Thursday, October 31, 2013

Mid-Life Love by Whitney G.


Mid Life Love

Synopsis:

If you'd asked me what love was two years ago, I probably would've said, 'It's this amazing feeling that obsesses and possesses you; it's what me and my husband currently have.' If you ask me that same question today, I'll say, 'Please get the hell out of my face.’

Claire Gracen's life is picture perfect. Her career as a marketing director is on the brink of being legendary, and her marriage to her high school sweetheart has never been stronger. No, wait. It has. It used to be amazing and fulfilling, but one day Claire realizes that she's been living a lie and her best friend and husband have committed the ultimate betrayal.

Broken and depressed, Claire is in need of something new—new city, new job, new friends. 

When she happens to attract the interest of the sexiest man she's ever met, a man significantly younger than her, she immediately turns him down—only to later discover that this man is Jonathan Statham, self-made billionaire and CEO of Statham Industries. Her boss.

Jonathan Statham is unlike any man she's met before. He's used to getting whatever he wants—whenever he wants, and he isn't about to take no for an answer. 

Sexy, unpredictable, and charmingly clever, Mid Life Love is a story that will captivate you, entertain you, and force you to fall deeply in love with the characters.

Review:

Phew. So I had to sit and calm down a bit after the ending of this book. It really made me angry. I ranted to my husband for quite a bit, and he just sits there and nods and lets me go on and on. But sometimes it is not enough. I need to write things down to get them out and stop thinking about them. If you are the author I am sorry, but this might get ugly. Before I go onto the ending of the book I thought I would start with my thoughts on the rest of the story - there will be spoilers ahead! 

I started and the prologue was amazing. I was reading this for an online book club and I have been seeing posts all month about how everyone was hating the story. I started it and thought why are they hating this so much? This is awesome and has potential to be amazing! Then it just became okay. Claire is still hung up on her ex-husband cheating on her with her best friend. This was four years ago. I understand being upset, but she closes herself off from even the idea of someone else. Fine. Then she meets Jonathan, the CEO of the company she works for and she is instantly super attracted to him. The problem? Well she is almost 40 and he is almost 30 - it will never work! I mean he has no problem with it, thinks she is amazing and beautiful and likes her for some unknown reason, but she, she cannot deal with it. She keeps going on and on about their age difference. It gets to the point where I am just like get over it! Either break it off and move on or find some way of accepting it! He has, so what is the issue? She just goes on and on about it...ugh! 

My other issue with her? Jonathan spends sooo much money on her and she is just like coolio thanks dude. Still don't want anyone to know about us, but thanks so much! It is like what? He pays off her debt ($150,000) and he tells her and she is just like awesome thanks. Not even like over the top super duper appreciative I cannot believe you did that?!?! Then on and on about it appreciative. Like oh thank you so much! That is it. Really who doesn't at least protest a little bit these huge expenses spent on her? Not even a "You shouldn't have" even if you don't really mean it? It just seems unrealistic and not really as grateful as she should be. 

Then there is the sex. Well they have a lot of it. I get that it is supposed to be like BDSM, but it was just not that good. I like reading that kind of thing if it is done well and I just found this to be kind of boring and just not good. I started skimming the sex scenes as I just didn't like them. Jonathan was trying to be all dominant and such, but I just didn't like it. 

So the book is going on, they get together and I am only half way through the book. I kept looking at how much I had left and was like when is this going to end? You don't really get to see a connection between the two, besides their obvious physical attraction. I think that was my main issue with this book - I didn't see the connection. 

I still didn't mind reading this book, it wasn't the worst book ever, but it wasn't the best either. Then I got to the end and I lost it. So she breaks up with Jonathan because his mother is harassing/stalking her. Why she doesn't say something to Jonathan about it I have no idea. That makes absolutely no sense, but I will bypass that for now. That doesn't even matter. So she broke up with him and then next thing you know she is dating his biggest competitor! Another super rich super hot computer guy! Sure, even though that is totally not likely I will bypass that as well. So everyone ends up at a tech conference, Clair, new boyfriend Damian, and Jonathan. So she sees Jonathan and is all I still love him! They end up dancing together somehow in the dark and she is all I love you! Let's get out of here! He has one condition, tell Damian it is over and she is with him. What does she do? Nothing. She does not admit to her boyfriend that she just tried to talk another man into running off with her. That she just professed her love to him. Nothing. So Jonathan understandably is pissed and makes it so she can no longer get to him. She runs off later once she gets back to her room with Damian to find Jonathan and I don't know try and convince him to sneak off again? She wants to make him see she loves him! So he sends her away all whatever I don't know you anymore. She cries herself to sleep and I think finally! At least now she will have dumped Damian right? I mean it is not fair to him, and it will show Jonathan you want to be with him and maybe you guys can get back together. Right? I mean that is what any sane person would do. What does Claire do? Continues to date Damien!!! She walks around with him, lets him kiss her, everything so it seems like they are a couple. WTF?! Seriously? Then she dares to be upset that Jonathan won't talk to her. Really? Really Claire are you that stupid?

So then my favorite part is all three (plus Jonathan's date) end up sitting at the same table the last night for dinner. Claire, while with her freakin boyfriend, keeps texting Jonathan all I love you! Doesn't that mean anything? Why won't you talk to me?!?! Can't you see I love you when I am still with my boyfriend and have made no real efforts to break that off and show you I love you? What is wrong with you? I want you? Good job Claire. I have no idea why she thinks remaining with her boyfriend and pretending to like him will show Jonathan that she cares. Way to totally be trying to cheat on your boyfriend. I love how the whole first part of the book she is so broken up over her husband cheating on her, and she turns into a cheater as well! It made me so angry. Break up with your freakin boyfriend already! If you want to be with Jonathan show him!! Soooo stupid! I just can't. Of course once everyone is watching Jonathan and he is about to leave she goes and kisses him so yey they get together...way to use your words! Way to break up with Damian instead of just leading him on forever. Way to break it off before starting again with someone else. Way to be an awesome person Claire. I didn't really hate her for most of the book, though I did find her annoying in parts. I hated her after the ending. I still cannot wrap my head around what she could have possibly been thinking. I didn't really like Jonathan, but I still think he deserves better than Claire. I really have no idea why he was with her. The last chapters made me totally hate the book. I hate when that happens. This one was really bad though. 

