Shay stares at me, I feel it. And I want to be more than that. Doesn’t everyone?

When he meets my eyes, he shakes his head at me. “You’re one in a million, Thora. It’s a pipe dream, you realize this?”

I nod. “Yeah, I know. But if I don’t believe in myself, then who will?”

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But then being practical, mature and sensible is not doing it for Thora anymore. She wants more from her life. She wants Amour. So for once in her sensible sheltered proper life, Thora James takes a risk, packs a suitcase and heads to Vegas. Which is no fairytale. Thora doesn’t dazzle people in her audition. How she first meets Nikolai Kotova, Amour’s male lead and star performer, is embarrassing. Seeing him next day at her audition bashes the last dregs of self confidence she had. After a humiliating five minutes in spotlight, everyone just reiterates what Thora’s family and friends have been telling her all along- she isn’t good enough.

Now Thora James can go back home to Cincinnati Ohio, or stay put, train and perfect her form, and wait for another position or chance to come along. A chance does come by, though not in the form of a role in a show. It comes by in the least expected form of Nikolai Kotova when he decides to help her feed her dream and not give up on herself.

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“I admire your courage. I know what you’ve given up to be here. I know the kind of artist it takes to land a role. I know that you won’t receive one on your own. And I imagine you, myshka, two years from now, working at Phantom with the same aspirations, the same dreams, in the same place where you are now. It’s wasted courage. And wasted love. You shouldn’t have to waste those things.”
I’m speechless.
And overwhelmed. When someone reaches out and gives you a hand—for no other reason than to see your success—it’s powerful. And rare.
He wipes beneath my eye with his thumb. “I’d rather feed your hunger than watch you starve”

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“I’m clawing at something that doesn’t want me. And to say goodbye is like severing a part of me that I can’t easily replace.”

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“The things greater than us, Thora, they’re not impossible. It’s just fear talking, telling you that you can’t when you can. I know you can.”

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I loved the book. The writing is good. The story moves beautifully. Thora’s struggles with family, money, self doubt and the development of her art were real. The sweat and tears and bruises were real. How she keeps fighting for her dreams, to partly save face with her family and partly because she had come too far to fail and give up, was very real too. The way Thora’s relationship develops with Nikolai, slow and steady, in fact the way Nikolai’s character is uncovered layer by layer, is amazing.

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“He is power. Man. And strength. He is charm and desire and indestructible things.
I want to emit an equivalent passion. I want to be strength and desire. But I’m not sure how to match him and still move. It’s easy to be confident in the face of average-standing competition. It’s hard to pretend you’re something greater in the face of someone who’s already beyond great.”page_end

“I’m in love with you,” I whisper.
He tries to smile but his eyes flood instead. “Don’t love me more than your dreams, myshka. Because I love you too much to let you give them up for me.”

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Nikolai stands tall, beckoning me, and I leap with all my strength. He bends only slightly, my left leg catching above his shoulder as I latch onto him. The gasp from the audience is the last thing I hear, blocking out the rest.

I clutch his hair, and he grips my back, our inhales in sync. Our exhales timed. My heart explodes. In a billion pieces at the way he stares at me. At how he holds my face, caringly, like the love of his life just ran into his arms. He whispers something in Russian that I know means: I love you.

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The idea of giving everything you have, to a dream, might be old, but the way Krista Ritchie does it in Amour Amour touched me. In places where a lot of books fail to touch.

I’ll be honest. I laughed. I cried. I didn’t sleep all night and kept reading and had a fight with the husband for not sleeping all night and crying and breaking my eyes in the process. Kindles were threatened. But I seriously couldn’t put Amour Amour down before I finished it. There was the glamor and showmanship associated with the hit Vegas show. There was the dreamy athletic, six foot five, chiseled and ripped, completely dedicated to his art, serious Russian, Nikolai Kotova. There were real problems of making it in the strange fast city of Vegas when you literally have nothing to fall back on other than a couch in a friend’s home and fierce stubborn will. As a nice bonus, the side characters were well fleshed out and individually interesting. The way Thora’s life unraveled and how she found her direction again was inspiring.

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“I’m average. I’ve been average most of my life, but there are moments where I feel extraordinary. Invincible. Able to conquer any fear and step outside any box. There is no illusion, no fantasy. I can climb a forty-foot pole. I can fly eighty-feet in the air. I can be taller than tall. It’s a dream that I’m living. Every day. With him.”

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All in all, five out of five stars to this lovely book and I’d recommend it to my friends any day. Good job Krista Ritchie.

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Dead and Alive Next Chapter

So I started reading Consequences by Aleatha Romig. Started like all decent psycho thrillers go with the heroine getting kidnapped and all. Then the story started developing…And I was like…

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I haven’t finished it yet. Lemme tell you, it is one major trippy ride! God my head is aching from being wrung out like that…I haven’t hated a hero this much in, like, EVER…

Can you believe I put it down because I seriously needed a break from a book!!!!!?

No really. I took a break. I have things to do and stuff I can’t ignore any longer. Like cooking and eating and bathing and the like. Also I should have posted this chapter sooner but I was just being lazy like always (sorry for that BTW). Here’s the next chapter of Dead and Alive called ‘Mine to Possess’

https://sakshichopra.wordpress.com/dead-and-alive/chapter-25-mine-to-possess/

Enjoy:)

And I’ll go back to mind trippin’…