Sunday, August 24, 2014

In My Mailbox (135)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

  For Review:


Tracer Ronan has cared for only one person in his life: Charlotte, his sister. With her death, a consuming desire for revenge and destruction ignited in his heart. But when new recruit Annelise Drew arrives on the island, Ronan finds he craves more than revenge. She is a threat to his mission, his sanity, and his heart. Now Ronan will need every ounce of will and strength to avenge his sister and prove where his true allegiance lies.

Tracer Ronan shares his secrets with no one. But will he survive his darkest cravings?
Style icon Aerin Lauder reveals what it means to live beautifully

Extravagant and fun to be around, Estée Lauder, Aerin's grandmother, loved jewelry and chocolate-covered marshmallows. She adored flowers and rooms full of exuberant patterns. When Aerin was a child, weekend visits with Estée meant ice-cream-and-late-night-TV adventures and spending time together at her grandmother's dressing-room table with its intriguing lipsticks and creams. From an early age, Aerin understood that Estée's passion for family was equal to her love of beauty.

Now, Aerin has made this legacy her own. For the first time, she shares memories of the family celebrations and world travel that formed her sense of style. Aerin opens the doors to her New York apartment, where on any given night she might host a relaxed dinner with firends under a vintage French chandelier or, just as often, an impromptu get-together for her sons. Aerin also reveals how she preserved Estée's heritage in her former Hamptons home while adding her own twists. The traditions Aerin has created in her own family--from pool parties with her sons to walks along the beach collecting sea glass to breezy summer lunches--blend elegance and fun in equal measure.

Throughout this book, evocative photographs by Simon Upton show Aerin's world in inspiring detail and enhance Aerin's insights into surrounding oneself with beauty and family in every aspect of life.
You know her story. You know her painful initiation into the werewolf world and you’ve seen her struggle to find the truth.

Now, Lacey Quinn is ready for the war to be over. Are you?
Lacey has been used, lied to and cheated out of the only thing she ever wanted: independence. Struggling with her newfound knowledge of being pack leader, Alex coming back into her life and the kidnapping of Lily’s mate—Matt—Lacey is faced with one of the biggest decisions of her life: fight or flight. While she knows running from the war will risk many lives, but staying means she would never have the life she wants and quite possibly never know a world without werewolves, witches and war.
Sometimes doing the right thing isn’t always the first or most obvious choice. Lacey Quinn is about to challenge what everyone thinks is the right thing to do. Unfortunately for her, most will not agree with her decision or the painful outcome.

Sometimes, love means death.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar with her boardinghouse roommate stretching three dollars as far as it will go when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a tempered smile, happens to sit at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool toward the upper echelons of New York society and the executive suites of Condé Nast--rarefied environs where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

Wooed in turn by a shy, principled multi-millionaire and an irrepressible Upper East Side ne'er-do-well, befriended by a single-minded widow who is a ahead of her time,and challenged by an imperious mentor, Katey experiences firsthand the poise secured by wealth and station and the failed aspirations that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her life, she begins to realize how our most promising choices inevitably lay the groundwork for our regrets.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Consequence (Significance, #4.5) by Shelly Crane

Maggie and Caleb are married, leaders of their people, parents to their children, and happier than they ever dreamed, even with the visions they saw of it to prove it so. The council is still rebelling against Maggie’s changes, but this time it’s different. It’s almost as if something…or someone is behind them, pulling the strings and making decisions for them.

And Maggie is having strange visions that only she can see, leaving Caleb helpless to help her. But when her visions start to warn her that their daughter, Ava, will one day be in danger, they’ll do anything it takes to find out what’s going on and how to stop it, even paying a visit to a previous Visionary.

Maggie and Caleb must find out who or what is behind it all and stop them before Maggie is one vision too late.

Lately it's felt like my favorite authors are throwing me a bone.  Crane's Significance series is one of the few that I wish could go on forever no matter how crazy the story lines would become.  It's a combination of all the right elements, tied up in a fantastic package that's been created.  The main characters, the supporting characters, the world that's been created, the elements of surprise and suspense.  It's an addicting combination for sure.  It had been a while since the forth installment had been devoured and completed and to be honest I think it was just plain luck that I even found this addition. 

While it was a novella, to be honest it read to me like each of the other full installments did.  Crane's sense of humor hasn't dwindled, and her characters are as lovable and strong as ever.  The cliffhanger she left with had me both anxious and completely over the moon to learn that the series hadn't yet reached it's end.  The fifth installment is on the horizon and I'll be counting down to the very last day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Just One Night (Just One Day, #2.5) by Gayle Forman

After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.

