May 29, 2013

GUEST POST & A REVIEW: Top 5 Books and Review of Real by Katy Evans

Hey All!! Today I have the pleasure of surrendering my blog over to Charlotte. Charlotte is a dear friend and a Moderator of Books4Review Book Club. She will be sharing a list of her favorite books so far this year and sharing a review of one of her favorites! I hope you all enjoy!
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My name is Charlotte and I LOVE to read. I am a 31 year old wife and mother and my family is my sanity. I am an Office Manager at a pediatric practice and generally stay pretty busy. My job provides a lot of stress, so I turn to my outlets of books, music, and St Louis Cardinals baseball to relax.  Reading is my primary means of escape though. I love being able to immerse myself into another world and let my mind clear. 

Thank you to Christina for being such a good friend and letting me take over her blog. I hope
that you enjoy my Top 5 and my review!


Contact Charlotte: ~Goodreads~

My Top 5 Favorites

This is a difficult decision because I have read a lot of really great books. I will have to go with the 5 books that have stuck with me the most throughout the years.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton - If you haven't read this book, do it now. I LOVE this book. It sucks you in and tugs at your heart. I cried so much. Everyone needs to read this book.

The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson  - I add this one because, out of all of the books I read in school, I still remember this from fifth grade. I couldn't put it down, even when the teacher forbid us from reading ahead. This book is powerful and heartbreaking and one that I think everyone should read in their life.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - Now, I know what you are thinking, but my reason for adding this book probably isn't what you think. This book is on the list because this series is what got me back into reading. If my friend hadn't convinced me to read this despite all of my protests, I probably wouldn't have started reading again. I found it hard to find anything that held my interest and barely ever read, until this book.

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks - This book is powerful and emotional. It was a light in the dark during a very difficult time in my life. I realize that it doesn't have high ratings, but that shouldn't deter you from reading it. It's real and books like that are hard to find.

Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman - This is the first book that I ever re-read. I read this book when I was about 13 years old and to this day, I still have a copy of it. It is somewhat hard to find, but I tracked one down and it will always be a part of my collection.
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Real (Real, Raw & Ripped, #1)
Author: Katy Evans
Series:
Real, Raw & Ripped #1

Rating: 5 Stars
Shelf: Favorites

Synopsis:


Remington Tate is an underground fighter and he is the best at what he does. He is every woman's fantasy from the tips of his sexy black hair to the bottom of his beautifully sculpted body, but he has a secret. Brooke Dumas is a disciplined ex-sprinter who is trying to make a life for herself after her injury. Her best friend, Melanie, convinces her to go to the fights with her to see her new obsession - Remy "Riptide" Tate. Brooke doesn't know what all the fuss is about until he enters the ring. He turns and looks right at her, and only her. The moment their eyes lock, their worlds are changed forever.

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 *REVIEW*
"I love him. He's not just a star, he's the whole fucking sky to me. He's the sun and every planet in this galaxy.”

After seeing all of the rave reviews for this book, I was curious. This isn't a book that I would normally read otherwise,but I wanted something quick and light, so I thought I would give it a try. I cannot say that I was disappointed even a little bit. To say that this book sucked me in is a complete understatement. I bought and read this book in one sitting, in just a few hours. I even stayed up until 2 am to finish. There are very, very few books that I can say that about.

“Why’d you want to have sex with me? To have a f*cking adventure? What was I supposed to be? Your one-night-f*cking stand? I’m every woman’s adventure, damn you, and I don’t want to be yours. I want to be your f*cking REAL. You get that? If I f*ck you, I want you to belong to me. To be mine. I want you to give yourself to me—not Riptide!”

OMG!This book is....WOW! I literally could not put it down. The passion between Remy and Brooke is freaking HOT. The relationship that builds between them is sweet. These two broken people who have never been ok enough to let anyone else in, and yet they are completely drawn to each other. They ground each other. The way they use music to express their feelings to each other is amazing. Music speaks the words that we cannot even put into form. The characters are great and add to the drama of this book. The storyline is good and at times, heartbreaking. I think the only thing that I really didn't like about this book was the lion licking. It made me want to wash my face. Other than that, it was just wow.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is sooooooooooooo good! READ IT!


Purchase links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

May 27, 2013

REVIEW: Twisted by Amity Hope

Twisted
About the book:

Maya Anderson has faced more than her share of tragedy and heartbreak. For the past six years she’s constantly been on the move with her mom. When another disaster strikes, she finds herself back in her childhood hometown of Beaumont, living with her older sister for her senior year.

A chance meeting reacquaints her with Ben McCaffey, a long-forgotten classmate from her past. After the death of his girlfriend, Ben has become a social outcast. He’s despised by some and feared by most.

Determined to become Ben’s friend, Maya begins to break through his layers of emotional protection. It isn’t long before they realize that they both have secrets in their pasts. As the line between dealing with grief and struggling with a desire for revenge begins to fade, the secrets that draw them together may be what will ultimately tear them apart. Because the closer Maya gets to Ben, the more dangerous her situation becomes.

goodreads-badge-add-plus 
 

My Review
"The only time I feel anything even close to normal is when I’m with you. You make me feel at peace.”

