June 30, 2012

Ties That Bind by Heather Huffman Review & Giveaway

Ties That Bind by Heather Huffman-Adult Contemporary Romance
Kindle format given by author for review/blog tour

Kate Yager never had a father, and she never minded - until her mom died. Now, acting on the name called out on her mother's deathbed, Kate has moved to San Francisco and gotten herself hired by the man she suspects to be her dad. As if a new job, new apartment, and new parent weren't enough, Kate finds herself head-over-heels in lust with a complete stranger she met at an art show. A stranger who, she later finds out, happens to work in her office.

As her relationships with her friends and father grow stronger, Kate has to confront the decisions of her past to find out whether she can love the man who gave her up, love the man who loves her truly, and even whether she can love herself.

My Take:
I've been finding a lot of really good Adult Contemporaries lately and this book is included in the bunch. I liked the idea of a girl going in search of an unknown father. What I liked more? The love story. Yep, I'm a sucker for a good love story. I'm sure you've figured that out by now. 

The story begins with Kate's first day on her new job. The man she believes to be her father is her boss. As the story develops, she and her boss develop a friendship. In fact, Kate helps to plan his wedding to a girl who is only a few years older than she is. Initially, Kate had some problems with that, but she and Tara (the fiancee) became fast friends. Her relationship with her father/boss comes to light during the most inopportune time, but Kate handles the situation with maturity and grace. I'll get back to thoughts on this situation in a minute. 

Let's talk about Gavin. Gavin is absolutely delicious. He's confident, sweet, talented, loyal, and completely devoted to making Kate fall in love with him. See, Kate has some issues with their age difference. In my opinion, the difference wasn't much to be concerned about. Regardless, Kate does fall in love with Gavin. I'm not going to reveal much more about the story, but I will say that the parts with Gavin, were my favorite parts in the story. I love their relationship. Of course, there is some drama, but I was happy to see there was no cheating or lying. Their issues stemmed from Kate's personal issues about letting people into her life. In the end, the love they share is full of mutual love and respect. It was refreshing. 

My biggest issue with the book was that I really had a tough time with the relationship Kate had with her father. Once the truth came out, I felt sick about how her father handled the situation. Again, I don't want to reveal too much, but it really bugged me. He does somewhat redeem himself later on, but it left a bad taste for me for some reason. 

Overall, I really liked the book. It's not a mushy love story. It's a love story that has a very real feel to it. You really connect with how Kate is feeling. You will understand her need to know her father and her reluctance to trust her feelings for Gavin. I'd definitely recommend this book. 

For more information go to: Heather Huffman.
This book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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Sexy Summer Saturdays 6/30: Heat Rises by Alice Gaines Review

Sexy Summer Saturdays is a weekly post that Attack the StacksHackaroos ReviewsSims-Sational Books, The Autumn Review, and The Bookish Babe created for fun, to spread the word about sizzling summer reads. Make sure to stop by all the blogs!
Heat Rises by Alice Gaines-Adult/Erotic Romance
Kindle format given by Avon Red for review/eARC

Snowbound in a cabin . . . able to live out all her fantasies . . . Laura Barber has dreamt of doing unspeakably delicious things with Ethan Gould for years. Now, stuck in a mountain cabin, she just might get her shot. Ethan offers her the chance to live out each and every one of those desires. They may be rivals in the business world, but in the bedroom they're a perfect match. Knowing they have only a few days, Laura shakes off all her inhibitions. Every secret need, every lust-filled thought . . . it's all fair game.

My Take:
Alright. Where to begin and what to say? My friend Andrea and I found this book and decided it would be a perfect fit for our SSS. Well, it was. The plot isn't that strong, but there was plenty of smexy. 

So, the story starts out with Laura stuck in a snowstorm. She becomes the damsel in distress, because she is supposed to be at an interview. As she contemplates her options, in walks the man of her college fantasies. Ethan was the guy she drooled over in college. When she finally had the nerve to make a move, she was hammered. Ethan turned her down and she felt rejected and embarrassed for years. Turns out that Ethan only turned her down, because he didn't want to take advantage of her while she was drunk. Coincidentally, they're also going for the same job. With both of them being stuck in the storm, Ethan has the perfect solution. He takes Laura to his friend's cabin to wait out the storm. There is sexual tension in the air, so they make a deal to act on it ONLY while they're there. So, take a guess what happens once their time is up? Yep, that's the story in a nutshell. 

