Sunday, July 27, 2014

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Book Summary
Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race. But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

Flo's Review
I loved this story so much, for so many different reasons. First of all was the way I could relate to Annie. I hate running, too! So the idea that she couldn't even do two laps around her school track at the beginning of the book, yet she is training to run a marathon was fascinating to me. As I was reading, I found myself thinking that her program with Matt sounded really cool. If I could find a Matt, I might consider doing it. Might. But on the flip side, I loved this story because I couldn't relate to it. Annie grew up without a lot of money, but this is not the focus of the story -- and I love that. Because she never sees herself as a victim. It's just a fact of life that she lives in a trailer and her mother never graduated high school because she got pregnant. But Annie is working hard for her dream of going to college. And while she is madly in love with Kyle, when he proposes and asks her to give that all up, so does not. I really admire that. 

Another reason I loved the story was because I grew up in Tennessee. Not a town like the one Annie is in, but close enough where the scenery she describes reminds me of home. And I had friends that went to MTSU, so it was really cool to read about that. I loved Annie's personality -- Miranda Kenneally wrote this story to where Annie's voice is so distinctive -- you feel like you're just sitting down with her over a beer and she is telling you this story. She has a sense of humor and I really enjoyed her thoughts and interactions with the other characters. I loved that this is kind of the fifth book in a series, but is also a stand alone. I haven't read any of Miranda's other books, but I did not feel like I was coming into the middle of the story or that I was lost about what was going on in any way at any time.

In case you missed it, I loved this story. There are a few components, though, that I didn't necessarily love. First of all, Annie deals with a sense of guilt throughout the book -- she feels like it it her fault that Kyle died. I can certainly understand why she feels like that, but that is never really resolved -- for lack of a better word. I don't think she tells anyone that she thinks Kyle's death is her fault, so no other character can offer her absolution. And she does not ever give it to herself. Similarly, I don't know how I feel that Jere has Annie go ziplining and then she's like, "Okay, I understand why you're an adrenaline junkie." And she starts to equate Jere being an adrenaline junkie to how she should take risks in her life and such. It's almost like she now thinks it's okay...and I don't know if I do. I know it would be unrealistic for Jere to end the book with agreeing to never take any risks again, but maybe a middle ground between the extremes of Annie condoning versus Jere never doing anything risky again. Finally, there is something that happens to Annie and Jere near the beginning of the book that I don't think needs to be part of their story at that point in order for their story to be what it was.

I loved the multiple meanings of the title: Breathe, Annie, Breathe. What an amazing title! Because on one level it is referring to her remembering to breathe while she runs. On another level, it's about her needing to remember do things to move her forward in life and out of being stuck in grief. It can also refer to her having to remember not to snap at her Mom every time she mentions Kyle, to slow down her heart rate when physical contact with Jere speeds it up, to make it gracefully through an awkward situation like with her friends or Kyle's family or at the Roadhouse. Basically, it's like a call of, "You can do this!" Which brings us back to why I love this book. 5 of out 5 stars!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Jacque's Review:

This series has been on my TBR list since December of 2011, but for some reason it never made it to the top of the list.  I always loved the cover with the bright red dress and the swirling smoke...or clouds...I was never sure which.  (I'm not going to spoil it for you, but you will learn what the smoke is pretty late in the book).

Nikki Beckett's mother was killed by a drunk driver prior to the start of the book.  The depression and sense of loss combined with her insecurities about her relationship with Jack pushed her towards Cole.  He had a mysterious way of taking away all of her pain.

She later learns that Cole is an Everliving and uses human emotions as his source of energy.  He feeds on her for 100 years, which equates to 6 months in human time.  This time period is referred to as "the feed".  She should have wasted away to virtually nothing, but for some reason she survived.  Now Cole believes the two of them can rule the underworld.  The only problem is Nikki's love for Jack never diminished.  She refuses to go with Cole to the Everneath and returns to the surface for her last six months with Jack and her family.    

 At first I was a Cole supporter and thought the two of them would make a great couple.  That was before I met Jack.  Once I could see Jack and Nikki's love and devotion to one another it was clear that they belonged together.  They began researching mythology with the hope of finding a way to free Nikki.  With time running out, they need to work quickly or they could lose each other forever.  

