Monday, September 30, 2013

Audiobook Reviews: The Unidentified Redhead and The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (Gallery Books)
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Keili Lefkovitz
  • Length: 8 hours and 14 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Simon and Schuster 

The first in USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Redhead series is a playful and erotic romance between an aspiring actress and Hollywood’s hottest new leading man.

When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actress, it’s a second shot at a life-long dream. With some help from her best-friend agent, will that dream become a reality—or at thirty-three, has Grace missed her chance at the big time? And when an unexpected sizzling romance with Jack Hamilton, the entertainment industry's newest “it” boy, threatens to shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life, how will that affect her career…and his?

Funny, borderline neurotic Grace is perfect in her imperfections, and the sexual chemistry between her and charming yet blissfully unaware Jack is off the charts. With laugh-out-loud dialogue and a super-steamy romance that will get your heart racing, sneaking around in L.A. and dodging the paparazzi has never been so fun.

My Thoughts

Oh how I love Alice Clayton. Her books are so fun and great to read! (or listen to) This book had such awesome characters with fantastic personalities and an entertaining story that I couldn't get enough of. And there is plenty of steam to keep you satisfied if you like your smexy in books!!

We have Grace who is a 33 year old who is still really discovering herself. She has a lot of baggage and things that she needs to get over, but she keeps it all in. She's hilarious and real which made this a book that kept you wanting more. I felt like I was getting to know her personally and she is totally someone who I would want to be friends with in real life. She's smart, independent, and a won=man who knows what she wants. The only thing that holds her back are her own insecurities that go back to her younger years. What I loved the most about her is that she really doesn't have a filter. If she is thinking something, (unless it's about herself) she will just be out with it. She also has the funniest inner dialogue ever! It's what makes the harder stuff so emotional because I really just wanted her to know how great she is. How great she has always been. That no matter what she has been through, she is at a great point in her life and she needs to just let go and enjoy it. And to an extent she does, but her past still holds her back.

Jack was probably my favorite character in the book. He's on the rise to being a super star! He's a 24 year old hottie who happens to be the leading actor an upcoming Hollywood hit movie! Every woman in the world wants him. Oh, and to top that all off, he has a fantastic accent. Grace calls him "her Brit". He may be the hottest new actor around, but he's really just a regular guy underneath it all, with insecurities just like anyone else. He's charming, funny, and a little overwhelmed with all of the attention. Like any great actor, he puts on a good show though, and the world is eating it up. The one thing that he has to hide is what he has going with Grace. He doesn't want to, but with the instance of his manager Holly, who happens to be Grace's BFF also, he acts like a good boy and they try to keep things on the DL for the sake of his budding career.

The romance was smoking hot!! The chemistry between him and Grace is off the charts. They get each other and balance each other out. They fall into a comfort with each other that seems very natural. Their relationship of course is anything but normal. On top of that, Grace has now been cast in a role for a stage show in NYC. With ex's involved, his touring, interviews and other promotion for the movie, paparazzi everywhere, and Grace's looming departure, things aren't all that easy. They get caught up in their own little bubble of each other, but know things will become very different and probably very difficult soon.

The narrator for this audiobook captured Grace perfectly. At first, I didn't know if I liked the voice she gave her, but soon found that it fit her very well. She did a great job at the other characters as well, but I felt like it was really Grace telling her story. She put the emotion into the book that was necessary, but didn't overdo it. She was spot on and I really enjoyed listening to her narration of this fabulous book.

This book was so entertaining. I have to say that I probably looked like an idiot to anyone who caught me in the act of listening to this, as I had a huge ear to ear grin on my face most of the time. Alice Clayton did fantastic at having a realistic story with plenty of emotion in it, but kept it light with the humor and wit. Grace Sheridan is a character who will forever be one of my favorite book BFF's and Jack is a high contender for book boyfriend. Nick and Holly were also among my favorites and I can't wait for more of this series!!

*An audiobook copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation. 

  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster Audio (Gallery Books)
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Keili Lefkovitz
  • Length: 7 hours and 18 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | Simon and Schuster 


Life is sweet. Grace Sheridan has just won her dream role in a new off-Broadway play, and the talented hunk flooding her phone with scintillating texts and scandalous photos is Jack Hamilton, the twenty-four-year-old “it” Brit whose Hollywood career is about to climax faster than . . . you know. So what if their steamy relationship is bicoastal and under wraps, or that L.A. fangirls are grabbing Jack’s ass?

