Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: A Most Unlikely Duke by Sophie Barnes

A Most Unlikely Duke by Sophie Barnes
Book One of the Diamonds in the Rough series
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

He never thought he'd become a duke, or that the secrets of his past would cost him his greatest love... 

Raphe Matthews hasn’t stepped foot in polite circles since a tragedy left his once-noble family impoverished and in debt. The bare-knuckle boxer has spent the last fifteen years eking out an existence for himself and his two sisters. But when a stunning reversal of fortune lands Raphe the title of Duke of Huntley, he’s determined to make a go of becoming a proper lord, but he’ll need a little help, and his captivating neighbor might be just the woman for the job…

After her sister’s scandalous match, Lady Gabriella knows the ton’s eyes are on her. Agreeing to tutor the brutish new duke can only lead to ruin. Although she tries to control her irresistible attraction to Raphe, every day she spends with him only deepens her realization that this may be the one man she cannot do without. And as scandal threatens to envelop them both, she must decide if she can risk everything for love with a most unlikely duke.

What I Liked:

I've read five of Sophie Barnes' previous books, and I think it is safe to say that this is my favorite of hers. Or perhaps this book is tied with The Trouble with Being a Duke, which was the first Barnes book I'd read. I'd been looking forward to reading A Most Unlikely Duke since Barnes announced the book's publication on her social media, and she did a post on the cover photo-shoot. I knew this would be a historical romance novel for me and I am so glad that it did not disappoint!

Raphe Matthews and his two younger sisters have lived by themselves in the slums of St. Giles for fifteen years. Raphe took up bare-knuckle boxing in order to pay off a debt his father left, and to take care of his sisters. One day, just after he accepts a deal to fight the best bare-knuckle fighter known to this underground business, Raphe receives an official letters from the solicitors of the Duke of Huntley... due to deaths and succession, Raphe is the new Duke of Huntley. He moves his sisters to the Huntley properties, but it's obvious that they won't fit in, given their mannerisms, speech, and disdain for society and the ton. But their neighbor, Lady Gabriella, is determined to see the girls succeed. Her older sister was a perfect lady but ran off with an American businessman. So Gabriella, once an awkward, bug-loving girl, must be the paragon of the ton. But she knows how it feels to be ostracized, and she won't let down down the new duke's sisters. But she doesn't expect to fall for the new duke himself, despite her resolve to stay away from him. Marrying into a family with a good reputation and lineage has always been her parents' goal for her, but Gabriella isn't so sure that she wants that. What she realizes is that she wants Raphe, rough background and all. 

I'd been looking forward to reading this new book by Barnes, not only because she's a familiar Avon author, or because the cover is stunning (it really is!). The synopsis sounded fantastic! A rags-to-riches story with a young noblewoman helping the family find their footing and inevitably falling in love with the new young duke? Yes, please!

When I started reading the book, I grew a little uncertain, because of Gabriella's marriage situation. For Gabriella, the story starts with her and Fielding, the young earl who is courting her. Gabriella's parents have doubled her dowry, and Fielding has taken an interest in her. It is clear that Fielding and Gabriella's parents expect things to end in a marriage contract and a wedding. But Gabriella feels stifled by Fielding, and by her parents. Usually this sort of plot would bother me (in which the female protagonist is "engaged" or is courted by another). But it was so clear that Gabriella really did not want to interact with Fielding, and that she was forcing herself to be civil, because she knew how much this match meant to her parents and her family's reputation. 

Basically, the involvement with Fielding was very little, because he had no romantic or sexual interest in Gabriella, and vice versa. On the other hand, as soon as Gabriella saw Raphe, even in his disheveled state, she was intrigued. Their first meeting was a little embarrassing for Gabriella and hilarious for Raphe.

Gabriella is a sweetheart, and so kind to the new duke and his sisters. Despite her parents warning her not to go to her new neighbors, she does so every day, to teach Amelia and Juliette how to comport themselves. And of course, she and Raphe collide and bicker. Gabriella is not a perfect, beautiful lady like she is trying to be - she is more intelligent and a little odd, compared to what society would force her to be. She and Raphe are a lovely pair.

There is only one sex scene in this book (BOOOO), but the chemistry between Raphe and Gabriella is very obvious and yet subtle. They get along very well (even with the initial bickering), and they grow to care for each other very deeply. But they have a lot of tension between them, which I'd been waiting... and waiting... and waiting, to see it all explode. That would be my one complaint - not enough sex scenes!

