Apr 24, 2013

Existence by Abbi Glines

Existence (Existence Trilogy, #1)
Book Description:

What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn't cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn't let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn't realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.
Christina's BookReview

“I’m not a man so I do not have a heart that loves as a human does. I’m an immortal god that dwells with supreme power because I hold the keys to Death. But you are my existence. I am yours.”


Pagan Moore is believed to be your typical high school girl preoccupied with friends, family, homework, etc. But what people don’t know is that Pagan can see souls. Ones that don’t pay attention to her and she is happy with. That is until one "soul" changes it all. He just refuses to go away and he won’t stay as silent as the other souls. Because he isn’t a soul.He's Death and he's on earth to see his next soul to the other life. Pagan.

What happens when Pagan realizes that the guy she is falling in love isn’t a soul but death? Will she be able to survive or die to be with him?


Existence is the first book in the trilogy and it quickly hooks you. The whole Death concept was enough to get me to pick this up. But learning about Dank is what kept me coming back for more. Yes he was hot and cold and he earned a scowl from me a couple times but he was just too damn hot to not swoon over. A rock star who is also Death? HOTT! :-)

Pagan I have to say becomes very co-dependent in this book which drives me bonkers. I don’t like a weak female and so I didn’t much care for Pagan. She had no backbone and it was selfish of her to not care about anyone but herself and Dank. I understand the love concept but if she at least considered what she would have to give up, her family and friends, she would have been okay with me. She didn’t so that’s that.

Then there was the whole back and forth with Leif and I just couldn’t anymore. I actually found myself feeling sorry for him.

Anyways, an okay read. The 3.5 rating is because I actually will read the rest of the books to find out what happens next and hope that they get better. 

BUY(borrow) it. Read it. Enjoy it.


Apr 21, 2013

When Empires Fall by Katie Jennings

When Empires Fall
Book Description:
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall…

In America, kings are not born, they are made. Men with ambition build their own empires and it is their heirs who carry the torch of tradition, generation by generation.

The Vasser Hotel Empire rose out of the ashes of an Industrial era, cementing itself in the very heart of America’s greatest city, New York. Through the drive and courage of one man, a legacy was born that would last more than a hundred years.

That is, until word got out that one of their own was murdered.

Sixty years of lies will come crashing down in flames of treachery and blood, and the truth will send shockwaves through an entire nation. Now the newest generation of Vasser heirs will have to deal with the consequences, or else allow their legacy to burn to the ground.

But dark secrets are buried deep within the family itself, and everyone has an agenda. Love of family and forbidden passion will set off sparks in a powder keg ready to annihilate the empire, but it may also be the only thing keeping them whole.

When reputation is everything, it will take all they’ve got to save themselves from their own undoing.

Christina's BookReview
“In the end, family is all we have, my dear. You’ll do well to remember that.”


The Vasser family has built what is to be one of the biggest luxury hotel chains in America. With the "determination" of each Vasser member the hotels have flourished. Lincoln, Grant, Madison and Kennedy are set to take rein over the business when it is their time. But when a secret, such as murder, is revealed, the Vasser’s aren’t so ready for the storm they are about to encounter. There is a murderer among them and they must all suffer the consequences of his betrayal.

Will the luxurious Vasser empire fall? Or will the new generation of Vasser’s save it from doom? Will this family ever be the same?


So I have to admit that this had been sitting on my Kindle for quite a long time. What a damn shame! This book was just what I needed! Filled with drama, romance, a slew of phenomenal characters and much more drama, When Empires Fall is a breath of fresh air!

The book starts off with a murder at the prestigious Vasser Hotel in NYC. Years later there is a newer generation of Vasser's in charge of Vasser NYC. A generation filled with new Vasser's who each possess their own gifts and charms.

