Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: When Our Worlds Collide by Lindsey Iler


 Publisher: Lindsey iLer
Pub. Date: October 12, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC provided by Author
Rating: 4.5 Stars


Blurb:
Note: Edited, updated version uploaded 10-12-15

Kennedy Conrad is everything he needs.
Graham Black has two rules in life. Play baseball, so he can get the hell out of Tennessee, and leave your shirt on when you drop your panties.
He’s a typical all-American pitcher with the world at his fingertips. His devilish good looks and charm help him crawl into the beds and hearts of the girls at his high school. With secrets no one knows, he has every intention of running away from his hometown the minute he graduates. Nothing can get in his way. Until poor choices collide him into Kennedy Conrad.
Graham Black is everything she wants.
Kennedy Conrad has her own set of rules. Dance with your whole heart, and make it through each day without being noticed.
She’s sweet and reserved, everything Graham’s not. After one fated night, she can’t stop him from noticing her anymore. She knows there’s a chance of heartache by letting him in. When the unthinkable happens to Kennedy, Graham realizes what he’s been fighting is what causes Kennedy to end up hurt.
Can their love survive one more thing that is meant to pull them apart?


Review:

“Do you think two people who have every reason in the world not to be together, can still find a way to make it work?"
 
Wow. I just don't know what other word I can say other than wow...in a way I have to much I need to say but I don't know how to put anything into words. I got contacted by this lovely author and I just had a feeling - I had a feeling that this was going to be my type of book. Of course all I had to read was that a hot baseball player, who also happens to be a pitcher, was going to be the love interest of the story.

Hook. Line. And sinker. I'm not even joking, I didn't read the blurb! I have a soft spot for anything baseball and rock stars. Chances are if you write about any of these two subjects, I'm going to love it. It's inevitable. So here I am just newly downloading the book on my kindle and I say to myself, "just read a few pages to feel the story." Well pages turned in to chapters... Chapters turned into me eventually finishing the book.

You know it's a good one when it's the premiere of the last Hunger Games movie, and you're contemplating staying in just to keep reading. I even wore a shirt that said 'Rather be Reading'.



“I never thought I’d love anyone. I never thought I deserved the love of someone like you, but God, Kennedy, I love you so damn much it hurts sometimes,” I confess as I wipe a single tear from Kennedy’s eye.


When I started the book, my first thoughts were that I wasn't going to like the min character...at all. Right away I could tell her insecurities about not belonging would annoy me. And if there's any kind of major downfall about the book, it's that. Kennedy is constantly putting herself down throughout the book. I hated that. Mainly because it's a quality about myself that I hate. I know many girls in the world have these types of thoughts about themselves as well.

It still didn't sit right with me though. At times it sounded as if it was a poor me type thing. But the more I read the more I realized it wasn't. I get it, but it's something I really hated.

But to me, that's the only thing I hated. As for everything else, well damn, let's just say I'm in love. Graham is a boy who hides - hides who he truly is, hides secrets that could potentially ruin his life, and hides the fact that he may not be the golden boy everyone makes him out to be. Everything changes the moment Kennedy comes into his life.

She isn't anything like he's used to; easy. Kennedy is smart, beautiful, and doesn't put up with Graham's shit. He brings out a side of her she never knew she had. The two come together after a night that will forever change them. The ultimate game changer. The more time these two hang together, the more they realize that the magnetic pull they feel towards one another, can't be ignored. Not by a long shot.

But what happens when love isn't enough?

When Our Worlds Collide is a deeply emotional novel that deals with real live issues in our world today. Rape - child abuse- assault -bullying - self doubt - briefly touches on suicide...These are all things in our world today that need speaking up about. I had no idea what I just read was going to be serous. It's not your typical YA/NA novel...it's so much more.

Overall, I'm so amazed at the emotions the author was able to evoke from me. It was just what I needed at exactly the right time. I can't wait to read more books by Iler and see what amazing stories she comes up with next! 



"We’re only in high school, but I know, no matter what happens, she’s the grand finale, the final pitch, the last and final breath."

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


Buy this delicious book!

About the Author:
When she's not writing (which should be all the time, so if she's not you have permission to yell at her), she's spending time with family and friends, listening to music, reading (obviously!), and hopefully just enjoying every moment in life. She has a twisted sense of humor, tends to speak honestly, and her mind tends to feel most comfortable in the gutter.

Lindsey writes new adult contemporary romance. She falls in love with every character that pops into her head. She's notorious for writing long chapters in her notes on her iPhone (It is sort embarrassing how many started/unfinished projects are on that thing). She finds inspiration from music and the people around her, so be nice to her or else she might pull a Taylor Swift and write you into her next book.
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Naughty or Nice?


On the Naughty List: On the Naughty List, The Duke and Miss Christmas, Christmas with a Billionaire Rancher, Hot Toy
On the Nice List: Home for Christmas, Christmas at Evergreen Inn, Snowflake Wishes, Heartsong Cottage

Naughty…
Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover51715-small.pngOn the Naughty List by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, and Sugar Jamison
Four hot holiday stories, now in one great package, featuring two New York Times bestselling authors!
Lori Foster has two co-workers plan a Christmas party and discover a love worth celebrating in Christmas Bonus.
Carly Phillips explores a "mistletoe moment" when a lawyer intent on seducing her boss kisses his twin instead, in Naughty Under the Mistletoe.