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and the libido hotter, but their few weekend visits feel more more like fast food than the five-course dinner they crave. And then—the creator of Grace’s new show is the man who broke her heart back in college, and he seems to have written the play just to make amends with his leading lady.

As rumors spread that Jack and his lovely, leggy ex-girlfriend have gotten back together, Grace starts to wonder about her own feelings. Can lust alone keep our favorite, feisty duo together, or will Grace find herself back in safer, more familiar arms?

My Thoughts

I was so excited to jump back into Jack and Grace's story!! This was an outstanding sequel!! They had way more issues in this one with the whole US separating them, and both of them busy with their careers. Their romance is still hot, but the distance, Jack's growing fame, and Grace's insecurities and internal confusion about things cause a few issues. This installment brings the tension, and plenty of emotion! I fell even more in love with the characters that I already adored, and came to really enjoy some new ones that we either didn't meet, or only briefly met in the first book. This was a whirlwind of highs and lows and it kept me needing to know how it would all end. I was frustrated, angry, weepy, and of course in hysterics while listening to this book. 

Grace is pretty much in heaven in NYC. This is her dream. She loves the city, she loves the show, and she's happy to be growing close to Michael again. She also misses Jack fiercely. They manage a few visits with each other, but things are harder now. They seem to keep having miscommunications, or lack of communication about things, which brings them to have some pretty heated arguments. Distance may make the heart grow fonder, but in Grace's case, it also makes her question her choices more. He own confusion about her life and where she wants it to go in the future are making her second guess what her and Jack have. She loves him more than anything, but she wonders if it's enough. She also irritated the hell out of me in this, and at one point, I was close to stopping because I was literally that frustrated. I could physically feel my annoyance and that's not a great thing while listening and driving lol! She acted very immature and self centered at times and I wanted to yell at her to grow up. Luckily she has great friends who know exactly what she needs, and she has her internal dialogue to b*$@% slap her and make her see sense. It just takes a bit of screwing up to get there sometimes.

Jack was ever the amazing guy. He is mature for his age and it counteracts Grace's childlike behavior. Dream guy right? Mature and logical at twenty-four years old!! He really loves Grace. He thinks she is the perfect woman for him. He hates not being able to show her affection in public. He hates being away from her so much, and he hates that when he needs her the most, she seems to shut herself away and let her insecure side get the best of her. He refuses to go down without a fight though. Things may be hard for them, but to him, she is worth fighting for. He is so happy and is able to just be himself with her. He's not always perfect, but who is. I'm glad we got to see this side of Jack.

Once again the narrator was fantastic. The same narrator as the first book, so I fell right back into the story, and felt like I was sitting there listening to Grace. I couldn't think of a more perfect voice for her, and I hope she narrates the third book as well.

This book was a bit more intense than the first. In the first book we are getting to see the lovey stuff as they fall for each other. In this book we get to see all the hard stuff, and watch them try not to fall apart. They are nine years apart in age, yet Grace acts like the immature one. They are also at different points in their careers and don't even know where the next few months will take them. We get a lot more drama in this, but it's a realistic continuation of their story. We get a little bit more of the other characters too and I wouldn't mind getting a story of Holly's in the future!! *wink wink* Overall, I thought this sequel was awesome and I can't wait for the next one. That one looks like it's going to be filled with all sorts of drama and life changing things!!

*An audiobook copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Cover Reveal: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Hi guys!! I have a fantastic cover reveal for you today!! Killer Instinct by S.E. Green.

Everyone has a dark side
Coming May 2014 by Simon Pulse

A chilling series featuring a brilliant teenage girl who studies and understands serial killers… because she might be one herself.

* * *


She’s not evil, but she has certain. . . urges.
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.
Because she might be one herself.
Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return. . . in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim.

I think this cover is pretty cool!! What do you think?

There's also a giveaway to go with it!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekly Recap / Stacking the Shelves (72) My Past Two Weeks!

*Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Hey guys!! So, I didn't do one of these last week and felt like I should really do one since I got some great things in both my inbox and mailbox these past two weeks! Also, I am sad to say that I am going to be extending my blogging break until probably close to the end of October. I have barely gotten any reading done at all the past two weeks and I would like to be able to get some posts set up ahead of time since I will mostly be working on blog stuff only on the weekends. (Besides reading of course... hopefully.) Some of the books listed below I have in fact already read or listened to. (I listened to a lot this past week with driving like 100 miles a day)

Books Mentioned

Bought / Kindle Freebies

Thanks so much to HarperTeen, Entangled Publishing, Cindi Madsen, Spencer Hill Press, Macmillan, Edelweiss, William Morrow Books, Ink Slinger PR, Simon and Schuster Audio, Harper Audio, Fantastic Press, and Candace's Book Blog. Whew, I think that's it. I hope I didn't forget anyone!!

No weekly recap since I only had two posts all week. My search terms are also pretty lame. Hope you all had a great week!! I will try to visit back as soon as I can!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Money and Blogging

This week our topic on Book Girls is blogging and the money we spend on it. Most people have hobbies, and almost all of them cost money. I actually think that blogging is a relatively low cost hobby compared to some out there. (I once spent tons of money on yarn and knitting supplies, only to realize I am not good at knitting at all, but all the yarn were so pretty!!) I also used to be really into World of Warcraft and that cost me $15 a month. (No that's not an extreme amount, but still a hobby that cost me a monthly fee and the numerous hours I played each day) Yes, books are expensive, but I have been pretty good about cutting back on book buying.
Other Book Girls Posts
When I first started blogging, I was spending a lot of money on books. Actually before I started blogging. In fact I think that the few months before I started my blog I was spending anywhere between $50 and $100 a month on books, whether for my nook, or pretty physical copies. Now, I only buy books that I have already read an ARC for that I know I really liked, highly recommended books, or books from authors I know that I adore. Yes, I buy the random book here and there that I haven't heard much about, but they are normally only a few dollars on kindle. I have really cut down on the money I spend on books.
Maintaining a blog takes funds too. No, you don't need to spend money on it, but I like to have  my own domain name. I got it only a few months after starting my blog. It makes it feel more mine not having the in the web address. Totally not necessary, but I really wanted my own. Also, that makes it so if I want to switch to Wordpress (maybe eventually) I already have my own domain. It's not a lot of money for the domain name. I think I pay like $12 a year plus tax. Then there is design. (Xpresso Design is where my pretty design came from!) A good design can help draw traffic. I know that I love going to pretty blogs. It also helps to show that the blogger is serious about it. They want to make the space their own and stand out from other blogs. Blog design ranges in price, but you can find designs that work for you at pretty much any price range you are willing to spend.
 The biggest cost of blogging is time. Yes I know that's not actual money, but it takes a lot of time to read books and put together posts. Also cross posting if you do that. (Which I try to do) Besides that, if you aren't commenting on other blogs, it's not likely people will keep interacting with you. It takes time to visit other blogs, read their posts, and comment. I love doing it even though it does take up a lot of time. I want to hear what my friends have to say on their blogs. I want to comment to let them know what I think of their posts. It's not always easy to keep up, as you can tell since I am on a blogging break, but I love it and don't plan on stopping any time soon. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blog Tour: No Angel by Helen Keeble - Review, Guest Post, and Tour G!veaway

Happy Monday everyone!! I am super psyched to kicking off the No Angel Blog Tour!! I have for you my review, a guest post, and the tour giveaway! For the full tour schedule click on the banner above to be taken to the tour page. You won't want to miss a post on this tour. It's sure to be loads of fun!!

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 10/8/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn't exactly heaven on Earth.

Raffi's about to learn that St. Mary's is actually a hub for demons-and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he's no angel-but it's pretty hard to deny that there's some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover a glowing circle around his head.

Helen Keeble's debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it "refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison's Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series." No Angel brings you angels and demons like you've never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

My Thoughts

This book was very entertaining and silly. I loved the humor and fantastic take on angels. It's amazing how Helen Keeble can make a parody type book poking fun at certain paranormal beings, but still have a great story to go along with it. It's not all about the humor, but this book is definitely a comedy. It stays true to the angels vs demons thing and I loved how the story unfolded. Some things were predictable, others weren't, and the cast of characters was awesome!

Raffi is the only boy at St. Mary's and you would think that would be awesome right? The only guy surrounded by girls. Well, not so much. The poor kid is put on the spot pretty much right from the start, doesn't even know he's an angel, and how it comes about is hilariously funny. From discovering his halo, to sprouting wings and other things, he doesn't know what to think. He is arrogant, funny, and his personality is anything but angel like. Still, he is also insecure in ways, and really a sweet guy when it comes down to it. I loved getting to know him. Especially through the awkward moments.