I loved the bond between Raphe and his sisters - it's a healthy and strong bond. Usually younger sisters are made out to be pompous, bratty, and irritating, in historical romance novels. In this book, Amelia and Juliette are quiet and kind, yet lively and spirited. They are also very respectful of Raphe and very aware of all that he has given up and done for him. They're about as old as Gabriella (i.e. not super young, but not terribly old either), and all three ladies become good friends.

This book has a lot going on, besides the budding romance between Raphe and Gabriella. Raphe and his sisters try desperately to fit into society, though most of the ton won't have them. And then there is Raphe's questionable past as a bare-knuckle boxer - what will happen when polite society finds out that its newest duke used to fight for money? And the deal that Raphe made - will he go through with it, as the new Duke of Huntley? Barnes really covers the whole nine yards in this book - nothing that was brought up in the beginning is left to be forgotten.

The ending is quite a good one! Raphe deserves his happily-ever-after for sure. Everything came together a little too neatly but I'm not going to complain because I'm just happy that Raphe is happy with Gabriella. I can't wait to see cameos from them in subsequent books!

What I Did Not Like:

Like I said, the only thing I would complain about is the lack of sex! There is only one sex scene in the book - at the very end, and it is so brief. Booo! Maybe I'm spoiled? I feel like most Avon-published historical romance novels that I've read have more than one sex scene (and that first sex scene is usually, errr, pretty detailed). More sex is (almost) never bad!

Would I Recommend It:

If you like historical romance novels, then this is a good one to try! I feel like I haven't been reading as many as I used to, so I couldn't tell you too many others that have published already for the year that I liked (maybe Mary Wine's Highland Weddings books that published in 2017 - those are good. Scottish historical romance though, not Regency.). In any case, this book was very good and hey, if you're not a huge fan of sex in romance novels (you like the sweeter/swoonier books versus the sexier ones), then this is definitely one for you!


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. Still a good rating and still a good that I would highly recommend! With that beautiful cover, and a beautiful story to match, you can't go wrong. Watching Raphe and Gabriella fall for each other was so sweet and I kind of want to reread this book already!

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Review: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent

Spectacle by Rachel Vincent
Book Two of the Menagerie series
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…

When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price. 

But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

What I Liked:

Let me say two things before I start my commentary: (1) This book is not bad, and I think it will be very successful and a good addition to the series. Please read my full thoughts before jumping to the conclusion of "Alyssa gave the book three stars so it must not be good!". (2) This review might be shorter than usual because my thoughts and feelings on this book are not going to be an accurate reflection of the book's quality. Usually I write my reviews based on technical aspects and categories (character development, plot, world-building, etc.), but I don't think I can construct a fair review based on those items, based on my physical reaction to this book. You'll see what I mean.

Actually, this review is going to be somewhat similar to my review of Menagerie. I thought that book was good, well-written, but I suffered as I was reading it. Like Menagerie, there are cruel and disgusting aspects of this book. Unlike Menagerie, or compared to Menagerie, the cruel and disgusting aspects get worse, in Spectacle

In essence, Delilah and the Menagerie gang get kidnapped and forced into the Savage Spectacle, which is different from the Menagerie. The Savage Spectacle is cleaner with better conditions... yet, worse conditions. Each cryptid is outfitted with a collar that has needles that go directly into the spine, which can sense neural and hormonal impulses. Every impulse, action, even thought is controlled. Worse - the Spectacle is all about private engagements and satisfying clients with cryptid fetishes. Yep. Reread that again and imagine what I'm talking about.

Vincent did an amazing job with this story - I can't imagine it having been easy to write. Every disgusting act, every choice taken away, every forced action - I hated all of it but I can't deny that everything was well-written and not without its place. 

I adored Delilah, and Gallager, and the crew. I hated what was done to them, but I loved seeing their strength and self-preservation win out. 

No romance in this book, though there are some... odd things that happen. 

In general, it's a sequel that will rip you apart and hurt you, but it is a good book.

What I Did Not Like:

There are so many things wrong with this story, I can't even begin to list them even if I wanted to (but I won't, because of spoilers). Notice I'm talking about the story and not the book (note the distinction). Vincent is shining a light on some gruesome and horrible topics, and I take no issue with that. Sort of. 