Now the sex...it was pretty steamy. Laura and Ethan get down to business pretty early on. When I read the description and the way Laura talks about the fantasies she's had, you'd think there was going to be some serious kink coming on. WRONG. I mean, there is an interesting moment that involves maple syrup, but I keep thinking about how sticky that would be. Then there was the plumber fantasy. It was a bit cheesy leading into the fantasy, but once they got to the sex...it was pretty hot. Other than that, nothing too out of the ordinary. Pretty vanilla. My favorite was probably the shower. *wink* Ethan and Laura certainly have quite an appetite for each other. I mean, his stamina is something to be admired. That boy can work it. 

Bottom line is the plot was weak, but the sex was pretty hot. If you need a quick sexy read, take a look at this one. I didn't have to put ice down my shirt or stick my head in the freezer, but it was sexy. 
For more information, go to: Alice Gaines.
This book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

June 29, 2012

Thomas & January (Sleepless Series 2) by Fisher Amelie Review

Thomas & January (Sleepless Series 2) by Fisher Amelie-YA Contemporary Romance
Kindle format given by author for review

Thomas Eriksson thinks he has it all figured out.
"People crossed the street when they saw me. I’m not really sure why that was. I mean, okay, I might have looked a bit intimidating if I was being truthful with you. I’d changed since New York. New York represented a life that wasn’t real, not truthfully, anyway. No, New York was the “young, immature, in love, idiot" side of Tom. The “Tie-Dye Tom of New York City” didn’t exist anymore. Tie-Dye Tom was dead."

January Mac Lochlainn thinks she’s her own worst enemy.

"I quit Berkeley. Threw away a full scholarship. Plans, you ask? What plans?"

But they’re both wrong.

Tom approached me slowly and met me under the light on the stone walkway. He leaned over me so closely, my neck craned to see his face. His expression was one of confusion as he studied my own.

“What is it about you?” he asked me.

I gulped. “What do you mean?” I whispered, closing my eyes and swallowing again, my breaths becoming labored.

He lifted his hand and dragged the backs of his fingers across my jaw so lightly I barely felt them, but they made me feel dizzy all the same.

“How can you be this extraordinary, January MacLochlainn?” He leaned closer, a look of pure frustration and anger lit his eyes and pressed his lips. “And why couldn’t I have met you before I realized I didn’t want anyone...ever?”

Life for Thomas and January will never be the same again...whether they like it or not.

My Take:
I'll start by saying...thank goodness this book released. Last year I read Callum & Harper and quickly became invested into the lives of this group of friends. So, Fisher, THANK YOU for making this book happen. I was really looking forward to more. 

We meet tie-dye Tom in C&H, but I really felt like he was still a bit of a mystery to me. In this book, I really found myself drawn to Tom. He is hurting from a broken heart. The woman he loved, loved another. So, Tom takes off to Austin to scout musicians. He's cranky, stand-offish, and overall, just miserable. The one thing that keeps him going is the music. I absolutely loved that music was such a focal point in this story.  Then, I loved seeing how Tom's stubborn heart began to heal when January enters his world. 

January is just simply darling. I really loved her immediately. I loved her sense of humor, her independent personality, her fiestyness, her innocence, and her vulnerability. She took a chance on Tom and he burned her badly. Once their paths cross again, she's not willing to make the same mistake. However, circumstances force the two together and they can't fight their attraction. Thomas and January really were the perfect fit. They had so much chemistry as a couple. I loved watching January break down Tom's walls. Tom is such a great guy. As a couple, I loved their mutual passion for music, their connection, and the love that they share.

This book is a great love story for Adults and YA to enjoy. It takes you traveling around Europe, reuniting with the gang (which I loved), discovering new music, and most importantly taking the chance to open your heart to love. While Callum & Harper touched me deeply, I really identified with Thomas & January as couple. I loved, loved, loved the ending. Just perfect! It makes me happy when I don't want the story to end. I hope to see more of what happens next for Thomas, January, and the rest of the gang.  
For more information go to: Fisher Amelie.

June 28, 2012

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry Review

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry-YA Contemporary Romance
Kindle format given by Harlequin Teen for review/eARC

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter, New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible. Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My Take:
Words can't describe how much I loved this book. I'd had my eye on it for a good while, so I was thrilled when I got the eARC. I'm beyond impressed with this debut novel by Katie McGarry. I was sucked into the story immediately and never wanted it to end. 

My heart went out to Echo. I cannot imagine going through such a traumatic event and not being able to remember what happened. She goes from being popular to being seen as the weird girl at school. The fact that she had so much tragedy and instability in her life, made my heart hurt for her. I know I'm being somewhat vague, but the sequence of events is a crucial part of the story's development. Anyway, despite all of the problems, she manages to get up every day and move through life. Yes, she moves through. She's not really living it until she and Noah cross paths. 

Noah has his own set of issues. He's the kid at school you see as the loser, but he's really smart and was once an athlete. He's just lost his way because of his own tragedy. Noah needs Echo to help him get back on track at school and she needs him to move forward in her therapy. She needs the interaction with others and Noah is just the right guy for the job. They have such a complete understanding and respect of and for each other. It really was heart warming. I was rooting for them individually and as a couple the whole way through. They both needed to feel unconditional love. 

As for the supporting characters, I loved Lila, Beth, and Isaiah. Lila stayed by Echo's side through the incident and while she was being criticized for dating Noah. I really admired the fact that she put her friendship above being popular. Now with Beth... I actually didn't like her at first. It took a particular scene to make me fully understand her  and her snarky behavior. I love her now and absolutely can't wait for her book! I think she needs someone to really love her. I feel the same way about Isaiah too. He's such a sweetheart. 

Now for Echo's father...I had big issues with the whole situation with her dad. I could see why he wanted to protect her, but in the end it did more harm than good. I also wasn't of fan of Ashley's, her step mother. I really don't to say any more on them, because again, it's a big part of the plot. 

I really could go on and on about how amazing this story is, but I'd rather you read it for yourself. It's labeled as YA and is appropriate for 15 and older, but as an adult reader, it truly touched me deeply. I highly recommend this book and I really can't wait for the companion novel, Dare You To, to release. 

For more information go to: Katie McGarry.
This book is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Thank you Harlequin Teen!

SWOON Thursday 6/28

SWOON Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound.

Here are the rules:
-From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering.
-Try to make the Swoon 140 characters so you can tweet it. Add the #YABOUND Hashtag when you tweet.

The Vampire Academy Series is one of my all-time favorites. There were too many good moments to choose from. Hope you like this one. 

Twitter version:
~There was a tremulous note in his voice. "You're strong—you're so, so strong. It's why I love you.”

Bloggy version:
~“No," Dimitri interrupted gently. He moved his face toward mine, our foreheads nearly touching. "It won't happen to you. You're too strong. You'll fight it, just like you did this time."
"I only did because you were here." He wrapped his arms around me, and I buried my face in his chest. "I can't do it by myself," I whispered.
"You can," he said. There was a tremulous note in his voice. "You're strong—you're so, so strong. It's why I love you.”
Richelle Mead, Shadow Kiss

June 27, 2012

My Book Boyfriend 6/27: Sawyer Vincent

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader.

This week My Book Boyfriend is Sawyer Vincent from The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines. Now, Sawyer was in The Vincent Boys too, but I fell in love with him in The Vincent Brothers. I almost feel guilty, because I love Beau so much, but seriously people, Sawyer completely made my bones turn to jelly in his book. Abbi Glines creates such delicious boys. Sawyer is tall, dark hair, green eyes, has good manners, and knows how to make a girl SWOON. Also keep in mind that he's a football player, so he's solid GRADE A meat. YUM...makes my mouth water. After I read Sawyer's book, I went searching for pictures of the perfect guy. I found the PERFECT Sawyer on Abbi's FB page. I mean, this guy is PERFECT! My Sawyer looks like actor Matt Cohen. Tell me what you think. 
All images taken from Google

~She let her bottom lip pop free of her teeth and it appeared red and swollen. Well damn, that was just too tempting. I let go of her hand and slid my hand between her thighs and pulled her over to me.

“That’s better. You were too far away,” I whispered before I bent my head so that I could pull her bottom lip into my mouth and gently suck on it. The surprised little noise she made had me pulling her closer. I let my hand slip further between her bare legs and squeeze the soft skin of her thigh in my hand.

Lana pressed her chest against mine and made a pleading noise in her throat. Picking her leg up, I draped it over my knee and slid my hand up a little higher inside her thigh. Her breathing hitched and I realized my heart was racing the closer I got to the edge of her panties.-pg 62 eARC

~“You touch a place inside of me that Ashton never did. I feel things with you I never felt for her. I loved her for a very long time. I can’t help the fact I still want to be there if she needs me. But next time there is a choice to make it will be you I choose first. I can promise you that.”-pg 83 eARC

~“What?” I asked He winked and reached over and pulled me up against him. “I can see real good under this water,” he murmured and understanding dawned on me. I slapped him on the arm and he laughed then dropped a quick kiss on my lips. “Wanna go again?” he asked with a smirk.-pg 93 eARC

~“Lana. I think about you every minute of every day. When I’m with you my world is complete. When I touch you, I understand the meaning of life. When I lost you, I completely shattered. You. Own. Me.”