I know I've said it before, but honestly novellas were just never really something that interested me for the most part.  I always felt like I'd be let down by their short length or less involved plots, etc...but this is now the second one I've read in a short period of time that has decidedly proved my assumptions wrong.  And yet again I was pleasantly surprised.

Forman gave her readers a great gift when she introduced her characters, Willem and Allyson.  I fell in love with these two as they were falling in love with each other.  While I enjoyed reading their stories, I was of course sad to see their story come to a close.  So when I saw this novella I grabbed it like a lifeline and was anxious for even a few more pages and scenes with these two.

Each and ever tidbit that Foreman gives her readers is to be cherished.  It's not everyday that we're able to find stories that not only are enjoyable but move us as well.  This series was one that touched me and really felt special.  So while I'll always want more and find myself sad when I've read the final pages of their story, I always feel lucky to have even been given the chance and peek into Foreman's world.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Oh how I needed this one from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Eulberg!  I'm always anxiously awaiting each and every one of her newest releases and this one was no different.  What was out of the ordinary was me finishing her last novel and not being so enthusiastic overall.  So I went into this one with a little hesitation which is completely out of the ordinary when it comes to her writing, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  I think I might have just been expecting something different with her last title, because this book felt like coming home again.  Eulberg's quick wit and wonderful characters reigned supreme and kept me entertained the whole way through.

Mac and Levi...what can I say, but yet again we've got two characters that will forever hold a place in my heart.  They were endearing and real and the kind of characters readers will wish were their true friends instead of just names found in fiction.  Their interaction and relationship was gritty and truthful, blunt and honest and had me loving them right off the bat.

But what's really a key factor in this book's brilliance is how easy it was to relate to how every scene turned out.  I found myself nodding along and rolling my eyes right along with the characters themselves, and watching from the outside while totally empathizing with some of the more difficult challenges these two were faced with due to their unorthodox friendship.  One of my favorite things though was that these two just rolled with most of it.  They didn't let what others thought of them or their relationship morph it into something else the majority of the time.  They didn't constantly feel the need to defend of define what they had and were.  I'm not saying they were always acting older than their years, but it was heartening to see this mature side to characters often portrayed in different lights.  As always I'm looking forward to what Eulberg produces next!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Devour (Warm Delicacy, #3) by Megan Duncan

You never know how strong you are until something makes you choose between humanity, and the beast.

As Claire descended deep into the ancient tomb; laying to rest the bodies of the fallen, she wondered if time healed all wounds, would an eternity be long enough? Still recovering from a brutal attack that nearly killed her, she refused to let evil win. Pain and destruction glared at her everywhere she went. Nothing and no one would ever be safe until Baal was not only defeated, but destroyed. Fueled by her thirst for revenge, she traveled with her father to the ‘old world’, seeking the aide of a long forgotten ally. Will their quest for help lead to their salvation, or is it only the first step in their annihilation?

Picking up once again right where the series' sequel left off, the epic battle at the end is over and Claire and Arrick, along with everyone else is working on recovering from loses and injuries inflicted.  And while this would have been enough to deal with on their plate, they know it's not over and what lies ahead will be more than they can even imagine.  Duncan will not disappoint her readers as her characters continue to develop and expand in your opinions as a whole.  Decisions were made and while the characters must live with their consequences, it's refreshing and nice to see that Claire is still trying her best to hold on to any little pieces of her old self and values that she can. 

While the dilemmas that go hand in hand with love triangles is still evident, I have to admit that Arrick stole it for me towards the end of the second installment and sealed the deal with this third book.  He's just what I as a reader enjoy in a male lead.  He's decent despite what's thrown at him, and how he's treated.  And despite the fact that I like Claire's character, there was more than a few times I wanted to smack her character and her treatment of him.  I did not always approve. 