“I read because I like it. It passes the time and it sucks you in so you don’t have to think about anything else.”

“As long as you have one person you can trust, the rest of the world doesn’t seem so bad.” 

"Just because someone is hurting…it doesn’t give them the right to hurt other people." 

Twisted was filled with a community that took one tragic event and twisted the outcome of ones life by creating rumors and twisting them in order to hurt someone that was already at his low. The bullying that was endured through the pages by a whole town was so heartbreaking. I found myself feeling melancholy throughout the whole book.  Not to say that this was a bad thing. This book will grab you and take you on a journey that you don’t realize you are on until you finish the book and realize that you will never forget Ben and Maya’s story. Amity Hope weaves a story that will forever stay with you.

Not so long ago Ben’s life was like any average guy. He had friends; he had a girl her loved and a family that got along well. But then Ben’s life was completely turned upside down because of a loved ones cruelty. He lost everything in a span of hours and lived a very lonely year afterwards. He had to put up with mental and pyhsical abuse, hideous pranks and no protection by the people a person should always count on to protect you. My heart continually broke for him throughout the book and I rooted for Maya because she was just perfect.

Maya had her own crap going on but she was levelheaded. She didn’t give in to the nonsense of those around her and she didn’t cower when Ben pushed against her intentions. I loved her and I hardly find a heroine that is so amazing. She stood up for herself and she didn’t let people’s vicious demeanor push her away from the one person that brought solace to her life. She was Ben’s light in the dark. 

I need to take another moment and point out that the people in this town were terrible. They took an innocent person and ran him through the mud. To blame someone for knowing a person that was tragically loss is the most deriding thing ever. If everybody lived with that belief everyone in this world would be guilty of one crime or another by association. It was appalling and the residents of the town were simpleminded. 

Not to say that there weren’t those that didn’t enable such atrocities. There was Maya’s new friend, Phoebe, which stood beside Maya through the whole ordeal and encouraged her to help Ben. She was the best friend everyone deserves. There is also Remy that was an amazing sister and didn’t buy into what the townsfolk’s thought or said. She was supportive throughout Maya’s transition to her new school and life and her want to help Ben. 

This book was great! But I had to take a 1/5 star away because there was no declaration of love!! Like really? I'm a romance lover so I was waiting for that!


Anyways, I cannot wait to read more from this wonderful author! I guarantee tears will be shed throughout Maya and Ben’s story. 

Buy it. Read it. Love it.

Buy at: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Happy Reading!

May 25, 2013

REVIEW: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)
About the book:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

goodreads-badge-add-plusDuring the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


“One Choice

One Choice, decided your friends.

One Choice, defines your beliefs.

One Choice, determines your loyalties - Forever.

ONE CHOICE CAN TRANSFORM YOU”

My Review

So I hadn't had the chance to pick this book up for awhile and wasn't quite sure I wanted to read it. Then I saw the movie news and the slew of actors that will be starring in this book adaptation so I had to read it. I picked up this book and was done the next day.

This book will capture your attention and suck you into Tris's world. Tris starts off as a naive sixteen year old with the yearning of something new. She loves Abnegation but also struggles through some of their beliefs. When it is time for her testing and her results are inconclusive she gets the chance to decide where she belongs. Her decision was not an easy one. But in the end she knew what had to be done. Tris joins the Dauntless and encounters a whole new faction. One where everyone is selfish, everyone looks out for themselves, and rules are constantly broken. But one where you are free. Free to live your life without constraint. As she goes through initiation she struggles through one on one combat, fears that she needs to acknowledge and to fight so that she does not become factionless. At the end of it all Tris becomes a different girl. 

Throughout Divergent we meet the initiates of the Dauntless as well as the leaders. We learn of their own beliefs and their ruthlessness. We learn a little about each faction through the transitioning initiates and are witness to their strengths and weaknesses.We also meet Four, who is currently my alpha male hero! He is so wonderful through this book and being able to learn about his past and his beliefs about the factions was a great addition to this story. He is a perfect mix of each faction: brave, honest, peaceful, intelligent and selfless.

I loved every aspect of this book. From the thrills and exhilaration of Dauntless initiation to the romance brewing throughout the book. The end was heartbreaking and had me in tears. I cannot wait to read book 2 and then see how it all ends in book 3. 

And with that I leave you with a few of my favorite quotes in this book:

“I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless.
I am Divergent. And I can’t be controlled.”  

“It was him or me. I chose me. But I feel dead too.” 

“We believe in bravery. We believe in taking action. We believe in freedom from fear and in acquiring the skills to force the bad out of our world so that the good can prosper and thrive. If you also believe in those things, we welcome you.” 

“My father says that those who want power and get it live in terror of losing it. That's why we have to give power to those who do not want it.”  

and a little of the romance...


“I think we've made a mistake," he says softly. "We've all started to put down virtues of the other faction in the process of bolstering our own. I don't want to do that. I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.” 

