Review: Torn by K.A. Robinson

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Two words- love triangle.

In her first class, on the first day of college, Chloe sits down next to Drake and her heart stops. She can’t help it, she is stunned. But then there’s Logan, the loyal, protective “best friend” that Chloe doesn’t realize is in love with her.

I couldn’t help but not like her in the beginning. She is so clueless of Logan’s affection. So many times I got frustrated that she seemed to be playing dumb about it all. Also, the first few pages are full of her twisted self-deprecation. I think the goal was to portray her as not realizing how beautiful and trendy she is, all while telling us how beautiful and trendy she is. Hmmm…there are plenty of comments like this-

“The only thing I had going for me when she was around was my D-cup breasts, which might bring me attention from time to time, but they tended to get in my way more than anything.”

So, back to love triangles…they are messy. And ultimately, she has to pick. This is when I started to like Chloe. Logan is so perfect for her on paper. He knows everything about her, including her rocky childhood and mother issues. Drake pushes her boundaries, and offers her a safe place. I really wanted her to have both, but that would’ve totally changed the genre of the book! She struggles a lot between choosing (insert angst) and makes some pretty big mistakes. *spoiler alert* she finally lets both of them go, but quickly ends up with Drake in the end. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming…

There is a surprise at the end of the book that leaves me waiting to read Twisted, book 2! And it’s already out, so it’s not like I have to wait! Yay!

My Chloe, Drake and Logan-

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**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

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can’t wait! wednesday

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Beauty from Surrender (Beauty #2) by Georgia Cates- out Thursday, May 30th, 2013! TOMORROW!!!

How do you move on when he’s every song you sing?

After Laurelyn Prescott walks away from the love of her life, she returns to Nashville to pursue the only dream she has left. Determined to find a distraction from the pain of losing Jack Henry, she immerses herself in her music. But with her old life comes old acquaintances and new expectations. When Laurelyn refuses her record producer’s outrageous demands, she finds herself without a career—until an unforeseen opportunity presents itself. From there it’s a rocket ride straight to the top where Laurelyn finds the success she’s always dreamed of. Will it be enough to bring her the happiness she so deserves, or will the absence of Jack Henry leave her wanting more?

Jack Henry McLachlan never expected to fall in love with Laurelyn Prescott—but he did. After he foolishly let her slip through his fingers, he spends three months searching for her, but their reunion doesn’t come easy. The woman he finds isn’t the same one who drifted away without a goodbye. No longer an insecure girl on an Australian adventure, this Laurelyn is a successful musician with a promising career. Her dreams are becoming a reality, and Jack is terrified his American girl won’t have a place for him in her new life. With only a month to convince her otherwise, will it be enough time to make her visualize a life beyond the glitz and glamour, a life that includes him?

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Plotting to Win by Tara Chevrestt out Saturday, June 1st, 2013! Read my review here! 

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Fire Inside (Chaos #2) by Kristen Ashley out Tuesday, June 4th, 2013! Read my review here!

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Entwined with You (Crossfire #) by Sylvia Day- out Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts, and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside–so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

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Faking It (Losing It #2) by Cora Carmack- out Tuesday, June 4th, 2013!

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

Review: The Rules of You and Me by Shana Norris

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*Available June 24th, 2013!

Hannah Cohen has always lived her life by a set of carefully constructed rules to maintain the image of perfection. But now, the rules aren’t helping control the chaos that is quickly taking over.

Opting out of spending the summer in Paris with her mom, Hannah instead heads to the mountains of North Carolina to stay with her aunt. The Blue Ridge Mountains provide a barrier between Hannah and the rest of the world, a safe haven where her secrets can be forgotten.

When Hannah crosses paths with Jude Westmore, a guy who hangs a different shirt from the tree in his front yard every day, she finds herself breaking out of the comfort of her rules and doing things she had never dared before. As the summer passes, Hannah and Jude grow closer and make up their own rules for dealing with life.

But when the secret Hannah has tried to forget is finally revealed, even the new rules can’t save her from possibly losing everything–including Jude.

My thoughts-

The Rules of You and Me is a story about Hannah Cohen. Goodreads says it’s a standalone companion novel to The Boyfriend Thief, but I haven’t read The Boyfriend Thief (yet), and I liked it very much on its own. This book, while being a light read, really does a beautiful job of handling issues of expectations and guilt. I really related with this book, and enjoyed the journey that Hannah and Jude take to letting go and being themselves.

Hannah lives her life based on a set of rules. Her parents expect her to be perfect and these rules help her maintain this flawless façade on the outside. When her life starts to crumble, Hannah decides to retreat to North Carolina to stay with her Aunt for the summer. This is where she meets Jude Westmore and he comes with his own set of issues. Hannah and Jude struggle together to push through their boundaries, learning along the way. I think they really just needed each other, someone to relate to and be honest with. Over the course of the book, they create a new set of rules to live by. Lost are the days of rules that discourage or impede…these rules are encouraging and full of life!

