Sunday, February 7, 2016

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5

I've been in a dystopian kind of mood lately and realized I never finished this series. I enjoyed this book the first time around, but hate waiting for the next book to come out, so instead decided to just wait for the whole series to be done before finishing. And of course, it's taken me awhile to get back to it. I wish series were released closer together, a year between books usually makes me loose interest. Luckily, that wasn't the case here.

I enjoyed this one just as much the second time around. It'd been a few years since I've read it so it was almost like reading it for the first time, I had forgotten a bit. I may have liked it more this time actually. I enjoyed Ms. Lu's take on her dystopian world, how it takes place in America in the distant future, still using familiar landmarks and places. Makes it seems more believable. But, mostly I really liked June and Day. They are great characters and I really enjoyed that the story was told from both their perspectives. I liked both their stories, learning about their backgrounds and how they've gotten to where they are and how their world gets shaken up when their paths cross. I enjoyed their relationship, the tension and swoony moments. I thought the story moved along nicely, not overly slow like some dystopian books I've read. It had a nice amount of action mixed in.

I've heard this is being made into a movie and I think it'd be really fun to see it on the big screen! I'm glad the series is complete and I can read the next book right away! A fun read!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: Mild, a few "d"
Violence: Mild, nothing overly descriptive, some fighting and death




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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Express Rider's Lady by Stacy Henrie

The Express Rider's LadyThe Express Rider's Lady by Stacy Henrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5

This has been nominated for a 2016 Swoony Award. Share the love and vote for it here.

I thought this was a charming western romance. Delsie is determined to get to her sister's wedding, only problem is she's in California and only has two weeks to get there. With little options for her, she decides the best way to get there is higher and Express Rider and ride like the wind!

Myles Patton has been burned by women before and when Delsie shows up pleading for an escort to California, he doesn't want anything to do with her. When she offers him an outrageous some of money to get her there he simply can't refuse. Thinking she'll bail out after one day, he is surprised when she takes on challenges head-on and never gives up. Slowly his apprehension turns to admiration. I really enjoyed Delsie and Myles, I love a relationship that develops naturally and isn't instalove. They have to learn to trust one another and through their experiences they really become to depend on one another. It's really a sweet romance.

I also enjoyed the setting and learning more about express riders. Overall, I thought this was a fun read. The story was well developed and paced well. The characters were likable and easy to root for, a nice sweet romance and easy to recommend.

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild
Religious: Moderate

Source: Review copy

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

His Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel

His Personal Relationship ManagerHis Personal Relationship Manager by Jennifer Peel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Totally cute!

I thought this was a fun read, fun plot and likable characters. Kenadie was jilted on her wedding day, at the alter. Pretty much the worst way possible and she's still not quite over it. Even though she ended up dodging a bullet, the controlling and abusive fiancé did his damage and Kenadie thinks its better to just stay away from men. With the exception of her best friend Zander. The two have been close for forever and do everything together. Zander is worried about Kenadie and wants to help her move past her pain.

This was a fun read. Kenadie's dating service sounded like a good idea, I like that it was way more personalized than online dating sites. Kenadie was a likable character, I feel bad that she was hurt and that she held on to it for so long. I liked Zander, I had an idea of what was going on with him and I'm glad it looks like he'll be getting his own book. Jason was great, just an all-around nice guy. He and Kenadie were cute together and I liked seeing their relationship evolve. Overall, a fun contemporary romance!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: None
Religious: None, characters attend church, non-denominational and no preaching

Source: Review copy


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Monday, February 1, 2016

Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson

Not Always Happenstance (Power of the Matchmaker)Not Always Happenstance by Rachael Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved it!

Whenever a new book of Rachael's comes out I have to drop everything and read it right away. Her books just click with me, I love the unique settings and storylines. The characters are always so real and I love the romance! She's great at writing witty dialog and building up the chemistry. I also love that each of her books takes place somewhere new, I love learning about new places through her books. This one happens to take place in Hawaii, I'm crossing my fingers I can go there for our next duty station (hubby is in the military) and after reading this book it made me want to go there even more!

Lani was a great character, she gave up everything to move to Hawaii to help a grandmother she barely knew with her Bed & Breakfast. She quickly fell in love with her grandmother and Hawaii. What started out as a temporary visit, turned into five years. I loved how Lani was with people, very caring and fun. I loved her directness and how she expects more from people. She was an easy character to like and root for. You want to see her find her happily ever after.

I wasn't sure about Easton at first, he seemed a bit of a player. I guess his lifestyle made it seem more that way, he never let himself get too attached to the people or places he visited. He was not expecting Lani and it was fun to see his orderly life get shaken up a bit. It's easy to fall for his charm and easygoing personality. I loved his kindness and willingness to jump in and help without hesitation.

I wasn't quite sure how things would play out with these two, both come from different backgrounds and had different life goals. I like stories like this were a couple learns to compromise and that doesn't mean you have to give up who you are, just make yourself open to other possibilities, better ones when you're with the one you love. I love the messages throughout and the supporting characters, Pearl and Puna.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this one! A great escape and like always a lovely story that drew me in and wouldn't let go until the very end. Highly recommend!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: None
Religious: None
Read again: ABSOLUTELY!

