Monday, September 28, 2015

After You (ME BEFORE YOU, #2) by Jojo Moyes

Publisher: Penguin
Pub. Date: September 29, 2015
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 2 Stars


Blurb:
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

After You is quintessential Jojo Moyes—a novel that will make you laugh, cry, and rejoice at being back in the world she creates. Here she does what few novelists can do—revisits beloved characters and takes them to places neither they nor we ever expected

 
Review:
When I first heard about Me Before You, the book hadn't even made its way to America yet. I had grown pretty close to this girl on Goodreads who was reading and told me I absolutely had to read this book. I was like, yeah! Okay let me go buy it real quick. Only I couldn't buy it because it only sold in the UK. I went looking everywhere on the net trying to find this book cause I desperately wanted to have my heart broken (that's totally a joke by the way). I finally stumbled upon a copy of the Book Depository. Score! Yeah... It had free shipping but the book itself was going to be twenty-five bucks. At this point in my life, I was strictly e-reader only. I didn't care to have regular books, nor was I was I going to pay twenty-five freaken bucks for a book. (Ask me now and hell yeah I'd pay that and more for a book I wanted.)

The day finally came that it was being sold in America. The kindle version was pretty expensive, I think it was 12.99 or something like that. So I was like hm...maybe I don't want to read it THAT much. Lo and behold, months later it was on sale for $2.99! You bet your ass I snatched that baby up. Again, now a days if a book I want, whether it be kindle or print, no matter the price, I get it. Fifteen bucks for a book on kindle, sureeee why not? Oh, the paperback is less expensive than the kindle version, maybe I'll just get both? Because I loved them so much. My point is no matter the price, I want the book. But if a book goes on sale, well all hell breaks loose. I don't care if it's going to make me broke, I'm going to get that book!

Let's get back on topic here. Me Before You was finally in my hands. Finally! I know what's going to happen, I made that friend tell me. So why in the hell did I still sob like a baby? I cried and cried and cried then you know what? I cried some more. THIS BOOK BROKE ME. Broke me down, lifted me up, but still in the end I was left with a million pieces that needed putting back together.

Make sure you have read the first book before you read on--

Which brings me to After You... It was very tough for me to finish. I felt the aftermath and depression that Lou felt after life without Will. The story just seems to have lost that special flair. Sure, Lou was her charming, beautiful self; but with Will you can clearly tell that something was missing. Then we get hit will a bombshell from Will's past. This is when I started having doubts about the book. Like I wanted to pull my hair out of my head from the frustration. Why? I want to know why that particular story line had to be added. It was a cop out and it left me angry.

I know I shouldn't be angry but I am. The people that Lou meets on the way, such as Sam, was an okay attempt in my opinion to try to give Lou a new romantic interest. It would have been fine if I felt like the two had an ounce of chemistry to go around. Maybe I'm biased? It's not like Me Before You was overly romantic or anything, but that six month relationship was everything...

Honestly, I think if you enjoyed the first book, maybe you should just skip out on this one. The story ended at Me Before You, it was a bittersweet ending, but it left you feeling as if you could find purpose in your own life. To live it to the fullest. I didn't feel that reading this story, and I'm disappointed that I couldn't enjoy it more. Moyes is a talented author and I will continue to read all of her books. But this one just didn't have the same effect on me as I thought it would.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.
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Friday, September 25, 2015

Blog Tour feat Excerpt + Giveaway:
Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward!!





Title: Sins of Sevin
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21st, 2015


Buy Here:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble




Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, comes a new forbidden STANDALONE romance.

What happens when the one you want is the only one you can’t have?

My name is Sevin.

Homeschooled and sheltered by my ultra-religious family, I was always taught that lust was a sin.

Elle was the girl who’d been carefully chosen for me.

After a long-distance courtship, I’d be moving into her family’s guesthouse so that we could get to know each other in the months before the wedding.

Boundaries were set: no inappropriate touching, no kissing, no sex before marriage.

I’d accepted those rules and my fate.

Until I met the one I wanted to sin with.

That was when restraint became a problem ... especially since the one wasn’t Elle.

It was her sister, Evangeline.

You know what they say about best laid plans.

My name is Sevin, and I have sinned.

Told in alternating points of view, Sins of Sevin is a full-length standalone novel. Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. Only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.




Excerpt:

He quietly followed me into the dining room, carrying the flatware. The tension in the air was thick as he walked behind me around the oval table, setting down silverware after each plate I’d put down. It was like some weird game of musical chairs where awkward silence replaced the music. The hairs on my back stiffened. We weren’t saying anything, but it was as if I could feel the weight of a thousand words along with the heat of his body so close behind me.

When I noticed he’d just put a fork where the spoon was supposed to go, I switched it. “The forks go on this side, actually.” My hand was shaking. I couldn’t believe how little control I had over myself.

Noticing my nerves, he suddenly placed his hand over mine and whispered, “Stop.”

Chills ran through me. My heart started to beat faster. My nipples hardened. I hated my body for responding to him with equal amounts of fear and lust.

