Monday, August 31, 2015

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

The Tenth Circle
The Tenth Circle: A Novel

Synopsis:

Fourteen-year-old Trixie Stone is in love for the first time. She's also the light of her father, Daniel's life -- a straight-A student; a pretty, popular freshman in high school; a girl who's always seen her father as a hero. That is, until her world is turned upside down with a single act of violence. Suddenly everything Trixie has believed about her family -- and herself -- seems to be a lie. Could the boyfriend who once made Trixie wild with happiness have been the one to end her childhood forever? She says that he is, and that is all it takes to make Daniel, a seemingly mild-mannered comic book artist with a secret tumultuous past he has hidden even from his family, venture to hell and back to protect his daughter.


With The Tenth Circle, Jodi Picoult offers her most powerful chronicle yet as she explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child, and questions whether you can reinvent yourself in the course of a lifetime -- or if your mistakes are carried forever.

Review:

The Tenth Circle is the first Jodi Picoult book I have read. I have been meaning to check out her book and I saw this on a list of books to read so I downloaded it. I'm glad I did as it was a really great read. 

The Tenth Circle is not a light read by any means. It deals with a lot of serious things. It starts off when Trixie is raped one evening and goes on to how everyone deals with that and what happens later. It was hard to read at times because it would make me so angry. Angry not because of the writing or anything like that, but rather because it was too realistic. The way the rape was dealt with, the perpetrator, how everyone in town reacted was too real. How many times have I seen news stories about hometown sports stars and the people in town just cannot believe they would do something like this. That the girl must be making it up. Or that it doesn't matter because they are the hometown sports star and that somehow is more important. It is disgusting, but it happens. So the first half of the book made me angry at times because it was too true. 

Daniel, Trixie's dad, has a particularly hard time with it. He has a rough past that he never talks about, but this brings some of that back. He is a comic book artist and I loved the pages of the comic book interspersed between the chapters. I love the Dante's Inferno references, since the wife teaches that, and it really added to the story for me. I loved seeing what he was working on. His wife has her own things going on at the time and what happens to Trixie really makes her stop and think about what she has done. 

You also get to see what the perpetrator thinks about everything that is happening. That was probably the most interesting part. In this case it is kind of sad. It is hard to know exactly what happens when you only have the two people who were there. 

Then about half way through there is another major event that changes everything. It leads the story into a different direction and I kept thinking wait! You didn't answer all the questions I had. Things were brought up, but never revealed in the first half and they seemed to just be hanging. The author does get back to them, they are not forgotten. It is always crazy how interconnected things are. It takes a lot for everyone to deal with what happened and learn to go on with their lives, but it happens. Trixie's dad is just so involved, he cares so much about her it was great to read. It was great that she has such an amazing support system in place. Really a great read. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Unbroken (Beachwood Bay #1) by Melody Grace


Unbroken (A Beachwood Bay Love Story Book)

Synopsis:

"Mom always told me there are two kinds of love in this world: the steady breeze, and the hurricane. Emerson Ray was my hurricane...."

Juliet McKenzie was an innocent eighteen-year old when she spent the summer in Beachwood Bay—and fell head over heels in love with Emerson. Complicated, intense Emerson, the local bad boy. His blue eyes hid dark secrets, and just one touch could set Juliet ablaze. Their love was demanding and all-consuming, but when summer ended, tragedy tore them apart. Juliet swore she’d never go back, and she’s kept that promise… Until now.

Four years later, Juliet’s done her best to rebuild the wreckage of her shattered life. She’s got a great boyfriend, and a steady job planned after she graduates. Returning to Beachwood to pack up her family’s beach house to prepare it for sale, Juliet is determined that nothing will stand in the way of her future. But one look from Emerson, and all her old desire comes flooding back. He let her go once, but this time, he’s not giving up without a fight. And Emerson fights dirty.

A heartbreaking history. An unstoppable passion. Torn between her past and future, Juliet struggles to separate love from desire. But will they find a way to overcome their tragic secrets—together? And after so much damage has been done, can a love remain unbroken? 

*This book contains adult situations and explicit content.*

Review:

When I first read Unbroken I didn't care for it. I didn't see the connection between the main characters and it just wasn't for me. I didn't realize there was a novella where you could see the two of them meet. I read that recently without realizing it was the first chapter of Emerson and Juliet's story and really enjoyed it. Enjoyed it enough that once I figured it out I had to give Unbroken another chance. I am glad I did. As a stand alone it didn't work for me, but as a continuation of their story it was perfect. 

Juliet hasn't been back to Beachwood Bay in four years. Really she didn't plan on coming back as she doesn't want to see Emerson. Emerson who broke her heart four years ago. Her mom had just died and then everything that happened with him...it was all too much for her. She has tried hard to get her life together and have a safe, secure future. 

When she shows up to clean out her families beach house she tries to keep a low profile. She doesn't expect to see Emerson again, and if she does she doesn't expect to still react to him the same way she did four long years ago. For his part Emerson is angry with Juliet for leaving, though when you find out everything it was just like dude, you are not the one who was wronged here. You could have fixed this anytime and you didn't. I get why Emerson did what he did slightly, but man I didn't like it that much. Though when they figure everything out, when Juliet finds out what happened so long ago, I was really happy for them. They are cute together, they obviously love each other, and she really needs Emerson. Emerson doesn't let her get away with being safe and not being herself. He is really good for her even if he sacrifices his happiness at times. 