*I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I'll be buying a hardcopy for my collection!

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. My choice for this week is:

First Light (Forever After Series, Book One)
by Michele Paige Holmes
Release Date: February 25, 2016
 
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Adrielle doesn’t believe in magic; she merely possesses it, though no one has ever mentioned that her unusual gifts—exceptional speed, a flair for fire, and an intimate knowledge of flora—aren’t things she was born with. When Adrielle starts a fire that burns down the family home, she must deal with both her grief and her siblings’ hurtful rejection. While journeying to far away Tallinyne, in search of her older, estranged sister—the only relative who might take her in—Adrielle is separated from her escort when the carriage is beset by thieves. Alone, she is thrust into a dangerous and unfamiliar world where she encounters fairies and gypsies, a wild boar, a drunk cook, and an evil queen whose curse is sweeping death across the land. Adrielle also finds love, falling hard for a kind, funny, handsome—and completely unavailable prince. From the glowing pearls tucked beneath her mattress and keeping her awake at night, to Queen Nadamaris’s curse that seems to thwart Adrielle’s every effort, Adrielle struggles to navigate a world of magic she never imagined, where people she knows and loves are not always what they appear to be. With the glowing pearls—and her fondest desire—within her grasp, she is forced to make a choice no girl should ever have to—satisfying her own heart or saving the kingdom.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Season to Love by Nicole Deese

A Season to LoveA Season to Love by Nicole Deese
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to this one for a long time. I loved A Cliché Christmas and was so excited when I learned the author was writing another book in this series. We met Willa in the previous book, she has really been put through the ringer, and I was looking forward to seeing her get her HEA. It doesn't come easy though.

Willa is a great character, she has really been through a lot and has built up some nice walls to try and keep herself safe. I loved the growth of her character and how she was willing to put in the work to help herself heal and to start living again. Patrick was great, even if I did want to shake him a couple of times. Their relationship was fun to watch, poor Willa doesn't make things easy for Patrick. I liked that things grow from a friendship, which I think is a great way to start a relationship.

I thought the author did a good job of keeping the focus on Willa and Patrick, but still work in past characters. I love the small town charm. Overall, a fun read, I really enjoyed it.

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: None
Religious: None-mild, nothing preachy

Source: Review copy

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Pimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt

PimpernelPimpernel by Sheralyn Pratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loads of swoony fun!

It may have taken me a little while to get into this one, but then everything clicked and I couldn't put it down. Claire is a genius and has OCD, when she finds out her mentor and professor has been arrested she'll do anything she can to help clear his name. She doesn't understand quite how deep the waters run though.

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll have to keep this review on the shorter side. I ended up really liking Claire. I wasn't quite sure I could handle her POV at the beginning, but it was good to see things from her OCD perspective. I loved Jack and when we were in his POV. I also loved his team and how they were so loyal and worked so well together. I loved the two together, lots of tension and great chemistry.

The story was a lot of fun and moved along at a nice pace. There were a few surprises along the way and even though I wasn't quite sure how things would wrap up, I ended up being very happy. Everything is wrapped up nicely, but I sincerely hope this becomes a series, so much potential and so many characters I'd love to see again and especially see their HEAs.

Overall, a super fun read and one I'd easily recommend!

Content
Romance: Clean
Language: None
Violence: Mild

*This has been nominated for a 2016 Swoony Award, you can vote for it here.

Source: Received review copy in exchange for honest review.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Blog Tour: A North Shore by Dean Economos & Alyssa Machinis

For the teenagers of Chicago’s North Shore, everyone has something to hide. In a daring attempt to impress the elusive Sophia, Michael makes the biggest decision of his life, stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from St. Theodore Community Church. That same night, Nichole’s insecurities are finally forgotten with a drug she soon won’t be able to control. When Michael makes his getaway, he sees his friend Joseph cheat on his girlfriend with the priest’s daughter and knock over a candle that sets the church ablaze. As the consequences of that night unfold, Joseph is blamed for the fire and the missing money. Can the teenagers of the North Shore confess their vices to help their friend? Or will their greed, infidelity and jealousy change all their lives forever?

Interview With the Authors:
Dean Economos:

Give us some background, what did you do before writing this book?
I went to college at Loyola University Chicago and received my undergrad in Biology and a minor in Biostatistics. I then went on to receive my M.B.A. from Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.

What were the events that inspired the book?
The book was inspired by different experiences growing up. Those key events and experiences were then intertwined with the more current events of our church’s media coverage. Some parts of your book are things you actually experienced, they must have stuck with you for you to want to write about them years later.

Did you always know you wanted to tell these stories?
I kind of had a premonition growing up that these events would be shared. My friends and I would always say we should’ve had a show like Laguna Beach, or something of that nature. So, in a way, I did think these stories would be told in one way or another, I just didn’t think I’d be the one to tell them. Like other stories of turmoil, we are drawn to A North Shore Story because we can relate to the characters.

