Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho #1) by Rosalind James

 "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:  
Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho #1) by Rosalind James!

From Goodreads:
Paradise, Idaho, may not be the largest town, but for newly minted professor Zoe Santangelo, it’s the first step on the path to her big break. After teaching in a small Idaho school, her next stop is the Ivy League, and no one is going to stand in her way. She’ll do what it takes to move up, to protect her students from a creepy campus stalker—and to protect her heart from Cal Jackson, the hot, hunky cowboy who keeps coming to her rescue.

After a career-ending injury, Cal has left professional football behind and come home to work the family farm. He’s determined not to get mixed up with any more city girls who don’t want to settle down with a country boy. But after he rescues sassy geologist Zoe from a snowy ditch, he can’t stop thinking about her. Can Cal keep Zoe safe from whoever is targeting her—and can he show her that having ambition doesn’t mean she has to sacrifice love? 
I love love love Rosalind James, and I can't wait to start her new series set in Paradise, Idaho.  The book is romantic suspense, my favorite genre, and I can't wait to read something new from one of my favorite authors! Carry Me Home is scheduled for release on June 16, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle

Blurb from Goodreads:
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.

Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can't get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.

It's not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma's name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go even when you know you have to say goodbye.
My Review:
So I don't think I even read the description of this book before reading it, which is not an unusual when it comes to an author I've read and loved before.  Such is the case with Karina Halle -- I really liked her Artists Trilogyand last year I read and loved Love, In English.  Little did I know, however, that Where Sea Meets Sky is a spin-off of Love, In English in that it's about Vera's brother, Josh.  I am generally not a fan when an author feels they have to write a book about every secondary character in a popular book.  I know we all know examples of this.  That being said, Where Sea Meets Sky was unique and I liked it a lot if for not better reason than its setting!!

The book follow Josh's journey to New Zealand, which admittedly starts out because of Gemma, but becomes cathartic as most extended trips we take in our twenties can be -- especially to somewhere new, across the world from our home.  Gemma was a bit annoying at times because she was so closed off and made bad decisions in not trusting herself.  The ending also disappointed me but I absolutely loved the journey through New Zealand and the descriptions of the country. I want to visit so much!!!

I would recommend this to NA fans, and to fans of the books set in New Zealand.  I also have to recommend one of my favorite contemporary series in that vein because it is also set in New Zealand -- the Escape to New Zealand series by Rosalind James.  It is really good! Where Sea Meets Sky comes out tomorrow, March 31, 2015, and you can purchase HERE!
The envy I'm feeling at this moment is incomparable.  It sickens me, straight into my bones, and I hold my breath, trying to ignore and listen at the same time.  I've touched her before, felt her skin beneath mine; I've seen her eyes roll back in her head because of something I gave her.  I felt that sexual, feverish frenzy that enslaved us both.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

Blurb from Goodreads:
On a rainy Southern night, Jade Sperry endured a young woman's worst nightmare at the hands of three local hell-raisers. Robbed of her youthful ideals and at the center of scandal and tragedy, Jade ran as far and as fast as she could. But she never forgot the sleepy "company town" where every man, woman, and child was dependent on one wealthy family. And she never forgot their spoiled son, who, with his two friends, changed her life forever. Someday, somehow, she'd return, exact a just revenge -- and free herself from fear, and the powerful family that could destroy her.
My Review:
If you are in the mood for some old school romance with a side of revenge, you will love Breath of Scandal!!  This book originally came out in 1991 and it definitely is true to that time period in terms of attitudes and behavior, especially in the south.  Although things were a bit outdated, I couldn't help but love Jade Sperry -- she is a self-made woman, an amazing mother but she is also not over her past, which is completely understandable given what happened to her.  The book really was more about revenge rather romance but there was a slow build that made the eventual romance worth every page.

Breath of Scandal was just re-released, and you can purchase HERE!  
There were those who had much to atone for, and Jade would see to it that they did.  The restitution she had dreamed of was within her grasp.  She now had the power to make it happen.   
She continued to gaze out the window, but litter of the street scene below barely registered with her.  Rather, she saw the tall grass swaying in coastal marshes.  She smelled pungent salt air and heady magnolias.  She tasted low-country cooking.  The skyscrapers were replaced by tall pines; the broad avenues became sluggishly flowing channels.  She remembered how it felt to breathe air so heavy and thick that it didn't even stir the limp, gray Spanish moss that dripped from the branches of ancient live oaks.   
She was going back to Palmetto.  And when she got there, all hell was going to break loose.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly

 "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:  
Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly!!

From Goodreads:
Sherlock meets The Breakfast Club in this story of a wisecracking girl who meets a weird but brilliant boy and their roller-coaster of a semester that's one part awkward, three parts thrilling, and five parts awesome.