Rating: ★

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bedlam Stories by Christine Converse


Synopsis:

Set in the 1920s, intrepid reporter Nellie Bly fakes insanity to gain admission into the infamous Bedlam Asylum. While researching her expose, Nellie meets a young patient, Dorothy, who has delusions of a fantasy land she calls "Oz".

Digging deeper into the dark history of the asylum, Nellie uncovers evidence of human experimentations on another inmate, a young girl named Alice, who's "Wonderland" mirrors Dorothy's imaginary world.

Nellie is determined not to let Dorothy share Alice's fate as a human guinea pig. But the horrific experiments open a portal to these other worlds.

When the dark and twisted inhabitants of Oz and Wonderland clash for control, Nellie realizes that they aren't delusions at all - they are terrifyingly real.

Review:

This was an interesting read. It was pretty dark and was fun to read a story with familiar characters in such a different way. I actually read the synopsis before starting the book and thought I don't know about this. I mean it seemed like it could go either way - I could hate it or love it. Well I loved it at first. I slowly got disillusioned, but not too much.

This book starts off really good. I couldn't wait to see what was going on and what would happen. Nellie and Dorothy (of Oz) are journeying to the Bedlam Asylum. Nellie does a pretty good job of making sure the people running the place thinks she insane. She really goes as far as possible to sell it. Once she arrives there things get interesting and Alice is introduced slightly. She seems so creepy and all of her friends are just so great. The Cheshire cat, one of my favorite characters from Alice in Wonderland, was one of my favorite characters in this story. The ending where they describe how he eats to body parts and licks up the blood with his tongue like shards of glass was just so creepy fun!

The one issue I did have with the story was the Dr. I get that he is the insane doctor, but his reasoning and such just didn't live up to the high expectations of the rest of the book. It was alright, but I just felt a little...disappointed by the explanation. It was fine, but could have been better. The whole ending though was a little odd...just a little off. A little ridiculous in the confines of the story.

Overall though I did enjoy the story. I am looking forward to the next book to see what happens.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rabbit in the Road by Danika D Potts & Oliver Campbell


Rabbit in the Road

Synopsis:

In 1966, there is a record store clerk who loves her life just the way it is.

One night on a train, Bevie Foster meets her soul mate Raymond Hughes. He is the man who is the key to unlocking her latent ESP, something she never believed to be possible.

Very quickly, Bevie realizes that Ray isn't quite the man he claims to be, and she will spend the next 14 years of her life trying to get away from him by any means necessary. She will see and experience things she never imagined, and learn not just about who people really are behind closed doors, but also the difference between justice... and revenge.

The debut novella of writing team Danika D Potts and Oliver Campbell,Rabbit in the Road is a suspenseful, shocking thriller about just how far one will go in order to preserve their way of life, and is sure to captivate and keep you reeling.

Review:

This story started off interesting, but then never followed through. The main character is super lame and just runs constantly. She never stops to try and fight and get free or anything. Slowly she starts trying to figure things out, but she is really weak even though she has super powers. The story really confused me at points as Bevie was just didn't make sense. She would just go with Ray without a thought. Like yes, I am here with my boyfriend and it is a special night, Ray shows up so oh well - I will just leave boyfriend cause...well I don't know why. It didn't really make sense. Like she is supposed to love these people and she just drops them instantly to go with this guy who she doesn't even like or trust to do who knows what. She doesn't even want to know what Ray is doing, but she is willing to be used whenever he calls. It was really frustrating. Then when she gets back from helping Ray she just leaves these guys and never looks back.  

Nothing really gets explained very well either. It was all really quick and I wish there would have been more info. Like the church she goes to. Those people were kind of crazy scary, but she just runs out and saves the one girl (hopefully. She left her at the hospital so maybe no one would get her) then that was it from them. It just felt like if this would have been a longer book it could have been a really great story. Instead the authors decided on a shorter book and just left out most of the story...which is why I normally don't read short stories. Most of the new ones are just long books trying to fit into fewer pages which doesn't work. The ending was also confusing to me. I mean I get what happened, but I am still a little unsure why. I read the last chapters a few times and I still don't get why. 

Overall if it would been longer and more developed I think the story would have been really interesting.  As it is I felt like the plot wasn't developed as well as it could have been and so it felt a bit jumbled and like parts were missing. 

Rating: ★ ★

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Seed by Ania Ahlborn


Seed

Synopsis:

In the vine-twisted swamps of Louisiana, the shadows have teeth.

Jack Winter has spent his entire life running from something no one else can see. His childhood is his darkest secret, but after a near fatal accident along a deserted road, the darkness he was sure he’d escaped rears its ugly head… and smiles.

But this time, he isn’t the only one who sees the soulless eyes of his past. This time, his six-year-old daughter Charlie leans into his ear and whispers: Daddy, I saw it too.

And then she begins to change.

Faced with reliving the nightmares of his childhood, Jack watches his daughter spiral into the shadows that had nearly consumed him twenty years before. 

But Charlie isn’t the only one who’s changing. 

Jack never outran the darkness. It’s been with him all along. 

And it’s hungrier than ever. 

A new breed of dark fiction: the subtlety of Seed will haunt you, and the end will wickedly satisfy.


Review:

This book started off really good. Kind of creepy and interesting and guessing what exactly is going on.  The beginning just drew me in instantly. I couldn't wait to find out more. I really liked the way Jack's past was sprinkled into what was going on. There were a lot of great creepy visuals that I really enjoyed. Overall I thought the writing was good. 

