Friday, July 31, 2015

Review & Giveaway: The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward
Publication Date: July 28th 2015 by Penguin Publishing Group
Purchase Links:  Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  |  The Book Depository
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
Arlene's Thoughts
Whoever said fictional drama is overrated clearly hasn’t read The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward! Oh my!! What a whirlwind of chaos, misunderstandings, deceit, misguided affections and a whole lot more!!

I’ll be the first to admit… I have a very dysfunctional reader relationship with J.R. Ward. I am an avid fan of her early installments of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. But as of late, I’ve done nothing but complain about her recent installments screaming that she’s milking the series and driving it to the ground. Thank goodness Ward has finally launched a new series and has transitioned her writing efforts into the non-paranormal world. With The Bourbon Kings, Ward has managed to remind me why I love her crazy-ass storytelling.

In this novel, we meet the family that has owned the Bradford Bourbon Company for over two centuries. Edward, Lane, Max, and Gin have grown up in a life filled with excessive wealth and boundless opportunities. However, despite the luxuries afforded to them, they have been destroyed by the power and privilege that has defined the Bradford name.

First off, signature of Ward’s style… her books are extremely character-driven and The Bourbon Kings is no exception. Because this novel is the first in its series, we are introduced to a packed cast of characters. I hope all four adult siblings get their own installment. I was intrigued by each of them!

The Bourbon Kings placed a significant focus on Lizzie King who is the head horticulturist for the Bradford Family Estate. Rewind a couple years back, and we learn that Lizze fell hard for Lane only to have her heart broken when he married another socialite. Their relationship suffered years of heartache that was brought on by lies and misunderstandings. Throughout the entire novel, Lane had my sympathies and I rooted him on from beginning to end. I was glad when he attempted to cut his losses towards the end of the novel and walked away at a moment when he knew he deserved to be believed and trusted. Good on him! This character was filled with integrity, heart and passion. Loved him! Oh and his relationship with Miss Aurora was so heartfelt and perfect, which only added to my attraction to this character.

Throughout the novel, Gin pulled at my heartstrings. She was not a noble character by any stretch of the imagination, but I sympathized with her because of her blatant weaknesses. I hope she gets her own installment because despite her mistakes and shortcomings, I sense a great deal of potential growth in this character and I hope to see it erupt later in the story.

Edward reminded me of Zhadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I don’t necessarily want the details of his kidnapping in South America, but I’d be lying if I said I didn't wanted a little more background on what exactly broke him physically and mentally. I’m not quite sure how it will all play out with Sutton and Shelby, but I sense both characters have the power to help him heal. I hope it happens.

Okay, am I the only one that is curious as hell to find out what has happened with Max? He was introduced in the beginning of the novel and briefly mentioned a couple of times. Where is he and why hasn’t he surfaced in years?

Well, as you can see, I’m hooked! I can’t wait for the next installment because I have no doubt the drama and emotional chaos will not slow down. Bring it on!
5 Suns

Rachel’s Thoughts:
If I had to use one word to describe The Bourbon Kings it would be: addictive.  The story centers on the Brandford/Baldwine family, who are old-money rich and Kentucky’s equivalent to royalty. I think the comparisons to the nighttime soaps of the 80’s like Dynasty and Dallas are apt, because each chapter ends on a hook so that I felt completely compelled to keep going to find out what happened next!

Jonathan Tulane Baldwine or Lane, as he’s nicknamed, fell hard for Lizzie King, head horticulturist of his family’s estate. Unfortunately, rotten circumstances pulled Lane and Lizzie apart, and Lane’s stayed away for two long years. With his “mama” sick, Lane rushes home to see her, knowing he’ll have to deal with his estranged wife, Chantal, as well as Lizzie, the woman he’s never stopped loving. Lane is prepared to set things right this time, and win back Lizzie for good. Lizzie is rightfully cautious, as her heart was shattered two years ago, but she can’t deny the powerful feelings she still has for Lane. 

