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 solving 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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill

 "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:  
The Veil (Devil's Isle #1) by Chloe Neill!!

From Goodreads:
Seven years ago, the Veil that separates humanity from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil's Isle.

Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused.

Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack—in full view of the French Quarter—Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs, even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.

But when the Veil threatens to shatter completely, Claire and Liam must work together to stop it, or else New Orleans will burn… 
A new Chloe Neill series?!  And set in New Orleans?  There definitely seems to be a trend with books set in New Orleans right now but I am not complaining since it's one of my favorite US cities.  Can't wait for something new from Chloe Neill!  The Veil is scheduled for release on August 4, 2015 and you can pre-order here!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Monday, February 9, 2015

Review: Only Enchanting (The Survivors' Club #4) by Mary Balogh

Blurb from Goodreads:
The Survivors' Club: Six men and one woman, all wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, their friendship forged during their recovery at Penderris Hall in Cornwall. Now, in the fourth novel of the Survivors' Club series, Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, has left this refuge to find his own salvation—in the love of a most unsuspecting woman…

Flavian, Viscount Ponsonby, was devastated by his fiancĂ©e’s desertion after his return home. Now the woman who broke his heart is back—and everyone is eager to revive their engagement. Except Flavian, who, in a panic, runs straight into the arms of a most sensible yet enchanting young woman.

Agnes Keeping has never been in love—and never wishes to be. But then she meets the charismatic Flavian, and suddenly Agnes falls so foolishly and so deeply that she agrees to his impetuous proposal of marriage.

When Agnes discovers that the proposal is only to avenge his former love, she’s determined to flee. But Flavian has no intention of letting his new bride go, especially now that he too has fallen so passionately and so unexpectedly in love.
My Review:
If you are a fan of regency romances and haven't read anything from Mary Balogh, you are missing out!  She is definitely the queen of regency romances and the Survivors' Club series is awesome!  My favorite series by her is the Bedwyn Saga (although the Huxtable Quintet is a close second).  Only Enchanting is the fourth book in the the Survivors' Club series and is perhaps my favorite so far in this series.  In the book, we meet Viscount Ponsonby, who is still recovering from a head injury that has altered his personality and stripped him of many of his memories.  Although he is great recovered from the war, Mary Balogh did an amazing job of expressing his frustration at being unable to speak freely and being unable to remember certain events (traumatic events) in his past.  In the midst of his recovery, he visits one of his fellow survivors and meets Mrs. Agnes Keeping at a country ball.

I absolutely loved Agnes Keeping!  She is feisty but prim.  She is so, so strong and doesn't flinch in the face of the gossip lobbed at her from the ton.  I also really liked Agnes and Flavian together -- although he is surprising in his affection for her, they are explosive!  I felt the chemistry through the page and it just increased as their emotional bond grew throughout the book.  I really liked this book and have a feeling I will read it again and again.  Another great one by Mary Balogh!
She could still taste him.  She could still feel him on her lips.  Her mind was still almost numb.  That secret, feminine place inside her still throbbed.  And she knew that his kiss had been one of the most memorably glorious experiences of her life.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review and Giveaway: How I Fly (How I Fall #2) by Anne Eliot

How I fly (1)
A two-book series by the bestselling author of Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy.
   HOw I fall
add to goodreads
*WHAT IF IT'S TIME TO MOVE ON...?* Over six months after an accident that broke her legs as well as removed her boyfriend from her life—because Cam Campbell left town and dumped her—high school senior, Ellen Foster, wants to move past her broken heart. She’s off to attend a summer photography workshop at a real university along with her best friends. Ellen’s determined to find a new love—or at least a summer boyfriend. In the dorm, she meets Harrison Shaw. He’s a handsome photography student, a charmer who likes her, and a perfect way to forget her past. *WHAT IF IT ALL GOES PERFECTLY...?* Ellen thinks she has everything she wants. Her summer program couldn’t be better. She’s half in love with Harrison Shaw, and she’s going after her next scholarship. But when she kisses Harrison, she can only remember how Cam Campbell used kiss her better, sweeter, and how he used to make her feel like she could fly… *WHAT IF SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT...?* When Cam shows up at the university it’s a shock, especially to Ellen’s new boyfriend. Cam’s distant, different and very afraid to hurt Ellen again. He asks Ellen if they could be friends despite the past and how they’ve both changed and Ellen agrees. But after all they’ve been through, can Cam and Ellen ever be just friends? *WHAT IF...?*       
Author Anne Eliot Anne Eliot is the author of the, How I Fall/How I Fly two book series, and bestselling, young adult teen issue romances, Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. She loves writing about teens who live outside the ordinary and she's devoted to stories about teens who live outside the ordinary but who also get to find sweet first kisses and first loves. Anne resides in Colorado with a very patient husband, two teens of her own whom she adores (an some teens near and far thanks to hosting many exchange students) who are all growing up too fast.   
Website * Twitter * Facebook * Tumblr