Overall I really enjoyed this story. Without reading Untouched first though it was not a great read. Definitely read that first then see how their story ends in this book. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Snapped (Tracer's #4) by Laura Griffin


Snapped (Tracers Series Book 4)

Synopsis:

Sophie Barrett Thinks She's Lucky To Be Alive.
She May Be Dead Wrong.

On a sweltering summer afternoon, Sophie Barrett walks into a nightmare. A sniper has opened fire on a college campus. When the carnage is over, three people - plus the shooter - are dead and dozens more are injured. Sophie escapes virtually unscathed. Yet as details emerge from the investigation, she becomes convinced that this wasn't the random, senseless act it appeared to be. No one wants to believe her - not the cops, not her colleagues at the Delphi Center crime lab, and definitely not Jonah Macon, the homicide detective who’s already saved her life once.


Jonah has all kinds of reasons for hoping Sophie is mistaken. Involving himself with a key witness could derail an already messy investigation, not to mention jeopardize his career. But Sophie is as determined and fearless as she is sexy. If he can’t resist her, he can at least swear to protect her. Because if Sophie is right, she’s made herself the target of a killer without a conscience. And the real terror is only just beginning....

Review:

Snapped was another great Tracer series read. I just love these. I love reading how everyone goes about trying to solve the crimes. Even though some of the characters in this story annoyed the bejeezus out of me I still loved reading it.

Snapped is the story of Sophie and Jonah. At the end of the last book Sophie had been kidnapped by the killer and was rescued just in the nick of time by Jonah and the cops. There was something between the two of them even then, but with that incident Jonah didn't want to overstep and try to start something when she is still healing.

When this story opens Sophie is on her way to the local university to sign up for some classes. She wants to try and get a promotion at work so she is trying to take classes to help her career. Only she never makes it to registration as a gunman opens fire. Three people were killed, multiple injured before the gunman killed himself. Sophie was there watching as a pregnant lady died across from her. So not the best time for Sophie. Just trying to get over her abduction and now this.

Jonah is one of the cops that responds to the school shooting and when he sees Sophie there he is worried about her. He likes her, he just might not admit how much even to himself. Now that she is a witness to the shooting he really should stay away. Only he can't.

Sophie was annoying in this story. She treated all men like they only want one thing from her - sex. She also keeps trying to throw herself at Jonah and have sex with him as a way to like repay him for stuff. She is all kinds of messed up in the head, but she frustrated me to no end. I just wanted to be like can't you see how amazing Jonah is? He is so nice to you and obviously doesn't just want a one night stand. You keep trying to use sex with him, and he doesn't take you up on it and you still think the only thing he wants is sex. Argh she was frustrating at times. She has a lot going on and when she remembers seeing something that prevents the police from wrapping up this shooting in a nice little bow she gets in even more trouble. Someone is after here and she doesn't make the smartest decisions. You would think almost getting yourself killed multiple times would make you more cautious, but apparently not with her. She is set against doing what Jonah wants her to do to keep herself safe because...well because she just is.

Jonah gets frustrated with Sophie just like I did. He would get so angry with her and I loved it. Even though he would be furious and was trying to stay away from her romantically since she is a witness and needs protection, he can't help but want to be with her at the same time. His self control is really tested and it was fun to read. He was really a great guy and always trying to do the right thing by Sophie. I loved him.

Through all of that I loved reading about how the cops tried to solve the case. How they try and unravel everything to make the picture complete. I love that stuff. So even though Sophie could really frustrate me, I still loved reading this story. They are so much fun! And intense and sweet and just really great read. I cannot wait to read the next one now.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Friday, August 28, 2015

Untouched (Beachwood Bay #0.5) by Melody Grace


Untouched (A Beachwood Bay Love Story Book)

Synopsis:

Emerson Ray is trouble. Juliet knows it the minute she lays eyes on Beachwood Bay's resident bad boy. Forced to spend her summer before college in the sleepy beach town, she never expected to crash into the most devastating guy she’s ever met—or for Emerson’s blue eyes to strip through her dark secrets, and make her feel a desire she’s never known. Their connection is undeniable, but Juliet is torn. She knows, once she gives him everything, there’ll be no turning back.

Juliet McKenzie is dangerous. Emerson can tell from the way she blows through all his defences, laying bare the demons he’s carried alone all his life. He’s left a trail of broken hearts and empty beds in his wake, but Juliet is different. Her innocence is intoxicating—and the passion she keeps hidden, just below the surface. He wants to be the only one to set it free, but with every kiss, he’s closer to losing control and doing the one thing he swore he never would: fall in love.

One summer. Two damaged hearts. Their story is only just beginning…

Review:

Untouched was a pretty good short story. Emerson and Juliet meet one day when Juliet is heading to Emerson's town for the summer. She is not exactly thrilled with the idea of spending the summer there with her family. She is counting down the days until she can escape to California for school. Her dad is an alcoholic, her mom in denial, and her sister a nightmare. 

No one ever expects anything good from Emerson. He drinks and sleeps with random girls, waking up not knowing where he is and feeling even worse about himself. Until he meets Juliet one day when he is driving back into town. They both just feel there is something between them right from the beginning. It was really sweet. Both think the other can't possibly like them, they have too many issues, but they just work. I enjoyed this read even though it was a quick one. Emerson and Juliet are great together. She is there for him when he needs it, even if he tries to push her away, and he for her. They both have issues at home and are both trying to figure out how to deal with them. Though they haven't known each other for very long they both are head over heels for the other. That doesn't make it easy, they have bumps in the road, but hopefully they can work it all out forever.