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My Hannah and Jude-

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**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley

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Kristen Ashley is one of my favorite authors. I kind of fell upon her Colorado Mountain series, and within two months had read every book she’d written, except for her paranormal ones. So now, along with everyone else, I have to wait patiently for her to release. And it’s painful. I’m like a junky waiting for a Kristen Ashley fix. *shiver* All of that to say, you can imagine how excited this “KA junky” was when her new book Fire Inside became available to request on netgalley!! I flipped! I’m still pretty new to blogging and I get a rush every time I get an ARC to review…but to get an ARC for KRISTEN ASHLEY. Oh. My. God. Made my year.

Fire Inside follows Lanie, Hop and the whole Chaos crew. This book is different from all of her others in that it doesn’t start after Own the Wind, it overlaps with it. If I could change one thing, this would be it. Historically, I loved seeing the couple from the previous book, seeing them together and moving forward. In Fire Inside, we get to hear about the Tabby and Shy drama while it plays out. Not a bad thing, just different. Also, so far in the Chaos series, there hasn’t been a resolution to the outside conflict. Let me explain…typical KA books have the conflicts existing for the couple, and the outside conflicts (kidnappings, murders, drug dealers, etc.). The two are totally entwined, but I view them separately. In Own the Wind and Fire Inside, we know there is a conflict with Benito over territory, but it hasn’t been resolved. Also strange. It makes me wonder how long this one conflict will continue; through all Chaos books?

Lanie and Hop have a tumultuous relationship, to say the least. Initially, Lanie propositions Hop for “one night only,” but they can’t get enough of one another! From the very beginning, Hop recognizes how special Lanie (or Lady as he calls her) is to him. Lanie, on the other hand, realizes how great Hop is, and tries to forget, or not let it sink in. Honestly, I don’t blame her. I think I’d need 5+ years to get over my finance being murdered/being involved with the Russian mob. Give the girl a break! But…Hop just keeps doing freaking sweet things and making it hard for her.

This book, while not a typical KA book, was definitely enjoyable. It has the signature KA alpha-male, a “won’t take your shit” chick and hilarious secondary characters. The path to their HEA might be a little rockier than others, but who can’t appreciate the fight to keep what makes you happy?! Because, fight they did! (Like all the time! haha!)

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Review: Deeper We Fall by Chelsea Cameron

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This book is about second chances and learning to forgive! And what a ride it is!

Lottie and her best friend, Lexie, were normal teenagers. Until one night. They attended a party where Lexie finally got to flirt with Zack Parker. First of all, Zack Parker is a jerk. When a guy makes up nicknames like “Sexy Lexie” and “Hottie Lottie,” run the other way! My first impression of him was awful and it never really improved. He walks up to Lexie and within a few minutes has her up against a truck in the parking lot. Zan, Zack’s brother is also at the party. He has always had a crush on Lottie and works up the nerve to talk to her. *sigh* Lexie decides to leave with Zack and Zan, despite Lottie’s pleas that she not because they’ve been drinking. That night, Lexie, Zack and Zan are in an accident, which drastically changes all of their lives.

Two years later, Lottie and her twin brother, Will, are moving into their college dorm. After a dramatic run-in they realize they will be sharing the campus with not only Zack, but also Zan. Lottie is in a panic about this new development, she still blames Zan for the wreck and Zack for his part in it.

“I can’t take anything you don’t give me. Stop giving me power over your life.” –Zan

Lottie has to learn how to forgive and move forward with her life. Surprisingly, Zan makes this possible. She realizes that Zan isn’t who she thought he was. All the walls she has built up to protect herself start to come down as they start to get to know and trust each other.

“You have wings. Learn to use them and fly. You’re not the only one with regrets.” –Zan

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Over the course of the book, new friends are made, relationships lost; trust given and lots of secrets come to light. Lottie and Zan hold on to each other and their friends to make it through.

My Lottie and Zan-

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Review: Second Hearts by G.J. Walker-Smith

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Second Hearts picks up about a year later. Chari has been traveling, surfing and being the free spirit that she is. There’s just one thing- she hasn’t been able to get Adam Décarie out of her head. She is still desperately in love with him.

“I had traveled a thousand miles from home but hadn’t moved an inch.” –Charli

Charli decides that Kaimte, a West African village, will be the last stop on her journey; she is going to New York.

