Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (#205): The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May

"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:

The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May
Book Three of The Falconer trilogy
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

The long-awaited final book in the Falconer trilogy is an imaginative tour-de-force that will thrill fans of the series. Aileana Kameron, resurrected by ancient fae magic, returns to the world she once knew with no memory of her past and with dangerous powers she struggles to control. Desperate to break the curse that pits two factions of the fae against each other in a struggle that will decide the fate of the human and fae worlds, her only hope is hidden in an ancient book guarded by the legendary Morrigan, a faery of immense power and cruelty. To save the world and the people she loves, Aileana must learn to harness her dark new powers even as they are slowly destroying her. Packed with immersive detail, action, romance, and fae lore, and publishing simultaneously in the UK, The Fallen Kingdom brings the Falconer's story to an epic and unforgettable conclusion.

I am so excited to read this book! Aren't the covers of this series amazing? Love!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck

Welcome to the blog tour for Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck! This author is one of my favorites, and I always enjoy her Brazen books. I loved this one, and I hope you will too!

About the Book:

Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck
Book Two of the Compromise Me series
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: November 21, 2016

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

Summary (from Goodreads):

Laurie Peterson assumes her impulsive one-night stand with sinfully sexy Sheriff Ethan Booker is the biggest surprise of the year…until her bakery burns down while she’s basking in the afterglow. It looks like her dreams are up in smoke, but then Ethan proposes a deal too tempting to resist. 

Ethan has no intention of settling for a one-night stand with Laurie. Nor does he want anything to do with the women his wealthy family wants him to meet. Not when he’s waited ten years for his chance to make his move. His deal might have strings—and Laurie may not know the stakes—but nothing will stop this sexy cop from staking a real claim on her body and her heart. 

About the Author:

Wine lover, sleep fanatic, and USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy contemporary romance novels, Samanthe Beck lives in Malibu, California, with her long-suffering but extremely adorable husband and their turbo-son, Hud. Throw in a furry ninja named Kitty and Bebe the trash talking Chihuahua and you get the whole, chaotic picture.

When not clinging to sanity by her fingernails or dreaming up fun, fan-your-cheeks sexy ways to get her characters to happily-ever-afters, she searches for the perfect cabernet to pair with Ambien.

The Excerpt:

She turned on less than steady legs and walked to the other side of the room, feeling the weight of his stare on her the entire time. Once there, she planted her feet hip’s distance apart, bent from the waist, and rested her forearms on the bed. “I trust this is interesting enough for you?”  

His footsteps fueled her adrenaline. She lowered her head to the mattress, and lifted onto her toes.  

“It’s definitely a start. Hand me my belt.”  

She raised her head as a hundred imaginary feathers fluttered down her spine. “Your...what?”  

“My belt,” he repeated. “It’s right beside you.” 


“Give it to me, and you’ll find out.” 

If she wasn’t in the mood for this, all she had to do was say so. Booker would let it go, without question. Even knowing this, backing down felt too much like surrender. She handed the strap to him, but couldn’t help adding a caustic comment. “Who would have guessed there were fifty shades of Sheriff Booker?”  

His soft laugh stirred invisible molecules in the air around her. “I would never do anything so conventional. Besides”—he folded the belt in half and ran the edge along the back of her thigh—“I think you secretly prefer gentle.”  
“I told you before, you don’t have to be gentle with me.”  

“You’re tough, huh?” The edge of the belt tickled her skin again.  

She faced front and held her position. “That’s right.” Dammit, she was her own worst enemy.  

“Okay, tough girl. Be still.”  

The Giveaway:

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 29, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Richelle Mead celebrates 10 years of Vampire Academy with an exclusive, never-before-seen collection of stories that sheds new light on the world and its players:

The Turn and the Flame takes a deeper look into the dark stain on the Ozera dynasty...

From the Journal of Vasilisa Dragomir unearths the princess’s private thoughts from a transformative period of her life…

The Meeting gives us a glimpse of Rose Hathaway through Dimitri’s eyes...

Hello My Name Is Rose Hathaway tracks the shenanigans that ensue when Rose and Dimitri become unlikely teammates in a high-stakes scavenger hunt...

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires--the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, where vampire royalty and their guardians-to-be prepare for a life fraught with danger. Rose and Lissa must navigate their treacherous world and never once let their guard down, lest the evil undead make Lissa one of them forever. But soon Rose finds herself gripped by temptation of forbidden love, leaving Lissa exposed to Strigoi attack. Now she must choose between the best friend she lives for, and the man she can't live without….

