Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

April 15th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: January 27, 2015

Publisher: Gallery Books

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book:

It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years.

They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world.

Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed.

A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time.

Among them is Dr. Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles.

The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.

Of course it can’t…


My Review:

I am such a big Matthew Reilly fan and was surprised when I realized I missed the release of this one. This is the problem with not having a bookstore nearby anymore. My favorite are his Scarecrow books and his Jack West books were a lot of fun but when I read the premise of this one I was a little leery. I did actually end up enjoying this one but I will have to say you really have to suspend any sense of reality when reading Reilly’s books. Yes, things are fantastical and would never work in real life but hey it usually involves stuff blowing up and adds to the action. So keep this in mind. The other thing about this story is basically it’s Jurassic Park but with dragons instead of dinosaurs. The location is different but basic idea is the same, even the opening presentation about the dragons for the main characters is almost the same as Jurassic Park.

Once you get over that this really is a mindless but oh so fun read. It’s like an action movie book. The dragons were really cool and I loved seeing how the dragons planned things out, fought against each other and I adored the dragon, Lucky. CJ was an interesting character and is amazingly good at just about everything and is basically the female version of Scarecrow.

There’s really not much more I can say because it is basically one big action movie. The supporting characters weren’t fantastic yet I couldn’t put it down.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, 4 Star Books, Action, Books, Thriller/Suspense | 1 Comment »

Book Blitz: Full Contact by Sarah Castille

April 6th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books


I am so excited to be participating in the Full Contact blitz because this series looks amazing and just check out the cover.  What’s not to swoon over? ;-)

Full Contact by Sarah Castille

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: April 7th 2015

About the book:

When you can’t resist the one person who could destroy you…

Sia O’Donnell can’t help but push the limits. She secretly attends every underground MMA fight featuring The Predator, the undisputed champion. When he stalks his prey in the ring, Sia is mesmerized. He is dominant and dangerous and every instinct tells her to run.

Every beautiful thing Ray “The Predator” touches he knows he’ll eventually destroy. Soft, sweet and innocent, Sia is the light to Ray’s darkness-and completely irresistible. From the moment he lays eyes on her, he knows he’s going to have to put his dark past behind him to win her body and soul.

And check out this teaser:


Find it Online:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

About Sarah:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Sarah Castille, writes contemporary erotic romance and romantic suspense featuring blazingly hot alpha heroes and the women who tame them. A recovering lawyer and caffeine addict, she worked and traveled abroad before trading her briefcase and stilettos for a handful of magic beans and a home near the Canadian Rockies.

Find Sarah Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Blog Tour, Books, Contemporary, Giveaways, Romance | No Comments »

Review: The Duke’s Disaster by Grace Burrowes

April 5th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

The Duke's Disaster by Grace Burrowes

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: April 7, 2015

Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book:

Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm, spent months sorting and courting the year’s crop of debutantes in search of an ideal bride. When the sweet, biddable young thing he selected accepts another’s proposal, Noah decides to court her companion instead.

Thea Collins, though, is anything but biddable. She has learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted, especially the handsome ones. When she reluctantly accepts, Noah rushes Thea to the altar before she can reveal her deepest secret. Can she finally move on from her past, or will it come back to haunt her?

My review:

I just finished this one and honestly I am having a hard time deciding what to say.  I will admit I started and stopped this book about 4 times which may have affected my opinion of the book.  I normally like to read a book through but while there was nothing obviously wrong with the book it just couldn’t hold my attention when I had so many other books I wanted to read.

Noah was a fine hero, he had nothing that made me hate him initially so I wasn’t looking for any grand gesture from him to redeem himself.  While I don’t want to hate a hero or heroine I do like to see more growth in their character than we get from Noah.  Thea also was a likeable character, practical but had nothing that made me fall in love with her.

I did have a few issues with some aspects of the story wrapping up too easily and neatly and other things never being satisfactory in their explanation.  It seems a little random when we find out what spurned Thea’s enemy to cause her “deepest secret”.  I also thought Thea’s reactions to Noah’s secret at the end was no meh that it really shouldn’t have been made an issue in the first place.

In the end I have no real strong feelings about this book one way or another.  I wish there were a little more conflict and something that would have made me love the characters more.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance | 1 Comment »

Waiting on Wednesday: Soundless by Richelle Mead

March 31st, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is Soundless by Richelle Mead.  It’s due to release on November 17, 2015.

