Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New author spotlight - Karli Perrin

Karli Perrin is coming out with her debut novel, April Showers this June.

About the book:

What happens when your head and your heart pull you in completely opposite directions?

April Adams is about to find out the hard way.

When April enrols at Manchester University, it feels like a whole new life. New city, new house, new friends...new crush.

Isaac Sharpe is the hottest guy on campus - with an even hotter reputation. After a chance meeting, April quickly finds herself wrapped up in all that he is. But what if all that he is isn't what it seems?

Caught up in a battle between what she wants and what she thinks she needs, April meets Lukas Roberts. Lukas is the security blanket that she craves so desperately and she finds solace in their friendship. But what happens when she finds more than she bargained for?

April has always been a big believer of fate, but will she learn that she's in control of her own destiny before it's too late?

Join April as she embarks on a life changing journey of love and loss, which will have you laughing and crying until the very end.

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2 copies of Elite - Giveaway

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Nose Stuck In A Book

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: ARC of Desire by Design by Paula Altenburg --- Releasing in May with Entangled Bliss

Having only read books from Entangled’s Brazen line, I didn’t quite know what to expect from my first Bliss book.  What I found in Paula Altenburg’s Desire by Design was a sweet, entertaining read with a strong element of romance, a dash of flirtatious banter, and just a pinch of intrigue.
 Our oft-described ball-busting heroine, Evangeline Doucette, is a Project Manager for Sullivan Construction in Nova Scotia. At twenty-nine, Eve has climbed her way up the ladder, holding her own in a male-dominated field, despite not having a fancy degree. Eve is stubborn, opinionated, and driven to succeed – qualities that help stifle the insecurities that still linger long after the end of her disastrous divorce five years earlier.

Enter Matt Bison, the handsome nephew of Mayor Bob Anderson (a.k.a. Eve’s nemesis) and hotshot architect transported from Toronto to design the new City Hall – a commission for which Eve was campaigning. Sparks fly when Eve and Matt find themselves working together on plans for the project, although Eve’s penchant for historical restorations contrasts brilliantly with Matt’s professional accomplishments with modern designs.

What we then have is a case of opposite attracting. While Matt is the picture of calm assuredness, Eve is the textbook definition of a spitfire, quick to anger and passionate about everything she undertakes. When circumstances find the pair living under the same roof, Matt is left to examine his undeniable attraction to a no-nonsense workaholic who is drastically different than the domestic goddess he envisions as his future wife. Eve also must question whether or not she can place her trust in another man after being burned by her controlling ex-husband, Claude.

Despite Eve’s reservations, Matt is indeed a “nice guy”. While he may be disgruntled with the seemingly-offensive label, I found his straightforwardness and agreeable personality to be a refreshing change from the tattooed playboys with emotional baggage the size of Texas that are frequenting the pages of many a book nowadays. 

The drama is thus provided by Eve, who faces criticism both at work and at home, where her tight-knit family is constantly on her case about settling down with a family of her own. While I applaud Eve’s decision to succeed with her career rather than succumb to the pressures of a patriarchal society, I had to wonder at her particular disdain for being a housewife and following in her mothers’ footsteps. This was a minor issue that didn’t sit well with me and I would’ve liked to see some resolution, i.e. each acknowledging the other’s hard work and dedication.

Overall, Desire by Design is a light, fun story with witty dialogue that flows effortlessly from start to finish. The clashing personalities of the two protagonists infuse the narrative with enough humor to counteract the seriousness of the narrative, ensuring that there is never a dull moment. 

Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Review: The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken


"I have a proposition for you." Kacey should have run the minute those words left Seattle millionaire Jake Titus's mouth. It's been years since Kacey's seen her childhood friend Jake, but the minute Jake mentions his ill grandmother, Kacey is ready to do anything for the sweet old woman. And if that means pretending they're engaged for her sake-so be it.