New characters join the fold and old ones resurface, creating a great mix of personalities and plot twists.  Who can these people trust and who should they be watching out for?  It's a fun ride to take and Duncan once again maintained a great balance of action and suspense, along with romance and friendships.  It was fun to read and again had me only wanting more!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

In My Mailbox (134)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:
Things aren't going like anyone planned and life keeps throwing one curve ball after another at Artemis and Ares. Can she live up to the prophecy or have they been wrong this entire time? Join them as they try to right the balance of light and dark in the final installment of Artemis Lupine's life.
A sophisticated page-turner about a wealthy New York family embroiled in a financial scandal with cataclysmic consequences. Now that he's married to Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to New York society and all of its luxuries: a Park Avenue apartment, weekends in the Hamptons, bespoke suits. When Paul loses his job, Carter offers him the chance to head the legal team at his hedge fund. Thrilled with his good fortune in the midst of the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression, Paul accepts the position.

But Paul's luck is about to shift: a tragic event catapults the Darling family into the media spotlight, a regulatory investigation, and a red-hot scandal with enormous implications for everyone involved. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties lie-will he save himself while betraying his wife and in-laws or protect the family business at all costs?

Cristina Alger's glittering debut novel interweaves the narratives of the Darling family, two eager SEC attorneys, and a team of journalists all racing to uncover-or cover up-the truth. With echoes of a fictional Too Big to Fail and the novels of Dominick Dunne, The Darlings offers an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society-a world seldom seen by outsiders-and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions.
For fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It comes an irresistible novel of a woman losing herself . . . and finding herself again . . . in the middle of her life.

Maybe it was those extra five pounds I’d gained. Maybe it was because I was about to turn the same age my mother was when I lost her. Maybe it was because after almost twenty years of marriage my husband and I seemed to be running out of things to say to each other.

But when the anonymous online study called “Marriage in the 21st Century” showed up in my inbox, I had no idea how profoundly it would change my life. It wasn’t long before I was assigned both a pseudonym (Wife 22) and a caseworker (Researcher 101).

And, just like that, I found myself answering questions.

7. Sometimes I tell him he’s snoring when he’s not snoring so he’ll sleep in the guest room and I can have the bed all to myself.
61. Chet Baker on the tape player. He was cutting peppers for the salad. I looked at those hands and thought, I am going to have this man’s children.
67. To not want what you don’t have. What you can’t have. What you shouldn’t have.
32. That if we weren’t careful, it was possible to forget one another.

Before the study, my life was an endless blur of school lunches and doctor’s appointments, family dinners, budgets, and trying to discern the fastest-moving line at the grocery store. I was Alice Buckle: spouse of William and mother to Zoe and Peter, drama teacher and Facebook chatter, downloader of memories and Googler of solutions.

But these days, I’m also Wife 22. And somehow, my anonymous correspondence with Researcher 101 has taken an unexpectedly personal turn. Soon, I’ll have to make a decision—one that will affect my family, my marriage, my whole life. But at the moment, I’m too busy answering questions.

As it turns out, confession can be a very powerful aphrodisiac.

Opposition (Lux, #5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Katy knows the world changed the night the Luxen came.

She can't believe Daemon welcomed his race or stood by as his kind threatened to obliterate every last human and hybrid on Earth. But the lines between good and bad have blurred, and love has become an emotion that could destroy her—could destroy them all.

Daemon will do anything to save those he loves, even if it means betrayal.

They must team with an unlikely enemy if there is any chance of surviving the invasion. But when it quickly becomes impossible to tell friend from foe, and the world is crumbling around them, they may lose everything— even what they cherish most—to ensure the survival of their friends…and mankind.

War has come to Earth. And no matter the outcome, the future will never be the same for those left standing.

The Keep (The Watchers, #4) by Veronica Wolff


Drew has just started her second year on the Isle of Night, and the weather isn’t the only thing changing drastically. She has ascended to the rank of Initiate. She’s also found an intimate love in the handsome vampire Carden. But most important, she no longer dreams of escape. She dreams of vengeance.

Her friend Emma was brutally wounded by the savage vampire Alcántara and may have been taken to the dreaded castle, from which none of the living returns. With so many different stories from so many people with so many of their own deceits and machinations, Drew can’t be sure of anything—except that she must find a way into the castle to discover the truth and take down Alcántara once and for all.

But Drew isn’t the only one out for revenge. Someone very dangerous on the island is also out for blood….


Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Indulge (Warm Delicacy, #2) by Megan Duncan

Claire's heart is torn between her first vampire love, Dmitry, and the Blood Mate, Arrick, that she is eternally bonded to with a powerfully deep and emotional connection. A vengeful vampire is haunting her steps, after Claire killed their mate. An ancient evil threatens to rip her world apart. With the danger of war looming on the darkening horizon, will Claire find the strength to fight back and protect those she loves? Even if it means embracing the darkness inside her? Is it worth it to become the evil she fears, in order to destroy it?

