Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











13138635From Goodreads: It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
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I really enjoyed this novel in the beginning.  It caught my attention right away and drew me in—the spacecraft, the elegance, the social rift between Lilac and Tarver—I really enjoyed it all.  However, as the novel went on, I began to feel like their time on the planet was dragging on a bit too long for my liking.  It almost felt like Cast Away or The Life of Pi in that there were limited characters and little action as the story went on.  I tend to need constant interactions to stay focused, and there were definitely times that I felt this novel was lagging, but on the other hand, there were many times that it was fast-paced and interesting as well, especially when the phenomenon began to happen to Lilac.  I can’t go into much detail here without giving anything away, but know this: there is a creepy paranormal element that makes its way into this story, and it’s really unique and interesting.  I’m afraid it’s a little beyond my comprehension, as it were, because at the end there, I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening anymore, but even so, this curve in the story definitely took me by surprise and, when all’s said and done, I enjoyed it, even if I’m not 100% sure what exactly happened there at the end.

What I loved the most about the novel is that it’s a flashback.  We learn early on that Tarver is being questioned by higher ups about his time on the planet with Lilac, and as Tarver responds in clipped and sarcastic manners, we learn what he is attempting to hide from society, including his feelings for Lilac and exactly what happened on the planet.

The end leaves a little to be desired, which makes me wonder if there will be a sequel?  I didn’t feel like it resolved much, but in truth, it’s not a bad place to end their tale, either, so I guess we shall have to wait and see.  If you’re looking for something completely different with a side of creepiness, then I suggest you pick this one up.  Three and a half stars.

3.5 stars

Disney Hyperion has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read an ARC of this novel, via Netgalley, prior to its release on December 10, 2013



18718570From Goodreads: Mina Porter’s mother sent her away because of a terrible secret. When Mina meets tattooed bad boy Jax McElvoy, she’s immediately drawn to him, but not for the reasons he might think.

Jax falls for Mina too, but quickly figures out she’s hiding something. He’s determined to break down her walls and find out her secret. But Jax soon realizes he should have just let hidden secrets stay buried, because this one will cost him his dearly.

Unscathed is a contemporary romance with a deadly twist by bestselling author Tim O’Rourke and author C.J. Pinard.

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One. Crazy. Lady.  That’s what I kept thinking as I read this novel.  Mina seems harmless enough in the beginning, but as readers learn small snippets about her past, mainly her love for her phone and taking pictures of others without their knowledge, it becomes quite clear that something is up, and the more that’s revealed, the more sinister and insane it all seems to be.  However, there’s a rhyme and a reason behind it all, as I’ve learned is always the case with novels by Tim O’Rourke, and together with C.J. Pinard, another gem has been created with a twist so shocking that I didn’t see it coming (not even a little bit).

Of course, this novel has some aspects of the paranormal intertwined, but as the synopsis doesn’t reveal this, I imagine most readers will be thrown for quiet a loop, as I was, especially if they’re looking for a straight contemporary romance.  Romance there is, and this novel is definitely full of swoon worthy scenes between Mina and Jax, but be pre-warned, nothing is as it seems.  Four stars.

 4 starsI received this novel from the authors in exchange for an honest review.



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