Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | Review + GiveawaySeven Black Diamonds (Untitled, #1) by Melissa Marr
Published by HarperCollins on March 1st 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

This riveting fantasy marks Melissa Marr’s return to the world of faery courts that made her Wicked Lovely series an international phenomenon.

Lilywhite Abernathy is a criminal—she’s half human, half fae, and since the time before she was born, a war has been raging between humans and faeries. The Queen of Blood and Rage, ruler of the fae courts, wants to avenge the tragic death of her heir due to the actions of reckless humans.

Lily’s father has always shielded her, but when she’s sent to the prestigious St. Columba’s school, she’s delivered straight into the arms of a fae sleeper cell—the Black Diamonds. The Diamonds are planted in the human world as the sons and daughters of the most influential families and tasked with destroying it from within. Against her will, Lilywhite’s been chosen to join them...and even the romantic attention of the fae rock singer Creed Morrison isn’t enough to keep Lily from wanting to run back to the familiar world she knows.

Melissa Marr returns to faery in a dramatic story of the precarious space between two worlds and the people who must thrive there. The combination of ethereal fae powers, tumultuous romance, and a bloodthirsty faery queen will have longtime fans and new readers at the edge of their seats.

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It’s been a while since I’ve read a book about faeries and that’s because I’m really picky when it comes to them.  Melissa Marr has always been one of my go-to authors for these types of books and Seven Black Diamonds just proved that she’s on that list for a very good reason.

Pros:

  • Characters: I’m all about the boys but I can’t help but love a book with a strong female lead and that’s exactly what Lily is.  She takes control, she knows what she wants, and she doesn’t let others get in her way.  Yeah there are some boys in her life but they definitely are not in charge when it comes to Lily.  I have to say that it’s a little weird that she didn’t have much of a soft side (she was definitely a badass) but I didn’t really have a problem with that.  Speaking of the boys in Lily’s life, let’s start with Creed.  Not only is he fae (totally enough to grab my attention), he’s also a rock star.  Melissa Marr managed to combine two of my favorite things so I definitely loved Creed.  There was also Zephyr (not another love interest) who was the leader and had quite a few secrets.  There’s a good mix of people in the group called the Black Diamonds and I really liked that.  I don’t want to forget the other main character in Seven Black Diamonds, Eilidh (not a clue how to pronounce that one).  She is the daughter of the Fae queen and her side of the story shows the Fae world.  While she is the queen’s daughter, she isn’t necessarily all for what her mother is planning and that’s kinda where her story intersects with Lily’s.
  • Fae powers: I’m not going to say a lot about this aspect but I was totally intrigued by it.  Everyone in the Black Diamonds had a different ability that related to an element or two.  I loved seeing how they used them and I look forward to seeing how they might come in handy in the future books.
  • Romantic tension: I’ve always thought Melissa Marr did a great job with romantic tension and Seven Black Diamonds is no exception.  I don’t even know where I would start with this one.  Lily and Creed are only one of the couples that have some tension between them (as well as secrets.)  I love that as I’ve grown older, I’ve been able to stick with Marr’s books and they almost seem to have grown with me.

Cons:

  • I don’t even know how to label this one so I’m just gonna go for it.  There is a lot of info being shared in Seven Black Diamonds and it could be a bit much at times.  I get that it’s the start of a series and readers need to know these things but it was just overwhelming sometimes.  It also took away from the story and made it seem like there wasn’t a lot going on, plot wise.
  • POV: Just be warned that there are quite a few points of view and it can be a little confusing at first.  I got used to it pretty quickly but it did take me by surprise.

Overall, I definitely think Seven Black Diamonds is a promising start to this new series from Melissa Marr.  While it had it’s flaws, I look forward to seeing what happens next.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

2/22/2016- Gone with the Words- Scavenger Hunt

2/23/2016- Katie’s Book Blog- Review

2/24/2016- YA Book Madness- Scavenger Hunt

2/25/2016- Pandora’s Books- Review

2/26/2016- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Scavenger Hunt 

Week Two:

2/29/2016- The Best Books Ever- Review

3/1/2016- Me, My Shelf and I- Scavenger Hunt

3/2/2016- Rabid Reads- Review

3/3/2016- Once Upon a Twilight- Scavenger Hunt

3/4/2016- YA Bibliophile- Review

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer | Review

Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer | ReviewProof Of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
Published by Harper Teen on June 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

BEFORE: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.

