Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Look Behind You by Sibel Hodge

Look Behind You
by Sibel Hodge

Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Thomas & Mercer June 10, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars

Chloe Benson wakes up kidnapped and bound in an underground tomb with no memory of how she got there.

She manages to escape but no one believes her story—not the police, not the doctors, and especially not her husband, Liam.

When she suspects Liam is lying to her, Chloe is forced to retrace her past, following in her own footsteps to find the truth and stay alive. But who is following Chloe?

Look behind you. You never know who's out there.

As soon as I started reading this, I knew it had a Gaslight feel to it. While I was not completely convinced Chloe's husband Liam was her kidnapper, I did believe that he was trying to make her appear crazy. He had her questioning her sanity when, afflicted with amnesia, she had no way to prove she wasn't.

The author presented several possible people who could've been her kidnapper, if, indeed, a kidnapping even occurred. I wasn't, however, surprised by the ending.

TTT: Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

From the Broke & the Bookish

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Top 10 Books I Read in 2014!

1. Stepbrother Dearest by Penelope Ward -
Elec: "I never had a problem with the way you look at me. My issue is the way it makes me feel when you look at me: things I'm not supposed to feel, things I can't let myself feel for you. At the same time ... nothing felt worse than when you stopped looking at me, Greta."

2. Chanel Cleeton's International School Trilogy starring Maggie, Samir, Fleur & Max. Yummy.

3. Finding It by Cora Carmack -
A graduate traveling through Europe to escape her painful past. Throw in some swoons and some theatre, and you'll be sold.

4. The Remember When Trilogy by T Torrest -
Book 1 tells the high school friendship between Trip and Layla, from their first meeting to their first kiss near the end of the book. Book 2 picks up several years later when Trip is a famous actor and a household name - of course, he's never forgotten his first love.

5. Conduct Unbecoming by L.A. Witt -
One of my first m/m sexy romances and I just loved it!

6. Talania: A Trip Down Memory Lane by Crystal D Spears -
Evelyn Beaumont can't remember anything from the time she was 14 until she was 19. She lost five years of her life because of brain cancer. Now she is a 20 years old survivor and enrolled in college, determined to reclaim her life. There she meets Tristan Monroe, but it isn't the first time they’ve met. In fact, Tristan and Evelyn were once in love.

7. Dream Chaser by Angie Stanton -
With time on her hands, she auditions for a musical production directed by a Broadway choreographer. Just as things are looking up, Willow discovers she will be performing opposite Eli McAvoy, the best friend she abandoned three years before.

8. Phantom's Dance by Lesa Howard -
Because I'm talented, I accidentally erased the review I just did of this one. Ugh. It's a re-telling of Phantom of the Opera from a dance perspective. I highly recommend it if you like YA books centered on dance.

9. Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park -
This is one of those books that changes your views on everything, from family to love to friendship. Read. It.

10. Before You by Amber Hart -
A wrong-side-of-the-tracks romance with depth.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Billionaire's First Christmas by Holly Rayner

The Billionaire's First Christmas
by Holly Rayner

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Publisher: Amazon Digital - December 8, 2014
Genre: NA, Clean Romance, Christmas
Rating: 4 Stars

Aaron Winters, the gorgeously handsome billionaire CEO and philanthropist has always hated Christmas; for him, the festive season holds too many tormenting memories...

Robyn Hurst is one of his many dutiful employees, but won't let anything - or anyone - cancel Christmas for her.

Aaron hasn't celebrated Christmas since he was 8 years old. Robyn's favorite holiday is Christmas, and she's going to spend the season trying to change his mind.

After Aaron bids on Robyn as a "Slave for a Day" at a work charity auction, he has her dress up like an elf and deliver presents to childrens' homes and orphanages. He even makes her deliver gifts to each department at their workplace. Robyn loves donning the costume and giving to others. If only the mysterious man who is her master for the day would tell her his name . . .

That night, at dinner, Robyn is pleasantly surprised to find Aaron Winters, himself, the CEO of her company. Where Aaron is uptight, Robyn is carefree.

This book is a light romance with tons of Christmas activities. Can Robyn turn Aaron back on to Christmas after all these years?

