Saturday, June 30, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#288)

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, June 24th to Saturday, June 30th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

Super fun package! I absolutely love the college theme. Thank you, First Second!

Flame and the bookplate are from the Smoke in the Sun preorder incentive. Seven Torments is a surprise from Hyperion. Thank you, Penguin and Hyperion!

Favorite Instagram post from this week:

A post shared by Alyssa (@theeaterofbooks) on

This week was not too shabby. I met Sabaa Tahir on Wednesday (see my Instagram post) - what an incredible event. My birthday is next week which is also exciting. And if you missed it, I created a personal Instagram page! @alyssasadventuresinwonderland =)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Preorder Blitz and Giveaway: Make Me Crave by Katee Robert

Hey y'all! It's that time of month again, in which Katee Robert has a new book on the horizon. She is a writing machine! Check out her upcoming novel, Make Me Crave. Pre-order Make Me Crave and add it to your TBR pile on Goodreads! Then keep reading to get a sneak peek excerpt and enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist! 

About the Book:

Make Me Crave by Katee Robert
Book Two of the Make Me series
Publisher: Harlequin Dare
Publication Date: July 1, 2018

Official Summary: 

Can their hunger be satisfied? 

Roman Bassani will do anything to close a deal. Even chase down Allie Landers on her Caribbean vacation to make an offer on her company. He expects a challenge—but not their immediate intense attraction. After an accidental one-night stand they agree to put business aside—for now. The island lulls them into a heated sexual journey…but what happens to their opposing interests when they return from paradise?

Check out book one, Make Me Want:

(Click on the cover for more information!)

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.

The Excerpt:

Tomorrow would be soon enough for them to go exploring and try out the stand-up paddleboards Allie had eyed when she’d checked out the beach.

Her face heated at the fact she’d been caught topless sunbathing. Whoever that guy was, he’d been far off enough that she couldn’t clearly see his face. Those shoulders, though… Allie shivered. Even at a distance, she’d seen the cut of his muscles and how purposefully he’d maneuvered the kayak through the turquoise waters. The island must have already gone to her head, because she’d spent a truly insane moment hoping he’d come to shore so she could get a better look at him.

Maybe more than a better look.

Allie laughed at her fanciful thoughts. Vacation hookups were all well and good, but if that was what she’d wanted, she’d chosen the wrong place to go. Isolation and relaxation were the name of the game on West Island, which was exactly what she’d craved when she let Becka talk her into booking the trip. It was the exact opposite of New York and her life there.

But now she found herself wondering if maybe something slightly more chaotic would have been a better choice. The sun and sea had soaked into her blood and the heady feeling had her convinced anything was possible. It was only a week. The perfect length of time for a fling…

If she wasn’t on a private island in the middle of the ocean without a single man in sight.

She bypassed the little golf cart that was one of the main forms of transportation here. It felt good to walk after being cooped up on the plane and then lying prone while she sunned herself. She usually taught at least one class a day at Transcend—more if she needed to cover someone else’s schedule—so being inactive wasn’t natural for her. It was only a mile or two to the restaurant and the day had started to cool as the sun reached for the horizon. It’d be downright pleasant tonight.

She’d make sure to wake early and attend one of the yoga classes offered, and the rest of the day would be filled with activities that would keep restlessness from setting in. There was even scuba diving available, though Allie wasn’t sure she was feeling that adventurous. Snorkeling? Sure. Going deeper with only a tank and a few tubes between her and drowning? That would take a whole lot more convincing.

The path was cleared and well maintained to allow the carts to drive without problems, so she let her mind wander as she fell into a natural stride that ate up the distance without tiring her out. Every once in a while, the path would branch off in different directions, some heading toward other villas, some heading deeper inland. There was a small selection of hiking trails that offered tours of the history of the island.

She made it to the restaurant easily, and found it practically deserted. Allie paused in the doorway, wondering if she’d misunderstood the woman who’d checked them in. Maybe it was closed?

“Looks like it’s just you and me.”

