Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











SweetFrom Goodreads:

He’s the love of her life, but he doesn’t know it.
She’s his one moment of sacrifice in a lifetime of survival.

He was damaged and wild, but resilient.
She’s always been obedient. Now she’s restless.

Home for the summer between college and med school, Pearl Torres Frank knows two things: Boyce Wynn is the embodiment of everything she should run from, and everything she wants to run to. Rebellious and loud. Unconcerned with society’s opinion of him. Passionate. Strong. Dangerous.

And one more trait he hides from everyone but her:
Sweet.

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If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Tammara Webber’s novels are going to take my breath away, and her latest treasure, Sweet, definitely delivers in more ways than one. Boyce Wynn is the epitome of dreamy, sexy, and sensual; a bad boy with a soft spot for none aside from Pearl, his long-time crush, the one he let get away. Living life on the edge has always been his motto, and dealing with more than his fair share of bad, he’s hardened himself against the world. Rightfully so; with an abusive father, a mother who abandoned him long ago, and very few prospects in the world, he’s thrown himself into his father’s car repair shop. And now, Pearl’s back.

Boyce Wynn, for all intents and purposes, is my new book boyfriend. Extremely gritty and real, I felt a connection with him from the get-go. Webber has always been a master at fleshing out her fictional characters, and Wynn is no exception. His emotions and reactions are fluid and tangible, and watching him struggle with his inner self as he begins a relationship with Pearl made me feel like he was a real person in the next room. I love when I feel I’ve become part of the story, that the characters are real, and Webber definitely does this with Wynn.

Pearl is also a loveable character, sweet and caring, ready to take on the world, if her mother lets her. Her assertion over her life had me rallying behind her, and as she struggled to come to terms with her feelings for Boyce, I cheered. This novel is told is dual perspectives, a narrative style I just adore, and as Pearl reveals her thoughts both past and present, as does Boyce, the reader is given full access to their thoughts and feelings, connecting the dots of their childhood and love for one another before either of the characters. At times, I was bursting with joy and anticipation, knowing the two loved one another, waiting, just waiting for them to realize their relationship was written in the stars.

Perhaps my favorite part of the novel actually comes near the end when a person from Pearl’s past comes to wreak havoc in her life, and I was definitely shocked by the twist the novel took as I had chalked it up to a beautiful contemporary NA romance. It’s more than that, though, with a bit of mystery and some heart-pounding action that had me on pins and needles as the novel began its climax.

Although this novel is the third in the Contours of the Heart series, it is indeed a stand-alone, as are all the others. Boyce Wynn and Pearl Frank are characters from the same world as those in the other books, but this is the first novel where they are the main focus, and I loved getting to know them as much as I loved getting to know Lucas and Jacqueline in the first two books. Sweet is undeniably a novel you need to read, though it’s definitely for a more mature audience as it gets a bit hot and heavy at times. Five stars.

5 stars

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About the Author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of EASY and BREAKABLE (Contours of the Heart series – NA), as well BETWEEN THE LINES, WHERE YOU ARE, GOOD FOR YOU and HERE WITHOUT YOU (Between the Lines series – YA/NA).

I’m a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life. Before writing full-time, I was an undergraduate academic advisor, economics tutor, planetarium office manager, radiology call center rep, and the palest person to ever work at a tanning salon.

I married my high school sweetheart, and I’m Mom to three adult kids and four very immature cats.

tammarawebber.com

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99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME!

ONLY AVAILABLE FOR TWO WEEKS!
16 New Adult Stories from 16 of your favorite New Adult Authors
Find your next book boyfriend here.

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Featuring:

MY UNEXPECTED FOREVER by USA and NYT Bestselling Author Heidi McLaughlin
They say you should expect the unexpected, I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind.

FOR EVERLY by Raine Thomas
The last thing physical therapy student Everly Wallace wants is a relationship, but when she’s roped into working with sexy Major League pitcher Cole Parker, she’ll discover that it just might be the one thing she needs.

INDELIBLE by Bethany Lopez
Sam’s a single mom, working her way through college while raising her toddler. Judd’s a college baseball player, who on the outside, looks like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Can two people at different stages in their life find a way to make a life together?

TATTOOED DOTS by Kimberly Knight
Brooke and Easton learn that people are brought into their lives for many reasons. Over time, they find out what those reasons are. Some are to be a temporary acquaintance while others are there for life.

MANGLED HEARTS by Felicia Tatum
Can two loves find their way back to each other despite an addiction and a hardened heart, allowing their love to overcome it all? Can these mangled hearts be mended?

BREAKDOWN by Amanda Lance
After Charlotte Ferro’s suicide attempt is ruined by a handsome do-gooder he introduces her to a world of fast cars and cool criminals. But can their newfound friendship survive the secrets of their past?

MAVERICK by Anna Cruise
International surf sensation Kellen Handler has it all – fame and fortune and more women than he can count – but he’s riding his own personal wave toward disaster. Can PR genius Gina Bellori rescue his reputation…and his heart?

DO ANYTHING by Wendy Owens
A broken heart is only the beginning for her. He thinks he has his life figured out. Will they risk their hearts on a new chance at love?

RESIST ME by A.O. Peart
Ethan, a former-Marine-turned-firefighter, has never really cared for any woman, while living his life to the fullest and enjoying the bad boy stigma. Until the street-smart Lisbeth comes along, and instantly turns Ethan’s world upside down, making him want to protect her, no matter the consequences.

THE MAN TEST by Amanda Aksel
Couple therapist Marin Johns tries to prove that all men are liars and cheaters by beginning a fictitious relationship. Will her new “boyfriend” be the statistic or will Marin regret the satisfaction of being right?