Lane and Lizzie’s romance sizzled off the pages, and tugged at my heart! It hurts when a love that’s so right is derailed.  I desperately wanted things to work out for them. I also wanted Lane’s spoiled witch of a wife, Chantal, to take a long walk off a short bridge! I was happy, though, that she didn’t present as much of a problem as I thought she would, because I stress out of this kind of romantic drama!  I didn’t want Lane vacillating between these two women and thankfully from the very start there was only one woman for him: Lizzie.

While Lane and Lizzie are the romantic focus, there are other stories and romances going on as well.  Edward’s story, the oldest Baldwine brother, really moved me. From a young age Edward was a brilliant business man, and it was thought he’d take over as head of Bradford Bourbon Company. But he’s separated himself from the family, refusing to be anywhere near his father, William, after surviving a kidnapping/hostage situation that left him a broken man.  Instead Edward passes his days building up the family’s equine (race horses) business, and drinking. There is a history, more like unrequited love, between Sutton Smythe, the heir to Smythe Distillery and chief competitor of Bradford Bourbon, and Edward.  I am totally rooting for Edward and Sutton!  I can only hope that Shelby doesn’t become a love interest for Edward, as well, turning this whole thing into a love triangle! Please don’t do it Ms. Ward!

At first, I had a hard time feeling sorry for, Gin Baldwine, Lane’s sister. Her actions were so selfish! From the way Gin treated her daughter, Amelia, to the way she treated men just ticked me off.  Yes, her daddy’s an asshole, (understatement!) and I wouldn’t want to marry a man my father insisted I did to bail out the family’s finances, but Gin went through life taking, taking and taking. She didn’t use the advantages her privileged life afforded her to make herself a better person, and stand on her own. Grow up Gin! You didn’t like how your parents raised you? Then why are you raising your daughter the same way?!

There is a lot of messy, ugly baggage between Gin and Samuel T., her one true love in life.  Their timing truly sucked.  I really, really hope they get their HEA. I have a feeling Gin has a world of hurt and torture coming her way with the decisions she’s made. Gin has potential for some real character growth and I hope to see it in the coming books.  I do love it when an author manages to turn my feelings around on a pretty unlikable character.

As a side note, where the heck is Max Baldwine?! Just another piece missing in this intricate family puzzle.

J.R. Ward started The Bourbon Kings off with a bang!  The story was thoroughly unputdownable! Secrets, murder, lies, manipulations, and romantic entanglements abound. There is so much going on, and every single piece was riveting! I’m dying to get my hands on the next book!

4.5 Suns

Seeing as we enjoyed this novel so much, we are giving away a choice of a Paperback or eCopy of The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward to one lucky Waves of Fiction follower. This giveaway is open to anyone who can receive a Paperback copy from The Book Depository or an eCopy from US Barnes & Noble or US Amazon.  Simply fill out the rafflecopter and share with us why you'd like to read this book. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Frisk Me by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: July 28th 2015 by Forever
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Officer Luc Moretti had no idea that his dive into the East River would have him drowning in a media frenzy. No matter how many times he tells reporters he was just doing his job, they're determined to make him into NYC's newest hero. Coming from a long line of NYPD's finest, Luc knows that being a cop has nothing to do with headlines and viral videos, and he's more than ready to get back to life away from the cameras—until he meets the gorgeous but jaded journalist assigned to film a TV special on him.

Ava Sims may be the only woman in NYC who isn't in love with Officer Moretti. That's why she's going after the real story—to find out about the man behind the badge. Ava's determined to keep things strictly professional, but the more time she spends around Luc, even she has to admit there's something about a man in uniform . . . and she can't wait to get him out of his.

My Thoughts:
Luc Moretti is NYPD’s darling cop made famous by his heroic deeds blasted all over YouTube, something that makes him completely uncomfortable and the target of unwanted attention.  Even worse his actions have captured the attention of Ava Sims, a reporter that wants to use him for a feel good news piece in order to further her career.  Unfortunately, the NYPD is fully on board, thinking the positive coverage will help their reputation after some recent negative events.  Luc dreads the story knowing if Ava digs deep she’ll discover another case where the outcome wasn’t nearly as heartwarming.  Ava could potentially shine a light on dark events Luc would desperately like to forget.