In Sugar Jamison's Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas, wild child Dina Gregory returns home to find her young son's father. Instead, she finds his stuffy brother, Ben. Ben admires her tenacity and bold beauty. Could it be that Dina has reignited his Christmas spirit?
Beth Ciotta brings two friends together at home for the holidays. They don't have much in common anymore, but when they get stranded together during a blizzard, they might realize that true love was there all along, in Some Kind of Wonderful.

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover71891-small.png
Duke and Miss Christmas by Amelia Grey
A delightfully charming, wickedly sexy Regency-set Christmas romance novella from New York Times bestselling author, Amelia Grey!
Crispin, the Duke of Hurst, has never met a woman he couldn't handle--until he's hit over the head with a basketful of mistletoe by a young lady who mistakes his intentions. When he gets into a tussle with her--and she can hold her own--Crispin knows he has finally met his match. Miss Gwen Prim is mortified that she attacked a duke, but even more concerning is the way her resolve melts when she's near him. She's never felt this way about a London gentleman in her life. And with the magic of Christmas in the air, she may end up with a proposal she didn't expect.


Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover71890-small.png
Christmas with the Billionaire Rancher by Mandy Baxter
A fabulously intense contemporary series, featuring sexy heroes and the sassy women they love in the Lone Star State.
There's nothing Nate Christensen hates more than a golddigger. Nate wants to stay away from all the women who want his money. That is, until he meets the sexy, beautiful Chloe Benson, who lights a fire in his blood that only the most wildly passionate nights can ease... The only problem is, she needs Nate's money. True, it's for a very worthy charity, but is their passion enough to still Nate's fears that she's only wants him for the size of his bank account?


Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover72459-small.png

Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

A fan favorite holiday novella, now available as a standalone e-book!
Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent...


Nice…
Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover73609-small.png
Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
A heartwarming holiday romance about a wounded warrior who finds healing and love during Christmas on Sanctuary Island.
Magazine columnist Libby Leeds has made a name for herself sharing heartwarming stories from her perfect life on Sanctuary Island. There's just one minor detail she's left out: she hasn't set foot on the island since her childhood. Now wounded war hero/single-father Owen Shepard is returning to Sanctuary Island, and Libby's editor insists she cover the story. But the sweet, reclusive writer is more intriguing, and more tempting, than Owen could have imagined. Decorating trees, and warming up by the fire it’s the closest Libby has come to love and family since she was a child. Will the Christmas spirit enable them admit what they feel for one another?
 
Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover72460-small.png
Christmas at Evergreen Inn by Donna Alward
Sparks fly in this fun, festive holiday novella when a small town cop gets snowed in with the proprietor of the local inn.
When a December Nor'easter roars up the eastern seaboard, Jewell Cove cop Todd Ricker spends his day off being a Good Samaritan to stranded holiday travelers. But when the roads close and Todd can't make his way home, he discovers that the Evergreen Inn is full up. That is, until another Lainey Price opens her doors and offers him a place to stay in her tiny cottage. While the two are stormed in for a wintry evening by the fire can Todd convince Lainey to open her heart to Christmas?



Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover72591-small.png
Snowflake Wishes by Maggie McGinnis
A magical and enchanting holiday romance from USA Today bestselling author Maggie McGinnis.
Noah Drake was that guy--the one always on the lookout for his next adrenaline high, so it was no surprise when he took off across the world, seeking adventure as a travel writer. But one thing he could never escape was Piper Bellini, the girl who got away--the girl he let get away, a fact he's never let himself forget. When he returns to Echo Lake to see if there's any chance the flame between them can be rekindled, he never expects to spend the night holed up with Piper in a roadside diner while a blizzard rages outside. Noah may have been handed a Christmas miracle, and he intends to make all Piper's wishes come true...

Description: https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover69789-small.pngHeartsong Cottage by Emily March
Fall in love with this heartwarming new romance in the New York Times bestselling Eternity Springs series.
Haunted by the loss of his wife and son, Daniel Garrett left the police force to devote his life to finding missing children. But he still hasn't found a way to mend the wounds of his past-until he attends a wedding in the small mountain town of Eternity Springs...and meets a beautiful, intriguing woman who offers a glimpse of something Daniel thought he'd never have again. She restores Victorian cottages for a living, but will the life she restores in Daniel’s heart be enough when danger comes knocking at her door?
"Emily March's stories are heartwrenching and soul-satisfying. For a wonderful read, don't miss a visit to Eternity Springs."
-Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Candidate: A Love Story (Book 2) by Tracy Ewens


Publisher: Self pub
Pub. Date: June 23, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: E-ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars


Blurb:
If only life were as simple as choosing between Toaster Strudel and Fruit Loops.

Katherine Galloway is two years divorced and still living out of boxes. Between her brothers (cops that work with her ex) and her mother’s constant reminders that her clock is ticking, Kate is trying to hold it all together. But the truth is, she’s eating Toaster Strudel for dinner, and living and breathing her PR career. When it comes to public relations, there’s nothing she can’t handle . . . or at least that’s what she thinks.

Grady Malendar, the only son of United States Senator Patrick Malendar, has a reputation as a playboy who likes to have a little too much fun. The senator is running for re-election and needs Grady’s help with the youth vote. But what they want is a new and improved, headline-free Grady, so they hire a PR firm. Grady is willing to participate in the dog and pony show to help his father win, but there are some things about Grady’s life he wants to keep hidden. Especially from his snoopy new PR “babysitter,” Kate Galloway.