I didn't realize when I started it that I had read the next chapter of their story already (at the time I didn't know there was this book) and I hadn't enjoyed that book. Though now that I have the backstory I am looking forward to re-reading it to see what happens as I don't really remember. Emerson and Juliet are just so great together I need to see what happens next. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Release Day: Because of Sydney by T.A. Foster




Now Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Determined to establish a new life far from the ghosts of her past, twenty-two year old Sydney Paige is willing to try anything to launch her reporting career and quiet the painful memories of her family back home.

Money-driven Mason Lachlan knows exactly what he wants in life and how to get it. Nothing stands in the way of the successful millionaire’s next deal, not even the deeply-buried anguish he feels from being abandoned by his father and tucked away as a dark family secret.

When Sydney must report the biggest land deal to hit South Padre in years, Mason becomes the focus of her story. Problems surface when their undeniable attraction for each other compromises everything they both have worked for.

Can love exist when bottom lines and deadlines collide?

This is a standalone Contemporary Romance, there is NO cliffhanger!

Review:

Wow it took me way too long to remember that Mason from this story is Grey's uncle from the Kissing Eden series. I started Because of Sydney and thought I wonder if there is a book about Mason and Grey and Eden and how they all met. Then I was just like duh - I read that already! That is why I was excited to read this book! Come on Jen, get with it!

Because of Sydney was a fun summer read. I actually read it on the train going away for the weekend and it was perfect for that. It is light, and fun and just a good read. As I said above you meet Mason briefly in the Kissing Eden series, but you don't know to have read those books before reading this one. 

Mason is money driven. He does what he has to to make more money, to keep succeeding. He is currently in South Padre to buy a piece of land that has a trailer park on it and he is hoping everything will go smoothly. He does not count on Sydney and her affect on him. 

Sydney has just moved to the area and doesn't know many people. She is a reporter put on the story of who is buying the trailer park land and what they will do with it. She is not that good with development, doesn't know that much about it, but she needs this job. She needs to prove herself and so she tries her best. She keeps popping up where Mason is and it was fun watching the two of them. Mason doesn't do journalists as he likes to keep his private life private, but there is just something about Sydney. She has not had it the easiest, she has some skeletons in her closet, but they just work. She can open up to him and he to her. They were cute together. Slowly throughout the story they come together, get to  know each other, and it was wonderful to watch. 

I will say that at first they are not very good at communicating with each other. They start something just for fun, but of course that doesn't work for long. Sydney lashes out when she is hurt, but she won't say what is wrong. And Mason cannot fix something when he doesn't know what the issue is. It took them awhile, but they eventually get to their happily ever after. A fun read which I really enjoyed. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Want to read more about Grey & Eden? Check out the authors Kissing Eden series. The first book is even on sale for $0.99! (Click the title to go to my review)









A Very Grey Christmas Available on 
Amazon * Amazon.de *  Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sale Blitz: Hansel Boxed Set by Ella James

 
I saw Hansel the other day and thought erotic twisted fairy tale? Sounds interesting. So I started reading and was instantly hooked. Amazing. Definitely don't miss out on this limited time sale for the box set - all four parts for only $0.99!


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

One boy. Mother calls him Hansel.
One girl. Mother named her Gretel.
Locked in little rooms, in the mountainside mansion of a crazy woman.
Until he saws a hole into the wall dividing them.
Then at least, they have each other’s hands.

It doesn’t end well at Mother’s house.
Everything gets…broken.

Ten years later, they meet again in an exclusive Vegas sex club.
Whips.
Chains.
And most of all, a mask.
What happens to love when it gets twisted?

Fairy tales are cautionary tales, remember?




About the Author:

Ella James is a USA Today bestselling author who writes teen and adult romance. She is happily married to a man who knows how to wield a red pen, and together they are raising two children who will probably grow up believing everyone's parents go to war over the placement of a comma.

Ella's books have been listed on numerous Amazon bestseller lists, including the Movers & Shakers list and the Amazon Top 25 overall; two were listed among Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Young Adult Ebooks of 2012.



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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Release Day: Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves - Excerpt & Giveaway



Now available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act. 

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart. 


Excerpt:

“Oh, hi,” she said. 

“Imagine running into you here.” 

“This is quite a coincidence.”

“It’s not a coincidence at all. I knew you were following me.” 

“You did not.” 

“I spotted you hiding behind the plant when I walked into the bank. Plus I could smell your perfume as soon as I stepped out here.” 

“Did you”—she used her fingers to make little air quotes—“appropriate money from this bank?” she whispered. 

“Of course not. I do all my work from the Batcave. Believe it or not, I actually bank here. I was just signing some papers.” 

Kate had never seen a man look so utterly scrumptious while wearing glasses. There was something about the combination of his hair, his scruff, and the semi-rimless designer frames that made him irresistible. 

“Are the glasses a disguise? Because I totally knew it was you.”

“The glasses are real. I often suffer from eyestrain since I spend so much time on the computer, and I was up late last night, working.” 

“They make you look very smart.” She took a moment to imagine how his scruff would feel rubbing against her skin if he were to kiss her. 

“I am smart, but I think you mean devastatingly handsome. More so than normal, that is.” 

“You’re so humble.” 