AFTER: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.

THEN: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.

NOW: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.

ALWAYS: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.

picadillyblue Proof of Forever, Lexa Hillyer’s debut novel, seriously impressed me. It’s a beautifully written novel that perfectly captured the feeling of summer, lost friendships, and first love.

Proof of Forever is the story of four very different girls who happen to be former best friends.  Zoe is a quirky nerd who loves everything Dr. Who.  Tali is the pretty girl obsessed with money, popularity, and boys.  Luce is the golden girl with the perfect boyfriend, perfect family, and perfect life, or so it seems.  Then there is Joy, the one who disappeared from their lives two years ago but still manages to bring them all together for their camp reunion.  The mix of characters allows for readers to find at least one they can relate to, if not all of them.  Of course, each character also had their flaws that might annoy readers.  Tali was by far the worst.  I had issues with how shallow she was and how selfish.  Joy was a bit closed off, Luce was a bit high strung, and Zoe was a bit oblivious but otherwise I liked them.  And even Tali grew on me.

The story is extremely fun.  These four former friends are sent back in time to their last summer at Camp Okahatchee.  To get back to the present they have to recreate the summer but they quickly find out that it might be better for them as friends and individuals if they change some things about their past.  The story might be very basic contemporary but there is also a sense of urgency to everything they do which helps speed the story along.

The synopsis mentions a dark secret about the girls but it’s not all that dark or secret to the reader.  I was able to guess pretty early on exactly what was going on and what was probably going to happen.  Nothing regarding this secret ever even came into the story until the end of the book.  The ending was quite rushed and that was honestly my only issue with Proof of Forever.

A big plus about Proof of Forever were the types of relationships represented.  Tali was kind of typical, going for the popular guy but there was someone else in her life that challenged everything she knew.  Zoe is a bit clueless about relationships and sexuality but she learns a lot that one summer.  Luce has the perfect relationship but there is a chance it’s holding her back.  As for Joy, she meets someone new in the past that opens her up to love, something she never expected or hoped for.

Overall, Proof of Forever puts Lexa Hillyer on my radar.  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  It’ll have to be pretty dang awesome to top this one.

What others are saying about Proof of Forever:

The Hollow Cupboards’ review: “The story itself can be a little predictable at times, but I still loved taking this journey with the girls as they discover more about themselves and each other.”

Overflowing Bookshelves’ review: “This book has been called ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for the new generation’ and I can agree with that.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Sin Eater’s Daughter (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #1) by Melinda Salisbury | Review + GiveawayThe Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Published by Scholastic on February 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

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The Sin Eater’s Daughter was one of those books that I’d heard nothing but good things about.  Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high.  While I wasn’t quite as blown away as I’d hoped, I was definitely impressed with Melinda Salisbury’s debut novel.

Twylla possessed the ability to kill people with a single touch, making her extremely valuable to the rulers of her kingdom.  She was used as a weapon by the king and queen but also betrothed to their son, Merek.  While she was an asset to the kingdom, she was not treated as such.  She was very much alone among the other royals.  Her guards were the closest thing to friends that she had.  Her life was very solitary and kind of depressing.

Twylla was a weak point for me.  She was quite naive.  She didn’t question her abilities, how she got them, why she got them, or how they worked.  She accepted what the king and queen told her, even when things didn’t always add up.  Enter Lief, Twylla’s new guard from another kingdom.  He treated her as a person rather than a tool.  He made her question everything she had known.  He changed her and I liked the side of her that he brought out.  Of course Merek was still in the picture but he took a backseat to Lief in the romance department.  Major love triangle in The Sin Eater’s Daughter but I truly don’t know how I feel about this one.  Lief and Merek both had secrets but they both were good fits for Twylla, in different ways.

The lore throughout the book was definitely the best part.  The history of the kingdom as well as the whole world was so thought out and extensive.  The practice of sin eating was extremely interesting.  There wasn’t a whole lot about sin eating at first but it does come into play later in the story.  There is also a fairytale that comes into play closer to the end of the story and it blew my mind when everything came together.

I feel like I’m not doing a good job playing up how good The Sin Eater’s Daughter was.  There is romance, betrayal, folklore, mystery, and so much more.  It’s an interesting start to a new fantasy series.  The cliffhanger ending kind of killed me and I’m definitely going to continue this series.