I think my problem is that I hated everything that happened in this book, and I didn't - couldn't - enjoy the story. There are no trigger warnings, nothing to help someone decide if this is a book for them. Let me just say: there is rape in this book. There is lack of consent. There is sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Wills (willpower) are taken, choices are taken, freedom is taken. A person's body is not their own, physically, mentally, or in a reproductive way. Loss of memory, loss of control, loss of the ability to communicate - the story is filled with these things.

Can you imagine? 

I needed warnings. Put yourself in the shoes of a rape survivor, or sexual abuse survivor. This book is disturbing and horrifying - as it is meant to be! - and I could not enjoy it. I do not begrudge anyone their high rating or praise of this book, but I couldn't enjoy this story. I recognize that it is not the book itself that should be put down - but I'm being honest here: I hated the story. 

Three stars, because it's not the book, it's the actions and behaviors that exist in this world and should not be ignored. But, three stars, because I could not stomach this story. Call me whatever name you want, but I couldn't do it. Yes, I finished the book. Yes, I know, all of the things in this book exist (in some way) in real life. 

In Menagerie, I sort of got used to the "disturbing" aspects of the story. In Spectacle? Everything was one hundred times worse. Menagerie seemed just barely disturbing compared to Spectacle. So there was no way for me to "get used to anything", to become desensitized.

Would I Recommend It:

I do not recommend Spectacle. I do not recommend Menagerie. These are not easy books to read, and honestly they get worse and worse in terms of graphic content. Worse NOT in terms of the quality of the storytelling, but worse in terms of what the characters have to experience and face. Call me a snowflake, call me fragile, I don't care - these books are not for everyone. Definitely (unfortunately) not for me. I thought I could handle it with Menagerie, but clearly I was wrong with Spectacle. I can't finish this series. I can't think about how bad book three will be.

Don't take my word for it though, if you've already read Menagerie and you're really interested in this book. But if you haven't read Menagerie, think about what you'll be reading before you start the book. Message or email me with questions, if you want. Although I have to say, I'm going to be trying really hard to forget what I read, in both books.


3 stars. I honestly don't know how to rate and review this book, because it's me and my thoughts/opinions that I'm writing about, and not necessary technical aspects (writing, world-building, character development, etc.). I rarely write this type of review (based on my thoughts/opinions alone), but I'm so shaken and unsettled, and I really don't know how to write this review any other way. Hopefully I've conveyed something useful to any reader of this reviewer. I'm not trying to tear down the author or this book - but I am trying to warn any reader who, like me, shouldn't be reading this book but don't know that they shouldn't be, because they don't know enough information about the book (see above, about warnings). 

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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#231)

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, May 21st to Saturday, May 27th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Unsolicited shiny hardcovers - thank you, Knopf, S&S, and Tor Teen!

My preordered copies are finally here! I am in love. :D You can check out my review of Flame in the Mist HERE.

A welcome surprise from Scholastic! Thank you so much. I've adored all of West's previous novels!

AYYY! Thank you, Katherine! Now my set is complete! Pictures to follow - I need to do a photo-shoot with all five Cashore ARCs. :D

From NetGalley:

Thank you, Julianna and NetGalley! I'm nervous but excited to read this book. I've read five of her previous books and enjoyed them all, so I'm hoping this one is no different!

Sooooooooo I graduated on Wednesday! As promised, I posted pictures. I may do a full blog post, but for now, enjoy what I posted on Twitter!

Thank you so much for your support, whether from one day ago, or for all four years, or since I began blogging midway through my senior year of high school. ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—

Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the author

Summary (from Goodreads):

A young, street-savvy runaway looking for a place to call home realized he might have conned his way into the wrong family in this fast-paced and thrilling novel from award-winning author Cristin Terrill.

When ten-year-old Daniel Tate went missing from one of California's most elite communities, he left no trace. He simply vanished.

Six years later, when he resurfaces on a snowy street in Vancouver, he's no longer the same boy. His sandy hair is darker, the freckles are gone, and he's initially too traumatized to speak, but he's alive. His overjoyed family brings him home to a world of luxury and comfort he can barely remember. In time, they assure him, he'll recover his memories; all that matters now is they're together again. 

It's perfect. A miracle. Except for one thing.

He isn't Daniel Tate.

He's a petty con artist who accidentally stumbled into the scam of a lifetime, and he soon learns he's not the only one in the Tate household with something to hide. The family has as many secrets as they have millions in the bank, and one of them might be ready to kill to keep the worst one buried.

