Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Published December 31st 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking
Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

My Thoughts
Beautiful... unforgettable... heart-breaking. This book will stay with me forever.

Louisa and Will made my face leak. It doesn't happen often and probably won't happen again for a long, long time, but yes this book brought tears to my eyes. Final verdict?? I might not be dead inside. I can safely say that Me Before You will be my pick for Best Book I Read in 2014. Amazing and emotional to such a degree I wasn’t expecting.

You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

And that is exactly what Will Traynor was doing until a tragic accident left him as a quadriplegic. Before his accident, he was on top of the world, managing a multi-million dollar company and enjoying exotic vacations and dynamic adventures that most of us only dream of. So when his life takes the worst turn anyone can ever imagine, and he’s confined to a wheelchair and dependent on nurses and caregivers around the clock for his basic needs, this character sadly loses his will to live.

When Louisa is hired on for “suicide watch” as Will’s caregiver, she makes it her mission to bring that will to live back to him and teach him to embrace a new life with his reality. She forces him from outside the confines of his home which he hasn’t left in two years, except for doctors’ visits and medical exams. Louisa brings a small semblance of happiness back into Will’s life for the first time since his accident. However, despite the changes Louisa manages to make, his sense of hope and what he wants from life is still in tatters.

Together, they develop a heartfelt relationship that eventually turns into the truest form of love, but sometimes love isn’t enough when you’ve defined your life a certain way and fate has made living to your fullest impossible.

This story really broke me. I was emotional from the very beginning, and as the story continued to unfold, my heart felt like it was carefully coming undone. It was extremely sad to see how a quadriplegic not only has to battle the physical decline of their body as movement is impaired, but also how our world today makes it so difficult for them to access the simplest of places. I never truly knew what a burden they suffer and how much they rely on others for the simple actions I take for granted.

The ending of the story was unbelievable to me. I think I sat there for over an hour stunned and broken. I was not expecting what happened at the end and I applaud Jojo Moyes for her bold storytelling. She refused to sacrifice realism in her fictional world and her execution of the ending was incredible. This story will stay on my mind for a long time and I look forward to picking up other books by this author. She impressed me with her skill of flawless storytelling. Amazed and emotionally moved!
5 Suns

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Review: & Giveaway: His to Keep (Out of Uniform #1.5) by Katee Robert

His to Keep (Out of Uniform, #1.5)

Publication Date: April 28th by Entangled Brazen
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Only .99 cents!

About the book:

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

He’s always wanted her. Now’s his chance to claim what’s his.

School teacher Marceline Bellini gave up everything—men, sex, anything resembling a social life—to raise her young daughter. To be the perfect parent. But when she attends an engagement party in her standard stick-in-the-mud mode, her friends begin plying Marcy with shots. Just enough to convince her that a little fun doesn't sound like a bad idea... and having some naughty fun is an even better one.

Like finding herself deliciously pressed against a dark alley wall by the very familiar and very hot body of her best friend's older brother.

After years of waiting in painful silence, police officer Aaron Robinson finally has Marcy’s attention. And man, does he have it. But nothing could have prepared either of them for the rush of fiery lust between them. So he’ll just have to convince Marcy he’s for real. And that a rainy, lust-fuelled romp is the first step to a lifetime of completely imperfect happiness…

My Thoughts:
A romance novella has a short amount of pages to draw you in and capture your heart.  His to Keep was a second chance romance with just enough sweet and spicy to do just that. This story is part of a series but it's not necessary to read the first book to enjoy this one. 

Marcy’s main focus is life is providing a happy and stable environment for her three year old daughter and not much else.  But a night out with the girls is about to change all of that. Marcy has always held Aaron as the gold standard for men, but he never seemed interested until her night out with the girls and they end up in the alley where things get completely out of control.

Aaron has always had a thing for Marcy, his little sister’s best friend, but he thought she deserved better.  In addition, Marcy’s put up shields making it clear she wasn’t interested in a relationship.  But when Aaron sees another man about to move in, all bets are off and he goes after Marcy.

Aaron is mostly happy in his life as a police officer in his small hometown but being with Marcy for the long haul would make his life complete.  He never figures Marcy to be so skittish and hesitant about making a go of things, but he’s not about to let go. Marcy has been self sufficient out of necessity when her boyfriend left her pregnant and alone four years back. I admired Marcy’s determination to put her daughter’s interests above her own, and I completely understood her hesitation at allowing any male into their lives. With her longtime crush on Aaron it’s harder to keep up the boundaries, but she soon realizes there’s no need to be afraid with him.