A RISK WORTH TAKING by Heather Hildenbrand
For college grad, Summer Stafford, watching her parents’ divorce has taught her that, above all, love is a risk. For a drifter like Ford O’Neal, love isn’t just a risk, it isn’t even on the table. But attraction quickly leads to something more and they are both forced to realize they’re risking a whole lot for a summer fling.

UNINTENTIONAL VIRGIN by A.J. Bennett
Nineteen-year-old Karma points is cursed. Cursed with a ridiculous name, self-esteem issues and the inability to lose her virginity. That is until Jax, the tattooed bouncer, comes into the picture.

THE FALL OF SKY (PART ONE) by Alexia Purdy
Singing duo Audrey and Liv Westing hope to be discovered as the next big thing. While fumbling through their turbulent existences, they attract the eye of a deadly but powerful Cartel family.

A FIREFIGHTER’S FLAME by Dani Hart
If you dig into the deepest parts of your soul, what would you find? Happiness,pain, love, regret, peace, sorrow?
Follow Lennox’s journey of rediscovery, falling in love, and searching for her own fairy-tale ending.

STEALING PROMISES by Brina Courtney
One moment can change your life forever.
One moment to find love.
One moment to lose it.

FIRESIDE SERIES by Morgan Black
A cowboy with a mysterious past. A ranch princess with an eye for the one she can’t have. What happens when their two world collides one weekend in a snowstorm?

 

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SacrificeFrom Goodreads: Earth. Fire. Air. Water.

One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick understands pressure. He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it in for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, understands pressure too. She’s got a child of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could put her life in danger at any moment.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s ‘bad luck’. Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. Everything is set for the final showdown.

Four elements, one family. Will they hold together, or be torn apart?

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Kemmerer’s Elemental series has been my guilty pleasure for a few years now. And with this novel, Kemmerer has technically closed the story with this final chapter of the Merrick brothers, giving readers Michael’s story as it all comes to a head. And yet… I’m not certain it’s really over.

Let me explain.  Kemmerer has always woven a tale that pulls readers in from the get go.  Sacrifice is no different.  By this point in the series, the Merrick brothers and their friends are like a part of my family.  I know them so well because Kemmerer really knows how to create realistic, beautiful characters, and Sacrifice is no different on this end.  The brothers, who I’ve come to love, are again faced with hardship–perhaps the worst yet, and it tore my heart in two as I read.  The emotions are real, and I just adored everything about it.  Everything, except the ending.  The ending, while a resolution that works, comes on quite fast, leaving readers with questions. Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting the antagonist to be who it was, and I liked how Kemmerer threw me for a loop with the big reveal, but I didn’t understand all the aspects that went in to it. I reread it twice, but in all honestly, the ending was too neat; everything wrapped up much too quickly once all is said and done. And I still have questions. I have questions about the bad guy, about newcomer Irish, Hunter’s grandparents, the guides reactions to it all, and what’s going to happen next for the Merricks. Yes, a resolution is there, and I loved it, even though it happened a touch too fast for me and not everyone gets out unscathed, but even so, the potential for more chaos is there, too, and I’m waiting for more–for the other shoe to drop. This is a wonderful novel, and I truly enjoyed it… but I need a spinoff series…

Of course, Kemmerer did leave me stunned with one aspect that I knew was coming from the title, SACRIFICE, but still didn’t expect. I spent the next few pages hoping it’d be undone, but alas, it’s not. You might want some tissues. I think I was stunned enough that I didn’t even blink. No tears for me, it just… can’t be. Right? And it happens so fast that if you do blink, you’ll miss it. I really have no words. Except that you must read it. If this is really the end, then you just have to read it, but I’m still waiting. For more. I need more. The Merricks are a part of me now, and… I just need more. Four stars.

 

4 stars

I received this novel from Kensington Books, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

This title releases on September 30, 2014.

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Brigid Kemmerer HeadshotBrigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an toddler to a teenager. You can learn more about Brigid and the Elemental boys at www.brigidkemmerer.com.

Follow Brigid:

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Kemmerers Books____________________________________________

READ THEM ALL (I’ve given 5 stars to nearly every one)

Elemental Kindle | Nook (Book #0.5)
Storm Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #1)
Fearless Kindle | Nook (Book #1.5)
Spark Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #2)
Breathless Kindle | Nook (Book #2.5)
Spirit Kindle | Paperback | Nook (Book #3)
Secret Kindle | Paperback | Nook
(Book #4)
Sacrifice Kindle | Paperback (Book #5)

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Pre-order your copy of Sacrifice today!

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Review:Neurotica

From Goodreads: If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

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This novel is absolutely amazing, giving readers an in-depth look at the indie publishing world through the eyes of Jayne, a young woman who struggles with intimacy.  Jayne, better known to her readers as Jaina Jacen, is an intriguing character who innocently enough begins a maelstrom when her erotica books take off in the ebook world–a feat Jayne never imagined, nor wanted.  Published under a pseudonym and only in hopes of making ends meet, Jayne’s world is turned upside down when the demand for more, including public appearances and signings, become a reality she cannot ignore.  But these books were never supposed to hit it big, and no one is supposed to know her true identity, especially not her family nor Luke, the friend who is really interested in so much more.  This conundrum adds much humor to the novel as it takes off, and Gordon’s writing style kept me captivated from the very beginning.  Jayne is such a sweet, shy character, and watching her try to dodge all romance, while in the throes of writing and publishing erotica behind closed doors, makes for a great read, perhaps more so because it’s 100% clean.

