Thursday, February 28, 2013

Swoon Thursday (#8): Warped by Maurissa Guibord

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Warped by Maurissa Guibord (which I am re-reading for the ten billionth time)!
 
Warped
 
He pulled her to him, lowered his head, and kissed her.
 
With the touch of Will's lips to hers, Tessa's world shrank. There was nothing beyond the small, dark space between them, nothing beyond the sensations that enveloped her like a wave. Like an ocean. She was sinking and yet weightless as his breathh mingled with hers, his mouth molded softly to her own. She twined her arms up and around his neck and felt herself drawn even more tightly to him.
 
- Page 213
 


Check out the summary (from Goodreads):

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.
 
Guys. You do not UNDERSTAND how much I love this book. I read it back in 2011, when it was published. It's one of those that you read, re-read, leave for a while, and pick up periodically to read again and again. I seriously love this book so much!
 
Interesting how the names of these protagonists - Will and Tessa - are the same as the ones in The Infernal Devices, right? Except, this book came out a year and a half BEFORE the first Infernal Device book came out. But still, something to notice.
 
Next week, I promise I will have a new book that is NOT adult fiction! I'm currently reading an adult book, and I'd rather use a YA book that I am reading, but not for the first time.
 
Anyway! What book made you swoon this week?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wait for You by J. Lynn

WAIT FOR YOU RELEASED EARLY!
 
What do early readers have to say about WAIT FOR YOU?
 

“J. Lynn creates a wonderful cast of characters that will make you laugh, swoon, and cry. Cam stole my heart.” – Cora Carmack, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of LOSING IT
 
“For the love of all that is Cameron without a shirt on! Wait for You will have you laughing out loud, fanning yourself and anxiously waiting to know what will happen next.” – Molly McAdams, NYTimes and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FROM ASHES and TAKING CHANCES
 
“I don't think I have ever read a NA Contemporary novel with as much depth as this one. It really moved me and by the end I was just speechless over how inspirational and uplifting it was as well as being sexy and cute and funny and emotional.” - K Books
 
“Wait For You is uniquely different from anything else J. Lynn's written but it might possibly be her best work yet.” – Jenuine Cupcakes
 
“For all of you in love with Aiden and Daemon, PREPARE YOURSELVES! Your heart will have to expand a little more for Cam.” Total Bookaholic
 
“For the love of all things CAM, this book deserves more than 5 stars.” – Mundie Moms
 
“I cannot even begin to explain how much I adored this perfectly crafted contemporary.” – Shortie Says
 

Excited? Ready to see the cover for WAIT FOR YOU?
 

Wait For You
 
Wait for You by J. Lynn
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
 
Summary:
 
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’s 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

 
 
 
About J.Lynn
 
 

J. Lynn, also known as Jennifer L. Armentrout, is the USA TODAY Bestselling author of the adult romance Gamble Brothers’ series, the young adult Lux Series and award winning Covenant Series. She pretty much writes everything—contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy. All of her books have one thing in common no matter the name or genre: kissing… and stuff. When she’s not busy writing, which is never, she’s usually hanging out with dog Loki, watching reruns of The Walking Dead, or procrastinating on the Internet. You can find out more about Jennifer by visiting the following...
 
 


Waiting on Wednesday (#9): Golden by Jessi Kirby

 
"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week I'm featuring:
 
Golden
 
Golden by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
 
Summary (from Goodreads):
 
Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.
 
 
So, seventeen? Valedictorian? Quintessential? About to graduate high school? Most of that synopsis sounds surprisingly familiar... oh yeah, that might be my life right now. Well, I am two spots down from valedictorian, at #3. But that is  okay with me. For now.
 
I actually just got this book on Edelweiss, so I will be reading it soon!
 
What book are you awaiting?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Review: The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella

The Reluctant Countess

The Reluctant Countess by Wendy Vella
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: January 14, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Ecopy provided by the publisher

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

From rising romance star Wendy Vella comes a Cinderella story of whirlwind passion between a dashing earl and a beautiful countess—and the secret that threatens to tear them apart.