Soundless by Richelle Mead

About the book:

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever…

Find it online:

Goodreads | Amazon

Posted in Books, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Holding Strong by Lori Foster

March 30th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Holding Strong by Lori Foster

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: March 31, 2015

Publisher: HQN

Series: Ultimate #2

About the book:

An up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster’s irresistible new novel

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…

Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…

My Review:

I am in love with this series and the related series so you can bet I jumped on it as soon as I saw Holding Strong available on NetGalley. I do have to admit to some trepidation when Denver and Cherry do hop into bed almost as soon as the story kicks off. I reserved judgment since we already got glimpses of who each of Cannon’s fighters were falling for in earlier books and I should have know better than to doubt Lori Foster. She nailed this entire story on the head and I am in love with not only Denver but Armie and Stack as well. I am itching to get my hands on their books as well.

But back to Denver and Cherry. Yes, they rushed into bed and initially the reasons they felt the need to avoid each other seemed kind of random and superficial but we eventually learn the reasons behind both of their misgivings. And both of them are a doozy. I get creeped out just thinking about Cherry’s foster brothers right now. What I loved about Cherry is that while she is determined not to be the pathetic, I can’t protect myself heroine, she doesn’t become the I’m so determined to do this on my own I’ll make stupid decisions just to assert my independence. I can’t tell you how much those types of heroine’s bother me. Cherry knows when to stand up for herself and when to listen to reason for the sake of safety. At the same time Denver is the perfect match because while he’s obviously very alpha male he doesn’t shelter Cherry unnecessarily thus forcing her to make dumb choices.

In the end another fabulous read from Lori Foster that romance lovers should definitely pick up!

Find Holding Strong Online:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | 1 Comment »

Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

March 25th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Source: Borrowed from a friend

Publication date: February 24, 2015

Rating: ★★★★½

About the book:

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

My Review:

Where do I even start with this review? I went in not knowing what to expect other than I loved Full Measures by Rebecca Yarros and Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen so someone suggested I read The Deal. I fell in love with not just Hannah and Garrett but also side characters like Logan and even Justin. I am dying for Logan’s story because I have a feeling I’m going to love him even more than I do Garrett. Honestly I’m hoping we get a story for every one of Garrett’s housemates.

The story was perfectly paced, never too slow and never too rushed and probably what drove this over 4 stars to 4.5 stars was that it was both sexy and funny. I found myself smiling to myself so many times through out the story. I think the best books are the ones that make you both swoon and laugh. Case in point the locker room penises scene. I swear I might have snorted as I read that scene. Trust me, you have to read the book if for that scene only. But really there are so many things to fall in love with in this book. I really, really need the next book now.

Find it Online:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

Posted in 4 Star Books, 5 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance | 2 Comments »

Waiting on Wednesday: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

March 24th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Waiting on Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week is The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.  It’s due to release on May 12, 2015.

I’ve heard so many great things about this book and it sounds amazing!

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

About the book:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Find it Online:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Posted in Books, Young Adult | No Comments »

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Want To Revisit

March 23rd, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week our topic is: Top Ten Books From My Childhood/Teen Years I Want To Revisit

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday but this one caught my eye because I was just going through the books I loved when I was younger trying to find new books for my daughter to read.

  1. The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.  I think every child goes through their animal phase and I read every book in this series that I could get my hands on.
    The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
  2. Sweet Valley Twins/High – I was at a library used book sale and came across Best Friends and remembered how much I loved this series and really grew up with it. I moved on to Sweet Valley High and even read some of the Sweet Valley University books.
  3. Nancy Drew – It has to be these yellow covered classics.  I loved them and read them all.  Sadly I didn’t find the newer versions (though I guess these days those “new” ones are probably considered old now) of them as interesting though so never got into them.  At the same library book sale I mentioned above I also saw they had a Nancy Drew kids version that I tried to convince my daughter to read but no go so far.
    Nancy Drew
  4. Christopher Pike – a couple years ago I went back and re-read The Vampire Diaries series by LJ Smith because it was one of my favorite series growing up.  Christopher Pike was another favorite author and I haven’t gotten back to reading these again.
  5. Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White – I loved this book and just realized that it’s actually part of a series and is book 3.  I so need to go back and read the rest of the books!  It was amazing to watch the strength the heroine has after being kidnapped because she’s the president’s daughter.
    Long Live the Queen by Ellen Emerson White
  6. The Secret of the Unicorn series by Josepha Sherman – I loved this series!  Who wouldn’t get caught up in the story of a girl who gets swept into a fantasy world where she gets to bond with her very own unicorn, has a cute guy fall for her and be friends with a queen?!
  7. The Baby-Sitter’s Club by Ann Martin – this was another series I read during my Sweet Valley Twins phase and it was just wholesome fun to read.  I am tempted to go back and read it to see if my daughter will enjoy it.
  8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – I honestly want to go back and re-read this one because I can’t remember what it was about but I remember it being one of my favorite books.
  9. The Xanth series by Piers Anthony – I went through my fantasy phase in high school where I read all the Piers Anthony, David Eddings, etc books.  It’s been awhile since I’ve read straight fantasy and would love to get back to it.
  10. Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – this was another series that truly caught my imagination.  I wish I had a cupboard that could bring things to life!