I’ve read Katee Robert’s romances in the past and she excels at writing scenes that will make you hot and bothered.  His to Keep was no exception; Aaron and Marcy burn up the pages while giving in to their long held feelings and attraction.

Katee Robert wrote a sweet and sizzling romance sure to satisfy any romance junkie’s craving and did so in a mere 100 pages! 

4 Suns

About the author:
Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee Robert:

Brazen Blast & Giveaway: His to Keep, Out of Control & Playing Doctor

If you like your heroes hot, the sex hotter, and a swoon-worthy romance to swoop in and save your happily ever after, Brazen has the story for you. Sinfully sexy soldiers. Alpha cops who demand control. Sweet guys with a naughty side in the bedroom. At Brazen, they've got the hero destined to melt your... heart. Visit the Entangled website, the Brazen Blog, follow them on Twitter, Like their Facebook page, and follow them on Pinterest.

Introducing Brazen's April 28th releases:

She's a challenge
he can't resist.

Find out more!     

Special $0.99 Introductory Price!     


He's always wanted her.
Now's his chance to claim
what's his.

Find out more!

Only 99 cents!


Plus don't miss the re-issue of Playing Doctor by Jan Meredith! It released it on the retired Flaunt imprint back in 2013, but now it has a new cover and has joined the Brazen family.

One night with a sexy stranger
is just what the doctor ordered...

Only 99 cents!

Connect with Jan Meredith:

About Katee Robert:
Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Connect with Katee Robert:

About Nina Croft:
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

Connect with Nina Croft:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: In the Stillness by Andrea Randall

In the Stillness by Andrea Randall
Published April 9th 2013
Natalie is a wife.
Natalie is a mother.
Natalie is a cutter.

Clawing at walls built by resentment, regret, and guilt, Natalie cuts as an escape from a life she never planned.

Staying present is only possible when you let go of the past. But, what if the past won't let go?

My Thoughts
Honest and emotional... no other way to put it.
In the Stillness catapults its readers into the downward spiral of Natalie’s life. Ten years ago, she was on her way to earning a Ph.D in Anthropology with an opportunity to travel the world studying her craft. However, when the war in Afghanistan delivered back her boyfriend in shattered pieces, Natalie's life was turned upside down and everything around her quickly fell apart. Many years later, she finds herself in an unfulfilling marriage, stuck as a stay-at-home mom with twin four year old boys. Her life is so out of control in her eyes, that she begins to destroy the only thing she feels she can control... her body.

Let me first start with how well written I found this novel. As difficult as it was at times to follow the constant shifts in time, I feel it was necessary for the flow of the novel. However, experiencing this novel simply though Natalie’s perspective, I felt like I was missing a very important piece to the puzzle. I would have loved to get a chapter or two from Eric’s point of view because I feel there were other aspects of this novel that deserved consideration.

Now to the tough part. It’s with much regret that I admit how indifferent I felt about Natalie’s character. She simply ran hot and cold to me throughout the book. I’ll set the whole cutting aside because I can’t even begin to imagine the pain she felt within herself to do that to her body and that really pulled on my heartstrings. However, it’s very clear how volatile and hostile she was towards others and not entirely her fault (I get that.), however she needed to own some of that. She had choices in her life and to feel resentful toward someone else for her life didn't turn out as she planned... well she needed to own that and not punish her husband with her cutting words and attitude. I won’t in any way diminish the pain this character experienced, but it would have been nice to see her appreciate her little boys for the four years before one of them suffered from a degenerative affliction. That was heartbreaking in and of itself. I really felt bad for Max and Ollie, as well as Eric if I'm being honest.

Next, I can’t be the only one that feels Eric’s character was conveniently annihilated to give Natalie her opt out of the marriage. I really liked this character and as much as the thought niggled in the back of my mind that he wouldn’t put up with Natalie’s volatile and hostile nature for very long without reacting in some way, I still felt like what he did was out of character. Eric felt misplaced in this story. For some reason, I didn’t see him as I think I was intended to see him. I felt sympathy for him and it didn’t go away for one minute.