Follow the Author:

The Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to win one of five (5) paperback copies of Vampire Academy 10th Anniversary Edition by Richelle Mead (ARV = $11.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 9:00 AM Eastern Time on November 29, 2016 and 11:59 PM Eastern Time on December 5, 2016.  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 December 12, 2016. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Have you read this series?

Friends! I have not read any of the books in this series (nor have I read many Mead books in general). Have you read the Vampire Academy books? Do you think I would enjoy them? Convince me in the comments section!

Release Day Blitz: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Welcome to the release day blitz for Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt! This is the eleventh book of an amazing historical romance series. If you haven't heard of this series, check it out now!

About the Author:

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book Eleven of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: November 29, 2016

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

Summary (from Goodreads):


Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.


Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.


When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?

About the Author:

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Check out book one, Wicked Intentions!

Sweet Talk with the Sweet Sixteens: November 29th

Welcome to Week Forty-Eight of Sweet Talk with the Sweet Sixteens! To see more details about Sweet Talk as well as previous posts, see the introduction post. Thanks to Charlene (Bookish Whimsy), for designing the banner and button for Sweet Talk.

Today, I'm featuring the authors and books publishing during the week of November 29th

The Questions:

1. Describe your debut novel in sixteen words.
2. Pitch your book! For fans of _____, _____ meets _____, etc.
3. What are you working on now – is it related to your debut novel?

The Authors:

Janet McNally, Author of Girls in the Moon

1. Secrets, sisters, summer in NYC. Phoebe has to find her place in a family of stars.

2. GIRLS IN THE MOON  is for fans of Gayle Forman, Nina LaCour, and Jandy Nelson. 

3. I'm working on a novel set in the same universe as GIRLS IN THE MOON, another sister story, but with fairy tales and ballet. 

Follow Janet McNally: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Find Girls in the Moon: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

The Book:

(Click on the cover to go to Goodreads!)

Other Sweet Sixteens Books Publishing This Week:

Girls in the Moon is the only one!

The Giveaway:

- Finished copy of The Friendship Experiment
- Copy of The Boomerang Effect
- Flashfall swag
- Of Fire and Stars swag
- Girls in the Moon swag

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Book Two of the Kingmaker Chronicles
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

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

Summary (from Goodreads):

"Cat" Catalia Fisa has been running from her destiny since she could crawl. But now, her newfound loved ones are caught between the shadow of Cat's tortured past and the threat of her world-shattering future. So what's a girl to do when she knows it's her fate to be the harbinger of doom? Everything in her power.

Griffin knows Cat is destined to change the world-for the better. As the realms are descending into all-out war, Cat and Griffin must embrace their fate together. Gods willing, they will emerge side-by-side in the heart of their future kingdom...or not at all.

What I Liked:

Only two books into the series and I'm already declaring this trilogy a new favorite. I don't think I've ever read anything quite as unique as this fantasy romance series. I also can't remember the last time I was in love with a sequel novel as much as I was the first book - or almost as much. While A Promise of Fire is still the better of the two (in my opinion), I loved Breath of Fire

This book is nonstop action from start to finish. Cat and Griffin and the rest of Beta Team are back in the Sinta castle, but there is much to be done, with the Power Bid in full effect. With the Sintan borders unprotected, Cat and Beta team leave home to journey to the Ice Plains, in order to find Centaurs who might be persuaded to defend the Sintan borders. But reaching the Ice Plains is obstacle enough, let alone finding the fabled Chaos Wizard who can help them find the Centaurs. And even if they get the Centaurs to help - Cat and Griffin must find a way to take down the Tarvan royalty. Cat may be the key to Sintan success - or their destruction.

I think the most unique aspect of this series is Cat's voice. She is hilarious and sarcastic and so prickly. This series is written entirely in her first-person perspective - there is no dual perspective - and I actually love this because it's fun to follow the story from her perspective. She's so entertaining! I love how Bouchet writes Cat's voice, and the story.

In general, this book is so well-written. Bouchet has a strong writing style, and it shows. She also does an amazing job with the world-building. I thought this series was influenced by Greek mythology - but really, it's full of Greek mythology! This sequel throws us headfirst into a ton of Greek mythology, which is spun to Bouchet's liking, for the world-building. We get up close to hydras, centaurs, nymphs, even goddesses. And a cameo appearance from Cerberus! 