Though I am indeed a prude and dislike heavy sex in my novels, I have to admit that Gordon MADE me WANT to read Jayne’s fictional books just to know what all the hubbub was about throughout this enticing story.  Gordon really does an amazing job keeping readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds, making it a must read. Especially as Luke is such a great guy.  And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While Jayne does write erotica, Gorgon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, clean, introspective read, then look no further that Neurotica.  Five stars.

5 stars
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Top Ten Movie Scores for Jayne (aka. Jaina Jacen) While Writing:

One way Jayne Dandy deals with the complexities of Life and Related Topics is through her love of writing. (What a *novel* idea!) Though she starts out penning stories in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, her therapist encourages her to try a little erotica to help her work through her intimacy issues. Think of it as exposure therapy, as in, write us a story about naked bits and the people attached to them! But when circumstances of the unemployed type dictate that Jayne find a new way to pay the rent, she decides that sending her naughty stories out into the Big Bad World to earn their keep just might work.

Like many writers, Jayne relies on auditory inspiration—music! What would her playlist look like? Well, if Jayne is anything like me (and I dare say she might be, at least atiny bit), she listens to movie scores. Because lyrics, while awesome, make a writer stop and sing and possibly dance. (I’ve been known to dance while writing. Which means no writing gets done. Just a lot of embarrassment, especially if the windows are open and the neighbors can see in.Although last time I put an open guitar case on the lawn and made $4.85. Groove on, baby!)

The following is a list of five fantastic movie scores with romantic overtones that Jayne—or, I mean, Jaina Jacen—might have listened to while breathing life into her erotic novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Leap Year, Randy Edelman

Winter’s Tale, Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams

Romeo and Juliet, Abel Korzeniowski

Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alexandre Desplat

And what about when she’s writing her sci-fi stuff? This list could go on and on. Here are Jayne’s ten favorites:

Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tyler Bates

Godzilla, Alexandre Desplat

Inception, Hans Zimmer

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe(Never underestimate the awesomeness of video game scores!)

Divergent, Junkie XL

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Henry Jackman

Thor: The Dark World, Brian Tyler

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, James Newton Howard

I LOVE movie scores because they are already a story all their own. Often I purchase movie scores without seeing the films they belong to as then the music molds to whatever I have going on in my own head, in my own fantasy worlds—I dare say Miss Jayne thinks along those same lines. There’s nothing like a heart-slamming chase scene or face-melting love scene done in music to really get those creative juices flowing. And when writing her erotica, Jayne Dandy needs all the creative juices she can get.

Happy reading!

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Eliza Gordon

About the Author:

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com

Connect:

Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Giveaway:

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Full of GraceFrom Goodreads: Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale’s wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends’ wedding.

But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.

Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.

Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he’d have to consider…

Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman’s choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?

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Full of Grace is my third Misty Provencher book, and let me tell you, she’s got a fan for life.  Every single one of her novels is expertly crafted, with prose that lifts right off the page making readers feel as if they’re part of the story, as if the characters are real-life friends.  And for an author to be able to do that takes immense talent.  Talent that Provencher is blessed with; talent I adore as I read her novels.

In Hale Maree, readers are introduced to Landon Grace and Sher Traifere , but as side characters, their story remains untold, until now. I absolutely love companion novels that continue a storyline through someone else’s eyes, and that’s exactly what Provencher gives us as she focuses on Landon and Sher–making this novel just as amazing as the first, though vastly different.  Perhaps what I love about this book is that it not only stands alone, but it also looks at deep topics while captivating the reader from the get go.  While Sher is full of nonstop giggles, it seems, her personality really shines through as she struggles with her choices concerning her pregnancy after a one night stand, and Landon’s choice to man up and do what’s right, even though Sher fights him every step of the way, really makes for an intense, yet lovely read.

And of course, our beloved Hale and Oscar are in this novel as well, though this time they’re the side characters, which I really enjoyed because their story continues as well in this novel, and it’s just amazing how Provencher is able to go so indepth with all her characters’ lives, keeping us abreast of  what’s happening while focusing more so on others.

If you read no other series this fall, make sure you pick up Crossed and Bared–these novels are true gems that you just must read.  Trust me.  Five stars.

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And make sure you pick up Full of Grace’s amazing companion novel, Hale Maree, for FREE!!!

2014 Hale Cover

Hale Simmons dreams of getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can bust through the welfare-cycle of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl stuck with the responsibility of looking after her alcoholic father, Jerry. 

But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry and his old friend, Otto Maree, go for a drink one night.  A horrible accident occurs and Jerry is the sole witness. Otto, who is also a prominent business man, stands to lose everything, if news of the accident goes public.

Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. 

Otto offers the finances that can lift Jerry out of the poverty cycle.  In exchange, Jerry agrees to an alliance cemented with family bonds; an arranged marriage between Hale and Otto’s playboy son, Oscar.

As the mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow, Hale has to figure out if this situation is something she wants to escape or if it is an amazing twist of fate that has just been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.

Read it now for FREE!

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 GIVEAWAY:

 

US Only

1st prize 1 autographed copy of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

2nd prize 1 autographed copy of Full of Grace by Misty Provencher

International Only

Winner will receive 1 ebook copy of any Misty Provencher book – winner’s choice

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

 

 



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Hale MareeFrom Goodreads: Hale Simmons dreams of getting herself a titanium crash helmet, so she can bust through the welfare-cycle of her crappy life. But for now, she’s just a 18-year-old girl stuck with the responsibility of looking after her alcoholic father, Jerry. 

But for Hale, ‘crappy’ suddenly takes a nosedive, when Jerry and his old friend, Otto Maree, go for a drink one night.  A horrible accident occurs and Jerry is the sole witness. Otto, who is also a prominent business man, stands to lose everything, if news of the accident goes public.

Out of mutual moments of desperation, the two fathers forge a deal. 