Luc was a total sweetheart! He could’ve capitalized on his fame by taking advantage of all the female attention thrown at him left and right, but Luc didn’t want a woman who liked him in such a superficial way.  I’m tired of the whole commitment-phobe angle, I-don’t-do-serious-relationships, it’s a troupe used over and over in romances, but I could understand why Luc wouldn’t want to subject a women to a cop’s life, especially in view of his past. Still, he was different with Ava and the kindnesses Luc showed to her in spite of the situation won me completely over.

I liked Ava a lot and felt bad that she felt the pressure to live up to her parent’s career goals instead of pursuing her own. Her family was awful, constantly belittling Ava’s accomplishments. Her mother and sister were pros at the backhanded compliment. Ugh! Ava did frustrate me with her hot and cold behavior toward Luc, but when they finally got together it was smoking hot!

The Moretti’s are NYPD royalty, Luc’s father was the Police Commissioner and all three brothers are cops, too, and I loved this big, loving Italian family. Luc’s eighty-five year old grandmother, Nonna was the star of the family, and her antics had me laughing more than a few times.  She’s one frisky grandma, whether doing hot yoga or leaving her push-up bra at a beau’s house, Nonna stole the show. 

Frisk Me was signature Lauren Layne: clever, fun, and flirty. Luc and Ava have an antagonistic relationship from the start, one filled with sexual tension, and while I enjoy a good hate to love romance, there was a little too much pushing on Ava’s part and secrets between them to make this one a complete win for me.  Luc and Ava had amazing sexual chemistry, and so I still did enjoy the ride.

I look forward to the coming installments featuring a romance for each of the brothers. I hope Elena, Luc’s sister, gets a book, too.  Steal Me, which is slated to release in November, focuses on Anthony, and I can’t wait!

3.5 Suns

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

New Release & Giveaway: Just One Lie by Kyra Davis

Waves of Fiction is pleased to share a new release by Kyra Davis! Just One Lie is available today, and the publisher is offering our followers a copy of this new release upcoming release! Check it out!

Just One Lie (Just One Night #2) by Kyra Davis
Expected publication: July 28th 2015 by Pocket Books
Purchase link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | BAM | Indiebound | Google
The long-awaited follow-up novel to the runaway New York Timesbestseller Just One Night—which Publishers Weekly gave a starred review and proclaimed, “Davis skillfully creates an uplifting story in which sex is presented both as freedom and as a metaphor for power, and where raw chemistry is the clear winner over bland complacency.”

In the instant international sensation Just One Night, sensible Kasie Fitzgerald unleashed her passions—and found herself—through an explosive affair. In Just One Lie, we meet Kasie’s wild and tortured sister, whose impulsivity and lack of self-control has set off a chain of events that changes her family forever.

Melody Fitzgerald is the opposite of the “perfect” daughter. The lead singer of an indie rock band, she is impulsive and creative, with a rebellious streak that both defines her and becomes her greatest enemy. Her lover, the enticing and unpredictable Ash, shares her free spirit and penchant for trouble. On the face of it, he seems to be her perfect match.

So why is she so drawn to her soft spoken, reliable drummer, Brad Witmer? How can a man who wears polo shirts and reads the financial section of the paper be of any interest to her at all? And why on earth does someone like that appear to be so captivated by her?

Before she knows it, Melody finds herself on a path of self-discovery, passion, and affairs of the heart. But will a dark secret from her past derail it all? Or will its exposure be the very thing that unburdens her heart and allows her to seek a future with the one man who loves her completely? 

About the Author
Kyra Davis is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Just One Night, Pure Sin and Sophie Katz series as well as So Much For My Happy Ending. Just One NIght has been optioned for television by Anonymous, (the producers of True Detective)

Before publishing her first book, Sex, Murder And A Double Latte in 2005 Kyra supported herself and her son as a marketing manager for a sports club and before that was a department manager at Nordstrom’s Savvy department. She studied at The Fashion Institute Of Design and Merchandising and Golden Gate University.