*Some spoilers ahead here* 
The story itself I was enjoying for quite a while. Then I finally got tired of Jack not doing anything! I mean he sees his daughter struggling with the same evil he struggled with as a kid and what does he do? Nothing! He just lets it happen. Um...okay? I mean you know what it is like, what happened to you so you just sit back and watch? I guess he didn't really do nothing, he did try his hardest to make his wife feel like she is seeing things or that nothing bad is really going on. He does everything he can to discount anything she sees happen and why? Well she doesn't know about his past because...she will leave him. Well sitting back while your daughter becomes scarier and scarier and doing nothing is not really going to make her stick around either. I could see her getting frustrated with his lack of trying to help the situation. I mean finding the worst psychiatrist he can so he can try and say see look she does just have some mental problem! Problem solved! Just doesn't work. I don't get why he doesn't try and stop it or help Charlie. I mean what kind of parent just sits back and lets the evil thrive and not do anything? Then he does decide to try and act and what does he do? Goes back to where he grew up. Why? I am not really sure. Because it started there so...

Then when he gets the call from his wife that Charlie took Abby he gets home as quickly as possible and it was just like good job. Way to not really do anything. I guess he did learn he killed his parents so that is something. I did really enjoy the imagery of the final scenes, the scene he walks into where he finds Charlie and Abby was just great. Then hesitating to kill the evil was just lame. The whole ending, besides the great images it invoked, was just not good. I hate books like this where is it just like nothing changes, you can't do anything, things just keep going the way they always have. I just want something to happen, even some small victory even if everyone still dies. Anything so it is just not everything is hopeless, nothing can change. 

Overall I enjoyed the first half of the book. Then I started getting annoyed with Jack and his inability to do anything and the end was just not what I like. 

Rating: ★ ★

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Doctor by Jennifer Bull


The Doctor

Synopsis:

After the attack at his father’s amusement park, Daniel cannot believe what he’s capable of. He tries to lock himself away and protect those he loves… until he finds out that the monster within did not get there by accident, and the one responsible didn’t stop with him.

Sarah remembers the stories her mother used to tell her; of a place where the sun shone brightly and bird songs filled the air; a place where home wasn’t a cramped cell; a place where your own mind didn’t try to torment you. She wants nothing more than to be free of this living hell… even if that means she won’t get out alive.

Jack is fed up of chasing the serial killer with no name, whose favourite game is creating monsters out of living people. He just wants to catch him before anyone else gets hurt… but reaching that goal becomes much more dangerous than anyone could have guessed.

When these three strangers find their lives colliding on an island from which there is no escape, they must work together if they want to survive; but how do they fight against a force that doesn't really exist?

Review:

This book started off pretty good. I have been looking for some "scary" stories to read to get into the Halloween spirit (I love scary stories, but it is hard to find good ones). I thought yes! This is going to be so good. I loved the first chapters of Daniel's story, turning into a wolf and having no control over that was great. I loved reading it as he was just locked in his head and couldn't really do anything about it, much different from most werewolf stories. I liked Sarah's first chapters and felt so bad for her. She is locked away on an island with the Doctor and he just uses her to play his games every day. I can't imagine trying to escape every day and every day getting caught and locked back up. What will you must have to live to keep doing that. It was a great second storyline. 

Then I got to Jack and...well I didn't like his storyline. Something about his story felt cheesy and just not as good as the other ones. I thought maybe it would get better as I went along. It didn't. If anything it got worse. 

*Note some spoilers will follow as I can't not talk about the things I really disliked about this story*

I was okay with everything until Jack and Daniel meet up for the first time and Jack told him the wolf was just in his head. The Doctor planted the thought in his head so well that his body actually turned into a wolf because of his mind. I hated that. It was so lame! I don't know why. I was talking to my husband about this and ranting about how lame it was and saying if this had been set in a different world than okay, but in our world now someone makes you think you are a wolf so you are a wolf? No. I can accept the telepaths, people moving things with their minds and reading minds, I can accept people who were bit by a werewolf get the werewolf whatever in them and then they turn into werewolves, or maybe it is a virus or something. All of that I can go along with so it seems silly that I dry the line at changing your physical appearance with your mind, but for some reason it was a major turn off for me. So the rest of the book was just...not good. If you like that whole mind over matter, the mind can trap you somewhere and whatnot then this story will probably work for you. For me it was just like really? That is the best you could do?

Then the end. Well Jack and Daniel and Sarah are all trapped on the island. Even though it is all from the Doctors mind. So why can't they get out of there like Daniel could get rid of the wolf in his head? If it is all mind controlling it why can't they do something about it? The Doctor is too strong...then the twist at the end...not good. By that point I just thought why am I even bothering to read this? Everything tied up so nice and quickly and was just too easy to get everyone straightened out. 

I had high hopes for this book based on the first few chapters. They were quickly dashed and just kept going downhill for me. Not the worst book I have ever read, but there was a lot of eye rolling and yelling at the book while reading it. 

Rating: ★ ★

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson


The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)

Synopsis:

An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master’s Sonfollows a young man’s journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world’s most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like.”

Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love. A towering literary achievement, The Orphan Master’s Son ushers Adam Johnson into the small group of today’s greatest writers.

Review:

I rarely ready the synopsis before starting a book. I have read it at some point, but I download a lot of books so by the time I get around to reading it I don't remember what it is about. I started this book and thought oh North Korea, I can't wait to read more. I find the subject matter very interesting. Ever since I read Nothing to Envy I've been interested in learning more about the country. This book, even though there were things in it to help indicate it was set in that country, could have been set anywhere. It was an American book and if you took out the announcements and such it could have been set there. The characters seemed American, the way the spoke and acted and such, not North Korean. I kept having to remind myself that this book was set there. 

We read this book for my book club and it was interesting to hear their opinions of it. Another lady there had read the other book on North Korea like I had and she disliked this book as much as I did. For everyone else this was their first glimpse of North Korea and they enjoyed it much more. Didn't love it, but they felt it was more info on North Korea and what it is like to live there than we did.

This book gets pretty ridiculous pretty quickly. By the end it is just this huge farce and just...it just annoyed me. The first half of the book I found pretty boring and the main character just switches up what he is doing a lot. The second half I enjoyed a lot more, but I still didn't love it. I did think the interrogators sections were interesting, and I liked the announcements throughout, but I really disliked the main characters sections.  He is in love with Sun Moon for no good reason, he has her tattooed on his chest and saw one of her movies. I never really understood why he never defected as he didn't have anyone to think about. Then the end **spoilers ahead** was so stupid! He risks quite a lot to get Sun Moon out of the country so nothing will happen to her because he loves her so much when in reality she is probably one of the best off people in the country besides the dear leader! The dear leader loves her and will do anything she says, so Jun Do helps her escape and causes tons of people to suffer and die because of it and why? So that she doesn't live a life of luxury in North Korea? If he wanted to help people he should help people who actually need it, not get people killed for someone who doesn't even need his help. It was frustrating and I just really didn't like his character.