Otto offers the finances that can lift Jerry out of the poverty cycle.  In exchange, Jerry agrees to an alliance cemented with family bonds; an arranged marriage between Hale and Otto’s playboy son, Oscar.

As the mystery surrounding the accident continues to grow, Hale has to figure out if this situation is something she wants to escape or if it is an amazing twist of fate that has just been waiting around for this particular accident to happen.

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Sometimes you read a book and the story is so intriguing, the characters so realistic, and the events so vivid that, when all is said and done, you feel like a piece of yourself is missing. That book, for me, is Provencher’s beautifully written Hale Maree. Captivating from the get go, I found myself so engrossed in the story that I truly feel like I know Hale and Oscar—they’re more than just characters in a story—they’ve become friends. I truly feel like I know them as well as I know myself, and while the going was tough and their relationship was touch and go in the beginning, watching them grow together and fall irrevocably in love with one another was absolute beauty.

Provencher is a master storyteller, enchanting readers with her words and characters, and I absolutely adored everything about Hale Maree, with its realistic portrayal of humanity and its swoon-worthy, often humorous events. Of course, Oscar is my absolute favorite, and I found myself wishing numerous times that he’d pick me since Hale was so dead set against him. And yet, I am no match for Hale. She, too, swept me off my feet with her level head, fierce determination, and all around good soul. This is a beautiful happily-ever-after that has remained with me since I read the very last page; and I already cannot wait to read it again.

Filled with romance, snark, and even a little bit of mystery, this novel is indeed a must read for those who love contemporary romance. While a little hot and heavy in some scenes, overall it is a beautiful testament to human nature and love at its finest. Hale Maree is a gem that I highly recommend for those looking for a lighthearted, fun read.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

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And be sure to read the companion novel, Full of Grace as well–another gem in the Crossed and Bared series. Only $2.99 for a limited time!

 

Landon Grace is a stand-up guy, but running about 7-bananas-strong, from tequila shots at Oscar and Hale’s wedding reception, what happened between him and Sher was supposed to be a one time thing. A quickie, between the Best Man and Maid of Honor, at their best friends’ wedding.

But some one-night-stands refuse to be finished in one night.

Especially when they return with a hard shot of morning sickness.

Now, Landon is faced with a problem he never thought he’d have to consider…

Just how much sway does a guy really have, regarding a woman’s choice to pursue or terminate the pregnancy of his child?

Kindle | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Paperback

 _______________________________________________________________________________________

 GIVEAWAY:

 

US Only

1st prize 1 autographed copy of Hale Maree by Misty Provencher

2nd prize 1 autographed copy of Full of Grace by Misty Provencher

International Only

Winner will receive 1 ebook copy of any Misty Provencher book – winner’s choice

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!

 

 



The Girl From the WellFrom Goodreads: You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

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This novel is intense—from the very beginning—and scary to boot! If you’ve seen The Ring, then you’re familiar with the insanely creepy girl that crawls out of the well, out of the TV, and into the life of strangers—to kill them. Well, that very frightening girl is indeed our narrator! Talk about scary! Now, while the narrator, Okiku, is the same ghost-like figure from the movie, this is not that story. Instead, Chupeco focused heavily on the Japanese folklore surrounding Okiku’s murder and her ghostly decision to murder child killers and protect the pure of heart.

Opening with Okiku standing on the ceiling observing a vile man who has murdered a young child, the introduction quickly escalates as Okuku removes all the lights and taunts the man as she appears in his mirror, crawls out of his bathtub, and ultimately sends him screaming to his watery death. INTENSE. I began this novel on a sunny afternoon, and I had chills as I descended into this amazing story. And it only gets better from there.

As the story progresses, we see other characters through Okiku’s eye and also learn more about her and why she is haunting the world—including the circumstances surrounding her death. As the living main character, Tark comes on the scene, the ghost’s interest is piqued, and we learn much about ancient Japanese beliefs, the spirit world, and exorcisms. Of course, I saved the novel for the nighttime because I do enjoy a good scare, and that’s exactly what I got…

The writing is unique, and our ghost, Okiku, is fascinated with numbers, hence, her constant counting throughout the novel. While generally a silent entity throughout, observing those around her but rarely speaking with them, we still learn so much about her and, as Tark’s darkness becomes ever more present, the things that go bump in the night will leave narrators completely and utterly petrified. I loved the characterization, and while not all the events seemed plausible to me in terms of how Tark’s father treated him, etc., the eerie nature of the novel has be almost believing in ghosts myself…

This novel is great–from the scare factor to the characterization, I was in love from the very beginning. Read it. You don’t want to miss this fantastic story. Five stars.

5 starsI received this novel from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review prior to its release tomorrow, August 5, 2014.

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Good evening!  I’m in the mood for a giveaway–so I’m going to be giving away two ecopies (Kindle or Nook) of STRONGER by Misty Provencher–one of my top 10 reads of the year.  Seriously, this novel is absolutely phenomenal, and you need to read it.  NEED to.  Check out the synopsis, my 5 star review, the teaser, and then be sure to enter the giveaway!  Good luck!

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StrongerFrom Goodreads: Two men are vying for a place in Lydia Strong’s life. Desmond has solid ties from her distant past, while Aiden is only concerned about being her future. But right now, party-girl Lydia has lost herself in a shot glass and dozens of one night stands. She’s forgotten her own worth and she’s plummeting toward the rock bottom of her life.

While Des and Aiden compete to create her future, Lydia realizes she’s got to be stronger than she’s ever been, to fight her addictions and choose the life she wants now. She must find herself again, before the wrong man walks away

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Welcome to the riveting world of Lydia Strong, a woman spiraling down the wells of addiction. A novel completely unique and jarring, in amazing ways, Stronger pulls readers in, making Provencher’s tantalizing story the readers’ own addiction. Definitely one of my top ten reads of the year, Stronger is an extremely real, well written story that is not to be missed. Intense, passionate, real; this novel will leave readers breathless as it unfolds.