Somewhere between campaign stops and fundraisers, Kate and Grady discover that neither of them are what they appear to be on the surface. Tensions between them grow until there is no denying they are falling in love behind the scenes of a fa├žade they both need to keep in place. Will scandal, old wounds, and secrets tear them apart, or will Kate and Grady realize, despite appearances, they are both candidates for love?


Review:
"She was hiding, and she was dangerously close to being found."

The Candidate wasn't anything like I expected. I guess I've been reading too many 'alpha male' type books, that I just expected it would be that type of book. It wasn't anything like that. This is a true, classic love story; one that slowly burns into something more. The leads...oh, they were perfect; they balanced each other out very well. Never did I feel like there was a dull moment and there were a few times I couldn't help but sigh like one of those triplets from Beauty and the Beast. 

I really needed this. I needed a story where there were no games played, just pure and simple wanting. Two adults that are attractive to each other but can't be together due to one being the professional and the other the client. But rules were meant to be broken, right? I had way too much fun reading about these two characters. Way too much!

"You need me, Kate, and God, over the last couple of months I've needed you."

Kate, single and never again ready to mingle, works for the PR firm that will be footing the Senator of California and his notoriously bad-boy son, Grady. Six long months Kate will need to be right there beside Grady, making sure he acts right in order for his father to gain votes. Easier said than done. Things start changing when Kate starts seeing Grady in a different light - there's more to him than meets the eye. 
 
"Neither of them was the most likely candidate for love."

She's been divorced for a couple of years due to a wandering husband. It's left her...broken; she puts the world and everyone in it at arms length. Work is her life - the only love she needs. 

“I think you want to be found. I think beneath all this, this pencil skirt, tightrope-walking, you’re probably breathtaking. I’m guessing you’re brilliant when you’re flustered and spinning out of control.”

Grady...he's so sweet but what I love most was how big of a smart-ass he was. You can never go wrong with a funny guy - bonus points when he's good-looking!  The senator's son is not what Kate expected in the least. So many times throughout the book, she's 'assumed' things about him that couldn't be more wrong. It was a tad bit judgmental; even if he did show the world what they 'wanted' to see. Which wasn't very good stuff. 

"Here's what you don't understand, I can't stop this, won't leave, and whether you know it or not, you can't either."

I had a strong connection when it came to Kate. Like her, my husband also cheated on me. It devastated me and absolutely broke me. You never truly get over it... Sure you forgive him and sure you might 'forget' over time, but it's still there in the back of your mind always. It sucks and what sucks even worse is the knowledge that in that point in time, you weren't worth not being cheated on. Here's a direct quote from the book...I couldn't have said it better myself.

"Something happens to a woman when her husband is unfaithful. Songs and poems are written about heartbreak and betrayal, but they only serve to flower up the ugly truth. The young girl, the one inside every grown woman, the one dancing around in her mother’s shoes, she dies. The wide-eyed innocent who looked up at the man she loved and professed her devotion, she leaves and the woman is never the same. Even when she heals, kicks out the bitterness and the pain, she is changed. Some will say she becomes more of a woman, stronger, but Kate simply lost herself, her whole self."
 
Overall, I was so surprised on how much I enjoyed and loved reading this book. I need to go back and read the first book though even though I kind of already know what happens. These are standalones but I think reading them in order is a must because stuff from the previous book may spoil things for you. Just my two cents.
"Love me back, all the way. I'm worth it, I promise."

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

Buy the book!!

About the Author:
Tracy Ewens writes contemporary romance and shares a beautiful piece of the desert with her husband and three children in New River, Arizona.

She is a recovered theatre major that also blogs at from the laundry room.

Taste - A Love Story is her fourth novel, and the third in her A Love Story series.

Tracy is a horrible cook, wishes she could speak Italian, and bakes a mean snickerdoodle.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ARC Giveaway- Coming Back by Lauren Dane & If Only In My Dreams byMariah Stewart

In celebration of Thanksgiving we're giving away two Advanced Reader Copies to ONE lucky winner. (Books pictures below). These books will be featured on the blog in the upcoming tours and release day blitzes and fortunately, I was sent extra. Yay for you! 





Romance, angst, sex, and good storylines are so great to have in books. Don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily have to have that stuff in order to enjoy reading; but it sure makes it extra nice! 

Now, enough talk, this giveaway will be up for four days. Once I choose a winner, they'll have exactly 48 hours to get back to me. When those 48 hours are up, I choose another winner. This is open internationally and sharing it caring :)

Love you all and good luck! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Review: Did I Mention I Love You? (DIMLY, #1) by Estelle Maskame

 
Publisher- Sourcebooks Fire
Pub. Date- December 1, 2015
Genre- YA Contemporary Romance
Source- Print ARC
Rating- 4.5 Stars



Blurb-
When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

Review-
DIMILY? Wow, what a ride. When I first started the story m, I had no idea that this was first on Wattpad and written by an eighteen year old! I see why she got picked up for a publishing deal, the story has angst, romance, and so much delicious tension. I would definitely recommend this to the upper YA crowd because there's drugs, alcohol, and sex galore. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I read this thinking that maybe sixteen and under shouldn't read it. 

