Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Getting Rooted in New Zealand

Today I'm spotlighting Getting Rooted in New Zealand by Jamie Baywood, a funny travel memoir about her time in New Zealand. Be sure to check out the giveaway at the bottom of the post for a copy of the book! :)


Book Synopsis:
Craving change and lacking logic, at 26, Jamie, a cute and quirky Californian, impulsively moves to New Zealand to avoid dating after reading that the country's population has 100,000 fewer men. In her journal, she captures a hysterically honest look at herself, her past and her new wonderfully weird world filled with curious characters and slapstick situations in unbelievably bizarre jobs. It takes a zany jaunt to the end of the Earth and a serendipitous meeting with a fellow traveler before Jamie learns what it really means to get rooted.

Getting Rooted in New Zealand is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon!

***

Praise for Getting Rooted in New Zealand:

“This book is perfect for travel-reading! It's light, in small sections (as a diary), totally hilarious and also quite amazing. So many crazy experiences Jamie Baywood had in one year, some wonderful and some truly horrific, all taken together adds up to fruitful reading indeed. This book is like a rough diamond - I look forward to reading future novels as Jamie becomes more and more polished through life's experiences” (5 out of 5 stars) Anna H (Amazon Customer Reviews)

“Getting Rooted In New Zealand is a diary of a California girl's introduction to a completely different life experience in a new country and never has the phrase `stranger in a strange land' been more relevant than in reading her intriguing and often insightful diary entries! Her observations about both culture and language are a wonderful mix of observation about one person's reaction to the differences that make up the wonderful human race and the minutiae of daily living. I'll be looking forward to seeing if Jamie produces another book about her experiences of coming to live in the UK.” (4 out of 5 stars) Linda Parkinson-Hardman (Amazon Customer Reviews)

“Really enjoyed this book, I have to say. It was funny, quirky, even weird in places, but always entertaining. Having lived in New Zealand myself, I can definitely relate to some of Jamie's experiences as a foreigner. Love NZ and love this book - highly recommended!” (5 out of 5 stars.) Polak (Amazon Customer Reviews)

***

About the Author:
Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.


***

***GIVEAWAY!!!***
Jamie has been kind enough to provide an e-copy of her book for one winner! :)
(Rules stand as follows--no cheating and must be 13 years or older)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Darkest Part Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway


Welcome to my stop on The Darkest Part blog tour hosted by YA Bound Book Tours.  Click HERE to see the full blog tour schedule!

The Darkest Part (Living Heartwood)
by Trisha Wolfe

Release Date: 08/06/13

Summary from Goodreads: 

Pressing the boundaries of both the psyche and the heart, Sam and Holden embark on a dangerous journey that will test the limits of love.

Sam Wintry’s life used to be almost perfect. She was engaged to her childhood best friend and high school sweetheart, Tyler Marks, planning an amazing cross-country honeymoon during her college break. But after a hit-and-run leaves her in ruin, she begins seeing Tyler’s fractured, ghostly presence, and her family believes she’s losing her mind. Not until she completes their journey, stopping along the way to scatter Tyler's remains, will Tyler be able cross over. Only...is Sam ready for him to leave her?

When the black sheep of the Marks' family, Holden Marks, returns to check on Tyler's case, Sam convinces him to give her his brother's ashes. Despite their shaky history, she needs him...plus, he owes it to Sam and his brother. What she doesn’t count on is Holden’s relentlessness to go on the trip.

On the road, Holden realizes just how unhinged Sam has become. Dealing with her psychosis forces him to confront his dark past, making it harder to keep secrets hidden that should remain buried. Especially from Sam, the only woman he’s ever loved. And as Sam starts to unravel the truth, she begins to question if the brother she's unwillingly falling for again is in an even darker place than her.