I wasn't exaggerating when I said I couldn't wait to continue on with this series, and continue I did.  With this series' second installment readers are thrust right back into all the action exactly where the first installment left off.  Love triangles don't go away so easily and resolutions are hard to come by for Claire, Dmitry her first vampire love and friend, as well as Arrick, the blood mate intended for her to spend the rest of her days with due to their eternal bond.

But it's not all long and angst in these pages this go around.  Duncan keeps up the intensity and nail biting suspense with vengeful vampires hot on Claire's trail desperate for revenge thanks to Claire killing their mate.  And let's not leave out the crazy evil that's putting Claire's world at risk each and every second.  No one wants to see a war start, but with these characters and the obstacles they're constantly facing, Duncan leaves no doubt for her readers that war is indeed coming no matter what they do to try and stop it.

Claire and the rest of the gang have a lot of tough choices to make and difficult decisions there's no way to avoid.  While wanting to retain parts of her old life and humanity, Claire will face the age old question...can and should she embrace her inner darkness?  Check out this series if you're like me and were desperate to see which way she'd go.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Savor (Warm Delicacy, #1) by Megan Duncan

When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. In a world fueled by the power of blood, Claire quickly discovers the vampire royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.

While vampires are something readers are seeing all over the place now days, whether in books, movies, TV shows, etc...Duncan has managed to create a unique and tale in her Warm Delicacy series.  Vampires and humans living together in peace and out in the open?  While it might seem crazy and virtually unbelievable, Duncan managed to spin this reality of hers into something that before I knew what had happened, had me nodding my head as if it made perfect sense.  Humans donate at a blood bank, vampires rule the world.  Of course there's more to it than that, but it's the beginning that roped me in and Duncan kept me entertained and intrigued the rest of the way through this series opener.

Claire's discovered to have that "something" special about her that the vampire royal family has decided is just what they've been looking for in order to create an heir to their throne.  So after the announcement is made, she's whisked off to leave her old life and way of living behind only to begin her new life at the castle in preparation of becoming a vampire herself.  Once this is set into motion, action and suspense abound in these pages.  Love triangles are presented and secrets are both kept and revealed at the perfect moments.

While this series opener without a doubt provides ample background information and details to set the scenes for the rest of the series, it's not just information being shot at readers from every direction.  The characters are developed in a way that will leave readers finding it difficult to put the book down, let alone not want to continue the series immediately in order to see what will happen to them next.  While I did find this a quick read, it was only in the best possible ways.  I got through it quickly, but also enjoyed it from start to finish and decided to continue with the rest of the series before starting anything else.  A must if you're a fan of vampires and are looking for something that gives a new storyline and interesting characters you'll want to root for and find out what happens at each and every turn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Be with Me (Wait for You, #2) by J. Lynn

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not…

A series that I can't let go of, and wouldn't want to if I could.  Armentrout sold me from the very first installment in this series, Wait for You, where readers meet Cam and Avery and experience their relationship, but this time around, we get the chance to get to know Cam's best friend Jase and his sister Tess all the better.  With the series opener, Tess was a great addition, but wasn't around a whole lot so I wasn't sure how this sequel would pan out.  My hopes were riding on the development of Cam's best friend, Jase, who after the first story, while his appearances were fewer than some, still managed to intrigue and entertain me.  Seeing these two was like Cam and Avery all over again in a great way.

These two are characters that are deep in their own ways, and carrying a lot around for two people at their age in my opinion.  While some secrets are unveiled until the very end, for the most part J. Lynn does a great job of peeling back the layers at just the right times so that readers get a taste here and there and with each turn of the page, more suspense is added into the mix, creating a heart pounding combination that had me doing my best to read as fast as possible.

Where women were hoping to catch a guy who baked cookies last time around, cupcakes are the main event on this stage, and while I thought no character could hold a candle to Cam's thoughtfulness and persistence, Jase will not let readers down or fail to leave them fanning their faces and pining after someone just like him.  And Tess, once again J. Lynn created a female lead that women will get behind and men will swoon over I'm sure.  These two had a tricky road laid out for them, but J. Lynn will keep you entertained and wanting more, more, more, as soon as you crack open to the first page.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful, #2.5) by Jamie McGuire

You know that Abby Abernathy unexpectedly became Mrs. Maddox. But what do you really know?