Certainly a read for the more mature crowds, this NA novel tackles topics such as abuse, self-worth, alcoholism, theft, and manipulation. It’s intense, but it’s Oh. So. Good. I was wrapped up in the story and truly felt like I was a part of it as I watched Lydia slowly fall to pieces, searching out one night stands (not too graphic on the sexual escapades) and alcohol to try and put the truth of her heartbreaking, loveless life behind her. Manipulated and at rock bottom, Lydia has much to overcome in order to begin building up her world once more, and that includes separating herself from the worst sort of abuser and allowing herself to love, live, and take control. But in order to do that, she’s got to love herself, first.

This is an amazingly intense novel that I absolutely adore. Provencher has done a fantastic job creating vivid, real characters and situations, and I highly suggest giving this one a read. I was a little concerned it might not be my cup of tea going in, but Provencher soon quelled my fears as this utterly fantastic novel unfolded. Be prepared for a slew of feels as this novel takes you on an amazing journey. It’s so perfectly written that you will fall deeply in love, just as I did. Five epic stars.

5 stars

Check out the HIGH ratings on this awesome novel, and be sure to add it to your goodreads pile!

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STRONGER Teaser

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To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory questions on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on July 31st. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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That’s it! Good luck!

And, since I’m a teacher and absolutely LOVE this new release from Weird Al, here’s a catchy song just for you.  SMILE!



Close Your Eyes Hold HandsFrom Goodreads: A heartbreaking, wildly inventive, and moving novel narrated by a teenage runaway, from the bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily’s parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer’s house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can’t outrun her past, can’t escape her grief, can’t hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

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This is an amazing, poignant story that delves deep into the world of teen homelessness. Emily Shepherd promises to tell the whole truth; she doesn’t sugarcoat it for readers, and she sometimes strays from the topic of hand, but the novel flows beautifully and I was enamored from the very beginning.

Life hasn’t been easy for Emily, and as the final remnants of her world fall apart with the meltdown of the nuclear power plant her parents run, disappearing becomes her only option. Scared of those around her and their reception of her family name, Emily takes on a different persona and hits the streets. This gritty depiction of her life as she recalls it isn’t overly graphic, but gets the point across just the same as it comes to drugs, stealing, shelter survival, lies, and meaningless sex.

I love Emily’s voice, and I’m in awe of Bohjalian’s ability to capture the essence of a teenaged girl as she hits rock bottom, attempts to care for a young runaway she meets on the street, and ultimately giving up. Where do you go when you have absolutely no one? As Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands unfolds, readers become one with Emily as she spirals down, reminiscing about her parents and her experiences along the way.

The title has a rather profound meaning that is explained near the very end—to close your eyes to the bad all around you and walk away from the bad, holding hands with another who will help keep you grounded, but in Emily’s case, there is no one to hold hands with, and as she stumbles blindly through life, ready for death, she becomes a resilient, strong young woman who beats the odds. Five stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.  This title releases today (and you really MUST read it!).

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The String DiariesFrom Goodreads: A family is hunted by a centuries-old monster: a man with a relentless obsession who can take on any identity.

The String Diaries opens with Hannah frantically driving through the night–her daughter asleep in the back, her husband bleeding out in the seat beside her. In the trunk of the car rests a cache of diaries dating back 200 years, tied and retied with strings through generations. The diaries carry the rules for survival that have been handed down from mother to daughter since the 19th century. But how can Hannah escape an enemy with the ability to look and sound like the people she loves?

Stephen Lloyd Jones’s debut novel is a sweeping thriller that extends from the present day, to Oxford in the 1970s, to Hungary at the turn of the 19th century, all tracing back to a man from an ancient royal family with a consuming passion–a boy who can change his shape, insert himself into the intimate lives of his victims, and destroy them.

If Hannah fails to end the chase now, her daughter is next in line. Only Hannah can decide how much she is willing to sacrifice to finally put a centuries-old curse to rest.

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Imagine being hunted by a shape shifter–you’d never know your enemy, they could silently become a loved one at any moment, getting close to you without sparking an inkling of suspicion until it’s too late. Imagine a life where you’re forced to constantly pay attention to every small detail and validate everyone who crosses your path, being on the run to stay ahead of a crazed killer intent on reuniting with his love from so long ago… so is the story of Jakab, a sociopathic shape shifter obsessed with the female lineage of one specific family. Of Hannah’s family.

This novel opens in a whirl as Hannah drives recklessly towards an abandoned farmhouse, her husband bleeding out in the passenger seat while her nine year old daughter sleeps in the back. Fraught with danger, this novel exemplifies the creep factor, and as I read it late at night, I was constantly on watch as Jakab sent fear coursing throughout my body as I turned the pages.

Told in alternating timelines, both present and past, the novel sucks readers in from the get go. The characters and events within the story are puzzle pieces waiting so patiently to be put together, and as the tale weaves in and out, readers learn of what hunts Hannah, how Jakab came to be, what lore resides behind shape shifters, and the faction that plans to finally finish wiping the seemingly immortal shifters from the world.

Intense and amazing, this is a must read novel that kept me on my toes as it unfolded. I loved putting the pieces together, learning about Hannah’s current story, that of her parent’s in the 1970s, and that of Jakab as he became the sinister, sociopathic enemy that he truly is. You wont be able to stop reading once you start, and I highly suggest you pick up this amazing read stat. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, prior to its republication, in exchange for an honest review.