Everneath was an excellent debut novel for Brodi.  I was captivated from the very beginning and didn't feel like the story lagged at any point.  Brodi added a unique twist at the end that I did not see coming until very late in the story.  It set up the second book beautifully and left the reader anxiously anticipating Everbound, which is the second book in the series.  Without this change in direction, I don't think there would have been much of a plot line remaining.

I will give you advance warning.  DO NOT read the synopsis for Everbound until you have already finished reading Everneath.  There is a large spoiler revealed in the synopsis and I was a little upset when I read it. I don't think I will read the synopsis for a book further along in a series ever again.  I have heard other bloggers complain about this, but this is the first time I have experienced it first hand.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Jacque's Review:

I needed an audio book  for a road trip, so I looked on the library's site to see what was available.  I LOVED I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella and decided to give another one of her books a try.

This book was just okay for me.  If I were reading a print copy, I may not have finished it. Since I was stranded in the car for 12 hours each way to and from Vermont with nothing better to do, I kept listening.

Laura Lington is a twenty some year old girl from London.  (The narrator had a British accent, which was a bonus.)  When we first meet her she is getting ready for her Great Aunt Sadie's funeral.  Sadie died at the age of 105 in a nursing home where she had been living for many years.  Her remaining family never really knew her, but Laura's Dad and his brother Bill agreed to hold a funeral.  During the service Laura is approached by Sadie's ghost demanding that they stop the service.  She simply can't leave this world without her dragonfly necklace.  Laura is the only person who can see Sadie, but she proceeds to stop the service by declaring Sadie was murdered and there needs to be an investigation.

Laura has been under a lot of stress lately and thinks she is finally going crazy.  What other explanation could there be for seeing and hearing a ghost?  Sadie appears to be close to Laura's age in her ghostly state and loved the twenties.  Not only does she want Laura to find the necklace, but she plans on living life to the fullest while she is still here.  She talks Laura into asking an American business man named Ed out on a date and wants her to dress in vintage 20's clothing and makeup.  She agrees to go along with the ridiculous plan because she wants to do something nice for Sadie.  She didn't really know her while she was living, but she is determined to make it up to her now.

Throughout the story Laura and Sadie develop a real friendship and begin to use their talents to help one another.  They are a great team and with Sadie's help, Laura is finally able to get her personal and professional life back on track.  It was a nice story with some surprising twist at the end, but I was never engaged to the point in which I couldn't stop listening.

I really enjoyed the portion of the book where Laura takes Ed on a tour of London.  I went to London last September and visited all of the same locations, so I could totally relate.  I just wish there had been more interactions with Ed.  Those were definitely the high points of this story.

I've heard great things about all of Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic books, so I will probably read the first book in that series the next time I want a Kinsella book.  Unless this is the ONLY Sophie book you haven't read, I would probably select one of her others before starting this one.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Release Day Blast: Hearken (Daughter Of the Sea #4) by Kristen Day

Hearken ( Daughters Of the Sea #4 ) 
Now Available!

Haven't read the first 3 in the series?! Get caught up while they are on sale!

★SALE!! Only $.99 cents each!★ 
Daughters of the Sea Series! 

When the evil you fear is born from within, who will save us…from ourselves?

Sometimes our souls hear what our minds and hearts refuse to accept. It will whisper its continuous cadence until we're strong enough to glimpse the truth. But when the soul's whispers morph into screams, we're forced to gaze into the mirrors of time and see ourselves for who we really are.

 Grappling with her newfound leadership position, Stasia begins to experience a recurring nightmare of murder, as well as curious reveries about a violet-eyed girl who can control the moon. When tragedy grips the Tydes and several important relics are stolen from the Sons of Daimon, Stasia’s Council leaves for the forgotten island of Atlantis. Unfortunately Atlantis harbors its own secrets, and they are all calling to Stasia. As her nightmares become worse and she begins to lose control of her mind, those around her must find a way to reach her…and fast.

 Olivia Campbell is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it. But destiny never asked Olivia what she wanted. Being Chosen to be a Paladin at birth had not been something she wanted, and she definitely hadn’t wanted her charge to be Anastasia. Unfortunately their irritatingly persistent Atlantean guide, Sebastian, seems to know all about her and the secrets she’s been hiding. As she fights to protect Stasia from an unknown force, Olivia’s own courage and loyalty will be tested in ways she never imagined. Will she be able to tell Stasia the truth before it’s too late for them both.    

Purchase your copy of Hearken today!