When I first started the story, I couldn't tell how I felt about it because at the time I could careless for the characters. Tyler is a HUGE douchebag upon meeting him. I was glad that Eden wouldn't put up with his bullshit like everyone else did. Honestly, I didn't know what to take from her character. I couldn't exactly 'read' her at first, and in turn, I didn't like her much. But I get that that wasn't fair to her. I quite like her...a lot. I think what's amazing is that this isn't a typical YA romance. It has deep issues in the dark depths of its soul - body issues being one of them. 

The more I got to see of Tyler, the more I realized, as did Eden, that there was more to him than meets the eye. Way more. Even though I hated his character in the beginning, I still felt that intense pull to him anytime he was around... He's very interesting to say the least. I mean why not, an asshole that actually may not be an asshole after all... Okay, who am I kidding, he was still an asshole, but he was slightly a lot more likable when we saw his vulnerability!

The secondary characters to me seemed like that type you keep close because you know sooner or later they could very well end up stabbing you in the back? Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. I just know more drama and angst will be coming up in the next two books. I can't wait! Overall, if you're looking for a forbidden, sexy-laced read, look no further. Summer love has never been so sweet. 

If you can't tell, DIMLY has my full recommendation. I'll be the one counting down the days until he next book comes out because this is a series that begs to be read. 

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

Buy the book!

About the Author:
Hey! I'm Estelle Maskame and I write the DIMILY trilogy! I'm a total bookworm and YA addict, not to mention a hopeless romantic. I've always adored books and writing while growing up, and all throughout primary school I loved to write stories about talking dolphins and pirate ships. Admittedly, I've moved away from the eight-year-old fantasy genre and now focus on writing YA romance.

I grew up in a small town called Peterhead in the North-east of Scotland, and I belong to a huge fishing family! Understandable, given that Peterhead is a town known for its fishing. So it may be fishy and it may be small, but I plan to stick around here for a while.

I managed to survive school for twelve and half years in the end, eventually leaving with the qualifications I wanted! I've been working since the age of thirteen, starting in a hair salon and then moving to ASDA where I still currently work part-time in the George department, in my black and yellow uniform. I get to spend my weekdays writing!

My favourite things include books, hot chocolate (with cream and marshmallows, of course), road trips, new clothes, my best friends, and chicken nuggets. On another note, I absolutely hate terrible drivers, snow, the dentist, and people who wake me up before 10AM.
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Release Blitz feat Excerpt + Giveaway:
Corrupt by Penelope Douglas!!!





Buy Here:

Amazon



Title: Corrupt
Author: Penelope Douglas
Genre: Dark, Erotica, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 16th, 2015


Synopsis:

Erika

I was told that dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.

His name is Michael Crist.

My boyfriend’s older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.

But I noticed him.

I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid…For years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.

Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head anymore.

Because he’s finally noticed me.

Michael

Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.

My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.

Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.

In my city.

Unprotected.

The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.

We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.



Excerpt:

I turned and stalked off, taking a left down the hallway toward the elevator. The doors opened as soon as I pushed the button, and I stepped inside, trying to calm my racing heart.

They still intimidated me.

And excited me. And challenged me. And knotted me up.

I’d kind of wanted to go to a party but not with them.

The doors started closing, but just then a hand shot into the elevator, and I jumped, seeing the doors re-open. I sucked in a breath, staring wide-eyed as Michael reached in, grabbed my shirt by the collar with one hand, and pulled me out.

“Michael!” I shouted.

I stumbled into him, and before I knew what was happening, he grabbed my wrists and locked them behind my back, walking into me and forcing me backward, back down the hall toward the kitchen.

“Let me go!” I demanded, my lips brushing the tip of his chin.

“I don’t know, guys,” he teased over my head, “she still seems pretty fucking easy to push around. What do you think?”

Laughter greeted me as he forced me back into the living area.

Every muscle in my body was on fire, and the tips of my toes kept getting caught under his sneakers.

I twisted my body, trying to break his hold. “What the hell are you doing?”

I pushed against his chest and jerked my body to the left, tearing out of his hold with every muscle I could muster.

I stumbled, losing my balance, and fell backward, crashing to the floor. Pain shot through my ass, running down my legs as the fall knocked the wind out me.

Shit!

Shooting my hands behind me, I pushed myself up and bent my knees, looking up at him as he advanced.

He stalked over and then stopped, towering over me. I immediately moved my hands and feet, crawling backward, away from him.

But then I felt something at my back, and I halted. I twisted my head, seeing a dark pant leg, and I didn’t know if it was Damon, Will, or Kai, but it didn’t matter. I was closed in.

Oh, no. I slowly raised my eyes, seeing Michael’s lips tilt in a devious smile. I stopped breathing, seeing him lower his body to the floor, planting his knees between my bent legs, and his hands at my sides.

My neck arched back as his face hovered over mine, but I tried to keep myself up as much as possible, no matter how close his body got.

“I thought you were one of us,” his whispered, his breath caressing my lips. “I thought you could play.”

I stilled, staring into his eyes.

You’re one of us now. Will had said that to me on that night so long ago.

Michael’s amber eyes searched mine and then dropped to my mouth, his breathing growing heavy as he stared at me like he was about to take a bite.

I wanted to cry. What the hell was going on?

Three years ago was nearly the happiest night of my life, and it quickly became the worst. And ever since then, Michael not only acted as if I didn’t exist, but also, at times, as if he wished I didn’t.