Overall, fantasy fans should check out The Sin Eater’s Daughter.  Melinda Salisbury shows real talent with her debut novel.

What others are saying about The Sin Eater’s Daughter:

Jess Hearts Books’ review: “The Sin Eater’s Daughter was a rich mystery driven Fantasy that’s sure to keep readers enthralled with its surprising twists and unique world.”

Woven Magic’s review: “I like my fantasys with take charge heroines, magic and battles and political plots, but for a fantasy romance this was good. (and there was plenty of conniving by bad guys.)”

Fiction Freak’s review: “Read this. Seriously. Honestly. Read The Sin Eater’s Daughter and you won’t regret it.”

 

Melinda

About Melinda:

Melinda Salisbury lives by the sea, somewhere in the south of England. As a child she genuinely thought Roald Dahl’s Matilda was her biography, in part helped by her grandfather often mistakenly calling her Matilda, and the local library having a pretty cavalier attitude to the books she borrowed. Sadly she never manifested telekinetic powers. She likes to travel, and have adventures. She also likes medieval castles, non-medieval aquariums, Richard III, and all things Scandinavian. The Sin Eater’s Daughter is her first novel, and will be published by Scholastic in 2015. She is represented by the amazing Claire Wilson at Rogers, Coleridge and White.

She tweets. A lot.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway!

5 winners will receive copies of The Sin Eater’s Daughter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/16/2015- Fiktshun– Interview

2/17/2015- Katie’s Book Blog– Review

2/18/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads– Guest Post

2/19/2015- Beauty and the Bookshelf– Review

2/20/2015- Novel Novice– Interview

Week Two:

2/23/2015- Fiction Fare– Review

2/24/2015- Supernatural Snark– Guest Post

2/25/201- YA Bibliophile– Review

2/26/2015- Dark Faerie Tales– Interview

2/27/2015- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sublime by Christina Lauren | Review

Sublime by Christina Lauren | ReviewSublime by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 14, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

When Lucy wakes up in a frozen forest, she isn't sure why she's there, until she sees Colin.

Colin has captivated half the girls at Saint Osanna's, but no one has ever snared his fascination the way Lucy does. Even as Lucy begins to remember the details of her life–and her death–neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it seems.

An adrenaline junkie, Colin begins taking himself to the brink of death, where their realities overlap–and discovers that he can physically be with Lucy. But maybe some lines shouldn't be crossed.

picadillyblueSublime, the first YA book from the duo of Christina Lauren, is a surprisingly unique ghost story that left me guessing until the very last page. I picked it up on a whim and I’m really glad that I did.

Sublime will captivate readers from the very first page.  Colin and Lucy’s story is one unlike any I have ever read.  From the synopsis, I knew that Lucy was dead but really that’s about all I knew when I started the book.  Lucy’s death and life remain a mystery for quite some time.  She can’t remember anything leading up to her awakening by the lake at Saint Osanna’s.  She only start to realize exactly how different she is when she’s drawn to Colin, as if she’s only there for him.

Lucy is an odd character.  It’s pretty obvious that she’s dead even without it being stated.  However, people can still see her and touch her.  She’s not your typical ghost.  She’s not out for vengeance or justice but she doesn’t exactly know why she is there.  She’s very mysterious and kind of hard to like at first.  She did grow on me pretty quickly though.  Colin grew on me even more quickly.  He was a really sweet boy who had a very troubled past.  At first glance he seems like just another spoiled kid at Saint Osanna’s but that ends up totally  not being the case.  He also has a very strong tie to Lucy, both as a ghost and from when she was alive.  Then there was Colin’s best friend, Jay, who was actually my favorite character in the book.  He had such a fun personality and he was a really great friend.  I would have liked a little more of him but it wasn’t really necessary to the story.

The story is slow to take off but once it does, it’s completely gripping.  Colin and Lucy are determined to find some way to be together and through trial and error, they do.  Colin is an adrenaline junkie and the closer he gets to death, the closer he gets to Lucy.  It’s all just a matter of how far he’s willing to go to be with this girl.  There’s a fine line between adventure and death.  Admittedly this story kind of made me want to smack Colin and Jay for their stupidity but it was pretty thrilling.  Also, as Colin gets in deeper with Lucy, people around him start to realize what’s going on and it finally starts to come to light why Lucy is actually there.  It was totally not what I was expecting, at all.