Ryker was a perfect addition to this story, and added balance to the characters in some odd way. Maybe because I felt comfortable and confident about how I was suppose to feel about him. I appreciated the distance he assumed when Natalie was putting her life back together, but I also appreciated how he engaged with the boys and with Natalie when it was needed the most.

I won't complete this without saying how much I appreciated both of Natalie and Ryker's fathers. Both of them were simply perfect. Loved them!

Overall, In the Stillness is nothing short of emotional. There are some tough and very real topics that are infused in this story that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I appreciated everyone's role in the novel, and the ending was as it should be. Great writing that pulled my emotions in all sorts of directions.
3 Suns

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

don't look back   

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published April 15, 2014 by Disney Hyperion 

About the Book:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all—popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her—even if the old Sam treated him like trash. But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory—someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive? 

My Thoughts:
ARC kindly provided by Netgalley/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What a great book to start me back on my quest to reading more YA! I have been in the mood lately for more YA novels, and was so excited when I was approved to read this new book by Jennifer L. Armentrout, who I'm also a big fan of!

Sam is a high school student who is the epitome of a mean girl. She is rich, has the perfect boyfriend she's been betrothed to marry, and is the girl everyone loves to hate. In all honesty she is awful. And then one day, Sam is found walking down the road looking lost and injured, having no memory of who she is or what happened to her. Or the fact that her best friend is also missing.

Who wouldn't want a second chance at life? Finding out how retched she was before the 'accident', Sam decides she doesn't want to go back to her old ways and she's determined to solve the mystery of what happened to her and her best friend. As her memories start to come back in bits and pieces and the puzzle starts to come together, Sam struggles with what is true or what is an illusion and with whom she can really trust through it all.

I truly enjoyed this story. It is fast-paced and although I had my suspicions of 'who dun it' throughout the book, I was never fully convinced because the author does a great job of throwing you off. This is a book that is really hard to put down because you just have to know what really happened! And of course you won't find out until the very end, which is what makes a suspenseful book like this one a huge hit! It's hard to write a thorough review on a book like this without giving away important clues, so I'll just say that it's really good and I recommend it!

SpoilerMy only issue with this book is that it's suggested for young adults ages 14 and up. Call me old fashioned but kids having sex in high school is not appropriate for 14-year-olds. Maybe I'm old and this is what is acceptable nowadays (I AM just getting back into reading YA novels) but I'd be hesitant of my 14-year-old daughter reading this book. 

4 Suns

Author Photo      
About Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

Review & Giveaway: The Will by Kristen Ashley

The Will (Magdalene, #1)

The Will (Magdalene #1) by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

About the book:

Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

My Thoughts:
Whenever I pick up a Kristen Ashley story I know I’m going to have a good time and fall completely in love with all the characters by the end.  The Will was no exception, Jake and Josie’s romance warmed me all over.

After years spent globetrotting for her glamorous job, Josie is back home in the small town of Magdalene to attend the funeral of her much beloved grandmother, Lydie.  Lydie rescued her from her abusive father and absentee mother and since then they shared a close and loving relationship, so it’s a complete blow when she dies. Josie inherits all of her grandmother’s belongings which include the stately home Lavender House.  However, Josie isn’t the only beneficiary at the reading of the will.  Jake Spear is present and Josie gets the shock of her life when she finds out what her grandmother left him.

Josie is surprised and has no idea what her grandmother was thinking, but she sticks around to settle the estate and soon finds herself entertaining the idea of staying in Magdalene in more of a permanent way. Jake and Josie don’t get off on the best foot, but Josie’s manners and curiosity at her grandmother’s intentions have her opening up to Jake and his kids. They so obviously carved out a spot in Lydie’s heart, but Josie can’t fathom why her grandmother never mentioned them. 

Josie was a little different from KA’s usual heroines. At the beginning I thought she was a little uppity and maybe a bit too prim and proper, but as the story went on I realized this lady had class and heart.  I loved that even though Josie may have been a little judgmental to begin with she quickly corrected her thinking and gave Jake and his family a chance.

I must admit, I was a little skeptical of Jake after discovering he was married three times, and in addition to a gym, he owned a strip club. But I fell HARD and fast for Jake Spear and I dare any reader not to do the same! The tender love and care he showered on his family and on Josie chased away any skepticism and made me wish for my very own Jake Spear! *sigh*

The deep emotional connection and slow burning romance between Jake and Josie was a thrill, but the connection between Josie and the kids was so completely amazing as well!  It was moving to see the changes they brought out in each other, and you could see why Josie’s grandmother was so eager to push them together.

