Thursday, December 31, 2015

Nose Stuck in a Book's Top 10 Reads of 2015: Yvette's List


Last year, when making my top 10 reads of 2014, I compiled a list of books that made me laugh. While a few of my favorite books of 2015 are romantic comedies, I was surprised by how many of these made me shed a tear (or two). Even more was the amount of 6 Star reads on my list. 5 books! Considering I’ve only rated one or two books 6 Stars before this year, that’s an unusually high number for me, although these books are certainly deserving of the rating. Each book on this list is one I’d wholeheartedly recommend, whether you’re in the mood for friends-to-lovers romances (Before We Were Strangers and Dark Wild Night), narratives that keep you guessing (November 9 and The Hidden Library), or books that make you laugh-out-loud (Nuts and The Deal).

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Blurb:

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?





Yvette’s Review of November 9 & Buy Links

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino

Blurb:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M





Yvette’s Review of Before We Were Strangers & Buy Links

Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Blurb:

The ride of her life . . .

Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .


Yvette’s Review of Ride Steady & Buy Links

Kyland by Mia Sheridan

Blurb:


Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk.

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They're both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

THIS IS A STAND-ALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.


Yvette’s Review of Kyland & Buy Links

The Hidden Library by Heather Lyons

Blurb:

Sometimes, the rabbit hole is deeper than expected . . .

Alice Reeve and Finn Van Brunt have tumbled into a life of secrets. Some secrets they share, such as their employment by the clandestine organization known as The Collectors’ Society. Other secrets they carry within them, fighting to keep buried the things that could change everything they think they know.

On the hunt for an elusive villain who is hell-bent on destroying legacies, Alice, Finn, and the rest of the Society are desperate to unravel the mysteries surrounding them. But the farther they spiral down this rabbit hole, the deeper they fall into secrets that will test their loyalties and pit them against enemies both new and old.

Secrets, they come to find, can reveal the deadliest of truths.


Yvette’s Review of The Hidden Library & Buy Links

Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren

Blurb:

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
But what didn't happen in Vegas seems to follow them everywhere.


Lola and Oliver like to congratulate themselves on having the good sense to not consummate their drunken Las Vegas wedding. If they’d doubled-down on that mistake, their Just Friends situation might not be half as great as it is now.

... Or so goes the official line.

In reality, Lola’s wanted Oliver since day one—and over time has only fallen harder for his sexy Aussie accent and easygoing ability to take her as she comes. More at home in her studio than in baring herself to people, Lola’s instinctive comfort around Oliver nearly seems too good to be true. So why ruin a good thing?

Even as geek girls fawn over him, Oliver can’t get his mind off what he didn’t do with Lola when he had the chance. He knows what he wants with her now ... and it’s far outside the friend zone. When Lola’s graphic novel starts getting national acclaim—and is then fast-tracked for a major motion picture—Oliver steps up to be there for her whenever she needs him. After all, she’s not the kind of girl who likes all that attention, but maybe she’s the kind who’ll eventually like him.

Sometimes seeing what’s right in front of us takes a great leap of faith. And sometimes a dark wild night in Vegas isn’t just the end of a day, but the beginning of a bright new life...


 



Yvette’s Review of Dark Wild Night & Buy Links

Nuts by Alice Clayton

Blurb:

The New York Times bestselling author of Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed is back with Nuts, the first in a brand new series set in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.


Yvette’s Review of Nuts & Buy Links
 
Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Blurb:

Beards, brothers, and bikers! Oh my!
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in na├»ve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life. His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.
Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

Series Description
Everyone in Green Valley, Tennessee knows that the six bearded Winston brothers have been imbued with an unfair share of charm and charisma… and are prone to mischief.

Truth or Beard is book #1 in the Winston Brother’s series. Each book is a standalone, full length (110k words), contemporary romantic comedy novel, and follows the romantic exploits and adventures of one of the six Winston Brothers.



Yvette’s Review of Truth or Beard & Buy Links


Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey

Blurb:

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

His inspiration. His torment. And his temptation...