The cast of other characters is also great. The main ones are Krystal, Faith, and Michaela. They play a huge part in the story, and with Raffi. Michaela was one who I didn't like, but came to really enjoy. She was pretty much enemy number one for Raffi, Krystal, and Faith. The teachers and the headmaster are also quite a bunch. And no one is quite who they seem to be. There are many, many crazy fun interactions between all of them and I found myself grinning that stupid grin more often than not.

So, I don't want to go too much into it, but this was one fun adventure for sure. (Could I use the word fun more? Lol!) The story was crazy, but engaging. I wanted to know how everything would end. I wanted to know who was on the side of good or evil, and if they would all make it out alive. This was a page turner full of laughs, excitement, action and just good old make you feel good stuff. Helen Keeble does an incredible job at mixing laughs, great characters, and a great story. I will read anything that she writes! If you are looking for a book that will have you smiling, this is a good one to pick up.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation. 

Guest Post

Top 5 Parody Movies

(Or, Helen’s List of 2 Movies That Are Definitely Parodies, 1 Probably-More-Accurately-Classed-As-Satire, 1 Technically-Just-A-Comedy, and 1 That Will Make You Yell “WHAAAAAT?!”)

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!”

I don’t really have to say anything about this, do I? References to this film are so rife in our pop culture, I encountered a Holy Hand Grenade in a computer game (Moraff’s Revenge, for all you really old school gamers out there) years before I had any idea where it came from. Anyway, if you haven’t already seen it, watch it immediately:

Fun fact: My husband’s name is Tim. I never grow tired of introducing him as “You can call him… Tim,” in my best portentous voice. About 50% of people will get the reference. My husband himself is not one of these people, and he is still utterly mystified why people find his name so funny.

2. The Ator films

And now, the one I promised would make people go “WHAAAAAT?!” at this list.

I will defend this series to the death as one of the finest parodies of the 80s pulp fantasy genre. The alternative viewpoint – that multiple crews of film-makers created movies this bad accidentally – is simply too terrifying too contemplate.

In the first film, Ator: The Flying Eagle (Spoiler: There are no eagles, flying, or martial arts that might evoke either eagles or flying in this movie), the rippling and one-has-to-suspect-completely-stoned barbarian warrior Conan Ator must fulfill his destiny and rescue his true love from the evil Spider King, who wears a very natty tarantula toupee. Okay, so far, so generic (possibly apart from the spider wig). Except that Conan Ator’s epic romance with the lovely barbarian princess Sunya begins with this truly magnificent scene:

Ator: I love you.
Sunya: And I love you.
Ator: Why can’t we marry.
Sunya (giving Ator distinct side-eye): Ator, we are brother and sister.
Ator (with cheery unconcern): I’ll talk to our father.”
I…. I don’t think that will help, Ator.

(Spoiler: It does actually help.)

Later on in the first film, Ator battles zombies, his own shadows, and, due to constraints, all ten of the Spider King’s Horde of Evil. In the final thrilling scene, due to what I can only presume to be severe budgetary constraints, he battles half a giant spider. Seriously, you have to see this film.

… though not as much as you have to see the sequel, in which Conan Ator the Barbarian constructs an impromptu hang-glider in order to drop atomic bombs on the Fortress of Evil. No, really. This is why I maintain that these films have to be parodies.

There are two more sequels, which I am very sad to say I have not seen. I am particularly eager to watch Ator III, which apparently is so dreadful epic that the makers of Ator IV decided to entirely ignore its existence.

3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian

“He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

And thankfully, back to a film that I don’t need a wall of text to describe, because you’ve all seen it already.

(and are thus all screaming at me that it’s a satire, not a parody. Look, I’ve already put Ator-the-freaking-Flying-Eagle on this list, at which point it should have becoming embarrassingly apparent that I don’t watch many movies. Think of it as an opportunity to educate me in what I should have put on this list in the comments)

Even more than the actual movie, however, I love this Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch satirizing the controversy around the film:

(so, that’s a satire of a satire in a Top Five list about parodies. I never claimed to be able to stay on topic)

4. A Knight’s Tale

Jocelyn: Sir Ulrick. What are you wearing to the ball tonight?
William: Er... nothing..
Jocelyn: Well, we shall cause a sensation, for I'll dress to match.