***

5 Darkly Romantic, Intense Stars!

My Review:
Life is so short, and you never know when something will come along to change everything. Spinning your world into a downward spiral. Trapping you in the darkest part of a mental hell.
Holy hell, this book was INTENSE. It was dark and sometimes disturbing. It was also emotionally stimulating and romantic. It was a fucking whirlwind of emotions, from pain and anger, to deep, deep love. It was gripping, desperate, and oh, so raw. The Darkest Part was an edgy and immensely satisfying read, with well-developed characters and a love so intense and passionate that it broke my heart and healed it all at the same time.

Here we meet Sam: a vibrant, passionate artist who's in love with Tyler Marks. They've been planning their honeymoon road trip for months, but they've also been having intimacy problems. They thought they would have plenty of time, until the night Tyler left Sam's dorm and met up with his brother, Holden. A few days later, Sam's about ready to stand up in front of a few hundred people and talk about how much Tyler meant to her, while the casket cruelly reminds her of what she lost.

She runs instead... right into Holden. It's clear from the beginning that they have some history, that it's not just because of Tyler that they know each other. And right from the start, I could sense the underlying emotions between the two of them, the sparks. They shared one intense, passionate kiss under a dead tree, and both walked away from it hurt and feeling lost. For years, they both pushed that moment to the back of their minds, but neither can seem to forget it. It takes a road trip for them to finally understand each other, in a way they never thought possible.
"The way I see it, the heartwood is strong, beautiful, and resilient. It can fight off any outside threat that tries to invade, and in rare cases... is alive. It may be the darkest part, but a living heartwood is a force to be reckoned with." -Holden
They realize that their feelings for each other have never gone away. It was like the love that they'd had for each other back then was just dormant, waiting. It's explosive and raw, and neither of them know quite how to deal with it. There are so many secrets; so many lies have been told. It's hard for them open up to each other, because if they do, they're not sure they can come back from some of the things they've said or done in the past. Not to mention, the closer Sam gets to Holden, the further Tyler's ghost pulls away from her. And she's not so sure she can let him go yet.

They're both wrestling with ghosts (figuratively and literally), with pasts that still have so much effect on them now. They learn so much about each other, and about what happened between them all those years ago. Who would have thought that Tyler would have been responsible for Holden pushing her away, and who would have thought he'd kept so many secrets from Sam? This road trip is not only about giving Tyler peace, but also about learning how to let him go and move on. It's a healing process for Holden and Sam. And the miserable, painful, and sometimes fun, journey they go on was worth it all. It was a journey full of self-discovery, letting go, and most importantly, healing.

I loved both of the characters, and I'm glad this book was told in dual perspectives. I needed both of their sides to the story. I needed both of their voices to understand what was going on inside their minds and their hearts. For, with each mile they drove, I was pulled along on the tumultuous rollercoaster ride with Holden and Sam. When they were hurting, I hurt. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I freaking bawled my eyes out. I was so invested in their story, and in their relationship, that I couldn't stop reading. I had to to keep reading so I could watch these two characters fall in love all over again and find peace. Find the happiness that they both so desperately needed and deserved. Find the kind of love that was worth all of the heartache and pain. <3

Like I said, this book was intense. It was raw. These two characters' journey to finding the light within their dark lives was incredibly rewarding, and I loved every word of it.

***

About the Author


I’m the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), ASTARTE'S WRATH NA Historical/Supernatural, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, October 2013. My NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013. I’m the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The ApocalypsiesA proud business owner, I'm partnered with my partner, my husband. When I’m not busy doing all of the above, I’m a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for my male characters.


***GIVEAWAY***
1- $25 Gift Card to Amazon, B&N, Paypal or iTunes (INT)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris

Today is the cover reveal for Seven Day Fiancé by Rachel Harris! I loved the first book in the series, so I'm really excited to read this one! I can't wait for more of Cane. ;)

Seven Day Fiancé (Love and Games #2)
Release Date: 10/14/13
Entangled Bliss

Summary from Goodreads:

Angelle Prejean is in a pickle. Her family is expecting her to come home with a fiancé—a fiancé who doesn’t exist. Well, he exists, but he definitely has no idea Angelle told her mama they were engaged. Tattooed, muscled, and hotter than sin, Cane can reduce Angelle to a hot mess with one look—and leave her heart a mess if she falls for him. But when she ends up winning Cane at a charity bachelor auction, she knows just how to solve her fiancé problem.