I Need You by Jane Lark

I Need You
by Jane Lark
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Published by: HarperImpulse - October 23, 2014
Genre: NA, Romance, Illness, Mental Health Issues
Rating: 3 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wanting his best friend's girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well - it's the tightrope he's walked for years.

But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can't help but be there for the girl he's loved from afar for so long. She's hurting.

Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy's heart hurts. She's trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it - and it's ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?

Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn't his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can't trust her. He's no one's second best.

I'm not quite sure how to rate this. The author did a wonderful job of describing Lindy's hatred of her body, herself and the projection of those things onto her surroundings and the people around her. I used to hate my body and spent many years "letting" men have sex with me rather than "wanting" to have sex with them. Her friend Billy, who's loved her secretly, forever, makes it his mission to help her accept herself and learn to "want" and not "let" sex happen. He teaches her to be a willing participant and learn to enjoy intimacy. Let me make this clear: Lindy wasn't continually assaulted. That's not what I mean by "let." She was a willing participant, but did not know how to "want" with her body.

The relationship between Jason, Lindy and Billy was well-characterized. The marriage of Jason to Rachel brought a new element, showing Lindy just how much she'd been missing in her old relationship with Jason.

I admit that after things started to resolve, I was ready for the end to come. It dragged out a bit for me.

The In Between by Olivia Pierce

The In Between
by Olivia Pierce
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Published by: Full Fathom Five - November 12, 2014
Genre: YA, Romance, Death, Supernatural
Rating: 3.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tara Jenkins and Justin Westcroft used to be childhood BFFs. Now in high school, Justin’s a popular, all-star athlete, and Tara spends her days admiring him from afar. But when Tara saves Justin from nearly drowning in a freak accident, he’s unable to get her out of his mind. In no time at all, Tara and Justin fall deeply in love. And even though it’s only high school, they seem destined for a Happily Ever After.

Until tragedy strikes—and this time, Justin’s not so lucky. Tara passes through her days as a shell of her former self: Justin’s dead, but she can still feel his presence, and she can’t seem to let him go.

But there’s a reason for that, and it’s not just grief: Justin is In Between, and he’s still holding on.

They say that when someone saves you, you’re tied to them for life. But what about in the afterlife?

I love reading young adult books even though I'm 37, but this one, and those of it's kind, are a bit too young for me. As someone with a lot of life experience, it was really hard for me to believe the whole 180 Justin did and believe just how "in love" and inseparable he and Tara became in just a short time. Yes, there was a back story friendship. Yes, young love is intense. But, I just didn't feel it. Due to this, it was hard for me to understand why Justin couldn't let go of Tara in the "In Between."

I think that if you're a younger teen, you'll love this book and see it for the romance it's meant to be. It just wasn't right for me.

Friday, December 19, 2014

One Song Away by Molli Moran

One Song Away
by Molli Moran
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Published by: Molli Moran - December 1, 2014
Genre: NA, Music, Friends-Turned-Lovers
Rating: 4.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…
Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn't taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.

Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn't have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush (and former best friend) is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees...on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: re-introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.

Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn't bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. Sweet moments where she forgets they aren't really dating. And she didn't count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.

Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep...and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or finally write her own song?

Many books I choose to read involve music and/or friends-turned-lovers settings. One Song Away by Molli Moran gloriously combined both! I've read F-to-L books that have annoyed the crap out of me, but this author does it naturally, expanding upon a foundation of friendship (and possibly more) from their high school years.

Sophie is OOAK and Jake is just adorable. I spent the entire book rooting for their "fake" relationship to become a real one. Again, the author does a fantastic job or finding "turning points" in their relationship several times in the book that allow us to see the natural progression of their feelings for one another.

While there is a sex scene in the book, "Claire" and Jake take their time getting to know one another physically before that ever happens. It was sweet, romantic and intimate. I personally think the intimate foreplay worked for the story as two friends found their way to becoming more.

I'm not a huge fan of the guy on the cover, but other than that, it was a fab book!

Can you tell I really liked this one? Go read it!