Kyra now lives with her husband (director and screenwriter, Rod Lurie), her teenage son (proud science-geek and Hawaiian-Shirt-aficionado), dog (champion eater and guardian of the backyard…no squirrel will dare set foot in it) and gecko (the gecko doesn’t do much).

Social Media Links
Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads
The publisher has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of Just One Lie by Kyra Davis. This giveaway is open to US and Canadian Residents only. Be sure to fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win and share with us what you're currently reading.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers #1) by Jacquelyn Frank

Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers, #1)
Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers #1) by Jacquelyn Frank
Published on October 30th, 2012 by Ballantine Books
About the book
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers—an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them.
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.

When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.
My thoughts:
I am not quite sure how I feel about this one.  On one hand I really have to give the author credit for originality, but on the other I am just not sure my imagination can go where the author wants me to go.  Let me try and explain...

I sent this text to my reading buddy..."A Pharaoh sends its soul to a human in order to return to Earth.  Now there are 2 souls living in one body and the Pharaoh basically has domination over that human body now.  And when that said human/Pharaoh has steamy time with another blended person there are basically 4 people having steamy time"...does that make sense to you?  I am honestly still trying to grasp the whole blended two people in one body scenario here.  I liked Docia and I liked Ram, but then you throw in Vincent the host for Ram and Docia's carbon (the Egyptian soul that has set up camp in her body) and my feelings go wonky.

I started feeling bad for Vincent and Docia because it seems like they basically get taken over by these other souls.  Ram is obviously the dominate one in his situation and it makes me wonder what will happen to Docia, the one he loves??  I know he is connected to her other soul, but it just feels weird!  It's  like there are four people in this relationship and for me that's two too many.  I don't know if I will ever be okay with this.  Maybe I have read too many sci fi books where the aliens take over the human body and that's my hang up. I just can't see this as good because Docia will lose herself.  How can this work??!

All that aside the author does have an original idea.  The whole Egyptian mythology was really interesting and I am definitely going to continue on for at least one more book to see what the author has up her sleeve.  I think I know because of how things ended, but I am really curious to see how a certain soul will retrieve his soulmate.

The only other thing that bothered was the transitions. They were all really awkward and it always took me a few sentences to catch up and realize I was reading from somebody elses POV and more often than not in a completely different scene.  This made the book feel clunky and clumsy.

So if you can get past the whole two souls in one body you might want to give this a go. I also know that with this genre it always takes me at least two to three books to really get into the story so maybe that's it too.  I have definitely read stranger things so I won't write this one off yet.

3 suns

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Waves of Sunday #66

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are spotlighting:
My Time in the Affair by Stylo Fantome
Published May 2nd 2015

I made a conscious decision to cheat on my husband.

Now, before you judge me, hear my story. Hear how much I'm like you, how similar my thoughts are to your own. Yes, I'm a horrible person. Yes, I've done horrible things. Yes, I don't deserve forgiveness. Yes, bad things happened because of my actions.

But I'm willing to bet I've done things that maybe, just maybe, you have thought of doing.

Maybe, just maybe, you're not as innocent as you'd like to think.

Or maybe I'm not so guilty ...

WARNING: This book involves CHEATING. The word AFFAIR is in the title. The main character has an AFFAIR. In the synopsis (directly above), she states that she intentionally has an AFFAIR. If you don't like CHEATING, then you have been VERY WELL warned. Also, this book is primarily written in the third-person narrative. 

Arlene's Thoughts
Most likely my blog roomies here are not going to be surprised by the fact that I chose this book as a spotlight for Waves of Sunday. It's a very odd obsession of mine… but I find myself fascinated by stories about cheating, deplorable characters, and not so ethical behavior. I'm also the first to sympathize with the anti-hero. So, yes… when I came across My Time in the Affair, I thought that it sounded right up my alley. I'm intrigued, and I definitely plan to pick this one up and stretch my moral compass. Excitement!