Now the guys were free, and they were all back together again. What did I have to do with any of this? What did he want with me?

“I don’t know this game,” I told him, barely audible.

He stared into my eyes, thinning his own as if studying me. “All you need to know,” he finally answered, “is that you can’t tap out.”


About The Author:

Penelope Douglas is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Fall Away series.

She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and believes there is too much blood in her Coca Cola stream. Or too much Coca Cola in her blood stream. Or...

You know what? It doesn't matter. She loves Coke. Now you know.

She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper (Gideon Smith #3) by David Barnett

 Publisher: Tor Books
Pub. Date: October 13, 2015
Genre: Steampunk
Source: Print ARC
Rating: +2 Stars 


Blurb:
The real identity of Jack the Ripper revealed at last? Only if the Hero of the Empire has his way!

In an alternate nineteenth century where a technologically advanced Britain holds sway over most of the known world and the American Revolution never happened, young Gideon Smith is firmly established as the Hero of the Empire.

Back in London, Gideon and his colleagues: journalist Aloysius Bent, airship pilot Rowena Fanshawe, and Maria, the mechanical girl to whom Gideon has lost his heart, are dragged into a case that is confounding the Metropolitan Police. For the city is on the edge of mass rioting due to the continuing reign of terror by the serial killer known only as Jack the Ripper, who is rampaging though London's less salubrious quarters.

While chasing the madman, a villain from their past strips Gideon Smith of his memory and is cast adrift in the seedy underbelly of London, where life is tough and death lurks in every shadowy alley.

With mob rule threatening to engulf London, the Empire has never needed its hero more...but where is Gideon Smith?

Gideon Smith and the Mask of the Ripper is the latest in David Barnett's riproaring steampunk adventures about a Britain that never was...but should have been.

Review:
I thought this was quite interesting but nothing more. This is my first time reading a novel by David Barnett and while I didn't wholly love Mask of the Ripper, I would be opposed to reading more books by him. Maybe it was the writing style? I just kept getting confused at time...

The story is a good one despite not understanding at time, I even somewhat enjoy some of the characters. And I really loved where the story is set. So Victorian.  I feel funny because when I don't particularly LOVE a book, I find it hard to write anything down about it. This review is very difficult to write! I wish there were more redeeming things I could say about it, but there wasn't much I liked - I so wish there was.

At first I enjoyed the adventure I felt like the author was going to take me. The world he created was very interesting, and I found myself not being able to turn the pages fast enough. Then somewhere along the way, it just fell kind of flat. Maybe I should have read the previous two books from the series to really get along with the characters, but I couldn't.

Overall, I recommend this for steampunk fans, it wasn't that enjoyable to me, but it might be your next favorite read! You'll never know if you don't try. I may go back to the first book and try to see if maybe I just need to go back to the beginning.

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

Buy the book:
Amazon
Amazon UK


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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Blog Tour Review- HOW TO BE BRAVE by E. Katherine Kottaras

 Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Source: E-Arc
Rating


Blurb:
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.


Review:
'How to be Brave' has made me speechless... I knew going into the story that it would be empowering and show a beautiful message on learning to love ones self. It can be a hard thing to do; even more so when society says that being a certain "size" means your unhealthy and not beautiful. Being brave isn't just doing something you're afraid to do, it's about embracing the fear of the unknown and kicking in its ass.

Ever since Georgia lost her mom, she's been struggling to find a way to live in a world without her. But that's easier said than done - Georgia's mother was her rock, her best friend, and the only constant thing in her life. When her mom died, a part of Georgia died as well. As a parting gift, she left Georgia with very great advice - live life to it's fullest. Take chances and don't be afraid. Then starts a wonderful story where our dear protagonist embarks on a journey of self discovery, first love, and learning how to be brave when all you want to do is hide.

I think this is the most absolute perfect book for teenagers to read; it tackles bullying, insecurities, and it's just an eye-opening book that could show you, that you're not alone. Everyone feels these things when they are that age and it doesn't do good to bottle everything up and hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Sometimes it's okay to lean on people when you're hurt and scared. Georgia shows us so much bravery, so much heart. It's so inspirational.

Overall, please do try to pick this beautiful book with an even more powerful message up to read. It's a book that can change lives...books DO save lives. It was very interesting as to why the author wrote the story and I applaud her for sharing something so personal. I loved this book and fully recommend this to everyone!

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

Buy the Book!

About the Author:
E. Katherine Kottaras is originally from Chicago, but now she writes and teaches in the Los Angeles area. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of California, Irvine and teaches writing and literature at Pasadena City College. She is at her happiest when she is either 1) at the playground with her husband and daughter and their wonderful community of friends, 2) breathing deeply in a full handstand, or 3) writing.

Her debut YA contemporary novel, HOW TO BE BRAVE, is forthcoming from St. Martin’s Press (November 3, 2015). Her second book is tentatively set for a 2016 release.

If you have questions or would like to contact her directly, please visit her at ekatwrites.com.
 
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Review: Torn Hearts by M.E. Gordon

Blurb-
A tale as old as time—a girl, tall and wispy, hair the color of the sun, eyes as blue as the sky, caught in a love triangle with the noblest of men…Not in this book, honey!

