Friday, 30 August 2013

Stay With Me: Blog Tour Stop, Review & Giveaway

With one look, I’m his . . .

With one touch, he’s mine . . .

With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .

I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.

When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.

But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.

Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.

Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.

Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

Title: Stay With Me (With Me ~ Book 1)
Author: Elyssa Patrick | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: August 30 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 270 Pages
Add it to your TBR PileiTunes | Kobo | All Romance | Amazon US | Nook | Smashwords

Tour Organized by: Book Crush

Source: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Cover Love: Love it, the colors are perfect.
Point of View: 1st person, following Hailey

My Rating: 4 Stars

I really enjoyed Stay With Me, was it perfect? No, but it was a very enjoyable read, with some really loveable characters.

“With you, there’s always music.”

Hailey.  It took me no time at all to warm up to Hailey.  I understood completely how difficult it is for her to actually trust somebody else.  When you have grown up in the world she grew up in, where your 'friends' sold you out for a magazine or tabloid articles, then how could you not have difficulties with trust?

“I am drawn to him, and everything is pushing me toward him, not away”

Caleb.  He is of course perfect.  Yet another example of how perfect book boys can be.  He is caring, honest, and respectful of Hailey.  Even though they are instantly attracted to each other, I would say they built up their friendship first.  It wasn't all hot and heavy right off the bat, they built up to that kind of relationship.  But, wow... once they were both on the same page, that page set on fire.  There are some pretty hot sex scenes in this book.  Would I still classify it as New Adult?  Yeah, don't most people have sex in college?  Why shy away from it here?  They are both adults, nothing wrong with it.

“And you were all dark and mysterious in the shadows.”

I also adored the side characters.  Caleb has some pretty funny, hot and sexy room-mates and I am happy to report that they will be getting their own books.  Those are going to be some great books as the With Me series grows. 

Now for the little niggles.  Again, I want to say I really enjoyed Stay With Me.  I read it in one sitting, and found it to be quite the page turner.  But there were little parts that made me question a few things.  I am all for Hailey completely dropping out of the Hollywood life, I get that part.  What I don't understand is how there is not more publicity around her at the school?  It was explained that she just wasn't as famous because she wasn't putting herself out there, but I would still have expected at least a few paparazzi around her.  At least toward the beginning, when she first started school.  I can just imagine them all clambering for that photo of her walking to class, or seeing if she had any new boyfriends.

There is also the big secret that is mentioned in the blurb.  I actually got why Hailey felt this secret was so big that people would hate her.  It's not the secret that I'm really referring to here, but it is how many times Hailey mentions it.  Every time she started to let herself get closer to others, she would think about the secret.  It was thought about so many times that by the time it came out, I was just happy that it was done and dusted.

However, I must give praise to the way the secret was handled by Caleb.  We all know that with these types of books we are waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop somewhere between 70% and 85%.  Some big misunderstanding that drives our heroine and hero apart.  I was thrilled with the way Caleb handled everything.  It showed maturity, and in all honestly it showed how much he actually cares for Hailey.

“I'm so glad you came here, Hailey.  So very, very glad.  You are my every heartbeat, and I love you.”

So in closing, I would suggest this book to anybody that likes these types of stories.  It was interesting to get into the mind of a celebrity that is trying to distance herself from that life.  You see their faces in the magazines, and on the TV and you believe everything that is being said.  It is a bit of a wake-up call to stop and remember that they are people, just like you and me, and to not believe everything that is said or even shown.

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Running in Place: Cover Reveal, Excerpt & Giveaway


Tatum O’Connell:
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me - really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me… And I’m never going to let that happen.

Noah Reese:
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy… I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.



     Still laughing and not paying attention, I round the corner, only to run straight into a completely different kind of trouble. A brown-headed, blue-eyed, whirlwind kind of trouble. A trouble that looks unbelievably hot in a tight-ass, short black dress. A trouble wearing the highest black heels I’ve ever seen, heels that make her legs look unbelievable and should be outlawed judging by the bulge forming inside my dark Diesels. Damn. She’s also a trouble that I’ve formed a decent friendship with over the last few weeks, so any mental images I have of her doing certain things to me wearing those heels have got to go.

     “Hey!” she says laughing as she flips her hair off her shoulders. My eyes immediately land on her pouty lips, the clear shine reflecting off of them as she smiles. “What are you doing here?”

     I clear my throat and tear my gaze from her mouth. “Getting my check, you?”

     She looks me up and down as she nods her head. “Me too,” she says clearing her own throat. “Where are you going, looking all spiffy?”

     I chuckle because only she would say spiffy. “I’m taking Piper to that new club, Parallel. Where are you going looking all spiffy?”

     She claps her hands together excitedly before taking my hand. “We’re going there too! Yay!”