“I have something I need to tell you," he says. I run my fingers along the tendons in his hands and look back at him. "I might be in love with you." He smiles a little. "I'm waiting until I'm sure to tell you, though."
"That's sensible of you," I say, smiling too. "We should find some paper so you can make a list or a chart or something."
I feel his laughter against my side, his nose sliding along my jaw, his lips pressing my ear.
"Maybe I'm already sure," he says, "and I just don't want to frighten you."
I laugh a little. "Then you should know better."
"Fine," he says. "Then I love you.” 

“You know, most boys would enjoy being trapped in close quarters with a girl." I roll my eyes.
"Not claustrophobic people, Tris.” 

“You nearly died today,' he says. 'I almost shot you. Why didn't you shoot me, Tris?'
'I couldn't do that,' I say. 'It would have been like shooting myself.'
He looks pained and leans closer to me, so his lips brush mine when he speaks.”  

“Be brave, Beatrice. I love you.”

Buy this. Read it. LOVE it.

Happy Reading!

May 23, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Recovery by L.B. Simmons

Check out the cover for Recovery, a Mending Hearts Novella, by L.B. Simmons! 

I have the perfect life.

I’ve finally found my happy ending. 

I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a

lifetime of happiness.  Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems. 

What really happens after the fairytale ending?  What happens after the prince rescues the

princess?  After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live
goodreads-badge-add-plus
happily ever after?

Well…

                          This is our story.


Expected Release Date: June 13th

If you haven't done so, pick up a copy of:
Running on Empty(Book #1 in Mending Hearts series)

May 22, 2013

REVIEW: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)
About the book:

The year is 1881. Meet the Mackenzie family--rich, powerful, dangerous, eccentric. A lady couldn't be seen with them without ruin. Rumors surround them--of tragic violence, of their mistresses, of their dark appetites, of scandals that set England and Scotland abuzz.

The youngest brother, Ian, known as the Mad Mackenzie, spent most of his young life in an asylum, and everyone agrees he is decidedly odd. He's also hard and handsome and has a penchant for Ming pottery and beautiful women.

Beth Ackerley, widow, has recently come into a fortune. She has decided that she wants no more drama in her life. She was raised in drama--an alcoholic father who drove them into the workhouse, a frail mother she had to nurse until her death, a fussy old lady she became constant companion to. No, she wants to take her money and find peace, to travel, to learn art, to sit back and fondly remember her brief but happy marriage to her late husband.

goodreads-badge-add-plus                                      And then Ian Mackenzie decides he wants her.

My Review

“My Beth,” he whispered, his breath hot on her swollen lips. “Thank you.”
“For what?” Beth couldn’t stop crying, but she smiled, her face aching with it.
“Setting me free.” 


Okay so let me start off by saying that if I hadn't seen such a wonderful review on this book I probably wouldn't have read it. So I'm so glad that Goodreads updates us on peoples reviews because this book was a wonderful read. This book is filled with romance, steamy scenes and craziness. 

Everyone considers Ian to be Mad since her was a little boy because he keeps to himself. He doesn't speak to anyone unless he has something that needs to be said, he doesn't laugh, doesn't smile. He has Asperger Syndrome which makes him a sheltered soul. He doesn't know how to love, doesn't know when a joke is being made, and can't read emotions. His life is so sad that you just want to gather him in your arms and hold him there. Well maybe not just hold him only...and you will understand why when you read this book!  

His life is filled with sadness until Beth arrives.

I do not think of him as Lord Ian Mackenzie, aristocratic brother of a duke and well beyond my reach; not as the Mad Mackenzie, an eccentric people stare at and whisper about.

To me, he is simply Ian.” 

I have to say that I enjoyed Beth because of her inquisitiveness and her tenacity. She fought for those she loved, she didn't put up with being manhandled, and she wasn't ignorant to the life around her. She not only took Ian by surprise but also me as a reader. Any person would have found it hard to put up with the life the Mackenzie's lived, but not Beth. She had her own sad upbringing but that just helped her understand Ian and the life of his brothers better.

“He pulled her close. "Your being with me makes it stop. It's like the Ming bowls - when I touch them and feel them, everything stops. You are the same. That is why I brought you here, to keep you with me, where you can please make...everything...stop.”  

Together Ian and Beth's story is so exceptionally beautiful and explosive! We as the reader see the development of Ian's character and see him learn how to laugh at the joys in life, how to live and finally what love is and feels like.

Of course there is the suspense in the book which makes this book a thrilling read. Ian is being framed and its up to Beth to clear his name. Then there are the other Mackenzie men, each with a different personality, but intriguing and hilarious in their own way. We also get a peek at Mac Mackenzie's wife, Isabella, who gives Beth an inside look into being the wife of a Mackenzie. I liked Isabella and can't wait to read her story next!

Overall this book was a great read. My only complaint is that the story dragged at times. 

Buy this. Read it. Love it.
Buy at: Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Happy Reading!