Cane Robicheaux is no one’s prince. He doesn't do relationships and he doesn’t fall in love. When sweet, sultry-voiced Angelle propositions him, he hopes their little game can finally get her out of his head. He doesn't expect her to break through all his barriers. But even as Angelle burrows deeper into his heart, he knows once their seven days are up, so is their ruse.


Pre-Order Buy Links:
  photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg  photo KoboIcon_zps515cdc1a.jpg 


Excerpt:
Angelle stopped beside a folding table boasting boxes of fresh, crispy cracklins and selected a thick piece. Cane watched, mesmerized, as she puckered those gorgeous lips and blew on the sliver. With a flirtatious glint in her eyes, she held it up to his mouth, and he opened.
Holy crap.
He’d had cracklins before. Fried pork fat was a standard gas station treat, usually shrink-wrapped and stale as shit. But this, fresh from the pot and piping hot, was unbelievable. Cane widened his eyes, and it was possible he even moaned. It was that good. And as he swallowed, Angel rewarded him with a rich, throaty laugh.
Ca c’est bon?” she asked, grinning when he grabbed another handful.
He touched her nose and popped a piece in his mouth. “Good would be an understatement.”
Grinning, she took a fried morsel for herself and sent the balding, overweight gentleman tending the table a wink. “Now that’s what we like to hear.” Then she closed her eyes as she savored the treat.
The sounds of Angel moaning, and watching her face soften in the throes of a foodgasm, had to be the sexiest damn thing Cane had ever seen. His pants tightened, embarrassingly so considering he knew the audience was still watching, but what pushed him over the edge was when her eyes opened. The pleasure in them was his undoing.
Feeling the weight of the crowd’s disapproving stares and not giving a damn, figuring now was as good a time as any to give the people the show they clearly wanted, he grasped her hip and tugged her forward, pausing only to inhale her gasp of surprise before brushing her mouth with his.
It was like setting off a damn forest fire.
Angelle, his shocking little hellcat, pounced. Forgetting all about their audience, or maybe not giving a damn either, she wound her arms around his neck, lifted onto her toes, and kissed him back with everything she had. Cane had intended to steal a quick taste, take the edge off his craving for her, and prove their point with the town’s people. But hell if he was gonna be the one to back down now. Tightening his grasp on her slim hips, he brushed his thumbs across the smooth, exposed skin near her waistband. He deepened the kiss, thrilling over her telltale shiver. Whimpering, she yanked on the hair at his nape and sucked his bottom lip into her mouth. Hot damn.
Okay, now he had to start backing down. With all her male relatives watching, not to mention the knives and axes still lying around from the butchering earlier, if Cane valued his life, he needed to wrangle control of the situation. He’d heard patience was a virtue. That was a line of bull—he’d always sucked at waiting for anything he wanted. But for Angel, he was willing to try.
Loosening his grip on her belt loops, Cane slowed the intensity of the kiss. He smoothed the hem of her shirt down, grazed her lips one last time, and, placing his forehead against hers, inhaled through his nose. Sunflowers mixed with cayenne may be his new favorite scent. Angelle released a heavy breath, a flush blooming on her cheeks. She darted a glance at the crowd, then looking into his eyes, grinned lazily. “My goodness. If anyone doubted we were a couple before, I guess that showed them.”


***

About the Author
I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations. 

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.

I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I'm also the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books!

Author Links:
   

Cover Reveal Organized:

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Swoon Thursday #14

Swoon Thursday is a weekly event hosted by YA Bound. From the book you're currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you swoon. :) Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the button below and share it on your blog. 