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After the EndFrom Goodreads: She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They’ve survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.

At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

When Juneau returns from a hunting trip to discover that everyone in her clan has vanished, she sets off to find them. Leaving the boundaries of their land for the very first time, she learns something horrifying: There never was a war. Cities were never destroyed. The world is intact. Everything was a lie.

Now Juneau is adrift in a modern-day world she never knew existed. But while she’s trying to find a way to rescue her friends and family, someone else is looking for her. Someone who knows the extraordinary truth about the secrets of her past.

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I didn’t have access to the internet when I started reading this novel on my Kindle, so I couldn’t refresh my memory about the synopsis before I plunged in. But truth be told, I actually think not knowing the synopsis made After the End even more interesting for me because early on, when the truth hit about WWIII for Juneau and Miles, I was shocked and totally riveted to the spot. It’s always fun to go into a book without knowing the premise, and generally I am always surprised by what I learn along the way, having no expectations going in, and so I feel like I should do it more often, especially after absolutely falling in love with this novel.
I will admit that the first chapter didn’t reel me in right away. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and this is why people write a synopsis for books in the first place—to give a little background. Juneau’s story was a bit interesting, but not riveting, and I was definitely thinking Hunger Games throughout that first chapter, but then Miles came on the scene and changed everything for me. I can’t express how exciting it is to figure something out before a character does; to have an “aha” moment before the entire picture becomes clear, but as Miles’ story began to evolve, I definitely had a moment where everything suddenly clicked and I was hooked, line and sinker.

If you haven’t read the synopsis above as of yet, well, I’m about to ruin it for you. The whole idea of a society gone into hiding after WWIII, only for the truth to come out that there never was a WWIII, well… genius. Just. Genius.

Can you imagine finding out that the entire world you know and understand, or thought you knew and understood, was a lie? That everyone, mentors and parents included, have lied to you since birth? It’s mind boggling, yet this is exactly what Juneau experiences as her world deteriorates around her. Thrust into the unknown, a world she was taught to fear, she must trust the most unlikely allies in order to find her family, and it’s definitely a bumpy and intense ride the entire way.

Filled with elements of the paranormal, Plum’s latest novel is epically fun. I especially love that it’s told from two different viewpoints, allowing readers inside the minds of both Juneau and Miles as they make decisions and choices that could ultimately end with their death if they aren’t careful—but to not take risks means ultimate failure and the death of others. Locked between a rock and a hard place, unsure just how much trust to put in the other, both Juneau and Miles have many choices to make, and lots of growing up to do. Five amazing stars.

5 stars

In exchange for an honest review, has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on May 6, 2014.

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Crows Row (Crows Row #1)

(Re-edited & new content!)

Release Date: April 11th 2014

Crow's Row

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For college student Emily Sheppard, the thought of spending a summer alone in New York is much more preferable than spending it in France with her parents.

Just completing her freshman year at Callister University, Emily faces a quiet summer in the city slums, supporting herself by working at the campus library.

During one of her jogs through the nearby cemetery while visiting her brother Bill’s grave, Emily witnesses a brutal killing—and then she blacks out. When Emily regains consciousness, she realizes she’s been kidnapped by a young crime boss and his gang.

She is hurled into a secret underworld, wondering why she is still alive and for how long.

Held captive in rural Vermont, she tries to make sense of her situation and what it means. While uncovering secrets about her brother and his untimely death, Emily falls in love with her very rich and very dangerous captor, twenty- six-year-old Cameron. She understands it’s a forbidden love and one that won’t allow her to return to her previous life.

But love may not be enough to save Emily when no one even knows she is missing.

 

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Scare Crow

(Crows Row #2)

Release Date: April 16th 2014

Scare Crow

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unnamedNineteen-year-old Emily Sheppard is losing her sanity.  

Ever since her mob king boyfriend, Cameron Hillard, abandoned her for her own good, Emmy has been attempting to move on with her charmed college student life as if nothing happened. Now rejected from the underworld and left grieving over Cameron’s alleged death, Emmy realizes she belongs nowhere.  Worse yet, she is now keeping a dangerous secret. 

After just a short time with Emily, Cameron has lost control over his world. 

As he miserably attempts to return to what is left of his life and unravel the mess he has made of the underworld, Emily’s hate turns to desperation. She needs to kill the kingpins responsible for Cameron’s death before they come looking for her. As Cameron secretly observes Emily, he has no idea of the danger he has placed her in—or that it may already be too late for him to save her.

Scare Crow is a tale of revenge, terror, and love as Emmy and Cameron embark on separate journeys to face enemies, correct past mistakes, and………….. find their way to their destinies.

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A former germaphobe and clean-freak turned mother of two, Julie collects enough tears and snot in a month to recreate Slimer Monster from Ghostbusters. Other than playing devoted wife and mama, Julie is the funniest person in the room (according to the 3 year-old and 2 year-old in said room) and can build the most awesome Lego rocket ship you’ve ever set your eyes on (according to her). Oh, and she has a full time career and has also written a bestselling novel. Superhero, or just downright insane?
 

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River in the SeaFrom Goodreads: At fifteen, Leen De Graaf likes everything she shouldn’t: smoking cigarettes, wearing red lipstick, driving illegally, and working in the fields. It seems the only thing she shares with her fellow Dutchmen is a fear of the German soldiers stationed nearby and a frantic wish for the war to end.

When a soldier’s dog runs in front of Leen’s truck, her split-second reaction sets off a storm of events that pitches her family against the German forces when they are most desperate – and fierce. Leen tries to hold her family together, but despite her efforts, bit by bit everything falls apart, and just when Leen experiences a horrific loss, she must make a decision that could forever brand her a traitor, yet finally allows her to live as her heart desires.