I turned to him, his hand still over my knuckles. It felt like I couldn’t breathe as he just looked at me.

My mother’s footsteps caused Sevin to move his hand off mine with lightning speed.

Mama entered, and we continued setting the table as if our stolen moment hadn’t happened.



About the Author

Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Follow Her Here: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads




a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure


Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Pub. Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction, mystery
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 3 Stars


Blurb:
In 1886 New York, a respectable architect shouldn’t have any connection to the notorious gang of thieves and killers that rules the underbelly of the city. But when John Cross’s son racks up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent’s Gents, Cross must pay it back himself. All he has to do is use his inside knowledge of high society mansions and museums to craft a robbery even the smartest detectives won’t solve. The take better include some cash too —the bigger the payout, the faster this will be over.
With a newfound talent for sniffing out vulnerable and lucrative targets, Cross becomes invaluable to the gang. But Cross’s entire life has become a balancing act, and it will only take one mistake for it all to come crashing down —and for his family to go down too.


 Review:
House of Thieves was an exceptionally written historical thriller set back in New York in 1880. John Cross, the main character, is a well rounded society man and respected architect. The night his son George graduates college, Cross leaves some pretty disturbing news. His son, who has a bright future ahead of him, is gambler. One who owes a butt load of money. Money that he won't be able to pay off; can't lay off because it's such a high amount. James Kent, a gangster and the man who took George, wants his money. And he wants John to pay it off or he'll have to say goodbye to his son. Forever.

John is sent on a crazy journey as he fights to find a way to save George. Will it be too late? How will Cross come up with a way to find enough money and save his son from being killed? Well, the thugs hatch up a plan for John to use his expertise in architecture to help rob the places he built based on his knowledge on the building plans. It must be done whether he likes it or not. His sons life depends on it as well as the family it will initially effect.

Overall, I liked reading about this time period and the wonderful descriptions the author had. It was an interesting book that taught us about family value. And how far will your family go for you if you were to be in trouble? I'm lucky to say I have a wonderful family who would do just that for me. I look forward to reading more of the author's works. I feel as if he can write well developed characters that I can connect with. Pick this up if you're in for a thrilling ride!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Charles Belfoure is the nationally bestselling author of The Paris Architect, and the forthcoming novel, House of Thieves. An architect by profession, he graduated from the Pratt Institute and Columbia University, and he taught at Pratt as well as Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. His area of specialty is historic preservation, and he has published several architectural histories, one of which won a Graham Foundation national grant for architectural research. He has been a freelance writer for The Baltimore Sun and The New York Times. He lives in Maryland. 
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

ALL THE BEAUTIFUL BRIDES (Graveyard Falls, #1) by Rita Herron


Publisher: Montlake Romance
Pub. Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 2.5-3 Stars

 
Blurb:
A young woman lies dead at the bottom of a waterfall, dressed in a wedding gown with a rose stem jammed down her throat. And in the small town of Graveyard Falls, the horrifying vision stirs a long-ago nightmare back to life…

FBI Special Agent Cal Coulter gets called in to investigate the murder, which bears a terrifying resemblance to a series of killings committed thirty years ago: three teenage girls were found dead at the waterfall’s base, all bearing rose stems in their throats. But the high school football star was convicted and imprisoned for those murders, leading Cal to suspect that the killer is still out there.

Now, the body count is rising again. The monster’s sights are set on counselor Mona Monroe, Cal’s best friend’s widow…and the woman he’s always loved. Can Cal stop the killer before Mona becomes the next victim?


Review:
On one hand I liked All the Beautiful Brides but on the other hand, I realized that it was just okay. Okay as in, it didn't wow me or bring anything new and special to the plate. The book centers around a murder that happened thirty years prior - three beautiful girls were pushed off of a cliff and fell to their death. The murderer? The town golden boy, Johnny Pike. But he swears he was set up and didn't do it. Now, thirty years later, a copycat murderer is killing young girls and leaving them in wedding dresses with a rose stuck down their throats. Is someone trying to keep Johnny from getting parole? Or does someone truly envy him and want to make a name for themselves as a killer? We don't know, but Agent Cal Caulter will do everything in his power to bring justice.

What I found annoying, was the fact that I couldn't empathize or connect with any of the characters but one. I found them dull and deceiving. There was so many lies and secrets going on, like what the hell, no one knows how to tell the truth anymore? That ending also was disappointing. I'm all for everything turning out happy but when things turn out to be too perfect...I get bored. And suspicious. Everything in the book worked out in a HEA. I love happily ever after, but this one was flawless and it made me gag. One part of the book really had me fuming. Things would happen...such as a huge secret that Cal keeps from Mona, and he says sorry. Then everything is okay in the end. Like everything involving that scene and everyone involved in that seen, were at peace.

What. The. Hell?