I'M BACK!!!!!! Guys, I haven't posted a WOW or a Swoon Thursday since August! Ahhhh! :( I have been so, so incredibly busy with school and catching up on book reviews. I haven't had much time to just read for fun. But, I'm starting to learn how to pace myself this semester. And I just had to share this swoon from one my all-time favorite series!

This week's swoons came from The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa! :)

***
Shifting slightly, I went to trace another kiss along his jaw, but he ducked his head and our lips met, and suddenly I was kissing him as if I were going to meld him into my body. His fingers tangled in my hair, and my hands slid beneath his shirt, tracing the hard muscles of his chest and stomach. He groaned, pulled me into his lap, and lowered us back onto the bed, being careful not to crush me.
***
 "You are my heart, my life, my entire existence." -Ash 
I have so much love for this series, and Ash is one of my favorite swoon-worthy book boyfriends. <3 <3 <3 


As always, what book had YOU swooning this week? Be sure to leave me a link in the comments! :)

Book Spotlight: Let Love In and Let Love Stay


What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change? 

Madeleine Becker lost everything when her parents died when she was ten years old. Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can't get hurt if she doesn't fall in love. 

That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy's pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world. Maddy's inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past. 


Together they find out what happens when they let love in.


***

If you’re lucky, you’ll fall in love – truly, madly and deeply in love. But what happens when that honest and pure love isn't enough to erase your fears? What happens when your past rears its ugly head and threatens your future?

Maddy and Reid had that kind of love – the all-encompassing, Earth shattering, once in a lifetime kind of love. Then life happened. Old wounds that were thought to be long healed and scabbed over are ripped opened and they are forced to face the possibility that, maybe, they are not strong enough to fight their demons and embrace the light.

Together, they found out what love is, but now they will each need to heal on their own before they can ever be together again. They must face their fears and beat down their pasts in order to find their way through this crazy uphill battle called love.

They've let love in, but now, they need to find out how to Let Love Stay.

***

My Review of Let Love Stay:

Rating: 3 stars!

After not really liking the first book in the series, Let Love In, I went into this with low expectations. That way, if I ended up hating this as much as the first, I wouldn't be too disappointed. The characters weren't as annoying, and I really loved the inspiring messages that were brought out through the development of the story. 

I adore the idea of healing love. I adore characters who are scarred and distant, yet find the courage to face their fears and let love into their hearts. I actually enjoyed the relationship that built between Maddy and Reid. They may have already been in it for six weeks, but in Let Love Stay, we see the perfect façade crumble. Because we all know that love and relationships aren't perfect, and it was great to see the two main characters wanting to do everything they can to make it right. We see Maddy and Reid find the strength to push past their differences and make their relationship work.

However, I still don't like Maddy. I don't know what it is about her that just makes me want to slap her, except that she doesn't change much from the first book. I didn't end up sympathizing with her that she lost Reid, because it was all her damn fault. She pushed him away because he reacted literally the same way she did when the doctor gave them the news. They split up; she whines about her life not being the same without him. And what does Reid do? He tries to move on from his past because it's the only way Maddy will take him back. Hunny, love is supposed to be healing. YOU should be there with him, helping him, supporting him. Instead, he's left to deal with the heartache of going home all on his own, because she pushed him to do it. Oh, and don't even get me started on her almost asking him to give up his internship because she didn't wanna be separated for a few months. Cry me a river, Maddy! 