Jasmine Taveras is the reason Sarge Purcell grabbed his six-string and bailed the hell out of New Jersey four years ago. She's the fuel for every song he's ever written-each one laced with bitter, hard-edged, hungry lust. Now, with his hugely successful band is on temporary hiatus, Sarge is determined to prove to Jasmine that this "kid" turned into every inch the man she's always needed...

Men are slim pickings for a single factory girl in Hook, New Jersey...until tall, broad-shouldered hotness walks-or rather storms-into Jasmine's life. Sarge's return shouldn't affect her this way. He's her best friend's much younger kid brother, and the kind of rough, gritty, sexiness Jasmine has no right to taste for herself. Even if he lets her.

But lust is a blinding, insatiable force. And when it crashes, it will take both Sarge and Jasmine down with it...


Yvette’s Review of Crashed Out & Buy Links

The Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy

*technically this is two books but I loved both The Deal and The Mistake so I'm putting them together. Here's more info about book 2, The Mistake.

Blurb:

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.


Yvette’s Review of The Mistake & Buy Links

The Perfect Life by Erin Noelle: Excerpt & Trailer Reveal


Blurb:

I had the perfect life.

The perfect husband. Colin Cassidy—the incredibly talented, extremely gorgeous, and unbelievably humble star NFL quarterback.

The perfect marriage. Our bond was unbreakable. His support unwavering.

The perfect career. As the recently-appointed executive director for the Boston chapter of Mending Hearts, a child abuse prevention and treatment program, my daily reward was helping to keep vulnerable, innocent children from being preyed upon and destroyed. It’s all I’d wanted to do since I was a teenager.

Perfect city. Perfect car. Perfect house with the perfect view.

From the outside looking in, it was impossible to find a single flaw in my life. I had it all. Everything I'd ever wanted.

But that kind of perfection came at a price. Demanded the ultimate sacrifice.

What happened when I discovered what I'd been missing all along? When I began to question if the lies were worth protecting?

What if suddenly the last thing I wanted was to be perfect?

Releases: January 31, 2016



Click to Pre-Order on Amazon:

.


About the Author:

Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. She has recently self-published her first novel, Metamorphosis, which hit both USA Today and Amazon best-selling lists, and is currently working on the sequel, Ambrosia, to be released later in 2013. Most nights you can find her cuddled up in bed with her husband, her Kindle in hand and a sporting event of some sorts on television.


Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png  photo WebsiteIcon.png


Excerpt:
 
“What in the world is all this?” I asked with a chuckle, hovering under the archway that separated the living room and kitchen. “Did you invite the offensive line over for breakfast or something?”

Colin, still dressed in his pajama pants and a plain white t-shirt, whisked something feverishly at the stove while I gaped at the steaming, mouth-watering spread on the butcher-block kitchen island. Buttery scrambled eggs. Waffles. French toast. Crispy bacon. Sausage. Hash browns. Flaky buttermilk biscuits. And fresh strawberries with homemade whipped cream to top it all off. I’m pretty sure I gained five pounds just looking at it all. So much for that workout.

“I’d need a lot more food than this, if that was the case,” he contended as he shot me a teasing smile. Momentarily abandoning the baked beans in the saucepan, he set the wooden spoon down on the counter, turned the heat down to low, and closed the distance between us to kiss my forehead. “Morning, gorgeous. I’d give you a proper hug, but my hands are all greasy. How was your workout?”

I scrunched my nose up and gave a sharp shake of my head. “It sucked.”

His chest shook with laughter as he bent down to rub the tip of his nose against mine. An Eskimo kiss, it was called, according to Colin. My mom wasn’t big on any kind of kisses, hugs, or demonstrations of love for anyone other than her current boyfriend or husband, and since I’d never had a boyfriend before him, it took me some time after Colin and I started dating to get used to his open displays of affection—both public and private—but soon…soon I began to love them. To live for them. They were my drug. He was my drug. All I needed to keep my perfect world balanced and me grounded.