Then another scene happens where a character should be pissed but ends up forgiving and everything is alright in the end. Seriously, what the hell? At least show us some emotion. Not everything needs to be all hell breaks loose, but it beats it becoming too perfect. In the end, I was left with a feeling of eh. I like the writing style, which consisted of third person pov with several characters from the book. I would have enjoyed one or two. There were some twists that got me but for the most part, I was able to figure things out. Readers, if you're looking for a quick read, I suggest reading this one. It's easy and entertaining; otherwise I wouldn't have finished it!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Links:

About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Rita Herron fell in love with books at the ripe age of eight when she read her first Trixie Belden mystery. Although she wanted to be a writer then and actually scrawled her first novel at age twelve, she didn’t think real people grew up to be writers, so she became a kindergarten teacher instead. Ten years ago, she traded her classroom storytelling and puppets for a computer and now writes so she doesn’t have to get a real job.
Having sold over fifty books to date, she enjoys spinning spine-tingling romantic suspense tales filled with murder, mayhem, and spicy romance as well as sexy romantic comedies. Rita Herron currently writes romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and she’s writing dark, gritty romantic suspense thrillers for Amazon Montlake.

If you want to know more about Rita or have a question for her about her books, or writing in general, email Rita and she’ll be happy to answer
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Release Blitz:
Sins of Sevin by Penelope Ward!!





Title: Sins of Sevin
Author: Penelope Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21st, 2015


Buy Here:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble




Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Stepbrother Dearest, comes a new forbidden STANDALONE romance.

What happens when the one you want is the only one you can’t have?

My name is Sevin.

Homeschooled and sheltered by my ultra-religious family, I was always taught that lust was a sin.

Elle was the girl who’d been carefully chosen for me.

After a long-distance courtship, I’d be moving into her family’s guesthouse so that we could get to know each other in the months before the wedding.

Boundaries were set: no inappropriate touching, no kissing, no sex before marriage.

I’d accepted those rules and my fate.

Until I met the one I wanted to sin with.

That was when restraint became a problem ... especially since the one wasn’t Elle.

It was her sister, Evangeline.

You know what they say about best laid plans.

My name is Sevin, and I have sinned.

Told in alternating points of view, Sins of Sevin is a full-length standalone novel. Contains graphic sexual content and harsh language. Only appropriate for adult readers age 18+.




About the Author

Penelope Ward

Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 10-year-old girl with autism and a 9-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Follow Her Here: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads




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Review: TWIST MY CHARM: The Popularity Spell, #1 by Toni Gallagher



Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 22, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade
Source: Print Arc
Rating: 3 Stars


Blurb:
Magic and a little twist of mayhem will charm fans of Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Wendy Mass in this fresh, contemporary debut!

When a package arrives in the mail for Cleo Nelson, she can’t wait to open it. The birthday present is seven months late, but it’s from Uncle Arnie and that can only mean one thing: magic! Inside is a voodoo doll complete with instructions for making happy, wonderful things happen to Cleo and her friends—err, friend. Just one, really. But maybe the doll can change that. . . .
            Cleo can’t wait to try out the magic with her friend, Samantha. They start small by wishing for treats (surprise pizza!), but then their spells start to grow. And when they wish for popularity, they accidentally get the popular girl in school in major trouble with the principal. Can happy spells be twisted into bad magic?

 Review:
Cute, funny, and highly entertaining, Twist My Charm will appeal to the younger generation. Of course, adults will be able to enjoy it as well. Cleo and her best friend, Samantha, are obsessed with popularity. They are the outsiders and just want to know what it's like to be a 'cool' kid. Very understandable considering most kids want to be in the 'in' crowd. When Cleo gets a voodoo doll for her birthday from her uncle, she finally feels like her luck will change. The two best friends start with something small and the very next day the girls get a surprise pizza day at school. So obviously voodoo works! But then the two start wondering about bigger and better hexes they can do.

Bigger hexes mean bigger consequences. Such as trying to stop a romance between Cleo's dad and his new girlfriend, Terri. Will Cleo and Samantha be able to handle the hexes they continue to do? Or will things just go, poof! And be gone? I enjoyed the book very much. It was light and easy to read. I also thought the dialogue was engaging and witty at times. Sometimes I would be like, yep, that totally sounds like an eleven year old. Meaning sometimes the humor was lost to me since I'm not a kid anymore. But I totally think kids will devour this sweet book! There's also going to be a second novel coming out next year. You betcha I'm going to read it. It's too cute not to.

Overall, I liked the premise and he characters were insanely adorable. I'm definitely looking forward to the shenanigans that Cleo gets in, in the next book. I've already read the synopsis for that one and it deals with a love potion! How can anyone want to pass up a book with a love potion involved! Not only will Cleo get the wrong person, her father will also drink the potion that will make someone fall in love with him. Until then, go out today and grab the book.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy Links:

About the Author:
No stranger to storytelling, Toni Gallagher earned a journalism degree from Northwestern University and has had a successful career in reality TV. She began as a story editor on the early seasons of MTV’s The Real World and was a producer on the beloved and respected Disney Channel show Bug Juice, about real kids at summer camp. Currently she serves as executive producer of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Bravo. Toni lives in Los Angeles and loves finding the magic in it.
tonigallagherink.com
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Blog Tour Review- DEVOTED IN DEATH by J.D. Robb


Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pub. Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Thriller
Source: Print ARC
Rating:


Blurb:
Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutality in the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .


Review:
Devoted in Death was my first time ever reading J.D. Robb; in fact, it was my first time ever reading anything pertaining to Nora Roberts. I obviously didn't know good books because wow. I am hooked, and I do mean hooked! I've already gone back to the beginning and bought the first ten books in the series. And yes, I've already finished the first book. Oh and yes, I'm positively giddy that I have about forty more books to read! I love these characters and I love the books. They're mysterious, sexy, and damn good. 

Devoted in Death starts off strong. We meet two people that are like a modern day Bonnie & Clyde. They are thrive on stealing and on a complete accident, they end up killing a man. Resulting in them getting a high off torturing and killing people. This is where lieutenant Eve Dallas comes into play. She is the central character of all the books. And led me tell you - she's bad ass! Eve and her team of bad asses race to catch a pair of crazy lovers on a killing spree. Along the way, we get gory, detailed descriptions on things that happened to the victims when they were tortured and killed. It made the book seem more like an action movie than a book. 

What would the book be without Roarke? Damn, I seriously love him. Their romance doesn't ever take away from the actual story, but it's still sizzling right in the background. If you haven't met him yet, then please go do some research! Roarke doesn't disappoint. 

Overall, I'm so glad I've been introduced to this amazing series full of kick-ass characters, and plots that keep me turning page after page. I recommend these books to romance and mystery readers, or just book worms in general. I promise you regret it! And if you do...well I'm terribly sorry about that. But once you start the series you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Buy Links:
Amazon- http://amzn.to/1V0u39R

About the Author:
aka:
Sarah Hardesty
Jill March
Nora Roberts

Eleanor Marie Robertson was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A. She was the youngest of the five children, also the only girl, of a marriage with Irish ancestors. Her family were avid readers, so books were always important in her life. She attended a Catholic school and credits the nuns with instilling in her a sense of discipline. During her sophomore year in high school, she transferred to a local public school, where she met Ronald Aufdem-Brinke, her future first husband.

In August 17, 1968, as soon as she had graduated from High School, Eleanor married, against her parents' wishes. The marriage settled in Keedysville, Maryland. Her husband worked at his father's sheet-metal business before joining her parents in their lighting company. While, she worked briefly as a legal secretary. "I could type fast but couldn't spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever," she says now. After their sons, Dan and Jason, were born she stayed home. Calling this her "Earth Mother" years, she spent much of her time doing crafts, including ceramics and sewing her children's clothes. The marriage ended separating, and they obtained the divorce in January 1985.

In February 1979, a blizzard in forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate. During the now famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981 as Nora Roberts, a shortened form of her birth name Eleanor Marie Robertson, because she assumed that all authors had pen names.

Eleanor wrote under the pseudonym Jill March a story for a magazine titled "Melodies of Love".

Eleanor met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Her husband owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland called "Turn the Page Books". Since that time, they've expanded their home, traveled the world.

In 1992, she decided adopted other pseudonym so to publish a futuristic-suspense novels, she first decided to use the pseudonym D.J. MacGregor, but she discovered that this pseudonym was used by another author. In 1995, her first "In Death" serial novel was published under the pseudonym J.D. Robb, the initials "J.D." were taken from her sons, Jason and Dan, while "Robb" is a shortened form of Roberts.

Eleanor has also been known as Sara Hardesty, because when the "Born In" series was released in U.K. it carried that name instead of Nora Roberts. She has since changed publishers.

Eleanor has been plagiarized by another best-selling romance writer, Janet Dailey. The practice came to light after a reader read Nora Roberts' "Sweet Revenge" and Janet Dailey's "Notorious" back-to-back; she noticed several similarities and posted the comparable passages on the Internet. Calling the plagiarism "mind rape," Eleanor sued Janet Daily. In 1997, Janet, admitted to repeatedly plagiarizing from Nora Roberts' work, and that both "Aspen Gold" and "Notorious" lifted heavily from Nora Roberts's work. Both of those novels were pulled from print after Janet's admission. She acknowledged the plagiarism and blamed it on a psychological disorder. In a settlement, Janet paid Eleanor an undisclosed sum, which Eleanor donated to the Literacy Volunteers of America.

A founding member of the Romance Writers of America (R.W.A.), she was the first inductee in the organization's Hall of Fame. She also is a member of several writers groups and has won countless award
 
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Release Blitz feat Review + Giveaway:
Vagrant by Gemma James




Title: Vagrant
Author: Gemma James
Series: Condemned #4
Genre: New Adult Dark Romance
 Release Date: September 15, 2015

Blurb

I’ve finally got what I want.

Rafe Mason loves me.
He’s forgiven me.
Survived for me.
Killed for me.