Inspired by events experienced by the author’s mother, River in the Sea is a powerfully moving account of one girl reaching adulthood when everything she believes about family, friendship, and loyalty is questioned by war.

Readers who want to immerse themselves in a story with both a plot and characters that keep the pages turning will love River in the Sea.  For fans of The Book Thief, Those Who Save Us, and Sarah’s Key.
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This is an absolutely stunning, captivating read that held me in its grip from the very beginning. I started it late at night, yet stayed up well into the wee hours of the morning to finish this gem–and it absolutely blew me away.

We hear much about the Holocaust and WWII, but I feel that we don’t hear as much about the other countries and people groups who were affected by Hitler’s regime outside of Germany and Poland, and this novel, River in the Sea, focuses on the German occupation of one small town and its people in the Netherlands in late 1944.

Leen De Graaf is just a young teen, but she knows the taste of fear and death; she knows to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself, but in one sweep of panic, upsets all the rules and barely escapes with her innocence intact.  And with this simple misstep comes a series of events that create a domino effect, leaving none untouched.

As the underground resistance works to thwart the German army and save the innocent, intense fear, a lack of food, disunity among families, and immense feelings of sorrow and guilt splash across the pages and evolve in such a way that it makes for a truly superb, poignant, and beautiful read. Make sure you have a box of tissues nearby as the novel definitely tugs at the heartstrings.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review and I highly recommend it (especially at just 99 cents on Kindle!!)

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Wendy Higgins, the author of the amazing Sweet Evil Trilogy, just released her latest novel, See Me, in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day!  See Me is a YA Urban Fantasy, Romance, Magical Realism, Irish Folklore, and it’s on sale today for just $1.99!!

See MeWhile most seventeen-year-old American girls would refuse to let their parents marry them off to a stranger, Robyn Mason dreams of the mysterious McKale in Ireland, wondering how he’ll look and imagining his cute Irish accent. Prearranged bindings are common for magical families like her own, however when she travels to the whimsical Emerald Isle she discovers there’s more to her betrothal and McKale’s clan than she was led to believe.

What starts as an obligatory pairing between Robyn and McKale morphs over time into something they both need. But one giant obstacle stands in the way of their budding romance: a seductive and deadly Fae princess accustomed to getting what she wants—and what she wants is McKale as her plaything. Love, desire, and jealousies collide as Robyn’s family and McKale’s clan must work together to outsmart the powerful Faeries and preserve the only hope left for their people.

Scoop it up today for just $1.99!!

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Best Kind of BrokenFrom Goodreads: Pixie and Levi haven’t spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are… awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they’re forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

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Chelsea Fine has written many amazing YA novels, and I’ve read and loved Every. Single. One. Now, Fine is stepping into the world of New Adult with her debut novel and upcoming release, Best Kind of Broken, that’s about to his shelves, and of course, it is just as amazing as her YA work, if not better.  Having read this amazing novel in one sitting, I can’t help but state that it is a masterpiece full of raw emotion, snarky retorts, and steamy tension that will leave readers in love with both Pixie and Levi, and wanting much more.

Readers instantly fall in love with Pixie’s spunk from the get go; her fiery attitude and indignation at having to live and work at the inn with dreamy Levi instantly brought a smile to my face, and the tension between the two is definitely palpable. Levi and Pixie are two amazing characters, full of gumption, yet bogged down with feelings of guilt.  Each is struggling to come back from a heartbreaking experience that has sent them on a downward spiral, unable to find peace or joy in the simple things of life and leaving them incapable of civilly interacting with one another. For much of the first half of the novel, the reader is kept in the dark concerning the rift that now plagues Levi and Pixie as they attempt to live and skirt around one another, though it becomes apparent early on that they used to be the best of friends.  As the novel unfolds, though, readers slowly begin to piece together the circumstances of their relations, both past and present, and it is indeed one of heartbreak, yet it’s so beautifully crafted.  I absolutely adored the first person narration that altered between both Levi and Pixie, giving me a window to their souls as the truth comes out.

This is ultimately a story of healing–from the ashes of their past comes a new dawn, and as Pixie and Levi continuously fight, if only to push the sadness from their minds, Chelsea brings this intense, sassy, and emotional novel to the perfect, albeit emotional, end. Reader beware, however, that Best Kind of Broken does leave readers emotionally raw, and a box of tissues is definitely a recommendation, especially as the conclusion comes in sight.

I highly recommend this beautiful novel for mature 18+ readers due to two graphic sexual scenes.  Five stars.

5 stars

In exchange for an honest review, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on March 4, 2014.

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Pre-order this gem NOW for less than $5!!!

BEST KIND OF BROKEN GRAPHIC

AND you can PRE-ORDER books two and three now, too!!

Perfect Kind of Trouble: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Right Kind of Wrong: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Finding FatesLevi Red



White Hot KissFrom Goodreads: One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

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This was an absolutely brilliant novel by the ever talented Jennifer Armentrout.  I was wrapped up tightly in the story from the very beginning, and I just love the world that Armentrout has created.  Imagine finding out that Wardens, gargoyle like creates, really walk the earth.  They say that they are here to protect mankind, but their aloofness, hard exterior (no pun intended), and their ability to take human form, make them an entity to be feared among the human race.  But what humans don’t know is that the Wardens are really here to fight the demons—and their secret weapon?  Layla, a half-demon, half gargoyle, whose touch creates a beacon on any demon she comes in contact with, allows the Wardens to easily remove the threat of demons without the humans evening knowing it exists…

Welcome to Layla’s life.  She’s a kick-butt heroine who lives with the Wardens, having embraced her Warden side and despising all things demon (including her own self)—partially because it’s been drilled into her for so long—ever since she was brought to the Warden complex as a child—and partially because she knows it means she’ll never know love.  Layla has a decent life, though she’s never been kissed, and the love of her life, Zayne, a full-blooded Warden, can never be hers—mainly because Layla’s kiss can suck the life right out of whoever, or whatever, it is she’s kissing.  Unless it’s a demon… but that would be going against every mantra engrained in her head since she can remember.  But is it truly wrong?  Are all demons evil, like Layla’s been led to believe?