“Ready?” He walked to the door and held it open for her. 

“Yes.” 

“Follow me.” He looked at her and laughed. “That shouldn’t be a problem for you.” 

They took the elevator to the basement, and when the doors opened to the parking garage, Kate followed Ian to a row of cars. He stopped beside one and pulled a set of keys from his pocket. 

She gasped. 

Ian smiled. “It’s a—”

“1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe.”

“’65. But color me impressed.” 

“My brother Chad was obsessed with this car. He used to have a poster of it on his bedroom wall. There were only six built between 1964 and 1965.” 

“A bit rare indeed.” 

The last authentic Shelby had sold at auction for around seven million. Ian’s was obviously a replica, of which there were quite a few, but it was still a very notable vehicle with a price tag that started in the low six figures. “Helena called it an old blue car.” 

He grinned, looking contemplative. “Technically, that is correct.” 

Kate could not resist running her hand lightly over the Guardsman Blue paint and the white racing stripes on the hood. The Shelby was unmistakably race-car-like in appearance with its aerodynamic design and unique body style. Chad was going to be so jealous. “For someone who values his privacy, isn’t this a bit ostentatious?”

“How so?”

“Rakishly handsome playboy who makes grand philanthropic gestures and drives a flashy car. Any of this ringing a bell?”

“Rakishly handsome playboy?”

“Well, if the Prada loafer fits. Wouldn’t you fly under the radar more easily in, say, a Ford Focus?” she asked. 

“A Ford Focus? You want me to tool around town in a Ford Focus? Jesus, would I still have my balls?”

“No, they cut them off when they hand you the keys. Of course you’d still have your balls. What kind of question is that? This conversation has gotten way off track.” 

“You mean because we started out talking about my car and now we’re talking about my balls?”

“Are we?” 

“I believe so.” 

“Maybe we should go back to talking about your car.” 

“You want to drive it, don’t you?”

“Why would I want to drive your car?”

“Why wouldn’t you want to drive my car? Can you handle a stick shift?” 

“Yes, and rather competently I might add.” 

“That’s an enormous turn-on. Truly.” 

She pretended not to hear him. “This is not a good car for Minnesota winters.” 

“Horrible, I agree. My other car has four-wheel drive, but it’s not nearly as fun to operate as this one.” Ian dangled the keys in front of her. 

He was right. Kate was dying to drive his car and couldn’t wait to see how it handled. She took the keys, opened the door, and reached over to unlock the passenger side for Ian. They belted up, and she started the car. 

“Please note that I’m already making good on my promise, Katie. Because I assure you, driving this car will be the opposite of boring.”



About the Author:

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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Monday, August 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Wrenched (Hell's Bastard #1) by Emma James - Review, Excerpt & Giveaway



Available Sept 1
Pre-Order now for only $1.99 until release day
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

EDGE

My name is Dallas 'Edge' Masson and I'm the Soulless Bastards MC's enforcer.
I was raised by an evil bastard.
The apple didn't fall far from the tree.
I have personal business.
Whisper is my business.
I will be her judge and jury.
My father may have been Hell's Bastard, but he was still my father.
They say blood is thicker than water. 
I'm about to find out.

WHISPER

Life has been a bitch to me.
I don't even know my full name.
I was a secret.
Miss Catherine changed my life.
I have friends.
I trust in people.
But then it all had to be wrenched away from me.

Review:

Phew I read Wrenched was a dark romance and it really was. I got to the end of the book and was just like where is my next book?!? and man..it was an intense one to read. I am really curious to see what happens next. How is this all going to play out. 

When I first started reading Wrenched I thought I don't know about this. The style of writing for the first chapter or two was just not my favorite. It reminded me of the authors first book and how at first I didn't know about that, but as it went on I fell in love with the story. This was the same way for me. Once you really got into Whispers past and everything it was just like woah. This is amazing and dark and everything I love. Not sure why I don't like the beginning of the story so much, but by the end I just wanted more and more.

Whisper has not had a good life up until this point. Really her past, everything she went through...I cannot imagine. I cannot imagine going through all that and yet being the strong person that she is. Yes she has to get used to having people care about her and such, but man. She is so sweet and kind even after everything and she manages to stumble upon some amazing people who help her out. Miss Catherine I just loved. Really all of the people who help her out were so amazing. It is like even though they didn't know each other long they all have Whispers back. They would do anything for her. So good. 

Then we have Edge. Man he was hot, but kind of scary. He is not someone you would want to cross. Yeah, he is this tough motorcycle club enforcer. Normally I don't like MC guys, but Edge I loved immediately. He is tough and would kill you without thinking twice about it, but there is just something about him. I can't wait to get to  know him more. I love who he is in relation to everything else that is happening. It is somehow poetic to me that things would work out like this. It might seem odd if you have read the story, but I really enjoy it. 

So this book was an entertaining read even if it was also hard to read at times because of what happens. This story is dark, it is gritty, it is intense, but it is also sweet and beautiful and amazing. Whisper has been through so much I just want every good thing for her. I want her to have a happily ever after. It might be rough getting there, but she is strong enough to get through whatever obstacles are put in her way. It was really a great read. I got the the end and just wanted more. I cannot wait for the next book!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★



Excerpt:

One bullet to maim and cause pain...

Oooph! Is all I can grunt out as I’m slammed sideways into the ground from the place I had been stalking my prey.

