Spooktacular Giveaway Hop-Win The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle!

Welcome to my  Spooktacular giveaway,  hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Rhiannon from The Diary of a Bookworm.  This hop runs from October 24 to October 31  and you can win lots of new reads. There are over 400 blogs participating in this hop!  Click here for a complete list of blogs participating in the hop.

I recently read and enjoyed The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, and I think you will, too!  It is scary and suspenseful, and oh-so hard to put down!

About the book:

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Entering is easy! Just fill out the widget below. Earn extra entries for following! US addresses only, please.

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This Week’s New and Notable YA Releases

This week I’m most excited about Dark Star.  Which books are on your shopping list?

Click on the cover for Amazon product page.

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin (Oct 25, 2012)  

This Is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell (Oct 25, 2012)  

Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly (Oct 23, 2012)

   

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen (Oct 23, 2012)  

The Bronte Sisters: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne by Catherine Reef (Oct 23, 2012)  

The Candy Shop War, Book 2: Arcade Catastrophe by Brandon Mull (Oct 23, 2012)

   

The Crimson Crown (A Seven Realms Novel) by Cinda Williams Chima (Oct 23, 2012)  

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette (Oct 23, 2012)  

Divine Madness (Cherub) by Robert Muchamore (Oct 23, 2012)

   

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Oct 23, 2012)  

Flutter by Gina Linko (Oct 23, 2012)

The Lost Prince (Iron Fey) by Julie Kagawa (Oct 23, 2012)

Mastiff: The Legend of Beka Cooper #3 by Tamora Pierce (Oct 23, 2012)  

Perry’s Killer Playlist by Joe Schreiber (Oct 23, 2012)

Regine’s Book: A Teen Girl’s Last Words by Regine Stokke (Oct 23, 2012)

   

Sacrifice (Harlequin Teen) by Cayla Kluver (Oct 23, 2012)  

The Twinning Project by Robert Lipsyte (Oct 23, 2012)  

The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Destiny Rising by L. J. Smith (Oct 23, 2012)

Review: Wild Encounter by Nikki Logan

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Title: Wild Encounter

Author:  Nikki Logan

Publisher: Entangled

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

A wildlife release mission in Africa turns deadly when the convoy is hijacked by smugglers, and veterinarian Clare Delaney is taken hostage. Terrified for her life and her animals, the intrepid Clare establishes a rapport with the man she believes is the criminals’ leader, and reluctantly finds herself under his protection…and falling hard for the enigmatic man.

Alpha-to-the-max Simon deVries sees right through his sexy captive’s attempt to seduce her way to freedom. So when their simmering attraction flares into true passion, it takes them both by surprise. Now he’s torn between completing his secret mission and letting her escape without telling her his true identity. He knows if he lets her go, he will be risking his career, his life…and his heart.


Review:

This is the first Dead Sexy title that I have read.  I am not normally a big romantic suspense fan, and I’m not sure why.  Maybe because the field is becoming so crowded that I have no clue where to begin?  Wild Encounter hit my radar because I recently enjoyed another Nikki Logan book, and because of these three words: African Wild Dogs.  Yup, that sealed the deal for me.  I think they are the coolest canines ever, with their mottled splashes of color and gigantic ears.  I was hoping that the dogs would have more than just a cameo appearance, and was delighted when they did.  The romance was even engaging, though Clare and Simon had a tough act to follow, sharing the limelight with the dogs (just kidding!).

Clare is in Zambia to release a pack of wild dogs, an important step in preserving the species in their native African habitat.  The convoy is hijacked by ruthless thugs, and Clare has to put aside her fear in order to survive her awful ordeal.  She is immediately drawn to the man she nicknames Alpha, and she puts her life in his hands.  As he protects her from the vicious men holding her captive, she finds herself falling in love with him.  A desperate bid for escape has her fleeing the farmhouse where she gave herself to Alpha, body and soul, and soon the ordeal is just a nightmare for her to work through.  On a return trip to reclaim the dogs and release them at the wilderness preserve they were originally destined for, she has to relive her worst nightmare.  Alpha is back, only now he’s in her camp, masquerading as her bodyguard!