She jumped and spun around. The man stood a respectable distance away, but his sheer size ate up the space and made her feel closed in. She froze. I’d recognize those shoulders anywhere. Confirming her suspicion, his gaze slid over her body as if he was reminding himself of what she looked like with nothing but what she’d worn on the beach. She tried to swallow past her suddenly dry throat. “You.”

“Me.” He finally looked her in the face, and she rocked back on her heels. The man was an Adonis. There was no other way to describe his blond perfection, from his hazel eyes to the square jaw to the cleft in his chin to the body that just wouldn’t quit. He might be wearing a shirt now, but the button-down did nothing to hide his muscle definition.

He held out a wide hand with equally perfect square fingers. “Let me buy you a drink?”

“We’re at an all-inclusive resort.”

His lips twitched, eyes twinkling. “Have a drink with me.”

Oh, he was good. Charm practically colored the air between them, and she had the inexplicable impulse to close the distance and stroke a finger along his jawline. To flick that cleft chin with her tongue.

Allie gave herself a shake. “Since we’re the only ones here, it’d be silly to sit apart.”

The look he gave her said he saw right through the excuse, and why not when it was pathetically flimsy? The truth was that this man was magnetic and she suspected she’d be drawn to him even in a room full of people. He waved a hand at the empty place. “Lady’s choice.”

“How magnanimous of you.”

“I try.”

She laughed and headed for the table in the middle of the small patio. There were half a dozen tables, and she picked a spot that put her back to the building and presented the best view of the ocean through a carefully curated gap in the foliage.
He eyed the view and then the chair on the other side of the table, and then he picked it up and set it adjacent to hers so they were sitting on a diagonal,  rather than directly across from each other. “Nice view.”

She turned to agree—and found him staring at her.

Allie wasn’t falsely modest. Life was too short to play games with body shaming and pretending she didn’t have access to a mirror. She was pretty—beautiful when she put some effort into it—but she’d given up being skinny or petite after the agony of high school, and she wasn’t athletically built like some of the women at her gym. Sure, she had muscle beneath her softness, and she could keep up with the best of them in her spin classes, but she loved food just as much as she loved to sweat, and her curves reflected that. Some guys had a problem with that, though she didn’t keep them around as soon as comments like “Should you really be eating that?” started.

This guy looked at her like he wanted to put her on the table and feast on her for dinner.

The desire stoked the flame inside her that had kindled the second she saw him. She leaned forward, checking his left hand. No ring. No tan lines, either. “What brings you to West Island?”

“It’s paradise, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to come here to get away from it all?”
That wasn’t quite an answer, but she was distracted by the intoxicating way his mouth moved when he spoke. Get ahold of yourself, Allie. You’re in danger of panting for him. She took a quick drink of water that did nothing to quell the heat rising with each minute she sat next to him.

Luckily, a waiter appeared to save her from saying something truly embarrassing. He outlined the menu for the night and took their drink orders, then disappeared as quickly as he’d come.

They were in the middle of one of the most beautiful places Allie had ever seen, and she couldn’t manage to tear her gaze away from this stranger. She licked her lips, every muscle in her body tensing when he followed the movement. She opened her mouth, but before she could speak, he took her hand, running his thumb over her knuckles.

The touch was innocent enough, but she felt that light movement in places that were most definitely not innocent. She didn’t have to look down to know her nipples now pressed against the thin fabric of her sundress.

His smile was slow and sinful and promised things she never would have had the gall to ask for. “This is going to sound unforgivably forward, but what do you say we get out of here and go back to my villa?”

It was crazy. More than crazy. She didn’t even know his name, and she sure as hell didn’t know anything more pertinent about him.

But there on the softly lit patio with the tropical scent of some flower she didn’t recognize and the soft shushing sound of the tide coming in, she didn’t feel like Allie, gym owner and mother hen, the responsible one who could never afford to do anything out of line or make a misstep because too many lives depended on her.
Here, she was just Allie, a woman. A woman who desperately wanted the man staring at her mouth as if he was doing everything in his power to keep from kissing her right then and there. She licked her lips again, secretly delighting in the way a muscle in his jaw jumped. “Yes.”


“Yes, let’s get out of here.”

Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert

The Giveaway:

Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card or one of three (3) ebooks from Katee Robert’s backlist! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#283): Blood Match by K.A. Linde

- 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 Blood Match by K.A. Linde!

Beckham responded by moving back into her personal space. His frame was huge and he dwarfed her small body. but his hands were surprisingly gentle as they slid into her dark hair, tilting her head up to him. Her body responded on instinct, melding against his. His body was hard and solid and strong. Then he brought his mouth down to cover hers and the world slipped away.

As everything with Beckham, he was not gentle or submissive. Once his lips were on hers, he commanded the kiss. His tongue breached the seam of her lips, opening her to him. She gasped as their tongues touched. He was coaxing and delving for more and more and she gave him all that she had.

- eARC, page 115

I am loving this book! I really enjoyed Blood Type (book one), and I already know I will by dying to read the conclusion novel (Blood Cure) after finishing this second novel. Beckham and Reyna are a fiery couple!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#287): Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

"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:

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lacey Barnes has dreamt of being in a movie for as long as she can remember. However, while her dream did include working alongside the hottest actor in Hollywood, it didn’t involve having to finish up her senior year of high school at the same time she was getting her big break. Although that is nothing compared to Donavan, the straight-laced student her father hires to tutor her, who is a full-on nightmare.

As Lacey struggles to juggle her burgeoning career, some on-set sabotage, and an off-screen romance with the unlikeliest of leading men, she quickly learns that sometimes the best stories happen when you go off script.

New Kasie West book! I can't wait. I've read all of her books. 😍😍

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Release Day Blitz: Blood Match by K.A. Linde

Hey friends! Today is the release day of Blood Match by K.A. Linde! I loved Blood Type and can't wait to share my thoughts on book two with you - on Friday. Learn more about this sequel!

About the Book:

Blood Match by K.A. Linde
Book Two of the Blood Type series
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Official Summary:

As the provocative, sensual Blood Type series continues, the rare bond between Reyna and Beckham is threatened by betrayal, greed, and twisted secrets.

A desperate human. A powerful vampire. A world divided.

Reyna Carpenter was promised paradise. She was delivered into hell.

Giving up her body for money was supposed to be the hardest part of becoming a blood escort. She never expected to lose her heart to her dark, enigmatic boss, Beckham Anderson. After being taken by a depraved captor who plans to rule the world, Reyna will do anything to return to Beckham.

She just has to find the will to survive this game.

From the pawn, rises a queen.

Note: Reyna and Beckham’s story begins in Blood Type and continues in Blood Cure.

Check out the rest of the series:


Blood Type:

Blood Cure:

About the Author:

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Blog Tour: Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Welcome to the blog tour for Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf, which recently published on June 5th! This debut novel is one of the most unique stories I've come across this year. If you're looking for high fantasy, and particularly a new author, give this book a chance! Today I'll be sharing a short review, and more information about the book.

About the Book:

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
Book One of the Bring Me Their Hearts series
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: June 5, 2018

Official Summary:

Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.


About the Author:

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as Lovely Vicious. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

My Thoughts:

This is going to be somewhat short, and not my usual style of reviews. I'll write a more expanded review for Amazon/B&N, but for now, this is going to be short. I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

First, can we talk about that amazing illustrated cover? It is AMAZING. I love illustrated covers, like that of An Enchantment of Ravens, or this one. The artist of this particular cover did an excellent job.

This book was so kickbutt! I found it exciting from start to finish. I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, and this one is somewhat of a loose fairy tale retelling. Zera is tasked with bringing the witch Nightsinger the heart of a prince. Zera herself is a Heartless - an immortal soldier - so this should be easy, right? The prince's heart in exchange for her own heart back from the witch. But as you'll see, the task is not so easy. Infiltrating court is not so easy. Discovering hard truths about herself and her upbringing is not so easy. Not falling for the prince is not so easy.

I really liked Zera. I like sassy, fierce heroines, especially the sarcastic ones that have amazing wit. I felt a connection Zera - she and I share similar personality traits. She was somewhat of a villain (trying to steal someone's heart), but definitely the heroine of her own story.