One second I was aiming at the old whore so I could give her a taste of pain before we got down to business, and the next I’m bulldozed sideways as I pull the trigger, my head bouncing off the ground like a crash dummy.

WTF?

A body has landed on me and the next thing I feel is a jaw crunching blow to my face which feels like a sledge hammer has tried to take my head off. I’m left dazed and disorientated.

I was pissed before, but now I’m fucking furious, rage has me twisting about on the ground trying to see what the fuck just happened.


About the Author:
Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her supportive husband, three children and a big black Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household.

Writing has been a part of her life for many years. Life was getting on and it was time to put her fears aside and do what she does best. It was time to show readers what she was made of, take that leap off the diving board and see where it takes her.

Emma is a creative person at heart. She loves to read as much as write, devouring books into the wee hours of the morning. Who needs sleep, right?

She loves hearing from readers, so please feel free to drop her a PM on Facebook.

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon * Pintrest



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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Summer Secrets by Jane Green


Summer Secrets

Synopsis:

Jane Green delivers her second blockbuster novel of 2015, a story of one woman struggling to right the wrongs of her past, with even more complications in the present.

June, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that.

June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.

Review:

Summer Secrets was an okay read, but it wasn't my favorite. I really wanted to love it since I don't come across that many books with alcoholic main characters, but while this was interesting to read it wasn't as good as I had hoped. Still enjoyed it, just didn't absolutely love it. 

Cat is an alcoholic. The story opens when she is still not able to admit that to herself. She drinks a lot, wakes up the next morning not knowing where she is and feeling terrible. She almost seems ready to try and change, to stop her drinking, but she is not quite there yet. She is not in her early twenties anymore. Friends and family keep telling her it is time to grow up and grow out of that behavior. 

When Cat meets Jason, a recovering alcoholic, she thinks that he could be it. He could be the one that makes her happy, that completes her. She starts going to AA even though her heart is not in it to try and win him over. Sure she still drinks occasionally, but she has this under control. She doesn't need the twelve steps and all that nonsense. When she finds out that her father is not really her father she flies off to meet this new family she never knew she had. Everyone in Nantucket seems to have a drinking problem as well so why not participate too? I mean it would be rude not to drink with them. Jason was worried about her sobriety and encouraged her to seek out a group in Nantucket, but once she gets there it is just like why bother? And she ends up ruining some relationships because of what happens one night when she gets wasted. 

The story then skips ahead years to after she has ruined her marriage because of her alcoholism. She is now sober, the divorce being the kick in the pants she needed to actually do this for real this time. No more half attempts, no more trying and failing, she is doing this. She has to for her daughter and she thinks maybe if she changes enough she can get her husband back again. 

Through her recovery she has to complete all of the twelve steps including making amends which takes her back to Nantucket. She has to try and make amends for her past behaviour with the family she only started to get to know all those years ago. It is not easy and she has been dreading it for a while, but it is something she must do. 

There were a few surprises in the story, a few things that didn't go as I expected, and it was an alright read. I didn't really like Cat's bff Sam as he doesn't really seem to understand alcoholism. Cat said how he would try and get her to have just one drink, what could it hurt, and things like that. I don't like that. That is so wrong and it is just like how can you not understand that she cannot have just one? How can you be her friend, supposedly care about her, yet every once and a while try and get her to drink? I didn't like him. 

The other issue I had with the story? I didn't believe it. I didn't really believe that Cat was an alcoholic and that she struggled with it. I am not sure why. It told me she did, but something about it didn't ring true for me. Maybe I needed more showing of her out of control instead of just telling me last night she drank a lot, she has problems, she ruined her marriage. I don't know. Because I didn't actually see her being out of control with the drinking all the time I wasn't as engaged. It was an okay read, but I just didn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked. That and I didn't care for the ending. I just...it left me feeling like oh...okay. So I enjoyed the story to a degree I just didn't love it completely. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Available on 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sophie's Secret (Whispers #1) by Tara West


Sophie's Secret (Whispers Book 1)

Synopsis:

After shedding 30 pounds of baby fat, Sophie Sinora has grown into a pretty, but insecure, teen in bloom. To make her life more complicated, Sophie can sometimes read minds. 

Sophie's BFFs, AJ and Krysta, are also 'gifted' with paranormal abilities. Keeping their gifts secret proves difficult, as their powers are strengthening, making them feel more and more like freaks. 

When Sophie falls for Jacob, she hopes he'll ask her out to the Freshman Formal. But when she's forced to cheat and lie for him, she wonders how far she'll have to go to make him like her. Add to her growing list of problems - her teacher's suicidal thoughts, a locker bully who wants to kick her butt, the hot school flirt who won't stop teasing her, her pregnant sister who boots Sophie out of her room, and the growing tension between Sophie and her best friends. 

Sophie's got issues. Hopefully, she can fix them in time to save her teacher's life and her social life.

Review:

I did not really enjoy Sophie's Secret. It was like the worst parts of high school, but the bad parts were treated like they were good at times. Really the ideas behind a lot of the things, what the book shows as okay and correct, I had a big problem with. The book made me angry at times. I have waited a few days to write this review as I needed to calm down some. *Some slight spoilers ahead and it might get a bit ranty*

This is the story of Sophie. Sophie who can read people's minds, but she tries not to. I thought the reading minds thing would have been a bigger part of the story, but it wasn't. The way everything played out just seemed to happen coincidentally, not like Sophie used her powers for good or anything. It was a bit of a let down. I guess one reason it was good she had her powers is that then she knew the girl in yearbook class wasn't actually a slut like everyone said. Man that whole thing made me angry. Sophie is just like ew - I don't want to work with the slut...oh wait I am reading her mind and she is thinking please don't think I am a slut like everyone is saying. I am not. Oh okay, she isn't. I guess it is okay then. Argh. It just...even if the girl had slept with some guy why would she be a slut? Way to slut shame book. And way to be judgemental Sophie! I do not like. 