A Moment by Marie Hall

A Moment
by Marie Hall

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Published by: Marie Hall Publishing - March 12, 2013
Genre: NA, Childhood Sexual Assault, Romance
Rating: 3 Stars

A chance meeting... Life didn't turn out the way I'd ever hoped it would. I got pregnant at 14. Same year my mom got diagnosed with MS. Dad bailed on us and my life felt like it suddenly started to spiral out of control. I'm 21 now, I go to college, I work hard, trying to make something of myself. I wasn't supposed to be at that burlesque bar Valentine's Day. I wasn't supposed to meet Ryan Cosgrove, but I did. And now nothing will ever be the same. Love born from pain... I'm a retired Marine, an MMA fighter, and when I was younger something terrible happened to me. Life is hard and I'm so tired of pretending its not. I'm in a burlesque bar, drowning my sorrows, trying to shut out the demons breathing down my neck always reminding me I'm not good enough. Then I see Liliana Delgado and something inside of me- something I'd thought long dead- stirs to life. I wonder... can she save me? I hope she can, because I don't think I can save myself. This is our moment...

It's the typical story of the retired Marine with demons and the girl who saves him UNTIL you realize it's a sexual abuse survivor who finds healing from a woman with an Autistic child. It's poignant, loving and intense all at once.

This book is free right now on Kindle!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TTT: Top Ten New To Me Authors from 2014

From the Broke & the Bookish

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Top 10 New to Me Authors from 2014!

1. Chanel Cleeton (I'm obsessed) - I See London, London Falling, French Kissed. If you like Anna & the French Kiss but like things a bit spicier, you'll love this new adult series!

2. Jessica Park - Flat-Out Love. I want to read Flat-Out Celeste too. Has anyone read that one? Did you like it?

3. Cora Carmack - Finding It, Losing It, Faking It - I love the theatre theme that weaves them all together.

4. Shannon Hale - Austenland & Midnight in Austenland. Truth be told, the first installment, although a BRILLIANT idea, was a tad dull. The movie version starring Keri Russell really brought the characters to life. After the movie was written, Ms. Hale wrote the 2nd book, and it was teeming with intrigue and vivacious characters unlike the drippy characters from the first book. Thanks go to the writers of the movie for sparking better characters for Ms. Hale in the second book. I loved it!

5. Amber Hart - Before You. A wonderful spin on the wrong-side-of-the-tracks love, but MUCH more emotional and action-packed. Diego and Faith are a force to be reckoned with.

6. Juliet Madison - Haunted Ever After. Loved this quirky book about a soon-to-be wed girl who is haunted by the ghost of her fiance's ex-gf. Hilarious. I see that she has another funny one coming out soon, The 12 Daves of Christmas (which sounds a lot like the movie, "Letters to Juliet"). I must read that one too, especially since I'm dating a Dave.

7. Peter Monn - The Before Now & After Then. A wonderful coming-of-age LGBT novel.

8. Crystal Spears - Talania: A Trip Down Memory Lane. I love first love, teen, coming-of-age books! While I probably would've titled the book something shorter and sweeter, I absolutely adored this book!! I'd love to read more of her but her Breakneck series about a crime family or her new book Orlando about the porn industry don't interest me.

9. L. A. Witt - Conduct Unbecoming, Starstruck, The Walls of Troy etc. I never knew I'd enjoy m/m romance until I started reading her books!

10. Penelope Ward - Stepbrother Dearest and My Skylar. Stepbrother Dearest was . . . I just loved it! My Skylar wasn't on the same calibur but it was still good. If she has another SD-type calibur book out there, count me in! Should I try her debut, Gemini?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Perpetual Page Turner's End of the Year Survey!

Number Of Books You Read: 89 Arcs + whatever else I read . . .
Number of Re-Reads: The International Series by Chanel Cleeton (2)
Genre You Read The Most From: New Adult

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead since I loved the VA series. Still loved Adrian, liked Sydney, but hated the other characters and the plot. Couldn't finish it.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher. Who knew someone could write a clever story only told through memos? Julie totally did!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014? The International School series by Chanel Cleeton, beginning with I See London. LOVED LOVED LOVED! I'll have my review up tomorrow for the 3rd and final installment, French Kissed!

5. Best series you started in 2014? I loved Chanel Cleeton's International School series as well as T. Torrest's Remember When series.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014? I could certainly gush on and on about Chanel Cleeton, but I also like New Adult author Cora Carmack.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? Conduct Unbecoming by LA Witt. I'd never read M/M romances, but I really like hers.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? The Girl with All the Gifts by MR Carey. While I usually don't like Dystopian stories, this one was amazing.