“You knew better when you took that final glass of wine last night. I saw the hesitation in your eyes,” he half-scolded, returning to the food I still contended was not a breakfast food at all, despite his and his parents’ claim otherwise. I didn’t care that Google backed them up, maintaining beans were common in breakfasts throughout many countries that were once a part of the British Empire. The only way I was eating them at nine in the morning was if I was camping, or it was the apocalypse. Otherwise, they were a lunch or dinner-only menu item.

“Yeah, I did.” Sighing, I shuffled inside the gourmet kitchen and plopped down on one of the four bar stools situated around the island, where we ate ninety-nine percent of our meals. It was my seat while we were in this room, which was more often than not if we were home. When we originally bought the house after Colin was drafted by his hometown team, the first thing we did was have the entire thing gutted and redesigned to our liking.

The kitchen was my husband’s pet project, as he claimed it would be the heart of our home. He personally selected everything from the mahogany cabinets and black-and-tan marble countertops, to the natural wood accessories and the toaster that had more settings than a spaceship. Warm, cheery butterscotch walls. Restaurant-quality stainless steel appliances. Ornate hardware on all of the drawers and cupboards. It didn’t make sense to me then, but as we settled into our life together, I soon discovered that if we weren’t in our bedrooms, chances were we were in the kitchen—either comparing our daily schedules over coffee and a healthy breakfast in the mornings or catching up at night at night over dinner. It was our place. Just like this was my stool. Unfortunately, our already-busy schedules only seemed to be growing more and more hectic over the previous few months, and we’d been missing each other more frequently than I’d have liked.

“You never told me what this is all for,” I reminded him before I snuck a piece of bacon and shoved it in my mouth.

“We’re celebrating.” Peering over his shoulder, he smirked as he watched me chew the heart-attack inducing deliciousness. “And get your grubby little fingers out of the bacon until it’s time to make our plates.”

I moaned as I swallowed. I couldn’t help it. It was that good. Bacon was my weakness; I could never have a pet pig.

Once I’d finished climaxing with Wilbur’s belly, I realized my husband was still staring at me, his expression unreadable. “I hope you don’t do that in public, Roe. That sound would give a hundred-year-old man on his deathbed a woody.”

My right eyebrow arched high up into my forehead, a combination of confusion over the celebration comment and a where-in-the-hell-did-he-come-up-with-some-of-this-stuff look. I opted to ignore the old-guy-with-a-boner explanation and found out when I could have more bacon. “What are we celebrating?”

He twisted back around to stir the beans, even though I could see the burner was off and they were clearly ready and didn’t need stirring. The only time Colin didn’t face me when he was talking was when he was nervous. And only one subject made Colin nervous.

“Well, the success of the gala, of course. I know I said it last night, but I was so impressed with everything. You kicked ass, babe.” He paused briefly to exhale loudly then continued on. “This is also my last Sunday home before the season starts. After this, we won’t get to do our Funday Sundays until after playoffs next February, and I knew you were going to meet with Allison later, so I wanted breakfast to be awesome.” Another pause. Longer this time. Two deep breaths. “And after we got home last night—”

“This incredible guy showed up,” a familiar male voice that belonged to Colin’s childhood next-door neighbor and best friend finished the sentence from behind me.

I quickly spun around to find Seth Andrews closing in on where I sat, wearing only a pair of loose athletic shorts and with his brown hair all a bedhead mess. He scooped me up off the seat and twirled me in the air as he covered both sides of my cheeks with kisses. I squealed with delight.

“Roe, baby girl, you were amazing last night!” he exclaimed as he eventually lowered me back on the cushion then parked himself two stools away from me. His spot. “Not only did you look absolutely stunning, your speech was fuckin’ killah. Those snooty assholes were eating out of the palms of your hands.”

“You do know you’re one of those snooty assholes, right?” Colin scoffed from the refrigerator while pulling out the milk and orange juice. “And watch your language in my house, especially around Monroe.”

Seth rolled his eyes and snatched two pieces of bacon from the platter, giving one to me and keeping the other for himself. I giggled as Colin flared his nostrils when he caught us. “Roe doesn’t care if I curse. She works with teenagers. Kids these days throw fuck around like it’s an everyday word. I bet Oscar the Grouch teaches them how to spell it on Sesame Street now or some shit.”