May 20, 2013

You Are Mine by Janeal Falor

You Are Mine (Mine, #1)
Book Description:

Serena knows a few simple things. She will always be owned by a warlock. She will never have freedom. She will always do what her warlock wishes, regardless of how inane, frivolous, or cruel it is. And if she doesn’t follow the rules, she will be tarnished. Spelled to be bald, inked, and barren for the rest of her life—worth less than the shadow she casts.

Then her ownership is won by a barbarian from another country. With the uncertainty that comes from belonging to a new warlock, Serena questions if being tarnished is really worse than being owned by a barbarian, and tempts fate by breaking the rules. When he looks the other way instead of punishing her, she discovers a new world. The more she ventures into the forbidden, the more she learns of love and a freedom just out of reach. Serena longs for both. But in a society where women are only ever property, hoping for more could be deadly.
 Christina's BookReview
RECAP

Serena has grown up knowing one thing: she will always be someone's property. In a society where women are to obey and respect men Serena has grown up enslaved. When her seventeenth birthday arrives Serena knows that if her magic is strong she will be sold to the highest bidder. What she hoped for was a man that wasn’t like her Father. Unfortunately, Thomas is the same. 

But when tragedy strikes and she is handed over to none other than the Envadi, the barbarians they have heard about all their life, Serena’s not ready for the change that comes. The Envadi are nothing like the Chardionians.

When one act of disobedience doesn’t earn her a painful hex Serena is baffled. As time passes and Serena is given more and more liberty she lives with the fear that her new “master” will truly hurt her. But Serena has never had a “master” like Zade. Zade is sweet and kind. He doesn’t enjoy inflicting pain and fear in women because in his country women have free will.
The barbarian doesn’t turn out to be for barbaric after all.


But will the cruelty of the Chardionian hierarchy finally step in and enforce their laws? Will Serena be returned to her Father and suffer the consequences of her disobedience?


MY TAKE


So I received this book from the author on a read to review basis. I didn’t get the chance to read it before its release but finally had the chance to get to it and I was not disappointed with this story. The first thing that caught my attention with this book was the dark cover. I loved it!  When I read the synopsis I knew this would be a little different than my usual read.


The society in which Serena and the women live in is one that is reminiscent of  slavery. The women have to obey their “masters” AKA their fathers, and if they have a good amount of magic in them at the age of seventeen they are sold to a new master which will become their husband. If they disobey or aren’t full of magic they become tarnished and turned into servants. Serena hates the life she lives, and hates that her bloodline is full of magic. So when Serena is handed over to Zade she finds it hard to trust him at first. I have to say that she had a lot of courage to step away from everything she grew up fearing. Little by little she was able to gain freedom and learn the ways of the Envadi. And although she didn’t see it, Zade, with his kindness and gentleness, weaved himself into her heart and sacrificed all that he is to give her the one thing she deserved.


There were also a slew of secondary characters that are in this world. Many were villains and the few that weren’t were women who lived in fear. Except Katherine and Wesley. I thought they were both wonderful.


So, although there is a romance imbedded in the pages of this book, it is not what the main focus. This is a story of a women learning to finally speak and act for HER. A woman learning that all men aren’t evil and do not want to OWN her.


The only reason this was a 4 was because I’m a romance reader and I wanted more. The connection between Zade and Serena was lacking romance and I wished we were able to see more of it. I was left wanting more at the end of this.


I will definitely read more from Janeal Falor and look forward to any possible addition in this series!


Buy it. Read it. Love it.


Happy Reading!

May 17, 2013

Don't Hate the Player...Hate the Game by Katie Ashley

Don't Hate the Player...Hate the Game
Book Description:

For Noah Sullivan being the best friend to a douchebag and player like Jake Nelson has never been easy. It's been a rocky road since kindergarten when Jake duct taped Noah to his chair before recess. With just six weeks to high school graduation, Jake accidentally blows his drunken ass up on his grandfather's tractor, and Noah finds himself immersed not only in a whirlwind of grief, but on a quest to find a mystery girl from Jake's past.

While cleaning out Jake's room, Noah and Jake's dad make a startling discovery. Instead of the obligatory porn collection or pot stash, they find a ring, but not just any ring. Its half a carat of commitment in a platinum setting-proving even man whores have taste. After Jake's mom pleads with Noah to find the girl who meant so much to Jake, Noah begins a modern day Grail quest to track the girl down.

Since Jake was a notorious player with a legendary collection of trophy panties, Noah finds himself in over his head. There are the usual suspects like Avery, the Ice Princess Jake dated for appearances, or Presley, the school mattress Jake dated for convenience. But the trail begins to point to the most unlikely of suspects: Maddie, the Valedictorian and choir girl who was trying to help the unmotivated jock graduate--the girl who also has surprisingly caught Noah's eye and meddled with his heart.

Hanging out with Maddie shows Noah a different side of Jake--one that was deeply human and surprisingly douche-free. And the more he tries to solve the mystery of the ring and of Jake, the more Noah starts to discover about himself and of love.
Christina's BookReivew
“Sometimes we just have two sides to us, Noah. One that we're willing to let the world see, and then the other that we hide deep within ourselves.” 

