Wednesday, October 5, 2016

What's Happening During the Hiatus

As you know, I am on a hiatus until the new year. But I thought I would drop in and let you know what's been happening during that time.

First, I haven't gone crazy. I'm still ready books. I've been rereading a bunch of books (Cate Tiernan and Sarah J. Maas). I've also been reading some books that don't really fit into the scope of what this blog is all about.

In other news, I've started a new job (which I love), I've moved, I'm getting my health back on track, and I'm spending some quality time with my cat.

I plan to start reading more romance soon, so after the holidays everything will be up and running on a weekly review schedule again. I'm open to book suggestions if you have them!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Bit of a Slow Down

Recently, due to many different reasons, I have been unable to keep up with my usual once a week posts. I've moved, got a new job, and I'm getting ready to move again! This summer has been hectic! On top of all that I've been dealing with some health issues. So, for now, the book reviews will have to take a bit of a back seat as I prepare to move again and get my health back on track. I'll post reviews when I can, and I'll keep everything updated via Twitter when there's a new review. If your interested in guest posting a review, have a book you really want me to read/review, or would like me to be part of a release day blitz, send me an email, or contact me via the contact form.

I have loved writing and working on this blog, and I hope to have things back to their normal speed by the end of the year!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Pact by Karina Halle ♡♡.5

The PactThe Pact by Karina Halle is the second book I've read by this author. I read one of her books before (Sins and Needles), and I decided to give her another shot since I didn't really enjoy the first book.

The Pact tells the story of Stephanie and Linden. In their twenties, they make a pact to marry each other if neither of them is married or in a serious relationship by the time they're thirty.

We see the two go through various relationships through their twenties and eventually come together. But things aren't easy once they do.

First, I should say I listened to the audiobook, and while the author may not have had much say, the voice of Stephanie's POV was not great. Her Scottish accent was awful when she was speaking as Linden. That has absolutely nothing to with the story, but I thought I would let all the audiobook listeners know.

Focusing on the actual story, for me it was just meh. I didn't really feel any kind of connection to the characters, and the actual story was a bit predictable. I'm not sure I'll be reading any more books by Karina Halle in the future. Thoughts?

I should point out that for some reason, I thought this would be a new adult book, but it was most definitely contemporary, which I tend to not be a huge fan of. I'm not sure if it was marketed as new adult or contemporary, but I thought it was new adult. And while on that topic, I think some books are marked as new adult if the characters are angsty, start out young, or they're trying to figure out their lives. But a this book in particular, ending when they characters where in their thirties (and not just as an epilogue). And a thirty year old can still be trying to figure out their lives (aren't we all), but new adult should have characters experiencing things for the first time, and actually being new to adulthood. This is not a critique of this book, but on how books are sometimes marketed (again, I'm not sure if this one actually said it was new adult or if I just thought it was).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

RoomHate by Penelope Ward ♡♡

RoomHateRoomHate by Penelope Ward is maybe the first book I've read by this author. Although, I can't remember, I may have read another one (After initially writing this post, I went and check, I have read another book by Penelope Ward, and I did enjoy Jake Undone). I listened to RoomHate on audio book, and it was a good reading.

RoomHate tells the story of Amelia and Justin. Amelia abandoned her best friend, Justin, 10 years ago, and Justin won't let her forget it.

This book just didn't do it for me. I read other reviews that spoke of plot twists, but nothing happened that really surprised me. Also, something came up during the story, that I wasn't expecting (although I'm not sure I would call it much of a plot twist. AND it's one of the biggest thing I hate in stories.

Overall, I was just waiting for this story to end. I was bored, and I didn't feel any connection to the characters. Now realizing this is the second book I've read by Penelope Ward, and seeing that I enjoyed the first, I may give her another shot.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sweet Nothing by Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert ♡♡

Sweet NothingSweet Nothing by is a book the two authors, Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert, wrote together. I said I was done reading books by Jamie McGuire any more, but I took a chance any way.

The book tells the story of Avery, a hospital nurse, and Josh, an EMT which has a reputation for hooking up with all the nurses, we watch as they come together after a bad car accident.