Rachel's Thoughts
I had a giggle when Arlene told me she picked this book for WoS.  The main character sounds unlikable, and the subject of cheating is not popular, but I find myself curious, wondering why Mischa feels the need to cheat? What events brought her to that point in her life? If I can understand a character's motivations and sympathize with them, a cheating story can work for me.  Still, why not divorce first? I'm looking forward to Arlene's review on this one!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Review: Goodnight June by Sarah Jio

Goodnight June by Sarah Jio 
Published May 27th 2014 by Plume
The New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter imagines the inspiration for Goodnight Moon.

Goodnight Moon is an adored childhood classic, but its real origins are lost to history. In Goodnight June, Sarah Jio offers a suspenseful and heartfelt take on how the "great green room" might have come to be.

June Andersen is professionally successful, but her personal life is marred by unhappiness. Unexpectedly, she is called to settle her great-aunt Ruby’s estate and determine the fate of Bluebird Books, the children’s bookstore Ruby founded in the 1940s. Amidst the store’s papers, June stumbles upon letters between her great-aunt and the late Margaret Wise Brown—and steps into the pages of American literature.

My Thoughts
Goodnight June by Sarah Jio is one of those rare finds that surprisingly captures your heart for all the right reasons. I loved this steadily paced story about redefining who you are, falling in love and finding forgiveness.

In this wonderful story, we get to meet the very successful banker June Anderson who sets off to her hometown in Seattle when she hears that her great-aunt Ruby passed away and left her as the sole beneficiary of her beloved bookstore Bluebird Books. When June arrives at the shop, her intention is to prepare the bookstore for sale, so she can immediately return to her New York apartment and fast living. However, as June begins to uncover small treasures in the form of letter between her great-aunt Ruby and the author of Goodnight Moon, she realizes there’s more to life than her high powered position that leaves her empty inside.

I loved this story that was loosely tied to the creation of the children’s book Goodnight Moon. It’s a book I’ve enjoyed reading to my little ones countless times. Having owned more than one copy because I’ve read it over and over again only added to my emotional tie to the story.

I truly enjoyed watching June’s transition from stressed out banker to committed independent bookstore owner. I rooted her efforts in trying to keep the bookstore afloat and seeing how much I love and support independent bookstore; I was moved by how passionate June’s mission was to save the bookstore.

Added to that, I loved the secondary plotlines between her and her sister, as well as the small twist that occurred at the end of the story.

Goodnight June is a wonderful story that is filled with noble characters, intriguing backstories and relatable conflicts that fans of adult contemporary will surely enjoy!
4 Suns

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Review: Grey (Fifty Shades #4) by E.L. James

Grey (Fifty Shades #4) by E.L. James
Published June 18th 2015 by Vintage
See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian's own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

My Thoughts
DNF 30%
My first DNF for 2015. I just can't seem to get into Grey's voice. Maybe knowing I would never be re-reading this series set me up for immediate failure, but this far into the novel there is nothing new or insightful happening to keep me interested. When you know what's waiting for you around the corner, it's just not that exciting.

Possibly if the original novel was told in alternating POVs that would have added some additional edge, but rehashing the same story years after my excitement has waned just doesn't do it for me.

Back in 2011, E.L. James cornered a new spot in the market. Four years later, coming into a saturated genre with the same story just wasn't enough to keep my interest passed the 30% mark. Moving on….
1 Sun

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Summer by Summer by Heather Burch

Summer by Summer by Heather Burch
Published April 7th 2015 by Blink
When Summer took a job as a nanny for a couple vacationing in Belize, she imagined it would be a fresh start before starting college in the fall. And while she adores her charge, Josh, she can’t say the same for her employers’ oldest son, Bray. He’s cocky, inconsiderate, and makes her feel she’s a chore he has to put up with. In short, he’s everything she dislikes in a guy.

Bray had a plan for the summer: party, hang out with friends, and forget all the responsibilities waiting for him back home. But every time he’s forced to be around Summer, her dour, serious mood sets him off. Not to mention she has a habit of picking up on what he already knows is wrong with him.

Then the two find themselves on a dive trip gone wrong, stranded on a remote island. As they focus on survival, their differences melt away, and they find being together may be what both needed all along.