Can you elaborate on what is relatable about the internal struggles of the book’s characters?
What makes these characters extremely relatable to readers are the confidence and relationship problems each one of them goes through, whether it be friendship or romantic. Some characters go through other internal struggles such as underage drinking, drug use, and sexual peer pressure. I think that everyone at one time or another has been in one of these circumstances.

What was your favorite part of writing this book?
 Since this was my first book, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I was supposed to have a template or well-thought out plan before writing anything. Instead, I jumped into it head-first and developed the story as I wrote. I feel that doing it this way allowed myself to be more creative and not stick to a “script” per say. I was even surprised at what I was able to create.

What inspired you to write this story so many years later?
What originally got my gears turning was the media’s coverage of our former priest and his embezzlement of church funds. I then started to think about our time growing up at our church and the events that our friends and I experienced. After pinpointing key events, I began formulating the plotline which now makes up A North Shore Story.

You know some of these characters in your waking life. Who was the most exciting to write? How have they changed because of what happened?
The most exciting character to write about was definitely Kate. Kate, and the girl who she’s based off of, has a very exciting personality and a distinct attitude. When our friend read the story, she loved how she was portrayed in the storyline. I think that she, along with the rest of our friends, have changed in that we’ve learned how to tackle the problems that Kate and the rest of the group are dealing with right now.

Tell us more about your personal part in the stories. Are you in the book? How did you change your story for the fiction rendition?
I am in the book. With my character, and with all the characters, I left elements of real life in the story and in the personality, but overall the fundamental qualities of each character are unique from their real life counterparts.

What strengths did you and Alyssa bring to the table to help one another write the book?
I felt more connected to writing the actual story. I was able to figure out and connect the different sub- plots of the book, while Alyssa is very familiar with novels and creative writing. With those skills, she helped make the book come alive.

Do you anticipate a sequel?
I’ve thrown ideas around in my head, and I’ve talked about it with Alyssa. We’re open to it, but haven’t started writing anything yet.

Alyssa Machinis:

Tell us about your background, what have you done since the events that occurred that inspired A North Shore Story?
Well, I went to college at University of Illinois and graduated with a degree in Advertising and minors in both Business and Communications. Now I work at an advertising-technology company as a Digital Strategist.

What is your side of the story depicted in the book? Did you change the reality for the fiction version?
My side of the story is depicted in the book, but it’s pretty separated from reality. The biggest and only consistency between my character and I are our driven personalities.

What was the most difficult part about writing this book?
The most difficult part of writing the book was helping it come alive. The content was there, and the story was strong, but fostering the story from a passive standpoint into an active point of view was a challenge.

What do you think the most important lesson from the book is?
The most important lesson from the book is to be confident in who you are. Don’t worry about what other people think because the fear of judgment can turn you into a person you don’t want to be.

What part of this story do you think appeals to young adult readers most?
I think what appeals to young adults about A North Shore Story are the pop culture references mixed with struggles that I think a majority of teens have experienced or encountered at some point in their lives.

What clique were you in in high school? Can you tell us an event that happened to you and your friends that almost made it into A North Shore Story but isn’t included?
I was definitely in the choir group throughout high school. There weren’t many events that didn’t make it into A North Shore Story, but we almost wrote in a choir sub-plot. However, we switched it to fashion as the story developed.

What were some of your favorite books in high school, when the story takes place?
I loved the Harry Potter series and the Myron Bolitar series by Harlan Coben. He writes excellent mystery novels, and J.K. Rowling is a genius.

Who is your favorite author? What were a few books that inspired your writing?
I don’t necessarily have a favorite author (I read a lot). However, I do think that J.K. Rowling’s writing style was very influential on my own. It’s also comforting to know that she had humble beginnings just like Dean and I have now.

Do you think you’ll write another book?
Like Dean mentioned, we’ve talked about it a little bit. However, as of now we have not made any strides toward writing another book.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It Happened One Night by Christine Feldman

It Happened One NightIt Happened One Night by Christine S. Feldman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved!

I've been super stressed today and this was the perfect pick-me-up! I just love Christine's books, this one had me laughing and really lightened my mood. I also didn't have a lot of time, so this was the perfect length and temporary escape from reality. Paisley and Joe don't meet under the best of circumstances and when they're later set up on a blind date things just go from bad to worse. I thought this was a fun read, I liked Paisley and Joe and I was glad we were able to get things from both POV, helps explain where they're both coming from. Even though they may butt heads, they also have good chemistry. I especially loved the ending. Lots of fun moments. Oh, and I loved Mabel. Overall, just a cute story and one I'd easily recommend.

Content: Clean

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. My choice for this week is:



P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Release Date: July 26, 2016
 
What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cover Characteristic



This is a really fun meme hosted by Sugar and Snark. "Each week we will post a characteristic and choose 5 of our favorite covers with that characteristic. If you want to join in and share your 5 favorite covers with the weeks particular characteristic, then just make a post, grab the meme picture (or make your own) and leave your URL in Linky. You don’t even need to participate, just stopping by and saying hi would be great! Don’t forget to stop by the other participants!"

Today's Characteristic: Moons!

 
 
 
 
 
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