Overall, Sublime is an entertaining read that is definitely not like other ghost stories out there.  Sure there was a bit of instalove and some seriously bad decisions on some character’s parts but I still enjoyed it.  I’d recommend giving this one a try!

What others are saying about Sublime:

Moonlight Gleam Reviews’ review: “Overall I would give it 3 out of 5 stars simply because it felt too dragged out.”

Once Upon a Twilight’s mini-review: “Sublime was a great introduction into the YA community for Christina Lauren, the writing duo.”

The Book Nookery’s review: “Not recommended. This is a romance, and not even a believable one.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley | Review

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley | ReviewRites of Passage by Joy Hensley
Published by Harper Teen on September 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty...no matter how much she wants him.
As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

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Rites of Passage is a strong debut novel from Joy Hensley.  I was seriously impressed by this contemporary novel and I’m already looking forward to whatever she writes next.

Rites of Passage combines a few of my favorite things: strong females, forbidden romance, and a school setting.  And it just so happens that all three of these things are done well.  Sam is one seriously kick -ass female.  She knows it’s going to be tough being one of the first female students at Denmark Military Academy but she doesn’t let that stop her.  She’s never backed down from a dare and this is not going to be the first time she does.  She is determined to honor her brother’s memory by making it through the first year and paving the way for future generations of young women.  She is severely hazed, to the point of injury.  She’s looked down upon by almost everyone, including her older brother.  To top it all off, she has no clue who to trust seeing as there is a secret society determined to get her and all the other girls to leave.   None of that stops her though.  She is smart, funny, kind, and one tough cookie.  She’s the kind of heroine girls can definitely look up to.

The forbidden romance aspect was pretty steamy.  Sam and her cadet drill sergeant have a lot in common and he’s one of the few people at the school who treats her just like anyone else.  He doesn’t look down on her because she’s a female and he doesn’t make any special concessions because she’s a female.  To him, she’s just another person, one that he is attracted to though.  The attraction between them is definitely made clear at the beginning of the book but it takes time to build and nothing happens for quite some time.  Even after things are more out in the open, Rites of Passage really isn’t a romance centered novel.  Sure there are some steamy and some super sweet scenes between Sam and Drill but it’s not a focal point.  It was well done.

The school setting was awesome.  Rites of Passage is a lot like any other boarding school novel except that it’s set at a military academy where things are crazy strict.  To be honest, while I was reading I kept picturing the set of the Disney Channel Original Movie Cadet Kelly.  I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about, with Hilary Duff.  Scenes from that movie kept popping into my head while reading Rites of Passage and that was not a bad thing.  Denmark Military Academy was a really well-developed school setting that I could easily picture in my head.

The story is completely pulse-pounding.  I read Rites of Passage in one sitting because I was dying to know what was going to happen.  You won’t want to put this one down once you start it.  The ending was a little abrupt though and I was left with a few questions that I would love to have answered, maybe even in a second book.  While I don’t think Rites of Passage necessarily needs a sequel, I’d greatly enjoy one.

Overall, Rites of Passage is a fabulous debut and a wonderful contemporary novel.  I can’t wait to see what Joy Hensley has planned next!

What others are saying about Rites of Passage:

Jenuine Cupcakes’ review: “Sam McKenna is the perfect blend of fierce determination, vulnerability and feminine strength.”

The Bookish Owl’s review: “Rites of Passage, without a doubt, is a phenomenal debut.”

Love is not a Triangle’s review: “I stayed up until 1:30 am finishing Rites of Passage because I couldn’t go to bed until I got to the end.”

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #2) by Molly McAdams | Review

Deceiving Lies (Forgiving Lies #2) by Molly McAdams | ReviewDeceiving Lies by Molly McAdams
Series: Forgiving Lies #2
Published by William Morrow on March 4, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Rachel is supposed to be planning her wedding to Kash, the love of her life. After the crazy year they've had, she's ready to settle down and live a completely normal life. Well, as normal as it can be. But there's something else waiting—something threatening to tear them apart.

Kash is ready for it all with Rach. Especially if all includes having a football team of babies with his future wife. With his line of work, he knows how short life can be, and doesn't want to waste another minute of theirs. But now his past as an undercover narcotics agent has come back to haunt him ... and it's the girl he loves who's caught in the middle.