Overall I don't understand all of the high praise for this book. It was an American writing about America, or wait it is supposed to be North Korea (but is not written so it comes off that way). It was just not a good story and just really ridiculous and boring at the same time.

Rating: 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween is for Lovers by Nate Gubin


Halloween Is For Lovers


Synopsis:

Undying love... the scary kind.

A lovelorn ghost has one Halloween night to find the girl he abandoned at the altar and get her to love him again.

Hugh and Lily.  
Truly, down deep, they’re in love.  So what’s the problem?  She won’t forgive him for abandoning her at the altar so she’s moving on and marrying a new guy.  That and Hugh’s been dead for three years.  But this is true love we’re talking about.  The Kingdom of the Dead allows ghosts one Halloween night to cross over to the Land of the Living.  There’s a legend that love conquers all, even death.  If Hugh can get Lily to forgive him and love him again, he just might come back to life.  If he fails?  There are things far worse than death awaiting him.

Review:

This book was fun to read. I wasn't sure what to make of it at the start, but then it turned into this ridiculous fun over the top silly book. It starts off kind of dark and creepy and I loved it. Very Wes Anderson like. I really enjoyed the description of the underground land of the dead, even though it is sad to think that everyone goes to this sad no hope no happiness just drudge through the afterlife place once you die. It was an interesting world and I liked the main character, Hugh. 

Hugh never gave up on his love for Lily, and so he finally finds a way to escape to tell her he still loves her and that is when everything starts going wrong in a hilarious way. It kind of reminded me of Christopher Moore in how silly and ridiculous it was. Everything was just so much crazy. Hugh is not a ghost that can walk through walls and such so he gets hurt and beat up and by the time he sees Lily is probably not looking too good. Then her fiance is just so crazy! Like crazy crazy and oh it was just fun. It was not what I was expecting from this book. I really read it because Halloween is one of the least romantic holidays for me and I wanted to see a love story set at Halloween. Instead I got this pretty funny love story set at Halloween, which was way better than it would have been. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Where I Need to Be by Kimberly Knight


Where I Need to Be (B&S Series #1)

Synopsis:

Spencer Marshall was done moping. After catching her boyfriend cheating with his secretary, she decides to have a girl's weekend in Vegas with her best friend Ryan. Lady Luck must be looking out for Spencer, because that weekend will change her life forever. Despite what people say, not everything stays in Vegas.

Review:

Wow this book was not good. I'm struggling to think of anything I did like about it, besides the fact that it was short so I was done with it quickly. Everything else was just bad. The writing itself was not good. I am not a writer. Not at all. I write things like this, but it is just written like I think. Well this book is like I write a trip report or something, but turned into a book. It was like an outline with bullet points turned into sentences. And then we went here. Then we did this. Then at 1:00 we did this. And after that we did this. After that we went there. And on and on for the whole book! It was just not good. Too much insignificant details as well. Like they went out to dinner, and then Brandon took them back to his place so he could get his car and drive them home. And then he did drive them home. Okay...I am not sure why I needed that much detail. You could have just said after dinner Brandon drove us home, I don't care if you had to go back to his place to get the car first and then drive home...it was just too much insignificant detail on your outline of a story. Maybe if something happened at his place, more than just he sentence that told me you went there first to pick up there car, then okay. There was also a lot of detail on things that did not matter, like a section on how to play Texas Hold em which doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of the story. Yes they played cards a few times, but it really wasn't important for you to know in great detail how to play the game they played. 

So too much detail in outline form for most of the story, then too little detail on things that matter, like character development. I am not sure why Brandon and Spencer fall in love...I don't really know anything about either of them. What do they like? I don't know. What do they look like? I only vaguely know. I know they are majorly attracted to each other, but other than that there is no connection to speak of. There are a ton of sex scenes, but they are pretty boring. The first one or two I was like okay, then I started skimming them as they were just boring to read. Then we have the surprise from the crazy ex girlfriend...not sure why that was not questioned more. I mean she is crazy, so why just take her at her word? I didn't get that at all. They are grown people, he is in his 30's, so he should know a thing or two. It was just ridiculous. It was obvious everything that would happen before it happened so no surprises. 

Overall just not a good book. Plus it just ends suddenly. I know there are two more books, but I won't be reading them. Usually I will read the following books just because I started the series might as well see what happens. Not this time. I don't even care enough to look up what the next two books would be about. I don't know why this book has so many high reviews - everything about it was bad. It seems like a story a teenager might write. Not good. 

Rating: 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fatal Transaction by W. Richard Lawrence


Fatal Transaction


Synopsis:

Sara, an expert computer hacker, knows better than to trust anyone-certainly not the powerful and crooked business mogul for whom she works. But there is no future for the life of a thief. Determined to find a way out, Sara devises a scheme to double-cross her employer and steal millions through one final fatal transaction. Desperate and on the run, she finds temporary sanctuary with the mysterious Derry Conway. As the FBI closes in and her former associates seek revenge, Sara tries to escape but finds all avenues blocked. Trapped, she sees only one road out-Derry must take the fall and pay for her crimes. But will it work? Is her freedom more important than the life of an innocent man? Or will Sara make the ultimate sacrifice to save those she cares about?

Review:

This was an interesting read. For the most part I enjoyed it and kept reading trying to see how everything would work out for Sara. I liked Derry as well and how he helped out even though he didn't know Sara. So the story starts off with Sara working on this credit card scam for the bad guy and she has no way out. She is making plans to run away and steal all of his money so she can try and not be killed once everything is implemented. Then of course there are lots of coincidences that lead the bad guys to learn that she is up to something and eventually she gets caught, beaten up, and saved by Derry who then helps her hide. It was really exciting reading it not knowing when something bad would happen. The bad guy Levy is really bad covered in a good guy disguise so no one would suspect him. It was a great set up. 

