Kimber Leigh Reads

I read and review mostly YA and New Adult any genre within. My favorite's usually have a good romance element.

Review: Bone Dry by Cady Vance

Bone Dry (Soul Shamans, #1) - Cady Vance
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Bone Dry was a tad different from other paranormal novels I've read. I loved the main character being a shaman. The dark spirits, or demons, were downright creepy- as were the other shaman baddies. I think what makes this book a good read is the interaction between the characters. I really enjoyed the different relationships and the witty banter.
Holly was a rather impressive protag. After her mother's soul got lost in the spirit realm, she did whatever she could to pay the bills and keep them afloat. She was an overall good person, even when performing grifts with her best friend, Laura. She was real and down-to-earth. Though she was powerful, she was also respectful of the spirit world. It just made for a good all-around character. I have to say that romantic interest Nathan was my favorite character. What an amazing guy! The romance was rather sweet- Holly and Nathan made a great couple.
Ms. Vance does an amazing job explaining the world she created. I never felt lost because details were revealed in a timely manner. As I stated earlier I really liked the characters and how they interacted with each other. While I enjoyed the plot, the whole story moved a tad slower than I liked- but if you know me, I'm big fan of a fast pace. If you like a slower build, then this is a great book for you.
The ending was well done- the current story line wrapped up for the most part, while the overlying plot was left open for another book. If you like deeply detailed, slow-build paranormal, then you'll definitely want to check out Bone Dry. BTW- after reading the novel, the title totally makes sense in that eerie *shiver* way. 



Review: Twice Upon a Time

Twice Upon A Time: Fairytale, Folklore, & Myth. Reimagined & Remastered. - Joshua Allen Mercier, Joshua Allen Mercier, Luke Spooner, Kenechi Udogu, S.M. Blooding, Jax Goss, Brian Rathbone, Rick Chiantaretto, Liz DeJesus, Alethea Kontis, Richard Chizmar

I received this book from the editor in exchange for an honest review


I'm going to start by saying WOW. Not since Brothers' Grimm have I been so entranced with a collection of short stories. What made this anthology fantastic was the imagination and creativity that went into each individual story. These authors weren't just hacking up old stories and regurgitating them. The stories in Twice Upon a Time were unique and compelling -- all of them. The stories range from modern to fantasy to sci-fi, and each one captured my interest.


This is also not some short anthology thrown together. It featured so many stories, I couldn't even begin to offer individual reviews of each one-- I'd be here all night. If you like fairy tales, then Twice Upon a Time is a must-read! One note though-- this anthology is not for the faint of heart, for some stories are dark, some are gory, and some are twisted. And I loved every minute of it.


Review: A Curse Unbroken by Cecy Robson

A Curse Unbroken: A Weird Girls Novel - Cecy Robson

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A Curse Unbroken was actually the first book in the series that I read. I know, I know, it's book five. But Ms. Robson did a great job explaining prior events in a way that allowed me to follow the plot. Would I recommend it as a standalone? No. Why? It left me wanting to read books 1-4, so I would recommend just reading the series in order.

Loved the characters! So many intriguing characters with fascinating powers, I just couldn't get enough. Shifters, weres, witches, vampires-- it's a paranormal addict's dream come true. I liked main character Celia. She was tough yet vulnerable, sweet and sassy. Not to mention, the scenes between Celia and Aric were quite steamy!

The novel starts out with a thrilling action sequence that was rather amazing. I enjoyed the interactions between the sisters and am really looking forward to reading the prior books to learn more about them. There was so much going on in this story: lots of action, mystery, intrigue. It kept me turning the pages.

If you like darker urban fantasy, I think you'll enjoy the Weird Girls series. Just start at the beginning rather than the middle like I did :)


Review: Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

Breath of Scandal - Sandra Brown

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Breath of Scandal is one heck of a gut-wrenching story. Definitely not one you want to take on vacation or to the local pool. Also be sure to have tissues on hand-- if you're anything like me, you'll need them. Thank goodness this story had an uplifting side to it, because after reading about what happened to Jade in Palmetto, it was sorely needed.