Trent Cruz's orders are clear: take the girl. But there's something about this girl that has him changing the rules and playing a dangerous game to keep her safe. When his time as Rachel's protector runs out, he will turn his back on the only life he's known, and risk everything, if it means getting her out alive.

picadillyblueDeceiving Lies, the much anticipated sequel to Forgiving Lies, was a let down after the total awesomeness that was Forgiving Lies.  Every part of this book was lackluster compared to the first book and I ended up wishing that Rachel and Kash’s story just ended with the first book.

Rachel and Kash are back but their relationship is far from perfect.  The strong relationship they had at the end of Forgiving Lies is completely torn apart shortly into Deceiving Lies.  Their relationship is severely tested in Deceiving Lies and I spent a lot of the book wondering if they were going to make it through or call it quits.  As if the events of the first book weren’t bad enough for Rachel, shortly into this book she is kidnapped by a gang that Kash formerly infiltrated while undercover.  She’s held hostage and she spends most of her time wondering if Kash will make it to her in time.  When she’s not worrying about getting out alive though, she’s spending all her time getting closer to her captor, a guy who just happens to be sexy and smart with a dark past that he’s completely ashamed of.  Ugh.

The first part of the book is spent showing how strong Rachel and Kash’s relationship is and the next part of the book completely contradicts the first part.  Rachel is help captive and she slowly starts to maybe develop feelings for her captor, Trent.  Really?  I get that he is trying to help protect you and all that but he put you in that position to begin with!  How could you possibly fall for a guy like that?  Of course, there is more to Trent than meets the eye.  He’s not really a bad guy, he’s just in a bad situation.  Sure.  I’m not buying it.  I felt no sympathy for Trent or Rachel because while they were busy making eyes at each other, Kash is being torn apart by guilt and doing all he can to get Rachel back.  It’s made very clear that Kash loves Rachel and is willing to sacrifice his own life for her.  And he’s repaid with her thinking about cheating on him.  What a great relationship.

Lucky for me I had Kash and Mason to help make the book better.  Their relationship was as great as ever.  I truly love reading about friendships between guys because they are so different than friendships between girls.  Kash and Mason clearly loved each other like brothers and they were always there for each other.  Sure they fought but they always got past that.  Their friendship made me like this book a lot more than I would have otherwise.

There were some other things that bothered me about Deceiving Lies but I really can’t get into them without spoiling part of the story so I’ll leave them out.  Just know that the part of the book leading up to the ending really doesn’t help make it better.  There were a lot of little things with Kash and Rachel that got on my nerves.

Overall, Deceiving Lies was nowhere near as good as I’d hoped.  I felt like there was no need for the love triangle and honestly there wasn’t a lot of need for this sequel at all.  I was happy to read more about Kash but that’s all this one really had going for it.

What others are saying about Deceiving Lies:

The Bookpushers’ review: “All in all, this was a very good but difficult read.”

It’s Andrea’s Book Blog’s review: “I give this book a solid 4 stars for its suspense and action and a well-rounded story that has you swooning at the end.”

Anna’s Book Blog’s review: “I really enjoyed Deceiving Lies and I look forward to reading more from this author!”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Make It Count (Bowler University #1) by Megan Erickson | Review

Make It Count (Bowler University #1) by Megan Erickson | ReviewMake It Count by Megan Erickson
Series: Bowler University #1
Published by William Morrow on June 3, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

picadillyblueThe first book in the Bowler University new adult series was adorable. While it didn’t rank among my favorite new adult novels, it hooked me with the characters and has me excited for the follow up books in the series.

Kat is not your typical character.  She acts like an airhead but deep down she’s really smart.  However, she’s an undiagnosed dyslexic who might have ADD.  Not a good combination in college.  Kat hates it but she does require tutoring for some of her classes.  It gets worse when her newest tutor is also her boyfriend’s roommate and best friend.  Kat doesn’t let many people know about her struggles and she doesn’t want her boyfriend to find out.  That’s the main reason she hates that Alec is her tutor, at least at first.  It gets worse when Kat starts to be attracted to Alec.  I won’t get into the specifics of their relationship but I will say this: there is no physical cheating in Make It Count.  Woo hoo for that.  I know emotional cheating is kind of worse but you’ll just have to read the book to judge it for yourself.