My Thoughts

Great summer read! Summer by Summer is exactly what I was looking for when searching for a beach-side companion.

When Summer takes a job as a nanny for a ten year old boy, she never expects to collide with the family's older son. Bray has just returned from his first year in college and has decided to join his family on their summer vacation in Belize. Summer and Bray soon find themselves stranded on a remote island after a dive excursion that went wrong after a heavy storm caused their boat to veer off miles from their destination. Together these two must find a way to survive on the island with minimal provisions and constant exposure to danger.

Summer by Summer was one of those ALA grabs I was lucky enough to acquire. It sounded interesting and exactly like something I would definitely enjoy. However, when I came home and looked up the reviews, the mixed reactions had me skeptical at first, but I'm glad I have it a go despite the varying opinions about this book.

Summer and Bray were a lovely pair that struggled through some pretty rough weather to survive. I admired their strength and courage that shined throughout the story.

Overall, it was a very sweet story that did carry a mild religious undertone, but was never overwhelming. I enjoyed this book by Heather Burch and would gladly pick up another read by this author.
4 Suns

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Review: The Wrong Man by Kate White

Publication Date: June 16th 2015 by Harper Paperbacks
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

She wanted to be more daring, but one small risk is about to cost her everything­—maybe even her life.

Bold and adventurous in her work as owner of one of Manhattan's boutique interior design firms, Kit Finn couldn't be tamer in her personal life. While on vacation in the Florida Keys, Kit resolves to do something risky for once. When she literally bumps into a charming stranger at her hotel, she decides to make good on her promise and act on her attraction.

But back in New York, when Kit arrives at his luxury apartment ready to pick up where they left off in the Keys, she doesn't recognize the man standing on the other side of the door.

Was this a cruel joke or part of something truly sinister? Kit soon realizes that she's been thrown into a treacherous plot, which is both deeper and deadlier than she could have ever imagined. Now the only way to protect herself, her business, and the people she loves is to find out the true identity of the man who has turned her life upside down.

Adrenaline-charged and filled with harrowing twists at every turn, The Wrong Man will keep readers riveted until the final page.

My Thoughts:
Kit Finn has a pretty good life.  At thirty-five she’s a successful interior designer with her own company and good friends, but lately she feels she’s missing something.  She’s led a relatively quiet life, and Kit would like to start taking more risks, and grab life by the horns and live. While on vacation spending a passionate night with a stranger seems like a prime opportunity to live life to the fullest, but Kit gets more than she bargains for.  Upon returning home to New York, Kit finds out that her handsome stranger lied about his identity and her whole life is turned upside down when she’s dragged into an investigation, and doesn’t know who to trust.

Kit was a likable character and I felt bad for the situation she found herself in. I think she handled things as well as could be expected, and didn’t run stupidly into things without thinking first. I wished there was a little more buildup for the romance, but it was a secondary point to the plot and I was happy with how it all worked out at any rate.

I wouldn’t say that I was gasping at or on the edge of my seat while reading, but The Wrong Man was a real page turner for me! Getting to the bottom of what was actually happening had me glued to the pages, eager to solve the mystery.  I did figure out some of what was happening before it was revealed, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the ride. I enjoyed the design aspects of the book, as well, even though they weren’t crucial to the plot I found them interesting. 

3.5 Suns

Monday, July 20, 2015

Blog Tour & Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Brandie's Thoughts:
There's something about Taylor Jenkins Reid's writing that is so brilliant and REAL that I'm left questioning life after finishing one of her books. She became one of my favorite authors after I read After I Do, which was such a fantastic novel that has stayed with me months later. I couldn't wait to read her newest release, and it was fantastic.

In Maybe in Another Life, we meet Hannah, a 29 year old who has no clue what she wants out of life, and decides to move back to her hometown of LA. She moves in with her best friend, and one night they decide to go out to the bar where Hannah meets up with her ex boyfriend.

On this night, Hannah is faced with a decision - go home with her best friend or go home with the ex. Many people would admit they've wondered how their lives would have played out had they made difference choices along the way. The author offers both perspectives in alternating chapters, showing us how Hannah's life would have gone if she had picked one scenario over the other. And by the end of the book, I was on edge praying that Hannah chose the scenario that I loved most.