So, there's not much I can really say about this book without spoiling, because what I really didn't like was the ending. It was very unexpected, but felt like such a cop out. I was very disappointed, and there was just no explanation.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Idol by Kristen Callihan ♡♡♡

Idol (VIP, #1)Idol by Kristen Callihan is the first book in the VIP series. I've read her Game On series, and I loved it, and I love a good rock star story.

Idol tells the story of Libby, who is living as a hermit in North Carolina, and Killian, a rock star who literally shows, drunk, up on her lawn. We watch as the two grow close and go off on a whirlwind adventure full of music, fun, and tons of drama.

I liked the book, but it just wasn't as good as the Game On, and it doesn't hold a torch to Jamie Shaw’s Mayhem series. I didn't feel connected to the characters, and again, just like with Charged, I felt like there were so many sex scenes, and they weren't all necessary. I think the writing was good, but

The last two new adult books I've read have had a lot of sex, and not for the sake of the plot. It might be time for a new adult break.

What do you think? Has new adult become sexier? If you think it has, do you think that's a good thing?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Charged by Jay Crownover ♡♡♡

Charged (Saints of Denver, #2)Charged by Jay Crownover is the second book in the Saints of Denver series. I have to say, it was not really what I was expecting, and I was a bit disappointed.

Charged tells the story of Avett, who just can't seem to get her act together, and Quaid, the guy who thinks they have it all figured out. This book had crime, a love story, and lots of sex. We watch as the two try and figure out if and how to make each other fit in their lives.

Let's start with the bad. First, I thought the story worked too hard to introduce characters who will likely have books of their own in the future. Also, this book may have been the most sex filled yet! I have nothing against sex in books, but this almost felt like erotica with extra story. I'm not sure if Jay Crownover is making a move toward more contemporary books, but I enjoyed the Marked Men series so much more than The Saints of Denver. Perhaps my own expectations were too high. I'll probably give the series two more books before I give it up.

I do have to say, for the most part, I liked the character of Avett. Once she starts to figure things out, you can see, she's a good person, even if she can be a bit misguided.

What do you think? Do you think Jay Crownover’s books feel different?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Jessica. Maas ♡♡♡♡♡

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas is the second book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I loved the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, but it was nothing compared to this one.

A Court of Mist and Fury picks up pretty much right where the last book left off. If you haven't read it, you should do that now. I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it, so this will be a fairly brief review.

What I will say is this, I did not think there was any way I would love Rhysand so much. I was not expecting one thing that happened in this book. And, if I could, I would give this book infinite hearts, that's how much I loved it.

Now, I just need to time jump to when the next book comes out so I can find out what is going to happen next! If you were on the fence about sticking with this series, I suggest you read A Court of Mist and Fury. It was incredible.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sass by Laramie Briscoe ♡♡

SassSass by Laramie Briscoe is I book I picked up through BookBub. I was a little disappointed since it was marked as new adult, and then the first page of the book said contemporary romance. But all the same, it was a fairly quick, entertaining read.

Sass tells the story of Sass and Reed. Reed is getting over his breakup with his cheating fiancĂ©, and Sass agrees to pretend to be Reed’s girlfriend to case jealousy. I love the pretend girlfriend stories, so I was looking forward to this.

Overall, the story was OK. At 150 pages, the story moved fairly quickly, and there wasn't much depth to the characters or story. Everything was pretty surface level (having just finished Me Before You, that may have been for the best).

I did almost give up up the book after reading the prologue. The main character, Reed, threatens to force himself on his fiancé after he finds her cheating. While it was said in anger and in a moment of vulnerability, I couldn't like him much after that. I don't care how angry you are, that's no idle threat, and it was unnecessary.

I'm not sure if I would read another book by Laramie Briscoe; for the most part, I prefer longer books where there's more than romance going on; this book was more like a story written around romantic scenes. But maybe another of her books with catch my eye in the future. I'm not ruling it out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes ♡♡♡♡♡

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)Me Before You by Jojo Moyes was, and I don't say this lightly, probably the best book I've read all year, if not the best book I've read since Easy by Tammara Weber. I wasn't going to review this book initially, because it has already been so popular, but then I loved it so much, I thought I would let people who may be on the fence know, it's worth it!