9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I'd probably re-read either The Before Now and After Then by Peter Monn. A good coming-of-age m/m young adult novel.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2014?
Not sure - maybe Before You by Amber Hart.

11. Most memorable character of 2014?
Samir from I See London

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Then & Always by Dani Atkins

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?
What She Lost & Found by ML Garcia

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? Vampire Academy!

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?
I am not a novella fan, so I avoid those at all cost. The longest was probably The Girl with All the Gifts by MR Carey.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most?
Dear Nobody probably. I love memoirs, but this collection of diary entries were explicit and not what I was expecting.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) Maggie & Samir from the International Series by Chanel Cleeton!!!

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year:
Julie & Celeste from Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park. Has anyone read Flat-Out Celeste? I'm trying to decide whether to read it or not.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously:
The only books I read this year by the same author were sequels, so I can't really pick one.

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. Just finished the first book. Haven't written the review yet.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?
Again, Samir from the International Series.

23. Best 2014 debut you read?
I'm honestly really bad at figuring out if an author is a first-time writer or not, so I can't answer without googling every single one of my faves.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
Mara Dyer

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
Turning 16 by Perie Wolford. It was basically a re-telling of the movie "Sixteen Candles" with Sam as a gay high school boy. Loved it. Oh the nostagia!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?
Talania by Crystal Spears. Cancer? Amnesia? First love? Reminding the first love with amnesia about said love? Tearjearker in the best way!

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning. I need to write a review for it. It's a long book that shows how a selfish playboy and a self-professed "big" girl grow together and grow in love. Loved it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?
See #27.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?
The Austenland books by Shannon Hale. I also highly recommend seeing the movie starring!

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad?
Above by Isla Morely. I really hated that the MC spent most of her life underground and, when she finally escapes, she finds a dystopian society.

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014
It's not a total book blog, but Melbourne on My Mind. We have a lot of the same taste in books & movies.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?
All of them? lol

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?
I recently started doing Mish Mash Mondays featuring things going on in my life and/or things on my mind.

4. Best event that you participated in? The blog tours for Chanel Cleeton!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?Getting my hands on the sequels for I See London by Chanel Cleeton.!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? My Mish Mash Posts.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? My reviews in general. I don't get a ton of traffic.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? Bookish items on Etsy! Love finding unique ones.

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? No

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015? The Walls Around Us - Nova Ren Suma

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)? Macdeath - Cindy Brown - 1/20/15

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? I suck b/c I'm not bookish enough to know which are debuts and which aren't!

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015? I want to keep reading the Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout - I'm very behind.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015? Have more time for reading!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: I can't find one that I read that I really, really like.

Monday Mish Mash

Random things going on in my life . . .

Two words: Orphan Black!

The short synopsis? "A streetwise hustler is pulled into a compelling conspiracy after witnessing the suicide of a girl who looks just like her." ~IMDB

The longer synopsis? Clones and one talented actress that can pull that off!

I finished Season 1 in a flash and am on Season 2. It's a BBC show filmed in Canada, and the 3rd and final season will be airing in 2015. It's a nail biter! I highly recommend it!

On Being a Survivor . . .
With all the Bill Cosby talk in the news lately, and with the 14-year anniversary of a bad event in my life occurring the week before Thanksgiving, I've had a lot on my mind.

While there are many things I can say about surviving sexual assault (and stalking), I want the following to be known:

1. Just because a victim doesn't report her assault doesn't mean it didn't happen. There are many reasons why this may not happen.
a. The victim may be terrified of retribution from the perpetrator or their friends or family.
b. They may be afraid of public opinion.
c. They may feel that people will judge them and say, "Well, you were wearing this or you shouldn't have been drinking or or or . . ."
d. The perpetrator may have been grooming (pg 16 of the doc) the victim for a long time and the victim may feel that they are complicit in the situation.

2. Psychopaths/Sociopaths are very good at what they do. While a lot of assaults are a one time deal, I was stalked/abused for several years by someone. The key to this, and to why I STILL don't speak of it, was mind control. Psychopaths are mind control machines. There is brainwashing involved so that you believe you are a willing participant in events that you don't want to do. This has happened to me. I don't talk about it, because I don't think the vast majority of people would understand or even try to understand that. In their minds, you either fought your abuser or you wanted it. Abuse is not that simple.