Armentrout takes readers on a whirlwind, fast paced adventure in her latest novel, White Hot Kiss, and I loved every minute of it, from the heart pounding action and soft budding romance to the betrayals and final revelation, this novel is perfect in every sense of the word… and I can’t wait for more.  I loved Zayne, but Roth is my true love.  A demon, a bad boy, and ever so right for Layla, he proves himself time and time again, and thus readers can’t help but wonder, who is telling the truth?  The Wardens or the demons?  You’ll have to read this enticing story to find out.  Five amazing stars.

5 stars

 Harlequin Teen has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on February 25, 2014.

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You need to pre-order this one–Amazon has it for less than 6 bucks!!

AND–the PREQUEL, Bitter Sweet Love, is currently FREE on Amazon (at time of this post)!  SCOOP IT UP STAT!



17233800From Goodreads: From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that’s who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers…and she’s just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can’t get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they’ll go to save each other.

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This is an absolutely stunning and beautiful story, one that gripped me from the very beginning and held me captive long after the final page. The characters are extremely real and well written, and on many an occasion, I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Rachel’s family. The dysfunction that both Isaiah and Rachel are dealing with is so different, yet the same in that they’re both struggling.  Rachel’s family is suffocating and demanding, while Isaiah’s in non-existent, but their love for one another amidst all the adversity, the anticipation of their relationship, their money issues, and their family issues made this an unputdownable read.  I especially loved the back and forth narration, giving readers both sides of the story and allowing us to see deeper into their lives.

Although it’s a very car oriented story, with drag racing, a betting crime lord out for blood, and car lingo sprinkled throughout, it wasn’t overbearing for me—a reader who couldn’t care less about all things cars—and I think that this novel will also appeal to male readers because of the topic. Yes, there is a love relationship in the novel, but it’s not gushy-kissy-gross, and the fact that there’s a crime lord threatening both Isaiah and Rachel definitely adds to the melee that is their life.  While I have a crush on Isaiah and his swoonworthyness, Rachel is an awesome female lead that I think many readers will love just the same, especially the male populace, again making this a great book for both genders.  And, truth be told, the drag racing and car stuff was kind of cool to read about, even though I wouldn’t normally.

The end of Crash into You had me on pins and needles, and I thought I was going to scream the way McGarry drew it out, changing between the character’s points of view and making me wait to know exactly what was happening.  It was torture, but the best kind in that the novel was drawn out even more, because I just couldn’t get enough!

This is my first novel of McGarry’s, but it certainly won’t be the last. I already purchased all the other novels in the Pushing the Limits series, and I can’t wait to read them, especially as I just learned that these are all companion novels and not sequels, with each novel focusing on a different set of characters, and I can’t wait to learn the entire back story of the side-characters I met in this novel.  Five glorious stars.

5 stars

Harlequin Teen has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read this novel, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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18005643From Goodreads: Carmyn Rafferty witnessed the aftermath of her mother’s affair. She learned at a young age not to trust anyone. Especially not your spouse. So she’s planned. She’s planned every detail of her life: who her husband will be, what their careers will be, what their lives will be like. All to avoid the pain of infidelity.

Dallas Brown lives a life all his own. He doesn’t do relationships, he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him, and he doesn’t live up to anyone’s expectations but his own.

When Carmyn’s fiancé cheats on her, it sends her into a whirlwind of one-night stands with the most infamous player on campus. She can’t seem to stay away from this tough guy and his dangerous motorcycle. Everything about him is the complete opposite of who she’d planned to fall in love with: tattoos, dark stubble along his jawline, and hair that brushes his shoulders.

As Dallas and Carmyn begin to fall deeper and deeper into each other, they learn that love can truly be a wicked, wicked thing.

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This novel blew me away!  Angelina Kace is a master storyteller, and from the very beginning I was sucked into this phenomenal story with it’s true-to-life characters and situations.  I love that it’s told in alternating perspectives, giving readers first hand glimpses into the mind of both Carmyn and Dallas as they struggle to make sense of their lives, their needs, and their desires.  It’s a beautifully written tale that focuses on forgiveness and overcoming one’s past, and I loved every minute of it.

The tension between Carmyn and Dallas is extremely palpable in this novel, but it’s not a vulgar or obscene NA read by any means.  Kace treats the topic of sex with respect and she does a great job keeping the character’s interactions tasteful, focusing more so on driving the plot of the story than on their sexual escapades, for which I am grateful, since I’m a bit of a prude.  But palpable it is, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the swoon-worthy Dallas as he presses on, falling deeper and deeper in love with Carmyn, even though it goes against everything he stands for.

The characterization in this novel, as I’ve alluded to before, is absolutely superb.  Both Carmyn and Dallas are extremely real, and as the story progresses, it feels more like reading about friends than just some characters in a book. I’m highly impressed with Kace’s ability to flesh out her characters and bring them to life, which she’s done time and time again in her other novels as well as in this one, which is one of the many reasons that I love her so much.

Without a doubt, Kace’s debut into the NA world will leave heads spinning and readers dying for me, especially as Kace unveils her plan for the next installment in this fabulous series at the end of the novel.  Five stars.

5 starsI received an ARC of this novel as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.



et cetera
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