Why did Abby pop the question?
What secrets were shared before the ceremony?
Where did they spend their wedding night?
Who else knew about it . . . and didn’t tell?

Everything about Abby and Travis’s elopement was top-secret . . . until now. Fans of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster will get all of their questions answered in this whirlwind tale of the wedding day (and night!)—and as with all good stories, this one will definitely have been worth the wait.

Jamie McGuire can do no wrong!  That is unless she ends the Beautiful series anytime soon...then that's a different story altogether.  But for now, she keeps bringing me more and more of the Maddox clan and Abby and every one of her fantastic characters, which in turn makes me a very happy reader and fan! 

I am honestly so biased when it comes to this series and these characters that if you're skeptical in the least, I might not be your best bet to tell you one way or another about this series, because I honestly love everything about McGuire's writing, her style, content, characters and plot lines.  It's all top notch in my book and each and every time one of her titles hits the shelves I can't wait a second past it's release to get my very own copy and devour it immediately.  Everything else falls to the wayside when I've got one of her books in my hands.

When I first heard about this short novella she decided to release describing in detail what actually happened after the fire, what went down in Vegas exactly, and all the great stuff in between and afterwards, I was literally jumping for joy!  McGuire of course hit it out of the park again in my opinion and my only complaint...that I couldn't find an actual paperback or hard copy to call my own.  I settled for the Kindle version, and not that I'm complaining too much because either way I got to read it, but this series is one that I have wanted in total on my bookshelves.  I really found nothing but entertainment with this story and was excited reading each and every page.  Would I have liked it to have been longer?  Of course, but really I was just thrilled that she allowed us another glimpse into Abby and Travis' relationship...can't say enough about this novella!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Review: Defy (Defy, #1) by Sara B. Larson

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Fantasy, romance, magic and adventure, this story has it all!  As debuts go, Larson certainly lived up to the hype that surrounded the release of this 2014 young adult series opener.  I always get a little anxious when it comes to debut novels, because there's always so much pressure for it's delivery.  The young adult genre is packed with wonderful and promising books that readers are eating up left and right and to break into that category requires material that readers haven't come across before.  And the fantasy genre is saturated with so many titles that while containing characters with different names and story lines that might vary a little, for the most part there can often be find titles that really aren't too different from others.  Obviously there is plenty of innovative material out there or none of us would be reading anything new, but still, it's a hard act to follow and Larson surprised and impressed me with her unique and inviting world.

While different is good, one familiar staple never gets a complaint out of me, and that's a great love triangle.  Larson has presented her readers with a new world to explore and fabulous characters to fill it out.  Alexa may be posing as a male soldier in order to obtain the position she wants in the king's army, but she's a heroin that gives others a run for their money.  A fighter with a will or iron and a persevering spirit that is never found lacking, she makes it hard for others to keep up with her.  Resisting her charm and wonderful personality traits is ridiculous and I truly enjoyed watching this story play out through her point of view.  When it comes to a love triangle everyone always generally gravitates to one side or the other, vying for the main character to choose who the reader has favored.  I'm usually no different but I'll admit Larson through me for a loop with how much I tossed and turned over which male lead I liked more.  My mind was constantly changing and as the plot developed, along with the characters, it was impossible for me to establish a concrete side.  And when the readers are having a hard to choosing for the characters, how can I expect an author to narrow it down so easily?

Despite everything that these characters face throughout this series opener, questions remain and of course cliffhangers of a sort were presented at the end, and I was spinning.  What a wonderful debut to be introduced and now the countdown remains for the second installment in the series, Ignite, which won't be released until January of next year!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises, #1) by Jessica Sorensen

For twenty-one year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. She knows nothing about her past and has been haunted by the same monsters in her nightmares for the last few months. Unemotional and numb to life, she feels disconnected from everyone. Until the very first day she cries. After that, nothing in her life is the same.
Her emotions slowly surface and she starts experiencing love, happiness, and anger, feelings she never knew existed. But they leave her confused and she doesn’t know whether to embrace them or run away from them.

Her life only gets more complicated when she meets Alex. Sexy, arrogant, and secretive, Alex can get under Gemma’s skin like no one can. Yet she’s drawn to him by an invisible connection she has no control over. She’s also seen him before. In her nightmares.

Every part of Gemma’s mind is screaming at her to stay away from Alex, but every other part of her is begging to get close to him. But the closer she gets, the more she realizes Alex knows more about her than he originally let on.