I don't feel like writing anymore right now. I hope someone who reads this will at least listen and try to understand.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

French Kissed by Chanel Cleeton - Release Tour & Review!

French Kissed by Chanel Cleeton

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Published by: Chanel Cleeton - December 1, 2014
Genres: NA Romance
Rating: 4 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

On the surface Fleur Marceaux has it all—if only the façade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all of that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School, and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble—despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride.

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she thought was wrong for her, but might be the only thing that’s right.

But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?

Have you ever read a story that had you so captivated, you re-read it right after completing it the first time? For me, that story was I See London and my introduction to the intensity that is Maggie & Samir. Not only are they the hottest couple in the literary planet, but they're each well-drawn, unique characters that could hold my interest even if they weren't together. Combined, they are a big fireball of heat. 5 stars!

After I completed (and greedily re-read) I See London, I was granted a sneak peak at the London Falling arc, the sequel and end to the International School books. I couldn't wait to see how the intense love story between Maggie & Samir ended. I finished their sequel in no time and was thoroughly pleased with the result. 5 more stars! It's SUPER rare that I like a sequel at all, let alone rate it with 5 stars. I usually find that they're so off-base in the reprise of the character's personalities they ruin the first installment for me. I tend to not read them and leave my favorite characters behind in that happy after-glow (of reading) one gets when they loved a book.

During what was supposed to be the final book in the series, a strange energy emerged between two of the secondary characters: Fleur and Max. He called her "The Ice Queen" and she hated him for it. A lot of fans felt like there was a story there and one we wanted to read. The author was only too obliging and created a third (and seriously final) book to the International School series, French Kissed starring Fleur and Max.

When I began the book, I wasn't sure if I was going to love it. In between the sparse dialogue between the MCs was a ton of exposition and inner-thought. If what was written truly happened in real life, it would've taken 15 minutes to spit out 6 sentences of dialogue, there was so much introspective thinking written in. That was a bit off-putting and I greatly hoped the rest of the book didn't read like that. Fortunately for me, it didn't!

Fleur and Max are pushed together as partners for a project in one of their classes that will make up 80% of their grade. Fleur needs the class to graduate and Max needs good grades for his future in banking. It's clear that this is the main antagonistic curve ball in the story - two people that "hate" each other forced to get along to pass the class (even though we know they really like each other). The second is the mysterious blackmailer who plagued Fleur in the previous book. Will her secrets threaten the relationship she eventually has with Max?

Although I love Chanel's writing and enjoyed the plot line, I wanted their push/pull to last a bit longer than it did. I guess I wanted a bit of Maggie and Samir, which probably isn't fair as they're different people. Regardless, after one kiss, they pretty much become a couple. I wanted a bit more of a struggle before that happened. I also felt like the reader knew who the blackmailer was (it was pretty obvious in the prior book) and although the things the blackmailer did to Fleur were embarrassing, they weren't anything (I think) that would ruin a relationship between Max and Fleur. I didn't find Max's initial reaction plausible and like his character at all. I felt like the author was trying to create more tension in the story but used a tactic or a reaction that didn't really fit in line with her characters.

Those two critiques aside, I loved the book and devoured it within a day. I loved that we found out what happened to Maggie & Samir as well as Max & Fleur down the road. A very satisfying ending to the series. It also makes me want to re-read London Falling. I think I just might!

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway of a $10 Amazon GC, 1 Ebook of I See London, and 1 Ebook of London Falling (US winner only due to gifting constraints- sorry!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Forced Disappearance by Dana Marton

Forced Disappearance
by Dana Marton

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Published by: Montlake Romance - November 18, 2014
Rating: 4 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When wealthy American businessman Glenn Danning goes missing in Venezuela, investigator Miranda Soto volunteers to track him down. It’s her first assignment for the Civilian Personnel Recovery Unit, but this mission is about more than salvaging the remnants of her shattered military career. Glenn was Miranda’s best friend and first lover, and she’ll do anything to save him from danger…especially since she just lost everything that mattered to her.