Once she gets rescued by Derry though there started to be some holes or things I didn't like. I still enjoyed it and just glossed over the things I didn't like, but they were still there. Like Sara is supposed to be super smart computer person, but at first she doesn't really do anything to try and make sure no one knows she is checking her email and bank info and such. I mean if it were me and I knew Levy had people who could do all kinds of things I would first try and make sure my computer was safe. Then she just keeps thinking she is safe where she is, there is no way they know who Derry is. Really? Why not? He was in a car..they couldn't track the plates? They didn't see him? I mean she doesn't know they didn't get the plate number so...just stuff like that. She was a little too everything is fine I don't have to worry he will just give up on me right? kind of thing. Then there was a scene where she suddenly tells her life story to Derry and his friends/neighbors which seemed very out of character for her. Why would she do that? With no lead up or real reason? It just didn't make sense. 

The other thing that just annoyed me slightly was the religious aspect. It wasn't too bad until the end when Sara realized that she wants Derry and his God's love. She will love God too all of a sudden. It just...I am not religious, and for the most part Derry being religious didn't matter and didn't bother me. The end though where it was all of a sudden she saw the light praise the lord was just too much. It wasn't horrible, but I did roll my eyes a little at it. Really the religious aspects weren't bad. 

Overall it was an entertaining read and it kept me engaged. I just wish Sara would have been a little smarter when she was hiding out, like she is supposed to be. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Be My Downfall by Lyla Payne


Be My Downfall (Whitman University)

Synopsis:

Toby Wright has always prided himself on being one of the most normal guys at Whitman University. He loves his parents, has a great job lined up after graduation, and with the exception of attempting to cross the unbalanced Sebastian Blair sophomore year, has kept his nose pretty clean.

But the rich never have empty closets, and memories long stashed away come spilling free when notorious party girl Kennedy Gilbert almost dies in his dorm room.

Nobody really knows how Kennedy manages to stay in good standing at Whitman–she never goes to class, doesn’t pretend to care about her future, and as far as people can tell, is never sober. This isn’t her first meeting with a stomach pump, but it is the first time she’s woken up to Toby’s concerned brown eyes. Despite the fact that she prefers life without friends, he gets under her skin with his insistence on playing her guardian angel.

No one knows better than Toby that people can only be saved if they want to be, but the realization that she has no one else draws him back into the shadows of Kennedy’s life–and eventually into her bed. But she long ago came to terms with a truth that Toby refuses to accept: she doesn’t want to be rescued, she only wants to forget.

Unwilling to give up on her, Toby’s dragged under by this broken girl and her dark, twisted Whitman University he never guessed existed. If he struggles to the surface, he’ll abandon someone he loves for the second time in his life. If he doesn’t, it won’t be long until they both drown.

Review:

This was by far the best book in the Whitman University series. The first was okay, didn't love it didn't hate it, the second I hated the main character, but this one, this one was pretty great. Kennedy was a mess. Just so sad everything that has happened to her and how she ended up how she is. I guess it was good she wasn't doing drugs, but she's pretty bad. I just want to help her and make everything better. She was just so broken down and I just wanted her to be able to get better. 

I love that the story is told from Toby's point of view as usually I see it from the addicts. I loved Toby. He was so sweet and caring and just there for her. He tried his best to help her without pushing her really. He just tried to be whatever she needed at the time, even if it hurt him in the process. He was great and I wanted everything to work out well for them both. 

About 3/4 of the way through the book I looked and just thought how in the world is this going to end on a happy note? I mean Kennedy was still so broken and I just didn't know if the story would be written in a believable enough manner for me to believe they ended up happy. Somehow the author did it though and it was great. I really enjoyed this story.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Waiting for the Storm by Marie Landry


Waiting for the Storm


Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Charlotte O’Dell knows this summer is going to suck. Her mother just died, her sister hates her, and her dad has completely checked out. Fulfilling her mother’s final wish, the family heads to Angel Island for the summer to stay in a beach house her mother once loved. 

After a year of being shut away taking care of her mother, Charlotte is numb and practically afraid of her own shadow; she hopes going to the island will give her the time and space she needs to begin healing, and an opportunity to bring her family back together. When she meets her mysterious neighbor, Ezra, it doesn’t take long for Charlotte to confess the issues she’s developed. Ezra begins giving Charlotte assignments to get over her fears, and although she accepts his tasks, all she really wants is to be with him. When she’s with Ezra, she’s able to forget the hollow ache in her heart and the fact that her family is falling apart. But Ezra has secrets…

Can Charlotte pull what’s left of her family together, mend her broken heart, and allow herself to fall for Ezra? Or is it all just a storm waiting to happen?

Review:

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis I read for it had left off the seventeen-year-old so I wasn't expecting Charlotte to be so young. I mean to take a year off of high school to care for her sick mom? I can't imagine. Her friends abandoning her, her dad being detached  her sister being a nightmare...I don't know how she dealt so well with everything. She was so strong in many ways and she just kept trying to keep everything together. I was so happy when she met Ezra and she finally had someone to help her through everything. Ezra was so sweet and just what she needed. It helped that he has some issues that he is dealing with that are similar. That helps bond them and really I think they help each other so much. I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. It was so sweet and just a beautiful story. There were some things I thought were a little much, like her dad might end up exactly like his mom, and so that kept me from giving it a full 5 stars. It was a great read though. 

The book started out at the mom's funeral and it was just...really hard for me to read. It was easy to identify with what Charlotte was going through. It was heartbreakingly beautiful how it was written. Ezra comes along at just the right time. Even though he does keep some odd secrets and I didn't really understand why. Like what he does at night...the first time she rides along it seems like it might be dangerous at least but it really isn't. Once you find out what he does it is just like wait why are you so worried about telling her this is what you do? I mean I read what you said, but it doesn't really make sense to me. Who would look down on him for that? Otherwise he was great. 