As secrets about her past unravel, Gemma’s life becomes threatened. She needs to figure out what’s going on, before she winds up dead. But the only person she can turn to for answers is the one person she isn’t sure she can trust.

Again I've got another New Adult book that I couldn't resist reviewing on the blog.   I'll admit that I didn't know much about this read going into it, and what I did learn throughout the blogosphere left me confused and not quite sure what to make of it, to read or not read?  For whatever reason I gave it a chance and was extremely glad that I did.  The book's synopsis left me with more questions than answers, and while sometimes it's a good thing, had I not seen so many positive reviews and experiences from readers with this book I'm not sure I'd have given it the chance. 

Gemma is a character who has never experienced any type of emotion...and no I'm not being facetious.  She's a normal girl in appearance, but how is a reader to react to someone going through their young life without knowing what emotion is?  As a reader I was just confused, but rest assured, if you were in the same boat, answers are revealed and questions are laid to rest.  She does however experience nightmares and a certain individual in featured prominently in ALL of them.  Of course this is how Sorensen has Alex enter the scenario.  As someone she's only ever encountered in her nightmares, readers will understand why she's so shocked and scared to meet him in real life.  What will be hard to digest is that she's drawn to him nonetheless.

Of course if things were made too easy for the characters, readers would just give up, so when Alex rebuffs Gemma's attempt to get to know him, or to find answers for herself, readers get their anxiety inducing set up.  As I was writing and planning out this review I realized that there really isn't a good way to go about explaining things without revealing too much or avoid spoiling all the good stuff, so I'm ashamed to admit that I'll have to leave readers and followers in the dark, much as I was when first starting this series.

What I can say is's a series worth your attention and time.  I started out just as confused and flabbergasted as to why I was giving a book with so many questions attached to it the time of day, and yet after giving it a chance couldn't be happier with my decision.  So if you're looking for a  new read, and one that doesn't spell itself out in the write up on the back cover like so many do, than this read might be right up your alley.  It's a series that now that I've started, will be seeing it through until the end.  I can't wait to see how Sorensen lays out what comes next and am looking forward to checking out the other installments.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review: Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5) by J. Lynn

It’s Wait for You as you’ve never seen it. Trust in Me lets you in on Cam’s side of the #1 New York Times Bestselling story.

Cameron Hamilton is used to getting what he wants, especially when it comes to women. But when Avery Morgansten comes crashing into his life – literally – he finally meets the one person who can resist his soulful baby blues. But Cam’s not ready to give up. He can’t get the feisty and intriguing girl out of his head.

Avery has secrets, secrets that keep her from admitting the feelings Cam knows she has for him. Will persistence (and some delicious homemade cookies) help him break down her barriers and gain her trust? Or will he be shut out of Avery's life, losing his first real shot at the kind of love that lasts forever?

Novellas and me...well I don't always follow them.  I've always been a fan of a good series, and with my favorite characters, of course I celebrate the fact that I won't have to completely say goodbye to them while a series plays itself out.  But despite being a fan of a good series, a lot of times, I pass on the chance to read the short novellas that authors put out in conjuncture with the series they've created.  Some of them I've found to be so short and simple that nothing (or at least not enough) new was really gained, or going straight to the next full length installment wasn't interrupted to the point of missing out on anything critical, etc...

But with  J. Lynn's Wait for You series, I can't seem to resist any and all chances I get to come face to face with her characters again.  And this time around, getting the chance to see the series' first installment from Cam's point of view instead of Avery'!

After meeting these characters and loving them so much I was of course anxious to see where the next story line would take readers, but at the same time, experiencing the same story, but from Cam's point of view shed just enough light on what else he went through and not just seeing it all through Avery's eyes, was all that much sweeter.  Definitely a great and worth while addition to the series.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Wait for You (Wait for You, #1) by J. Lynn

Some things are worth waiting for…

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for...

While I mainly stick to young adult titles on the blog, a lot of my readers know that from time to time I'll feature and review an adult title or one like this J. Lynn title, which is considered to be New Adult.  With New Adult works, we're dealing with material that may not be suitable for all ages, and I like to make that clear before going forward to avoid any confusion.  But this was just one of those books, and now series' that I couldn't pass up the chance to rave about after falling in love with it myself.