So Sophie decides she likes this guy Jacob because he's cute or whatever. I can get behind that. I remember high school. Plus she found out that he used to be fat too so they are meant to be. But when he asks her to cheat for him and such she just goes along with it, then think maybe he is using me? Oh I hope he likes me. I was just like come on. Everyone, her bff's included, tell her how horrible Jacob is and she is just like no way. He is...not really nice to me or anything, but you guys he totes is the best. He used to be fat! I used to be fat! We are soul mates!!! So what I hear people's thoughts that are like if you only knew what Jacob did you wouldn't like him as much and such. She doesn't have any direct irrefutable proof that he is a jerk so yeah. Too bad everyone else she is sticking to her liking him cause...cause she is incredibly stupid and frustrating!

We also have the popular girl who is totally mean and has a locker right next to Sophie. Apparently Sophie is a push over and cannot stand up for herself and her one bff fights her fights for her. When the super nice popular guy seems to be interested in Sophie popular girl does not like that at all. No way! So things get a bit worse for poor stupid Sophie. I guess this is another time when her mind reading came in handy as she treated nice guy Frankie like crap, but then when she would hear his thoughts how he was hurt by what she said, I guess she doesn't really like me, etc. she can correct herself and be like no, I am totes sweet and nice see? Ugh. And the revenge on popular girl? I was reading the book and the whole thing plays out with nice guy Frankie right there. I thought oh no Soph, you did it this time. He will want nothing to do with you now as this is horrible and not how you should be. You are a mean girl too and why would nice guy Frankie want to be with someone who does something like this? You blew it Soph. Only she didn't. Frankie was totally cool with her being a mean girl! No, just no. That is not how the situation should be handled. It was terrible and I hated it. It just made me angry.

Ugh there was so much wrong with this book. Sophie used to be fat, but now she is totally pretty since she lost weight and can be popular now. She cannot tell if someone is a male of female if they have short hair and a not clearly feminine voice? Really? Her bff's seem like they are all enemies. I really don't  know why they are all friends except they all have different powers. She is super judgemental and kind of terrible to people whenever she feels like it. It was not the book for me. The powers were in the background, the writing wasn't my favorite, the themes behind the story I really disagreed with, it was just a mess for me.

Rating:

Available on

Friday, August 21, 2015

Meant For You (Montgomery Brothers #5) by Samantha Chase


Meant for You (Montgomery Brothers Book 5)

Synopsis:

She dares to dream...

Summer Montgomery wants to be taken seriously almost as much as she wants her brother's best friend, Ethan. But with a long resume of seemingly random career choices and a protective brother on watch, those things are nothing more than pipe dreams...

Does he dare to try?

Ethan Reed would like nothing more than to live by his own rules. Not wanting to disappoint his best friend Zach, or any of the Montgomerys, Ethan's had to push his long-denied feelings for Summer aside. But it only takes one night away from watchful eyes to make impossible dreams come true... 

Review:

I don't know how this author does it. How she makes these stories that I just love every time. Meant For You is the story of Summer and Ethan, two characters that have a lot of qualities I really do not like, but the author made me love their story anyways. With someone else writing it I could easily have hated this story, but I didn't. I couldn't. Amazing. 

Summer is the younger sister of the Montgomery nephews and no one really takes her seriously. She moves from job to job trying things out trying to find what she wants to do with her life. She moves around a bit, and after a bad breakup in New York she heads home. Only her family sends her out to Oregon to work at the family business out there. With her overbearing older brother who blames everything on her and his best friend whom she has always had a crush on she has got a lot going on. 

Ethan works with Summer's brother and he had a crush on her back in the day, but he hasn't seen her for a while. Now that she is here again he can hardly believe what a beautiful, amazing woman she has grown into. He is so into her, but he will never do anything about it since she is his bff's younger sister. He just couldn't do that. Her family would never accept him as Summer's boyfriend. They would kill him. 

Only things get kind of mixed up when Ethan goes to find Summer and ease her brothers conscience before a big climb they have planned. He and the brother are supposed to head out the next day and their heads have to be in the game. They cannot afford to be distracted, especially not Zach, the brother, since his leg is not completely healed from the last crazy adventure. 

Ethan goes out to make sure Summer is okay when she goes off without telling Zach where she is going, only to have her throw herself at him. He never imagined that she would like him like that, and he is not sure what to do. He wants to be with her, more than anything, but he is too afraid to tell her family that. 

When the two of them end up with a week semi-alone in Alaska thing get really hot between them. They definitely fall for each other, but what will happen when they go back to the real world? Will Ethan stand up with her against her family? Will he still want her? It is obvious they both care about each other, but how will they act once her family is around? 