Jade was an amazing character. After her rape by three well-to-do local boys, she was shunned, disbelieved, and left pregnant. Yep, basically run out of town. She made a promise to herself that one day, those responsible would pay. After becoming a successful business woman, she decided to hit those responsible financially.

I really liked the characters, both the protags and the villains. Those good-old-boys in Palmetto made my blood boil. The scenes between Jade and romantic interest Dillon were hot and spicy-- I really enjoyed them because Jade was finally finding happiness with a man. Fast-paced and full of intrigue, the novel was really hard to put down.

My only caveat: I wasn't kidding when I said the story was gut-wrenching. I really felt for Jade, which is a testament to great character development. But it made me heart-sick at times, and I could see some readers finding the subject matter disturbing.


Review: The Perilous Journey of the not-so-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham

The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl - Leigh Statham

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Steampunk, adventure, romance-- all can be found in The Perilous Journey of the not-so-Innocuous Girl.This is one of those rare novels that blends a fun plot with great characters, making for a wonderful read. I was entirely too grumpy when forced to put it down, and yes- I did read it in just a few hours.


Marguerite- what can I say about her? She was the type of female protag I love: smart, too sassy for her own good, and courageous. Marguerite knew she wouldn't be happy with the life being forced upon her. It takes great courage to take a chance on a new life- even if she did do it originally to be with Claude. No one could ever accuse her of taking the easy way out of anything. I liked Claude, he seemed like a great childhood friend, but there were no sparks between the two characters. Now Jacques, on the other hand, seemed to set Marguerite's heart racing-- both in outrage and attraction.


I loved the steampunk aspect of this novel-- so many fun inventions, bots, machines-- and everything was described in such a way that it was easy to picture in the minds eye. The story unfolded at a great pace, in fact there was only one lull that occurred toward the middle when Marguerite first boarded the aership. There wasn't a whole lot of romance in the story, but what was there was rather sweet. Lots of action- did I mention that Marguerite was a woman of action. As the book progressed I became more and more impressed with her.


The Perilous Journey of the not-so-Innocuous Girl is great for fans of nonstop action and adventure. Vivid imagery, great characters, and a fun plot made it one of the better books I've read this year.


Review: The Universes Inside the Lighthouse by Pam Stucky

The Universes Inside the Lighthouse - Pam Stucky
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Be prepared to completely suspend disbelief when starting The Universes Inside the Lighthouse. If you try too hard to make sense of everything, your brain might implode. Part fantasy, part sci-fi, and all adventure, this novel is a fast-paced story incorporating time travel, multi-verses, and rather interesting characters.
I liked twins Emma and Charlie. They are very supportive of each other, and seem to always have the other's back. Putting the elevators to alternate dimensions in the lighthouses was also intriguing. Other than the romance and the ages of the characters, this book really read more like a middle-grade adventure than YA. Frankly I think the romance wasn't really necessary and pulled me from the aspects I found more interesting.
Everyone was so accepting as they learned about the two aliens in their midst. It made things much easier since there wasn't page after page of denial. Even the adults were eager to accept the outlandish claim. Perhaps their lives were so dull that they were desperate for anything even remotely exciting. It also surprised me how quickly the aliens divulged their secrets. The two had been around for over a century, which made it seem strange that they suddenly needed the help of a group of modern teens. But I guess there wouldn't be much of a story if the aliens remained tight-lipped.
The travel to other dimensions was fun and definitely imaginative. It was by far my favorite part of the book. Overall The Universes Inside the Lighthouse was a fun read with lots of action and an intriguing plot. I recommend it for readers as young as twelve.



Review: The Camelot Kids by Ben Zackheim

The Camelot Kids (Volume 1) - Ben Zackheim, Ian Greenlee, Nathan Fox

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

The Camelot Kids is a fun adventure perfect for both the middle grade and YA audience. Fast-paced, featuring wonderful illustrations, this book is sure to please fans of fantasy and Arthurian Legend.

The story starts out rather sad, with the death of Simon's parents in a plane crash while searching for proof of Camelot. Simon's life as an orphan was far from easy. When he's taken in by an estranged uncle in Scotland, things take a turn for the weird.

Simon was quite easy to relate to, and I think most kids would like his personality and independence. I enjoyed the myriad of characters, both human and fantastic-- especially Maille Rose. When she first appeared, everything she said seemed so nonsensical-- it made me laugh. The plot featured lots of twists and turns, along with a few shockers.