But is it enough?

His darkness owns me.
Consumes me.
Bends me.
Heals me.

Loving him shouldn’t be this hard.
 
NOTE TO READERS: VAGRANT is a new adult dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some. Intended for mature audiences. Part four of the CONDEMNED series. This book concludes Rafe and Alex’s story.



My Review


Vagrant picks up six months after Fervent ended, and Rafe is back to claim Alex once and for all.

If I’m to be completely honest, I was expecting a lot more from the final book in the Series. I had enjoyed everything, for the most part, up to this point. I was thrilled that Rafe got his memories back at the end of the last book, but if I would have known what to expect because of it then I would have been singing a different tune.

Rafe always had dark desires. He was always controlling. But I felt that he took EVERYTHING to the extreme here and I missed the Rafe that had amnesia. He claimed to love Alex, but I couldn’t see it. Not really. Toward the end there were some moments of connecting, but everything else he did made me feel like she was a thing, and not a person. And with as much as she had been through, I was hoping to see him change just a little. Not get worse.

Alex, on the other hand, grew a lot in the six months apart. She had more of a backbone. Was more defiant. And there were a few scenes that made me so damn proud of her. I just wish she was strong enough to let go of Rafe. I’m telling you, this book really made me not like him.

In the end, I’d have to give Vagrant 3 stars. For this being the end of the series, I sure was left with a lot of questions. Primarily what happened to Jax? Did he take care of their problem, or do Rafe and Alex still have people searching for them? I felt that these questions should have been answered before closing the story. It was a quick read, and I did enjoy parts of it. But other parts left me feeling a bit … empty.


Links to Buy
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU




Also Available


FREE

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



FREE

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU



AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU


Author Bio

Gemma James is the multi-genre author of several novels and novellas, from new adult suspense to dark erotic romance. She loves to explore the darker side of human nature in her fiction. She’s morbidly curious about anything dark and edgy, from deviant sex to serial killers. Readers have described her stories as being “not for the faint of heart.”

She lives in Oregon with her husband and their four children—three rambunctious UFC/wrestling-loving boys and one girl who steals everyone’s attention.

Author Links

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Review: THE BIG FIX (In A Fix, #3) by Linda Grimes

 Publisher: Tor Books
Pub. Date: May 12, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Humor
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 6 Stars


Blurb:
Linda Grimes's sexy and hilarious urban fantasy series that began with In a Fix and Quick Fix continues in The Big Fix.

Aura adaptor extraordinaire Ciel Halligan, who uses her chameleon-like abilities to fix her clients' problems--as them--is filling in on set for action superstar Jackson Gunn, whose snake phobia is standing in the way of his completing his latest mega-millions Hollywood blockbuster. There's only one thing Jack fears more than snakes, and that's the possibility of his fans finding out he screams at the sight of one. Going from hero to laughing stock isn't part of his career plan.

Seems like a simple enough job to Ciel, who doesn't particularly like snakes, but figures she can tolerate an afternoon with them, for the right price--which Jack is offering, and then some. What she doesn't count on is finding out that while she was busy wrangling snakes for him, his wife was busy getting killed. When Ciel goes to break the sad news to the star, she finds out Jack was AWOL from her client hideaway at the time of the murder.

Ciel begins to suspect Jack's phobia was phony, and that he only hired her to provide him with an alibi--but if she goes to the police, she'll have to explain how she knows he wasn't really on set. Up against a wall, Ciel calls on her best-friend-turned-love-interest Billy, and her not-so-ex-crush Mark, to help her set up the sting of a lifetime.
 

Review:
The Big Fix. What can I say other than this series has quickly jumped up to my top five favorite series. And that's saying something considering I have a bunch of favorites! Getting back in to Ciel's world, I know there will never be a dull moment. From the very first word until the very last, it's non stop action, swoony moments, and hilarious wit from loveable characters. And I do mean ALL the characters. I have grown to love each and every one of them. The story honestly wouldn't be the same without them all. Ciel and gang sure know how to keep a girl entertained.

The story opens up with Ciel taking on a job for a high profile actor, Jackson, who has a phobia of snakes. The day that Ciel takes over the scene with snakes as Jackson, word comes to Ciel aka Jackson that his wife has been murdered. The number one suspect? The wife, Angelica, owns sister, Lilly Ann. Sounds like a dysfunctional family to me! Well this is right up Ciel's alley as they try to catch the murderer. But problems arise and what in the heck kind of story would it be if we knew right off the bat who the killer is. Who is the true killer? Could it be Lily Ann? Jackson himself? Someone else entirely? Come follow The whole gang as they race to uncover the truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts.

I bet you're wondering about the romance part of the story involving Billy, Ciel, and Ciel's undying infatuation with Mark. I won't give anything away but this part of the book actually pissed me off which is the sole reason it's four stars instead of five. I had to ask myself, did th author really go there? Something happened that I didn't agree with and had it been the other way around, I don't think Ciel would have been as forgiving. To me it's a double standard. But alas, still loved the lovey dovey scenes. And yeah, I'm #TeamBilly all the way.