I wanted to agree that he probably wasn’t far off, but instead of riling up Colin even more and forcing him to get out the swear jar, I redirected the conversation. “I was wondering if I was gonna see you here this morning,” I said to Seth, “but when you weren’t around at the end of the gala, I thought maybe you had to take Effie home and didn’t feel like driving back into town.”

“Nah,” he shook his head as he grabbed a strawberry, “she wanted to go meet some of her friends at a bar, and I didn’t want her on the streets by herself, especially considering the fancy shit she was wearing. So I escorted her there and hand-delivered her to a girl I somewhat trust. Then, I ran into a guy I knew from school, so I stayed and had a couple beers while I waited for you two to get home.”

“You must’ve been quiet when you got here. Or I was so tired that I just passed out, oblivious to the world around me.” I shrugged my shoulders, not surprised.

Hosted by:

Ryker (The Powers That Be #4) by Harper Bentley: Release Blitz


Blurb:

Ryker Powers was the biggest prick I’d ever met.

He was also my biggest mistake.

He’d taken what he wanted then left, and I detested him for it. Not that the jerk had cared to stick around long enough to know how I felt.

Everyone thought he was a perfect gentleman with all his quiet intensity but I knew better.

I knew he had a filthy mouth. That he liked things dirty.

He may have had people fooled into thinking he was a nice guy but I knew exactly who he was.

He was a bad boy who’d ask for a light from the devil himself.

And I wanted to see him burn.

Until I realized—to my utter horror—that what I really wanted was him.

Who was going to get burned now?


 Click to Buy The Powers That Be Series on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

Harper Bentley has taught high school English for 22 years. Although she’s managed to maintain her sanity regardless of her career choice, jumping into the world of publishing her own books goes to show that she might be closer to the ledge than was previously thought.

After traveling the nation in her younger years as a military brat, having lived in Alaska, Washington State and California, she now resides in Oklahoma with her teenage daughter, two dogs and one cat, happily writing stories that she hopes her readers will enjoy.

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png  photo WebsiteIcon.png


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Lie (The McGregors #4) by Karina Halle: Cover Reveal


Blurb:

Their love led to a lie.

Their truth led to the end.

Scottish enigma Brigs McGregor is crawling out from the ashes. After losing his wife and son in a car accident - and, subsequently, his job - he's finally moving forward with his life, securing a prestigious teaching position at the University of London and starting a new chapter in the city. Slowly, but surely, he's pushing past the guilt and putting his tragic past behind him.

Until he sees her.

Natasha Trudeau once loved a man so much she thought she'd die without him. But their love was wrong, doomed from the start, and when their world crashed around them, Natasha was nearly buried in the rubble. It took years of moving on to forget him, and now that she's in London, she's ready to start over again.

Until she sees him.

Because some loves are too dangerous to ever rekindle.

And some loves are too powerful to ignore.

Can you ever have a second chance at a love that ruined you?

The Lie is a second-chance romance with a dark, forbidden twist.

Releases: February 15, 2015


Click to Buy The McGregors Series on Amazon:

.

About the Author:

Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

**I love to read when I have a chance. I love making new friends, too. But PLEASE don't add me if you're an author just wanting me to read your book and promote yourself shamelessly. You should have more of a reason for friending me than THAT. Also, please don't recommend me books, I have enough on my TBR and not enough time to read. And I'm a super picky reader. Cheers!**

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

***disclaimer***

When I'm not writing, I'm reading. And when I'm not reading I might be writing up a review. I'm wary of books with a lot of hype but unless something has bad reviews across the board, I'll probably still take a chance on it and give my honest opinion. Everyone is different and I won't pass up an adventure just because someone else didn't like it. And that's what I think when I look at my bookshelf...what adventure can I go on today?

Social Media Links:

 photo facebook_128.png photo twitter_128.png photo goodreads_128.png photo WebsiteIcon.png