Such a unique and brilliant story line - it almost felt like I was reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I didn't want to put the book down because I had to know how things really worked out for Hannah - which decision did she ultimately choose, and was it the one I was hoping for.

TJR's characters are flawed and real and I always connect to them immediately when reading her books. I loved every minute of reading this one and look forward to more by this author!
ARC kindly provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
5 Suns
Arlene's Thoughts
Loved this book!! If I'm thinking about these characters days after I've finished their story… then yes… I'm giving it 5 stars. Taylor Jenkins Reid took an original story and told it in such a way that was both clever and unique.

My first experience with Taylor Jenkins Reid was when I picked up her novel After I Do. I knew right then that Reid has a way of naturally pulling her reader into the story and capturing their full attention with her clever narrative. Maybe In Another Life is no exception! I was immediately drawn into Hannah Martin’s world as she struggled to find a place to call home.

Having been apart from her family since her sophomore year in high school when her parent traveled with Hannah’s sister to London so she could attend a prestigious dance academy, Hannah stayed behind in California to finish school and try to build a life of her own. After high school, Hannah traveled from state to state, not quite finding her place, and after a failed relationship in New York, she decides to head back to California with her best friend Gabby.

When Hannah and Gabby go out one night to celebrate her return, she meets up with her old high school boyfriend Ethan and a hint of their old flame begins to simmer. However, where the story takes a unique twist, we get to experience with Hannah what would happen with her life if she decided to stay out that night with Ethan or head home with Gabby.

To see Hannah get two alternate endings that were both perfect and well deserved is both ingenious and down-right good storytelling. I loved the whole bit about alternate universes and the concept of fate… it all just works and I attribute that to the magic that flows from Reid's pen.

At first, I thought it would be confusing to follow the same character through two walks of life, but the alternate stories are completely differing yet equally enthralling. I loved the characters that took center stage in each alternative. At the end of the novel, I truly couldn’t decide which ending I preferred. They both worked so well!

Overall, Taylor Jenkins Reid once again proves she can captivate her audience with a realistic and relatable story, but what makes her different is her delivery. Loved it!
5 Suns


Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit. You can follow her on Twitter @TJenkinsReid.

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid
 Atria Books/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN:  9781476776880 | July 7, 2015 | $16.00
eBook: Atria Books/Washington Square Press | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776897 | July 7, 2015 | $11.99



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Waves of Sunday #65

Welcome to our weekly edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR. 

Today we are spotlighting:
Broken (Broken Trilogy #1) by J.L. Drake
Published by Limitless Publishing (first published March 2nd 2015)
My name is Savannah Miller.

My father is the mayor of New York. One day after my twenty-seventh birthday I was grabbed from behind. A cloth sack was quickly pulled over my head, and I was taken from everything I’d ever known.

I was beaten, starved, treated like an animal, and forced to live in a room with no windows. With no sense of time and no dignity left I finally gave up hope and made a promise to myself to end it all.

Unfortunately, it was going to be a slow process.

Then one night an elite group of US Army soldiers came to my rescue. I was brought to a safe house and given two options:

One- Stay under their protection and follow their rules or…

Two- Leave and be guaranteed to be returned to the savages within a week.

I chose option one.

As I work with a therapist and begin processing my hellish ordeal things slowly begin to surface. With the help of new friends and a potential new love I fight to get my life back and make choices that will forever alter my future.

This is my story…

*Warning cliffhanger ending* 

Arlene's Thoughts
Oh wow! This story sounds intense, emotional and potentially disturbing. I've dabbled in all three with the likes of Captive in the Dark and Stolen, so I'm not unfamiliar with the potential effects this kind of story can have on my psyche. It's shear curiosity that will have me diving into Broken by J.L. Drake. Who's with me??