And I felt that Reid shouldn't have been portrayed as a bad boy in book one, because he's such a good boyfriend. He's so sweet and loving. He can never stay mad at Maddy for too long (even when she totally deserves it), and he wants to make something of himself. He wants his life to mean something. In the first book, I just didn't understand why his character was like that in the beginning. It made no sense, because it seems like he's always been this way, that he's always been this good guy with a heart of gold. I loved him! <3

But the biggest dislike was the story itself. You're probably wondering why I'm giving it three stars if I didn't even like the story, so I'll tell you. It was just the situations; every single cliché you can think of in books is in this series. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just talk about the few clichés from Let Love In. Excluding the bad boy and good girl cliché, there's also the fact that they both have painful pasts. However, the cliché situations that I'm talking about come out near the end of the book. I never saw that accident as helpful to the story-line; it was just there to bring out the biggest cliché that'll end up separating the characters in this book. If you don't know what I'm talking about, that's okay. You'll understand if you read it. Let's just say, it has a lot of the same old plot devices that are used in many contemporary romances. 

Other than those minor dislikes, I really did enjoy this story! Like I said, I adore the thought that love heals. It should never be selfish, and it should never hurt more than it heals. Maddy and Reid were both scared of letting people too close, of losing more loved ones. There is so much character growth going on that the happily-ever-after ending made me smile. :) It was a nice ending to Maddy's and Reid's story, though it almost seemed too perfect. 

***

Let Love Heal (Love, #3) comes out in October! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: The Reckless Engineer by Jac Wright

Today, I'm spotlighting The Reckless Engineer on my blog! 
There is also a giveaway going on for the author's short story called The Closet; look to the bottom of this post for all the deets!


Author: Jac Wright
Genre: Literary Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Legal Thriller, Psychological Thriller, British mystery

Synopsis: 

Love is a battlefield. 
The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.

Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when sexy Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings London's top defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?

The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens' bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister John Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.

***

Jac Wright
Author, Poet & Electronic Engineer
Twitter: @JacWrightBooks

***

GIVEAWAY!!!

***Jac Wright has been kind enough to provide The Closet ebooks to the first 30 (yes, 30!) people who fill out this CONTACT FORM on his website. Make sure to write in the subject line, "The Closet Giveaway" so the author knows what the message is for***

Easy enough, right? :) Enjoy, readers! 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

New Release Spotlight: Review and Giveaway of Pestilence Rising

Today, I'm spotlighting a book that released this week called Pestilence Rising!

Hunter lives alone. He eats and sleeps alone. The only people he can relate to are those he finds on the other side of an internet connection. Like him, they have extraordinary abilities, and like him, they want to keep anyone from finding out. His job is to manipulate them into revealing their deepest secrets to him, secrets that will maintain his freedom and surely end theirs.

His employer classifies him as a "ravager". Unfortunately, his ability is more affliction than asset. If he loses control of his emotions, anyone nearby is stricken with a disease that could prove fatal. The Center for the Preservation of Natural Order allows him to remain free on the condition that he keep a low profile and he work for them.

The arrangement works for all parties involved until a girl claiming to be an angel appears in his living room.

Celeste brings word that his estranged brother is missing. Only the two of them can save him.

When his supervisor comes looking for her, Hunter is faced with a choice. Should he trust a stranger and become a fugitive for a brother he barely knows or turn her in, go back to the lonely existence that's kept him from being a danger to innocent people for so long? And who the hell is the strange, tattooed woman who keeps appearing to him in reflections and dreams?

Who he decides to become will be the catalyst for change. One way or another, the life he knows is over.

Buy Link:

***

My Review:

Rating: 4 stars!

I really enjoyed this book! I thought it was a unique take on paranormal "entities" and that it was thrilling and suspenseful and kept me wanting to turn the pages so I would know what would happen next.

The synopsis is a little vague, so you don't have much of an idea about what's going on in this story, Pestilence Rising. It starts out with the main character, Hunter (who is the only narrator, I might add!), talking to this girl online. I wasn't entirely sure what to make of him, and my first impression wasn't that good. His job sucks, to tell you the truth. While his ability is hurtful, his job is even worse. It takes a visit from a heavenly being and a mission for him to start questioning the Center. It makes him question whether or not he's been doing the right thing all these years.