I adore Cat. I couldn't love her more, to be honest. She's so funny, but she's also tough as nails and very selfless. She doesn't want to be Beta Fisa, or any kind of royal in charge, but she's a natural. She's intelligent and experienced in so many different things, but she isn't a hardened, jaded person. She's got a mean streak and she is fierce, and she has a low opinion of herself at times, but she's a warrior and a fighter, and I love how she keeps going. I especially love how she allows herself to be surrounded by people who care about her. Her relationship with Griffin goes from solid to airtight and cemented in this book, because she really really lets him past her defenses. I am glad to see Cat let the walls down, with Griffin and with his family.

Griffin! My favorite. He's the big bad Beta, an overprotective and loyal warrior, but he's more than that. He is clever and considerate, a gentleman and at the same time, an alpha to the core. His temper is a live wire, so it's fun to see him and Cat bump heads constantly. They are perfect for each other! I love how he looks out for her all the time, but he also backs down a little in terms of dictating orders (when it comes to Cat). He lets her be, and trusts her judgement, which is wonderful to see.

I mentioned this already, but Griffin and Cat's relationship gets even stronger and more unbreakable, in this book. Cat lets Griffin in, and it's amazing how different and how strong their bond becomes, because of that. Emotionally, their relationship strengthens, but also physically. Let me tell you - Bouchet turns the heat up, in this book. Like, woah. The first few chapters? Be prepared to fan yourself. I loved seeing Griffin and Cat lose control! And throughout the book, not just in the beginning.

One thing that I was worried about was Griffin and Cat getting separated, or one of them getting captured and hence the separation. This is a common and annoying trope in sequel novels in trilogies. But I am happy to say that there was no "sequel separation" in this book! Griffin and Cat are almost always together in this book, which was a relief. I was so worried that I'd spend the whole book anxious and worried sick about one of the characters.

I love the secondary characters! I don't consider Griffin a secondary character (he is definitely a protagonist, even if he doesn't get his own perspective), but Kato, Carver, Flynn, and several others definitely are. I love Griffin's family, and Beta Team. We get to see more of Kato in this book, and I adored him and his (brotherly) relationship with Cat. There was a part of this book that broke my heart for him - like I was almost physically sick for him. Hopefully there is some silver lining to that part of the story, because I'm still sad about it. In any case, the secondary characters were almost as entertaining as Griffin and Cat!

The story gets more and more complex, as a good sequel novel will do! We see a lot more Olympian/mythological stuff (creatures, abilities, etc.), and more is revealed, in terms of Cat's past, what she expects from the future, and her family. Griffin (and everyone else) finds out about Cat very early in this book, which was also a relief (that was a huge secret!). Cat and Griffin and the team travel to find the Centaurs in the Ice Plains, but the story isn't finished there. Finding a way inside Tarva isn't easy, but Griffin and Cat are determined to do so.

Overall, I am quite pleased with this book! I especially love the sweet news at the end (though, like Griffin, I suspected certain things early on - there was a lot of foreshadowing). I also like that this book does not end on a cliffhanger - phew! There is a lot that needs to be taken care of and resolved, in Heart on Fire, but I like that Bouchet ends this book without needing a cliffhanger. Artfully done!

What I Did Not Like:

But Alyssa, why didn't you give this book five stars? You clearly loved it! I did, but some part of me didn't love it quite as much as I loved A Promise of Fire. There were parts of this book (Breath of Fire) that broke my heart, from Kato, for Carver, even for Cat and Griffin. In adult romance novels, you expect your main couple to be "fine" at the end of the book (or series), so I'm not too worried about Cat and Griffin. It's the secondary characters that I worry for - and in this book, not everyone comes out "fine".

Also, keep in mind that I really really loved A Promise of Fire. Sometimes it's hard to come close to things that I really loved. Additionally, maybe I miss how much simpler things were in that book! Everything is do-or-die in this book (and rightfully so). 

Would I Recommend It:

I highly highly highly recommend this book, and series! If you love adult romance novels, give the books a chance. And especially so, if you like adult fantasy romance novels. If you liked The Winter King by C.L. Wilson (my favorite adult romance novels of all time), then you will like this series. This is adult romance, by the way. Not Young Adult - Cat is twenty-three!