Me Before You tells the story of Lou, who gets a job taking care of quadriplegic named Will. It is probably the slowest building love story, and I loved every second of it.

One of the reasons I love this story is that it's not just a love story, but it also explored some very serious moral implications and life choices. I picked this book up because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, but I am so glad I read it. It was a beautifully written, heart wrenching story.

If you haven't read it yet, go read it now!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen ♡♡♡♡.5

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, #1)The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen is the first book I've read by this author. I found out about it like I do with a lot of books, through BookBub.

The Year We Fell Down tells the story of Corey and Hartley. Corey had an accident before starting college that caused a spinal injury and paralysis, crushing her dreams of playing hockey. Hartley is healing from an accident that's keeping him from hockey, too, but only for the season. We watch as Corey tries to reconcile who is is after the accident, and, of course, we watch Corey and Hartley fall for each other.

I enjoyed reading a new adult book where the characters had real life difficulties. So often, the stories biggest problems are about getting the characters together, and I was happy to read a book that was about something bigger. Corey was a great character because she was so strong, stubborn, and vulnerable all at the same time. And we got to see her deal with her injury, college, and love life in a way that was quite endearing.

I'm looking forward to reading more books by Sarina Bowen, and, hopefully, more books in this series.

The Year We Fell Down on Goodreads

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My Soul to Keep by Kennedy Ryan ♡♡♡♡.5

My Soul to Keep (Soul, #1)
My Soul to Keep by Kennedy Ryan is a book I found out about when it was on sale through BookBub. I've never read any of her other books, but this one caught my eye, and I'm so glad I picked it up.

My Soul to Keep tells the story of Kai, a small town, Georgia girl trying to make it in LA after the death of her mother. Her world starts spinning again when she meets world famous musician Rhyson. We watch as Kai tries to navigate life after losing her mother and the intricacies of being linked to a super star.

There were so many things I loved about this story. The writing was so poetic, I easily connected with the characters, and from the opening lines, Kai had such a distinct voice (when I read it, I could hear her accent, no dialect necessary!). The characters also felt realistic to what people in their positions might be like.

The story does end with a bit of a cliffhanger, but I cannot wait to read the next story.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas ♡♡♡♡.5

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is a book I picked up because I love the Throne of Glass series. And this book doesn't disappoint.

The story takes place in a magical world where faeries live just across a wall. Feyre and her family are barely surviving the winter, and when she kills a faerie disguised as a wolf, she must pay the price by venturing across the wall with Tamlin to live out the rest of her days.

I love faerie stories, and Sarah J. Maas's writing is so detailed and wonderful, I couldn't help falling in love with this story.

A Court of Thorns and Roses straddles the border between YA and New Adult. Probably a bit too mature for most teen readers, but it doesn't necessarily follow many the tropes associated with New Adult. Although I think more stories like this one, where the plot is more than just about the romance, is an example of what New Adult needs if it wants to maintain its staying power.

I can't wait to read the next book in the series, A Court of Mist and Fury.

A Court of Thorns and Roses on Goodreads

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas ♡♡♡♡

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas us the third book in the Throne of Glass series. I loved the first and second book, but Heir of Fire was a tough one.

The story continues to tell Celaena’s story, and it chronicles her struggle of coming to terms with who she really is. In an attempt to remain spoiler free, that's all I'll really say of the plot for this one.

This book took me months to read, which was a surprise since the first two took me about a week, maybe less, to finish each of them. But this story was slow moving and followed some new characters who I didn't care for (and their stories are likely set up to come together with Celaena’s in books to come).

Once I got to about ¾ of the the way through, the story really picked up, and for me, that was its saving grace.