Regal, poised, and elegant, Sophie, Countess of Monmouth, is everything that a highborn lady should be. But Sophie is hiding a past that is far from royal. When Patrick, Earl of Coulter, realizes that her story doesn’t add up, he resolves to find out the truth of what Sophie and her sister-in-law are concealing. Although Sophie has every reason to avoid him, the handsome and charismatic Patrick awakens something wicked deep within her soul . . . a powerful need that Sophie must stifle in order to protect her place in society.

Despite Sophie’s humble background, the raven-haired beauty has won Patrick’s heart. But what Sophie needs now is an ally. Viscount Myles Dumbly, the disgruntled former heir of Monmouth, is determined to expose Sophie as a fraud to recapture his lost inheritance. Soon Patrick is drawn into a fight for both their lives. Somehow he must find a way not only to rescue Sophie from poverty once and for all, but to keep her in his arms forever.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from these Loveswept titles: The Escape Diaries, The Devil’s Thief, and The Magic.

What I Liked:

OH MY GOSH I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH! AHHHH!!!!!
Seriously though. Nowadays, I rarely have the time oto re-read books. But this book? I have read and re-read it like, LITERALLY, 10 times or more. The whole thing. One to a few days in between each read. I love this book THAT MUCH.

Let me start with the story itself. The plot is so simple, but it gets pretty twisty and interesting as the reader goes on. Right from the start, we know that Patrick and Sophie have some serious chemistry, but we also know that Patrick suspects something of Sophie. That is basically the first half of the book. The second half of the book deals with what Patrick suspected of Sophie, and how that situation is handled. Trust me, that sounds boring and silly, but I loved the plot of this book. I could probably tell you what happens in every scene, in order. This book is addicting.

The characters - Sophie and Patrick. I really like Sophie; she is sweet and down-to-earth, but she fits in well in society. She plays her role as an artistocratic lady well, and yet she remembers her place that she held before she came upon the position she holds. I really, REALLY like Patrick. He is everything that an alpha male is, and if not, should be. He is handsome (hot!), swoony, brooding, tempermental yet gentle, protectice, oh-so-ripped, and a perfect gentleman. I think he is an excellent hero, and a perfect complement to Sophie. They are such a great couple!

So, love triangle? No. Not in the serious sense. Sophie and Patrick are the primary couple.

You all know how much I LOVE historical fiction, especially historical romance. Well. THIS is exactly why I love historical romance. This book is definitely one of my favorite (if not, my FAVORITE) historical romance books I have read.

The ending is SO PERFECT. For those of you who like happily-ever-afters (like me!), you will enjoy the ending of this book. Actually, you will enjoy the entire book!

What I Did Not Like:

Honestly, the second half of the book was not as enticing and interesting as the first half. After Patrick and Sophie, um, get together (I don't want to ruin anything for anyone!), there is a certain point in the book where it is still amazing (really! I promise!), but it's not the same high-level quality in terms of the romance, and in a way, the events of the plot. I love the first half of the book. I like the second half of the book. But that's my only complaint. And it is not that big of a deal. Did I mention how many times I re-read this book? Ten plus, and counting.

I am also not a huge fan of the cover, but that is not really up to the author. I'm just saying.

Would I Recommend It:


YES YES YES! You would be doing yourself a favor if you bought this book and read it. Seriously, any of you romance, historical fiction, and/or historical romance lovers out there will LOVE this book. Trust me!

Rating:

4 stars. I really, really liked this book! Historical fiction and romance is usually a great combination, and this author pulled off her story superbly.

Author Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Tour Review: Second Rate Chances by Holly Stephens (and Giveaway)


Second Rate Chances 

Second Rate Chances by Holly Stephens
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Ecopy provided by the author

Summary (from Goodreads):

Sam wakes up in the hospital expecting to find his girlfriend by his bedside. Instead, he finds a bleached-blond diva, claiming to be his fiancĂ©e, hovering over him. When he learns that he's just woken up from a coma and has lost the last three years of his life, any semblance of stability he thought he had falls down around him. All he wants – all he needs – is Lil.