Not telling her about his mom and she getting as upset as she was...kind of felt too much. Like she got too upset about it. I understand being hurt, but I can also understand his side of things. After a while it becomes a lose lose since you weren't upfront about it right away. I am just glad she finally was able to move past it. Especially since everything resolves itself so nicely suddenly at the end. Still a nice ending, if a little unrealistic that everything would work out just like that. A beautiful story that I will definitely be reading again. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, October 18, 2013

By Referral Only by Lyla Rayne


By Referral Only (Whitman University)

Synopsis:

After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough. 

Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

Review:

Ugh. I really couldn't stand Ruby. She was horrible. Her self loathing poor me attitude was just horrible. I hated her so much. She came from new money and so apparently people expected her to act like a white trash princess so what does she do? Acts like a white trash princess then gets mad when people see her that way. Um okay...if you don't want people to see you that way stop acting that way? Then she complains about poor her everyone judges her without knowing her, but she does the exact same thing! With everyone! So she had a boyfriend dump her once, because she thinks his family didn't like her, so that means everyone at her fancy school will be like that. Everyone. It doesn't matter how nice they are to her or the sweet things they do, they don't actually like her. Um okay...pot meet kettle. It was so frustrating!! So then she doesn't want a relationship she just wants a sex partner. Fine, but why in the world would you stay with Liam then? The sex is not good, he is a complete jerk to you so...why stay with him? If you just want a sex partner I am positive you can find someone to actually have enjoyable sex with. I didn't get it. 

Ruby just complained and whined and made assumptions about everyone the entire way through the book. Sure suddenly at the end she see the error of her ways and that Cole might actually like her and so she changes overnight. Sure. I buy that. I liked Cole and couldn't understand why he wanted Ruby. I mean she was pretty terrible to him. I mean after he reveals his humiliating secret that he is super ashamed of she just storms off and calls it off with him. Nice. Way to go. I wish it would have taken more groveling to get him back. It was way too easy. She pretty much just smiled at him and he was all okay! Boo. You deserve better Cole! You deserve way better than Ruby!! You deserve someone who will treat you with respect and love you like you love them. Not stupid Ruby poor me whiny pants who treats you like crap. I really don't get it. 

I also wanted to slap Ruby so many times and just be like so what you are new money and people think less of you for it? At least you have money to get an education at a fancy school and make all your fancy contacts so you will probably have a leg up after you graduate. Plus you can go to New York and try and make it big on Broadway without having to worry about money or anything so I really feel bad for you. Suck it up and be thankful for what you do have because there are plenty of intelligent driven people who just cannot afford to go to school and do not get the opportunities you have. I don't feel bad for poor little rich girl. Man I hated her. I really wish she would have been written so that she was somewhat sympathetic, but she was just horrible. 

Rating: 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Broken at Love by Lyla Payne


Broken At Love (Whitman University)

Synopsis:

When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.

College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.

But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?

Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.

To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

Review:

I'm not really sure what I think of this book. I didn't hate it, but I also didn't think the writing was that great. The story was...well it had parts I really liked and parts I didn't. It was just...I just don't know how I feel about it as a whole. I have even taken a few days to let is sit and see if I could resolve my feelings, but it just isn't working. So let's see we have Quinn who is gorgeous, but has major issues. I actually liked him. I got his whole he actually likes Emilie so he should stay away from her thing. I know he was actually trying to do right by her and it made it really nice (even if it started off as one of his games). 

Emilie was...well I guess that is one of the things I didn't like. She was just like every other girl in the book and couldn't keep her hands off Quinn. She just gave in so easily just like every other girl and slept with him (though I guess not exactly as easily since she waited a few days, but still way too easily for her no I am not going to do this! stance). Her whole sister died before she could live rational for why she should sleep with him was just...annoying to me. I mean just do it or don't. Do you really want to be just another notch on his bedpost? No? Then don't sleep with him. I know you are totally attracted to him, but come on girl! Get with it! Oh well. She did turn out to be pretty great for him and was an amazing friend when he needed it so I can almost forgive her, but it still bugged me. 

Overall it was an enjoyable read. A little unbelievable for me, but not bad. There was just something missing that didn't make me love it, but I am not sure what. 

Rating: ★ ★1/2

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Wager by Rachel Van Dyken


The Wager: The Bet series: Book 2

Synopsis:

Lose a bet, lose your heart...

What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and somehow, Jake's falling. For Char. Now all he has to do is make her believe it . . .

Review:

I was a fan of The Bet, so I decided to read The Wager even though it was about Jake, and I really didn't like him in the first book. Now in this book it is like he is suddenly a completely different person. I don't know why but I wasn't really buying that he had a crush on her forever ago and actually cared about Char like that. That suddenly he would change his ways for her? I didn't believe it. I can see him getting tired of everyone thinking the worst of him and such, but it just didn't feel believable the way it was written. 

The grandmother was alright in this book. I didn't like the whole trick close to the end as well...it seemed a bit much. Like they would just go along with it even though they just got together? I guess it is supposed to be like that and humorous, but it just wasn't for me. The book overall was better than I expected, and I did like Jake in it, but he was just so different. I didn't see why he would change suddenly. I think that was my main issue. That and it just went on forever it seemed like. I did enjoy part of the Travis/Kacey wedding, but parts just made me scratch my head. It was an alright read, but not my favorite. I'm not sure if I would read another book (potentially Beth/Jace?) with grandma just interfering like crazy in their lived. Really she was crazy and trying to help, but she also got on my nerves sometimes. If she were in my family I definitely would not have been able to handle her as well as the characters in this book. 

Rating: ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pure Blood by Melissa Pearl


Pure Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy)

Synopsis:

It is only a matter of time before Gemma's parents find out she traveled through time to bring Harrison back into existence. The fear of being found out is a heavy weight on her shoulders, but she refuses to give up on everything she's fought for. Harrison is worth the risk.

The couple draws closer together as they battle opposing forces from all sides. They stay strong until Gemma's parents welcome an exchange student into their home. Simeon, a gorgeous Californian, is as smooth as coffee and, supposedly, a fellow time spirit. Gemma's parents expect her to take him everywhere and, of course, fall in love with him. After all, he is the boy they have chosen for her. 

