Monday, March 2, 2015

Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the fab ladies at The Broke and the Bookish!

Basically, everything Tarryn Fisher. Forever and ever, amen.

Review: Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires #11) by Chloe Neill

Blurb from Goodreads:
A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan's dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don't know whether he's friend or foe. But they'll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs....

The connections to Chicago's Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last....
My Review:
The Chicagoland Vampire series is one of my all time favorite series.  I love love love Ethan, Merit and Methan.  And I have to say, there is a lot of good Methan time in Dark Debt!!  This is the first book after the disbandment of the GP and the birth of the AAM.  It's a new world for all the houses and in the midst of trying to make something new for all vampires without the patriarchal, overreaching GP, Cadogan House has to go above and beyond to save Navarre House.  This book just emphasized how much I dislike Celina!  The depths of Celina's betrayal to her own house is revealed in Dark Debt and it is not good.  Even though it seems like this series is one fight/controversy/outrage after another, I enjoyed this book and I think the story-line is still progressing, which is no easy feat.  It is insane to think that this entire series is truly only a little more than a year since the first book because so much has happened.  Dark Debt has the usual fight scenes, chases, snark, snack food bingeing and super steamy Methan scenes -- all the things I love about this series.  

Also, I LOVED the ending.  I can't tell you what happened because that would spoil it but for those of us who have read this series from the beginning, you will be very, VERY pleased!  I'm already counting down until the next book in the series.  

Dark Debt comes out tomorrow, March 3, 2015, and you can purchase HERE!
Love wasn't perfection.  It wasn't always roses and candy.  Hell, it wasn't even mostly roses and candy.  Sometimes it was battling back fear that loomed like a leviathan, trying to find a way through misery, being grateful to have a companion who knew your strengths and weaknesses, and loved you not just in spite of them, but because of them.  Love was acceptance.  Love was bravery.  Love was sticking it out.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Bridged (Mason Callahan #2) by Kendra Elliot

Bridged (Mason Callahan #2) by Kendra Elliot 

Blurb from Goodreads:
After a congressman’s tortured body is found dangling from a Portland bridge, the FBI joins the Oregon State Police to investigate the case—and FBI Special Agent Ava McLane, still recovering from a bullet wound, hunts the twisted killer alongside the man who captured her heart, police detective Mason Callahan.

But once a third body appears and all evidence points to a serial killer, the public furiously clamors for answers—and the couple’s relationship grows fractured under the pressure. Ava and Mason search in the past for clues that predict the future. And when Ava’s mentally ill twin spins out of control, the FBI agent who battles monsters every day wonders if she shares her sister’s self-destructive streak…

In the latest thrilling romantic suspense novel from award-winning author Kendra Elliot, the past and the present violently collide…and the fallout can be deadly.
My Review:
Bridged is the second book in the romantic suspense series, The Mason Callahan series, by Kendra Elliot. I read the first book, Vanished, before I read Bridged and I recommend reading the series in order because you really see the character development and get a sense of Mason and Ava on their own. is the second book in the series. I always try to read a series in order and advise my friends to do the same.  Bridged is definitely a superb  romantic suspense but the emphasis is on the suspense.  This series follows Mason (who is a State Police Detective) and Ava (who is an FBI Agent) through crimes and their budding relationship.

I absolutely love Mason and Ava, and adore them trying to catch a killer in this book!  Ava is so strong but she has her moments when she is vulnerable and lets Mason in.  The thing is -- he needs her just a much so they are a great team at work and a great team at home.  In this book, without giving too much away, Ava gets seriously involved with the killer they are trying to catch.  One of the truly unique pieces of backstory in this series is that Ava has a twin, Jayne.  Jayne is unstable and you will not believe the actions she takes -- basically the opposite of controlled, steady and diligent Ava.  But they are good foils!!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I really like this series.  It is set in Oregon (Portland) and the beauty and uniqueness of the state is definitely a constant background.  Kendra Elliot does a fantastic job of setting the scene and drawing you into this world.  

I am already counting this series among my favorite in romantic suspense.  I highly recommend for fans of Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Catherine Coulter, and Rachel Grant.  Read this series now because the third book, Spiraled, comes out June 2, 2015, and this is definitely a series you want to read!!
Who would have thought that sharing a cup of coffee in the morning would be one of the highlights of his day?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giveaway and Q&A with Ellie Cahill / Liz Czukas (When Joss Met Matt)