After countless visits with her shrink and too many sleepless nights waiting for the one man she loves to walk back through the door, Lil wants nothing more than to separate herself from the life she used to have. But the moment Sam smiles at her, Lil knows it's going to take more than self-restraint to stay away.

Second-Rate Chances is about a young man fighting to regain his memory, and the one thing in his life that felt real. A modern-day Samson and Delilah, it's a look at what it means to love and be loved, and to fight though it seems hopeless.

What I Liked:

I truly enjoyed this book when I read it. The love story was kind of nice, and the steamy tension definitely made the book worth the read. I liked how Sam struggled to recall his past, and I liked seeing how Lil stood up for herself when things got too painful for her to handle.

This book has a wonderful happily-ever-after, and everything wraps up every well. There is no real, serious love triangle, although there are interests on both sides of the pair. I am glad that things worked out for the pair. No one really loses much in this book, except for the people that we as readers want to lose out.

I will definitely be reading any other books related to this one (sequels, companion novels, novellas, etc.).

What I Did Not Like:

Honestly, at several times during this story, I was bored. That in itself is a red flag for me, because I usually do not get bored that quickly or easily. But I felt like I could not follow the story as easily as I wanted to, because there was so much unnecessary fluff that may have contributed to the detail of the story, but was not presented in an engaging manner.

 I was extremely frustrated with the pacing of the story. I felt like one things happens (Sam has his accident and memory problems), and then Sam and Lil need to take a trip down memory lane, and things get rekindled, etc. It felt too predictable. There were some scenes, like the Christmas tree scene, that were unique. But honestly, I feel like I could have plotted this book out from page one. This can be a good thing, and a bad thing, but in this case, I did not really like it.

The writing style definitely was not the best. It was easy to follow, but as I said, I got bored at times. I feel like the writing style has the potential to get more developed, and I would like to see that in this author's writing.

I really did not buy into Lil and Sam's crazy past and weird mood swings. One minute they totally want each other, the next, Lil is so mad at him, and he is the one who has to beg her to forgive him, or whatever. What a strange and asymmetrical relationship. I did not really like it.

Would I Recommend It:

I would recommend this book to those that love New Adult or Adult books. This is nto the most amazing or memorable book, but it is definitely a light yet complex read that will hold your attention to the very end.

Rating:

3 stars. It just felt more of a 3-star. I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, but I really do not think it is one of those that I will remember for a very long time. I definitely would read any sequels or companion novels that the author may have planned!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

About the Author

Holly Stephens

People have often told me that I live in a fantasy world. Little did they know, I was building an empire of stories in my head to one day share.

I'm a mother first, a wife second, and a writer third. I'm so thankful to have been given this chance to get my stories out of my head and onto paper.

When I'm not writing, I sell plumbing (no I'm not kidding) and read romances that leave my heart a flutter. I know a ridiculous amount of pop culture information and can quote certain movies word for word. Music drives me to write and to also sing off key.


The Giveaway (tour-wide):



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: Love and Relativity by Rachael Wade


Love and Relativity by Rachael Wade
Book 1.5 of the Preservation Series
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press
Publication Date: December 12, 2012
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Bought from Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads):

Love, life, and happily ever after? It’s all relative.

Marine biology student Emma Pierce lives in paradise—geographically speaking, anyway. Stranded on Sanibel Island, Florida, she works at a nursing home by day and spends her nights dodging the island's infamous bad boy, Jackson Taylor, at her favorite karaoke bar. Trying to heal from the loss of her sister and a failed relationship she rerouted her life for, she's ready to graduate and finally leave Florida behind.

When a run-in with Jackson and his rowdy crew goes sour at the bar one night, sparks fly and irreversible damage is done. It’s no secret that Jackson loves to get underneath her skin, but this time he's gone too far. Now all he wants is to earn her forgiveness before she's gone for good, but their ideas of closure—and the future—are enough to keep them worlds apart.