No longer able to sneak off alone, Gemma must watch every step as she waits for the inevitable nightmare to catch up to her. Her parents ultimate goal is to get that last necklace and open the box hidden in their safe. If they do, Gemma knows her entire world will unravel.
As the danger mounts, Gemma must decide if she has the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the ones she loves and stop to her parents' destructive plans.

Review:

ARGH! This will probably get ranty...Why did I read this book? Yes it is the third in the series so I thought why not finish it up. AHHHH!!! Gemma just gets stupider and stupider. There were many moments when I just screamed at the book and then went off on my husband about how idiotic Gemma was and how she doesn't make any sense and what the heck is wrong with her?!? Seriously it is like she doesn't want to live  or get away from the people who stole her and raised her. The first page of the book she is all well my birthmark on my leg might be how they are controlling me, but guys I totes don't want a hole in my leg that will heal! I mean it might hurt for a minute, better not try and get away from my horrible parents, better to just let them use and control me. Makes total sense. Then when she finally tells Harrison about the birthmark maybe controlling her he is all it is like you don't want to get away from them! Thank you Harrison for being a voice of reason, though you don't try too hard to get her to do the right thing. If it were me and I found out all this horrible stuff about they people I thought were my parents, including that they killed my real mom and kidnapped me, made the love of my life never exist, and are trying to open this secret box to do something evil with you better believe I am trying to get as far away from them as possible. If I thought cutting off my leg would get me out from under their control I would do it in a second. I mean I get that you grew up with them and they seemed nice to you, but come on! What do they have to do to get you to not be like but they are my parents! And throw a pity party tantrum for yourself cause life is oh so hard. Gemma frustrated me to no end. I couldn't stand her. She was so incredibly stupid throughout this book. Then of course right at the worst time when her parents might be trying to kill her then she says of course! It is my birthmark! That is how they are controlling me! I need this out now! Well way to wait until the last possible second to try and do anything even remotely smart. Man I hated her. I liked her in the first book, she annoyed me some in the second, and in this one I just couldn't stand her. The heroine should not get stupider and weaker as the series goes on, especially if she is supposed to save the day! ARGH!

The only good thing about this book was Harrison. He was consistently good throughout the books. He knew what was up and what should happen and was not stupid. I liked him throughout, and the ending was kind of sweet, but man. I feel like for most of this book I was banging my head against the wall. It was just like really? Really this is what is happening? Then of course we again have the changing major things don't really effect the present much thing which I had an issue with in the last book. The whole time travel aspect of these books just didn't work. Whenever I see or read time travel things it ends up with a discussion with my husband about how it doesn't make sense. Finally last time I realized it usually doesn't make sense because most of the time it is not done in a way that would actually work and it makes my brain explode a little bit. I always thought I just didn't get time travel, when really it is that if you don't do it right I just can't wrap my head around it and I keep seeing the issues. Well these books are like that for me so there is always going to be some time travel issues for me. Besides that this book was still horrible. Everything was also resolved way too easily. I was checking my status and realized I was 70% of the way through the book and it wasn't really resolving itself yet. So I knew I was in for a quick ending to just get it over with. The end was alright. The last chapter was nice. At least Harrison ends up happy. Oh the other good thing about this book is it is a super quick read so it is over fast. Ugh. 

Rating: ★

Monday, October 14, 2013

Black Blood by Melissa Pearl


Black Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy)

Synopsis:

Gemma's parents have put enough rules around her relationship with Harrison that she feels like she's living on parole. But she wins one battle—a summer job working for Harrison's step-father. It is the perfect chance to spend the steamy, hot Florida days with her boyfriend. It's also a great distraction from the cellphone hiding in her underwear drawer—her only contact with Gabe, the mystery man who's stalking her. 

When she confronts Gabe, he tells her that her parents are not who she thinks they are, and Harrison has the gall to believe him. Surrounded by conflict, Gemma doesn't know what to believe, and it takes a trip back in time for her to glimpse the sickening truth. 

Thanks to her parents, she returns to the present to find the love of her life no longer exists. His family line was broken and now, so is she.

This betrayal forces her to seek out Gabe. Setting aside her fear of the truth, she must trust this man and learn what he can teach her... otherwise, she'll never get her boyfriend back.


Review:

This is the second book in the Time Spirit Trilogy, and it was not nearly as good as the first one. I still love Harrison by oh my goodness did Gemma get on my nerves. She was so stubborn and stupid in this book! It is like she finally decided to see what Gabe has to say and instantly she reject what he said. She has the whole head in the sand don't want to know because it might not be good thing going on. Okay so I can understand at first being like that, but maybe eventually you will do some research and see if what he says is true? I mean what is he trying to gain from it? If he is telling the truth don't you want to know that?

Then when her parents take her back in time and she unknowingly helps erase Harrison what is the first thing she does? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. If it were me the first thing I would do is call Gabe and learn whatever he had to tell me and try and figure this out. I mean I would be so pissed at my parents I wouldn't care. Run away and never look back pissed. I mean why would I stay if they obviously do not care about me at all? Well Gemma doesn't see it that way. When she does finally get in contact with Gabe she still has her head stuck in the sand stupid refuses to believe anything he says. Why? Because she still loves her parents! Gabe wants her to find out what her parents are doing and she doesn't want to! No! Her parents would never do anything bad....even though they just took away the love of her life to spite her. Even though she finds out that they are sucking her energy from her to time travel herself. Even though she keeps learning things about them that are bad and how they are using her she still doesn't want to think about it. Much better to keep them using you! I mean I know she wasn't incredibly strong in the first book, but by the end she decided to fight for Harrison and she gradually had grown a backbone. Well it just disappeared again in this book. It was so frustrating. I just kept yelling at her because come on! It is like look at what is right in front of your face?!?! You are okay with them pulling this stuff and using you? For real? I know it is hard but seriously I would be pissed if I even learned one of the things she learned. If I learned they just had me around for their own selfish reasons...well f them then. AHHHH!!! She annoyed me so much! I mean by the end of the book she had fixed some things, but she still wasn't over her so called parents like she should be! She should no longer be loyal to them at all, but she still isn't there. It is so frustrating. 