This book brings Charli into a new world- a world of money and wealth. She learns to survive in New York, using her street sense and tough exterior to make it. We meet memorable characters like “Elvis,” who helps her find her own way in the big city. Charli and Adam finally come together, despite the odds. The odds include- a preexisting vindictive girlfriend, Adam’s awful mother, and a group of exclusive, snobby friends. Charli, a natural born wanderer, starts to feel trapped. Adam has promised her that they can leave after he finishes his degree in two years, and that promise is the only thing helping Charli keep her head above water. What’s really frustrating about this book is how oblivious Adam seems to all of Charli’s struggles. He doesn’t see how his mom and friends are being two faced; he doesn’t see how unhappy Charli has become. I think he is trying so hard to hold onto this dream of Charli being in New York with him, that he is completely blinded.

“No one ever gets tired of loving someone, Adam. They just get tired of waiting and being disappointed and getting hurt.” – Charli

I think the world of Charli in this book. She is strong, ambitious and fights until the end to be with Adam. Ultimately, she realizes that he can’t give up New York for her.

“We weren’t giving up. We were just letting go for a while.” – Charli

This part should be titled “Gush Part Two” because this is when I tell you that I adore this book! I felt heart broken when I got to the end. I was so anxious to find out what happened, while tearing up…needless to say; I had to reread the whole last part. I think that these characters are so real, they could jump right off the page, and the love story is genuine and addicting. GJ has so much talent, I’m in awe!

Now we play the hurry up and wait game. I haven’t seen a release date for Book 3 yet, but it’ll be worth the wait! You can check out GJ Walker-Smith’s Facebook, there are some teasers on there! (But let’s be honest, teasers are like a double edged sword! So good, but they leave you wanting. *sobs*)

and of course, my Charli and Adam-

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Lastly…I hear this song yesterday that made me think of Adam and Charli at the end of Second Hearts. I think this song will help me as I wait for book 3! Here are some lyric excerpts of Get To Me by Lady Antebellum-

The night is high 
Got a full moon risin’ 
And you know this is the time I get a little bit lonely 
And I can’t fight it, I can’t hide it 
Don’t know where you are 
But I want you just like lightning 
Shooting straight out of the sky 
Come and strike me with your light igniting 
Yeah igniting 

Gotta get to me 
Gotta get to me 
You gotta spread your wings and start flyin’ 
Like a drop of rain 
Gotta find a way 
Don’t hit the breaks just come and crash 
Through my horizon 
Bring back the air I need to breathe 
Baby, you gotta get to me 

The bottle is empty 
And I’m dancing in the shadow of a memory 
Yeah call me crazy 
But I still got this schoolgirls dream 
You’re gonna show up and kiss me 
Pull me in, hold me tight 
Love me and carry me away 
Like there’s no more tomorrows 
And no more yesterdays 

Review: Saving Wishes by G.J. Walker-Smith

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Saving Wishes by G.J Walker-Smith is a prime example of why I love reading. This book is absolutely enchanting! From the first page until the last, I was captivated.

“Charlotte has a high tolerance for risk, she’s a slave to the sea and she takes pictures of time.”

Charli is stuck in Pipers Cove, a small town off the coast of Tasmania. She has been branded a troublemaker and dreams of the day she’ll be able to leave and travel the world. One day, Charli meets Adam Décarie and her whole world shifts. She sees meeting Adam as fate, that he’s a step in the direction towards a life that is limitless and far from ordinary.

“Six days was all it took for my pre-Adam life to fade. Spending time with him made everything else pale in comparison.”

“Mademoiselle Blake,” his voice was low and deliberately slow. “Are you desperately in love with me?”

“Not desperately.” I muttered.

“I guess we’ll have to work on that then,” he replied, grinning like he’d won something.

Charli’s narration of this book is so witty and addicting. She is so real and passionate. I never tired of the way she sees the world; in fact, I’d love to be more like her. Adam is a perfect gentleman with a streak of rebel. He calls her “Coccinelle” which has a precious meaning. He is #1 on my swoon-worthy list. I think the depiction of their relationship was so fluid and beautiful.

“The only thing that had changed since the last time was us. We no longer sat at opposite ends of the rickety wooden seat, cautiously trying to figure each other out. We sat together, bound by something neither of us had ever really managed to understand.”

Another character that deserves 5 stars is Alex, Charli’s brother. His words explain enough.

“If you’re ever unsure, you can always come home to me. You can revisit a safe place you’ve been to, or you can find your way to Adam.

“If you alter his course, you’ll never be able to live with yourself,” he warned. “There should be no compromise at your age, for either of you. You’re both supposed to get what you want. The best you can hope for is that you meet somewhere in the middle later on.”

So there you go…I knew this review would turn into me gushing about how much I adore this book. For real. I think I was living in La-La Land for a few days after finishing. I even quite possibly scared the author by being overzealous in letting her know how much I love it!! haha! (GJ- I just really love you!) See, I can’t stop!

…and it’s not over! Second Hearts (Book 2 of the Wishes Series) is already out and I’ll have my review up soon! Get ready for more gushing!