4.5 stars -> regrettably rounded down to 4 stars. I can't quite give this 5 stars because for me, it wasn't as good as A Promise of Fire (not by much though). This book lost none of the wow factor that A Promise of Fire held, and it definitely didn't fall under the sequel slump spell. I eagerly await Heart on Fire!

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

Check out the preorder incentive!

Win A Promise of Fire!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Book One of the Clash of Kingdoms series
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 27, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

 Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

What I Liked:

I feel like I'd been waiting to read this book for forever! I remember seeing the cover reveal, and then obtaining an electronic galley early in 2016. But I put off reading the book because it was too far in advance. Still, I was excited. I've seen the publisher compare this book to Kristin Cashore's books - could it be that good? I'm a huge fan of Cashore's books, and I personally think no books compare. And while I stand by this statement, I will say that Ever the Hunted is definitely a book that Kristin Cashore fan would enjoy!

Britta's father was murdered, and as a girl, she can't inherit his property or cottage. Forced to poach in the king's land or starve, Britta has few options. When she's caught poaching, she's given a choice: track her father's killer, or hang. Britta is an excellent tracker, but the man who the King's high lord says to be Britta's father's killer is not someone Britta wants to track - Cohen McKay, Britta's childhood best friend who joined the King's ranks as a bounty hunter almost two years ago. Britta must find him, but as she tracks him down, she begins to find out that her father's murder was not as it seems, and neither is she. Britta has a power that she discovers, but it may be too late before someone finds out.

This story starts off slow, but gradually picks up speed and really hooks you after a certain point. For me, that was once we actually meet Cohen (you knew that was going to happen). This occurs fairly early in the story. Britta is forced to track him, accompanied by the King's captain and two guards (i.e. her jailers). She escapes them when Cohen "kidnaps" her from them... and that's really when I started getting into the story.

Britta is a likable heroine, and I could see a potential comparison of her to some of Cashore's heroines. She's tough and headstrong, determined and willful. She's also compassionate and very selfless, and all of these qualities make her a strong and capable young woman. She isn't perfect, nor is she a cliche kickbutt YA heroine. She gets caught and captured and it's not her brilliance or her cunning that leads to her escape. But she is intelligent and clever, in an authentic and believable way.

I adored Cohen. In the first quarter of the book, he isn't quite painted in the best light; he left his home (and Britta) about two years ago to pledge his service to the King, and he is a trained bounty hunter for the King. But he broke his promise to Britta - he never returned to her. Britta has been heartbroken over this, and she's sad and angry at Cohen. The reunion between the pair made my heart twist, both in a good way and an angsty way. But back to Cohen - I liked him, despite him not returning to Britta. He had his reasons, and they were good enough reasons for me. Cohen is protective and very loyal, and it's obvious that he loves Britta (and never stopped loving her).

This is an interesting fantasy world that Summerill has created. There are two kingdoms that are currently warring. Channelers are prosecuted in Britta's country; Channelers wield magic, and their powers depends on which element they rely on. Magic is a significant part of the story. The war between the two countries is always in the background - not the focus of the story, yet very important to the story. Another important part that circles back in the end is a Channeler's control over the King... something that Britta finds out. 

While the story was initially slow, it is extremely easy to read, and you'll find yourself turning pages in no time. It's not hard to root for Britta, to await her reunion with Cohen, to see who really killed her father (because it really couldn't be Cohen - right?). There are plenty of twists and turns, but most are laid out in the last quarter of the book. Talk about plot twists! Summerill keeps throwing them at us, even on the very last page.

Other characters I liked besides Britta and Cohen - Leif, one of Britta's "jailer" guards. Leif is one of the two guards in the beginning, keeping her in line as she tracked Cohen. But he was the nicer of the two, and protected Britta when he could. He ends up playing a huge role in the book. I also liked Enat, a powerful Channeler who also plays a huge role in the book.

The romance! This romance was wonderful to watch unfold. Now, we already know that there is history between Britta and Cohen. They grew up together, and were best friends until Cohen left. Britta has always been in love with him, and Cohen has always been in love with her, but neither said anything to the other. Reunited after almost two years, their relationship is strained at first. Britta doesn't think he wants her, and Cohen has his reasons for needing the distance between them. But I love watching them lose the thorns and open up to each other. The majority of this book is spent with the two of them traveling alone together, and there is a lot of relationship growth during those pages. I love how their relationship turns out. Quite the swoony romance, in the end! I hope it sticks.