     I’m still surprised every time she touches me. It’s such a drastic change from the first day at the duplexes. As I think about the last month or so - all the times that we laughed together at something ridiculous that she said, or the fact that she insists on bumping hips with me every single time a song comes on the radio that she likes while singing at the top of her lungs, even the times she lightly brushes her hand across my arm while she’s speaking – there’s a level of comfort and ease about our friendship. Reason five hundred why I need to curb my inappropriate thoughts about this one.

     I smile to myself as she tugs me harder. “Where are you taking me?”

     “To the employee bathroom!”

     Well, that did absolutely nothing to fend off dirty thoughts.


     She giggles. Obviously, she’s already started drinking. Great. Well, at least we’ll be at the same place so I can make sure Dickhead the Douchebag takes care of her.

     “Because, I’m gonna fix your hair. It looks too…perfect. It needs to be messy – sexy, like you.” She stops dead in her tracks. “Um…I mean, as sexy as you look now.” She exhales, frustrated. “Sexily dressed, that’s what I mean.” She bites her bottom lip nervously as she mentally tries to hook her words and reel them back in. I just laugh because she looks so damn cute.

     “So, you think I’m sexy?”

     Saying nothing else, she rolls her eyes and pulls me in the direction of the bathroom. Once we arrive, she flips on the light and points at the toilet for me to take a seat. Turning on the faucet, she sets her purse on the counter and pulls out a travel size hairspray. After digging around for a little while longer, she turns towards me.

     “Well, I guess this will have to do.” She tilts her head to the left and then scrunches her mouth to the same side, deep in thought. Nodding to herself, she leans over and wets her fingers in the sink before stepping in between my legs.

     She breathes in deeply before placing her fingers in my hair. Slowly, she distributes the water throughout, often leaning back to the faucet to get more. Her cool hands work from the sides of my head toward the top, where her fingers interlace to form a spiky section down the center. Then she bends at the waist, placing her face so close to mine, her breaths hit my mouth. I know I can’t have her, but damn if I don’t want to take some piece of her with me. So greedily, I take in her air with every breath she releases. Her eyes still focused on my hair, I watch her mouth. Still breathing with her, I lick my lips, the movement distracting her so that she brings her blue eyes to mine. In silence, we stare, only the shared breaths between us are heard.

     Taking her hand out of my hair, she places it on the side of my face and gently strokes my cheek with her thumb as we hold each other’s eyes. Before long, I watch a soft saddened half-smile appear on her lips. “Much better,” she says with one last soothing run of her thumb before she backs away. Reaching for the hair spray, she tweaks the top of my hair, pulling random pieces in different directions before spraying them. I fight the urge to put my hands around her waist and pull her into me. To hold her. To have her.

     Instead, I sit with my hands on my knees, wanting what I can’t have.

     After a couple of more sprays, she steps back. “All done. You’re good to go. To the bar. With Piper,” she says, the pitch of her voice getting higher with each incomplete sentence spoken. There’s no mistaking the heartache radiating between the both of us. It’s so thick I could slice it with a knife.


L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

Find L.B. Simmons on:  Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #42

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!

Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.

Expected Publication: December 03 2013
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Why am I so eagerly awaiting this release you ask?

Okay, this one may seem a bit weird for me.  I read Falling Kingdoms last year and I have to say it wasn't as good as I was hoping it was going to be.  However, I promised myself that I would read Rebel Spring, so I am excited to give this series another shot.  Because it wasn't terrible, it just wasn't as good as I had built up in my head.

Plus, who could say no to that cover?  It is simply stunning.  Falling Kingdoms had a gorgeous cover, and I am glad to see they have carried on with the cover greatness.

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, 27 August 2013

Review: Near & Far

There’s optimistic. And there’s Jesse Walker.

If he wasn’t so charming, his sunny disposition and incessant grin would get old. Fast.

Falling in love with the broken girl who had at first seemed immune to anything resembling love was the best thing to happen to Jesse since the Walkers adopted him when he was five.

As Jesse’s life continues at the ranch and Rowen begins making her mark in the Seattle art community, they wonder where the middle ground is. Or if there even is one.

As push comes to shove, they’re forced to make choices neither are eager to make, and Jesse and Rowen have to face what their lives might look like without the other.

Can two people with such tragic pasts and different presents expect a promising future together? Whatever the answer, they’ll need a lot more than love to make it.

Title: Near & Far (Lost & Found ~ Book 1)
Author: Nicole Williams| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: July 29 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 350 Pages
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Buy ItAmazon US | Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Fits with the series, and I like that Rowen's hair is down this time.
Point of View: Alternating 1st person between both Jesse and Rowen

My Rating: 5 Stars

Let the flood of emotions begin.  When I read Lost & Found earlier this year, I immediately fell in love with Jesse and Rowen.  In fact, I ended my review with the hope that there would be a sequel.  Then, only a few days later I found out that Nicole Williams had in fact announced she would carry on their story.  I was overjoyed.