Barnes & Noble:

About Kristen Day
  I am a southern belle at heart with a crazy streak that desperately tries to escape at every opportunity. I love all things nostalgic, rustic, and quirky. I've been told I see the world through rose-colored glasses, but I prefer to think of them as kaleidoscope glasses - swirling and morphing reality into something I can digest (who hasn't pretended those pasty lima beans were really kiwi strawberry jelly beans?).  When I'm not writing I'm making jewelry, painting, drinking sweet tea, watching the discovery channel, or going on random adventures in the mountains of North Carolina with my amazing husband.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Book Summary
Fans of the Divergent series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth will be thrilled by Four: A Divergent Collection, a fourth volume in the Divergent series. Readers first encountered Tobias Eaton as "Four" in Divergent. His voice is an integral part of Allegiant. Readers will find more of this charismatic character's backstory told from his own perspective in Four: A Divergent Collection. When read together, these long narrative pieces illuminate the defining moments in Tobias Eaton's life. The first three pieces in this volume--"The Transfer," "The Initiate," and "The Son"--follow Tobias's transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless, his Dauntless initiation, and the first clues that a foul plan is brewing in the leadership of two factions. The fourth story, "The Traitor," runs parallel with the events of Divergent, giving readers a glimpse into the decisions of loyalty--and love--that Tobias makes in the weeks after he meets Tris Prior.

Flo's Review
I had already read The Transfer when it was first released, but I decided to wait to read the other ones until I could read them all together. I'm glad I did. This collection of stories was fantastic! I really enjoyed seeing things from Four's point of view, but even more than that, I enjoyed learning more about the past of Dauntless. I was not expecting the events that went down in The Son, and reading The Traitor made me want to go back and read Divergent again. This volume did a great job of showing more about Dauntless. In Divergent, Four talks about how the faction is changing from what it used to be, but that's all he says. When I was reading it, I was so caught up in Tris' story and the her initiate class's drama, that I didn't stop to think about how Dauntless was different. Like how the initiates used to do combat training with pads, and the idea wasn't to beat each other but to build camaraderie among them. So cool! And how the current system with Tris and the eliminations came around? Fascinating. I just really enjoyed this book, and if you enjoyed the Divergent trilogy then this is a great addition. 

Our Divergent Reviews
Flo's review of Divergent:
The rest of the Book Nerds' review of Divergent:
Book Nerds review of Insurgent:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

Flo's Review
The fourth book of the Bloodlines series starts off with everything going pretty well and happy considering the circumstances of Sydney's situation. She is living her life on her own terms -- enjoying herself and making progress in all fronts of her career. But then things get messy...

I enjoyed several things about this book. First of all, I love poetry. I love Adrian Ivashkov. Mix the two? OMG. *stops to catch breath* Second, we got to see more of Rose and Lissa than we have in previous Bloodlines books, and it's always neat when they make an appearance. I really, really enjoyed reading Adrian's point of view -- that man --er, vampire -- is always funny, but his thoughts as well as his comments was great.

If you are on Twitter at all, you've probably ascertained that this book ended in quite the evil cliffhanger. I have NO IDEA how Richelle Mead is possibly going to make everything okay, and I am simultaneously scared to find out along with being so excited I can barely wait! Thank goodness Silver Shadows comes out in a few short weeks!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

Flo's Review
I have to admit -- this one is probably my least favorite of the Bloodlines series so far. There were two main story lines in this book, and I wasn't really attracted to either one. I didn't like or trust Marcus Finch and felt that Sydney was too quick to do both. The story line with Ms. T. felt a little bit forced to me -- like we just needed a reason to have Sydney and Adrian spend a lot of time together, so this is what we've come up with. That being said, it was a quick read and fit very well into the series as a whole. Also, some things literally made me laugh out loud -- Hopper the callistana, for one. AYE for another. Okay, basically I love Adrian. The sweet and then shocking ending of this book made me happy that I had The Fiery Heart on hand to pick up right away.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

All of You by Christina Lee

Book Summary 
Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He's irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin. Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she's perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother's bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes. When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won't accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing. Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too. So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

Flo's Review
I picked this book up in the morning because today is a Lazy Sunday and I wanted a cute, simple love story to read. A few hours later, I am sitting at my dining room table (hey, a girl's gotta eat) crying and unable to put this book down. This book floored me! It was so much more than I thought it would be. Specifically, it wasn't just about the love story. I mean, it was, of course. But not just the romantic love. It was also about friend love, family love, and most importantly, self love. Avery and Bennett both grew up in similar situations, and they took the exact opposite extremes in their lives as a way to deal with the traumas of their youth. At the beginning of the book, I didn't think I would like Avery. But she surprised me with a greater depth and greater strength that I imagined. I am proud of her 16-year-old self for doing what she did and the choices she made after. But I love that her 21-year-old self was able to realize that she needed to grow and evolve if she was going to come out better and not just go through the motions of life. Ella was great, and I can't wait to read her story next. 