What I Liked:

This book was trippy! It's a thriller and mystery novel, though it sort of reads as a psychological thriller (maybe it is one?). We have an unreliable narrator here, in the form of "Daniel Tate" who isn't actually Daniel Tate. I really enjoyed this book, though I want more. I couldn't believe it, when it ended!

Our protagonist, "Daniel Tate", isn't actually Daniel Tate. One day, to escape some trouble at a shelter for homeless kids, he gets into a tough spot, and he decides to impersonate a boy who has been missing for six years - Daniel Tate. This boy was ten at the time, the fourth child of a very rich family. It's the perfect scam for our protagonist, especially since he and Daniel would be around the same age, and their appearances are pretty similar. The family seems to welcome him back, though his mother and second older brother are a bit hostile. But as each day passes, he begins to realize that things are a little too perfect, and that he is in too deep to leave again. Things in this household are not as they seem, and something big is building up, waiting to explode. 

Here Lies Daniel Tate is nothing like All Our Yesterdays, a book that I read and loved several years ago. The two books are so different, yet equally as strong standalone novels. It's a true mark of an author's creativity, when he/she can write across different genres, and he/she does it well.

First, can I talk about the title of this book? I love it so much. It implies death - "here lies ___" is a phrase associated with death and cemeteries and tombstones. BUT. It is perfect because our protagonist, "Danny", is not actually Danny Tate, and he is such a liar. So it's like, here (at this place) lies (not telling the truth) Daniel Tate (not Daniel Tate). I love it!

I don't know what to call the protagonist other than "Danny", because we never find out his real name. The first thirty or so pages of the book show Danny's life in Vancouver, how he is homeless and destitute, living off help from shelters and temporary homes with other homeless boys. But it doesn't last, because he gets into some trouble at one place. He does a little research and decides to impersonate Daniel Tate, at least for a little bit, until he can run again. But things get a little out of hand when the family of Daniel Tate believe him, take him in, and completely integrate him into their lives. Danny is a petty con artist by circumstance, forced to survive in any way he can, but he didn't plan for everything to go so far. 

Danny is a hard character to crack. We know from the start that he isn't Daniel Tate - we get to see exactly how he "chose" Daniel Tate, but we don't really get to know much about him. He is a good actor, and a skilled liar. He looks out for himself, but as the story goes on, he finds that he can't just walk away from this family.

The family is made of four siblings (not including Daniel) and Jessica, their mother. Patrick and Lex are from Jessica's first marriage, and Nicholas, Daniel, and Mia are from her second marriage. Patrick and Lex are both in their twenties; Patrick is a lawyer and handles all of the legal work for Danny's return, and Lex is a 24-year-old on-and-off college student who is a stand-in mother for Danny, since Jessica is not interested in being anyone's mother. Mia is eight (I think?) and the cutest and most accepting sibling. Nicholas is seventeen and it's clear that he doesn't like Danny. Despite that, familial relationships are pretty important in this book (and not just in the way you think), even if Danny isn't actually related to any of these people.The family is dysfunctional at best, but Danny grows to care about each family member. 

Until things take a dark turn.

I won't share too many details about the rest of the story (which is about half or more). I don't want to spoil a thing, because it is rather twisted and I was guessing wrong the whole time. I love how Terrill set things up that way! I'm impressed by how well the mystery aspect of the story was constructed. And how much I grew to like many of the characters - that was surprising, because each one of them had something to hide.

Romance takes a backseat in this book, and so it's there but not really. Danny meets a girl and they hang out from time to time. Ren is really cool and a little odd in her own way, but I like how free-spirited she is. I wish the romance had gone deeper or further, but at the same time, I like that the author didn't take it further. It makes sense, given who "Danny" is.

The ending does not disappoint, in that it is just as trippy as the whole book! Seriously, you will be just as surprised and perplexed. Read the book to find out what I mean!

What I Did Not Like:

No real complaints from me! This book is very different compared to my usual, and I liked it a lot!

Would I Recommend It:

If you're into thrillers and mystery novels, this is a good one! It's a combination of both and it will leave you questioning everything. Danny is the most unreliable narrator I've ever come across, which was amusing, rather than frustrating. Like I said above, this isn't my usual type of read, but I liked it and I wouldn't mind reading more books like this!


4 stars. I wonder what the author will come up with next! I'm still hoping for a sequel to All Our Yesterdays, but I'm actually not crying for a sequel to this book. Given the ending, I think this book works really well as a standalone. But I think I need more Terrill stories!