The ending wraps up fairly nicely, but the very last paragraph drops a bit of a bombshell that isn't quite a cliffhanger, but leaves me needing to know more. I know this is book one of a two-book series, and I'm desperately impatient for book two!

What I Did Not Like:

I don't want to scare anyone unnecessarily because there is NOT a love triangle in this book... perhaps I'm just too cautious but I hope Summerill doesn't somehow wedge one in. I didn't get the sense from the book, that she would do that, but my radar went off faintly... faintly. Again, in this book, there is NO love triangle. None. And I'm hoping I'm reading into nothing - I hope book two doesn't go in any direction even close to one. This is a two-book series so you would think not... 

Would I Recommend It:

I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it. I've been reading a lot of good YA fantasy recently and can certainly count this one among them. While I can't say this compare's to Cashore's novels (nothing can!), I definitely see why the publisher would draw the comparison. If you like Cashore's books, or Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken, or Sara B. Larson's debut trilogy, this is a good novel to follow!


4 stars. I am delighted by how much I enjoyed this book! It was a whirlwind and then a rollercoaster of emotions, good and bad, and I'm very curious to see where the author will take the story in book two. And I'm hoping this story stays a duology!

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (#205)

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, November 20th to Saturday, November 26th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

I am SO excited to read this book! I loved the Books of Pellinor (fantasy series written by an Australian author), and so I was thrilled when I found out the Croggon was writing a prequel. This book is already out in the world, but the USA publication date is June 13, 2017! Thank you, Candlewick!

(Also, for what it's worth, DON'T try to read this one without reading the original four. A reviewer on Goodreads did that... for shame. It didn't go well.)

Another case in which the book is already published in other countries, but the USA publication is in January 2017. This was sent unsolicited but it sounds very intriguing! Thank you, Abrams.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (USA friends, that is)! Back to irregular haul posts and crushing stress, for me. I have two weeks left in the semester, and then two weeks of finals! *burrows underground*

Friday, November 25, 2016

Review: Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck

Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck
Book Two of the Compromise Me series
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: November 21, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

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

Summary (from Goodreads):

Laurie Peterson assumes her impulsive one-night stand with sinfully sexy Sheriff Ethan Booker is the biggest surprise of the year…until her bakery burns down while she’s basking in the afterglow. It looks like her dreams are up in smoke, but then Ethan proposes a deal too tempting to resist. 

Ethan has no intention of settling for a one-night stand with Laurie. Nor does he want anything to do with the women his wealthy family wants him to meet. Not when he’s waited ten years for his chance to make his move. His deal might have strings—and Laurie may not know the stakes—but nothing will stop this sexy cop from staking a real claim on her body and her heart. 

What I Liked:

Okay. I was not disappointed, folks. Brazen's recent novels have been rather lackluster, but I had high hopes for this novel. Samanthe Beck's books are so swoony, sexy, steamy, and sweet, and this one was no exception. I adore her books, and this series especially!

Ethan Booker has waited ten years for a chance to be with wild Laurie Peterson, and he isn't letting the chance go to waste. Sure, he comes from a rich family and she comes from a much more "disgraceful" background. But he knows what - who - he wants, and it's Laurie. Laurie is an impulsive commitment-phobe, and she wants Ethan as badly as he wants her. But she knows she's not good enough for him, especially with their different backgrounds. But Ethan isn't a guy to back down, and his deal that he offers her is temporary at first, but hopefully for life.

You'd think I wouldn't enjoy this book, because Laurie, on paper, is not the type of heroine that I like. She's wild and impulsive, slightly irrational and a total commitment-phobe. She avoids commitments like they are rashes, so she has a lot of hook-ups but no real relationships. She is hot and cold with Ethan Booker, pushing and pulling, throwing herself at him and then running away. Theoretically, *I* shouldn't like her.

But I did. I understood her. Sure, she has a lengthy sexual history, a ridiculous outlook on commitment, and more in common with her tramp mother than she wants to admit. But Laurie is also a hard worker, a tough lady, and someone who doesn't like to ask for help. I felt for her, even if I wanted to push her at Ethan and make her stay there.

Ethan... woah. Holy alpha male. He's an alpha male but not a crazy overprotective one. He's sweet and genuine and alpha all at once - it's hard to describe. This is something that I love about Beck's heroes - they're sexy alphas, but they're also sweet, considerate, and decidedly more real than most alpha males in romance novels. Like, I could see Ethan being an actual guy in real life, and not because he's a hot sheriff.