My other main complaint is that things didn't really change that much without Harrison. Yes Courtney was sad and they weren't friends, but that is it? You wipe out an entire family line and things are still basically the same? The only changes are small changes that you could only see in relation to Gemma? Really? At least try and change things some. I mean...a whole family line gone and not much happened. I guess his ancestors did nothing ever. It is frustrating.

 I am still going to go read the next book as I want to see what happens, I am invested in it now, but man. I hope it is better than this one. I hope Gemma grows a pair and stops making excuses for her parents. 

Rating: ★ ★

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Playing for Keeps by R.L. Mathewson


Playing For Keeps (A Neighbor From Hell Series)

Synopsis:

Done with being the world's biggest pushover, Haley decides that things are going to change starting with the aggravating neighbor who has too much charm and not enough restraint. What she didn't expect was to be sucked into his world, but Haley has a game plan and she won't let herself forget just what the bad boy next door is capable of. 

The last thing Jason expected was for his little shy neighbor to go Rambo on him over some ruined flowers. After he decides to take her under his wing he can't help but notice that she fits very nicely in his life. Now the only thing left is to convince her that this is anything but a game.

Review:

Okay so this wasn't like the best book ever or anything, but it was ridiculous and just a cheesy fun easy read. Haley hated her next door neighbor Jason for 5 years. Then when she finally decides she has had enough they instantly become best friends. I didn't mind it, and I enjoyed their playfulness a lot. I loved how they just teased each other mercilessly and they were kind of sweet together. Yes it is a bit over the top. Yes some things made my eyes roll, but not in a bad way, in a please this is ridiculous but I don't mind kind of way. Does that even make sense? Usually my eye rolls are reserved for things I hate, but not this time. 

Anyways some of the ridiculous things in this book? Well Jason is obsessed with food (and apparently it is a guy thing in his family). Like will yell at you if you try and touch any of his baked goods Haley made. Like for reals will not share. Ridiculous! but also a little silly. It makes it fun. The constant banter between the characters was also a silly fun. Like her constantly making fun of him not being manly and him making fun of her fists of fury. It was a lot of fun. 

I wasn't sure that they would ever get together, but once they did it was actually kind of sweet. They still had their playful disposition, but they also obviously cared about each other. It was a nice easy light read for a rainy day. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Golden Blood by Melissa Pearl


Golden Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy)

Synopsis:

Gemma Hart never knows when her father is going to whisk her back in time. Her toes start tingling and she has a few minutes to find a secret haven where she can disintegrate and appear in another time and place. While “across the line,” her training and skills are put to the test as she completes a mission that will change history for the lucky few her father has selected. 

Gemma's parents are adamant that secrecy is paramount to her family’s safety. If people knew what they were capable of, they could be "used and abused", as her mother always says. Afraid she might accidentally utter the truth and break the ancient oath of her people, Gemma spends her school days as a loner. Only one thing can throw her sheltered life askew... Harrison Granger.

Harrison never expected to talk to the strange Hart girl, but after a brief encounter he can't stop thinking about her. He begins a campaign to chisel away her icy veneer and is met with unexpected consequences. As he slowly wins this girl over, he enters a surreal world that has him fighting to keep his newfound love and his life.


Review:


Overall I enjoyed this story. Did I have some issues with it? Yes. Did I still like it and want to read the next book? Yes. So things I did like? I thought Gemma and Harrison were cute together. They were good for each other. Harrison helped Gemma make some friends, something she has been trying not to do since it would mean lying to them and disappearing suddenly on them for a few minutes (good thing time is different when they travel or else the disappearing thing could have been quite awkward). I know they had an insta-love kind of things going for them, but in this case I bought it and enjoyed it. I like that they seem to be meant for each other, two halved of a whole. I didn't mind that Gemma wanted to keep everything quiet for so long.  I understood her reasoning so I was fine with it. I just was happy they were together. 

So what are some things I didn't like about this book? Well a lot of it had to do with the time travel. So if the dad is in charge of pulling them into the past, and it is imperative that no one knows what they are, then why can the dad not give the kids a heads up? I mean they have cell phones - why not send a quick text so the kids can get somewhere safe to disappear? And why not tell them about the mission before they get there and have two seconds to do whatever they need to do? Maybe that part I can understand as something is up with the parents by the end. So maybe not telling them what they are doing is so they won't ask any questions and just do what they want. But not telling them when they will be pulled back in time? That doesn't make any sense. If they gave them at least a few minute warning at least they could make sure to get somewhere safe and not have to panic. It just didn't make sense. 

The other thing I didn't like is just a minor gripe. At the beginning of the chapter they had the place and year. Why not add the date? All the present chapters I wanted dates on so I could see how long it had been since the last chapter. Sometimes it was hard to tell how much time had passed and it would have been nice to just add a little more to the date. I mean why not? 

The other issue is the time travel itself. I mean I expected more for a time travel book. That and when the one person questions whether they should really be changing the past it is just brushed off. I would have expected way more ramifications to the present after their time travel expeditions. I mean it seemed like nothing much changed, like after saving the pianist there was a famous song by her. Okay...that is all that changed? It just seems like there should be more consequences. I guess this is why I usually don't read time travel things....I have a hard time just going with it even if it makes no sense. 

My last gripe was that the kids in their school really don't understand the meaning of the word no. I mean look at Jordan who is constantly invading Gemma's space and making her really uncomfortable with his come ons. She keeps saying no, and fighting him, and yet he is still persistant. She tries not to do anything, but come on! That and his sister always fondling Harrison even though he repeatedly tells her no? Then nothing really happens to them. I mean I would have been worried if either of them, Jordan or his sister, ever was alone with Gemma or Harrison. I can see Jordan getting Gemma in a back alley and not taking no for an answer, even though Gemma could take care of herself and make him stop it is still not cool. They do this stuff in front of other people and no one ever says anything...it just bothered me. 

So even though this seems like an awful lot I didn't like, I did enjoy the book overall. There were just a lot of things related to the time travel aspect that I had to try and overlook. I did really like Gemma and Harrison which is probably why I didn't hate the story and would read the next book just to see what happens and what is up with the guy at the end. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★