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Swoon Thursday (#226): Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill

- 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 Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill!

I looked at her for a second, thinking about what I should say, what I should do, what someone other than me would say or do right now.

And then I thought, fuck it. I was already gone. No reason not to do exactly what I wanted.

I pulled her to me and kissed her, My bottom two fingers curled into the top of her pajama bottoms, which were cool and fuzzy-soft, and my top two fingers curled into her flesh, which was sleep-warm and smooth. She was startled, but she didn't pull away, and slowly, she raised one hand to touch my jaw with her fingertips.

I'd never kissed anyone like that before.

This week's swoon is a sweet first kiss! Catch my review of Here Lies Daniel Tate tomorrow. :D

Pre-Order Blast and Giveaway: Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert

Welcome to the pre-order blast for Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert! This book publishes on Tuesday, and do not want to miss it. Read on, and enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Forbidden Promises by Katee Robert
Book Four of the O'Malleys series
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

All Sloan O’Malley ever wanted was a simple life—and now she’s finally got it. She’s left everything behind in Boston—her family, her money, even her name—and set herself up in a tiny seaside town in Oregon. What she doesn’t plan for? Her mysterious and painfully attractive neighbor, Jude.

Jude MacNamara has been many things in his life—pampered son of a prestigious family, only surviving heir to a lost legacy, hit man—but now he’s out for revenge on the man responsible for the death of his father and brothers—Colm Sheridan. He’s tracking Colm’s sister when he encounters Sloan living with her in her beach house. He’s a patient hunter and he’s willing to sit back and wait for his prey...he just doesn’t expect for this woman to give rise to emotions he hasn’t felt in years.

He doesn’t want to see Sloan hurt, but in order to protect her, he will have to turn his back on the one thing he’s spent his life pursuing—revenge. Even then, there’s no guarantee either one of them will make it out alive.

About the Author:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension."  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

The Excerpt:

Up until this point, Sloan O’Malley has been kind of lost in a sea of the strong personalities in her family. She’s the quiet one. The wallflower. The obedient one. But now she’s out of Boston and out of that life behind, and she’s stepping out to stand on her own for the first time in her life. She wants her freedom, but more than that, she wants to live. What better way to do that than to give into the desire that sparks an inferno between her and the gorgeous guy next door?

All her hard-won calm disappeared when she saw Jude lounging in the corner booth. Lounging wasn’t the right word. He looked like a big cat who was as likely to tear out her throat as purr and rub against her.

Rub against…

She tried and failed to shut the thought down. From there, it was a slippery slope to thinking about what she’d done last night while picturing him.

It was almost enough to make her flee into the kitchen again. Or it would have been if not for the knowledge that Marge had given her a chance, and the woman wouldn’t take kindly to her hiding in the back when there were customers to be served.

Sloan took a careful breath and approached Jude. “What can I get you?”

“I feel like I’m perpetually apologizing to you, but I left abruptly last night and I’m sorry.” He didn’t wait for her to respond. “Come out with me after your shift.”

She blinked. Did he just…“I’m sorry, what?”

“I’m going to take you out. Tonight.” His intense dark eyes never wavered, though she was wondering how she ever labeled them cold. Right now, they were so hot, they were liable to turn her into a pillar of flame.

The only question was if she’d perish in the fire or emerge as something altogether different.

That thought should have scared her, but she’d been afraid for so long. Maybe it was time to do more than think about taking the first step into the future. Maybe she needed to actually put herself into motion. Sloan licked her lips, aware of the way he tracked the move. Everything about Jude was intense. He’d toned it down for her last night, but he wasn’t even trying right now. She shifted her stance, still torn. “I’m not exactly in a good place to date right now.”

He considered her, and she suddenly got the impression that he was choosing his words with care so as not to spook her. “What is it, exactly, that you think I’m asking?”

“I, ah…” She clutched her little notebook to her chest, painfully aware that the handful of diners in the place were blatantly eavesdropping. “I don’t know.”

He lowered his voice to the point where she had to inch closer to hear him clearly. “Let me show you.”

And, suddenly, she wanted to do exactly that. Sloan found herself nodding even though every instinct she had said that Jude was trouble in the worst way. But, whatever he was, he was vitally different from her brothers and father back home. He might seem brutal and dangerous and intense to a criminal degree, but this wasn’t Boston. This was Callaway Rock. No matter how dangerous he seemed, odds were that he wasn’t a man who had skeletons in his closet—literal or otherwise.