This is the one that the IMDB informs me is technically classed as an action-comedy, but to me its utterly odd mash-up of cod-medieval setting with modern-day sports movie plot makes it feel more of a parody than anything else. In any event, it has Paul Bettany’s naked backside in it , and that’s good enough for me.

(It is with great sorrow that I report I cannot find a YouTube clip of the scene featuring Paul Bettany’s arse, and so you will have to be content with peasants singing We Will Rock You:

Fun fact: Thanks to this film, for a very long time I was convinced that Lichtenstein was not a real place.

5. Galaxy Quest

Alexander: You're just going to have to figure out what it wants. What is its motivation?
Jason: It's a rock monster, it doesn't have motivation!
Alexander: See, that's your problem, Jason. You were never serious about the craft.

A group of actors from a long-cancelled science-fiction TV show called Galaxy Quest get abducted by aliens who have modeled their entire culture on it, under the impression that it is “historical documents” rather than fiction.

Galaxy Quest features a ship with twin warp nacelles, a gung-ho lothario Captain and his long-suffering emotionless alien officer, and is of course in no way whatsoever based on a popular real-life TV show.

The fact that I went to Star Trek conventions as a teenager, owned a lovingly-painted collection of Enterprise models, and once won a Halloween costume competition with my home-made Spock outfit, may go some way to explaining my deep and abiding love for this movie.

(Yes, there are pictures of me in this costume. No, you cannot see them. Let us just say that I am very grateful Facebook did not exist when I was a youth)

This guest post was so awesome!! Thank you so much Helen!! 


Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.

She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.


A Signed copy of No Angel
A copy of Fang Girl
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Book Girls Don't Cry - Halloween Reads!!

Hello everyone!! This week our topic for Book Girls is Halloween reads!! Halloween is my favorite holiday so I love this topic. Honestly, I can't remember a lot of the great horror books I have read, and I have not really been on the computer that much this week, but I will try my best to put this post together. Lol!! 

Other Book Girls Posts

First, I will start by saying anything by Dean Koontz. He is just really great and one of my favorite authors. He writes awesome thrillers and some of my favorites are his older ones like Twilight Eyes, Night Chills, and so many more. I could keep listing and linking, but you can see a list of his books here.

Okay, now that I have showed my fan girl-ness over Dan Koontz, I will try to make an actual list. 

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

 (Dude, I don't know if this is a new cover for The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but it was the one that was on B&N and I really liked it!)

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater
The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

Okay that's all I have because I am having a total brain fart right now. Sorry I sucked at this weeks post. Also, just have to mention that Rhiannon Frater is amazing at horror. Really, you should just read all of her books. If at any point you want some good Halloween recs, just email me or tweet me and I will probably be more helpful after a bit more sleep. I am adjusting to my new schedule and the pup has been restless at night so I am not getting quality sleep lately. Love you all!!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Covet by Tracey Garvis Graves

  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/17/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.

My Thoughts

Having read On the Island and absolutely loving it, I was really excited to read another book by this author. This book, while very different, still has all the heart and beauty of that book. It had situations that are not quite right, but yet you see the how and why and can see the beauty and heartache in it. That's what I love the most about her books. Her ability to let her readers get to know the characters and feel what they feel. See the story from all angles and understand it. This was amazing and I really loved it. It is told from the POV's of Claire, Chris and Daniel, so you get to know what is going on in all of their heads. It also makes the story that much more emotional.

Claire is really lonely and aching for her husbands attention. Things have been tough. First him being out of work and stressing about being able to find a job, then being on the road all the time for the job he finally did get. He has pretty much shut her out and doesn't make the time for her. She just wants to be told she's beautiful, get an embrace or kiss, have him sleep next to her. She gets none of that and is starting to wonder if they can ever get back to where they were. When she meets Daniel, she finds a friend in him, she then finds comfort and is getting most of what she is missing from her husband. She knows that it's wrong to be spending so much time with him, but he makes her feel more like herself again. She battles with the guilt that spending so much time with him is wrong, and the happiness it brings her.