Rachel's Thoughts:
This does sound intense, Arlene! I'm wondering what kind of organization would potentially return her to her captives? Sounds a little fishy to me. Captive in the Dark was a series that left a definite impression on me, so I wonder if this will be as brutal.  And cliffhanger?! Eeeek! I'm very curious.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Review: Trust (Temptation #3) by Ella Frank

Trust (Temptation #3) by Ella Frank
Published May 2nd 2015 by Ella Frank
TRUST – verb: to believe in the reliability, truth, or strength of another.

Up until now, Logan Mitchell has never had much of a reason to trust anyone.
Having struggled with a self-identity crisis throughout college, he’s spent the years since then creating a sophisticated facade to present to the world.
It’s an armor he thought was impenetrable—until he met Tate Morrison.
The gorgeous, headstrong bartender he’d sat across from only months ago has taken a tight hold of his heart, and Logan is discovering that it’s time to let go.
It’s time to let someone inside.

After years of placing his dreams on hold for his family, Tate has finally chosen to do what makes him happy and follow his heart.
The one thing he never would’ve imagined was that it would lead him into the arms of a man—and not just any man—the striking, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Logan Mitchell.
Tate has fallen hard, and as his world is turned on its axis and they move forward together, he finds his life becoming more entwined with the confident, successful lawyer.

Even though neither man expected the other, it’s time to trust in their relationship—but not everything comes so easily… 

My Thoughts
Nice ending to an exciting and steamy trilogy.

In the final installment of the Temptation Trilogy, Logan and Tate continue to deepen their relationship. There were some heavy moments and emotional scenes that only reaffirmed how right these two characters were for each other. I rooted them on from book one and I really liked how Ella Frank chose to conclude their story.

However, there were moments where their story dragged a bit, but it was still nice to see how connected Tate and Logan were throughout the book. I would have liked to see some of the plot lines more tightly closed, including the relationship between Tate and his mother, as well as Logan’s ex-boyfriend. Not sure why those were not properly played out… they seemed to have just fizzled into nothing.

Overall, there were plenty of emotional moments with a small amount of drama. Not as exciting as the first installment, but not bad at all.
3 Suns

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1) by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1) by K.A. Tucker 
Published December 11th 2012 by Papoti Books
Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

My Thoughts
Ten Tiny Breaths has been on my radar for quite some time, so I’m glad I finally decided to pick up this book! It was emotional, perfectly paced and absolutely engaging. Falling for Kacey and Livie seemed too easy, but not surprising since they both were characters that were relatable and quite likeable. I can’t wait to continue with this series as I hope some of the secondary characters I met in this first book get their own story in the subsequent installments.

In Ten Tiny Breaths, Kacey and Livie Cleary pack up and leave one day for a second chance at life. Having lost their parents four years prior in a horrific car accident that affected both sisters in different ways, they know staying with their uncle and aunt is not an option. Especially after fifteen year old Livie is inappropriate approached by her uncle. When they head to Florida, Kacey struggles to make ends meet, that is until she meets Storm who gets her a lucrative gig as a bartender at Penny’s.

As they begin to settle in and Kacey finds herself falling for the hot guy next door, she still can’t seem to recover from the car accident that left her physically, emotionally and psychologically scarred. When Trent begins to push her to find help, a whole new layer of complexity is added to her life.

This first installment of the Ten Tiny Breaths series has so many layers to it that were absolutely enthralling. There were characters that played small roles with big intentions that I wanted to get more of. I loved Ben, and I hope to see more of him in other books. Storm and Dan were a nice pair that would easily be able to carry their own book as well. Also, I’m so curious about the mysterious bar owner Caine. I want his story!

As for Kacey and Trent... yes their backstory and how they come together is quite unconventional, but if I’m being honest, I wanted them to work. I really liked Trent and despite his stalker like actions… his reasons for his actions seemed noble and sincere. (view spoiler) I appreciated the distance he gave Kacey at the end of the story and applauded Livie for knowing what to do.

Overall, Ten Tiny Breaths was told in such a captivating way where you had to slowly but carefully peal each layer of the story to uncover the ultimate truth. I can’t wait to see what the next installments have in store, because based on the secondary characters I met in this book, I’d more than gladly continue journeying with this cast. Great story!
4 Suns