I enjoyed the rich imagination that shone through on every page. The story is full of action and adventure, perfect for a younger YA audience.


Review: A Ghostly Undertaking by Tonya Kappes

A Ghostly Undertaking - Tonya Kappes

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

If I could see ghosts, the last place I'd want to work would be a funeral home... but main character Emma Lee wasn't so lucky. After a bonk on the head by a decorative Santa Claus, she can now see and hear ghosts as clear as though they were alive. Unfortunately, since the funeral home is the family business, she can't even leave. Makes for some pretty humorous scenes :)

I read this on the beach while on vacation in San Diego. It was light, funny, and interesting enough to keep my attention through the noise of my fellow beach-goers. With summer rapidly approaching, I'm always on the lookout for great vacation reads, and A Ghostly Undertaking fit the bill.

I really enjoyed the characters in this novel- they were quirky and fun to read about. I immediately connected with Emma Lee as she dealt with her annoying sister, vindictive granny, and riotously funny murder victim. Ms. Kappes did an amazing job creating an array of unique, intriguing characters.

The story was fast-paced with lots of witty dialogue which I always love. I enjoyed Ms. Kappes writing style- everything flowed smoothly from one scene to the next as Emma Lee played detective in an attempt to solve Ruthie's murder. I also liked romantic interest Jack, the town sheriff- he was the only one who believed Emma was seeing ghosts and not suffering from "funeral trauma".

Overall I enjoyed A Ghostly Undertaking. I loved the paranormal mixed with cozy mystery aspect. Fun characters, some humor and romance, along with a quirky murder victim made it an interesting read.


Review: Gathering Frost by Kaitlyn Davis

Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse Book 1) - Kaitlyn Davis

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

I don't think I've ever read a dystopian/fairy tale crossover, but it is a rather intriguing idea. Gathering Frost is part fantasy and part dystopian with a heart-warming (yes, pun intended) romance. The blurb calls it a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, but it seems more of a mash of several different fairy tales. I liked the way the story began, with the earthquake in New York and the emergence of the ice queen's realm. Little Jade was angry at herself for crying-- little did she know the queen would rob her of emotions.

Jade was a great character. Even emotionless, there was just something special about her. She was the only female in the queen's guard, and the queen herself took a special interest in her. Jade knew she was the bad guy, but due to her emotionless state, she didn't really care. And yet, that never quite seemed true. I appreciated Jade's strength both physically and mentally... it's just not something I've been seeing enough of in YA.

Prince Asher was a joy-- witty and charming, warm and caring. It was hard to believe he was really the queen's son. The interactions between Jade and Asher were by far the best part of the story. I found the world created by Ms. Davis intriguing and quite imaginative as well. Just because the story is based on a fairy tale, don't assume you know what's going to happen. Lots of twists and turns kept the story interesting.

I admit, I love fairy tale retellings, and Gathering Frost was quite enjoyable. If you like fantasy with an urban/dystopian twist, lots of action, and fun characters, then I think you'll enjoy this novel.


Fingers in the Mist by O'Dell Hutchison

Fingers In The Mist - O'Dell Hutchison

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


I don't spook easily-- not at all. Fingers in the Mist created an eerie atmosphere that pervaded the entire story. The town, the legend, the characters-- everything was downright creepy. Mr. Hutchison has a way with invoking the imagination in the reader drawing them into this spooky tale while building the suspense to a fever pitch. This story will make readers jump at little noises, and if you scare easily, do not read it at night.

My heart went out to Caitlyn from the beginning. After losing her mother to a violent murder, she moved to a small Idaho town to live with her father and her uber-judgmental stepmother. Her first night there was marked by mystery and utter oddness. The little chant her stepbrother Mitch shared about the Redeemers was unbelievable. To hear a child recite such an awful thing like it's second nature... so creepy.

As I stated before, I loved the overall atmosphere in this novel. The townsfolk were bizarre, so accepting of the Redeemers legend-- it added to the suspense and made me wonder about their sanity. The characters were all well-developed and interesting in their own rights. I especially liked Chastity and Mitch. So much suspense! From beginning to end, there was never a dull moment.