Overall, I'm truly, truly in love with these books. My life is totally invested in the lives of these fictional characters. When they hurt, I hurt, when they cry, I cry, and so on. You get the picture. If there's any book that I will ever fully recommend with love, it's these books. Trust me, they are so good! Plus the humor keeps it from being too dark or serious. I hope you as a reader will check these books out. Even if Urban Fantasy isn't your thing, I still suggest trying it out. I highly doubt you'll regret it!!


*Thank you so much to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Buy Links:
AMAZON

About the Author:
Linda grew up in Texas, where she rode horses, embarrassed herself onstage a lot, and taught teenagers they'd have to learn the rules of English before they could get away with breaking them for creativity's sake. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband, whom she snagged after he saw her in a musical number at the now defunct Melodrama Theater in San Antonio. (There's nothing like a rousing chorus of "If You Wanna Catch a Fish You Gotta Wiggle Your Bait" to hook a man for a lifetime.)

Like her globetrotting main character, Linda has spent her fair share of time overseas, though fortunately under less stressful circumstances. Kidnapping and daring rescues are all well and good in fiction, but she prefers sanity in her real life.


Catch up with her on AMAZON and make sure to follow her and stay up to date with all her amazing books!!
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Review: SUSTAINED (LEGAL BRIEFS, #2) by Emma Chase

Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub. Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: E-ARC
Rating:


Blurb:
A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I'm going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal's office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.


Review:
Adorable kids. Sexy hero. Sweet yet string heroine. A hot as hell slow burn love story. I adored Sustained with a passion. That's saying something considering I loathed the first book. I didn't give a lick about Stanton or Sofia. But this story on the other hand, I could get enough. Jake and Chelsea as individuals were awesome and together I think they were a force to be not to be reckoned with. Jake, the bad boy lawyer, and Chelsea, the sweet who who had to up and move when her brother and his wife died. Leaving her to be the sole protector of six children all ranging from babies to teenagers.

At first, I didn't know what to expect. When I was asked to review, I was hesitant seeing as the first book was such a major letdown. But it's Emma Chase, and why the hell wouldn't I give her second chance. I'm so glad I did too. I feel like I like this book just as much as her debut novel, Tangled, which I devoured in one sitting. The other books after were good but in my opinion, never quite reaching the Tangled category. Well, I'm glad to say Tangled was knocked off its pedestal. Sustained has taken to icing on the cake, the cherry on top. I want to crawl in the book and live there.

The book is filled with Chase's signature wit that make everyone fall in love with her simple and easy writing style. I, myself, laughed out loud more than a few times. I loved the exchanges and dialogue between Jake and the kids. It's amazing to see someone gain something he never knew he wanted. Plus the kids gained something that was lost; and while it will never quite fill that hole that was left when they lost their parents, maybe it will help with the healing process. Men who love and take care of children, is just so simply sexy. Mainly Jake. One, these aren't his kids. He doesn't OWE them anything - but he fell in love with them. Resulting in him being an amazing father figure in their lives.

Overall, if you're looking for a light-hearted yet deep read about what it means to have family, this is the book for you. Don't be turned off that it has kids in it, I promise you won't regret it. It's THAT good. It doesn't hurt that Jake is a hottie with tats and when he pulls the lawyer card on people, yeah so hot! I loved this so much and I hope you do too!

 *Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Buy Links
 Amazon
Amazon UK

About the Author:
 By day, Emma Chase is a devoted wife and mother of two who resides in a small, rural town in New Jersey. By night she is a keyboard crusader, toiling away the hours to bring her colorful characters and their endless antics to life. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Emma is an avid reader. Before her children were born she was known to consume whole books in a single day. Writing has also always been a passion and with the 2013 release of her debut romantic comedy, Tangled, the ability to now call herself an author is nothing less than a dream come true.
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Review: THE PARIS KEY by Juliet Blackwell

Publisher: NAL
Pub. Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating:


 Blurb:
An American in Paris navigates her family’s secret past and unlocks her own future, in this emotionally evocative novel by New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell.

As a girl, Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle’s side. But since then, living back in the States, she has become more private, more subdued. She has been an observer of life rather than an active participant, holding herself back from those around her, including her soon-to-be-ex-husband.

Paris never really left Genevieve, and, as her marriage crumbles, she finds herself faced with an incredible opportunity: return to the magical city of her youth to take over her late uncle’s shop. But as she absorbs all that Parisian culture has to offer, she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever, and that locked doors can protect you or imprison you, depending on which side of them you stand.


Review:
I've had a tough time getting into The Paris Key. Mainly, I felt a huge disconnect to the story and most importantly the characters. The descriptions were spot on, it felt as though you were in Paris and drinking deliciously hot, hot chocolate. But there was still that factor of not being able to connect. Not to mention there would be times that I would nod off in the middle of a sentence. I quite literally had to make myself even finish the book.