While Kat came across as a ditz at first, Alec is very clearly a smarty pants from the very start.  He’s a major nerd and he’s not afraid to show it.  Yay for nerdy boys!  Alec is also a very loyal friend and he’s not willing to do anything that would compromise his friendship with Max, Kat’s boyfriend.  However, it’s pretty obvious that Kat and Alec have some crazy chemistry and they really get each other.  It was wonderful seeing Kat and Alec’s friendship progress since they were kind of stuck as friends.  They took the time to get to know each other and look past the physical attraction.

The secondary characters were some of the more awesome characters in the book.  Sure I loved Kat and Alec but they weren’t the only ones.  Alec’s female friend, Danica, provided a lot of the laughs throughout Make It Count.  I know she doesn’t get her own book but I really hope she plays a prominent role in the next two books as well.  The introduction of Lea, the main female character in the second book, was also great.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about her at first since she does come across as rather quiet and kind of standoffish but I think she’s the perfect balance for Max.  I look forward to reading their story in Make It Right.

Overall, Make It Count is a fun, fast-paced read that will leave readers with a smile on their faces.  If you’re a fan of new adult novels I definitely recommend checking this one out.

What others are saying about Make It Count:

Ramblings From This Chick’s review: This one was hard for me to rate, because there were things that I liked and didn’t like and my opinion of the book was constantly changing as I read it.”

Emilie’s Book World’s review: “This was a fun story that kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them.”

Lilybloombooks’ review: “Megan has created such a fun, fresh and unique romance.”

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sharing You (Sharing You #1) by Molly McAdams | Review

Sharing You (Sharing You #1) by Molly McAdams | ReviewSharing You by Molly McAdams
Series: Sharing You #1
Published by William Morrow on July 1, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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1 Stars

Twenty-three year old, Kamryn Cunningham has left all she’s ever known and moved to a small town where no one knows her name, who her parents are, or her social status in the horseracing world. Months after opening her own bakery and evading attempts of being set up by her new best friend, she meets Brody. Kamryn fights the instant pull between them because there’s a detail she can’t dismiss. Brody’s married.

To say that twenty-six year old, Brody Saco has had a rough marriage would be an understatement. After marrying his pregnant girlfriend, he spends the next six years in a relationship filled with hatred, manipulation and guilt involving a tragedy that happened five years earlier. When he keeps running into his sister-in-law’s best friend, Kamryn, he can’t ignore that she makes him feel more with just one look than his wife ever has; and soon he can’t continue fight his feelings for her.

When staying apart proves to be too difficult, Brody and Kamryn enter a relationship full of stolen moments and nights that end too soon while they wait for Brody to file for divorce. But the guilt that comes with their relationship may prove to be too much for Kamryn, and Brody might not be strong enough to face the tragedy from his past in order to leave his conniving wife.

picadillyblueI don’t even know where to start with this book.  Sharing You was one of the worst books I have ever read.  I know a lot of people have a love/hate relationship with Molly McAdams’ books and after reading this one, I can certainly see why.

I knew going into this one that it was about cheating and that I have issues with cheating.  However, I had just finished another book about cheating that was done rather tastefully and didn’t feature any physical cheating.  I hoped for a similar type of story with Sharing You but that was so not the case.  Sharing You was completely tasteless when it came to the cheating aspect and it played a huge role in the story.  I kid you not, the two main characters were sleeping with each other within a few weeks of meeting each other, all while one of them was married.  I get that you can be unhappy in your relationship but that is no excuse for cheating.  How hard is it to get a freaking divorce before you start sleeping with some random chick you just met?

Also, let me tell you about the worst case of insta-love ever.  Yeah, it’s in this book.  Kamryn and Brody bump into each other in the hallway and are immediately drawn to each other and neither of them even know why!  They can’t explain it and they don’t even try to.  They just immediately decide they have to be together even though Brody is married.  I could not even understand why they were together.  As the book progressed I continued to wonder what it was they saw in each other.  It never became clear to me.