This is where another author would have made me hate this story. Ethan is so wishy washy never really standing up for what he wants. He tries to be a good guy, but I just wanted to yell at him at times. Like come on man! Man up and deal with it. She is worth whatever her family will throw at you right? And Summer? She needs to not just jump to conclusions and make issues where there shouldn't be/aren't any. Oh the end, what Ethan does, that is not called for. I couldn't believe Ethan would be so cruel like that, but it all works out in the end. Summer is wishy washy herself, wanting one thing but telling people she wants another. Without Summer's friend Gabrielle being the voice of reason I don't know that this would have ever worked out. Not that Summer ever listens to her, but still she says what she needs to to try and help these two get their happily ever after. They can really be stubborn at times and need someone to step in. This was another great read by this author!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Business As Usual (Off the Subject #3) by Denise Grover Swank


Business as Usual: Off the Subject #3

Synopsis:

Lexi Pendergraft has given up on finding love after a disastrous encounter with her last boyfriend. Instead, she focuses on two things: One, setting up a summer program for underprivileged middle-school aged students. And the second, getting to the bottom of her brother Reed’s recent strange behavior. His secret is destroying his relationship with his fiancĂ©e Caroline, and Lexi will do anything to help him save it. Especially after he gave up his dream to give Lexi a chance at a semi-normal college experience, something her parents threatened to steal from her after her rape a year ago. 

Ben Masterson is determined to make it through his final semester of his senior year at Southern University. After recently losing his full ride scholarship, he’s suffering from sleep deprivation while trying to keep up with his mechanical engineering courses and working three part time jobs. He thinks he’s lucked out getting a job in the university math lab. The only problem is his boss—Reed Pendergraft.

As part of a role in a community theater play, Lexi wears a black wig and feels a confidence she hasn’t experienced in over a year. When she wears it to a bar close to the theater, she doesn’t think Ben, a bartender there, recognizes her. While Ben’s intrigued about what she’s up to, he’s smart enough to stay far away from his overprotective boss’s sister. Until fate forces him to help her, but why won’t she tell him her real identity?

Review:

Business As Usual was a great read. I originally started reading it back when I read the other books in this series, but I just couldn't deal with it at the time. I wasn't in the right headspace to read it. I read the prologue and had to set it aside. The prologue was too realistic for me. It was too much like my own experiences and I just wasn't in a place where I could/wanted to read it. I finally went back to read Lexi's story and I'm glad I did. 

Business As Usual was such a great read. Ben and Lexi were perfect for each other. What they have both been through...it just works. I was waiting for Lexi to find out what happened to Ben and hoping it wouldn't be too bad when she did. They just are so cute together! Because of their past and what happened it makes it work even more. Lexi gets to know Ben before she knows what happened to him and it is just amazing.

Lexi was raped and since then she has a new identity at a new school where her overbearing brother keeps tabs on her. She cannot really just go out and do what she wants since her brother blames himself somewhat for not keeping her safe before. If you read have read Redesigned, the second book in the series, then you know the brother already and a bit of Lexi's story. He really is way too overprotective of her. She will never move on and learn to be strong and okay if he doesn't let her be herself.

Ben has a crazy ex who accused him of raping her when he didn't. Now that crazy ex? Oh did I hate her. I wish nothing but bad things on people like her. Argh! Because of her false claims Ben lost his scholarship and is working a ton to try and finish up his school year. He gets a job as a tutor with Lexi's brother as well as working at a bar and a few other things. He has a lot going on and doesn't need any distractions.

When Lexi puts on a play to help her school program she is working on she finds that dressing up with a wig and such makes her feel different. It makes her more confident and like she is not that broken girl anymore. It was so great watching Lexi really grow and learn to move on, to be strong and not let her rape rule her life anymore. She starts acting out with her brother, making him see that she is an adult and can do what she wants. He can't control her anymore. She doesn't always make the best decisions still, but luckily she has people who look out for her. She first meets Ben when they go to the bar after the play and she is in disguise. There is just something there between them that slowly grows to more. Neither of them think they want anything right now, but they just can't help but be together.

Ben is amazing with Lexi. He knows pretty quick who she is even though she doesn't think he does (since she is always in a disguise). She worries about telling him who she really is and about her overbearing brother, but he never pressures her to tell him. He likes her for who she is and he lets her move at her own pace. He was wonderful. He finds that obviously something bad happened to her, and once he finds out what it is his turn to worry what will happen when she finds out about his past. Oh, I just loved him. He was so sweet and kind and caring. He was amazing.

Throughout the story Lexi's brother is also acting stranger than normal. He is cranky and tired and lashes out and is just not himself. Lexi knows something is going on, but she doesn't know what. That is partly why she does some not so smart things. She wants to find out what is going on and help her brother like he has been helping her. It was intense at times, especially when Lexi has to deal with her past head on, but it just shows how strong she really is. There are some bumps in the road, she does take time to really be comfortable with everything, but I loved it. It was hard for me to read at times because of my own past, but it was a great read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Blog Tour: A Little Faith (Men of Ocean Beach #1) by Emma James



Available on 
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

I had no idea a carefree island vacation would tear my life apart.
But now it’s time to put my walls up, make them impenetrable.
It’s the only way to survive.
~Faith

Six Years Later…

Harley, the protector. Retro, the straight shooter. 
Keanu, the funny bone. Levi, the model. And Text, who can’t seem to find himself.

All their lives were permanently altered by one event.

With a pact made, these five best friends need something from Faith.

Is she ready now to give them what they have been waiting for?

Join Faith as she goes on an emotional and heartwarming discovery where all may not be what it seems.