Okay so maybe I am caught up in a love triangle, but I’m sure as hell not running through a field of daisies in a sun dress. My name is Elizabeth and I’ve managed to avoid men for most of my life. I wasn’t a nun by any means, but I know what the hot guys want—and it usually isn’t me. How I got myself involved in a love triangle with one sexy photographer and a millionaire bachelor, who had women worshiping the ground he walked on, is beyond me.

Yet, here I am, attempting to navigate waters that I’ve never expected to. Trying to figure out which man was right for me, dealing with my family—and have I told you about the paparazzi? Well, it’s all really making me rethink the situation. Who do I trust? Who’s being genuine? What should I do if both men are perfect for me in different ways? How the hell am I supposed to choose just one? Or better yet do I have to choose just one?

Review-
"I like the name Belle. You love books and you’re beautiful. I would be honored to be your Beast, so long as I turn into the prince at the end,” he said as his warm eyes met mine."

Hm...this is starting to become a habit. I'm at the fifty percent mark and I'm very undecided about how I feel for the book. I cannot for the life of me get on board with any of the male leads. They both are very dull and boring. Elizabeth is pretty quirky and fun; I don't really identify with her, but I like her character well enough. So far, the only thing that's keeping me reading is wanting to know what Spencer and Simon are hiding. I hope the story picks up soon.

“I told you, Belle, you are a beauty.”

*finishes book*

“Now!” he spit, as he moved closer to me. “Choose now!” he growled.

Okay, the last fifty percent of the book was MUCH better. But I still don't care for any of the male leads. Well, I like Beth's brothers, too bad we don't have a story with their pov! They're so much more interesting than Simon and Spencer. It's very rare for me to be unable to care for the heroes of the book. I just couldn't find any redeeming quality about either guy.

But if I had to choose...if would probably be Simon. He seems the most genuine with his feelings regarding Elizabeth.

"If I choose Spencer, I would crush Simon. If I started over with Simon, then I finally had to put Spencer to rest for good, forever."

Elizabeth is the insecure yet witty heroine of Torn Hearts. She's not what society would call your 'average' girl; being a size twelve and all. Which in my opinion is bogus...whether you're size zero or size fourteen, every woman is beautiful. Fuck society and their twisted views on beauty. Anyways, Beth's life is about to change the moment she meets two gorgeous men that give her the attention she's never thought she deserved.

Then starts a whirlwind romance between a cryptic photographer and the mysterious billionaire who plays a lot of f'n head games. The media has a field day when they catch Beth and Spencer in some compromising meetings that are more than meets the eye. The whole world believes this "fairy-tale" media filled romance, will Beth crack and find herself believing it as well? Does Spencer really want to get to know her? Or is he just messing with her head and heart?

I knew exactly what was going on since the beginning of the book. It's not hard to guess what's going to happen. I'll admit the last paragraph really surprised the crap out of me. It definitely shows more to come because I can't imagine the author leaving the story on that note. Overall, I liked the book enough to continuing to finish but it's not one that I would want to read again.

I think Elizabeth would do well to just say no to both guys and leave it at that. She's wonderful all on her own, she just needs to have the confidence and to believe in herself.

2.5 Stars

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

Buy Links:
Amazon
Amazon UK

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Blog Tour Review + Giveaway: Untamed (Thoughtless, #4) by S.C. Stephens



Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars




Blurb:
#1 New York Times bestselling author S.C. Stephens brings us the next book in her Thoughtless series!

The spotlight doesn't only shine. Sometimes it burns.

Being the bad-boy bassist for the world's hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife, Anna. The one thing it hasn't brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he's caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos. One that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he's seen an ache in her eyes--and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers...


Review:
I never thought I'd see the day where I would sympathize with Griffin. But that quickly ran when I realized that being in his head, we would see a side of him that wasn't pretty. At the beginning, it was the same old Griff, perverted yet charmingly funny. Then, the immaturity and huge ego started coming into play. And sure, at first it was funny because it's Griffin, you can't help but laugh... But the jealousy and the 'poor me' act got old real fast.

I get it, he wants to be out of Kellan's shadow...wants some of the limelight. Wait, not some but he wants to be the limelight; the star. It doesn't happen though because the band doesn't give him the time of day or listen to him when he has ideas. At first I got ticked off with the band for being that way. It seemed wrong to me. But then, I started seeing exactly why they acted the way they did. Griffin, my boy, you have a lot of growing up to do!

Thoughtless has been my favorite book/series since I read it a few years ago. The pain, the anguish, the guilt, and love I felt for those books, well nothing has ever compared. I missed the days when the D-Bags only played in bars. The simplicity they faced. So I guess I have that in common with Griffin. But his life and those in his life treated him the way because he had such little disregard for those around him.

I love Griffin, and while this review may seem like I don't, I do. It's hard seeing him in this kind of light. His selfishness made me want to strangle him. At times I was embarrassed for the way he acted and behaved. It was like he was a damn child.  But...damn if I didn't love the way things turned out. Griff CAN be romantic. Upon seeing the icky side of him, we got to see another, completely different Griffin. It was amazing.

If there was one thing I loved about the book was that I laughed, a lot. Being in Griffin's head...well you can only imagine. He's a funny guy and of course still one of my favorite D-Bags, after Kellan of course. Which brings me to reason why I was so upset. I hated that so many people belittled Griffin and made him feel like he wasn't an important part of the band. And yeah, I admit, the band sometimes acted in ways that I didn't approve of. Again, Griffin did put this all upon himself. I still didn't like it.