Lucien is the illustrious prince and a worthy hero of the story. I love the name Lucien and I loved the character himself. He has a strong sense of justice which is not always common among nobility. I love reading about princes, and Lucien was a swoony one.

There is romance, as you would expect, and so it's predictable but in a comfortable way. I liked the romance. I always find that Entangled Teen's books have great romances that I can fall into as the story goes on.

The ending is sooooooo cruel. I honestly thought this book was a standalone, and when I got to the ending, I was like EXCUSE ME?! Thank goodness for a sequel, but also a part of me wishes this was a standalone novel (with a more wrapped-up ending, of course). But I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

What are your thoughts on this book? Are you interested in the story? What are your favorite assassin types of stories?

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Science in Fiction (#41): Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein

Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm featuring Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein!

I haven't read Chemistry Lessons, but I've seen it around. It is a new release from HMH Teen, and it deals with a high school student who is an intern at MIT and will be going to college soon. Maya's mother was a scientist; by chance, Maya discovers that her mother was researching pheromones, and how to increase human attraction. 

Today I'm going to talk about pheromones! What a fun topic, right? defines pheromones as "any chemical substance released by an animal that serves to influence the physiology or behavior of other members of the same species." There have been little evidence to support the existence of pheromones in humans (boooo!), but pheromones are quite common in animals and plants. Pheromones can be used for things like pest control. 

In an article published by on June 7th, 2018, it was detailed how sex pheromones would be used as a form of pest control. Scientists have isolated a specific type of sex pheromone that will attract pesticides, thus protecting the plants. This will hopefully prevent crop loss, something that the world has been experiencing more and more of, especially with rising immunity to pest control.

Another use of pheromones that will be implemented in the future is to control the lamprey population in the Great Lakes. Lamprey are an invasive species in the Great Lakes, and the population is out of control. They are super ugly and dangerous. Scientists have been researching sex pheromones that would lure the lamprey into traps. 

Lamprey are native to the Atlantic Ocean and are highly invasive in the Great Lakes. They have suction cup-like mouth that latches onto their prey. They have no natural predators and so their population is free to grow at will. Pheromones is definitely one way to reduce the population. Check out more on MPR News.

Image result for lamprey great lakes
 Lamprey. Source: Wikipedia

In Australia, researchers are using pheromones to lure and trap a specific swarm of bees that are thought to carry varroa mite, a virus deadly to bees. The bees that are caught by the pheromone traps are studied to learn more about the virus.

Bottom line: it would be cool if humans have pheromones, but it's really cool how pheromones are used in a science-y way. Whether it's to control a population of invasive species, or to increase crop yield, the use of pheromones can be beneficial to humans and natural ecosystems. Do you agree?

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#287)

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, June 17th to Saturday, June 23rd?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

The last two are from Jaime (thank you!), but the others are unsolicited from pubs. Thanks to all!

Reviews from this week:

(Click on the cover to go to my review!)

Favorite Instagram post from this week:

I have a new Instagram account! It's a personal account; the handle is @alyssasadventuresinwonderland. You know I had to include a literary reference somehow. =) Please follow if you feel inclined!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Cover Reveal: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Hey fam! Today I'm sharing the cover of Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry! This cover was revealed yesterday, but if you haven't seen it... now you will. :D

This book will publish in January 2019! Are you ready for the cover?

Here it is!

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: January 22, 2019

Official Summary:

Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.

About the Author:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON,  BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#282): Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

- 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 Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken!

I stood on my toes again, bracing myself against his strong form, and pressed my lips against the smooth skin of his cheek.

"For luck," I explained.

"Thank you," he said.

I waited until he had disappeared completely from the tent before moving. I sat down heavily on the bench, my face in my hands, as anger, love, and fear all fought to rise up inside of me.

The tent flap banged open. I brought my head up, and there was Wayland North.

I was on my feet in an instant, but he had crossed the distance between us in two long strides.


He pulled me to him, grasping my face between his hands. And then he was kissing me, kissing me so deeply, so fiercely that I could feel my toes curling my shoes. The world spun away, and it was just the two of us.

- Kindle copy, page 328

One of my favorite books of all time. I was rereading it this weekend and couldn't resist sharing this scene!