Strong characters and a pervasive creepy atmosphere make Fingers in the Mist a must-read for fans of YA thriller and horror.


Review: Seduce by Jennifer Snyder

Seduce (A Succubus Kiss Novel, Book One) - Jennifer Snyder
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Seduce is a fun, fast-paced supernatural story featuring characters that I really enjoyed reading about. I adored the supernatural world created by Ms. Snyder, along with the variety of paranormal beings all mixing together.
Kenna was sarcastic and I loved her thoughts. Though she was a demon, a succubus, she seemed to care about people and had a conscience. Because she can seriously harm a human male, Kenna must seek a man from the supernatural community. She has to feed on men to survive, but she doesn't enjoy it. I liked the scene toward the beginning where she put a cheating man in his place.
Dex, the comic-relief werewolf, was my favorite character. The things that popped out of his mouth kept me laughing. I wish he was featured more in the story. I'm on the fence about romantic interest Randall. He was an older vampire (supposedly the inspiration for Dracula) with a very sexy vibe. The first meeting between Kenna and Randall was quite amusing. I just never felt the draw toward him that Kenna seemed to, which made the romance less exciting for me.
The ending was rather abrupt and left me groaning in frustration. I hate being left hanging (but that's a personal hang-up). I enjoyed the fast-paced story and the characters quite a bit. If you like paranormal romance with strong female leads, then I think you'll like Kenna's story.



Review: Soul Crossed by Lisa Gail Green

Soul Crossed (Of Demons and Angels Book 1) - Lisa Gail Green

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Soul Crossed is a fast-paced, urban fantasy with fun characters and a sweet, if not impossible, romance. I'm beginning to doubt my overall worthiness, since I related much more to new demon Josh than to new angel Grace. I enjoyed the scenes from Josh's POV so much more than Grace's. Maybe Josh was just more interesting... at least that's my hope. I hate to think that my immortal soul could be in danger for siding with a demon.


Told from alternating POV between Josh and Grace, the story flowed quite well, and quickly (which I always appreciate). There were some head-scratching moments: like why new angel Grace would be assigned to someone so close to becoming the next Anti-Christ... and similarly why Lucifer would assign new demon Josh to push this potential Anti-Christ over the edge. Personally I'd send someone with more training.


Despite little issues, I found the story endearing, including the star-crossed romance. Now Cam, the potential Anti-Christ, was an intriguing character- I really enjoyed how his story unfolded. Of course, I didn't really see the potential for good in Cam as he was presented in a young pre-serial-killer light. Let's just say that Grace really had her work cut out for her. There were some intriguing plot twists which I found quite satisfying, and the romance between Josh and Grace was rather cute.


If you like angel/demon, good vs evit stories, then I think you'll enjoy Soul Crossed. One caveat- there are some violent and disturbing scenes (think young serial killer with small animals). If you can't bear to read about that, then skip this book.


Review: Love, Lattes and Mutants by Sandra Cox

Love, Lattes and Mutants - Sandra Cox

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Love, Latte and Mutants was such a fun read! Perfect for a sunny afternoon on the deck. I'm not entirely sure how I'd classify it: maybe YA sci-fi meets paranormal meets romance. I loved the characters-- all of them, even the bully. The villain scientist made my skin crawl. I sure hope Ms. Cox is working on a sequel. It would be nice to know what happened to a couple of the characters. Sorry can't explain further-- spoilers.

I really liked main character Piper. Strong, loyal, sweet, she was an instant hit with me. Being born a mutant, she was forced to hide herself in glasses and baggy clothes in an attempt to remain unnoticed. I loved the scenes where she was in the ocean, and she can finally be herself. Romantic interest Tyler was really too good to be true. Perfect, well other than his insecure streak whenever Piper wanted to hide their relationship. Just a great book boyfriend.

The story was fast-paced, with a slight lull in the middle. But once I reached the 3/4 mark, I couldn't read fast enough to satisfy my curiosity. So much happened in that last 1/4 of the novel. Mainly I'm dying for more information. I felt like the entire section when she was a prisoner at the lab was a tad rushed. I found this part to be the most interesting part of the novel.On the plus side, it left me wanting more.