Chris is trying so hard for his family. He feels like he needs to work harder, longer, do whatever he needs to make this job work and hopefully get promoted so he won't have to travel so much. What he is missing is the fact that he can work as hard as possible, but if he's not there for his family, it doesn't matter. He misses them terribly, he feels like a failure that he can't take care of his family the way he should. His POV was the most heartbreaking to read because I could really feel his desperation to be the man he wants to be for his family. He is just going about it all wrong.

Daniel is really sweet and a truly great guy. I liked him, but I didn't like that he kept pursuing Claire. I know she made it clear she just wanted to be friends, but it's obvious that he wants more, though he would never push her. I did feel bad for him too because we all know that the heart wants what it wants. He knows that it's all wrong, but he will take whatever he can get when it comes to Claire. Though I didn't agree with a lot of the things he said or did, I don't really think he's a bad person for it. He is only one side of the relationship.

The thing about a book like this is I think that for someone my age, who is married and knows how hard it can be sometimes, can relate in some way. Not the whole other guy thing, but the hard times.  I know that when things get tough, sometimes you push your significant other away, when you should be pulling them closer. It happens. You don't mean it, but life happens, and it's hard sometimes. Now, onto my personal thoughts about Claire and Daniel. I think when you are emotionally invested in another it can be worse than physical cheating. You are giving your heart to someone else and it's not right. Do I understand that she was feeling lonely and he filled that gap? Yes, but I don't think it was right for her to do. Marriage is hard. When you love someone things hurt worse than if you don't care. Sometimes when things get too broken they can't be fixed, but the most important thing is to let the other know what you are feeling no matter what. It's easier to work through things before they fall completely apart.

I think this story was very real and heartbreaking as much as it was beautiful and hopeful too. There is so much more to this story than just Claire's marriage. She sees her friends families and the things that hold them together or tear them apart. A seemingly perfect family may be worse than the ones that are falling apart at the seems. Tracey Garvis Graves weaves a perfect story and keeps you wanting more until you read the last line. This was absolutely fantastic!!

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Blog Tour: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers - Review and Tour G!veaway

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Little Too Far. I am so excited to be taking part in this! I have my review and the tour giveaway on my blog today!! For the full tour schedule click on the banner above to be taken the the tour page on the host site, A Life Bound By Books.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/17/13 (ebook) 10/1/2013 (paperback)
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher for review/blog tour
Purchase: Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | The Book Depository

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

See what other authors are saying!

"Sinfully sexy, but utterly unique. My favorite New Adult book of the year!"
--CORA CARMACK, New York Times bestselling author of LOSING IT

“More than a ridiculously sexy, HOT read, Desrochers takes you on a wild ride of self-discovery and bittersweet romance.”
— JENNIFER L. ARMENTROUT, #1 New York Times bestselling author of WAIT FOR YOU

“This is forbidden love and longing done absolutely right! Complicated and sexy doesn't even begin to cover Lexie's journey.”
--JAY CROWNOVER, New York Times bestselling author of RULE

My Thoughts

I'm a big fan of forbidden romance and New Adult books, but religion is something that I tend to stay away from. Despite that, I was still very curious about this book and knew I had to read it. What a great decision that was!! The religious aspects didn't bother me at all. It wasn't preachy, it's just part of the story. This was Sexy, fun, and slightly heartbreaking at times. It was a perfect mix of everything that makes up a good New Adult book. Oh, and there is relatively low drama considering the issues at hand. Friends, family, love, and sacrifice are all things we see in this book and I really, really enjoyed it!

Lexie was a fun character to get to know. She is hilariously funny at times and I found myself smiling and laughing through a lot of the book. She was a little obsessive at times too, but even though I couldn't understand her situation, I did understand her feelings. Love is tough thing. It totally consumes you. I get that she was completely wrapped up in her feelings no matter how much she tried to ignore them. I thought it was great to see her getting lost in other things while abroad in Rome. She really wanted to do good things. Right things. When she finds herself in another not so great situation, she needs to decide what she has to do. Even if it hurts her or others, she knows what is right and wrong, and what decision is being selfish on her part. She really grew a lot as a character. Rome was exactly what she needed. She found great friends, found herself, and found her direction.

The romance in this book is really tension filled, and really sexy!! Of course, you know from the synopsis that she gets all hot and heavy with her step brother, Trent. Totally forbidden, and totally mind blowing!! They know that it's wrong, but they can't seem to stop wanting the other. Even with a whole continent between them. They both try to get over it and move on, but it's harder than they think. They thing they are doing the other a favor, while really they are both hurting inside. But what about their family. They don't want to destroy that. The family aspect in this is fantastic. Loving and supportive parents who are happy to have children that love each other. Only they don't know how much or in what way they love each other.