But with every ending, comes a new beginning, a second chance.

You just gotta have A Little Faith...

Welcome to Ocean Beach.

Review:

Wow. Okay. So first off I feel like I should say that this book does have a bit of a cliffhanger and man I need the next book! I can't really talk about what happens in the book as I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but it is not at all what I expected.

So the first chapter starts with that island vacation that changes everything. I am reading and not really liking it as it was a bit...too descriptive and too many people were introduced with too much info that I was just like well I am not going to remember all of this. Then suddenly stuff happens and I was like oh sugar pops this is what this book is about? Alright then.

The book is told from many different points of view. Each chapter changes the POV and I actually really liked that. I didn't like the first chapter's POV, but once it changed to Faith I started liking it more. Well then I started hating Faith when it jumped to six years later and how everyone treated her with such kid gloves like she would break at any second. She got really annoying with her inner monologue of how horrible she has been and what is wrong with her? Why is she so selfish? I was just like yes, why are you like this? It has been six years!! I really got annoyed with her quite a bit in those first chapters. Then she started to not be so whiny poor me what is wrong with me and I started to really get into the story. This is an example of one of why it hard for me to put down a book once I have started even though I am not enjoying it. The first 20% or so of this book I was just like I don't know about this...this is not that good. Then it changed and was way better and I started loving it. By the end I was just like wait there are only a couple pages left in this book!?! NO!!! I have to wait for more?!?! NO! So yeah. This book is an example of why I always finish books once I start. Sometimes they really do get better and become great books.

So what else can I say about this book? Well not much. I don't want to give anything away. There are a ton of characters though so maybe a re-cap of my thoughts on them? Alright.


Text - He was my favorite by far. I cannot wait to see how his story plays out. He is just...I loved him. He has a lot of issues, probably the most out of everyone in the book, but he is also sweet and kind and you can tell he is a good guy. Really when I got to the end I was upset because that meant I didn't get to see how things work out for him in particular. I need the next book (though something tells me his story won't be resolved until later)!

Harley - He was my least favorite of the guys. I didn't really like his voice for his sections of the book. He was a bit too over-protective of everyone for my tastes.

Retro - He was fun. He has a lot going on in this book and it makes me warm and fuzzy. I really liked him and his story. He was a great guy.

Keanu - He was my close second favorite. He was so funny and fun and I loved his attitude. Yes, he keeps a lot bottled up inside, but the way he is accepting of some of the things that he has to deal with was just really amazing. Not everyone would even be able to put up the front he does in his situation so I loved him. I would love to have him around and be bff with him.

Levi - I don't feel like I really got to know Levi in this book. I am sure he is great, just like the rest of them, but I didn't really get a good feel for him. I am sure he will be a bigger part of the next book so I will get to know him more then.

Slade - Another guy that I don't feel I really got to know. He seemed to be even less of a main character than Levi so we shall see if you get to know him more in the next book.

So that is it. By the end I loved most of these guys and how amazing they are. I was so into the book that when it ended I was caught a bit off guard. I keep thinking of how I want Text's story to end, and thinking about Keanu and Retro and all of them! Really loved this story by the end so if you are not enjoying it at first definitely keep reading. It turns into an amazing story and I can't wait for the next book (which is out now)!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Other books in the series:

Available on


About the Author:


Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her supportive husband, three children and a big black Labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household.
Writing has been a part of her life for many years. Life was getting on and it was time to put her fears aside and do what she does best. It was time to show readers what she was made of, take that leap off the diving board and see where it takes her.

Emma is a creative person at heart. She loves to read as much as write, devouring books into the wee hours of the morning.

Who needs sleep, right?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Love Me Back to Life (Gold Coast Romance #1) by Elle G. Mraz

Available now on

Love Me Back to Life is now live! This is the first book from a brand new author and it sounds amazing. I read the sample and was intrigued. I cannot wait till I can get a moment to read more. It should be a hot, fun read! Go get yourself a copy today.

Synopsis:

Kendall Matthews is intelligent, quick on her feet, and compassionate - everything you'd want in an ICU nurse. When a fatal accident turns her world upside down, she struggles to pick up the pieces, uncertain that she'll ever regain control or rediscover her sense of self.

Dr. Anson Allaway is a renowned neurosurgeon ... and an unapologetic playboy. Kendall's colleague at South Florida's Gold Coast General, he would never consider dipping his pen in the company ink (despite rumors to the contrary).

But everything changes when Kendall brazenly looks to Anson for an escape from her grief - and he unexpectedly finds his way back from the burdens of his own past.


About the Author:

Elle G. Mraz has several not-so-secret love affairs: peanut butter M&Ms, sweet champagne, and writing run-on sentences. She merged all three one day in 2014, continuing off and on until completing her first romance novel, Love Me Back to Life.

Elle met her Canadian husband in Guatemala and got hitched in Las Vegas. Together they laugh, dream big, and ponder life's great mysteries ("When did our junk drawer become a junk room?") while raising their two children, a couple odd rescue cats, and two even-odder rescue greyhounds. While she's done her fair share of traveling and has lived abroad, Elle was raised along the briny Atlantic coast of South Florida, which she'll always call home. 

Writing spicy dramas for others to enjoy is a welcome distraction from Elle's on-the-job drama as a full-time registered nurse. When she's not working, spending time with her kids, or paying a bit of attention to her main man, she tries to squeeze in some writing and reading time - preferably on the beach with a mimosa.