However, I knew what this meant.  It meant that Jesse and Rowen were going to have to face some tough times.  I tried to mentally prepare myself for these challenges.  I even gave myself a five minute pep talk before I started Near & Far.  Having faith they would get their happily ever after, I just knew there would be some heartbreak and tears to work through first.  Little did I know that all of my preparation would not even come close to getting me ready for the emotions I experienced while reading this.  How I survived I will never know.  But one thing is for sure, the heartache and pain was so worth it.

“Loving someone as much as I did Jesse meant the darkness of the world seemed so black I never wanted to walk out the front door.  Around every corner was some terror threatening to take away what I held most dear.”

Rowen.  She continued to grow into the type of woman that is worthy of Jesse.  I never had doubts about this, but I knew at the end of Lost & Found that there was more growing up to do, and a lot that they both still needed to face.  I am happy that I never felt like she wavered with her love, as I was scared that this was what was going to happen in the sequel.  With Rowen away at college, I was nervous her head would be turned by another art student.  But, she stayed true.

“For you, I’m a weak, weak man.  I’m so weak for you that you could break me with one word.  You could end me with one look. You could ruin me with one touch.”

Jesse.  Ride 'em cowboy.  I have and always will love Jesse Walker.  The man is quite simply one of the most down to earth, romantic, sweet and caring characters I have ever had the pleasure to read.  I honestly believe that my Kindle copy is more highlighted than not.  He has some of the very best lines, and there is never a doubt of his feelings for Rowen.  Opposites may very well attract, but it has always been something more to their bond.  Jesse's love for Rowen is almost too much.  It completely blinds him from what is going on around him.  He doesn't see anybody other than her, even if that means he is completely oblivious to quite obvious flirting by others.  However, once he realizes what is going on... he is right there to put a stop to it.  Ever the gentlemen.

I would say we learn the most about Jesse in this story.  In fact we learn way more about his childhood growing up than we probably wanted to know.  It is dark, disturbing, and quite honestly broke my heart.  If you didn't have love in your heart for this man before (even though I can't see how you couldn't already), then you will do after reading about his past.  It broke me, and made it easy for me to understand the darkness that Jesse is continuing to fight.

“She’s managed to bust free from the weight of her past to get on with her life.  She’d grown, evolved, and was setting the world on fire.  I, on the other hand, was digressing, shrinking, and setting myself on fire.”

The ending was beautiful.  The only thing that got me through their problems was knowing that there was no way that Jesse and Rowen could not end up together.  Their love was something that was never in doubt.  It was just them trying to work through all of the external issues that were being thrown at them, and their own issues from the time before they had each other to lean on.

And now, we have Finders Keepers to look forward to.  Yes, that's right.. Garth Black is getting his own book.  I am so excited about this.  Getting into Garth's head is going to be an enlightening, yet probably pretty frightening experience.  I am hoping that we get to see a little more of Jesse and Rowen.  I know this is probably greedy of me, but I would like to see what they are up to, so even a little peek would be great.  Garth is one of those characters that you start out disliking, and grow to love.  That is very much the case, as by the end of Near & Far, I was loving him so much.  He really stepped up to the plate when it came to being a friend to both Jesse and Rowen, and now it's his time to find his own happily every after.

“It’s time you start thinking about what you think you can’t live without and what you actually can’t live without.”


Monday, 26 August 2013

Review: Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick Dunne’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick Dunne isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but hearing from Amy through flashbacks in her diary reveal the perky perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was left in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: June 5 2012
Publisher: Crown
Length: 432 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Simple, but effective.
Point of View: Alternating 1st person between both Nick and Amy

My Rating: 5 Stars

Wow.  Wow.  Wow.

Holy mother of God... or should that be holy mother of all things evil?  It has been a few days since I finished Gone Girl and I am still in a state of... what exactly I have no idea.  Anger?  Shock?  Acceptance?

I have no idea how I am going to write this review.

“My mother had always told her kids: if you're about to do something, and you want to know if it's a bad idea, imagine seeing it printed in the paper for all the world to see.”

There is so little detail that I can go into in regards to the actual plot, as I refuse to give any of it away.  I'm sure this will not be the first review you will have read about Gone Girl, and probably not the last.  But, I want to stress how important it is that you stay with this book.

What do I mean by that?  Well, the first half has been quoted as being a little on the boring side.  I have to admit that I never felt that way... while I reading it.  But when the story completely exploded at just over the 50% mark it is a non-stop roller coaster ride till the very end.  So in retrospect, I can now look back at the first 50% and agree that yes, in comparison it was much slower.  However, the first half is a requirement.  You must get to know these characters.  You would never have been able to get to where you are emotionally at the start of Part Two if there was never a Part One.

“Love makes you want to be a better man.  But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

And what about the ending?  You will feel manipulated once you finished.  You will sit and stare at the final paragraph, you will want to throw the book, and or your reading device at the closest wall.  You will sit and stew over all of what you have read, wondering how things got to that final paragraph.  Then you will find yourself smiling.  Why?  Hell, you won't even know why... because I sure didn't.  I wanted to be angry, I wanted to scream, but in the end all I could do was smile.  To be fair it was probably one of those crazed, psycho killer smiles, but to be honest I would expect no other kind of smile after reading Gone Girl.

“There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.”

So yeah, this is a strange review to have written but I just refuse to spoil anything.  My only suggestion to you is READ THIS BOOK.  There is a film being made, which at the time of this review says will be out in 2015.  I have to say, I think this will translate perfectly on the big screen.  They are filming the movie in a small river town in Missouri, not too far from where I was born and grew up in Southern Illinois.  Be it this review, other reviews, the film due out a bit later... whatever it is that helps you to decide to read this book, just please choose to read this book.  You will not be disappointed.

“Friends see most of each other’s flaws.  Spouses see every awful last bit.”


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Review: All of You

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He's irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she's perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother's bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won't accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

Title: All of You
Author: Christina Lee | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: September 17 2013
Publisher: Intermix (Penguin Group (USA)
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Source: ARC Provided by Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cover Love: Adorable, matches the story nicely.
Point of View: 1st person, following Avery

My Rating: 4 Stars

I became slightly obsessed with the idea of reading All of You as soon as I saw the words irresistible, tattooed and virgin.  What's that you say?  A hero who is not a womanizing manwhore?  Where do I sign up?

It was fun going into All of You, knowing that there would be a role reversal of sorts.  I am so used to the shy, inexperienced women, who fall for the bad boy who has been around the park on more than one occasion.  Now we have Avery, who would very much be classified as the school slut.  This isn't slut shaming, she wears here title proud.  She hooks up on regular occasions, and only has one guy who she uses as a multiple booty call.  Other than that, love 'em and leave 'em.

“Guys were easy to figure out-at least in the hormonal sense.  You needed only appear helpless or horny, and their pants instantly dropped to their ankles.”

Avery.  I don't know if we are supposed to like Avery in the beginning.  It sure as heck took me a little while to warm to her.  Her entire attitude was standoffish, and just on the wrong side of arrogant.  But it started to become clear that this was part of her fa├žade.  You could see the walls that she had built up to keep any and all real emotion out.  By the end, I came to love her and was rooting for her as she started kicking those walls down.

“I want something real," he whispered.  "And I'm willing to wait for it.”

Bennett.  There was no having to warm up to him, he is perfection.  From the very first time he is spotted by Avery, you are in love with him.  I was curious to find out the reasons that he had for abstaining from sex, and when it's explained I was happy with his answers.  They made sense to me.  Now of course, even Bennett says this to Avery, he may be a virgin - but he is no saint.

“I don’t know what this is or what the hell we’re doing,“ he said.  “But if I don’t kiss you right now, I might explode.”

What does Bennett mean by being no saint?  It means he may have never done the deed but he has done plenty of other things... and this means that Avery and Bennett do plenty of those other things also.  Honestly, the sexual tension dripping off of these two is intense.  Every slight kiss, every touch, every moment they are alone together feels electric.  And I have to say... I loved it.  I loved the constant foreplay.  It was hot.  Too many times the main characters are so eager to jump into sex.  Avery and Bennett manage to become intimate, but at the same time saving themselves for that special moment together.  It made their relationship that more intense and real.

“I was jumping off a cliff, sinking, drowning, and couldn't care less about being saved as long as he kept kissing me.”

Now, my only major gripe.  Avery's friends.  It's not that I didn't like them per se, it's just that I didn't like how they spoke to each other.  They were forever calling each other names.  Maybe these were meant as terms of endearments between friends, and a way to get us to see how close they were.  But it annoyed me to no end.  They were constantly calling each other things such as bitch, dickhead, dickwad, asshead, dillweed... and so on.  I physically cringed every time it happened, unfortunately it happened a lot.  I just didn't understand it, as it didn't seem like normal behavior to me.

And in no way is that gripe enough for me not to suggest that you read All of You.  I really found it hard to put it down once I started.  I was up until 4:00am, then started again as soon as I woke up the next day.  I was also very happy with the ending, an epilogue would have been nice... but that is just me wanting more.  I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Bennett.  My feelings in five words or less: Sweet, sexy, love, HOT.

“I'm not sure I can ever get enough of you," he murmured as he captured the skin at the hallow of my throat.  "I know the feeling," I whispered.”

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Review: Wethering The Storm

Music journalist Tru Bennett has done the impossible: capture the heart of rock-star bad boy Jake Wethers. Now they’re busy planning a wedding and navigating their new life together in the US. Of course Tru misses London and her best friend, Simone, but living happily ever after with Jake in LA is going to be great…right?

Wrong. Even the bright California sun can’t whitewash the dark side of celebrity coupledom. Greedy music execs, merciless paparazzi, and Jake’s wild past are lurking around every corner. Making matters worse, Jake announces he doesn’t want kids, which just may be a deal breaker.

Tru loves Jake more than anything. But when a devastating crisis threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for, the couple must face the hard truth: What if, this time, love is not enough?

Title: Wethering the Storm (The Storm ~ Book 2)
Author: Samantha Towle | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: August 20 2013
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Length: 402 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: I don't hate it, however the top part of the Tru seems to be missing... her hands are there but where is the rest of her body? Also, Jake has longer hair.
Point of View: Alternating 1st person between both Tru and Jake, however there is more in Tru's perspective.

My Rating: 5 Stars

I am going to be straight up and honest with you.  I was a complete mixed bag of emotions when it came time to start reading Wethering the Storm.  I was excited because I was about to get some more Jake Wethers, and I was scared to death because I just didn't know what to expect.  Tru and Jake had to fight through so much in The Mighty Storm, and I wanted their fighting days behind them.  I didn't know if my heart could take more turmoil.  But, I pulled up my big girl panties and started it at Midnight, as soon as it appeared on my Kindle... I didn't stop reading until 5:00am.

“There is no one else for me.  I begin and end with you.”

Tru.  I loved Tru in The Mighty Storm.  I thought she handled the situations which arose in a calm and mature manner.  Can I just ask?  What happened to THAT Tru? Because I now more than once found myself wanting to slap her up side her head, and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of her actions and internal thoughts.  Jealousy.  It's an evil thing.  And unfortunately for a hot minute it turns Tru into one of those crazy women that I despise in books.  Thankfully it only lasts a short time, and then she wises up.

“You don't complete me, Tru.  You make me who I am.  You make me better.  I'd be nothing without you.  Nothing.  I've been there once before, and I'm never going back.  I'm never losing you again.”

Jake "the snake" Wethers.  *sigh*  He has got to be one of my all time favorite rock stars.  You all know that I am in love with the male perspective, so getting even a few chapters in Jake's POV was like winning the lottery.  I was overjoyed to be in his head, and let me just tell you that it's an amazing place to be.  Jake continues to struggle with his past, and yes his past includes his drug use.  I hate spoilers, and I do not think this is one but I just have to add that drugs are a constant struggle... but they are not used.  I think it is important to know that because it was one of my major concerns.  Jake has finally realized there are other ways to deal with troubling circumstances, rather than running to the nearest dealer.  Like I said, it's a constant struggle, but it would have been unrealistic for Jake to be able to immediately stop using and it not be on his mind.  This made the story real.

“I want you to have the best of everything I can give you.  And I’m not talking money here, Tru. I’m talking memories.  Our life together.”

This is not your run of the mill rock star book, this is about a girl and boy who fell in love when they were little.  Before the stardom and making it big.  Deep down, that is what it is all about.  A boy and girl who always knew they would be together forever, they just lost their way for a few years in-between.

The ending was absolutely perfect.  I honestly can not think of a better way that I would have wanted it to all end up for these two, we even get an epilogue.  I had tears in my eyes at the end, it was truly just perfection.  I am now looking forward to the third book in this series, which at the time of this review has yet to be named or given a publication date.  But that book will follow Tom.  We saw some changes in him in this book, and it will be nice to get inside his head a little bit.  I bet it's a strange and scary place... I can't wait.

“There isn’t anything I won’t do for you, Tru.   Nothing I won’t do to make you happy.   What I feel for you... it’s limitless.  There is nothing before or after you. There is only you.”


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #41

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!

After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem's story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson's own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

Expected Publication: October 15 2013
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Why am I so eagerly awaiting this release you ask?

Why?  Because I am DYING to read Just One Day.  I have been holding off on reading it until closer to this release but my will power is so very thin...  Just under two months to go.  I can do this.  Maybe.

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, 20 August 2013

Review: Unteachable

I met him at a carnival, of all corny places. The summer I turned eighteen, in that chaos of neon lights and cheap thrills, I met a man so sweet, so beautiful, he seemed to come from another world. We had one night: intense, scary, real. Then I ran, like I always do. Because I didn’t want to be abandoned again.

But I couldn’t run far enough.

I knew him as Evan that night. When I walked into his classroom, he became Mr. Wilke.

My teacher.

I don’t know if what we’re doing is wrong. The rules say one thing; my heart says screw the rules. I can’t let him lose his job. And I can’t lose him.

In the movies, this would have a happy ending. I grow up. I love, I lose, I learn. And I move on. But this is life, and there’s no script. You make it up as you go along.

And you don’t pray for a happy ending. You pray for it to never end.

Title: Unteachable
Author: Leah Raeder| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: July 26 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 268 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Not a huge fan, I don't really 'get' it.
Point of View: 1st person, following Maise

My Rating: 4 Stars

“It seems like the whole world has figured out how to be happy, but no one's letting me in on the secret.”

oooOOOooohhh how I love a good forbidden romance.  There is just something about being secretive and doing something that you aren't supposed to be doing.

Unteachable is a student and teacher romance.  But I want to make sure to point out that no laws are broken.  From their very first meeting, Maise is eighteen.  Therefore, it's not really about the legal issues but rather the moral code that we all try to live by.  That is where the black and white slowly turns into a shade of grey.

“That was what we'd finally been forced to confront: if our relationship was based on forbiddenness, what would happen when it was no longer forbidden?”

Maise.  I did like her.  Raeder's writing is quite poetic and I really felt that tone portrayed Maise perfectly.  She has had a terrible time growing up, and the way she communicates and gets her feelings across seems very genuine.  Part of why Maise has no trouble interacting and falling in love with Evan, who is 32, is because she is so mature for her age.  She has had to practically raise herself for her whole life.  Also, I want to stress that you never get the feeling of Maise being taken advantage of by Evan.  If anything, it was the other way around.  Maise is not a virgin when they meet.  She has always used sex as a way to cope with her daddy issues.  So this is not some naive virgin being taken advantage of by the big bad older teacher...

“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall.  They're pretty much the same thing.”

Evan.  I loved Evan.  However, there were times when I didn't understand him.  I never thought of Maise as a kid, but I did expect Evan to step up in a few instances and be the 'grown-up' for a lack of a better word.  It's not that I ever questioned his feelings really, it was just that I think he allowed a few things to happen that could have been avoided if he would have been thinking a bit more.  This isn't to say that I didn't like him, because trust me I very much did.  He was sweet, patient, kind and I felt he always treated Maise with respect.

“I can't hold on to you.  You're like a shooting star.  Just a trail of fire in my hands.”

I must give a shout out to the location that Unteachable is set in.  The very first sentence mentions Southern Illinois, and from that moment I was intrigued.  I am originally from Southern Illinois, and because of it's small towns and farms... you don't tend to really see it being used as a location.  Then as the book goes on, it mentions the town Carbondale.  I honestly almost dropped my Kindle.  Not only am I from Southern Illinois, I was born in Carbondale.  I kid you not.  This was just too random, so I messaged Leah Raeder and asked her how she came up with the location, and I told her my story.  She actually spent a lot of her summers in Southern Illinois, and in this area so that is why she picked it.  I now live in England, and it was lovely to read about home.  I have to say, she does a perfect job describing the area, from the farms, the local mall, the soy bean fields... it was perfect.

“You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you’ll lose it someday.”

Lastly, I want to talk about the ending.  I felt it was a bit rushed.  I was happy with the overall outcome, but I just feel like there could be so much more.  There is no epilogue, so maybe that is what I feel is missing.  But, even though Maise and Evan are in a good place, I just feel like there is more to their story.  And in a full novel worth of more kinda way, not just an epilogue.  Raeder has suggested that she is toying with the idea of either expanding to another book, or maybe a epilogue.  I hope that we are treated to more, even if it is just an epilogue.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to Maise and Evan just yet.

“There are moments, when you’re getting to know someone, when you realize something deep and buried in you is deep and buried in them, too.  It feels like meeting a stranger you’ve known your whole life.”


Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: Jane's Melody

What boundaries would you cross for love?

That's the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician to learn about her daughter's death and finds herself falling for him. A touching love story that will have you equally tantalized and in tears, Jane's Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.

Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it's too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no age.

Title: Jane's Melody
Author: Ryan Winfield | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: June 16 2013
Publisher: Birch Paper Press
Length: 336 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Perfect, couldn't have asked for a better cover really.
Point of View: 3rd person

My Rating: 5 Stars

What a beautiful, compassionate, romantic and touching story.  I was nervous when I realized that this was written in 3rd person, I just don't seem to connect to the characters as much in this perspective.  But I am happy to say that it took no time at all for the connection to made, and for the story to completely grip me.

“Perhaps not all spirits are meant for this world, but they pass through anyway and change for the better those which are.”

Jane.  I adored her.  I don't always see eye to eye with heroines, and there are almost always moments when I get frustrated and annoyed.  I never felt those feelings with Jane.  At forty she has already lived a complicated, sad and lonely life.  When Caleb comes into her world, I understood the worries and fears that she faced when it came to a man who was fifteen years younger than herself.  I actually felt that she handled the entire situation with grace.

“Love is life and life is good”

Caleb.  *sigh*  Caleb is practically perfect.  He is so sweet and considerate, and never once do you doubt his feelings for Jane.  He is a stand up man and a very hard worker.  He has had to face his own demons in the past, but he has not allowed them to destroy his character.  He absolutely says the sweetest things, and I think half of my Kindle copy is highlighted with swoony Caleb quotes.  And his guitar playing?  So sexy.

“Okay.  I don’t know if I have the right words, but love is this feeling I get when I look at you.  A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, then everything will be okay.  That everything has meaning.  It’s as if the world was all shades of sepia—like an old movie reel—and that everywhere I looked I saw suffering and pain.  Then I heard your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.”

The side characters really brought this story to a full circle.  Grace, Jane's best friend, is witty and there for Jane when she needs her.  Even as she is going through her own struggles.  I liked that Grace never told Jane what she simply wanted to hear, and never gave her straight out advice.  She would would always answer questions with questions, or would be vague and this would force Jane to make her own mind up... which is exactly what she needed to do.

“I don't know if you're being smart or not, but I know that being smart doesn't always lead to being happy. And I'd rather be happy than anything else”

And even though Jane's mother is a beast of a woman, I also enjoyed her interactions.  It helped to show exactly what it was that Jane had to put up with, and how this woman has helped shaped her.  I loved how Jane stood up to her, and how Caleb managed to hold his tongue around her.  Too many times you see the male characters who goes out of their way to stand up to those hurting the heroine.  Caleb has no love for Jane's mother but he never oversteps the line that Jane asked him to stay behind.  He lets Jane handle the situations as they arise, and I think this shows how much he cares for Jane.  It would have been easy for him to 'blow his top' at the woman, but he respects Jane and knew she could handle herself.

My only niggle with Jane's Melody is that I want more, and if that is the only thing I can complain about then that gives you an idea of how much I loved it.  Caleb is a little absent in the last portion of the book, and I would have liked to see what he was getting up to during that time.  I am also getting rather spoiled when it comes to standalone novels and epilogues.  But sadly, Jane's Melody does not have one.  I was really hoping we were going to get a little glimpse into their future.  However, that doesn't take away the fact that I was smiling from ear to ear at the end.

“I remember reading somewhere that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else.  But I don't think it's true.  I think you have to learn to forget yourself before you can love someone else.  At least I seem to forget about myself when I'm with you.”


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Review: Crown of Midnight

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt. But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

Title: Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass ~ Book 2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: August 15 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Length: 435 Pages
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Source: ARC Provided by Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cover Love: Stunning.  Just look at those colors... and Celaena is fierce.
Point of View: 3rd person

My Rating: 5 Stars

Wow.  What a ride.  I finished Crown of Midnight last night, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  I went to sleep thinking about what may be ahead for these characters, and I woke up thinking about the exact same thing.  When I read Throne of Glass in 2012, I was blown away by it.  I had not read a lot of books in the fantasy genre and did not know what to expect.  Like I said, I was blown away.  Then I realized that the sequel, Crown of Midnight, would be published a year later... *sigh*  But, here we are.  It is out and let me tell you, it has not disappointed.  The wait was most definitely worth it.

“Who knows what games these people play, and what ends they have in mind?”

If you read Throne of Glass, and thought that it was full of suspense, action and romance... you have no idea about those things until you have read this.  I was captivated from the first word to the very last, and when it was over I found myself just sat there staring at my Kindle.  The ending is mind blowing.  I kid you not.  I was an emotional wreck.

There are so many revelations that are made.  Some bad, some good and some completely awesome.  As each shocking twist and turn comes at you, all you can do is hold on for the ride and enjoy every single minute of it.  I can't even begin to understand how this world and story are simply swimming around in Sarah J. Maas' head.  In my opinion the writing is flawless.  It can get confusing with fantasy novels, as there tend to be an abundance of characters, locations and words that you may not be pronouncing correctly.  But I never feel that when reading this series.  Everything is thought out, and presented perfectly.

“Perhaps the world would never be perfect, perhaps some things would never be right, but maybe she stood a chance of finding her own sort of peace of freedom.”

Celaena is absolutely amazing.  There is no better way to describe her.  If I am ever asked to name a kick ass heroine my answer forever more will be Celaena Sardothien.  But with that fierceness there is softness.  She has the biggest heart, and some of her actions will truly shock you.  I thought I knew her, but she continues to shock me.  Just when I thought she couldn't get more amazing...

“I can’t tell if I should be ashamed of wanting to hold you on this day, or grateful that, despite what happened before now, it somehow brought me to you.”

When I wrote my review for Throne of Glass, I mentioned the love triangle.  We have Celaena, Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol.  I am happy to report that I no longer see this story as a love triangle.  That isn't to say that Dorian and Chaol do not both love Celaena, but it is quite evident that while Celaena cares for them both, there is only man she is actually in love with.  So to me, that is no love triangle.