A tear rolled down my face and dropped from my chin. That wasn’t enough. This time I needed more.

Sawyer reached out and took my hand in his and pulled me closer to him. I wanted to melt in his arms but I couldn’t.

“I love you Lana. I love you so much. Everything about you. The way you lips curl up slowly when you smile, the freckle right under your perfect little bottom, the way your laughter sends warmth flooding through my veins, how your touch lights me on fire. I love you and I will spend the rest of my life making sure you know that you are my number one. You will always be my number one.”-pg119 eARC

I really, really, really, wanted to put something from the tent scene in here, but decided that if you want to see that special treat, you'll have to read the book!

Both books are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Waiting on Wednesday 6/27

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

This week my pick is Lover At Last by JR Ward, which is scheduled to release on March 31, 2013.

Why I can't wait???
Qhuinn and Blay. Need I say more?

June 26, 2012

Retro Geeks by Karen Mueller Bryson Review

Retro Geeks by Karen Mueller Bryson-YA Contemporary
Kindle format given by author for review/blog tour

Retro Geeks is a Short on Time Books for Teens, fast-paced and fun novels for readers on the go. Remember when it wasn't cool to be a geek? That's so yesterday! Retro Geeks, chronicles the (mis)adventures of two self-proclaimed geek girls, Molly and Ally, as they attempt to land super-hot dates for their senior prom. The 80s obsessed BFFs attempt a variety of date-finding schemes, including spying on the popular girls for the 411 on fitting in, in their quest for top-tier prom dates.

My Take:
I firmly believe that there is a reader for every book. So, in reading this book, I had to keep that in the forefront of my mind. I'm not saying that this book was bad at all. In fact, I appreciated all of the 80's music, clothing, movies, and trends that were referenced in the book. It reminded me of my childhood and I am still a fan of all the music and movies. 

Here's what I liked about the book:

  1. The links to the 80's. 
  2. I liked the chapter names. 
  3. The lead characters were likable.
  4. It was a short, fast read.
  5. It was funny. 
  6. I liked the ending.
  7. I liked Dylan and Tucker.

Here's what I didn't like:

  1. The story was predictable.
  2. I felt like there wasn't a smooth flow to the story.
  3. The mean girls were really mean. I didn't know anyone that was THAT mean in school. 
Who would I recommend this book to? I would say middle school to high school aged readers would relate to the story. I'd also let my 11 year old niece read this book. Yes, it did bring some fond memories for me too, so Adult readers could find it funny as well. It was a cute coming of age story. 

For more information go to: Karen Mueller Bryson.
This book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

FATE by Elizabeth Reyes Cover Reveal

Most of you know by now that I'm a big Elizabeth Reyes fan. I have read every book she's written and I'm always anxious to buy any book she puts out. SOOOOOO....if you've read The Moreno Brothers Series, you will be as excited as I am about this new book she will be releasing called FATE! It is a spin off of The Moreno Brothers featuring Vince and Rose. I was beside myself when I found out that she was writing their story. What do you think of the cover?

More details to come soon!

The Moreno Brothers Series and the 5th Street Series are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Teaser Tuesdays 6/26

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

Here are the rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the TITLE and AUTHOR too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser.

~Looking up, I stare into the most unique and beautiful shade of blue that a pair of eyes has ever possessed. Of that I am certain. -Kindle location 38

June 25, 2012

The Watchers Trilogy by Karice Bolton Author Interview & Giveaway

Author Interview with Karice Bolton 

Q: Where did you get the idea for this trilogy?

K.B.: I love Whistler and wanted to write a story that involved the ski village for at least a good chunk of it. I also wanted to do something that involved memory loss, fallen angels/demons, and fighting for mankind, and it evolved from there.

Q: Is there anything from the books you hope the reader picks up on but they may not?

K.B.: I probably wasn’t that subtle, J but I really enjoy the idea of love, which was nice to explore with this concept of fallen angels because it could span the ages. I also had an underlying message that trying to make the right decisions in life might not always be the easiest choice, but it will make the world a better place. I think it came out in Cataclysm the most.

Q: What was the most fun part of writing this trilogy?

K.B.: Exploring the relationship between Ana and Athen was great because as the writer, I knew it wasn’t as new as Ana thought it was, so Athen had fun messing with her, and she fell for it most of the time. Writing the training and battle scenes were really cool as well. I actually enjoyed writing the entire trilogy! It was a fun experience!

Q: What was the hardest part?

K.B.: Making it a trilogy instead of a series.

For more information go to: Karice Bolton.

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