He must choose the lesser of two evils when he figures out where his brother's been taken, and that the tattooed woman who keeps showing up on reflective surfaces and speaking in his head is the leader of a cult. A cult that performs human sacrifice. This woman, Llewyn, believes that by collecting souls, the two brothers who had first been given the status as healer and ravager can come back to life. But if they do, it'll start an apocalypse; it'll end the world as they know it. Although he doesn't agree with the Center's tactics, they help keep the balance and keep the world safe from people with uncontrollable abilities. So, as much as Hunter would like to be out of the Center's grasp for good, he must work with them to take care of this new threat. And he has to do it soon, for Llewyn has set her sights on his brother, Michael, for the next Ceremony of Light (human sacrifice, yo).

Hunter and Celeste, the angel who was sent on this mission of rescuing his brother, decide to infiltrate the camp and find a way to destroy it and Llewyn's hold on everyone there. All of the inhabitants are healers and ravagers, and Llewyn has been collecting them for this master plan of hers. And now she's escalated after finding out that Hunter is betraying them all and that he's only there to save his brother. Hunter is between a rock and a hard place, choosing to work with his enemy for the greater good and fighting with them instead of against. But he knows that right now he needs them, and later on, he can think of way to get freedom.

I have to say, I wasn't connecting with Hunter very well, especially in the beginning. But he grew on me, the little snippets of his past had me intrigued to find out more about him, and I loved his character development. He's made mistakes, done horrible work for his job, but he realizes how wrong the Center is and that he needs to start making the right choices. And step one is saving his brother, even though Michael was an asshole to him growing up. Step two is stopping Llewyn and the human sacrifices. Step three is escaping the tight hold the Center has on him. 

I enjoyed his and Celeste's banter and friendship, though I was sort of hoping a romantic relationship would form between them. I'm not entirely a fan of Hunter and Bree, yet I was okay with this book having zero romance. It was mostly all paranormal, with good character development in a male POV. The book was very suspenseful, up until the last few chapters. Lea Ryan writes some awesome action scenes! I liked the ending; it tied up all the loose ends, and effectively concluded the novel (it is a standalone, but the author isn't opposed to writing a sequel someday). :) 

If you like your paranormal books focusing more on that aspect than on a romance, then this one is for you. It was highly entertaining, the characters were well-written, and the action and suspense was very authentic. 

***

Author Bio:
Lea Ryan dwells at the edge of a farm with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog. The author of three books, a novella and several short stories, her genres of choice are urban fantasy and horror. She also draws things and is pretty handy with a Playstation controller. Her website: http://authorlearyan.wordpress.com/

***Lea has a Goodreads giveaway going on for a copy of her book!!!***
Enter HERE.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Cover Reveal: Recklessly Royal by Nicole Chase

Today is the cover reveal for Recklessly Royal (Suddenly, #2) by Nicole Chase! :)

Book Synopsis:
Catherine has spent her life being the perfect princess. She’s kept her hands clean, her head down, and most importantly-men at arm’s length. After all, most men are after only one thing, and for Cathy there’s a lot more at stake than her bed; she has to worry about the fate of an entire nation. But at the rate she’s going, Cathy is afraid she’ll give the Virgin Queen a run for her money. She is tired of waiting for someone good enough to come along. She has a plan, and it all hinges on seducing the one man who seems utterly unimpressed by all things royal. The one man she is tempted by more than any other . . . 

When David arrives at the royal wedding of his friend, the newly ordained Duchess Samantha Rousseau, he expected to feel uncomfortable and out of his element, but he wasn’t prepared to be targeted by Prince Alex’s gorgeous younger sister. With Cathy’s giant blue eyes, killer figure, and sense of humor, it won’t take long before he gives in. But when he finds out just how innocent the crown princess really is, will he play the part of knight in shining armor or the dashing rogue? 


RECKLESSLY ROYAL by Nichole Chase
On Sale from Avon Books March 25, 2014!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Review of Nocturnal by Chelsea Cameron

3.5 stars! 