But Kacey wasn't counting on Jake's older brother Travis still being there. She calls him "Satan" for a reason: she's never forgotten the way he teased and taunted her. Yet when they meet again, Travis's gorgeous smile is a direct hit to her heart . . . and Kacey's more confused than ever. As the days pass, only one thing starts to become alarmingly clear-she never should have accepted Jake's deal . .


“Kacey was his best friend, but only in his heart. In real life, she hated him, he just didn’t know why.” These opening words perfectly sum up the romantic misunderstandings in which the hero and heroine of Rachel Van Dyken’s The Bet finds themselves entangled. Whether dealing with past heartaches or the possibilities of new love, The Bet is an adorably sentimental, and often humorous new take on a good old-fashioned love triangle.    
Eight-year-old Travis Titus is enamored of his little brother’s best friend, Kacey, displaying his affection by playing practical jokes on the younger girl and making her life miserable.  Being her best friend and closer to her in age, Jake Titus also stakes a claim on Kacey, leading the brothers to bet that each would be the one to marry Kacey when they grow up.
Forced to watch from the sidelines as his charismatic younger brother and Kacey grow close throughout high school and college, Travis never falters in his feelings for Kacey. Both brothers grow into handsome young men, although Jake’s egotistical, playboy tendencies differ from Travis’s calm confidence and steadfast presence.  When a rift drives Jake and Kacey apart, only to find them reunited by an outlandish proposition from Jake, Travis is determined to seize his chance to prove he is the better man for Kacey.
Told primarily through the perspectives of Kacey and Travis, with occasional narration from Jake, The Bet is a sweet, romantic story with laugh-out-loud dialogue on every page. The witty and teasing banter between Kacey and Travis is outrageously funny and shocking, serving as an outlet for the sexual tension that crackles between the young couple. Providing an extra dose of humor is the Titus brothers’ mouthy grandma, who acts as a self-appointed matchmaker, putting her foul mouth to good use as she nudges Kacey towards following her heart.
There is surprisingly little drama in terms of the love triangle aspect of the story, which is an immense relief. It is refreshing to find a heroine whose indecisiveness deals with personal issues rather than her inability to choose from two handsome love interests. With a hero as thoughtful and kindhearted as Travis, it is impossible not to love The Bet. This was the first book I’ve read by Rachel Van Dyken, but it won’t be my last.   

Rating: 5 Stars 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Review: Femme Fatale by Cindy Dees

I have all of the Brazen books by Entangled and I can honestly say that they've all been at least 4-star books, though most would get 5-star ratings. Femme Fatale, however, failed to deliver the quality of writing I've come to expect from the Brazen series. There's always an element of fantasy in these books but the believability factor in Femme Fatale was nonexistent.

The story is about an actress trying to reinvent her squeaky clean image in the hopes of becoming Hollywood's next Femme Fatale. Olivia Harper spent years working on a family-friendly television show and is in the process of reinventing herself into a bad-ass action star with sex appeal. Despite being in her late 20s, Olivia has little experience in the romance department and decides to remedy this by propositioning the toughened marine turned military film consultant, Blake Ramsey. Despite being recently burned by his double agent girlfriend, Blake is only too happy to improve Olivia's sexual prowess.

The concept of inexperienced girl seeking sexual lessons to serve a specific purpose (learning how to be a femme fatale, in this case), has been done before by Brazen, albeit more successfully. Private Practice by Samantha Beck and Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell are two such instances.

Each character wasn't just a stereotype, but an exaggerated version of whatever role assigned to them by the author. Being a film fanatic, I have been waiting for one of these series to tackle Hollywood, but this was a major letdown. There are a lot of loose ends that get tied up with the simplest of explanations, ensuring that the path to a HEA is cleared of any possible obstacle.. For example, we're supposed to believe that a marine is on the run from the Russians, who are supposedly searching for him to retaliate for the capture of their agent. The threat doesn't seem too serious if a dye job and contacts can magically transform him into a person indistinguishable by master criminals.