I am hoping Queen of Shadows will be a much faster read and a bit more action packed like the first two were. Either way, I can't wait to find out what happens with Celaena.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire ♡♡.5

Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers, #4)Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire is the fourth and final book in The Maddox Brothers series. I loved Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, but I have to say, I only really enjoyed Trent story from this new series. The rest, including this one, just weren't there for me.

This book is mostly about Ellie. She is a rich, alcoholic who is used to getting what she wants and hurting everyone in her path along the way. She hooks up with Tyler Maddox about 15 minutes into meeting him, pushes him away, and we watch as they try and make things work throughout the story.

Because I love Beautiful Disaster so much, I was hoping for the same with The Maddox Brothers series, but I have been very disappointed, and Beautiful Burn was no different. Ellie was a fairly unlikable character. Even when I was able to get on her side, the stakes weren't high enough. I understand that wealthy people have problems just like everyone else, but I never believed her parents really wouldn't take her back. The story felt rushed; there were big gaps in time and then Tyler would blurt things out which would quickly move the story along. It's like the story was trying to make sure we saw the whole cast of characters we had met in previous books, but it made the timeline of the book feel awkward.

I think I'm at the point where I say it's okay to love two books from an author, but not enjoy any of the rest. I don't think I will be reading any more books by Jamie McGuire; I loved two out of six books, and think I can be content with that.

Have you read anything by Jamie McGuire? What did you think?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Score by Elle Kennedy ♡♡♡♡

The Score (Off-Campus, #3)The Score by Elle Kennedy is the third book in the Off Campus series. I read the first two books in the series back to back, so I was ready to love The Score.

This third installment tells the story of Allie and Dean. Dean is Briar University’s most infamous player. Allie loves to be in relationships. But when Allie and her long time guy break up and Allie spends the night with Dean, Dean starts to reconsider his player status.

Having met Dean in previous books, I was looking forward to getting this story. I enjoyed watching Dean work to be with Allie and seeing their relationship blossom. My only qualm was not seeing much of a change between the characters when they were single and the characters when they were in a relationship. I expected at least some of the ways Dean flirted to change at least, but the sexual innuendos never ended.

Overall, this was a great read. And I'm already wondering if there with be more books in the series!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Built by Jay Crownover ♡♡♡♡

Built (Saints of Denver, #1)Built by Jay Crownover is the first book in her new series Saints of Denver. I put off reading this book, much like I do all of Jay’s, because not only did I wanted to savor it, but I was slightly apprehensive about starting a new series.

Built tells the story of Zeb and Sayer. Zeb owns his own construction company, but has a bit of a murky past (although not Welcome to the Point murky) and Sayer is a family attorney who moved to Denver to reunite with the brother she didn't know she had. Sayer tries hard not to have feelings for Zeb, but he's a difficult guy not to melt for.

I love Jay Crownover and her books. I was happy to start this new series, and I think I'm going to really enjoy getting to know new characters. That being said, I am disappointed that this is more contemporary and less new adult than her previous books, something I was not expecting. The charters in this story start to deal with more “real adult” issues, and I'm personally not at a point in my life where I'm interested in reading about characters who are more settled in their adulthood. I also felt like this book had more sex scenes, and I wasn't prepared for that either.

Even though I'm not sure I'm ready to.make the move from new adult to contemporary romance, this was a extremely well written book that tackled emotional abuse very well. To me, it also felt like the most poetically written of Jay’s books. I look forward to seeing where the rest of the series goes, especially the next book, Charged!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo ♡♡♡

Boarded by Love (Bellevue Bullies, #1)Boarded by Love by Toni Aleo is the first book I've read by this author. It's another book I got a great deal on by being notified by BookBub.

Boarded by Love tells the story of Claire and Jude. Claire has had a difficult past, and she's worked hard to turn her life around. Jude is his school's star hockey player and ladies’ man. One look at Claire and he turns into a one women man. But Claire has a secret that puts their new, intense relationship to the test. We watch to and see how they come out on the other side of all the secrets and lies

I had a lot of trouble connecting with the characters in the story. It started with the characters not using contractions, which was very distracting and pulled me out of the story. After that it just wasn't working for me. Claire made so many bad decisions, and the problems in the story were bigger than they needed to be. The writing was good and the premise had all the making a of a good story, but I didn't feel things with the characters; the stakes weren't high enough. Their joy and sadness were not made mine, and that is always the best part of a book, getting sucked in and feeling everything with the characters.