Glenn barely survived being kidnapped and tortured as a suspected spy, but the shock of seeing Miranda again gives him a new lease on life. Their still-simmering attraction grows hotter as the couple races through the treacherous jungle. Determined to reach safe ground, they must stay alive long enough to stop the terrifying enemy who still hunts Glenn. And even if they survive, Miranda’s dark past could jeopardize their future together…

Billed as a romance, this book was all action. There was romance (and sex), but it was truly an engaging action book with a lot of research and hard work put in by the author. She gave a lot of detail about the setting and really made you feel like you were interned somewhere in the middle of the rain forest yourself.

The action was non-stop, the foils many, and every time the heroes had freedom within reach, there was a wrench. I loved it.

If you can get past the fact that Miranda just happened to get assigned a missing persons case for her long-lost love or the sex scene that takes place after Glenn hasn't showered in over a month (ew), you will love this book! It has romance, action . . . it has it all!

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

When Joss Met Matt
by Ellie Cahill (YA author Liz Czukas)

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine - February 24, 2015
Rating: 3.75 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to turn to “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her high school boyfriend. After few drinks, Joss nearly gives it up to an even drunker frat boy. Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?

A better title for this new adult novel would be, "Sorbet," in my opinion. The given title was a bit long and didn't capture the essence of the story. That said, I really enjoyed the book and would definitely keep Ellie Cahill on my list of authors to read new material from.

The story moves back and forth between the past and present in a very clear way. Sometimes authors don't know how to use this technique to its full benefit, but this author certainly does. She captured the initial sorbet contract between Joss and Matt as freshmen coeds and weaved it in well with a dinner at Matt's house, several years in the future. Joss is all set to tell Matt (FINALLY) that she's in love with him at dinner, when the next words out of his mouth are that he's moving away. After six long years of soothing broken egos and hearts, has Joss lost her own?

You'll have to read to find out, and I highly recommend you do!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Kindle Deals! $2.99 or Less!

Best-Sellers and all your fave books-turned-movies that you've wanted to read are on sale TODAY ONLY! Get them now!

Best-Sellers Turned Movies

$2.99! One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior's society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she's determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous.

$2.99! Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

$2.99! In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

$2.99! If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

$2.99! In boyhood, Louis Zamperini was an incorrigible delinquent. As a teenager, he channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II began, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survived, adrift on a foundering life raft. Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

$2.99! On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Series You've Wanted to Start

$2.99! Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

$2.99! For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

$1.99! "You can't touch me," I whisper.

I'm lying, is what I don't tell him.

He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him.

But things happen when people touch me.

Strange things.

Bad things.

No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon.

But Juliette has plans of her own.

After a lifetime without freedom, she's finally discovering a strength to fight back for the very first time—and to find a future with the one boy she thought she'd lost forever.

Young Adult - all genres

$1.99! Love’s her name, but it’s not her whole story . . .

Love Bukowski is a new sophomore at Hadley Hall, the posh prep school where her father is now principal. Raised by her single dad (with more than a little help from her funky aunt Mable), almost-sixteen-year-old Love is strong willed, with a wry sense of humor—but will she fit into the world of Hadley Hall? In the made-for-TV version of her life, she’s got cool friends and hot guys galore. But being a “fac brat” makes new friends hard to come by, and the guys—well, that remains to be seen. Now Love’s got to step it up if she’s going to overcome her less-than-glamorous reality and get that walk-on role in her own fantasies.

$1.99! (Sequel) Fall is in the air and Love is back at Hadley Hall

For Love Bukowski, summer’s over and school is about to begin. But it seems like Love’s going it alone: Her aunt Mable has been acting weird, her dad (who happens to be principal of the school) is preoccupied, her ex is pouting in Europe, and her former friend Cordelia has bonded with the evil Lindsay Parrish. Enter Arabella Piece, the new exchange student from London, who’s staying with Love and has some secrets of her own. Love’s summer may have called it a wrap, but her fall semester dramas have just begun.

99 cents! Jackie Dunn and Matt Stewart barely knew each other in high school, back when she was a blue-haired alterna-kid and he was a preppy jock. High school rules dictated they'd never hang out, or sit at the same lunch table, or God forbid, date.

But when a weird storm transports them from their ten-year reunion back to senior year, they have to work together to figure out a way to get back to 2008.