Everything seemed too easy - there was no real conflict. I kept expecting the heroine to get kidnapped or the hero to get shot. Something exciting seemed always to be on the precipice, but I was constantly let down in this aspect. The most they have to deal with is damage control over an incredibly immature costar who deserves to be put in jail for several offenses. No one seems to take his actions seriously, though, excusing his actions because he is drunk and/or emasculated. I feel like this lack of following through is a recurring theme in the story. Overall, the story was fine. The plot could've been further developed to give a bit of credibility to the unlikely situation.

Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Preservation by Rachael Wade

 I started reading this book after I bought the sequel when it was on sale. It's been out for a while but I waited for the sequel to come out so I could read them together. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure I want to continue with the series.

I've read novels dealing with student/teacher relationships, but this was one of the least believable I've read. The story is about a college student/ aspiring writer named Kate who has had to put off school for years as she struggled to stay financially afloat. She meets her young, handsome professor named Ryan Campbell, who -at the start of the story - we learn has been cruelly dumped by his fiancee on the same day he's supposed to meet with a book publisher. Romancing his students is a familiar concept to Ryan, who has dealt with his betrayal by bedding every attractive female in sight. Kate is his latest conquest turned muse who attempts to build a lasting connection with the man she can't stay away from. 

While the premise is promising, if somewhat unbelievable, the delivery leaves much to be desired. For starters, the relationship between Ryan and Kate is underdeveloped. We learn that Ryan has insecurities because of his failed relationship and Kate has trust issues and is unwilling to open up, yet they carry on for months without issue. Student/teacher relations are merely frowned upon? It seemed like there was a lack of consequences for these two, who seem to do whatever they please just because they can.

Kate, in particular, bugged me. She has two male best friends who openly admit to being in love with her and she's simply okay with them being around all the time, lending her shoulders to cry on when her romance is on the rocks. I just don't buy two handsome college guys hanging around some girl, content to be friends and being so understanding that she doesn't feel the same way. 
Also, the love scenes were a bit of a letdown. I'm not saying you need romantic encounters every few pages but the sporadic input of sex scenes seemed like an afterthought. There was no excitement, which was disappointing since Ryan is apparently known for his sexual prowess.

***Spoiler alert***

The "twist" at the end, where Ryan screw over Kate with the publishing deal had me fuming. I can't believe he had the nerve to say he had feelings for her then turn around and completely treat her like crap. I momentarily applauded Kate for moving across the world to start a new chapter with her life, but then the second she gets there, Ryan comes after her with a pathetic apology and she jumps back into his arms. No groveling. No making him work for it. Nothing. 


The more I reflect on the story, the more upset I get. After reading the blurb for the second novel, I have a feeling it's about to get worse. I think I'm going to have to call it quits with this one. 

Rating: 2 stars

New Releases

Darkness, Kindled (Fire Spirits #4)
Crush (Crash)
Lover Undercover (Love Undercover)
Femme Fatale (Hard Bodies)
Rock My Bed
Twisted Perfection
Breathe Into Me
The Last Hour (Thompson Sisters)

Review: For You by Mimi Strong

I received an ARC of For You by Mimi Strong, which I finished a couple days ago, but I've been reflecting on the book and figuring out what I want to say. The book is definitely not your cookie-cutter romance novel, but rather an intensely emotional and realistic narrative with characters that are relatable because of their flaws.

If you read the blurb, you know the story is about a young girl who took on the responsibility of being a surrogate mother to her little sister when their mother abandoned them. Not wanting to be separated from her sister, Aubrey flees to Canada, where she works part-time in her uncle's bar. It is there that she meets Sawyer - a tattooed hottie who is clearly interested in Aubrey, despite the wedding ring she wears to ward off would-be suitors.

What follows is an ongoing struggle for Sawyer to try and break down Aubrey's walls, which she built after years of having to fend for herself and her sister. These two characters couldn't be more different, which is what I love about their dynamic.