After her parents get divorced, high school junior Zoe Webster moves with her mother from Brooklyn to upstate New York, determined to get back to the city and transfer to the elite private school her father insists on. But then she meets Philip Digby--the odd and brilliant and somehow attractive?--Digby, and soon finds herself in a series of hilarious and dangerous situations all centered on his search for the kidnapper of a local teenage girl who may know something about the tragic disappearance of his kid sister eight years ago. Before she knows it, Zoe has vandalized an office complex with fake snow, pretended to buy drugs alongside a handsome football star dressed like the Hulk, had a serious throw down with a possible religious cult, challenged her controlling father, and, oh yeah, saved her new hometown.

For fans of John Green and David Levithan, this is a crime novel where catching the crook isn't the only hook, a romance where the leading man is decidedly unromantic, a friendship story where they aren't even sure they like each other, and a debut you won't soon forget. 
This is a debut, which I rarely read!  But when Lori at Writing My Own Fairy Tale described this as Veronica Mars meets Scandal, I immediately pre-ordered! I love VM (as you know) and I love Olivia Pope so this could not be more in my wheelhouse. Trouble is a Friend of Mine is scheduled for release on August 4, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Monday, March 23, 2015

Top 10 Books From My Childhood That I Would Love To Revisit

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

This was a fun blast from the past -- I was basically into cheesy horror books or super girly books about sleepovers and pen pals.

Review: After Dark (Night Owl #3) by M. Pierce

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the final novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce, can a passion that has withstood many ordeals become a love strong enough to last a lifetime?

Matt Sky is trying to return to normal, having faked his death and come back to life. He and Hannah move back in together, and Matt attempts to put his demons to rest as they strive to grow their relationship into something durable and honest. But as the two become more and more entangled, and the heat between them intensifies in all the best possible ways, Matt’s desire for Hannah ignites cravings he has kept at bay for a long, long time…

Hannah finally has the life she's always wanted: she's pursuing her career as a literary agent at Granite Wing Agency, she is writing her first novel, and she is living with her hot, passionate lover. But as Matt and Hannah explore a new intimacy, Hannah finds that there are parts of Matt—dark, wild, uncontrollable parts—that he has yet to show her…that he has yet to show anyone…Under the surface of Matt and Hannah’s domestic bliss, deeply buried secrets burn, and all of a sudden, the least foreseen obstacle threatens to shatter everything they’ve worked so hard for.
My Review:
Probably my most anticipated book for this year after The Raven King and Marrow, I can honestly say that After Dark ripped me apart but also was the perfect ending to this sweltering, temperamental series.  After the surprising ending of Last Light, I was very curious to find out how the series would end.  Would it truly be a HEA?  I just didn't feel like that would do these characters justice and apparently the author agreed with me because there were certain times when reading this book during which I abandoned all hope of not only a HEA, but of Matt and Hannah ever even speaking to each other again.  I must admit, though, that they needed these obstacles . . . even though I wanted to personally slap each of them at times.  

I absolutely devoured this ending to one of my favorite series of all time -- I couldn't put it down and as I turned the last page, all I could think was . . . perfect.  You can also read my review of the second book in this series, Last Light, here.  Both of the first two books in this series made my best of 2014 list, and I know the conclusion will be on my top ten list this year.

After Dark will be released tomorrow, March 24, 2015, you can purchase HERE, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it! 
Since I'd met Hannah, I wrote only about Hannah.  That beautiful woman . . . my sweet little bird.  Love is hysteria, and summer makes it worse.  Heat spreads the fever.  Madness.   
"I'm having unsettling visions of domestic bliss.  Remembering, too . . . the first time I drove out here, and you came running across the lawn."  I pointed.  Ghostly sadness gripped me.  "God, I can still see it, the way you looked.  I can smell that night, taste it.  I know that . . ."  
She touched my inner thigh.  "Go on."   
I kept pointing, searching for words.  
"I know that I'll die with those memories in me.  I know those are the kind of memories . . . that last."  I focused on Hannah.  Her face was vibrant, her expression unlike anything I had ever seen.  I knew that whatever had been left unsaid, she understood.  I also knew that the old cosmic trick was playing itself on me.  The greatest cynics fall in love.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel

 "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:  
Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heltzel!!

From Goodreads:
In Paris, family and friends gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own. 