There's a bit of a love triangle once Joel is introduced. But since he was a resident at the secret lab, he wasn't in the story for very long. I could understand why Piper would be drawn to Joel, since he was like her and she didn't have to hide. But her instant attraction to him was somewhat annoying.

Overall I really enjoyed Love, Latte and Mutants. The characters were well-written and fun to read about, and the story will leave the reader wanting more.



Review: Greta and the Glass Kingdom by Chloe Jacobs

Greta and the Glass Kingdom - Chloe Jacobs

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

First things first, Greta and the Glass Kingdom is book #2 in the Mylena Chronicles and continues where book #1 ended. While I think Ms. Jacobs did a good job summarizing book #1 enough to prevent complete confusion, I still think you should read book #1, Greta and the Goblin King, first. I am going to try to keep this review as free of spoilers from book #1 as I can, but read at your own peril.

I liked Greta quite a bit more in this story than I did in the first. She has come to terms with being in Mylena and seems much more accepting of her fate. Romantic interest Isaac also grew a bit in this book, and I loved the romance between the two. I also enjoyed the myriad of secondary characters that drew me deeper into the story.

Again, my favorite aspect was the intriguing fantasy world created by Ms. Jacobs. She has a way of drawing the reader into the fantasy with vivid descriptions and amazing creatures. I really appreciated the fast pace. There was more suspense than I expected which made the book difficult to put down. I also enjoyed the plot twists-- there's nothing better than a few surprises.

Greta and the Glass Kingdom is a fun fantasy, featuring romance and suspense, all set in an amazing fantasy world. If you like YA fantasy, then I think you'll really enjoy this series!


Review: Spark Rising by Kate Corcino

Spark Rising (The Progenitor Saga) (Volume 1) - Kate Corcino

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Spark Rising is a gritty urban sci-fi that is set in a post-cataclysmic society where electricity is created by Sparks who can manipulate Dust. Part sci-fi, part dystopian, with some rather steamy romance, this novel has a complex plot and lots of imagination.

I really liked Lena. Her back story was rather traumatic, which made me wonder how she was so well grounded in life. Lena knew what she wanted-- freedom from the Council-- and she worked hard to achieve it. When it came crashing down around her, she fought tooth and nail, displaying admirable courage and loyalty.

The romance between Alex and Lena was hot on so many levels. Alex, on the other hand, ran hot and cold for me. Many times I liked him but sometimes he was so arrogant, I wanted to hit him over the head with the nearest object. Ms. Corcino did an excellent job at world-building. Even something as confusing as the Dust, she managed to explain in a way that I understood. Mostly. While I really appreciated the vivid descriptions and long narrative scenes, sometimes I found myself skimming to get to the next action scene and some dialogue.

Did I mention that there's lots of action? Spark Rising is full off action, suspense. and plot turns that are enough to make a reader's head spin. This novel is no light read-- it will leave you thinking about the characters after you've finished. An intriguing first book in a sci-fi series that promises to be worth reading.


Review: Paper or Plastic by Vivi Barnes

Paper or Plastic - Vivi Barnes

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review


Paper or Plastic was a sweet story about a girl who was caught shoplifting a lipstick. This minor theft led to an entire world-view change for main character Lex, as she was forced to work at the discount retailer for the summer as penance for her crime.

Prior to her time at SmartMart, Lex was a popular, if not self-centered cheerleader in her high school, with little to no regard for anyone outside her social circle. I enjoyed seeing Lex change from this self-absorbed teenager to something more... someone who cared for the people around her.

Romantic interest Noah was a manager-in-training at SmartMart and persona non grata for the last two years of high school. Lex was torn between her budding attraction for Noah and her best friend Bryce who despised Noah. You see, the whole school thought Noah ratted Bryce out to school officials for vandalism, which turned Noah into a pariah. I loved Noah. He was a great character. Frankly I thought Lex was lucky to nab a guy like him.

The story was a fast-paced read with lots of dialogue. I loved the romance between Lex and Noah-- it was so adorable. One character who really stood out was Ruthie-- her scenes were some of my favorite. The ending was upbeat, with Lex sticking to her new world-view and not reverting to her old routines. A fun, light story perfect for the pool or the beach.