1.     What was the switch like between YA to NA?
I’ve kind of always written both, actually. I started writing NA before it was a thing. I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to be a hipster about it, because believe me it wasn’t easy trying to get anyone in the publishing world’s attention with stories about people in college or their early twenties. No one wanted to touch them.I think the two categories have a lot in common, actually. Because they both feature characters who don’t have everything figured out just yet. That’s what I like about both. I just think it’s a lot more interesting to write about characters who are still finding their place in the world than about grown-ups who have to worry about things like paying the mortgage and getting their kids into the best preschool.On a less serious note, it’s fun to be able to keep my characters in the same bed. That’s pretty much not a possibility in YA. Even though I don’t have a problem with sexuality in YA, it’s pretty rare to contrive a circumstance where two teens gets to spend the whole night together. The possibilities are much wider in NA.
2.     How do you come up with your characters’ names?
Joss’s name came straight out of a book of baby names! I was paging through it and I saw the name Jocelyn. All the entries listed nicknames after them and something about the name Joss just worked for me. I have a lot of opinions about names, and I always want them to fit with the characters’ personalities. So it can take a while to land on the right one. But trust me, when I have it wrong, characters will NOT cooperate on the page.
3.     What do you love about the cover for WHEN JOSS MET MATT?
I love the light, bright feel of it. I think it really matches the tone of the book. I wanted something playful and sexy. There are plenty of beautiful covers in NA, but a lot of them have a darker, brooding tone, which goes perfectly with the stories inside. I wanted readers to be in the mood for something fun when they saw the cover and I think the pose and the bright colors really work for that.
4.     What are you reading right now?
I am usually reading several things at once, actually! I’m listening to the audiobook of Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, which is fantastic. I’m also reading a non-fiction book about the lives of servants in Victorian England, Bossypants by Tina Fey, and a 2016 release by my friend Kristin Rae called What You Always Wanted. I heartily recommend ALL of them!
5.     What were your favorite books of 2014?
Oh gosh, I read so may good books in 2014. I’ll limit this to books that came out in 2014 or we’ll be here all day! I loved loved loved WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE by Huntley Fitzpatrick, BOOMERANG by Noelle August, THE SECRET HUM OF A DAISY by Tracy Holczer, WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT by Sarah Mlynowski, THE SERPANT OF VENICE by Christopher Moore
6.     What’s upcoming for Ellie Cahill and/or Liz Czukas?
Hopefully many good things! Nothing I can talk about right now, unfortunately. But I’m always working on new things. Right now I’m working on a New Adult that takes place in a music store, and a YA thriller about a teenage cat burglar. Fingers crossed that I can tell you everything soon!

7.     How did you come up with the name Ellie Cahill?
The nice thing about the name Elizabeth is that there are so many nicknames! I figured I’d stick with one of them as well as the same last initial. But as long as I was picking, I had to get something WAY easier to pronounce than Czukas (CHEW-kiss, by the way). It was more intimidating than I thought to choose my own name!
8.     What’s your favorite author who also has a pen name?
Does it count if he doesn’t use it anymore? I’m a HUGE Stephen King fan. And his short stories collection as Richard Bachman is one of the more powerful books I ever read. Great stuff.
9.     Give me 2 truths and a lie about you.
I went to an all-girls high school.I know how to fence.I wanted to be a chef but I didn’t get into culinary school. (This is the lie)
10.Who’s your favorite book couple?
Celia and Marco in THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern. *swoon*
11.What was your favorite scene to write in WHEN JOSS MET MATT?
I’d have to say the Halloween scene. Or rather, the scene after the Halloween party where Joss finally works up the courage to ask Matt to be her Sorbet Guy. It was so fun to play with her awkwardness and they way they’re kind of shy with each other at first. Plus, they’re in costume, which added to the fun.

Thank you Ellie!  You can also read my review of When Joss Met Matt HERE!! 

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Blushing (The Brightside #2) by Katie Delahanty

 "Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you are eagerly anticipating.

Today, I am waiting on:  
Blushing (The Brightside #2) by Katie Delahanty!!

From Goodreads:
My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Engaged.

When Berkeley proposed I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.

Berkeley wants me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch; we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him. 

I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?
The first book in this series, In Bloom, was surprising in a good way!  The ending was kind of crazy so I am super excited for book two!  Blushing is scheduled for release on February 23, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Review: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Blurb from Goodreads:
Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.

Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love. 
My Review:
This was my first Ellie Cahill/Liz Czukas book and I wasn't disappointed.  When Joss Met Matt is a quick read, told between alternating past and present sections, about friends with benefits that turn into something more.  Although this sounds like a overused trope, this one was definitely unique in that it really was more friends to lovers because Joss and Matt were really good friends throughout the book rather than just a hook-up situation.  I actually really enjoyed the play by play of all their past relationships and their interactions at the end of each of those relationships.  The history and span of their relationship was the best part for me and I would read this one again!

I would recommend this to NA fans, and to fans of the friends to lovers trope -- it is a shining example of both genres!  When Joss Met Matt comes out February 24, 2015, and you can purchase HERE!  Also I will be posting a Q&A with the author this weekend!!
Love was knowing someone, truly knowing him, and still wanting to be with him.  Love was caring so much about another person that you willingly put his needs before your own.  Love was sharing passion, history, trust.  All of that, plus a fearless belief that life was better with your love than without.  That everything that comes next will be made easier, happier, richer by his inclusion.