Ethan is a sweetheart as much as he is a sexy guy. I like how he is patient with Laurie, but he's also firm and goes after what he wants. He waits for her, but then he also goes in for what he wants. It's a good balance of letting Laurie be but also satisfying them both. Ethan looks out for Laurie and wants the best for her, but he doesn't try to solve all of her problems.

Have I mentioned how hot the chemistry between these two is? The romance in the book is well-developed and meaningful, but the chemistry, the chemistry is scorching hot. These two have been waiting to paw at each other for ten years (you'll have to read the book to find out why), and when it happens... *fans self* Samanthe Beck always has steamy romance novels, but this one is really really hot. I'm impressed! 

The pair strike a deal, in which Ethan will loan her money (her bakery burned down) if she attends his sister's wedding as his date, to keep his mother off his back. I wasn't expecting to like Ethan's mother, but I actually did! She's not overbearing and nosy like I would have expected. I like how Ethan's mother takes to Laurie and really likes her, despite Laurie thinking that she isn't good enough for Ethan. Ethan's mother is a smart lady and one of the reasons why Laurie fights for Ethan.

Which brings me to the climax and end of the story! I despise it when the female screws up and for some reason, it's the male that has to beg and grovel. In this book, Laurie is the one that pushes Ethan away, and he walks away, telling her that she needs to decide even though he'll always love her. The best part about the ending is that Laurie picks herself up and goes to Ethan - and not the opposite. Ethan leaves the ball firmly in her court, and Laurie isn't stupid; she goes after him. I LOVE THIS.

Overall, this is a really great addition to the Compromise Me series, and an awesome book by Samanthe Beck! It pulls me out of the small Brazen funk that I've been in.

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific from me!

Would I Recommend It:

I recommend this one! I feel like it's been a while since I solidly recommended a new Brazen novel - even my regulars Katee Robert and Tessa Bailey have let me down recently. Samanthe Beck hasn't though! I'm excited that this one was really solid. 


4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars. I hope the next book follows Rafe's sister Arden! (Rafe is the hero of Compromising Her Position, the equally sexy and enjoyable predecessor of this book.)

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

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate! The holiday has disgraceful roots, and this particular Thanksgiving is one following a brutal election here in the States, but I hope the sentiments of Thanksgiving and what this day is supposed to represent will shine.

I am so thankful to everyone who has made an impact on my blog in the last four years - followers, commentors, publishers, publicists, authors, librarians, booksellers. Thank you thank you thank you. These words cannot be said enough. Blogging has often been the light in an endless tunnel, especially during college, and I'm grateful for all/any support, past, present, and future.

My gratitude cannot be expressed sufficiently to my family, friends, peers, fellow students, professor, colleagues, supervisors, and leaders in life. Especially to my parents - everything I do comes back to you two in some way, always.

Thank you to God, for bringing me through and seeing me forward. 2016 has been rough on everyone, and I've hurt so badly this year. Faith has been a huge part of me moving forward every day.

I hope everyone has someone today! Give someone a hug, a call, a text, show some love. The world needs it. I'm not really a touchy-feely spread-the-love kind of girl, but today is a good day to be one. Be grateful, be kind, be safe, and do some good eating! =)

Swoon Thursday (#200): The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter

- 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 The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter!

"Yes." Katarina softened as she toyed with the ends of his hair. "But be careful out there. She's one wily bitch."

"You're beginning to sound as if you like me."

She pursed her beautiful lips before saying, "I...might."

A very Katarina answer. Stubborn while remaining mysterious.

"I'll return to you. Nothing in this world or any other can stop me." He placed a hard, swift kiss on her lips, then another, and her tongue came out to play with his. 

- eARC, page 333

Such a great book! I chose this excerpt because it was sweet, and a very telling moment in Katarina and Baden's relationship. Love!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (#204): Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson

"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:

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson
Book One of an untitled duology
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

On her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless. 

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn into the throne much sooner than she expected. 

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price. 

In the first book of a remarkable duology, Sara B. Larson sets the stage for her reimagining of Swan Lake -- a lush romance packed with betrayal, intrigue, magic, and adventure.

I loved Larson's debut trilogy (Defy, Ignite, Endure), and I'm excited to read new books!