Boarded by Love has great reviews on Goodreads reads, so give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan ♡♡♡

The Game Plan (Game On, #3)The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan is the third book in the Game On series. I loved The Friend Zone, so I started reading the next one as soon as possible.

The Game Plan tells the story of Fiona and Ethan. Ethan has had his eye on Fiona for years, and he's ready to make his move. Fiona tries to deny her feelings believing she can't survive a long distance relationship with a big name NFL player, but she's having trouble denying her feelings.

There were some things I loved about this story. I was glad to have a story where the male character was a virgin instead of the female. There are so many new adult books with virginal women having their world changed by some guy showing them how awesome sex is.

The downfall for me with this story was that sex was so central to the story, and that's not really what I look for in a story. There were so many different conflicts, but they were all relatively small that there didn't seem to be much at stake.

The book was well written (I loved the characters), I just wanted a more focused and centralized conflict for the story. But I'm definitely willing to read more books by Kristen Callihan.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Between Shadows by Chanel Cleeton ♡♡♡♡

Between Shadows (Assassins, #1)

Between Shadows by Chanel Cleeton is the first book I've read by this author, and I was provided an ARC in turn for an honest review.

Between Shadows tells the story of X. She's a trained assassin with a past she can't remember. And the person she regrets killing the most has just walked back into her life, and he's brought all kinds of secrets with him.

Between Shadows is not the kind of book I normally read. It was a mixture of New Adult, but with the fade to black intimate scenes of a YA novel, and it was a bit more action packed, sort of like a James Bond movie (with a girl as the show runner). Even though it was something different for me, I enjoyed the story and getting to know the characters.

Chanel Cleeton has some other pretty popular NA books, and if you like those, I'm guessing you'll enjoy this, too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Between Shadows by Chanel Cleeton out TODAY!

Between Shadows
by Chanel Cleeton

January 19, 2016
An Assassins Novel


A sexy new thriller about love and revenge from the author of the Capital Confessions and International School series… 

X lives by three rules: Show no weakness. Trust no one. Don’t get caught. She lives by the rules they gave her. 

The Academy—set in London, shrouded in secrecy—it trains spies, computer experts, and assassins. Their mission? Dispensing justice and altering the course of world politics. Or so they think. In a world where secrets are weapons and some kills are impossible to forget, everything X thought she knew about her life is about to change. 

They taught her to fight. To blend into the shadows like a ghost, to operate on the fringes of society, to change her identity with ease. They taught her to kill. 

She’ll need every skill they taught her, to stay alive.

Praise for the novels of Chanel Cleeton:

"Sexy, funny, and heart-wrenching--this book has it all!" - Laura Kaye, New York Times bestselling author 

"A sexy hero, strong heroine, delicious romance, sizzling tension and plenty of breathtaking scandal. I loved this book!"--Monica Murphy, New York Times bestselling author

"A sexy fighter pilot hero? Yes, please. For anyone who's ever had a Top Gun fantasy, Fly With Me is for you."--Roni Loren, New York Times bestselling author of Call On Me

"A sassy, steamy, and sometimes sweet read that had me racing to the next page."--Chelsea M. Cameron, New York Times bestselling author 

"Scorching hot and wicked smart, Flirting with Scandal had me hooked from page one! Sizzling with sexual tension and political intrigue, Cleeton weaves a story that is as complex as it is sexy. Thank God this is a series because I need more!"--New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris

"Sexy, intelligent, and intriguing. Chanel Cleeton makes politics scandal-icious."--USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King

"Fun, sexy, and kept me completely absorbed."--Katie McGarry, author of Nowhere But Here


Barnes & Noble:
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Originally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband. 

Chanel writes contemporary romances, women’s fiction, and thrillers. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, and Wild Aces series.