Thank you to Berkeley/NAL for the providing me with this book. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Bash 2014!

Have y'all heard of this event called Book Bash?! It is mad, crazy fun!! I remember hearing about after it happened last year. Basically everyone was telling me that I had to go, but that tickets sell out really quickly. One random day I'm bumming around online and see that they're going on sale. At this point, I don't have the hotel, or people to go with, or any sort of plan, but I decided: "I'll go ahead and buy the ticket and figure it out from there!" In the short amount of time it took to make that decision, they sold out -- but then one opened up and I snatched it! I was in!

Needless to say a plan did come together, and that's how I ended up waking up at 2:30 a.m. (you read that right!) to hit the road to Orlando. I had the honor of spending the weekend with these lovely ladies from Owl Always Be Reading and Once Upon a Twilight:

I love these ladies!
We got to the hotel where the event was being held right around 6 a.m. -- and we weren't even the first people in line! Crazy, right?! I love how people love books! Around 10 a.m. the bookstore opened. I was good and only bought one new book, but the highlight was finding these absolutely perfect shirts:
Seriously. Perfection.
The doors opened just after noon and we were off! For those of you who don't know, Book Bash is a one day signing in Orlando that has over 85 amazing authors. ( and their Facebook page.) My first stop? Jennifer Armentrout. I had a book of hers that I'd gotten at BEA, but didn't get signed. Luckily, she remedied that:

The day continued in awesomeness from there. It's hard to believe that so much amazingness can happen in 4 hours, but, alas -- it can. And: it did!
Clockwise from top right: Maya Banks, Jennifer Armentrout, Tiffany King, Tammara Webber, Cora Carmack, Nichole Chase, K.A. Tucker, Colleen Hoover, and Katja Millay. Whew!
Next up was a blogger event sponsored by Berkley Romance & Signet Eclipse. I loved the pretty red theme, as well as just having an opportunity to sit down and chat with other bloggers:

There was time for a quick nap after that before we headed to the after party. I definitely had a blast there! It was great to see everyone dancing, drinking and having fun. Not to mention, they played all my jams: the Wobble, the Cupid Shuffle, and more!

I had ridiculous amounts of fun, and if you can make it to Book Bash 2015, I recommend you try! I know I definitely will! 

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Book Summary
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives. Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist. But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her. When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her. Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

Flo's Review
This series is fantastic! Sydney is really coming into her own. She is questioning everything she has been taught to believe and is slowly creating her own belief system, based on what she has experienced and what her own heart tells her. This is very difficult for her to do, and I always find myself to be proud every time she makes a decision, has a thought, or takes an action that is truly her own. Among the whole magical story line of Moroi, Dhampirs, Alchemists, and more, there is teenage romance, which I love. At one point in the book I had to exclaim to my friends who had read it: "This book is frustrating me! I just want the people I want to get together to be together!!!" 

When I first met Adrian Ivashkov in the Vampire Academy series, I was like, "Eh. He's alright." I could take him or leave him. Now, everything single word he says and thing he does makes me laugh and melt. "Oh Adrian!" I want to say. All the time. In many different tones of voice with many different meanings. I wish you didn't have such an issue with the sun, then you could come live with me in Florida. You could paint all day while I worked and then we'd get some drinks at happy hour. I agree with the girls, though, that the smoking would be a no go. Anyway, I am officially on Team Adrian.

The scenes with Sydney and Brayden were hilarious. Because the kinds of questions Sydney was asking herself are things that I think all teenage girls ask themselves in those situations. But they ask their friends, while Sydney makes note to find a book on the topic. LOL.