  My Review:
How I Fall was one of my favorite books of 2014 (my review here) so I was anxious to read its sequel, How I Fly.  Anne Eliot is one of my favorite YA authors and I have loved everything she's written.  I can easily say that How I Fly was no exception and it was the perfect complement and sequel (and conclusion) to the first book.

Ellen is just such a great character -- she is honest and she is in pain but she doesn't let that define her.  I loved being inside Ellen's head and especially the use of photography as a way for her to not let CP define her.  It is so refreshing to read about a character that is living with a disease and the reality of that life.  Although I loved Ellen in the first book and this book, I loved Cam even more in this book -- his character truly developed between the first and second book and I was rooting for him so much!  Without spoiling the book, I also have to say that the ending and the possibility (hope) between the secondary characters in the series -- Laura and Patrick -- was awesome.  Maybe there will be a spin-off???

I would recommend this to fans of contemporary YA, and especially YA that is different and that challenges you but is so incredibly honest and sweet.  Please read this book and enter to win a copy below!

I pull her in, but before I can even bend my head, her softly smiling lips cover and then press into mine.  While the tree branches creak against the breeze, and the leaves all around us flicker and dance pale, changing sunlight over our heads, I remember every bit of he heaven that is kissing and being in love with Ellen Foster.  She sighs against my mouth, and the beach glass necklace clinks gently between our hearts.

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 2/25/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

 "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:  
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan!!

From Goodreads:
"I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." 

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing. 
I laughed out loud at the first two books from The Fug Girls, but this is their first "adult" book.  I know it will be hilarious and I can't wait!  The Royal We is scheduled for release on April 7, 2015 and you can pre-order here!! 
ETA: I just received an ARC of this one and I am so excited!!!

What books are you waiting on this Wednesday??

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: The Unexpected Consequences of Love by Jill Mansell

Blurb from Goodreads:
Sophie has no interest in finding love. But what happens when love finds her?

Sophie Wells is a successful photographer with a focus on putting the past firmly behind her. When Josh Strachan returns to the seaside town of Cornwall from the States to run his family's hotel, he can't understand why the fun, sexy girl has zero interest in letting him-or any man for that matter-into her life. He also can't understand how he's been duped into employing Sophie's impulsive friend Tula, whose crush on him is decidedly unrequited. Both girls remain mum about the reasons behind Sophie's indifference to love. But that doesn't mean Josh is going to quit trying...
My Review:
I must admit that I've only read a few books by Jill Mansell previously but I hold her in the same high regard as my other favorite British and Irish contemporary authors -- Jane Green, Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes and Katie Fforde (my favorite of these!).  This book was right up there with my favorite contemporaries that I've read of the past few years!

The book revolved around three main potential relationships although there were webs of interconnected characters as well.  We first learn about Sophie who has been seriously burned before to the point where she can't even fathom another relationship.  Without giving anything away, I will say that I completely empathized with Sophie -- I understood her and I felt for her.  This story was unique -- not just with Sophie and her anti-love stance (but because of it) but all of the interconnected relationships.  I loved all of the characters by the end!

Another great one by Jill Mansell!!  
The Unexpected Consequences of Love comes out tomorrow, February 3, 2015, and you can purchase HERE!  

You can also enter my giveaway to win a Jill Mansell Book Bundle of HERE!!
"Basically, if you're with the right girl, it doesn't matter where you are."  He pulled her closer into the crook of his arm and kissed her again for about the millionth time.  "You're amazing.  I can't believe we're here.  I thought this was never going to happen."
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