Grant is the hardworking General Manager who is all work and no play. Grant doesn’t put up with the emotions, drama and anything that doesn’t improve the hotel. Grant lives to help the empire flourish an to protect and love his family. As we get to know Grant we are quickly sadden by the loneliness he is enduring. When he gets a new secretary, he isn’t ready for the eye-opening experience he is about to have. Quinn slowly cracks the wall that he has built around him and together they are PERFECT for each other! I loved Quinn’s sweet and charming personality and her push to get Grant to open up and please him. What I didn’t like about Quinn was that I felt in a way she wanted to push herself into being something that she had to work to accomplish. I also thought the development of their relationship was a little rushed at the end.

Lincoln is the charismatic businessman in charge of Customer Relations at Vasser NYC. He is the complete opposite of Grant. Sweet, loving, a ladies man, and outgoing personality. But like Grant he is devoted to the Vasser empire and his family. He is also the one that is in the shadows of his older brother. You see the fire in him to want to improve the empire but he is not taken seriously. I was sad that his ideas were shot down and that he wasn't given a chance to prove his worth. But when Lynette comes into the picture you are happy that he does get to have someone who understands him and is fiercely protective of him and his dreams.

Madison the no-nonsense director of Food and Beverages. She is void of any emotions and is only focused on making sure that the empire her family built succeeds. She is ruthless and devoted to her grandfather and family. She is described by Linc as a viper and is just that. She will do anything and everything.

Then there is Kennedy the youngest child heading to Princeton.We don't see much of her in the book and I look forward to finding out much more of her. Hopefully she will have her own book.

I enjoyed When Empires Fall, the fact that you don't know what will happen, you don't know who to love and who to hate, and that it is filled with so much drama. I am the first to admit that I hate books with numerous characters but When Empires Fall impressed me. Every character had their time in this book and it was all connected beautifully. The author did a wonderful job with the flow of the story and I never once found myself frustrated with the changes.

BUY it. READ it. LOVE it. 


Apr 16, 2013

The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

The Sweet Gum Tree
Book Description:

Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans...everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.

Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick's abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.

Suddenly, Nick is gone...leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick's abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she's starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she's content if not happy -- until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He's back...and he's not alone.

Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she's built around her emotions...the truth about Frank Anderson's death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.

Christina's BookReview

“Do you want to know the real reason I came back, Alix?” It was because of you. You’re my roots. Wherever you are would be home to me.”


When eight year old Alix comes across a hurt Nick she tries to help him and vows of saving him. As the years go by Alix and Nick learn to trust each other and to be there for each other through the good and the bad. But Nick is haunted by the reputation his dad holds. Nick is treated like the scum and Alix defends him through and through. But when the line crosses friendship and when Nick's dad is murdered things change forever.

Ten years later Nick comes back vowing to win back the one women he has loved since he was little. But he isn't alone and Alix isn't so forgiving.

Will these two find their happily ever after? Or will Alix's broken heart not be able to mend?

My Take

The Sweet Gum Tree is a story of first love, loss, pain and finding a lost love.

At the beginning of the book you can tell right away how young and naive Alix is at the age of eight and during her childhood she stays that way. She does learn as she grows but not until her life is hit with reality is she able to see the loss, pain and sadness that life truly holds. She has to deal with alot by herself and eventually she begins to believe all of the lies that she has conjured in her head.

When Nick comes back to her life ten years later Alix has been through alot during that time and she becomes bitter which is something that you expect to happen. 

I loved that she didn't judge Nick when they were young and I loved that she always held a soft spot for him. But I think that Nick's reasons for leaving were ridiculous and I was angry at him. I think that Alix's stonewall was pretty impressive given the situation.

Overall, The Sweet Gum Tree was a sweet romance with a lot of mushy gushy moments and alot of sad moments. The only reason this received a 3.5 star rating is because is was predictable and at the beginning really slow and boring. 

Buy this. Read it. Enjoy it.