Now, I know that “my Charli” doesn’t look like the cover…but this is my all time favorite movie couple (Because I Said So) and Gabriel Macht is so handsome, but not in the typical way…I can’t even describe it! haha Plus if I could choose to be any famous person, I would choose Mandy Moore! I picture her like Charli, with her own La-La Land!

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Review: White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

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I read this book while tanning by the pool for the first time this summer. I later joked with my husband that I became “Red Trash Beautiful” while reading White Trash Beautiful! And while I liked this book, I do not like my sunburn. whomp whomp

Cass Daniels is stuck at a crappy job, living in a rundown trailer, with her junky mom and abusive/dealer boyfriend. I wanted to steal her away, wrap her in cotton candy and give her a happy ending…and a puppy. It was so hard reading about her life, because her emotions were so real and easy to connect with. She longs for a better life, but keeps getting beat down (and beat up), and there’s only so much she can take before she becomes jaded and decides to settle. Enter *Tucker White* the lead singer for famous rock band Damaged. He shows up at the diner Cass works at and shows interest in her. She’s used to men showing interest, just not the positive kind.

“As our eyes met, I couldn’t help but feel that this was the only place in the world I wanted to be. I knew in that moment that I had stumbled and tripped through my life before, but now, for the first time, I had finally fallen hard. My heart raced when I looked at Tucker, and somehow I suddenly knew it would be impossible for me to ever look at anyone else the same way.”

Tucker, Tucker, Tucker. *swoon* Tall, gorgeous, protective, kind and covered in tattoos. Oh and did I forget the motorcycle?! Enough said.

The plot was well thought out. I got nervous about halfway through that everything was being wrapped up to nice and clean and then WHAM! Something happened that totally shocked me! I really liked the conflict resolution at the end of the book. Cass makes a hard decision, but it ultimately shows how much she’s grown.

My Tucker and Cass-

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**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

can’t wait! wednesday: Delayed Penalty by Shey Stahl

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Coming out on May 28th is Delayed Penalty by Shey Stahl!

Shey writes gold, so I am super excited about this book!

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A minor penalty that is not called until the offending team gains control of the puck. As long as the non-offending team maintains possession, the referee allows play to continue and signals a delayed penalty by raising his arm.

I’m Evan Mason, an NHL hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks. I spend my nights roughing up two hundred pound defensemen and, at times, spend more time in the penalty box than I do on the ice.
That’s my job.
One night changed everything I thought I once knew about my life on, and off, the ice.
A girl.
A brutally beaten girl left to die in an alley.
I don’t know why or how but something made me stay that night after taking her to the hospital. I didn’t know her, nor did I have an obligation to stay but something inside of me rooted me there telling me I should stay. Saving a life is worth something. At least I thought so. And I wouldn’t have been me if I just simply left her there.
Any man who put his heart and soul into a game of hockey couldn’t just walk away when someone needed them. She had no one else right now. The same guy who saw determination where there was desire, now saw hope where there was once despair.
I couldn’t leave. That wouldn’t be me. No, not a man that put all he had into something some called just a game. I couldn’t walk away from her holding onto life, weak and powerless to something she had no control over.
So I stayed. In a room full of family members praying for their loved ones to pull through, I prayed for a girl I didn’t know and had never met before, to have a beating heart. While others’ sorrows turned to grieving pain, I sat waiting on the words of the unknown.

No bond is stronger than the ones you’ll bleed for.

Review: Plotting to Win by Tara Chevrestt

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Plotting to Win is about a reality show centered around finding The Next Bestseller! In the world today, I’d much prefer a show about authors than to watch shows like Toddlers and Tiaras, so kudos on the idea!

I think this book was cute; an easy read and had a sweet ending. I don’t think it was quite the vicious battle for fame that the story description plays it up as. Sure, there are a few contestants who sneak around, steal ideas and are overall catty and hard to be around. But I’m pretty sure those few minor issues never brought me out of my “they are so ending up together” attitude.  

Felicity James writes romance. Victor Guzman writes crime fiction. I liked that they didn’t get along in the beginning, while secretly thinking dirty thoughts about one another. They both have important reasons for wanting to win the competition and this pesky little attraction keeps getting in the way. The other characters were alright, with the exception of Tiffani, the erotica writer. If there’s a villain in this story, she’s it, although I could’ve come up with a thousand more devious things she could’ve done! (What does that say about me? Haha!) Her character probably my favorite, just because she was outrageous.

“I can’t say I would ask to see the full manuscript as I’m not interested in shape-shifting dolphins engaging in ménage activities, but I’m sure someone out there would.” –Judge on Tiffani’s book idea

The actual competition was really interesting. I learned a lot about the publishing process. I haven’t put much thought into what it takes to become a successful author, especially today when you can self-publish. It was really interesting to read about the many facets that have to be addressed.