“You've been my beacon of light in my storm of grief, and I don't know if I could live without you.” 

RECAP

When Noah Sullivan learns that his best friend has died his life is turned upside down. As he struggles to deal with his grief and his shock he also learns of a secret Jake was keeping from him. There was a girl...and he wanted to marry her. 

Now Noah must figure out who this girl is and let her know about Jake's secret. But when your best friend is the towns player its an impossible feat. And when clues lead to the one girl that cannot be "her", Noah is in denial. Maddie is completely opposite of what Jake is.As Noah grows closer to Maddie he realizes he just might have been wrong. His friend might have been affected by Mattie. And Jake isn't the only one.

Sometimes a secret can destroy the ones you love...

MY TAKE

WOW...what to say about this book! First, have a pack of tissues handy because if this book will pull at your heartstrings. Second, if you don't like public displays of emotions, read this when you're alone. And third, expect to be immersed in this story to the point of staying up to the wee hours of the morning.

Don't Hate the Player...Hate The Game, starts off with Jake's tragic accident. And although sometimes Noah and Jake didn't have the best relationship they were always there for each other. So when Noah finds out about Jake he is in a state of denial and shock and throughout the story he fights to keep himself composed and stay strong. He reminisces about his time with Jake and quickly pulls you into their life together. The good and the bad.  When he realizes that Jake was planning to propose to someone Noah sets out to discover who the girl was.During the investigation he meets Maddie and she is both infuriating and enthralling. She doesn't put up with Noah's bitterness and doesn't push him away when he needs her. The one thing they disagree on is Jake.

Maddie insist over and over again that Jake wasn't what everyone thinks he was. With the public he was one way but with her and her family, he was different. He was trying to change.  She tries to help Noah through his grief and the new changes happening in his life that Jake isn't there for. She was sweet and caring but also wanted to be seen as just a girl and not the pastors daughter. She also has her own grief in her life. 

Together Noah and Maddie learn to open up to each other and during the process fall in love. But Noah is pretty sure that Maddie was Jake's "girl" and struggles with the reality of the situation. And when its times to finally face the fact that his best friend is gone and that he kept his true self from him, Noah explodes.

When I say that I cried throughout the whole book I am not lying. Remembering Jake, Noah's anguish ad everyone's grief was written so beautifully that I felt their hurt. The author did a beautiful job writing this book and pulling the reader in. I loved this book and I hope that everyone does as well!I'm also advocating for a Jake prequel because I kind of adored him through Noah's eyes! 

Buy this. Read it. Love it! 


Happy Reading!

May 15, 2013

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn't Say
Book Description:

Getting drunk homecoming night your senior year is never a good idea, but Jake Hayes never expected it all to end with a car crash and a t-post embedded in his throat.

His biggest regret about it all? What he never said to Samantha Shay. He's been in love with her for years and never had the guts to tell her. Now it's too late. Because after that night, Jake will never be able to talk again.

When Jake returns to his small island home, population 5,000, he'll have to learn how to deal with being mute. He also finds that his family isn't limited to his six brothers and sisters, that sometimes an entire island is watching out for you. And when he gets the chance to spend more time with Samantha, she'll help him learn that not being able to talk isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to you. Maybe, if she'll let him, Jake will finally tell her what he didn't say before, even if he can't actually say it.

Christina's BookReview
RECAP

Jake has the best upbringing even though there are eight other siblings in his household.  He is the sweet jock that lives his life with no regrets. His only fear is talking to the one girl that seems to always make him speechless. But one night of fun changes his life forever and his one regret is not telling Samantha how he feels.

Samantha has her own things to deal with and although she notices Jake she just doesn't have the time to focus on him. But when tragedy strikes ad she is his only solace Sam realizes that its going to be much harder to stay away. What she doesn't know is that her life would never be the same. 

Will Jake finally be able to tell Sam what he has always wanted to tell her or not?

MY TAKE

I started reading this after I saw numerous outstanding reviews for this book. I have to say that I wasn't disappointed. What I Didn't Say is a story of learning to live with something that you never thought would happen to you. Learning to accept the circumstances handed to you and being thankful for what you do have.

Jake and Sam are both loveable characters and I was immeresed in their story.  Jake had such a great family and was raised with good respect and morals. Jake had his life set out for himself and was only counting down the days to start his new life. But then one night of drinking with his friends leaves him mute forever. I was really sad about what happened to him but appreciated that he went through the motions. He grieved and he coped. I didn't find fault in him at all. He was a sweetheart and his love and protection for Sam was sweet. 

Sam was not your typical heroine. She didn't believe in love, relationships or anything other than sticking to her studies and herself. She had alot on her plate and a secret that could destroy everything she worked so hard to gain. When Jake suffers his accident she is his only solace and the only one that seems to help him. But Sam does't expect for Jake to be her solace as well. 

Good book, sweet romance and great characters.

Buy it. Read it. Love it.