Stuck in high school, Jackie and Matt agree to tough it out. They agree to do everything exactly as they remember, even though that means staying with the boyfriend Jackie knows will betray her, or playing nice with the girl that will someday be Matt’s ex-wife. Soon, they come to rely on one other, even become friends.

Jackie’s just starting to get used to curfews and term papers again, when Matt hits her with the biggest surprise of all: he’s fallen in love with her. He’ll change the past however he has to if it means a future with Jackie. But Jackie’s terrified they’ll not only alter their lives, but the lives of everyone around them.

$1.99! Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything—who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David—or “Hank”—and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of—Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past to stop running and to find his way home.

New Adult

$1.99! How do you share the soundtrack of your life?

Just out of grad school, Laney is ready to embark on a new phase of her life. Leaving California to head back east, she’s got three thousand miles to reflect on her past before moving ahead to the future. With a box of mixed tapes at the ready, she envisions a trip spent reminiscing about first crushes, high school, family issues, and college loves and losses—her most precious memories. What she doesn’t picture is her mother in the seat beside her—which is exactly what happens when her mom invites herself along for the ride. Soon, Laney’s giving her mother a crash course in retro hits from her formative years—and a history of her life that her mom never knew about. As they roll through the American landscape, Laney and her mother discover that their lives are no one-hit wonders.

FREE! A Moment...

I killed myself tonight.

Or at least I tried. But a woman I do not know refused to let me die. Liliana Delgado wrapped me up in her slim arms and told me things would be okay. But she doesn't know the demons I live with. The things that have happened to me. Every morning is a struggle just to get out of bed, and the nights are even worse. But the way she smiles at me... I feel something I've never felt before. Hope.

...will change our lives

I should not have gone to that burlesque bar on Valentine's Day, but I did. My life isn't easy. I had a child when I was only fourteen, now I'm in college and things should have been easier. But they aren't. My life is spiraling out of control. Then I see Ryan Cosgrove sitting at a table with an empty, broken look in his beautiful blue eyes and something inside of me feels like he knows. He understands what it is to hurt, to struggle. So when I bump into him later that night, bloody, broken, and dying I know I'll do everything in my power to save him and maybe in the process, I'll save myself too.


FREE! Katrina Mahoney lives in Western Sydney, Australia. She has a very full life attending university to study a law degree, training for triathlons and now she is working part time as well. She couldn't possibly find time for a relationship, especially after her last one ended so catastrophically.

Right now she is content focusing on work, study and training while hanging out with her best friend David Taylor, a womaniser with a heart of gold that would do anything for Katrina - except watch her get hurt again.

That is, until the dashing Elliot Roberts, a junior solicitor from her work, shows an interest in her despite their office's 'No Dating' policy.

Katrina struggles with following her heart or following her mind and has trouble seeing where her heart truly lies in this gripping romantic drama.

Jane Austen Contemporary Fiction

$2.99! Beth Pride really can’t stand William Darcy: he snubbed her at the Hartford College Children’s Benefit Auction; he has an infuriating propensity for pushing her buttons; his actions are frequently at odds with his words; and even his melting chocolate eyes and impressive physique don’t quite make up for his deficient personality.

Beth’s plan to avoid William backfires when her roommate falls for his best friend. As the unlikely duo are thrown together time and again, Beth begins to second guess her earlier assumptions about William.

Will Pride’s prejudice keep her from a happy ending, or will Beth discover that first impressions aren’t always what they seem?

99 cents! Rachel Daughtry has a 10-year plan that leaves no room for mistakes. Or not-so-serious boys--including Oliver Wentworth, the freshman boyfriend she's never forgotten. Now she's back in San Francisco with an awesome-slash-scary new job. Unfortunately, The Plan doesn't cover things like meeting her best friend's new "secret" guy...Oliver.

Fortunately, no one knows that Rachel and Oliver were ever together, and endless bikini wax torture couldn't make Rachel hurt her friend. But it's killing Rachel. She's not over him. Not even a little. And as her 10-year-plan crumbles around her, Rachel realizes that maybe--just maybe--Oliver feels the same way.

Now Rachel is on the verge of losing all control. And her best friend. And the love of her life...

$2.99! Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been.

She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind.
Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise.