Sunday, 30 December 2012

Review: Point of Retreat

Layken and Will have managed to overcome the obstacles that threatened to destroy their love, proving that they are destined for one another.

What they are about to learn, however, is that the things that have brought them together may be the very things that ruin their connection forever…

Layken is left second-guessing the relationship whilst Will is jumping over hurdles to prove his love for her.

What the young lovers discover about themselves along this journey may change their entire world and the lives of those who depend upon them the most...

Title: Point of Retreat (Slammed ~ Book 2)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: August 10 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1471125564
Length: 320 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: I really want to love these covers and I think they are pretty but I just don't see the connection between them and the book.  I don't remember a locket in the story.  A butterfly or a folded paper star would have been so fitting and would have connected perfectly to the story.
Point of View: 1st person, following Will

My Rating: 5 Butterflying Brilliant Stars

There was a moment in Slammed where Lake asked if it were possible for a person to cry too much, as in is possible to die from crying.  She even looked it up to find that your body would eventually fall asleep giving you the chance to recuperate.  Will actually asks this same question to himself in Point of Retreat.  If it were possible for a person to cry too much, to actually die of crying... then I would have been a victim of this fate.

I cried happy tears, I cried sad tears.  I had moments where  my eyes only watered, I had little tears and I have big fat messy tears.  I laughed and smiled through the good times and I sobbed wholeheartedly through the bad times.  At one point I even sent a text to two of my friends asking them why we put ourselves through this torture?  Why do we actually do this to ourselves for pleasure?

Because being able to be moved to this type of emotion with mere words that are printed on a page.  It is a very special thing indeed and I wouldn't change a moment that I spent with this book.

I was overjoyed when I found out that this book was told from Will's perspective.  I really wish more authors would take on the challenge of getting into the heads of their male characters.  I love being able to see how they think and to feel the emotions they are feeling.  It is so different from being told from from within the girl's head and it makes for a lovely change of pace.

“Sometimes two people have to fall apart, to realize how much they need to fall back together.”

So now that Will and Lake have made their way through the obstacles that were keeping them apart in Slammed we find them very happy and content.  They are moving on with their lives... together.  Then everything comes crashing down around them when a part of Will's past comes back into the picture.  When this happens Lake finds herself wondering if the very things that have brought her and Will closer together are the only things that they have to build their relationship on.  She is worried that when their brothers are older and it is just the two of them... Will they still have the same feelings for each other?  Or will they end up resenting each other.

“A guy can tell a girl he's in love with her until he's blue in the face. Words don't mean anything to a woman when her head’s full of doubt. You have to show her.”

Will is now doing everything in his power to prove to Lake that the love he has for her is not just the circumstances that pulled them closer to begin with.  Again, it was so nice to be in his head for this story.  There was never once that he did anything inappropriate and you knew all along his true feelings and felt the love he has for her.  Normally in this situation we would be in Lake's head with her doubts and fears but to know everything that Will was feeling and planning... it was nice.

So I'm not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them.

And no, I don't need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you.

It's an easy answer for me.

I love you because of you.

Because of




about you.

The same cast of characters are back but we also have a new family that has moved into the neighborhood (diagonal from Will and parallel to Lake).  They are Sherry and her daughter Keirsten, there is a father also but he is hardly there as he works away a lot.  Just when you didn't think you could have room in your heart for any more beautifully written characters... in walk these two.  They are both amazing.  Keirsten made me laugh like never before.  She is so mature for her young age (she is in school with Kel and Caulder), smart and so very snarky.  Loved her to bits.  And her Mom Sherry becomes a sort of surrogate mother to Will and Lake.  She watches over them and helps them with times get tough.

I came to the conclusion early on with Colleen Hoover novels that you never want to give too much away as it will spoil the experience for those who will be reading it after you.  So I will be leaving you with my very strong recommendation that you read this series... as soon as possible!

There is a third book that is due out in 2013.  At the time of this review it does not yet have a tittle or exact release date.  From what I have read on the author's website it appears that the book will take place after Point of Retreat but it is going to be a lot of Slammed but from Will's perspective but also some new stuff from Lake's.  So it sounds to me like it may be a dual POV book.  Whatever it turns out to be I will be over the moon when it is released.  Retelling, new stuff, old stuff... I don't mind. I need more.

“My heart pounds against my chest. Not because I'm nervous. Not even because I want her worse that I've ever wanted her before. It's pounding against my chest because I realize I've never been so sure about the rest of my life than I am in this moment. This girl is the rest of my life.”

Book Blogger Spotlight: Falling Books

Falling Books

My name is Samantha, but please call me Sam! I'm fourteen-years-old, slightly younger, and a lot less experienced, than other book bloggers around so please excuse my occasional punctuation mistakes and lack of 'colourful' vocabulary, as my English teacher calls it.  I'm from the land of tea and crumpets, aka the UK.

When and why did you become a book blogger?

I became a book blogger last year in December, though at first I just posted some random stuff and didn't take it too seriously. I guess I started a blog because I was genuinely bored and had nothing better to do as it was the Christmas holiday.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

I have absolutely no clue, it kinda came out of no where. My blog is called "Falling Books", come on, that must be the worst name for a blog! When I'm doing some blog stalking and see some super creative names, I think, "Sam, why are you such an idiot? Couldn't you have decided on something more exciting that 'Falling Books'? What even is that?"

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

My favourite thing would have to be the people, definitely the people. I have met some fantastic book bloggers out there who all share my passion for reading, and it's great to get their opinions on books that I've read and want to read. I mean, it's nice to know that I'm not the only person who is obsessed with books!

What do you find the hardest about blogging?

The hardest thing about blogging, for me, would be finding the time. Since I'm still in school, I have to make time for studying (and keeping up my non-existent social life). During some busy weeks, I get extremely stressed when I think about having to write a review/post because I simply don't have enough time. Though it's been a year and I love blogging when I can, so I shall carry on!

Does your blog participate in any weekly features and if so which is your favorite?

I participate in Waiting on Wednesdays and Book Hauls, I occasionally post a Teaser Tuesday, but not every week. I love checking out what books other bloggers have received during the week so I would have to go with Book Hauls as my favourite, but I think others call it  "Stacking the Shelves", "Letterbox Love", etc.

What has been your favorite moment since you became a book blogger? Which review, interview or giveaway have you been most proud of?

I have many posts that I am proud of, but the two that stand out would probably be my review of Easy by Tammara Webber and my review of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith, this is because both reviews have almost reached 1000 views! I would like to say thank you to every single person who take their time to read my reviews and other random posts, I wouldn't be here without you.

What kind of genres do you enjoy reading and reviewing the most?

I adore anything YA with a romance plot, it can be paranormal, sci-fi, contemporary, steam-punk, historical, you name it, as long as there is some kind of romance going on I will read it!

What is your favorite individual book or series? What makes you love it so much?

Oh gosh, I have so many...

Who is your favorite fictional male character, why and from what book or series are they from?

One? I can't pick one! There are many male characters that have stolen my heart.

- Adrian Ivashkov from The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. He is gorgeous and endlessly entertaining.

- Jase Garret from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. One of the sweetest and most swoon-worthy boys out there.

- Daemon Black from the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. He is a hot, arrogant alien that you will easily fall for.

I would love to tell you a whole load more but I'm afraid you may get bored!

Who is your favorite fictional female character, why and from what book or series are they from?

My favourite female character would probably have to be Lena from the Delirium trilogy, this is purely because she is a strong character who isn't afraid to face the unknown. If you haven't read the Delirium trilogy then go check it out now!!

Who are your favorite three authors and why?

Jennifer L. Armentrout because she is incredible! She's written so many good books in just over a year. They're full of romance, hot guys and plenty of action!

Julie Kagawa because her Iron Fey series was just... mind-blowing. Not to mention her new vampire series 'Blood of Eden' which is equally amazing.

And last but not least, Brigid Kemmerer, author of the Elemental series which is bursting with romance, action and mysteries.

If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?

I would love to see Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series turned into movies because I adore the books and I would love to see it on the big screen! 

Adrian Ivashkov - Chace Crawford 

As for Sydney Sage, I can't really think of anyone off the top of my head who would be perfect for the role...

What books are you most looking forward to in 2013?

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Dare You To by Katie McGarry, Goddess by Josephine Angelini and Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris.

Paper books or ebooks?

Paper books!

Where is your favorite place to read?

My bed

Milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate?

Dark chocolate

Coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate?

Hot chocolate!

Would you like to give any other details about yourself? How can others find you around the web? Such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc...


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Review: Slammed

Layken's father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn… Layken's mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across country. However, a new home means new neighbours… and Layken's new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.

Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt.

Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart… or learn to live without each other.

Title: Slammed (Slammed ~ Book 1)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: January 4 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Length: 354 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: It is very pretty but I am unsure as to why there is a key?
Point of View: 1st person, following Layken (Lake)

My Rating: 5 Stars

This is the second book I have read by Colleen Hoover and I have already come to some sound conclusions.

One.  Be prepared to be shocked.  It is always best going into her books with little knowledge of what is going to happen.  The synopsis will give you an idea but you can be sure that there is always going to be plenty of twists and turns along the way.

Two.  Be prepared to laugh.  She beautifully blends in laughter with real life subjects that aren't always laughable.

Three.  Be prepared to cry.  We are not talking the tiny little tears, these are the healthy, giant, sobbing tears.  You won't be upset that she has made you cry, strangely you will be silently thanking her as the tears are falling.

Four.  Be prepared to discover a new favorite author.  I mean this in the most sincere way possible... Colleen Hoover, you rock!

The irony is not lost me that I can't seem to find the words to express the emotions and feelings that I experienced while I was reading Slammed.  Why is it ironic?  Because this is a book about words.  Words thrown together to express feelings through poetry... slam poetry.  But really it is so much more than that.  This is not your typical girl meets boy, girl and boy fall in love and the rest is history type of story.  Yes there is a girl and a boy, yes they fall in love but that is not even the half of it.

“Life happens. Shit happens. And it happens a lot. To a lot of people.” 

This story is about life.  This story is about death.  This story is about living.  The good, the bad and the ugly of it all.

“Three days ago, I was devastated, bitter, and hopeless. Today I woke up feeling happy for the first time in months.”

Layken (Lake) is one of the strongest female characters I have ever read.  She is strong, supportive, mature, stubborn, loyal... the list could go on and on.  She finds herself torn from everything she knows in her life quite suddenly.  Her father dies unexpectedly, her mother then moves her and her brother from Texas to Michigan.  She doesn't want her new life but quickly she finds Will and everything changes.

“And what’s a slam?” I ask.
“It’s poetry.” He smiles at me. “It’s what I’m all about.”

Will is also one of the strongest male characters I have read. Every characteristic I have given to Lake can be given to Will.  What he has done with his life in order to care for and support his younger brother is awe-inspiring.  To be responsible for another life at such a young age shows courage.  He never whines or moans about it.  There is never the 'woe is me' or 'what has happened to my life' speeches.  He is simply amazing.

To be honest there is not a character that is not written well and rounded out beautifully.  You will end up caring and loving each and every one of them and you will care about what happens to them.  Lake's brother Kel and Will's brother Caulder are adorable.  They are so funny and I laughed so many times... I will only say this.  The dead snowman.  Could not have laughed more.  Then we have Lake's new best friend Eddie.  I think she is fantastic and could not love her more than I do already.  oooOOOooohhh Eddie's boyfriend Gavin.  *sigh*  He is so sweet and the love he has for Eddie is apparent.

So, back to point number one about a Colleen Hoover book.  You do not want to know too much about it before you start so this is all you are getting out of me.  I do not want to be the person that ruins this beautiful story for anybody who will be reading it.  And I truly hope that person who will be reading it will be you if you haven't already.  This story will touch you and stay with you for a long time after you have completed it.

Now for me I am off to start book two, Point of Retreat.  I have only just found out that it is actually told from Will's POV and I am so excited I could burst.

And if you've ever grown up with dreams in your head about life, and how one of these days you would pirate your own ship and have your own crew and that all of the mermaids

would love

only you?

Well, you would realize...

Like I eventually realized...

That all the good things about her?

All the beautiful?

It's not real.

It's fake.

So you keep your ocean,

I'll take the Lake.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Review: The Redhead Revealed

As their careers catch fire, Grace and Jack -- everyone’s favorite foul-mouthed, funny, and feisty couple -- find themselves on opposite coasts. Grace has landed in New York City, where she loves being onstage again, particularly because she’s playing a fabulous character in a musical written by her old college flame, Michael. Their rekindled friendship makes exploring the city that much more fun.

Wait, it’s just friendship, right?

Meanwhile, in L.A., Jack can scarcely keep up with the swirling throngs of women who track him everywhere he goes, the endless press appearances, and the ridiculous rules his manager, Holly, keeps concocting for him -- all part of the buildup to the release of Time, his steamy new film.

Thank goodness for phone sex.

But even when their schedules allow them to connect, Grace and Jack must keep their relationship off the radar and away from paparazzi cameras. Sure, the sex is sensational, but can this duo survive swirling rumors, the demands of their chosen professions, Grace’s raging internal battles, and a whopping nine-year age difference?

Tick-tock, the clock is ticking. Isn’t it?

Title: The Redhead Revealed (Redhead ~ Book 2)
Author: Alice Clayton
Publication Date: September 28 2010
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
ISBN: 1936305380
Length: 228 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Completely fits with the series, cute and fun.  Grace is hot!
Point of View: 1st person, following Grace

My Rating: 5 Stars

It is always difficult going into the second book in a series.  Normally book one will be the 'getting to know you' phase with hearts, flowers, romance, new love... everybody happy.  Then you have book two and for me I am always waiting for the hammer to drop.  No relationship is perfect and eventually there are going to be rough patches and unfortunately this is also the case for my new favorite couple, Grace and Jack.

The Redhead Revealed picks up almost immediately after The Unidentified Redhead.  We have Jack who is gearing up for the most important movie opening of his life.  'Time' is opening in a couple of months and he is busy with interviews, talk shows and promo tours.  Grace is in New York, working on the stage show which brought her there.  Everybody knows that a long distance relationship is difficult even for couples who have been together for a long period of time but for one that has only just started out... even harder.

I must stress that I still love Grace but I honestly wanted to strangle her.  I just couldn't wrap my head around some of the thoughts she was having and the choices she was making.  And Holly, Grace's best friend and her and Jack's manager, was even worse. I really wanted to give her a slap.  However, the feelings I was experiencing was probably due to the fact that I am not A) In Hollywood B) A full blown movie star C) A Hollywood movie star's agent.  I just can't understand why Holly insists that Jack and Grace keep their relationship secret.  Excuses are given such as 'It would not be good for the audience to see Jack as unavailable just before the movie's release'.  I just kept thinking about Twilight.  Everybody knew Edward and Bella were not only together on screen but also off and that didn't stop Robert Patterson becoming the Number 1 heartthrob at the time.  He wasn't 'available' yet the movie still made millions.  *sigh*   Like I said, I couldn't wrap my head around it and sadly everything slowly starts to unravel for them.

It broke my heart to see it happening but I held on to the hope that Grace would get her act together and find her way back to Jack.  Does it happen?  Well you know I am not going to say because I want you to be able to experience it for yourself... I know I am evil.  But even with all of this I so loved this book.

Trust me when I say you will want to read this series.  Even through the misunderstandings and my own heartache it is such a fun and sexy series.  I just love Grace and Jack, there is no getting around this.  I am invested in their relationship and can not wait for the next book in the series.  I haven't been able to find an exact release date at the time of writing this review but I have seen Spring 2013 thrown around so hopefully we will not have to wait very much longer.  I need more of my favorite new couple... well let me be honest. I just need more Jack because he is so very swoonworthy.

“So if you think for a second I’m going to let you end this without giving me a legitimate reason, you are truly crazier than I thought. I’m in this thing with you, a willing participant, and you can’t decide for both of us. Not anymore.”

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Swoon Thursday #7

Who doesn't love a good swoon?

The ladies over at YA Bound have created this hot and fun meme!
If you want to join in here's all you need to do.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling and your stomach fluttering?

Then pick a smaller portion of your swoon and tweet it, just don't forget to add the #YABOUND Hashtag to your tweet!

Okay you guys... you will have to bear with me this week because I have picked a really long swoon but man oh man is it amazing!!  I read Hopeless this week and I was blown away.  Honestly and simply blown away.  I can not push this book any harder on people.  I want everybody I know to read it, I want everybody who reads my review and this swoon to read it... I just want every single person to read it.  It was awesome.  And Sky and Holder?  Wow.  So very swoonworthy.

And after the scene I am about to share below Sky and Holder experience the best first non kiss in the history of non kisses.  I would have posted it but I want to save that for you when you read it.  Because trust me, you will read it.  You will not want to miss this book.

"Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more.  So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am.  You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight.  And probably not tomorrow either.  I need this.  I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours.  Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses."

I grin, because that was seriously the best excuse ever for being turned down.  He could turn me down every day for the rest of my life, so long as it's followed up by that excuse. "But you're wrong about one thing."

"What's that?"

"You said you want my first kiss to be the best first kiss, but this won't be my first kiss.  You know that."

He narrows his eyes and pulls his hands from mine, then cups my face again.  He pushes me back against the refrigerator and brings his lips dangerously close to mine.  The smile is gone from his eyes and is replaced by a very serious expression.  An expression so intense, I stop breathing.

He leans in excruciatingly slowly until his lips just barely reach mine, and the anticipation of them alone is enough to paralyze me.  He doesn't close his eyes, so neither of us do.  He holds me in this position for a moment, allowing our breath to blend between us.  I've never felt so helpless and out of control of myself, and if he doesn't do something in the next three seconds, I'm more than likely going to pounce him.

He looks at my lips and when he does, it prompts me to pull my bottom lip between my teeth.  Otherwise I just might bite him.

"Let me inform you of something," he says in a low voice.  "The moment my lips touch yours, it will be your first kiss.  Because if you've never felt anything when someone's kissed you, then no one's ever really kissed you.  Not the way I plan on kissing you."

What is your swoon worthy moment this week?

Feel free to leave your links below so that I can check them out and if you are a new follower be sure to let me know so that I can come and check out your blog in return!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Review: The Unidentified Redhead

When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actor, it's a second shot at a life-long dream.

With some help from her best friend and agent, that dream could become a reality, but at thirty-three, has Grace missed her chance at the big time?

Will an unexpected sizzling romance with the entertainment industry's newest 'it' boy shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life?

Title: The Unidentified Redhead (Redhead ~ Book 1)
Author: Alice Clayton
Publication Date: February 16 2010
Publisher: Omnific Publishing 
Length: 276 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Cute and quirky, just like the book!
Point of View: 1st person, following Grace (aka Gracie, Crazy, Nuts Girl)

My Rating: 5 Stars

What a fun, flirty, fantastic book!  When I read Wallbanger by Alice Clayton I knew that I had to check out her other books.  She has a great way of blending hearts and flowers romance, hilarity and plenty of sexy times.

When I first read the synopsis and started The Unidentified Redhead I wasn't sure I was going to connect with Grace.  Los Angeles, struggling actor... I didn't want her to be a vain wannabe that was too worried about her looks to have any real character.  I am so glad to say this is not at all what Grace is about.

Grace (aka Gracie, Crazy, Nuts Girl) has been to L.A. before.  Right after college she and her best friend Holly moved out there to become the next big things.  It didn't work.  Grace went back to her hometown with her tail between her legs while Holly stayed out and has been working her way up the ladder as a pretty good Agent.

Flash forward to today and we find Grace (who is now 33) deciding to move back to L.A. to give the whole acting thing another go.  I loved Grace.  She is honest, a great friend and funny... oh she is SO funny.  She is the queen of snarky remarks and she has so met her match when it comes to Jack.

Jack (aka George, Sweet Nuts, Johnny Bite Down) is an up and coming Hollywood star.  He has a big movie coming out soon that is getting a lot of buzz.  It's a film based on a series of erotic short stories that were published in a women's magazine.  George... oh sorry Jack, is just about the sweetest guy ever.  I loved him.  He is also snarky, intelligent and very romantic.  How old is Jack you ask?  He is 24.  I will save you the math, Grace is nine years older than Jack.  Although this never seems to phase Jack of course this is always playing on Grace's mind.

Grace and Jack immediately hit it off and the banter between these two is epic.  Normally I would say things such as 'their romance slowly unfolded', etc... but in this case that is not at all what happens.  It is fast, it is hot, it is heavy and it is perfect. 

“He pushed me back up against the door, slamming me against the doorbell.  I heard it ring out.

"Coming!"  I heard Holly say as she clicked across the floor to the front door.

"Not quite, but she’s close."  He chuckled, removing his hand and leaving me breathless and rosy cheeked.”

Grace and Jack have some major sexy times...  I have filed this away in my new (probably made up genre) Chick Lit with Sexy Times.  To be fair that is probably really just classed as 'Romance' but to me that doesn't fit because I have read Romance books before and even though they can be good in their own way there was never much of a proper story in the ones I read.  But Alice Clayton manages to draw you into her books and there are real characters and real stories just with a heck of a lot of sexy times thrown in also.  And laughs, never forget about the laughs because there are a plenty.

If you are looking for a fun sexy read then please look no further than Alice Clayton.  I have read two out of her three books and have given both of them 5 stars.  I am very excited to immediately start The Redhead Revealed.  I am dying for more Grace and Jack.

“Ok, look. Whenever I hear people say that they felt ‘sparks,’ I usually think it’s a load of poo.  I mean, I have felt attraction to people, sure, and I have even felt some instant lust.  But sparks? Please... Then he touched my skin.  Sparks.  Sparks.  Sparks.  Hot sparks.  Flashing sparks.  Lightning bolt sparks.  Jesus, Mary, and Joseph sparks.”

Waiting on Wednesday #8

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is a perfect way to highlight books that we are waiting patiently to be released... it is also a sure-fire way to watch your TBR pile grow!

Every story has two sides.

How much is too much to love?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Expected Publication: April 16 2013
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads

Why am I so eagerly awaiting this release you ask?

Honestly.  2013 is going to be such a great year for us readers but I have to say that I may be the most excited about the release of this book.  Beautiful Disaster was easily one of my favorite books of 2012 and would go as far to say it has made its way into the top three.  I quite simply fell in love with Travis and Abby and to be able to go back into their world and see the story unfold from Travis' point of view...

... just writing that put a huge smile on my face.

I. Can. Not. Wait. For. This Book.

What is your Waiting on Wednesday?

Feel free to leave your links below so that I can check them out and if you are a new follower be sure to let me know!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Review: Hopeless

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

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

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

Title: Hopeless
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: December 17 2012
Publisher: Self Published 
Length: 391 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Perfect, absolutely perfect.
Point of View: 1st person, following Sky

My Rating: 5 Stars

“The sky is always beautiful.  Even when it's dark or rainy or cloudy, it's still beautiful to look at... it'll be there no matter what... and I know it'll always be beautiful.”

Wow.  I feel like I have been saying this a lot lately but just... Wow.  I have been fortunate enough to read some really amazing books in 2012 and I feel like I have been handing out 5 Stars reviews like they are candy but the level of writing that I have been reading has been deserving of that praise.  Hopeless is no exception and for me it is right up there with the best of the best of this year.  This book was simply amazing.

This is the first Colleen Hoover book that I have read and I can guarantee you that it will not be the last.  I will be honest in saying that I didn't know what to expect when starting this book.  I had just finished another book and while I was writing that review I noticed a few of my friends on Goodreads talking about Hopeless.  I had never heard of it before but by the time I was finished with that other review I had made the decision to make it my next read.  I had only read the synopsis and not any of the other reviews and I am so very glad I did that.  Going into this book blind is the best way to experience everything it has to offer.

Everything in this book was amazing.  The characters, the romance, the story, the history, the twists, the turns, the revelations... just everything.

I have fallen in love with Linden Sky and Dean Holder.  The chemistry between them is sizzling.  There are a lot of special moments between these two but honestly... see, I don't even know the words to use to describe them.  And the romance, wow.  Let me just say right now, they experience the best first non kiss in the history of non kisses.  It left me breathless.  I read a lot of books and I have read a lot of romantic situations but just wow.  I know I keep saying that word over and over but there is nothing else I can say.  I refuse to give any of this book away in this review because I want every single person to read it for themselves so for now you will need to make do with wow and just trust me.

Usually in my reviews I try to summarize everything but I even refuse to do that.  I don't want there to be spoilers, or hints or anything of that nature.  To say I was shocked more than once while reading is an understatement.  As soon as something would happen I would sit and assess the situation and think 'right, okay now where do we go from here'.  Then something else would happen and I would be stunned all over again.  Okay, that's enough... I feel by even saying this much that I'm doing the book an injustice by saying there are shocking moments.

My only hope is that this review has been intriguing and vague enough for everybody to be persuaded to read it.  Quickly.  Don't wait, push your To Be Read lists aside and read this book.  My friends call me their 'Book Pusher' and in this case they will be right.  I'm not usually this bossy though... see this is what an amazingly good book does to me.  It makes me want to shout it from the rooftop and blast the message from my car radio while driving around the neighborhood... 'Read Hopeless as soon as possible.'

“Sky, I'm not kissing you tonight but believe me when I tell you, I've never wanted to kiss a girl more.  So stop thinking I'm not attracted to you because you have no idea just how much I am.  You can hold my hand, you can run your fingers through my hair, you can straddle me while I feed you spaghetti, but you are not getting kissed tonight.  And probably not tomorrow, either.  I need this.  I need to know for sure that you're feeling every single thing that I'm feeling the moment my lips touch yours.  Because I want your first kiss to be the best first kiss in the history of first kisses.”

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Book Blogger Spotlight: Romantic Reading Escapes Book Blog

Romantic Reading Escapes Book Blog

Thank you so much for featuring my little blog on your website.  My name is Kathy and I am a special education high school teacher who just happens to love books and blogging about them.  I love the hills of Tennessee, and other than a short span of 5 years, have lived here all my life.  To me, Tennessee is God's country.

When and why did you become a book blogger?

I always loved reading, but found my co-workers and friends were becoming distant when I continued to talk about the books I just finished.  Thus, the blogging began.  I began my blog just this past mid-July as an outlet to talk to anybody about the stories that took me to places I could never begin to visit in real life.  I've made so many new friends among readers, bloggers, and authors; and I am thankful for each and every one of them.

How did you come up with the name of your blog?

The name of my blog, Romantic Reading Escapes, is a reflection of what I love to read and how it affects me.  I love the romance found in books, and those books supply me with a necessary escape from the harsh realities that are my life.  Teaching high schoolers with special needs is stressful enough.  Add into the mix my own triumphs and tragedies in life, I just gravitate to what takes me away from all that...a romantic reading escape.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging are the friendships developed among like readers and the camaraderie among bloggers.  I feel like I have found so many kindred spirits in cyberspace through blogging. I hope to continue blogging for a long time to come.

What do you find the hardest about blogging?

The hardest thing about blogging is keeping the pace.  I try to post everyday about books that I find interesting and exciting.  I just want to share it with everyone.  Blogging has un-stifled my voice about books, but real life still tries to interfere with this passion, and I sometimes feel overwhelmed by trying to keep up with the pace.

Does your blog participate in any weekly features and if so which is your favorite?

I currently participate in "Waiting on Wednesday" hosted by Breaking the Spine blog in which I highlight the new releases I'm dying to get my hands on.  I also currently post my weekly Friday Freebies and Bargains post.  If I knew how to be an extreme couponer, I would.  As a single parent, I am always looking for ways to grab a bargain, even in my reading entertainment.

What has been your favorite moment since you became a book blogger? Which review, interview or giveaway have you been most proud of?

Aside from the feature on your website, I have so many favorite moments that it is hard to think of just one.  I guess my favorite moment in my short blogging history has to be The 12 Days of Christmas Give Back contest.  I am a firm believer in paying it forward and giving back.  So many new friends have opened their computers to my rantings via subscription, Facebook, Twitter, email, or members of the blog, that I want to give something back.  Time and love can't be replaced as the best way to give back, but with Christmas around the corner and given the present economy, I've been fortunate enough to secure a sponsor to give back via books.

What kind of genres do you enjoy reading and reviewing the most?

I am such a romantic at heart, that I really love the stories found in contemporary romance.  But, I am very eclectic in my taste when it comes to books.  While contemporary romance is my favorite, I also love paranormal romance, young adult romance, chick lit, general women's fiction, and if the book has a rock star in it....I'm just completely lost in it.

What is your favorite individual book or series? What makes you love it so much?

My favorite book of all time has to be The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003.  This book was so well written with with such a unique flavor, it took me through such a journey of every emotion conceivable.

Who is your favorite fictional male character, why and from what book or series are they from?

Oh, my!  I change book boyfriends like people change their socks.  I fall in love with a new character almost everyday.  If I had to pick a favorite male character, I guess it would have to be Will Stevens in Butterfly Weeds by Laurie Miller.  Will Stevens actually made me want to go back in the past and revisit the age of 16.  His patience, loyalty, and certainty just grabbed me and I didn't want him to let me go.  He wasn't broken or bad boyish or evil.  He was simply honest.

Who is your favorite fictional female character, why and from what book or series are they from?

Thinking of my favorite fictional female character is much easier than thinking of a favorite male.  I must mention Katja Millay's character, Nastya, from The Sea of Tranquility.  This young woman had suffered so much and rose above it all with the help of a newly found makeshift family with their own life tragedies and dysfunction. 

Who are your favorite three authors and why?

I could get in real trouble here trying to pick three favorite authors. *wink*  So, I'll tell you my three favorites by genre. 

Jeaniene Frost for Paranormal Romance.  Jeaniene Frost introduced me to a vampire that had me wishing I could be bitten.  Her Night Huntress series took me through angst, mystery, romance, and heartbreak.

Karen White for General Women's Fiction.  Karen White writes what is called Southern Grit Lit, and her stories are sweet, gripping, and lend a little mystery to the mix.  They are all set in the South and I can easily familiarize myself with the characters and setting. 

Tiffanie DeBartolo for Romance.  Tiffanie has only authored two books: How to Kill a Rock Star and A God-Shaped Hole.  Both of these books had me in a whirlwind of emotions.  I threw my iPad for the first time with How to Kill a Rock Star, I was in such angst, and the story weaving she did was!  A God-Shaped Hole was one of the sweetest stories I've ever read, but I absolutely hated the ending.  I was in such denial that I kept re-reading the last of the book to make sure that I didn't miss anything that could have meant a mistake in my reading.  This book had me crying for days and dreaming of the characters and what happened at the end.  There was no HEA, but there's not always a HEA in real life, either. 

If you could turn one book or series into films, what would you pick and who would you cast as the main characters?

I would definitely love to see When You Don't a Choice by Wendi Cassel on film.  This book is so unseen by the masses as an Indie book and not many people know of it, but it has everything I love in a book.  While reading it, I could see it playing out as a movie in my head.  As characters, I would love to see portray the main characters are Jared Leto as Andrew Grayson and Jane Levy as Hailey.

What books are you most looking forward to in 2013?

I am looking forward to Cautious by E.L. Montes, coming in May, 2013.  I loved Disastrous and cannot wait to read the sequel, Cautious.

Paper books or ebooks?


Where is your favorite place to read?

Lying back on the sofa

Milk chocolate, white chocolate or dark chocolate?

Milk chocolate

Coffee, hot tea or hot chocolate?

Chicory coffee and hazlenut creamer

Would you like to give any other details about yourself? How can others find you around the web? Such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc...

I am floating all over cyberspace.


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Review: My Life Next Door

A gorgeous debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

Title: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: June 14 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
ISBN: 0803736991
Length: 396 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: So cute! Love Sam and Jase being together on one side of the fence that has separated them for ten years.
Point of View: 1st person, following Samantha

My Rating: 5 Stars

(Insert a sigh of contentment here)

That sound you just heard is exactly what you will be doing once you finish My Life Next Door.  I have been seeing this book around Goodreads for a few months and I finally made the decision to read it.  I only wish I had made this decision sooner!

There are so many loveable characters involved in this story.  However, there are also some pretty down right evil characters as well.

Samantha has lived a sheltered life and you could say she comes from the 'right side of the fence'.  She has a sister who is just a bit older than she is and they live with their Mom, Grace.  Their father walked out when Grace was pregnant with Samantha.  To say that Samantha's mom has issues is a bit of an understatement.  For example, she is obsessed with the vacuum cleaner.  When they leave the house she goes behind them to ensure that the carpet is vacuumed (the lines of a freshly vacuumed carpet must always be viable) and this is repeated several times a day.  However even with these little 'quirks' her mom has managed to become pretty successful, the help of her own trust fund helped tremendously I would assume.  She entered into politics and managed to become a Senator in their state of Connecticut.  Grace likes things controlled, orderly and neat.

Enter the Garretts.  They move into the house next door when Samantha is seven.  From the moment they move in it is clear to Samantha that she is not to socialize with them.  They are a large family and her mom wants her and her sister to have nothing to do with them and she is always making rude and snide comments about them.  However, Samantha finds them fascinating and has always found herself watching them.

The Garretts have eight children (five boys and three girls) and they are Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George, Patsy.

I loved every single brother and sister in the Garrett family.  I loved them and I loved their parents who are two of the most caring and loving parents ever.  With a family this large they obviously struggle with money but to be honest looking in you would never know it.  The kids all play instruments, they go to sailing camp, science camp, etc... it is obvious that Mr and Mrs Garrett would do anything for their children and they do everything they can to help them make each of their dreams become a reality.

My favorite of the children (well, other than Jase) is George.  He is so cute and adorable... he is the kind of kid you just want to pick up, hug and squeeze their little cheeks.  He is a walking talking encyclopaedia and everything scares him.  He is worried about black holes, bacon being made out of Wilbur or Babe,  Eskimo Pies being made out of actual Eskimos and so on.  There were many times that I laughed out loud at something that little George had to say, he was in fact cuteness overload.

“Did you know that in space it's very, very cold? And there's no oxygen? And if an astronaut fell out of a shuttle without his suit he'd die right away?"

I'm a fast learner. "But that would never happen. Because astronauts are really, really careful."

George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although at this point, with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows. "Do you want a big family?” 

So for ten years Samantha watches them all from a far.  Then one day it all changes and she meets Jase.  I absolutely loved their unfolding romance.  They are both so sweet and everything is new for the both of them which was lovely.  Usually you will find that one or the other person is experienced so you are never able to see how a first love can be viewed from both people.  There were so many sweet and romantic scenes and I promise you that you will fall in love with Jase.  There is no question about this at all.  It was refreshing to have a boy who was so sweet and kind all the way through the book.  I am not saying I don't love a good bad boy and they do have their place in the Young Adult genre but Jase is in a league all his own.  Never once did I not trust him or find myself questioning his actions.  He was thoughtful and respectful the whole time... Honestly I just loved him.

Two other side characters are Samantha's friend Nan and her brother Tim.  There are a lot of revelations in My life Next Door and I think one of the biggest one came from these two.  I hate spoilers so I will just say that I am happy with how this storyline ended up.

I really just want everybody I know to read this as soon as possible so that I can gush about it with them.  There is a lot of growing up that happens from page one all the way to the end and it was a joy to read.  This was the first book by Fitzpatrick that I have read but I will be on the look out for others because she has done such a beautiful job with this story. 

“In movies, it's all beautifully choreographed, set to an increasingly dramatic soundtrack.

In movies, when the boy pulls the girl to him when they are both finally undressed, they never bump their teeth together and get embarrassed and have to laugh and try again.

But here's the truth: In movies, it's never half so lovely as it is here and now with Jase.”

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Review: Until I Die

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting.

Title: Until I Die (Revenants ~ Book 2)
Author: Amy Plum
Publication Date: May 08 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 0062004042
Length: 357 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Beautiful and fits in with the series perfectly, I love the blues and purples.
Point of View: 1st person, following Kate

My Rating: 5 Stars

oooOOOooohhh how I enjoyed this book!  Sometimes book two of a trilogy can be a bit tricky to navigate.  We are no longer starting out the story so you don't get the anticipation of all of the firsts that the characters are going to experience and the fun of meeting all of the new people.  But then it is also not the final book so we know not everything is going to be wrapped up with a cute little bow.

I thought Until I Die was an excellent middle book.  This is the book for gaining information, seeing where the story is going to lead... it did an excellent job and even threw in quite a bit of suspense and action.

I really warmed to Kate in this book.  I admitted in my review for Die for Me that she was not my favorite person all of the time.  She was so forwards and backwards, I was getting whiplash.  But here she really came into her own.  In fact I can even say she was pretty kick ass.  She is learning to fight with the help of Gaspard and Vincent and she is a natural talent.  It has only been a short space of time but I really think she has grown into her character.  I won't say I absolutely love her yet but it is getting there.

However Vincent is as loveable as ever, if not more so than in book one.  I simply adore him.  He is such a gentleman and knows exactly how to take care of Kate.  Meaning, he is always there to help her but he doesn't run in to push her aside so he can save the day.  Of course he worries about her, because he loves her, but he isn't an over macho alpha male that thinks she can't handle herself.  He lets her fight when she needs to and only steps in when she obviously needs help.  I really like this about his character.  It shows he has grown over his many years because from the age he is actually from it was a very different time and you would think his overall attitude would be different.  This just shows how great he is.

Until I Die is ultimately about Kate and Vincent trying to find a way to be together.  They are 'together' but they know this is not going to be forever.  Vincent is trying to find way to resist the urge to die and in doing this he will be able to age along side Kate.  Kate knows this is a lot to ask of him and smartly comes to the conclusion that it is not only her that this would effect.  Vincent is a being that saves humans, this is his sole purpose.  What if he didn't do the right thing in a moment's notice and that split second meant the person he was to save actually dies.  How would she live with this... how would Vincent live with this?  Vincent thinks he has found a way to prevent his urges but wants to keep it a secret until he can see if it works.  In the time being Kate goes out on her own to search for more answers and to find a way to help their situation.

Pretty much the same cast of characters are still around however there are a couple of new faces, Violette and Arthur.  They are old, as in old old.  They have joined Vincent's kindred in Paris because the Numa (aka bad guys) have disappeared and they all know that they are up to something.  Since these two have been around for so long they have a lot of connections so they have been brought in to see if they can help.  From the moment they enter the scene you are trying to guess if they are good, or if they are bad.  But... there won't be any spoilers here.

In my review of Die for Me I mentioned the possible love triangle (gasp) between Vincent, Kate and Jules.  Again we see more affection from Jules toward Kate but nothing really concrete.  However, I have noticed that there is a novella from Jules' POV, Die for Her, that is due out in April 2013.  So this would leave me to believe that any big revelations in this department will come out in that novella or in the final book.  I do love Jules and I hope that his character is not ruined for me or left unhappy.  I really want him to get his own happily ever after.

So, do you know what else a second book in a trilogy is known for?  Yep you guessed it.  A cliffhanger!  And man oh man is this a huge one!  I sat there at the end and just stared at the page for a few minutes.  In fact I have to say I was on the edge of my seat for the whole of the last 15% - 20%.  Again I refuse to put in any spoilers and I even hate voicing my thoughts about certain subjects because I don't want to give anything away or put thoughts in people's minds before they read the series.  But I have to say that I really have a strong suspicion about what may ultimately happen in this series and just thinking about it gives me a fresh wave of butterflies...  I can't wait to find out how it all ends.

How long do we have to wait you ask?  Well, after Jules' novella in April it appears that book three, If I Should Die, is due out on May 7th 2013.  So really there isn't that long a wait.  Of course I would rather have it here right now to start but since I don't I will just add these two to my trusty book release calendar.

“But now I have something that blows that feeling out of the water.  Every time I need a hit of joy, I think about you.  You are my solace, Kate.  Just knowing that you are in this world, everything makes sense.”

Swoon Thursday #6

Who doesn't love a good swoon?

The ladies over at YA Bound have created this hot and fun meme!
If you want to join in here's all you need to do.

From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling and your stomach fluttering?

Then pick a smaller portion of your swoon and tweet it, just don't forget to add the #YABOUND Hashtag to your tweet!

It has been just a little over a week since I finished The Sea of Tranquility and I have read a couple books since I finished it but my brain just keeps going back to Josh and Nastya.  This was truly a story that will stay with me forever and one that I know I will read again and again.

"Josh, there are like five hundred Italian restaurants at home.  You could have taken me to any of them.  Why did we drive two hours to have dinner?"

"I wanted to talk to you."

I wanted to talk to you.  He says it like it's the most obvious answer in the world.  He drove us two hours away for dinner, to a place where no one would know us, so that we could have a conversation.  I want to laugh and cry and hug the living crap out of him.  I kiss him instead.