The ending: I was not prepared!! My heart is still recovering. Why didn't y'all warn me?!?!? Needless to say, The Indigo Spell has been downloaded to my Nook and is ready to go!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The One by Kiera Cass

Book Summary
The highly anticipated conclusion to Kiera Cass's #1 New York Timesbestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is the perfect finale for fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began--and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth'sDivergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's DeliriumThe Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen--and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants. Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series.
Flo's Review
So remember how after I finished reading The Elite, I didn't really like America? Well, I'm sad to report that I didn't like her much more in this book. She was a little better, but how can she continue to doubt what is time and time again proven true? At least in this book she wasn't wishy washy -- she knew what she wanted...most of the time. That's the best we'll get from her. What made the book for me was Maxon. He and America had some super sweet romantic scenes in this book, and being the word nerd that I am, the prince said some things that made me weak in the knees. I will forever swoon over Maxon Schreave!! A few interesting revelations were made about who people were and I didn't see any of them coming. This book was a fast read -- I finished it on a nonstop flight to New York. All in all, I am quite satisfied with how the trilogy concluded. I can't really say I will miss America, but maybe Kiera Cass can just write a series of novellas entitled, "Prince Maxon says really romantic stuff to Flo all day long." You'd buy that, right?!?

Jacque's Review: 

The One was everything I was hoping for and then some.  The selection is down to the final four and America finally decided to fight for Maxon, which I would have been doing from the very beginning.  Maxon is one of my favorite fictional males and I couldn't understand why America still doubted him.    

At the beginning of the book the remaining members of the selection were still out for blood.  They didn't trust each other and the possibility of lasting friendships was almost certainly out of the question.  After a few events, things slowly began to change.  Some characters such as the King will never change, but I was very surprised by Celeste and Kriss.  Celeste was not the heartless snob I always thought she was and Kriss had been keeping a secret that I never would have anticipated.

The rebels are still out for change and attacks against the palace and the royal family are always a possibility.  Violence is escalating withing the casts, but America and Maxon soon learn that one of the groups of rebels may actually be on their side.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series and can't wait to see what Kiera will be working on next.  According to Goodreads she is working on a new YA series.

Here is the brief Goodreads overview:

" A new series by Kiera Cass, author of The Selection. In the as-yet-untitled YA romance, which was pitched as Matched meets Never Let Me Go, children trained in academies to be perfect friends can be purchased by the wealthy as companions, and a forbidden romance ensues."

There is an additional Selection series novella scheduled to be released this winter about Queen Amberly, which I'm anxiously anticipating.  I would also love a short story that provides a little more detail on what happens after The One.  A glimpse at what life is like for Maxon, his princess, and the people of Illea a few years into the future would be an excellent way of capping of this exceptional series.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Flo's Review
I opted not to put the book summary up here, as it's spoilery for Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm which you MUST read if you haven't! There are so many things I love about this series, but I think the main thing is Alina's voice. She is this amazingly powerful woman, yet she is really a teenage girl. And you feel that, and everything, right along with her. She has amazing power, she's a big player in a major war, but she also has boy troubles and sometimes feels alone, and can relate to readers on so many different levels. These books are so unique and creative. I love the fact that I have never read anything like them and I likely won't. This exotic world comes to feel familiar and you come to hate and love these characters as you do your own family and friends. I mentioned before how I have no love for the Darkling, and I still don't. Just in case you were wondering. But I will miss the powerful, passionate, strong, dedicated people of Ravka. I cannot recommend this trilogy highly enough. Just trust me on this, and go read it!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Faking It by Cora Carmack

Faking It (Losing It, #2)

Jacque's Review:

Faking It is the second book in the Losing It series by Cora Carmack.  The story picks up where Losing It left off, which is shortly after graduation.  Garrick and Bliss moved back to his apartment in Philly and are working at a local theater.  Her best friend, Cade, also moved to Philly to attend graduate school. 

Cade isn't over the fact that Bliss chose Garrick instead of him, but he knows that he needs to move on with his life.  While sitting at a local coffee shop he is approached by Max with a VERY unusual proposition.  Her parents made an unexpected visit and want to meet her boyfriend.  She can't introduce them to her actual boyfriend because they would never approve, so she needs him to pretend to be her boyfriend for a short while.  This should have been an easy role for an actor, but her parents insist that he spend Thanksgiving with them the following day.  The situation becomes even more complicated when Cade and Max can't deny the attraction they feel for one another.  Are they just acting or is there really something between them? 

Both of these characters have difficult pasts that cause them to make very poor decisions throughout the book.  They are complete opposites in just about every way, but they complement each other perfectly.  They are miserable whenever they are apart, but their fears prevent them from going after what they really want.

The story is told from both Max and Cade's point of view, which worked perfectly in this situation.  The reader needs to understand both of their thoughts and feelings to appreciate the decisions they make.  The more they discover about each  other the more they realize they aren't as different as they appear on the surface.    

This was an exceptional addition to the series and I can't wait to read Finding It.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Into the Fae by Quinn Loftis

Into the Fae (The Gypsy Healer Series, Book 1)
By Quinn Loftis


With peace finally descending on the Romanian Grey Wolves, longtime fae ambassador to the wolves, Perizada, has been given a new mission by the Great Luna. But Peri’s desire for revenge against her sister, Lorelle, burns in her heart. Further complicating matters, the great white wolf, Lucian Lupei, has been returned to the pack after centuries trapped in the Dark Forest, and it appears he is destined to be with Peri. Can she put aside her thoughts of vengeance long enough to accept Lucian’s love and complete her mission?

My Review:

Okay I'm not going to lie, I was nervous when I started this book. See, I have loved Quinn since the day Blood Rites (Book #2 of Grey Wolves Series) and this isn't the Grey Wolves. So, yes, I was biting my nails when I started the first page

Well, Quinn needs to kick my shin, hard, for doubting her!! How could I be so dumb?

Peri, the fairy (hehe! love that still) has been mated with Lucian (oh, wow!) but she's a bit stubborn (just a little). Oh, and let's not forget her crazy sister Peri was to seek revenge on. 

Once, the Great Luna give Peri her new task, find the Healers. Wow, all the new characters that were introduced are just ... WOW!! Amazing! 

This is a bit darker than the GWS, but ... but .. our favorite characters do make an appearance. AND YES SO DOES DECEBEL!! (I know Quinn did that just for me!)

Anyway, read this! You won't be disappointed! 


About The Author

Quinn lives in beautiful NW Arkansas with her husband, son, Doberman and cat (who thinks she is a ninja in disguise). She is beyond thankful that she has been blessed to be able to write full time and hopes the readers know how much all of their support means to her. Some of her hobbies include reading, exercising, crochet, and spending time with family and friends. She gives all credit of her success to God because he gave her the creative spirit and vivid imagination it takes to write.



Meet Quinn:

June 20-22, 2014, UtopYAcon, Nashville TN:

July 21, 2014, Friends of the Library Meeting, Marion Co. Library, Yellville, AR

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Losing It by Cora Carmack

Jacque's Review

This series has been on my TBR list for a while.  My sister-in-law, who is 17 years younger and is actually a member of the NA population, asked me what I was reading over spring break.  Of course it was YA (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown), so she began asking me about some other YA/NA books.  She was reading the third book in this series and strongly suggested that I read it.

Bliss Edwards is a theater major and is getting ready to start her final semester in college.  She is still a virgin and made the mistake of sharing this information with her best friend Kelsey.  The two girls set out for an evening of drinking with one find a guy for Bliss to hook up with.  She could not graduate from college a virgin!

Bliss drinks heavily, but is not interested in any of the guys at the bar.  She decides to use the restroom and sees a guy sitting by himself in the back of the bar reading Shakespeare.  She comments on his choice of reading material and location and then gets to hear his AMAZING British accent.  Garrick and Bliss hang out for a while, but the evening did not progress as planned. (Not that Garrick wasn't willing.)

The next day is the first day of the new semester and Bliss quickly discover that Garrick is not a student, but their newest professor.  He is a recent graduate and was called in to cover for a professor who took a leave of absence.

The story details Garrick and Bliss's secret relationship along with her interactions with her best friends Cade and Kelsey.  Everything would be SO much easier if Garrick weren't her teacher, but they just need to get through the semester.  The characters are all actors, so there is a lot of drama that unfolds.  Cade has had a crush on Bliss for a long time and now the two are cast as the leads in their final play before graduation.  The situation is awkward to say the least.

I absolutely LOVED Garrick.  He is an attractive blond who is charming and very direct.  Oh...did I mention the accent? LOL!!  There is very little room for misinterpretation when it comes to his character.  Bliss on the other had....WOW.  She could have ruined everything with one simple word, CAT.  I know that sounds crazy, but read the book and you will understand.  She over thinks just about everything, is a control freak, and can't give in to her feelings.  The longer she is around Garrick, the move confident she becomes.  Their relationship is not only impacting her personal life, but her "professional" life as well.  She is a much better actress when she isn't so reserved.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read Faking It, which appears to be Cade's story after graduation.  I have also requested a copy of the novella, Keeping Her, which is another Bliss and Garrick story told from both of their points of view.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Lightning In My Wake (The Lightning Series #1) by Lila Felix

Goodreads description:

Colby Evans can leap from one country to the next in a heartbeat. She can see every sunset in every time zone in the same day. She can travel across the world in a flash. She defies gravity and physics with every breath she takes. She’s tested her abilities and found them limitless. 
She is the lightning. She is Lucent. And nothing can stop her. 
Except him. 
Theodore Ramsey isn’t supposed to be able to flash like Colby. The power of travel is passed on from mother to daughter in their people. Except once in every hundred generations. 
Theo is the one. 
He can flash like Colby. And it makes him a target to their enemies and to himself. His abilities change everything he knows about life and throws his future into an uncertain tangent. In fact, the only thing certain in his life is the love he feels for Colby. 
Their love defies time and space and has been the only constant thing in their lives since childhood. But even their infallible love will be stretched to its limits. 
She will risk her life to protect him. But he will risk everything to protect them all.

Mary's Review

Lighting?? Really?? 

That is why Lila Felix is a genius!

What I like about this book: Well hello new Book Boyfriend Theo!! Let me stalk you daily!! haha!! Okay, in a seriousness Theo is amazing and is great for Colby! I like Colby but Theo makes this story! 

What I didn't like: Well, it's a tad slow in some part, BUT .... BUT .. Lila makes up for it at the end and I would like BOOK 2 soon please

You can purchase it here

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Hunt by Stacey Kade

Book Summary
Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life. But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger. Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

Flo's Review
Okay. This was my tweet to author Stacey Kade when I finished reading this one: "I just finished The Hunt and what are you trying to do to me?!?! OMG!! I CAN'T with that ending!!! *breathes into paper bag*". So now that you know my emotional state about this book, let's discuss! Ariane and Zane are basically trying to figure out what to do now that she's escaped GTX and there's still out to get her. Pretty early on in the book she received some distressing news that GTX is not the only one after her and that she is putting Zane in danger. Dilemma time! This book was rich with the dilemma and the effect of love. Zane and Ariane love each other and it's really beautiful to see how this plays at the front of their decisions and actions. Also, I love you Zane Bradshaw. So. Much. Love. I said at the end of The Rules that I needed to give him a hug, and I still do. A very long one. We learn an interesting fact about Zane's mom that changes how Zane sees her. I flew through the majority of this book in a day, only putting it down toward the end when I had to. This happily did not have middle book syndrome at all and kept me well engaged from beginning to end. Speaking of the end -- OMG. What a set up for Book 3! I need Book 3. Right now. I can't even. You guys just need to read this! Trust me!!

Jacque's Review:

The Hunt is the second installment in the Project Paper Doll trilogy.  In the first book, The Rules, we were introduced to Ariane who was created in a lab.  (She is half alien and half human.)  On the surface she looks like a human, but she has some very unique abilities.  Zane is your typical high school boy who happens to be in love with a "hybrid". 

At the end of The Rules, Ariane and Zane were on the run.  Ariane's creator, Dr. Jacobs, wants to keep her locked up in the lab because he thinks she is too dangerous to be out in society.  She wants to be free to make her own decisions and live a normal life.  When Ariane discovers there are other hybrids living near Chicago she develops a plan.  She thinks they can stop the challenges between the different labs and earn their freedom if the hybrids can all work together.

On the surface this sounds like a very simple idea, but Laughlin's hybrids (Ford, Nixon, and Carter) are not quite the same as Ariane.  Ariane and Zane run into some difficulty, which turns into a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.

Drs. Laughlin and Jacobs are ruthless and will stop at nothing to win the challenge.  The ending was action packed and Stacey left us with a HUGE cliffhanger.  I was completely shocked by the direction the series appears to be taking, but at the same time I am REALLY excited to read the final book.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I think Zane will finally be on an even playing field with the rest of the characters.  The hybrids consider humans to be inferior, which in many ways they are, but Zane has proven his loyalty and may now be able to contribute on a greater scale. 

This series is highly entertaining and is not as sci-fi as it may sound.  I'm not usually a fan of sci-fi, but I love all of Stacey's books.  She has a great sense of humor and you can't help but love her characters.  She incorporates paranormal elements into the story, but her books focus more on high school relationships and drama.  Any YA fan will enjoy this series.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: Breakable by Tammara Webber

Breakable (Contours of the Heart, #2)
I would like to thank Tammara and her publisher, Penguin Berkley, for the advanced copy of Breakable.  I absolutely LOVED Easy and couldn't wait to read Lucas's story.  

Breakable is told from Lucas's point-of-view with chapters alternated between the past and present.  The "Landon" chapters begin at the time of his Mother's death.  We see what life was like for him through high school up until the time he left for college.  He was struggling with the loss of his mother and did not receive the support he needed from his father or counselors.  We also get to see how his relationship with their long time family friends, the Hellers, developed into the second family he so desperately needed. 

The "Lucas" chapters provide his perspective on the events that took place in Easy.  He really struggled with the moral dilemma of dating a student in a class he was tutoring, but he just couldn't find a way of telling her.  She was the first person he connected with since his mother died and he didn't want to scare her away.

This is an exceptional book and one I would highly recommend to all of my friends.  It is New Adult, so the subject matter is more mature than the YA books I usually read.  Easy was actually my introduction into the world of NA and I absolutely love it.  Cora Carmack is another outstanding NA author that I have discovered.  If you have any other recommendations I would love for you to share them with me.

If you haven't read Easy, I suggest that you read it prior to Breakable.  The books are stand alones, but knowing Jacqueline's story prior to Lucas's will definitely be to your benefit.  They are both exceptional characters and I gave both books 5 out of 5 stars of Goodreads.  If you read one of the books you will definitely want to read the other, so start with Easy.  

Tammara made a comment that there are a couple of secondary characters she is considering writing about.  At the time I had no idea who she could have been referring to.  Kennedy and Buck were the only real secondary characters in Easy and they were not good options in my opinion.  After reading Breakable, I can now see a few characters with potential.  Boyce is my first choice, but Pearl or Melody could be possibilities as well.  If you have read the series, please share your thoughts on possible characters you think she could be referring it

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Jacque's Trip to BEA

Day 1

My alarm went off at 2:30 AM and I caught my 5:45 flight to D.C.  Unfortunately the 40 minute layover was not long enough given the fact that it took 20 minutes for the baggage crew to return my gate checked bag.  I had to take the tram clear to the other side of the airport and arrived just after they closed the gate.  I was able to catch a noon flight and made it to the expo center by 2:30.  The only book that I would have missed based on my original schedule was Guy in Real Life, but Flo was SUPER sweet and waited in line to get me a signed copy.  

Guy In Real Life by Steve Brezenoff
Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini
Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle


This was the first time I was able to meet Rececca Serle, so I had to get a photo with her.  She had to stamp all of her books because, as you can see, she injured her shoulder.  

That evening Flo and I attended the Kensington party. 

Day 2

My top priorities of the day were to get a copy of Landline and to meet Cora Carmack.  I've read three of Cora's books in the past few weeks and was really excited to see that she was signing the final book in the series, Faking It, which is the only book in the Losing It series that I still need to read.  

After reading The Coldest Girl in Coldtown I really wanted to meet Holly Black as well.  I then had to schedule the rest of my day around these events and did a remarkable job of getting most of the books on my list.  

To make up for Flo picking up a copy of Guy In Real Life yesterday, I waited in line for Since You've Been Gone and got the copy signed for her.  I really would have liked a copy of this book, but she had another commitment and I owed her one.

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Even In Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Sublime by Christina Lauren
Unmaking Hunter Kennedy by Anne Eliot
Finding It by Cora Carmack
Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Unhinged by A.G. Howard
Wait For You by J. Lynn

With Cora Carmack
With A.G. Howard
Holly Black

Day 3

Day three was very chaotic with Book Con, but I was still able to get all of the books on my list.  Maggie Stiefvater was very sweet and I found out that she is only planning on releasing four books in the Raven Cycle series.  Book three will be released this fall, so we only have one more year to wait for the final installment!!

Flo is one of the admins for Down with the Capital, a Hunger Games fan site, so we had to participate in the Hunger Games trivia session.  Fortunately it was a team effort because I didn't know any of the answers.  I've read the books and seen both of the movies, but the questions were REALLY specific.  Flo and her other DWTC admin who was in attendance were all stars and won the competition.  They received Book Con t-shirts and a tote bag, but the victory was the real prize.

Be With Me by Jennifer Armentrout
The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Cassandra Clare
Maggie Stiefvater