Apr 8, 2013

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)
Book Description:

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

 Christina's BookReview

“The things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down. ”


Sky Linden Davis, has always lived a sheltered life with her mother. With not being allowed to have any technology around Sky spends her time with her best friend Six and reading. But she also spends her night making out with boys to just escape the real life and feel “numb”. But senior year its different, after coercing her mother to allow her to attend public school Sky realizes what the world really hold outside her home walls. One of those realizations is Dean Holder.

Holder has spent the year in a state of despair. He didn’t lose one girl he loved, he lost two. So he does what guys do best, he rebels. When Sky shows up on his radar Holders life changes drastically, he knows she looks familiar. He takes it upon himself to get to know her. Even if getting to know her turns out to hurt both of them.

When secrets unfold will Sky and Holder be able deal with them? Or will the secrets destroy both their lives?


Okay, this book came highly recommended by numerous book lovers so I couldn’t wait to get into it.  I was ready for the romance, the angst, the tears, and the secrets unveiling. I was ready and prepared to love this. And I did enjoy the story and the premise of it. I saw the twist coming a mile away but I still enjoyed learning all of the facts and all about the characters.

Sky is completely sheltered from social media, television and cell phones. She was a teenager starting to learn how to find her way in life. I liked her character at the beginning of the book and loved her inter-dialogue. The turn in that changed when she became consumed with Holder. Don’t get me wrong who wouldn’t enjoy Holder? But I just thought she had more of a backbone in the beginning when she didn’t “need” him for everything. This is not to say that I didn’t feel bad about what happened. Even though I saw it coming I was still sad for what she had to go through and for her having to relive it.

What I loved is their connection with each other.  “It’s what happens when two people become one: they no longer only share love. They also share all of the pain, heartache, sorrow, and grief.” Holder was the perfect rock and perfect person to help her through the devastation, even if he kept secrets. Both characters feel hopeless during the book but both together bring hope to each other.  Holder shows, not only Sky, but himself as well, how to live, how to ask questions even if the answers are scary, and how to always have hope.

Then there are the secondary characters that play a part in this book. Six,  yes that's her name, is Sky’s best friend and although she’s gone most of the book she is on of those friends that is a bad influence but honest and faithful to the core. Six’s words to Sky set the stage for this story which is why her character made such an impact, “Not everyone gets a happily ever after. Life is real and sometimes it's ugly and you just have to learn how to cope.”  Breckin, the new best friend in the whole wide world, is awesome and such a sweetheart. He is nonjudgmental and is present when needed. Karen, Sky’s mom, I just can’t say how much I adored her. She was your typical protective mother but her story in this book is so heartbreaking. Her strength, her courage, her love for Sky is what a mother’s love should always be. 

This book is filled with love, loss, and pain. The only reason this was a 4 star is because Sky's character annoyed me at parts, her reactions were a little selfish and judgmental, and I thought the book was a little too drawn out. But don't miss out on this story.

BUY it. READ it. LOVE it.


Apr 4, 2013

Keystone by Misty Provencher

Keystone (Cornerstone, #2)

Book Description:

There’s a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it’s called the Cusp.

Struggling to fit into the destiny she’s accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather’s Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua’s rival community, The Fury.

Driven by each individual’s selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.

Until now.

Someone masterminded the Fury’s massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.

As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena’s Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn’t as simple as it seems.

Christina's BookReview
“Some things you just can’t understand until the moment that you do.”

(For my review on the prior book please click the "Cornerstone" links in this post)

In Cornerstone, Nalena discovered her mother’s secret and now in Keystone she must follow her mother’s last wish. Find her grandfather’s memory. Nalena discovers that trying to find the memory will be a lot harder than she imagined. With The Fury out looking for the key they are leaving no Ianua community unharmed. Nalena and her new Cura (her community) must come together and work on finding the memory before their enemy. During the hunt Nalena must also learn what being a Contego means. With the help of Garrett and the rest of their friends and family Nali finally begins to find herself.

Will Nali find the memory? Will she finally be free of The Fury?