“She wanted me for you.”

Of course, the beautiful epilogue brought tears to my eyes and left me on a Kristen Ashley high! After reading my highlighted quotes and writing this review, I just want to read This Will all over again! A total must for any Kristen Ashley fan! 

5 Suns

I loved this story so much I'm giving it away to one lucky Waves of Fiction reader! Simply fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Unfixable by Tessa Bailey

Unfixable by Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: April 14th 2014 by Entangled Embrace
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About the book:

He’s the last thing she wants...but the only thing she needs.

Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

My Thoughts:
Winning a trip to Ireland couldn’t have come at a more perfect time for nineteen year-old Willa.  She’s happy to escape Chicago and head to Ireland after breaking up with her boyfriend of two years, Evan. The two were opposites: Evan was the sweet wholesome, jock-type whereas Willa is all-black wearing, rough around the edges girl. Coming to the realization that she was losing herself by trying to fit into Evan’s world doesn’t erase the pain or the guilt from ending things.  

However, her stay in Ireland is going to be anything but restful with Shane Claymore in the picture.  The arrogant, hostile, and oh-so-gorgeous owner of Claymore Inn pushes just about every one of her buttons, and these two knock heads on sight!

“And my Shane? You’ve run into him, have you?”
“Oh, yes.”
“Right.” Suddenly, she looked lucid. Not to mention highly amused at my abrupt answer.
“Well, don’t go planning the wedding just yet.”
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that. Unless the reception involves a cage match.”

In spite of his repellant qualities, Willa can’t help but get sucked into his family drama even as she fights her growing attraction to him.  Without meaning to Willa gets to know Shane and finds they are kindred spirits of sorts.  But she’s going back to America in one month, and Shane’s going back his car racing and leaving the Inn behind.  If Willa gets beyond wanting to simultaneously smack Shane and tear his clothes off and ravage him, how could things even work out?  

Tessa Bailey had me cracking up with Willa’s acerbic wit and humor! A hate-to-love romance is a favorite of mine and I just loved the push and pull between Willa and Shane!  Willa is a runner, and the queen of avoidance but this doesn’t deter Shane at all, in fact it excites him:

“Having to chase you only makes me want to pin you down.”

Yes, please!

While I enjoy these antics, I was thrilled when Willa allowed herself to be caught. Shane and Willa just got each other, and I loved that he found Willa perfect just the way she was, not for who he thought she could become.

Tessa Bailey deftly created sexual tension and steamy scenes without every page being sex, sex, sex.  She wrote a HOT romance without sacrificing story. Bravo! Fans of her adult series, Line of Duty will be pleased to see Willa end up happy, and get a glimpse of Ginger and Derek going strong. 

4 Suns

Author Bio: Tessa lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and young daughter. When she isn't writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

Connect with Tessa Bailey:

Entangled Embrace:

As part of this tour Tessa Bailey has generously provided an Irish themed swag pack and a Kindle Fire!!

Teaser & Cover Spotlight: Broken by Lauren Layne

I've LOVED Lauren Layne's Sex, Love and Stiletto series so I was thrilled to hear she is coming out with a New Adult read. She definitely has a flair for writing clever, funny, and HOT romances! Check out the blurb and teaser below. Doesn't it sound amazing?! I can't wait! 

Broken by Lauren Layne
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014 by Random House Flirt
New Adult Romance
ISBN: 978-0-553-39035-3

About the book:

Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both... or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

** Teaser Reveal!**

Olivia squirms. "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"I've never known a female to acquiesce that easily without a catch. How about you hit me with it now and get it over with?”
Olivia shrugs. "Fine. I was going to say that I won't run alone, if you promise to go with me."
"No," I say, almost before she's finished her sentence.
"Why not?"
I rap my cane once against the ground. "Well, for starters, despite the fact that there are tortoises that could surpass your sorry excuse for a jog, I'm in no shape to accompany even the most pathetic of runners."
"What a handy skill you have of overloading a sentence with insults," she says as she reaches up to adjust her ponytail. "That must be helpful what with your thriving social life and all."
I thump my cane against the ground again, studying her. "Must be nice, picking on the cripple."
Olivia rolls her eyes. "Please. Your soul's more crippled than your leg."
She has no idea how right she is, and I have no intention of letting her anywhere close enough to find out. I've gotten good at shutting people out by pushing them away . . . being as nasty as possible until they reach their breaking point. But with her? It's different.