As soon as my lips are on his, his hand is at the back of my neck and he's pulling me against his chest like he's been waiting for this forever and he's not going to let me get away.  But I don't want to get away, and if the steering wheel wasn't there, I would climb into his lap just to be closer to him.

Then he shifts just slightly and I'm not kissing him anymore.  He's kissing me.  And when he does, part of me is lost.  But it's the part that's twisted and mangled and wrong, and for just that moment with his hands in my hair and his lips on my mouth, I can pretend that it never existed.

What is your swoon worthy moment this week?

Feel free to leave your links below so that I can check them out and if you are a new follower be sure to let me know so that I can come and check out your blog in return!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is a perfect way to highlight books that we are waiting patiently to be released... it is also a sure-fire way to watch your TBR pile grow!

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her Mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all...

Expected Publication: May 28 2013
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads

Why am I so eagerly awaiting this release you ask?

I fell in love with Echo and Noah when I read Pushing the Limits.  Katie McGarry is a very talented author and if she does even half as good a job with Beth's story then I know this will be a favorite of mine in 2013.  I just need to make sure to have plenty of tissues around me when I read it because I cried bucket loads when I read Pushing the Limits.

What is your Waiting on Wednesday?

Feel free to leave your links below so that I can check them out and if you are a new follower be sure to let me know!

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Review: Die for Me

In the City of Lights, two star-crossed lovers battle a fate that is destined to tear them apart again and again for eternity.

When Kate Mercier’s parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life—and memories—behind to live with her grandparents in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate’s guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he’s a revenant—an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.

Title: Die for Me (Revenants ~ Book 1)
Author: Amy Plum
Publication Date: May 10 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062004018
Length: 341 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Do you really need to ask? I mean look at it.  Absolutely stunning.
Point of View: 1st person, following Kate

My Rating: 4 Stars

“I'm a revenant, not a vampire, chérie.”

What is a revenant (rev-uh-nuh-nt) you ask?

The official definition would be a person who returns or a person who returns as a spirit after death; ghost.  Sound intriguing?  Yeah, I thought so also which is why I was pretty excited to start this series.

The story follows Kate who has recently had her own share of devastation.  Both of her parents have died and she and her older sister Georgia have moved from New York to Paris to live with their grandparents.  I must stop here to mention the location.  The author does such a wonderful job of describing the City of Light.  I would find it difficult to not be swept away in a whirlwind romance with a setting such as Paris.  I have been lucky enough to have visited Paris before and I would love to return and reading this book has only heightened that desire.  

Enter Vincent.  Kate and Vincent meet quite early on in the book and I am here to report that it is pure Insta Love.  I am honestly not bothered by this but I know that it can annoy a lot people so wanted to put it out there for those who may find it irritating.  I for one can understand the concept of instant attractions and think that when thrust into the circumstances that a lot of these paranormal books lead their characters into, I can see how feelings are more intense than in normal circumstances.

Vincent is a revenant.  It is explained that these are beings who have died in the act of saving somebody.  Their body is then reanimated (think zombie but without the brain eating) with a fierce need to continue saving others, it is their sole purpose.  They do not die each time a life is saved but if they do die then they simply awake again at the age they were when they first died.  Even more interesting is that they do not sleep however for 3 days a month they become dormant.  In the first day both their body and spirit are shut down.  However in the second day they become Volant.  In this state their body still appears 'dead' but they are in a spirit/ghost form and they move about in this form and can even communicate with other revenants.  In the third day they awake but they are very weak and must use that last day to rest upon where they find themselves as good as new the next day where the cycle is restarted.

Honestly, it may just be me but I found this entire concept so unique.  I for one have not read any other stories like it and being a fan of the paranormal genre I loved having a new 'species' for a lack of a better word.  Don't get me wrong... I love me some vampires but it really made for a nice change.  I also love that they have a purpose.  It is not explained why not everybody who dies becomes a revenant and maybe those answers will come in later books (this being a trilogy) but the thought of them dying originally in the service of another person and now they go around saving others... it is just a really nice thought.

There are bad guys, of course there are... aren't there always?  They are the Numa.  They are the same as revenants but in reverse.  In that when they died they were not saving somebody but rather taking a life or betrayed somebody someone to their death.  So yeah, they are really bad.

I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed this book Kate did bother me a great deal at the beginning.  Obviously I have never been in the situation of being faced with something paranormal being thrown into my lap.  But if I did have this happen I would hope that I would handle it a bit better than Kate.  One minute she was all in love at first sight, then she finds out the truth, then she is all 'oh... deep down I always knew there was something more to Vincent'.  Then she is all 'I can do this, I know I can' only to turn around and be 'I can't do this, please leave me alone.'  *sigh*  Luckily once she finally decides that she does in fact want to be with Vincent (and she stops calling him and his 'family' monsters) I started to like her.  She proved herself to be a very strong character toward the end of the book and I think she will only grow in this capacity... at least I hope so.

I found the side characters really enjoyable.  Vincent's family are made up of other revenants and they refer to each other as their Kindred.  Jean-Baptiste, Charlotte, Charles, Ambrose, Gaspard and Jules.  oooOOOooohhh Jules... I do love him.  He is flirty, snarky and fun.... but I think I can see a bit of that dreaded phrase, you know the one.  There are two words, first word starts with an L and the second word starts with a T.  Yep, Love triangle.  However, this is just my initial impression as I have not even read the synopsis or any other reviews from Until I Die, which is book two.  I'm not saying I think Kate is going to reciprocate the feelings but Jules just seems to be overly friendly with her.  More than just in teasing Vincent by flirting with her... but we shall see if it leads to anything.

All in all I would suggest this book to any paranormal genre lover.  Also, if you have ever wanted to visit or if you have visited and simply loved Paris then you will also love this book.  I felt as though I was walking down the Seine with Kate and will say that it is one of the most romantic places for a book to be set.  Add a swoonworthy character such as Vincent and you have all you really need.

“I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate.  I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead."  Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you.  To give you more than a normal boyfriend could.  I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you.”