In Keystone we pick up right where Cornerstone left off. I must say that being able to pick up right after the last book is great when reading a series! And Keystone didn’t disappoint with the action that started in Cornerstone!

Nali has to go through a re-Impression and then has to deal with the grief of her loss. When her mother’s last words are to find her grandfather’s memory Nali knows she must honor it. But looking for it is not so easy and so her training starts. Nali is a different from the girl in book 2. In Cornerstone she was naive and didn’t know much about herself. In Keystone she begins to grow and to learn how to harness the powers she now has. Keystone is centered on her sacrifice. She needs to protect her loved ones and to honor her family. She harnesses her instinct to protect and works on actually putting that instinct to use. I must say that throughout the book you see her growth and can’t help but adore her.

Sadly all I can say about Garrett was that he was sweet. I loved the way he took his job seriously and was dedicated to his Cura. He is a warrior and you see that throughout the series. Unfortunately he was so detached through the book that I wasn’t even into the romance part of the story. The romance again takes a backside in this book.

What I enjoyed about this book is that the secondary characters are all so beautifully developed and are all a part of the story and not just background. The Cura Nali and Garrett are a part of has to come together and fight against The Fury and also search out the traitors within the other remaining Cura’s in the Ianua. Getting to meet new characters was exciting and learning of the other special powers the Ianua possess is awesome. I have to say that Zane and Robin are one of my favorites, aside from Addo and the Reese’s.  Zane and Robin also introduce the Vieo aspect of the story which I will not reveal here. Read this and find out what it is.

Keystone is jam packed with non-stop action, laughs, great characters, and a little romance. I look forward to reading JAMB next! 

BUY it. READ it. LOVE it!


Apr 1, 2013

Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin

Forever My Girl (Beaumont, #1)

Book Description:

I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.

I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.

And now I’m going back.

After ten years.

I hope I can explain that after all this time.

I still want her to be my forever girl.

Christina's BookReview

While in college Liam makes a decision that alters his life forever. Walking away from the one girl that he loves was the hardest thing he ever did. His one regret.

Ten years later, when tragedy brings him back home Liam is ready to face the consequences of his betrayal. What he isn't prepared for is for what the entitles. 

Josie has learned to go forward with life and forget about Liam's departure. She isn't' prepared to face him 10 years later. Especially after she's made the decision to finally start a family.

Will Josie learn to forgive? Will Liam finally get his forever girl?


When I started reading the sample of this book I was instantly hooked so I purchased it. I had to see how this story unfolded. But midway I was already bored. Which is sad because this book had been recommended a lot and the premise was good. It was just too..."perfect" and a little bland for me. 

Liam walks away from the love of his life and decides to pursue his dreams. Some will say he was selfish and some will think that he did what he had to in order to find himself. I myself didn't think he was selfish in any way and if he'd known what he was leaving behind he never would have walked away. He leaves, becomes a singer and song writer and is miserable. When he returns home he just needs to see Josie and then move on with his life. But when he realizes that he can't walk away and that there are more reasons for him to stop running Liam decides to stay put and I respected that. What I liked about his character was that you saw his growth throughout the book. He was sweet and nice.

Josie was...eh. I felt bad that she didn't know why Liam left her but I also think that she held onto a grudge and she didn't try hard enough to get in contact with Liam. She was selfish throughout the book. At least that's the way I saw it. Josie wasn't a character I connected with at all which is why I really don't have much to say

Now, this was another book where I liked the secondary characters the most. My heart broke for Katelyn and the girls and what they had to go through. In a way I already liked Mason just by hearing about him. I also liked Harrison and I can't wait to read his story next. 

Cute story. Cute romance. 

When I finished reading this I gave it 3.5 stars but I couldn't for the life of me write a review for it. So I forgot about it. And now here I am a month later trying to remember the story. Sadly this was bumped down to a 3 because of it.  
I will let you decide on this one. 

Happy Reading!