As for the whole horrible, manipulative wife situation; it got old really fast.  Molly McAdams painted Olivia as this horrible villain that nobody could possibly like and I guess she figured that that would help readers justify the fact that Brody cheated on her.  It didn’t.  Brody kept saying he was going to leave Olivia but that she was depressed and suicidal and he couldn’t leave her until he got her help.  Then he decided that she was just manipulative and he was going to leave her without getting her help.  Then he decided not to leave her because she really did need help.  This went on and on and on.  The book could have been so much shorter if Brody would have just made up his mind to leave Olivia.

Oh and don’t even get me started on Kamryn.  She was the whiniest, neediest, most annoying character ever.  All she did was cry.  Holy crap I have never read a book with more crying.  And it was always over the same things.  Brody had to go home to Olivia, she didn’t get to spend enough time with Brody, she couldn’t tell anyone about her and Brody, etc.  Maybe if you weren’t sleeping with a married man you wouldn’t have these problems.  I felt absolutely no sympathy for her.  She was just annoying to read about.

Overall, I’m amazed I even finished Sharing You.  I honestly can’t tell you why I kept reading.  There is nothing about this book to redeem it.  I wouldn’t recommend this even if you had nothing else to read.  Skip this one and try something else by Molly McAdams.

What others are saying about Sharing You:

Once Upon a Twilight’s review: “Everything within the pages I was able to handle and enjoy every page I turned.”

Reading Lark’s review: “All in all, I enjoyed Sharing You, but not as much as some of the other McAdam’s titles.”

Nocturne Reads’ review: “If you don’t mind insta-love or some angst, then you should give this story a go.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Better When He’s Bad (Welcome to the Point #1) by Jay Crownover | Review

Better When He’s Bad (Welcome to the Point #1) by Jay Crownover | ReviewBetter When He's Bad by Jay Crownover
Series: Welcome to the Point #1
Published by William Morrow on June 17, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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Goodreads
4 Stars

Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

picadillyblueBetter When He’s Bad is the first book I’ve read by Jay Crownover but it will not be my last.  I’m eager to continue the Welcome to the Point series if the rest of the books are anywhere close to as awesome as this one.

Shane Baxter (Bax) is not only a bad boy, he’s a boy that does bad things.  He’s a player, a criminal, a fighter, and more.  He’s everything Dovie should avoid but he’s also the only person who can help her.  She needs to find her brother, the guy who betrayed Bax and landed him behind bars.  He also used to be Bax’s best friend.  Needless to say, Bax and Dovie’s relationship is complicated from the start.  Neither of them really want anything to do with each other but they both quickly realize that they need each other.  They are both willing to do whatever it takes to find Dovie’s brother and the more time they spend together, the more attracted to each other they get.  There’s chemistry between them from the time they meet but once they start to spend more time together things really heat up.  They may not want to want each other but some things are just unavoidable.

Dovie is the good girl with crappy circumstances.  Her brother has always been her protector and ever since he went missing, she’s been on her own and struggling.  She needs to find him and she knows that she is going to have to team up with Bax to do that.  She’s immediately attracted to Bax even though his reputation precedes him and there is very little about it that’s good.  Bax is a boy who does bad things and he doesn’t have a problem with that.  He figures that Dovie can’t handle the stuff he does and so he doesn’t want to team up with her.  However, they both know things that will help them find her brother and so he resigns himself to teaming up with her.  He never expects to actually have feelings for her.  Seeing Bax thrown for a loop was pretty entertaining.

The chemistry between Bax and Dovie was crazy hot.  They may not like each other but their bodies do.  Dovie is pretty innocent but her thoughts are never innocent around Bax.  This book really deserves the new adult label.  There are some steamy times that definitely do not fall under the YA range.  Jay Crownover is right up there with Jennifer L. Armentrout when it comes to the sexytimes.  I was impressed!

The story reminded me a lot of the Pushing The Limit series from Katie McGarry; Crash Into You, to be precise.  It really came across as a more mature version of that book with a lot higher stakes.  Things are life and death for Bax, Dovie, and Dovie’s brother.  There is a serious mystery involved and I never figured out how things were going to play out.  Also, while Dovie’s brother may have betrayed Bax, they truly were friends and you could easily see it.

Overall, Better When He’s Bad is a steamy new adult novel featuring a wonderful romance, suspenseful mystery, and characters that I couldn’t help but love.  I look forward to continuing this series.

What others are saying about Better When He’s Bad:

Literati Literature Lovers’ review: “As Crownover left her mark with RuleJetRome, and Nash, readers and reviewers will find out how far down the rabbit hole she has gone as she has written a riveting, complete, and raw novel.”