It was so good being able to see all the D-Bags and the girls. Especially Anna and co. Aka the children. The children were a huge highlight for me - it truly showed what a great person Griffin was even if he couldn't see it himself. I have to admit though, as much as we got of Kellan, it reallllllly made me miss him. So I think I'm going to go back and read Thoughtless, I'm due for my yearly read of it anyways.

Overall, I'm not sure but by the epilogue I think this was out final goodbye with our beloved boys. Nothing makes me more sad... But I truly think you should start at the beginning if you haven't ever read the series. I love S.C. Stephens for creating such a wonderful world. It truly feels like I'm saying so long to my family; my buddies. This will forever be one of my top favorite books to recommend.


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



S.C. Stephens Q&A
1. At what age did you discover writing?
 It wasn’t until my late twenties that I really had an interest in writing, and then, I could never seem to finish more than a scene or two. It wasn’t until 2009, when I started Thoughtless, that I finally finished a full-length novel.

2. What made you want to pursue it as a career?
 Writing was just a hobby for me until Thoughtless and its sequel, Effortless, really began to take off. Even still, I never truly considered writing as a career until I was approached with a book deal. That was when it all started falling into place.  

3. What can you tell us about Griffin and Anna, that we won't find in the book? The book doesn’t cover the challenges they overcame early in their relationship—those are touched on in the original Thoughtless trilogy. They both had to let go of their wild pasts to truly embrace a committed relationship.

4. Did you listen to music while writing UNTAMED? If so, what are some of the bands and/or songs on your playlist.

I frequently listen to music when I write, especially when I’m writing about a band. The D-Bag’s sound is a lot like Linkin Park to me, so their music is all over my playlists. For Untamed, Until It’s GoneA Light That Never Comes and Final Masquerade were on constant repeat.

5. If you were in a rock band, what instrument would you want to play?
I have no musical talent whatsoever, so I would have to do something simple…like a cowbell. And I’d probably mess that up!


Buy the book!

About the Author:
S.C. Stephens is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer's block reducing music, heading out to the movies, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.
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Friday, November 6, 2015

I Love My Hair by Andrea Pippins!!

For fans of Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest comes a hip, gorgeous doodle coloring book about all things hair. Unlike other adult coloring books, which depict nature scenes and cityscapes, this title celebrates strong, confident women with a passion for style, design, and fashion.

Revel in the mesmerizing patterns and intricate details of Andrea Pippins’s delicate pen-and-ink illustrations, ready for you to color, complete, and embellish. Lose yourself in page after page of bold hairstyles and accessories, from rows of braids, to Mohawks, to sweeping updos, to cascades of ribbons and beads. Be transported to another world as you ink in Medusa’s slithering coiffure, Cleopatra’s elaborate headdress, and Marie Antoinette’s towering bouffant.

Perfect for experienced color-inners and newcomers alike. Coloring enthusiasts of all ages will love this empowering and stylish book. So go ahead—let your hair down, grab some pens or pencils, and add some color to your life.
 

Buy Link:


(Click on picture)
Review:
 How many of us wish we could have one more day (maybe more) as a child. No responsibilities, no bills, no being a grow up! Sounds good right? Too bad, it can't really happen. There's a reason they say 'enjoy it while you can'...seriously. I wish I had listened. What if I told you there's a way to gain back that childhood pastime - coloring. Look no further because the next big thing is adult coloring books, and yes...they are as fun as they look.

Actually, scratch that...they are more! Need to distress? Coloring, I hear can be quite therapeutic. Put down that phone, stop getting a Facebook! Color. I <3 My Hair is a gorgeous book filled with wonderful sketches that will keep you occupied for hours. I know because I've done it. Hm...guess the question is jeopardy is whether or not I love my hair. 

Well, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I'm currently trying to grow it out to my belly button. Don't ask me why my belly button, that's just where I've always wanted it! Recently I started taking tutorials on YouTube on how to do different hairstyles. I'm kind of boring in either leaving my hair down & straight, or in a messy bun that's supposed to be cute but isn't. 

Eventually, I'll get there! What about you? Do YOU love your hair. Please let us know your beauty secrets involving your hair! And while you're at it, make sure you get your copy of the coloring book. I'm not joking when I say it's freaking gorgeous. 

*Beautiful coloring book given to me for an honest review. It was my pleasure coloring!
 
 

I LOVE MY HAIR (on sale November 10, 2015) by designer Andrea Pippins is a fabulous new adult coloring book from Schwartz & Wade Books thatcelebrates strong, confident women and explores how beautifully diverse, stylish, innovative, and fun all types of hair can be.

Featuring bold hairstyles and accessories, from rows of braids, to Mohawks, to sweeping updos, to cascades of ribbons and beads, I LOVE MY HAIR is filled with Andrea Pippins’s delicate pen-and-ink illustrations, ready to color, complete, and embellish. Coloring enthusiasts of all ages will love this empowering and stylish book.