No one knows whom to trust in this thrilling tale of suspense and deception.
I love a good mystery, especially when it's suspenseful and someone who everyone thinks is dead is not really dead!  Plus, I don't think I've ever read a YA in this category before!  Charlie, Presumed Dead is scheduled for release on June 2, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Blitz and Giveaway: One Lucky Night

One night can change everything… The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier. Lucky Break by Aria Kane Four years ago, chef Derek Chase walked out of Andrea Rivera’s life after a tragedy neither of them were prepared to deal with. When she’s called to the Brazen Head to repair a dishwasher, old sparks ignite buried feelings. Lucky Star by Grace Teague When her life is threatened by a mugger, Charlotte Price realizes she's in love with her best friend, Tommy Leung. The Brazen Head seems like the perfect neutral place to confess her feelings, but nothing goes according to plan. A New Tune by Ana Blaze When it comes to dating, Holly Hall has one unbreakable rule: no musicians. Not even gorgeous ones. Especially not gorgeous ones. Dating them only leads to heartbreak. So why did she let singer-songwriter Cian O’Neill kiss her? And why is she thinking about doing it again? Lexi’s Chance by Constance Phillips As a bartender, Sean Whelan meets all kinds of women every night, but none turn his head the way that Lexi has. She’s been playing cat and mouse with him for weeks. Tonight, Sean’s determined to get Lexi to quit teasing and take a real chance on him. Drink or Dare by Melinda Dozier A bachelorette party Drink or Dare game pairs paramedic students, Rachel Robertson and Killian Whelan, in a flirting match. Soon, the dares threaten to turn their academic rivalry into something much more. 
Check out the book trailer!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Review: Midnight Sun by Rachel Grant

Blurb from Goodreads:
Museum collections specialist Sienna Aubrey is desperate. A prehistoric IƱupiat mask in her client’s collection is haunted, and it wants her to return it to Alaska…now. Tormented to her breaking point, she steals it. But when she arrives in the remote Alaskan village, the tribal representative refuses to take the troublesome mask off her hands. Even worse, the manipulative artifact pulls the infuriating man into her dream, during which she indulges in her most secret fantasies with him.

A man in search of the truth…

Assistant US Attorney Rhys Vaughan came to the Arctic Circle to prove someone tried to murder his cousin. When Sienna shows up at his cousin’s office with the local tribe’s most sacred artifact, she becomes his prime suspect. Then the mask delivers him into Sienna’s hot, fantasy-laden dream, and his desire to investigate her takes an entirely different turn.

An artifact seeking justice…

But the mask has an agenda, and it’s not to play matchmaker. If Sienna doesn’t do what the artifact wants, she may pay the ultimate price, and only Rhys can save her.
My Review:
I enjoyed this book and read it really quickly.  Rachel Grant is writing in a unique subset of romantic suspense about artifacts and I really like it!  The setting for Midnight Sun was great -- summer in Alaska and, literally, midnight sun.  It takes place over the course of a weekend so it's incredibly fast-paced and filled with suspense!  But don't be fooled, there are definitely some very steamy scenes, too!  I would definitely recommend for fans of romantic suspense!!

Midnight Sun just came out, and you can purchase HERE!  Also, my review of another book by Rachel Grant here.
She wanted to be outraged that he'd lied to her, and that he wasn't the man he'd just spent hours pretending to be.  But she was too hot, too aroused to care.  If he wasn't the Itqaklut CRM, and wasn't in love with a dead woman, then she could have this dream.  Or whatever it was.  She could enjoy it without fear.  Without guilt.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

Blurb from Goodreads:
She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy... 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date. 

...and it’s going to be oh so good. 

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.  
My Review:
Wow, wow, wow.  I think by now some of us are sick of NA and the formulaic NA, specifically.  And maybe not every little detail of The Deal was unique but it was such a great read with real and likable characters!!  In reading the first few chapters, I felt like there was no way I could ever like or relate to Garrett -- he seemed like a typical chauvinistic athlete.  But then he needs Hannah --  and we see this whole other side of him.  Hannah is strong but still feels broken because of her past and although she might not know it when the book begins, she needs Garrett just as much as he needs her.  I loved their banter and their bickering because they truly did become friends and confidants before ever becoming something more.  However, when they did become more, their intimacy was so explosive that it jumped off the page.  This book was seriously a perfect mix of comedy, friendship, passion and love.  I had a huge smile the whole time I was reading this book and I couldn't put it down.

I would HIGHLY recommend this to all NA fans and, especially, to fans of The Hook Up by Kristin Callihan and Easy by Tammara Webber, two of my all time favorite NAs.  This is an absolutely excellent NA that is not only steamy but funny and tender.  I loved it!!!
She tries to take a step down the hall, but I tug on her hand and kiss her again, and this time it's not a peck. I kiss her hard, losing myself in her taste and her heat and every damn thing about her. I never expected her. Sometimes people sneak up on you and suddenly you don't know you ever lived without them.
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