This was one of those stories that caught me off guard.  It shouldn't have.  I've been a huge fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout since I picked up my first book that she'd written and despite using another of her pen names, I really shouldn't have expected anything less than the stellar writing and story lines I've come to associate with her.   But there you have it.  Once again she's presented two main characters who are impossible to resist and ridiculously hard to do anything but fall in love with them.  She's develops her characters in such a way that their layers are unraveled just right that readers get the sense that they're getting to know new friends instead of reading along from an outside perspective.

If there is anyone out there who is able to resist the charms of Cam...I just can't understand it and I'm not sure how I'd feel about it.  He's effortless with everything he does.  A character with a heart so big and warm that everyone around him is drawn right in and can't help but just want to be around him.  I wanted all scenes surrounding him for the same reasons.  And Avery...oh gosh.  What a heroin!  She's this girl who has secrets yes, but inspired such empathy from me that I thought for sure I'd crumple if she had to endure anything more.  By the end of the story, when all is revealed and understanding on the readers part is possible after seeing things from all angles, it was crushing and yet inspiring all at once.  Characters, while fictional, journey through a lot of things, overcome any number of events and obstacles, and readers are given the gift of experiencing some of that with them, and the aftermath of others.  It's humbling and enlightening and J. Lynn spins her tales in a way that always impresses me.

I hope if you're looking for a New Adult book you'll try this one on for size because really, it's entertaining, gratifying and just excellent from start to finish.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: Origin (Lux, #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.

After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.

All Katy can do is survive.

Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?

Together, they can face anything.

But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on?

And will they even be together?

After finishing the third installment in Armentrout's Lux series, Opal, I wasn't sure I'd survive the cliffhanger she left her readers with.  I have always been a fan of countdowns, but this installment honestly could not come soon enough.  As soon as it became available I jumped to get my own copy and was soon devouring the pages in hopes that she'd take care of the anxiety I was left with the last time around.  Oh how wrong I was.  Armentrout, if anything only ramped up the suspense (yet again) with this installment and quite honestly I couldn't believe that with each page came another round of wide eyes and a racing heartbeat.

If readers were worried (and who wouldn't be) about the mess Katy would find herself in after being caught and left behind in the hands of Daedalus, Armentrout proved that we had reason to be feeling this way.  While well written, what Katy endured definitely affected my heart strings and left me counting down the pages until somehow she'd get away.  Whether by rescue or escape I just wanted her out of their clutches.  The surprises were not in short supply with this installment, and readers will be expected to keep up or be left behind themselves, because the amount of action packed into this title was definitely not lacking in any way.

Character development went a long way this time around, especially when it came to our girl.  She went through so much and yet with each turn of the page a new side of her was revealed and I had to admit that as a reader I was proud.  These characters have always felt real and like friends of a certain kind, so to see her in action and powering through despite what was constantly being thrown at her had me wanting to cheer her on and remind her that she wasn't alone.  But along with Katy of course comes Daemon.  Finally a chance to get his point of view, his words, his feelings, was a treat and one I hope will continue with the rest of the series.

The bottom line is, as always, I can't see any reader and fan of this series as well as Armentrout's writing being disappointed in any way this time around.  Yet another gripping, and highly entertaining installment for the series and Armentrout's works, that once again has left her readers (namely me!) panting for more.  Yet again, I was counting down until we were given the chance to read Opposition, the fifth installment in the series...and as of today, everyone can get their own copy as it's also release day!  So if you haven't read Origin, get on that right away so you can grab the next title and catch up to the rest of us!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) by Gayle Forman

Just One Day. Just One Year. Just One Read.

Before you find out how their story ends, remember how it began....

When he opens his eyes, Willem doesn’t know where in the world he is—Prague or Dubrovnik or back in Amsterdam. All he knows is that he is once again alone, and that he needs to find a girl named Lulu. They shared one magical day in Paris, and something about that day—that girl—makes Willem wonder if they aren’t fated to be together. He travels all over the world, from Mexico to India, hoping to reconnect with her. But as months go by and Lulu remains elusive, Willem starts to question if the hand of fate is as strong as he’d thought. . . .

The romantic, emotional companion to Just One Day, this is a story of the choices we make and the accidents that happen—and the happiness we can find when the two intersect.

Gayle Forman strikes again!  Her writing has captivated me from the very first novel of hers that I read and has continued to hold me hostage with each and every one of her stories.  Whether it be this series or her others, her characters are developed so well that readers feel as if they know them personally and her story lines are so well thought out and delivered in just the right way that readers don't stand a chance against losing time and place once they've cracked the covers.