HAPPY READING

May 10, 2013

Into the Dark by Milly Silver

               Into the Dark, Vol. 1 (Into the Dark, #1)Into the Dark, Vol. 2 (Into the Dark, #2)Into the Dark, Vol. 3 (Into the Dark, #3)Into the Dark, Vol. 4 (Into the Dark, #4)
Book Description:

Love the fast-paced action in The Hunger Games Trilogy?
Want to relive the romance of The Twilight Saga?

This Young Adult series is for you!


"The only three people in the world who I truly loved were my best friend, Ben, my Uncle Spencer and his fiancee, Irene. I am now grateful for what I didn't know on that sunny afternoon. One of them would soon be lost to me. The other two, I was destined to kill without hesitation or remorse.
It wasn't premeditated.
It was what needed to be done.
So I did it."


Success means love. Failure a death sentence.

When seventeen-year-old Oxford student Emily Baxter steps forward to become part of the search and rescue team for her kidnapped family member, she sees it as her last chance to put things right. Despite her seizures and being ripped between parallel universes, Emily is determined to get back to living a normal life. But first Emily has to join forces with the mysterious Gifted & Talented set and the darkly beautiful Henry Seadon. And survive. Killing the Misery-Makers who get in their way is a necessary evil.

INTO THE DARK SERIES #1-4 by Milly Silver is a YA paranormal romance series. It's a story of family, love, loss, and being uniquely gifted.

This is an exciting four-part YA action adventure series by British author, Milly Silver

Christina's BookReviews
Volume 1-(Chapters 1-5)- 3 Stars

In this first part of the Into the Dark series we meet Emily and quickly learn that she suffers from seizures which make her black out. When she has her black-outs she is transported into another universe where there are Misery-makers haunting her and others. During one of her black-outs something tragic happens.

Three years later she is determined to find the cure to her "symptom". She also starts the University and has a run in with the aloof Henry Seadon.

This is a good start to the series and it intrigued me enough that I quickly went into part 2. 

Volume 2-Chapters 6-13- 2 Stars

In this second part of the Into the Dark Series Emily begins to find out more about the alternate universe she falls into. In this place she meets a little girl and a guy that continuously protects her. In her real life Henry finally begins to be nice to her and the characters become too sappy.

I have to say that the only thing that kept me reading this was the questions unanswered about the other universe. Henry was intriguing in part one but in 2 he becomes just as gooey and weak as Emily. It annoyed me and I felt like the characters were 13.

The 2 stars was because I'm curious about the other elements of the story. I'm going to have to take a small(1 or 2 days) break from this and come back to part 3 and 4. Hopefully the characters get better.


Volume 3-(Chapters 14-20)-2 Stars

In this installment of the series Emily learns more about what the G&T does and what is going on in the alternate universe she travels too. She also discovers that Henry has been keeping secrets as well as she is.

I have to say that although this was not as bad as the second installment I was still annoyed that there wasn't any structure to the writing. Alot of times I felt like I was just reading words on a book. I also didn't like the Emily and Henry relationship any better. It was childish and felt forced. It wasn't believable and I felt no connection to their characters.

Again, the only part that I liked about this book was the alternate universe. And now that the "others" are there as well I don't think I will enjoy it much anymore.

I will read the last volume so that I can give a full honest review of the book.


Volume 4-(Chapters 21-31)-3 Stars

In the fourth and final installment of this book Emily is working on improving her skills so that she and the G&T are able to rescue Irene. As Emily comes to understand the program she finally begins to question Henry's intentions and the role she might play in this rescue.

Will Emily fail at her one and only chance of saving Irene?


I have to say that I liked this installment better than the rest. I figured out that Emily can be a likeable character when she isn't with Henry or when she's angry. Ben is finally back in this final installment and I have to say that I enjoyed him being back. I found that all the characters were a little better in this part. I liked Ben and Mark the most. Mostly because Emily isn't weak around them and they don't act like a lovesick puppy around her.

                                  (INTO THE DARK AS A WHOLE)

First let me stress that this book was a R&R and was give to me by the author for a honest review.

So as a whole this book wouldn't be one that I would reread. I found it to be a struggle to get through the second and third installment. If I had to rate the book as a whole it would be a 2.5 star rating.The premise to the story was what caught my attention and held onto it. Curiosity to what was going on is what pushed me to read on.

The main characters, Emily and Henry, were to me very childish and had no depth what so ever. They acted like lovesick children ad that made this series so hard to read. This is the first book I've ever read where I didn't want the main characters together. I actually liked the guy in the alternate universe and wished the author went that route with the romance aspect. I would have liked more details about the alternate universe and the Misery Makers.

It was saddening because with a synopsis like the one posted you have so many high hopes for this book. I think that alone is what frustrates me about this. Good premise. Terrible execution.If the author were to pull this, work on the structure and development of the characters, do some extensive editing, and make it one whole book I believe this can be a great re-release.

So sadly, I wouldn't recommend this. For younger readers this might be a great read but to the older ones this might be a struggle.