Eeeek!!! I can't wait to devour this one! Love everything Lauren Layne? Her newest adult contemporary romance in the Sex, Love and Stiletto series, JUST ONE NIGHT, is on sale now!

About the author:
Lauren Layne is a snarky smartass with a serious weakness for happily ever afters.
Marrying her high school sweetheart was a good start. *cue Disney soundtrack.*
But Lauren wanted all romance, all the time.
Now she writes fictional happy endings, and considers her job done well if you swoon while reading her books.
Don't worry. You will.
Once upon a time she lived in a Manhattan high-rise, but now she's on the laid-back train in the Seattle area. If you ever find yourself in Issaquah, she'll probably buy you a drink. Maybe.

Connect with Lauren Layne:

Facebook | Twitter | Website

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published September 10, 2013 by St. Martin's Press
Purchase: Amazon / B&N

About the book:A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .
But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?
Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts:
Fantastic. It's been a long time since a book made me laugh and cry. Beautifully written!

Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are starting college. Wren is outgoing and ready to live up her college years while Cath is an introvert who loves writing fanfiction and keeping to herself. Cath is so relatable and I loved her! I'm a fangirl myself (Twilight obsessed), as well as a slight introvert, and I could totally picture myself in her shoes. It made the story that much better.

Cath is just trying to cope with being a freshman, her twin sister becoming distant and a major party girl, and worrying constantly about her dad being alone.

She becomes friends with her roommate Reagan and Reagan's friend, Levi. And Cath starts coming out of her shell. She still loves writing her Simon Snow fanfiction, but she's starting to open up and let people in a little. Everything about this story just made me happy - it was so sweet! I love every character in this book and the roll they played, and the constant witty banter was hilarious.

And the love story was the sweetest and left me giddy. There is just so much love in this book - between friends, siblings, parents and I found myself getting emotional more than once. I went into this book without reading any reviews and I'm really glad I did - so I don't want to give too much away.

I feel like so many people can relate to this story - a lot of us with our internet friendships and love of reading. I know I could relate and that's what made me love Cath and this story so much! I laughed and cried by the end, and not many books can do that to me. It was a wonderful read and I highly recommend.

I've also read Attachments by this author and loved it equally. If you haven't read a book by Rainbow Rowell, you need to do it asap!

5 Suns

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher
Published April 5th 2014

When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free.

My Thoughts
I’d like to preface my reaction with an initial clarification… I am a HUGE fan of the Love Me with Lies series, and I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on Mud Vein, and even stalking the evil genius Tarryn Fisher online for any hint of its release. After finishing the book, my initial reaction was possibly going with 3 stars and just spending a day or two contemplating my thoughts of the story. However, after a bit of book therapy with a few of my trusted bookie cronies, I was having a hard time coming up with anything good to say about Mud Vein. As a matter of fact, I slowly came to the conclusion that I really didn’t like it at all, and I was just trying to stay loyal to one of my favorite authors.

So, I’m a bit sad that after all of the hype and anticipation, my experience was a let-down, which isn’t uncommon for many anticipated releases, so I’ll keep that all in perspective.

Overall, this book simply didn’t work for me. I didn’t like the main character Senna and when I anticipated crying and clawing the walls on her behalf, based on some of the initial reactions I witnessed online, I found myself really not liking her at all. Not even one bit. As the story progressed, I became apathetic towards her and that’s just downright sad, don’t you think? There were a lot of Senna’s qualities that reminded me of Olivia from The Opportunist, including her hard edges, sharp tongue, eerie ability to pull away from relationships, as well as a life that’s sometimes full of crappy. However, where I came to care for Olivia, I never really developed any sort of sympathy for Senna. She came across as downright mean. I say that because for someone to have love and kindness, in the form of Isaac, right in front of you and slapping him in the face with a restraining order, I just can’t connect. Senna’s character was hard to like in any form or fashion. When that happens with a MC, my reaction for the entire book is sure to follow on a downhill trajectory.