Seeing Willem's version of the events in this series was without a doubt heartbreaking.  I wasn't sure how Forman was going to further develop and expand this story despite a different narrator, but her talent cannot be doubted.  Time and time again she delivers masterpieces that are so engaging and thought provoking that readers don't have a choice but to start believing in fate and true love, perseverance and dedication.  While this story focuses around chances and different paths taken, I for one became a true believer that things will work out in the end.

Lulu becomes more than just a comparison to an actress but a goal or ideal for Willem to strive towards.  He lets no obstacle stand in his way, and his friends and family are right there along for the ride with him as he charts his course and follows his own destiny.  Old assumptions are put to the test, new challenges are presented and the hows and whys readers were left with in the first installment are answered.  New information comes to light and with the turning of each new page, I was taken along for the journey and throughout the whole thing, I felt like I was privileged to be given the chance to see how it would all play out.  No reader will want to miss out on the opportunity to see for themselves how fate works in mysterious ways, and how Forman has once again surpassed what even her biggest fans thought she was capable of.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

In My Mailbox (133)

This is a meme that I first heard about from Kristi over at The Story Siren and immediately wanted to jump on board. I'm always picking up new books, because I never tire of reading, but the other thing I like about this meme is that it gives everyone an opportunity to check out what other book fanatics, bloggers, etc... got for themselves. I've gotten great recommendations from this meme and hope that keeps up in the future.

Here's what I got, what did you guys get this week?

For Review:
Feuds by Avery Hastings (Thanks to St. Martins Griffin)
In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her Avery Hastings's Feuds.
Maggie and Caleb are married, leaders of their people, parents to their children, and happier than they ever dreamed, even with the visions they saw of it to prove it so. The council is still rebelling against Maggie’s changes, but this time it’s different. It’s almost as if something…or someone is behind them, pulling the strings and making decisions for them.

And Maggie is having strange visions that only she can see, leaving Caleb helpless to help her. But when her visions start to warn her that their daughter, Ava, will one day be in danger, they’ll do anything it takes to find out what’s going on and how to stop it, even paying a visit to a previous Visionary.

Maggie and Caleb must find out who or what is behind it all and stop them before Maggie is one vision too late.
Enoch is tested.

His brother is human, the thing he hates. He watches as the brother he knew is stripped away by his love for Clara. He's never hated someone as much as he hated her...but the bond forced him to not only want to protect her, but feel things he never had before.

When a girl needs his help, that split second decision changes his whole world in one instant.

A Devourer's Fate...
The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5) by Cassandra Clare

The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

With any series, authors run the risk of their readers becoming bored or losing interest over time with the characters and plot layouts.  This series is a true testament to Clare's ability to engage her readers and continuing to keep them coming back for me each and every time.  I'll admit that despite loving the first four books in the series, for some reason I lost track of the release date of this book and was a little bit behind in reading it after it had hit the shelves.  I did my best to avoid reading or coming across any spoilers on line because as much as I enjoy the series, I had a feeling that if I knew what happened before cracking the cover that I'd likely put it aside in the TBR pile and might never get to it.  So with my caution, I was able to find the time to get this book started without seeing what others thought beforehand.  And once I got started like with her other books, it was difficult to put down. 

When there's any kind of romance, I'm a sucker through and through.  So having two of my favorite characters be separated or go through so many obstacles and challenges was a tough pill to swallow for me.  But as always, Clary and Jace kept me entertained from start to finish and Sebastian remained quite the villain in my opinion.  Each character had their moments of foolishness, times to shine, and episodes where I questioned who they were and if their good vs. evil side of the coin was changing.  I enjoyed the anticipation Clare built with this installment and her well developed plot and constantly evolving characters kept things fresh and exciting for me from the first page to the very last.

Again the side characters (if you can even call them that) were very much on point and kept things moving when readers were given a break from the intense situations Clary and Jace were facing.  Humor was added as well as suspense and as always a roller coaster of emotions was played out for readers and fans alike.

I'm not sure how Clare keeps finding ways to surprise me or have me remain on the edge of my seat, but I'm not complaining at all.  I'm still playing catch up with the series, but now that the sixth and final installment is out of the shelves, City of Heavenly Fire, I'm anxious to find out where Clare will take her characters, and how she'll wrap this series up.  Fingers crossed our favorite characters can outlast her obstacles and somehow fight their way through to their much deserved happily ever afters.


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