Posted in Books, childrens, Young Adult | 3 Comments »

Review: Need You For Keeps by Marina Adair

March 16th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Need You For Keeps by Marina Adair

Source: NetGalley

Publication date: March 3, 2015

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Series: St. Helena Vineyard #6

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book:

When it comes to caring for the furry residents of St. Helena, California, groomer and pet rescuer Shay Michaels can handle anything. Humans are another story, though especially Deputy Jonah Baudouin. He s the town s resident superhero: upright, uptight, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous, even when he s investigating complaints about Shay s beloved foster animals. And that spells danger for Shay, a free spirit who can t risk trusting the wrong person again.

Jonah and Shay have been circling each other ever since she came to town, and he s running out of reasons to “not” kiss her senseless. But this deputy is a straight shooter with his eye on the sheriff s badge. He can t afford to get involved with Shay, a chaos magnet with luscious curves who s liable to turn his career and his life upside down. He enforces laws. She breaks them repeatedly. Keeping her out of trouble is becoming a full-time job and it s one he hopes is never going to end.”

My Review:

If you want a funny, romantic romp Marina Adair is a great author to pick up.  I loved Jonah in this one and even not being a cat person I also fell in love with Kitty Fantastic. :)  As you can expect Jonah is the sexy, gruff but heart of gold hero who wants to toe the line but Shy constantly is pushing that line.  I felt bad for him for some of the situations Shay entangles him in and honestly you have to love the grace he deals with most of it.

Shay was actually the main reason I didn’t rate this higher.  I admired her heart and dedication to her animals but her failure to think through her actions at times irritated me.  It also bothered me the way she dumped her problems on Jonah like when she thought he needed a pet.  Despite the long hours she knows he works and that he’s obviously not getting enough sleep she still dumps a kitten on him.  As someone who knows how much work kittens can be I found it inconsiderate of her to force it on him.

Other than that though the story itself was fun to read and as usual I loved the supporting cast of characters.

Find It Online:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | 1 Comment »

Review: Making Faces by Amy Harmon

March 11th, 2015 by Debbie's World of Books

Making Faces by Amy Harmon

Source: Borrowed from a friend

Publication date: Oct. 12, 2013

Publisher: Self-published

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book:

Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My review:

This book sort of baffles me.  Most people I’ve talked to have raved about it and I finally read it because I’ve really started to love the NA books I’ve read and want to check out a range of them just to see what NA offers.  However, I just don’t get why this one is such a big deal.  Yes, it deals with a lot of different issues but I had several problems with it.  One is that I never truly came to really feel Fern’s character.  She has this girlhood crush on Ambrose and yes she gets to know him better through the love letters she writes for her friend to him but I don’t really feel that love.  I still felt like even after everything happens it’s still a girlhood crush and I don’t see why it progresses into anything deeper.  I had some issues with Ambrose’s character as well.  I never fell in love with him that I do with many of these books.  Did I feel sorry for him?  Sure.  But did I feel what he went through inherently made him a hero to die for?  No.

Then there was the theme that pretty much hits you over the head for the entire book. Yes, I got the message that beauty comes from the inside. Yes, Fern was a plain child with a good heart.  Yes, Ambrose’s physical change later in the book doesn’t change who he really is.  I just found it a little tiresome after we are reminded of this for the 50th time. Then we have it shoved in our face that beauty isn’t all it’s cut out to be too as we see what happens to the beautiful friend of Fern’s.  Because just in case you missed it being beautiful doesn’t mean life is a walk in the park either.

I did love Bailey’s character though and the fact that he could have felt sorry for himself all his life but he didn’t. Yes, he had moments of anger and railing at the world as he grew up but for the most part he lived life to the fullest and had a unique perspective about everything.  He was the saving grace for this book in my opinion.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, New Adult | 1 Comment »

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