I was interested in the story after reading the synopsis, because it sounded like another vampire book, and I have to tell you, I'm on a vampire kick right now. But Nocturnal had a slightly unique take on the blood-thirsty paranormal creatures that I've been reading about. It was different, darkly intriguing and drawn out so that the reader was still guessing and still wondering who Peter is. Oops, I meant to say what Peter isBecause he's definitely not human, and Ava will be quite shocked when the truth comes out. The paranormal aspect is strong, but it's not the only thing going on in this book.


***

Nocturnal starts out on a pretty sad note. Ava, the main character, finds out that her mom's cancer is back and that she's dying. This time, nothing's going to help her. She has, at most, months left to live. But it's not enough time; it's never going to be enough time.
I wasn't losing her, like an earring or a set of keys. She's going away and never coming back.
In a no-win situation, I thought Ava handled it all like a champ. After a bout of self-pity, sadness, and anger, Ava starts to realize that she needs to spend as much time with her mom as she can. Her reactions to the situation were normal, like any real person would do after hearing something like that. She wanted to be strong, wanted to smile and pretend that nothing bad was going to happen, like it was a joke. And she tried so hard to be strong for her mom that she never let herself grieve. She pushes her friends away, starts spending time with a stranger in a cemetery, and keeps everything bottled up inside. Her inner dialogue is a mix of funny, heartbreaking, and happy. She uses humor in tense situations. She can't help but think about her mom's impending death and think about how many hugs or kisses she'll have left. The only bright spot in her life is her friends, Tex and Jamie, and Peter. 
"Do you consider me a lost or hopeless cause?"
Peter is not just a normal teen. He's different. Unhuman. But this doesn't deter Ava, nor the fact that he's told her he wants to kill her. There's something about the darkness that draws her in, makes her question her own sanity. Makes her reckless. She can't control her life, but this is one thing she can control. This one decision to keep going back to the cemetery and see Peter is hers, and hers alone. I think that's partly what draws her to him, and the other part is that he makes her feel alive. Although he's not human, and he's hurt her, it doesn't matter. He's the one constant in her life, and he makes her feel safe. The talks they have in the cemetery comforts her, and she finds herself looking forward to the nights she spends with him. 

I'm glad we got both Ava's and Peter's POVs, because Peter is an intriguing character. His struggle to not give into the kill, his will and determination to keep her alive, his darkness; everything about him is contradictory to being a noctalis. His humanity was still there, lying beneath the surface. But immortality is miserable. And lonely. And Peter had had enough. Until the night Ava stumbled into his family's mausoleum. Until he met Ava, he no longer cared about his life. But after meeting her, he can't seem to stay away from her. She's the only light within the darkness of his existence. 

I loved the slow build-up of Ava's and Peter's relationship. It didn't happen instantly; it started with friendship. I think they both needed the comfort that they didn't have to ask for with each other. I loved the glimpses into Peter's past, although I'd really like more of the history of the noctali. I'm still a little confused as to what they are and how they came to be. This was a fast read, and it kept me intrigued. 


***

Although I really liked the book, I didn't love it. The plot was sometimes boring, a little repetitive  It mostly consisted of talks between Peter and Ava (which made their relationship seem more well-developed than most YA couples I've read about--a definite plus!) and Ava's constant inner dialogue of what she should and shouldn't do. She was back and forth on a lot of things, especially when it came to her mother and her friends. I wanted to yell at her character when she kept secrets from her friends and kept pushing them away. I loved the three best friends' conversations in the beginning, and I missed them throughout the book. Not only is Ava hurting, but so is Jamie. Yet she can't see it because she's too caught up in her own life and her own lies. I also wanted more of the paranormal aspect, if you can believe it. We know about Peter pretty early on, but I still have tons of questions about the noctali. Like, what the hell was that ending in the cemetery? In any case, I'm really excited to read Nightmare and continue this cool series! :)