May 6, 2013

Heartless by Jaimey Grant

Heartless

Book Description:

A dark stranger....
Finding herself abandoned after the death of her father, Leandra Harcourt takes the greatest risk of her life. She accepts the marriage proposal of a complete stranger, the Duke of Derringer—a man the world calls Lord Heartless.

A heartless proposal....
A desperate girl with no prospects seems the perfect solution to Derringer's most recent problem: marry before his 30th birthday to gain his rightful inheritance, though marriage is the last thing he needs. The need to find his missing cousin takes priority over any silly marriage and he quickly abandons his new bride in the wreck of his family estate.

A perfect love....
Two people were never more suited for each other than the duke and his wife, but will they discover it before it's too late? With an assassin dogging his heels and a suitor wooing his wife, love will not have the luxury of time.

Christina's BookReview
 "Derringer’s face darkened and he pushed a hand through his loose hair in frustration. “Woman, you try my patience.” He turned abruptly on his heel and continued to the back of the house. "

RECAP

The Duke of Derringer is someone everyone fears. To many he is known as Lord Heartless because of his merciless behavior. When the duke is in need of a wife he chooses a poor girl that walks into the tavern he’s in. Little does he know that the woman he marries is not what he believes she is. Lord Heartless has found his match in Leandra.

Thrown out after he father’s death, Leandra stumbles into a tavern and encounters Hartley. When he proposes they marry, with hesitancy, Leandra accepts. What Leandra doesn’t realize until later is that she has married a heartless man. Or so everyone thinks. 
When the new duchess takes over Derringer Crescent new changes come. New employees, new designs, new attitudes, new tears, new heartbreak, new enemies, and a first in Derringer Crescent, love.
But with the threats on her husband’s life, will Leandra finally be able to "save" the Duke? Or will the new duchess be a widow before that happens?

MY TAKE


First of do you see that cover up there? YUM!! :-) That was my first thought when I saw this book. You look at that beautiful face and automatically know this book will capture your attention and not let go just so you can see what that yummy character goes through.

Okay so enough swooning...:-) So I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a long time and finally thought I should give it a try. I actually enjoy Regency novels and so I looked forward to this. What a shame that I hadn’t read this before! I really enjoyed reading this one!

The Duke of Derringer, Hartley, is known as heartless to many and as you read about Hart you are tempted to agree with the view others have of him. He is merciless and he instills fear in everyone that crosses him. He isn’t affectionate, he doesn’t smile or laugh. He is a haunted soul with enemies up to his neck. And then in walks Leandra. Lord Heartless turns out to have a heart after all.

“As much as I long to make you my wife in truth, a hurried joining is not how I envisioned our first time together.”

Leandra is not the most beautiful girl Hart has seen, she is the bastard child of a deceased earl and she is pure innocence. So the Duke marries her. But Leandra was just the cup of tea Hart needs. She doesn’t put up with his crap, she holds her ground, and she cares for the man everyone hates. Reading about a heroine like her is what makes books much more enjoyable. She was sweet and caring but she stood up for herself and she didn’t shy away from her brutal husband’s anger. 

Throughout the book you see the fight they both put up and see the love that blossoms between them. This book reminded me of Beauty and the Beast, which many know is my favorite book. :-) The only reason this got a 4.5 was because I wanted more lovely moments between Hart and Leandra and because I wanted a little more at the end.

This book has it all; some ridiculous family drama, sinister characters, heartwarming characters, action, tragedy and love. 

Buy this. Read it. Love it.

Happy Reading!

May 3, 2013

Selling Scarlett by Ella James

Selling Scarlett (Love Inc., #1)
Book Description:

Elizabeth DeVille doesn't belong at a party like this—one where the gowns cost more than her Camry and cigars run higher than her grad school utility bills. Dragged out of seclusion by her best friend Suri, Elizabeth is merely playing dress-up, rubbing elbows with a crowd that banished her troubled family years ago.

Hunter West is tired. Tired of parties, tired of pretending, and tired of trying to right a wrong that haunts him every day. Bourbon heir and professional poker player by day, by night Hunter is gambling with his life in a high-stakes game of crime and blackmail.

When Elizabeth stumbles into Hunter's den of vices, she's a light in the darkness, a flame in the void. And, just like everything he touches, Hunter mars her in a record time. To rectify the damage done, Elizabeth needs money she doesn't have, and she's come up with a foolproof way to get it.

Follow Elizabeth—code-named Scarlett—to the lush Nevada brothel where she'll auction her virginity and risk the only thing that's not for sale: her heart. The highest bidder is a familiar face, with wicked hands and the devil's mouth. And a secret so dark that it could cost her life.

***RECOMMENDED FOR READERS 17+ DUE TO SEXUALITY AND MATURE LANGUAGE.***

Christina's BookReview
“It dawns on me that most people would probably be happy with my weekend. I just won five million dollars. But one of the strange things about being rich as shit is five million's just not that exciting.”  

RECAP

Elizabeth Deville doesn't party and definitely doesn't socialize with the elite's of Love Inc. Then her best friend needs her help, but her money is going to her mother's rehab. How is a girl suppose to get the money to save her best friend?