Maybe it's just the wrong moment, wrong time to read this. I seem to be the only one with the belief that this wasn't as good as it could have been. I wish I could read this and rate it good just like everyone else, but that would be dishonest. My honest opinion aside from everything I've already said is, I didn't like the book at all. Was the writing good? I believe so. Characters? Good, but not ones that I could get with on an emotional level. Overall story? Well, it's Paris...so there is that...

Genevieve, our main protagonist, ups and leaves California to take over her late uncles locksmith shop in Paris. Being a locksmith was something of a passion for Genevieve ever since her uncle, Dave, taught her the trade when she was younger. She became a copy editor instead. When she reaches Paris, she meets the neighbors and friends of Dave. Then things start happening. Things like Genevieve finding out things from her past. Maybe secrets really should be left in the past.

The Paris Key is filled with mystery, sorrow, and endings that one could find themselves believing in again.  Although this wasn't the story for me, I feel like I could still read the author seeing as her writing is on point. There are just times when you can't connect no matter how hard you try. Don't let my opinion or review deter you from reading the story. I just have my own personal tastes in books and this one didn't quite reach out to me.

* Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orchards.

By the time she graduated middle school, the orchards were disappearing and the valley at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay had become the cradle of the silicon semi-conductor. A man named Steve Jobs was working in his garage in Cupertino, just down the street. Juliet's father advised his daughters to enter the lucrative and soon-to-flourish field of computers.

"Bah" said Juliet, as she went on to major in Latin American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz (they had, by far, the best parties of any department). Rather than making scads of money in computers, she read, painted, learned Spanish and a little French and Vietnamese, lived in Spain and traveled through Europe, Mexico, and Central America. She had a very good time.

Juliet pursued graduate degrees in Anthropology and Social Work at the State University of New York at Albany, where she published several non-fiction articles on immigration as well as one book-length translation. Fascinated with other cultural systems, she studied the religions, folklore and medical beliefs of peoples around the world, especially in Latin America. Juliet taught the anthropology of health and health care at SUNY-Albany, and worked as an elementary school social worker in upstate New York. She also did field projects in Mexico and Cuba, studied in Spain, Italy, and France, worked on a BBC production in the Philippines, taught English as a second language in San Jose, and learned how to faux finish walls in Princeton, New Jersey. After having a son, moving back to California, and abandoning her half-written dissertation in cultural anthropology, Juliet started painting murals and portraits for a living. She has run her own mural/faux finish design studio in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco, for more than a decade. She specializes in the aesthetic renovation of historic homes.

Finally, to round out her tour of lucrative careers, Juliet turned to writing. Under the pseudonym of Hailey Lind, Juliet penned the Art Lover's Mystery Series with her sister Carolyn, about an ex-art forger trying to go straight by working as a muralist and faux finisher in San Francisco. The first of these, Feint of Art, was nominated for an Agatha Award; Shooting Gallery and Brush with Death were both IMBA bestsellers, and Arsenic and Old Paint is now available from Perseverance Press.

Juliet's Witchcraft Mystery series, about a witch who finally finds a place to fit in when she opens a vintage clothes shop on Haight Street in San Francisco, allows Juliet to indulge yet another interest—the world of witchcraft and the supernatural. Ever since her favorite aunt taught her about reading cards and tea leaves, Juliet has been fascinated with seers, conjurers, and covens from many different cultures and historic traditions. As an anthropologist, the author studied and taught about systems of spirituality, magic, and medicine throughout the world, especially in Latin America. Halloween is by far her favorite holiday.

When not writing, painting, or haranguing her funny but cynical teenaged son, Juliet spends a lot of time restoring her happily haunted house and gardening with Oscar the cat, who ostensibly belongs to the neighbors but won't leave her alone. He started hanging around when Juliet started writing about witches...funny coincidence.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: The Sleepwalker Tonic (Nightmares!, #2) by Jason Segel & KirstenMiller

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pub. Date: September 8, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 5 Stars


Blurb:
Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic is the sequel to the hilariously scary New York Times bestselling novel Nightmares! by multitalented actor Jason Segel and bestselling author Kirsten Miller. You thought the nightmares were over? You better keep the lights on!

Charlie Laird has a dream life.

1) He has a weirdo stepmom who runs an herbarium.
2) He lives in a purple mansion with a portal to the Netherworld.
3) Since they escaped from the Netherworld, he and his best friends have been sleeping like babies.

But Charlie can’t shake the feeling that something strange is afoot. Charlotte’s herbarium used to be one of the busiest stores in Cypress Creek. Now her loyal following is heading to Orville Falls for their herbal potions.
Weirder, though, Orville Falls is suddenly filled with . . . zombies? At least, they sure look like the walking dead. Rumor has it that no one’s sleeping in Orville Falls. And Charlie knows what that means.

Things are getting freaky again.