Sawyer is an open book - he knows he wants Aubrey and is willing to do what it takes to be worthy of her. On the other hand, Aubrey is closed off, so much so that most of the time, Sawyer doesn't even know if she wants him around.

Sawyer's light-hearted humor is a welcome distraction for Aubrey, who has a huge weight on her shoulders. It's easy to forget that Aubrey is only twenty-one years old, with desires to be like every other girl her age.
This is the third book I've read by Mimi Strong (Pretty Girls and the Kissing Coach are the others) and I can honestly say that I've loved everything she has written. I feel as though her characters are people who could actually exist. Even with the assurance of a HEA, I still found myself anxiously rooting for Aubrey and Sawyer to have a happy ending.

Rating: 5 stars

 Buy the book on Amazon:
For You
 Other books by Mimi Strong:
Pretty Girls
A story about a girl named Nora whose insecurities about being an amputee and her least favorite facial feature lead her to take action to be confident about herself. The return of an old crush provides additional incentive.
The Kissing Coach
A sweet story about a life coach named Feather who falls for a client requiring special attention to overcome a painful past that has had an unexpected affect on his love life.

Top 10 Books of the Year (So Far)

I'm not great with the technical aspects of blogging so I'm learning as I go. For my first post, I thought I'd share a list of the top 10 books I've read so far this year. There are plenty more books on my TBR so the list will probably grow in time. These is in no particular order.

Music of the Heart
This is the third book I've read by Katie Ashley but it is by far my favorite. I love a good rock-star romance but the combination of sassy good-girl Abby and brooding bad-boy Jack produced undeniable chemistry and an enjoyable read.
The Bet
Rachel Van Dyken's book had me laughing so loud on every other page, my sister kept looking at me like I was nuts. The grandma is hilarious, as is the relationship between the hero and heroine. I loved loved loved Travis Titus, who is quite possibly the most adorable guy to ever grace the pages of a book.
Falling Into You
Holy cow. I mean, seriously. I first became familiar with Jasinda Wilder through her various short erotic series. Jasinda Wilder has never had a problem writing scorching sex scenes but the heartbreaking story of Colt and Nell takes her storytelling abilities to the next level.
Wait For You
Anything by Jennifer Armentrout aka J. Lynn is amazing in my book. She can seriously do no wrong. I have read every one of her books and this is definitely one of my favorites. I love reformed manwhore stories and the relationship between Avery and Cameron is no exception.
Suicide Note
Don't let the title fool you. This is an uplifting book by Teresa Mummert in which the heroine, Jenn, and her love interest, Shane set about healing their broken hearts.
Lost To You
I'm so glad I read this book before Take this Regret. This definitely made me more sympathetic to Christian and I love seeing the promising start of the relationship between him and Elizabeth that continues in the next novel, which is definitely a tear-jerker. A.L. Jackson is hypnotic and there were definitely times I was overwhelmed with the depth of emotions experienced by the characters.
The Edge Of Never
I first read the Mayfair trilogy by J.A. Redmerski, which led me to this book. There's nothing like a good road trip story, although Camryn has the pleasure of being accompanied by Andrew, who is as mysterious as he is attractive. I can't wait for the sequel!
Second Chance Boyfriend
The conclusion to One Week Boyfriend by Monica Murphy couldn't have been more perfect. The content of these books is definitely on the more serious end, as is the trend with New Adult books, although the idea that it's the hero that needs saving is a new twist. I love that Drew and Fable got their HEA.
Grounded (Up in the Air #3)
The final installment of the Up in the Air series by R.K. Lilley was the perfect ending to the story between Bianca and James. It's filled with drama, action and suspense, while also focusing on the heated relationship between the two main characters. I also loved the addition of narratives from minor characters who I've grown to love.
I love both Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt individually as authors, but together, they are unbelievable. Lengths is the first story in this series, and I love that Cohen got his own story. The dual narratives provided a great insight into the minds of both Cohen and Maren. I can't wait for more books from this duo.