When the idea presents itself Elizabeth jumps at the opportunity. Scarlett is born and will be sold to the highest bidder for one night. But Elizabeth doesn't count on being involved in the mayhem that's going on at Love Inc. One that includes the guy she has had the hots for. One that sets her body and soul on fire.

Hunter West is above everything. His life is a constant bore. But when one of his "ladies" goes missing Hunter's life takes a turn for the worse.Someone is framing him and he worries for the green eye beauty he feels undeniable attraction for. Especially when she is absurd enough to get involved in his life.

Is Elizabeth way in over her head? Who will be the highest bidder? Will Elizabeth make it out of Love Inc. alive?

MY TAKE

Selling Scarlet was pretty much unlike anything I've read. The first thing that caught my attention with this book was the cover and title. After I read the synopsis I knew I had to read it. It was different and it was a good read.

Elizabeth is wealthy, but not. Her father's money has gone to helping her mother get through her addiction which leaves Elizabeth in financial distress. When Cross, her best friend, is in an accident she comes up with a way to help him by doing something she has never in her wildest dreams thought she would do. Elizabeth sells her virginity to the highest bidder. That in itself made me like Liz. Yes, it was extremely crazy and outrageous, but it also shows us how devoted she is to the people she loves. I do have to say that her obsession with Hunter was a little extreme and I wanted to smack her many times but her good outweighed her bad.

And Hunter. OMG Hunter!! He is fifty shades of fucked up. And yes there were many fifty references which totally earned lots of eyes rolls from me. But my goodness! The man was a walking, talking sex God! But unlike a certain you know who, Hunter was this great guy that was given a bad draw. Even though what he allowed to happen should have disgusted me I just felt pretty much sad for him. I was rooting for Elizabeth to get through that thick head of his and show him that he was worth it. 

All the secondary characters were great as well. The friends you adored and the villains you wanted to choke the life out of. Mrs. James gives us what I think might be the hard cold truth about the "escort" world and it was pretty impressive. One character that I really liked was Cross and I won't say much about him but I will say that I cannot wait to read his story next.

Now why only the 4 star you ask? Well because sadly there were a lot of grammatical errors that drove me nuts, I thought that the "bidding' scene was worked up to be this great event and it was like three sentences long, and the end was just too fast and too easily wrapped up.But all in all a great book.

Buy it. Read it. Love it.


HAPPY READING!

May 1, 2013

Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

Wide Awake
Book Description:

A girl.
A coma.
A life she can't remember.

When Emma Walker wakes up in the hospital with no knowledge of how she got there, she learns that she's been in a coma for six months. Strangers show up and claim to be her parents, but she can't remember them. She can't remember anyone. Not her friends, not even her boyfriend. Even though she can't remember, everyone wants her to just pick up where she left off, but what she learns about the 'old her' makes her start to wish she'd never woken up. Her boyfriend breaks up with the new girl he's dating to be with her, her parents want her to start planning for college, her friends want their leader back, and her physical therapist with the hazel eyes keeps his distance to save his position at the hospital.

Will she ever feel like she recognizes the girl in the mirror?

 Christina's BookReview
"You may never remember the way you used to be with them, I have no doubt that you'll figure out a way that works with them one day. And when you do, when you figure everything out and decide with no regrets who you want to be, if you still want me, I'll be right here waiting for you."

RECAP
 
Emma Walker wakes up in an unfamiliar room surrounded by unfamiliar people. Ones that have been by her side and call themselves her family. But Emma doesn't remember anything or anyone. And she soon realizes that maybe she doesn't want to remember that girl. Maybe this is second chance at life. What Emma does know is that she's determined to work on getting better and then she will worry about remembering. Maybe. 

With the help of her gorgeous physical therapist, Emma not only begins to heal physically but also to find herself in her new life. Even if learning to live as Emma is not what everyone around her wants. 

Will Emma finally remember her previous life? Does she even want to be that girl anymore?


MY TAKE

I have to say that this book was a great read.

I liked that Emma was a whole new person because I think that I wouldn't have liked the book as much if she was the person before her. Her struggle with her family and friends was one that you would expect. I thought that her parent must be just as shallow as the old Emma because they were insistent on her being that girl again when that girl was...terrible. New Emma was learning to be "normal" again and it was a struggle that we saw throughout the story. The only person on her side was Mason.


Oh Mason. What can I say about this sweetheart? He was the epitome of a hero. He not only helped Emma physically but also mentally. Without him in her corner Emma's struggle would have been hell. But he was haunted by his past as well and in this aspect of the story they both healed each other.


The secondary characters all annoyed me, except Mason's family. I still had questions about why his mother called Emma "Mariah" and hope to learn that in any future book there might be. I also liked Milo and can't wait to read his story!

What I also enjoyed about this book were the "Useless Facts" they were pretty cool and some made me laugh. The only reason this was a 4 was because it was pretty predictable, slow in some parts, and because I thought one of the characters (not spoiling) got away with their "bad" deeds to easily.  

Buy it. Read it. Love it.
 

Happy Reading!