Praise for Nightmares!, book one

A New York Times bestseller

"Charlie Laird, who learns fear will eat you alive if you feed it, makes an impression, and...readers will want to accompany him again."— The New York Times Book Review

"A touching comical saga...about facing things that go bump in the night."— US Weekly "Coraline meets Monsters, Inc. in this delightfully entertaining offering from actor [Jason] Segel and co-author [Kirsten] Miller."— Publishers Weekly

"[Nightmares!] succeeds at scaring and amusing in equal measure...[It's] sweet, charming, and imaginative."— Kirkus Reviews

"Segel...and Miller build an entertaining, cartoony world full of scary (but not too scary) monsters, silly jokes, plucky kid heroes...with a promise of adventures to come."— Booklist

"An engaging and creative story...woven with a generous amount [of] humor."— VOYA

"There's humor and a fairly high ick-factor."— School Library Journal

"Cleverly crafted...This novel presents just the right mix of 'scary and humorous.'"— ILA Literacy Daily


 Review:
I don't think there's anything in the world Jason Segel can't do. Not only is he is one of my favorite shows of all time, he's written a book that borders on a hilarious version of Goosebumps. Minus all the cheesiness. After the first book, Nightmares!, Charlie has officially faced his fears after being thrown into (technically he walked into...) the Netherworld. What I loved about this book was the fact that it had "zombies". And who in their right mind doesn't love a good zombie book? Especially when it's written in a clever and funny way. 

People in the town over, Orville Falls, are having trouble sleeping. In turn they start taking a sleep tonic that doesn't really put them to sleep... Instead, they turn into mindless zombies. Sounds like a job for Charlie, his little brother Jack and their stepmother. They must find a cure and they need to find it fast. Will the family be able to do what they need to do in order to save the day (night)? I had so much fun diving deep into Charlie's world again. It's been awhile since I've been able to go into a book and completely immerse myself in the exciting, fun, and "scary" story that I never wanted to end. 

Overall, The Sleepwalker Tonic is definitely a book every child and grown-up alike should read. Jack and the gang prove to be just as fun as they were in the first book, if not more in this one. Also, I have to make note again on the illustrations. They're absolutely fabulous. I love being able to have visuals throughout the book; it makes it all the more magical. Parents, don't pass up these books to read with your children. It will have you both laughing as you follow Charlie on his amazing journey!

*Thank you to the author for providing a coy for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


Buy Links:


Blurb:

The hilariously frightening, middle-grade novel Nightmares! is the first book in a trilogy about a boy named Charlie and a group of kids who must face their fears to save their town.

Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!

Charlie Laird has several problems.

1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3.He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap.

What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.

And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.



My Thoughts:
I shouldn't have feared not liking this. The book pretty much had me at JASON SEGEL. The book was very engaging and I believe children of all ages (even adults) will enjoy the fun and "spooky" tale of a boy whose nightmares turn to reality. Everyone has them; in fact, I had one just last night. But unlike our dear boy Charlie, mine don't scare me as much. 


Charlie's nightmares stem from a haunted old house and his wicked step-monster, also known as is step-mom. See, Charlie thinks she might be a witch that may or may not (unlikely) be out to get him. Soon, Charlie makes it to the Netherworld, where his brother has been taken by an evil witch. In this little "nightmare" world, all scary things are possible and getting out is proving to be very hard indeed. If he doesn't make it out in time, he could die. Yes, you read that right, die. Because in the Netherworld, sleeping children usually go there while asleep. Nothing can truly hurt them when they are in the dream state, even if everything feels real. Charlie on the other hand, goes in there while not asleep.


See how that could be a problem?

The reader is taken on a magical ride as Charlie tries to overcome his fears and save his baby brother. Along the way, we meet some amazing characters. Overall, I think that this will be a great family story to read aloud. The illustrations are simply wonderful, the writing is...wow, just like a movie in my head. I could totally see this as a blockbuster hit.If you're looking for a story that;s entertaining and funny, make sure you pick this one up!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

4.5 Stars
Buy Links:

About the Authors:
Jason Segel- New York Times bestselling author Jason Segel used to have nightmares just like Charlie, and just like Charlie, he's learned that the things we're most afraid of are the things that can make us strong...if we're brave enough to face them. Jason likes acting, writing, making music, and hanging out with his friends. Sometimes he writes movies. Sometimes he writes songs for movies. Sometimes he stars in those movies and sings those songs. You might know him from The Muppets and Despicable Me. Your parents might know him from other stuff. Nightmares! is his first novel.

Kirsten Miller-  
I'm the author of the Kiki Strike book series (All Ages) and the Eternal Ones book series (Ages 13+). My latest novels are How to Lead a Life of Crime (Razorbill, 2/2013) and Kiki #3 The Darkness Dwellers (Bloomsbury, 1/2013). 


About the Illustrator:
My name is Karl Kwasny. I draw pictures for a living. I'm Australian, but I currently live in Brooklyn, NY.
I am represented in Australia by the Jacky Winter Group.
For commission enquiries, please contact:
The Jacky Winter Group
email: info@jackywinter.com
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