ANDREA PIPPINS is an artist, a designer, and an educator with a penchant for cool and a personality as warm as her Brazilian roots. Her work can be seen in magazines and on television as well as on clothing and stationery. Andrea teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art and curates her fashion, art, and design blog, Fly, a weekly resource to inspire young women to pursue their creative passions. She also produces digital and screen-printed artwork in which she explores color, pattern, and texture while interpreting her personal experiences as an African American woman. Andrea lives in Baltimore. This is her first book. Learn more at andreapippins.comand follow her on Twitter at @andreagpippins.
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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Signed Giveaway: COMBATIVE by Jay McLean

Blurb:
We all play victims to our pasts; to the choices we make and the lives we create.
They define who we are.
And sometimes if we're lucky enough, the past stays where it belongs: in the past.
I'm not one of the lucky ones.
I never have been.
Because now the past is knocking on my door, offering deals I have no choice but to take… deals that will help bring justice—not just for me, but for my brothers.


The problem?
The deal is a ticking time bomb.
One I didn't know existed.

Tick.
Tock.

Hello, Jay McLean fans! This past August, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Jay. Yes, she's as cool as she is online, in fact, she's cooler. If that's even possible. I was able to snag a signed copy of Combative for one lucky winner. This is open internationally!

Have fun <3

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Review- FOREVER THIS TIME (Echo Lake, #1) by Maggie McGinnis



                                                                 Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 Stars


Blurb: 
Forever This Time is the story of Josie Kendrew, who returns to her tiny Vermont hometown after ten years' absence when her father has a stroke, and Ethan Miller, her jilted high school sweetheart, who's taken her place as the CFO of the Kendrew family business: running Snowflake Village—a "Santa's Village"—style amusement park.

Josie, now a successful therapist with a Boston practice, isn't sure how she feels about being back in Echo Lake. In some ways, things have changed a lot; Ethan's got an MBA, seems to have something going with Molly, her childhood best friend, and he even owns the beautiful Victorian they'd always talked about buying together. But in other ways, the place is exactly the same, with reminders of the heartbreak that drove Josie away lurking around every corner. When Josie's "Little Sister" Avery died of cancer at the age of ten, the grief nearly destroyed her, and ultimately inspired her choice of career. It also caused a hurt so deep she knew she couldn't stay in Echo Lake, surrounded by memories. And she's not going to stay now; as soon as her dad's health improves, she's headed right back to Boston, to her therapy practice and her quiet apartment. To her lonely, safe life.

As for Ethan, he's not all that pleased to see the woman he once loved. It took a long time to pick up the pieces Josie left behind, he's proud of the work he's done to bring Snowflake Village into the 21st century, and he's worried that if Josie finds out about his project to honor Avery's memory, she'll get the wrong idea. He's not planning to make it easy for Josie to come back, and he's not going to pretend that all is forgiven. They can't just pick up where they left off… right?

Review-
Imagine my surprise when I realized that this wasn't just some cookie-cutter women's fiction novel about second chance love. Sure, it's about second chance love but more than that, it's second chance at life. In a way. There were things that did in fact, sort of piss me off. Then there were those times I may have shed a few tears (butterfly, anyone?). But most of all, I fell in love because the main character is so perfectly flawed that you couldn't help but love her. Then smack her upside the head for being such a dum-dum. 

Josie just up and left her hometown, Echo Lake, and has returned ten years later to face the demons she tried so hard to bury. Her father is in the hospital for a stroke, the ex love of her life is the CFO of the family company she was supposed to take over, and her mother? She doesn't even recognize who this woman is. Even though so many things have changed, there's still so many things that have remained constant and unchanged. Josie is hoping to do her daughterly duty by staying and helping in the one place she said she would never step foot in again - Snowflake
Village.

The more time she starts hanging around Echo Lake, the more that Josie's mind takes a stroll down memory lane. Ethan has never gave up hope in believing that the woman he's always loved would be back. But when unfortunate circumstances lead his little lady back in to town, Ethan's at a loss on what to do. Seeing Josie is both good and bad; so many years haven't stopped him from wanting her but she left him. He shouldn't even be giving her the time of day...right?

There was so much I loved and hated about the book. The number one thing I hated most was Josie's so-called ex best friend. She was a huge bitch - and most of the time she sounded jealous. 
I'm not completely a sadist though; I understand that she was hurt when Josie just up and left without a word. I get it. But I still think she could have handled her business like the adult she's supposed to be. 

Overall, I can't wait to read the next book in the series. The characters were well developed and I liked the closeness of a small town. I recommend this book for those of you who love a good second chance romance. 

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

Buy Links:



About the Author:
Maggie started writing when her twins were infants and she was desperately seeking sanity. The fact that she found it only with imaginary people makes her a bit concerned, but at least they do what she tells them to … usually. 
She lives in New England, though she spends an inordinate amount of time on Arizona real estate sites in mid-January. While snow piles up to her windowsills, she cyber-stalks the blue skies and pink houses of the Southwest. 
She used to be an English teacher, a certified black belt, and a cool-car driver. Then ... twins. Now she swills caffeine while driving the one vehicle she swore she'd never own: a minivan. It sort of hurts even to admit it. 
Her debut novel, a cozy mystery, was a Golden Heart finalist, and her debut romance, Accidental Cowgirl, is a USA Today bestseller! The second and third books in her Whisper Creek series, A Cowboy's Christmas Promise and Once Upon a Cowboy are also now available. Three more books in the series will arrive in 2016 and 2017!

Her new series with St. Martin's Press is hitting the actual AND virtual shelves right now! A prequel novella, Snowflake Wishes, was released in October in digital format. The first full-length novel, Forever This Time, will be available on November 3rd, and the second and third books in the series will be out in 2016.




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