What I Liked:

I love the tie-in between Preservation and Love and Relativity. Carter, from Preservation, is the key connector. Emma and Jackson's story is very different from Kate and Ryan's story. I believe this book is considered New Adult, and it definitely had the New Adult feel. Their relationship is not quite as serious as Kate and Ryan's, and yet there are so many complexities, just like Kate and Ryan's. I compared these two books a lot, as you can see.

As in Preservation, there is a good amount of depth in each leading character. Even the secondary characters are fleshed out. Emma and Jackson have their own problems, some worse than others, and they have to work through them in order to have a good relationship, and a foreseeable future.

The romance and relationship-building in this book was once again, pretty nicely done! Ms. Wade definitely knows how to have a relationship progress pretty well, and she knows her way around a steamy scene. But I had many problems with it though, as with Preservation

What I Did Not Like:

*Sighs*

Remember my Preservation review? No? Read it HERE. The same problems I had with Preservation, I had with Love and Relativity, and then some. The whole I-am-woman-here-me-roar and I-am-independent-don't-try-and-take-care-of-me things are RIDICULOUS. 

Again. I understand wanting to be independent, a man's equal. I get it. But then there is trying to control the man, consciously or unknowningly. Emma is so wishy-washy! She wants Jackson, she doesn't want Jackson. She pushes him away, but then she expects him to give her "time", and "space", and not see or TALK TO other women. 

Really?

Emma doesn't want to give up her life for Jackson (understandable), because she thinks that her dead sister would want her to go far, far away, and study. WHAT? REALLY? Are you basing your decisions on what a dead person MIGHT have thought? I'm sorry, does that person tell you what to do, alive AND dead? I mean no disrespect to the dead. But this is something that I universally hate about grieving people, and not just Rachael Wade's character. Are you really going to sit there and figure out what a dead person might have wanted for you? What do YOU want for you?

I think I hit the trust thing. I also hit the independence thing too. With Kate in Preservation, it was her trying to push Ryan away, and then keep him close, but on HER leash. With Emma? It's her trying to be in a relationship with Jackson, but then not, and then she wants him to come with her to Seattle (I believe it's Seattle) when she goes to school. She wants HIM to give up his life for HER, even telling him that he is "standing still", which basically is telling him that he should be the one to come with her, because he doesn't try and change his current lifestyle.

Ridiculous. 

Ugh. If this is how ALL of Rachael Wade's heroines act, I... I don't know what to say.

Would I Recommend It:

Not really. In this book, as with Preservation, the romance and chemistry saves it. I definitely enjoyed some parts of the book, like the first half. But this is not the best example of "New Adult". There are more enjoyable ones out there. 

Rating:

2.5 stars - rounded up to 3 stars. Am I going to keep up with this series? Yes. But I am most likely not going to start reading Ms. Wade's other series, even though I have the entire set on Kindle. I have fun when Ms. Wade has freebie days! I may come back to them. Maybe not.


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (#9)


 
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, February 17th to Friday, February 22nd?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:
Gifted (on Kindle):
 
Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)
 
 
From NetGalley:
 
Strangelets
 

That Time I Joined the Circus


Insomnia (The Night Walkers, #1)
 
 
From Edelweiss:


Transparent

Transparent by Natalie Whipple


Well, I caved and made myself an Edelweiss account this week, and look what it got me! This week has been MUCH better for me :)
 
I won't be around on Saturday (which, if you are reading this now, should be today - I'm scheduling this post for Saturday, but it's currently Thursday). I'm visiting a college! It's actually to be eligible for an amazing scholarship and program. I've been accepted into the college itself, and I've already made it through the application process of the scholarship, but I need to stay a weekend at the college.
 
SO! I'll be back on Saturday night to respond to all of your comments, and check out your posts! I PROMISE!

So, what did you get this week? :)
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday (#7)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
The Feature & Follow is a creative meme that allows bloggers to get to know each other, and gain more followers! It is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee and Alison Can Read.