Smokin Hot Book Blog’s review: “If you are looking for fast paced plot full of unexpected twists and turns, spicy romance, with panty dropping bad boy and sweet heroine, you will definitely love this one as much as me!”

Girls With Books’ review: “I didn’t think I could love Jay Crownover anymore than what I already do but I was wrong.”

Friday, June 20, 2014

Only Everything (True Love #1) by Kieran Scott

Only Everything (True Love #1) by Kieran ScottOnly Everything by Kieran Scott
Series: True Love #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Pages: 326
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Sometimes the gods can be so unreasonable.

Like Zeus, the king, who thinks the proper reaction to finding me kissing a mortal is to threaten my boyfriend Orion's life, banish me to Earth, and force me to inspire true love between three couples without my powers. I know! Elders! I'm Eros, a.k.a. Cupid. The Goddess of Love. Until this morning, anyway.

Now I'm stuck on Earth with no clue how to function as a human, and I can't even conjure up my magical bow and arrows to help me do my job. I've already met this amazing guy—Charlie, a new kid in school like me—but matching him up isn't as easy as I thought. Turns out opposites don't attract, nearly identicals don't attract, and giving a guy what he seems to want is just one big disaster. My sweet new friend Katrina might work, but she's got more complications than Medusa's hair, and a live-in boyfriend with a serious mean streak. Probably not the best idea to go there.

If I don't make a match, I may never see Orion again. I have so much to lose, and only everything to gain.

picadillyblueOnly Everything, the latest from Kieran Scott, was unlike anything I’ve read before.  It’s a fun, fast-paced, romantic story that will have readers rooting for not only Eros but the couples she’s trying to match up.

Eros is a bit cocky, kind of dumb, and a lot weird, but she’s also a lot of fun.  She’s never been to Earth for more than a few days at a time so she really has no clue how to act when she’s forced to Earth for the duration of time it takes for her to make three true love matches.  She dresses in the weirdest outfits, she forgets that she has to eat, she doesn’t realize that if she drinks a ton of wine she’ll get a major hangover, and she tends to think that stealing is okay because everyone should share anyway.  It definitely makes for some laugh out loud moments throughout the course of the book.

It’s not all Eros’ story though.  Both Charlie and Katrina have a major role in the book as well.  Katrina is lost without her dad and she could care less about what anyone thinks of her.  Her mom has pretty much checked out of her life so she spends most of her time living with her boyfriend, an older guy who is a total jerk.  Katrina doesn’t know what she wants out of life or love but Eros is pretty sure she knows who Katrina’s perfect match really is.  Charlie is Eros’ only friend for a while.  He’s the new guy in school and Eros takes it upon herself to find him a girlfriend to help him fit in.  He really doesn’t need help fitting in but he’s a nice guy so he lets Eros have her way.  The dates she sets him up on are quite funny and while Charlie is forced to go through some crazy stuff, he realizes that Eros is just trying to be a friend to him.

Only Everything is not just about romance though.  Both Katrina and Charlie have things going on in their home lives that they have to face throughout the course of the book.  The family drama really added another layer to the story.  Eros also had her own family drama.  Her mom, Aphrodite, was banished to Earth with her and it put a real strain on their relationship.  They both had to learn how to act like humans and how to get past their own drama to work together to get home.  There was really a lot more to this story than I expected.

The romance was a big part of the story though.  It was a slow building romance that I loved.  Charlie and Katrina are drawn to each other from the start but they both have things going on in their lives that prevent them from being together.  They slowly build up a friendship and from there it’s just a matter of time before they realize how they really feel about each other.  They were super cute together even when they were at their awkward maybe friends, maybe more stage.

Overall, Only Everything is another wonderful read from Kieran Scott.  Check this one out but be warned that the cliffhanger ending just might kill you.  I need the next book now!

What others are saying about Only Everything:

The Reader Bee’s review: “I enjoyed reading the history of Eros, and I’m super curious now to know more.”

Kimberlyfaye Reads’ review: “Only Everything wasn’t overly romantic, but had some very sweet scenes, particularly in True’s flashbacks, that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Fic Fare’s review: “Only Everything by Kieran Scott had a slow start for me but I have to say, once it started moving a bit faster, I found myself enjoying the story.”