My mind worked endlessly to figure out who the zookeeper was. At first I thought it was Isaac - then I thought it was Nick - for a moment I considered the carousel carney guy - then possibly Senna’s attacker… I eventually moved on to her mother. Sooo when the zookeeper was finally revealed, I simply didn’t care. I was at a point in the novel where I just wanted to finish this book before I fell into a dreaded book slump. Thinking on it a bit more, the zookeeper’s identify was a bit hard to swallow. There was no skin in the game for that person aside from having a god complex. When I realized that, I concluded that for me the book had no substance, and started feeling like a waste of my time.

All in all, I’m disappointed in this book and I wish I never read it. I would have liked the final flavor of Fisher’s writing ability to have been The Opportunist on my reading palette because that was pure brilliance. Mud Vein, however, was just a downright disappointment clouded with an experience that left me wondering if I, myself, am Mud Vein too. Truly bummed that I didn't like this book...
2 Suns

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cover Reveal: Life's A Cappella by Yessi Smith

Book #1 Life's A Cappella
Book #2 Our A Cappella (coming April 2014)
Book #3 My A Cappella (coming winter 2014)

**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for ages 17+ due to language and sexual content.
I want to tell you how great my life was.

How I lived without regrets. With constant laughter. Without any tears. I want to tell you how I lived each moment to the fullest. How each breath I took was fresh and full of life. With eagerness. Without any fear.

I want to tell you all of that, but then my story would be masked with lies and not worth telling.

My life didn't start until I left my past. And I left everything...

My mother, my friends, my name. My new name, the name everyone knows me by is Erin Lewis.

Four years after finding the courage to leave her hometown in Alabama, Erin is finally happy with where her life has led her. Not only is she secure in her environment, but the relationships she has formed center her, making her forget how damaged she once was. Before she can fully settle into her new life, her past crashes into her present, unraveling a set of events that destroy the very foundation she has built her new life on.

*~*One click NOW*~* 

Our A Cappella releasing soon 

Five months after their wedding, Trent struggles with the strain of juggling work and family life as Erin furthers her education, getting a Master's degree in Nursing. All Trent wants is one weekend alone with his wife to reconnect but Erin's focus is adamantly elsewhere. 

Meanwhile, Nate, Erin's oldest friend and brother, has formed an undeniable bond with Tonya that he is reluctant to pursue because of his own inner demons.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Releases by Entangled Scandalous!

Check out these three amazing new releases by Entangled Scandalous. There's a little something for everyone this month so read on to find out more about them.

All the digital books are on sale for just $.99 for a limited time so be sure to pick up your copy today before they go back to full price!

About the Book
Title: An Unexpected Sin
Author: Sarah Ballance
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pub. Date: April 14, 2014

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

Colonial Salem

The moment the stranger's dark eyes meet hers, Anne Scudder's world is immediately overthrown by chaos. That single flare of desire is immediate, driving away all notions of propriety. Instead, Anne is consumed with sinful thoughts - ones that no unmarried girl should ever have for a man who isn't her husband...

But Josiah Cromwell is no stranger.

It's been six years since Josiah stole kisses from Anne, his best friend's younger sister. Six years since Josiah left after his best friend's death, burdened by the knowledge that he was responsible for destroying Anne's family. Now he's returned to claim the woman he can't live without. But even as their desire threatens to consume them both - body and soul - the dark workings of suspicion and witchcraft are afoot.

Because in Salem, too much passion can lead a woman to ruin... and condemned to death.

Follow the blog tour HERE!

(Starts 4/14)

Find Sarah Online:

About the Book
Title: The Duke's Shotgun Wedding
Author: Stacy Reid
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pub. Date: April 14, 2014

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

Victorian Era England...

 As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne's will remains strong. If the only way to save her family's estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction - and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself... But she's made the first move against a very dangerous opponent... For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it's his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire - even if she means to only marry for his money - would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her... and demands his own satisfaction in return.

Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/14)
Find Stacy Online:

About the Book
Title: The Affair
Author: Lily Maxton
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pub. Date: April 14, 2014

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N
She was his for one week only...

When a beautiful stranger ducks into his bookshop during a rainstorm, Cale Cameron, well-known rake, is instantly attracted to her.

Elizabeth, Lady Thornhill, is restless and hungers for something she cannot name. Society would never accept a countess and a mere bookseller, so they agree to a one week affair to indulge their desire.

As their passion ignites and their connection grows, Elizabeth threatens the one thing Cale has protected above all else—his heart. Letting her go is the only solution...and the one thing he is not prepared to do.

Follow the blog tour HERE!
(Starts 4/14)

Find Lily Online:

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