If you would like, it would be great if you followed me via Email, GFC, or Linky (all on the right). Let me know in the comments if you did, leave a link to your blog, and I will comment and follow back! I always do, I promise! Thank you so much!
Q: What books have you given other people lately?
Well, now... I have a list!
For Christmas/Hanukkah, this was the breakdown:

(all Goodreads links are provided in the titles)
Sister:
Friend #1:
Friend #2:
Friend #3:
Friend #4:
And that's just for the past holidays! Honestly, I'm probably one of the best book people to have around a holiday - I love giving mutiple books to lots of people!
And before you ask - NO, I have sooo not read all of those. Some of them, though.
So, what about you?

Review: Preservation by Rachael Wade



Preservation by Rachael Wade
Book One of the Preservation series
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press
Publication Date: May 25, 2012
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Bought on Amazon


(I actually read this book back in June 2012. But, I figured since I just read Love and Relativity, why not write two separate reviews for the books). 


***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Fear is sabotage’s sweetest weapon.

Kate has no time for meaningless romantic charades, and definitely no time for hot college professors who are full of themselves and smitten with her. Constantly battling eviction notices, tuition she can’t afford, and a sick, dependent mother, the last thing she needs is to be distracted with someone else’s complicated baggage.

When she stumbles into Ryan Campbell’s creative writing class, he is only “Mr. Campbell” to her, until Ryan finds himself captivated by her writing and she is forced to face their mutual attraction. His cocky know-it-all syndrome is enough to send her running in the other direction, and his posse of female admirers and playboy reputation are enough to squander any odds in her favor.

But underneath Ryan’s abrasive facade is something to behold, and she can’t stay away for long. Ryan and Kate must decide who they’re willing to become and fight against their former selves if they want to make things work. That’s if academia, vicious vixens, old skeletons, and their own mastery at self-destruction don’t pummel their efforts first.



What I Liked:

The romance in this book was definitely both my favorite and most bothersome part of this book. Kate and Ryan are an amazing couple - when they get along. I really like Ryan, and I totally feel for him throughout the book. HIM, not KATE. He didn't seem like the irritating character of the story, and even though the story was told from Kate's point of view, I was on his side, not Kate's.

Nevertheless, I really liked the progression of the relationship between Kate and Ryan. They are so on-and-off, but it helps build the relationship. Right up until the end, they avoid each other at times, and get together at other times. It would always be KATE, jealous of Ryan's past, or trying to exert MORE independence/control over Ryan. I'll get to that in the next section.

Basically, the romance was great. The chemistry was DEFINITELY steamy. Ryan is the good guy. There is a small, insignificant love triangle, but it's mainly Kate and Ryan, with someone who loves Kate, but we as readers know that isn't going anywhere romantically. 


What I Did Not Like:

UGH I DISLIKE KATE SO MUCH. Like, seriously. She is the entire reason why this book got knocked down two stars. Or, Ryan is the reason why this book got as many stars as it did. Whichever way you want to look at it, just know that I do NOT like Kate.

I can understand a woman wanting to be independent of her man, and do things on her own. I get that. But Kate... no. She wasn't trying to retain her independence. She was trying to control Ryan and then some. She was jealous of the women of his past, even though she knew all about them. She didn't ever trust Ryan, because of his past, and didn't believe him, or even listen to him at times. SHE IS SO STUPID. UGH. STOP TRYING TO CONTROL THE POOR MAN.

If she liked him so much, she would have made more of an effort to hold onto him, instead of constantly pushing him away. She would have accepted the help when she needed it (and boy did she need it). Sometimes, you need to say "bye-bye!" to your pride and "independence", and let someone help you out. Especially someone who loves you. Oh, Kate.

I totally read this book more than once. But I skipped over many, many parts, and went straight to the beginning, or to the parts where things were going great. Because honestly, the rest of it was Kate moaning and whining and trying to make decisions that she thought were right, but in reality, we could all see that she was just being stupid. Are people that shallow? That's sad.

Would I Recommend It:

Yes, to romance lovers, because the romance and chemistry really saves this book. Otherwise, you should probably pass. 


Rating:

3 stars. I will continue reading this series, and probably Ms. Wade's other books, but if the "independence" and trust issues turn up again, I might not be so open.

Author Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

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