The first half of the book details Clare’s kidnapping and  captivity, and there are many parts of her ordeal that I found disturbing.  Maybe this is why I don’t read much romantic suspense.  Clare is physically abused by her captors, kicked and hit with brutal force.  Only Alpha keeps her from being viciously raped.  All of this was a bit too intense for me, so it’s a good thing the whisper of those African wild dogs kept me turning the pages.  Clare relies on every bit of bravery that she possesses to outwit the smugglers and escape, but not before she finds herself desperately in love with Alpha. 

Back home, Clare has months of therapy to endure.  Does she love that guy, or was she suffering from the effects of Stockholm syndrome?  Does it really matter, because the odds of ever seeing him again are about nil.   Clare realizes that her infatuation with him is probably due to the nightmare she survived.  The suffocating fear just stirred up emotions for the one kidnapper who was nice to her. 

When her wild dogs are relocated, Clare is resigned that she will have to journey back to Africa and face her fears again to recapture and release the dogs as originally planned.  But when she sees Alpha, aka super spy Simon, in the field camp, she freaks out.  Justifiably.  This tsunami of terror was one of the most moving scenes in the book.  Clare thought she had put all of that behind her, only to find herself right back in the middle of danger.  It takes a lot of courage on her part to accept that Simon is who he says, and not a cold-blooded murderer sent to finish the job he botched back at the farmhouse.

I enjoyed the last half of the book more than the beginning, and I think it’s because I could actually breathe again.  I wasn’t as concerned that Clare was going to be victimized, though I knew that sooner or later the past would catch up with her.  Since she was aware that Simon was a good guy, she was able to start working through her messed up feelings for him again, to try to put them into perspective, knowing that he wasn’t going to try to kill her.  That awful week in the farmhouse also haunted Simon, and I liked that he was just as messed up about it as Clare was.  He is a strong person, but having to live with violent, murdering scum for his case scarred him, too. 

Wild Encounter was a nice introduction to Entangled’s Dead Sexy line.  While I don’t believe kidnapping stories will ever be a favorite of mine, I am  interested in reading more suspense titles.  Clare and Simon were both likeable characters, thrown together in frightening life and death situations.  I don’t know how Clare managed to keep from keeling over from a heart attack.  Really.  I think I had about 3 mini heart attacks for her!

 

If you are interested in learning more about African wild dogs, please visit this website.   You can also visit them at several zoos, including Battle Creek’s Binder Park Zoo.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

Win Wild Encounter by Nikki Logan!

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Thanks to Entangled Publishing, I have a digital copy of Nikki Logan’s Wild Encounter to give to one of you!  Just fill out the widget below to enter.  Be sure to check back later today to my review!

More about the book:

A wildlife release mission in Africa turns deadly when the convoy is hijacked by smugglers, and veterinarian Clare Delaney is taken hostage. Terrified for her life and her animals, the intrepid Clare establishes a rapport with the man she believes is the criminals’ leader, and reluctantly finds herself under his protection…and falling hard for the enigmatic man.
Alpha-to-the-max Simon deVries sees right through his sexy captive’s attempt to seduce her way to freedom. So when their simmering attraction flares into true passion, it takes them both by surprise. Now he’s torn between completing his secret mission and letting her escape without telling her his true identity. He knows if he lets her go, he will be risking his career, his life…and his heart.

 

More about Nikki:

Nikki Logan lives amongst a string of wetlands in Western Australia with her long-suffering partner and a menagerie of furred, feathered and scaly mates.

She studied film and theatre at university, and worked for years in advertising and film distribution before finally settling down in the wildlife industry.

Her romance with nature goes way back, and she considers her life charmed, given that she works with wildlife by day and writes fiction by night–the perfect way to combine her two loves.

Nikki believes that the passion and risk of falling in love are perfectly mirrored in the danger and beauty of wild places. Every romance she writes contains an element of nature, and if readers catch a waft of rich earth or the spray of wild ocean between the pages she knows her job is done.

Author Website: http://www.nikkilogan.com.au

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NikkiLoganAuthor

Twitter: @ReadNikkiLogan

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3211596.Nikki_Logan

 

Watch the trailer for Wild Encounter!

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