Then there is the budding romance with the soon to be Priest. I thought that the chemistry between them was amazing. He was such an amazing friend and he was there for her when she needed someone. He keeps her busy with a museum tour which she finds she loves doing. He becomes a fantastic friend, but it's obvious that his feeling run deeper. He belongs to the Church though, and he is definitely forbidden. When things start to change between them, they both need to decide where their hearts really lie and if they will make decisions that they will regret.

This has not one, but two forbidden romances and it was done so well!! It's not a love triangle though, I promise. There is so much more to it than that though. It's not like they have a bad home life. In fact their parents are really great. Then, over in Rome, it isn't some one night stand or crazy fling. She gets to know Reverend Moretti well and they have a strong friendship. Both love interests are based on a friendship and that's what makes it so believable and also so hard. I can't tell you who I wanted her to pick or how it ends up, but I think that it was true to the story and who Lexie is as a person. This was everything that I love in a great New Adult book.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

About the author:

Lisa Desrochers lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Look for her New Adult novel, A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins Sept 2013, and the first companion, A LITTLE TOO MUCH , in Nov 2013. Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

Author Links:

Goodreads author profile

Tour Giveaway

iPod Mini
tote bags
temporary tattoos
annotated chapters of ALTF  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Spark Unseen Blog Hop, Day 7: Review

Hello lovelies! I am super excited to be taking part in the A Spark Unseen Blog Hop. Today is Day 7 and I have my review of A Spark Unseen for you. If you would like to see my review of the first book, The Dark Unwinding, you can see it here. I also have the book trailer and a quote. At the end of the post there are links to the post before me, and after me as well. For all the info on how this hop works and what prizes there are, click on the banner above to be taken to the Sharon Cameron's website.

  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron's blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust--if anyone--to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed the first book and was excited to jump right back into the story of Katherine and her Uncle Tully! The way the first one ended could have very well made it a stand alone book, but I am glad that the author decided to continue the story. This time we are off to Paris, and the setting is fabulous. I already loved the characters, so all I needed was more adventure, more beautiful descriptive writing, and a good resolution to the issue at hand. I got all of that from this book as well as a touch of romance that I am always happy to read!!

Katharine has now been at Stranwyne Keep for  2 years. Things are slowly being rebuilt, but then someone comes to try and take her Uncle Tully and she knows they must hide. She puts together a plan and escapes to Paris with her uncle, her maid Mary, and her Solicitor Mr. Babcock. Only things are much harder than she anticipates. She is also determined to find Lane while still trying to keep her uncle safe and hidden away. I do believe that she is a little too easy to trust others, but I can understand her urgent need. The thing that I loved about her in the first one was the same thing I loved in this one though. She is very outspoken and she is brave and determined. She is a fantastic example of strong women back in her time! She doesn't let others tell her what to do, what to think, or how she should feel. She is very much her own person. And when things go bad, she could easily have just fallen apart, but it just made her determination stronger.

Of course there is much more at stake here than her uncle's safety. Both sides of a war want him for his brilliant mind and will do whatever it takes to get him. They will kidnap, torture, or kill people who get in their way.  They both want the power of a weapon that can destroy a ship. Uncle Tully is only safe as long as they don't know how to do it and need him though. I still absolutely loved him in this, and I loved how you could see that Katharine helped him be better.

Once again, the setting is beautiful, creepy, and atmospheric. I enjoy being able to imagine what I am reading and this author does such a fantastic job at letting you visualize it. She is also amazing at getting the characters emotions to you. Especially the fear and the urgency of things. There are some great twists, which admittedly I pretty much had figured out, but still made for a great story. I loved how the romance plays a big part, but never overshadows the important things in the story. Mostly, the character development is incredible. I loved the whole cast of characters, even the unexpected ones that I thought I would dislike. Sharon Cameron has done a fabulous job. I am now solidly a fan of her writing!

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

Check out the book trailer

(click on the arrows to go to the post before and after on this blog hop)

Author Links

Twitter            -@CameronSharonE
 Facebook -

Also, don't forget to stop by the authors website on the tour hop page to see how the blog hop works and what prizes there will be.

Entangled Publishing Covet Imprint Promotion!!

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