That made him safe in a way none of the men she’d ever known were.

Jude’s gaze sharpened. “That’s a yes.”

“That’s a yes.” Her voice was too breathy, too irregular to pass for anything other than nerves, but she didn’t care. If she fell flat on her face, at least she was living.

Copyright © 2017 Katee Robert

The Video:

Praise for The O’Malleys Series

"It can be hard to make a ruthless assassin into a sympathetic character, but Robert handles the task with ease. She also deftly shows Sloan’s transformation from a pampered and protected naรฏf to a strong woman with a backbone of pure steel. A tension-filled plot full of deceit, betrayal, and sizzling love scenes will make it impossible for readers to set the book down."—Publishers Weekly on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“You will finish it in one sitting and die after you’re done because the next book isn't out yet. This was one sexy ride!”—Reviewer Top Pick, Night Owl Reviews on FORBIDDEN PROMISES

“Two story lines end up converging into one explosive finale at the end.  A great read from the talented Robert!” —RT Book Reviews

“Katee Robert's has created a fictional underworld of such veracity, that one almost expects the characters to turn up on the front-page news. It never feels over the top or implausible; the author writes extremely well-crafted stories… The romance between Cillian and Olivia is very beautiful, tender and real.”—Fresh Fiction on AN INDECENT PROPOSAL

“Will keep you turning pages.”—RT Book Reviews on THE WEDDING PACT

“If you like angsty reads, this book is right up your wheelhouse.”—Heroes & Heartbreakers on THE WEDDING PACT

"Dark, dirty, and dead sexy."—Tiffany Reisz, bestselling author of The Original Sinners series, on THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT

The Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#230): As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

"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:

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 1, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

This one is new to me, and it sounds awesome! What a great way to start 2018, in YA publishing!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: The Last Star by Rick Yancey

Welcome to the release day blitz for the paperback version of The Last Star by Ricky Yancey! As you may recall, this is the final book in the series, and it published in hardcover last year. Check it out!

About the Book:

The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Book Three of The 5th Wave series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

'Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough' The New York Times

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series. 

Check out the series:

(Click on the covers to go to Goodreads!)

About the Author:

Rick Yancey ( is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, The Last Star, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.

The Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of The 5th Wave Collection in paperback, including The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, and The Last Star (ARV: $32.97), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive The 5th Wave in paperback (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 30, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott

Welcome to the blog tour for Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott! I adored this book and I highly recommend it. Check out my interview with Victoria Scott, and enter to win this book!

The Interview:

Alyssa: Hi and welcome to The Eater of Books! So glad you could join me today. =) Congratulations on the publication of Violet Grenade! By my count, this is your eighth published novel since 2013? Do you SLEEP? What helps your creative process so you keep going and don’t burn out?

VS: That’s a good question, because I’m working on two hours of sleep today. Honestly, if it weren’t for readers cheering me on, I’d be in a ditch somewhere. 

Alyssa: How was writing this book different compared to writing your other books, especially with it being a completely different genre than your usual? 

VS: This one is much darker, and much more lyrical in style. I usually write with more snark and humor, but I wrote the way I wanted to with this one, and it felt natural. 

Alyssa: A somewhat related question – what was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

VS: Keeping the suspense going without wearing readers out. It’s a difficult thing to balance, and the first time I had to tackle something like that. 

Alyssa: How did you come up with the title of this book?

VS: It’s a combination of Violet, which is the highest ranking Flower in the house Domino goes to live in, and Grenade, which represents Domino as a person, and specifically her second personality, who is quite explosive. 

Alyssa: What are some YA psychological thrillers that you recommend to readers?

VS: Start with Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, obviously. Then move onto In the Blood by Lisa Unger! 

Alyssa: What is one message that you’d love young readers to take away from Violet Grenade?

VS: Be careful who you mess with. 

Alyssa: My last question – what’s next for publication? Will there be anything to follow Violet Grenade? Or entirely new projects?

VS: I’m working on a new young adult book that I can’t talk about too much yet. But I should be able to share with you guys very soon! 

Alyssa: Thank you so much, and best of luck with everything!

About the Author:

Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at

About the Book:

Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.

CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. 

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.

The Giveaway:

Signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear the Wolves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Tour:

There are tons of stops and content! Check out the schedule HERE.