And who do I love?  I have mad feelings for Dorian, and I have to say that he has grown up so much in this book.  He is learning and processing his future, and he is starting to finally make a stand against things that he knows is wrong.  But, my heart is with Chaol.  I have loved him since the start of book one.  I have never wavered, and I can only hope that somehow Celaena and Chaol will get their happily ever after after all is said and done.

“It never made any difference to me when it came to you.  I'd still pick you.  I'll always pick you.”

Even though it has been a year since I've read Throne of Glass, and I have read over a hundred and fifty books since reading it, I didn't feel that a re-read was necessary.  The story picks up perfectly, and the way that Maas writes, you don't feel like you have forgotten anything.  You are reminded along the way of past story lines, but never once was I confused.

And now I'm sure you want to know when the next book in this series will be out.  Yep, you guessed it.  2014.  *sigh*  There are scheduled to be a total of six books in this series, one being released each year.  I can only assume that the August schedule will continue, but this is only my guess.  This means, that the sixth and final book is scheduled for 2017.  I am of a mixed mind about this.  I love that there will be six, because honestly I love this world and I love these characters, so the more the better.  But when you think about the time it will take for the whole the story to be told, it seems a bit daunting.

However, as I said, I didn't feel a re-read was necessary.  And it's kind of exciting to think that for the next four years the story will unfold in all of it's glory.  So yes, of course I would want to have them all sooner.  But, this is an epic story, and the fact it will span such long period of time... that makes it even a little more epic.

“It was war upon them all.  Let them tremble in fear at what they had awoken.”


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Review: Beneath the Burn

They meet by chance. The timing is wrong.

Three years later, she finds him again, but their separation was poisoned with narcotics and bloodied by enslavement.

Her freedom gambled away, Charlee Grosky escapes the international businessman who held her captive. But his power reaches beyond her protective barriers and threatens everyone she has come to love.

Jay Mayard wears his tortured secrets under his rock god facade. Drugs are his release, even as he seeks to be the man forged of the steel only she can see.

In a celebrity world filled with paparazzi, groupies, and drugs, Jay and Charlee must face their worst fears. When the battle is over, what will be left...Beneath The Burn.

Title: Beneath the Burn
Author: Pam Godwin | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website
Publication Date: July 31 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Length: 510 Pages
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Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Absolute perfection.
Point of View: 3rd person

My Rating: 5 Huge Burning Stars

Where do I even begin?  I have no idea why reviews for the books that completely blow me away are the hardest, but they are.  And Beneath the Burn did just that, it blew me away.  Hours after finishing, I am still living in it's world, thinking about the characters, and wondering how in the world I am going to be able to move past this beautiful story.

“You showed me beauty in survival.  I’ll show you strength in healing”

I had been seeing so many good things said about Beneath the Burn that I knew I needed to start it as soon as possible.  I will have to be honest though, I had no idea it was written in 3rd person.  So when I started, it made me very nervous.  I am not a huge fan of this perspective, but I was willing to give it a chance.  It took me less than a chapter to get completely sucked into the story, and not much more than that to not even realize it was being told in 3rd person.  It's hard to explain, but it's the absolute truth.  The way it is written is not like any other 3rd person novel I have read before.  I still felt that I was in the character's heads and was feeling every emotion and thought right along with them.

“Life was jaded like that, throwing them together when he couldn’t tolerate affection and she was desperate for it.”

Beneath the Burn can be described as powerful, gritty, intense, passionate...  Honestly, there are not enough words that I could list to describe the awesomeness of this story and it's characters.  I experienced an untold amount of emotions while reading, and I guarantee you that you will feel them as well.  This is a story that will make you think, feel and experience the story as it is unfolding.  You will find yourself on the edge of your seat more than once, and will probably be in tears just as many times.

There are some beyond intense scenes, but please don't allow this to scare you away.  As intense as they were, I never felt uncomfortable reading them.  The intensity is later in the book, turned to passion.  So as intense as some are, they are required in order to help you understand what it is Charlee is having to live through.  And later, how that need can be turned into something mutual.

“She was his greatest possibility.  His reason.  His why.  He would give whatever she needed to be whole and happy, because loving her was as essential as drawing air.”

The love I have for both Charlee and Jay is overwhelming.  Both characters touched me deeply.  I adored Charlee and struggled right along with her.  Her strength is amazing, and she is such a tough character.  Jay is the perfectly tortured artist.  Their connection is instant, even though it takes years for them to be in a position to be able to act upon it.  I loved being able to see how once they reconnected, they were able to start to heal each other.  Both have demons, and instead of letting those demons win, they use their feelings for each other to adapt and learn from each other.

But, not everything is doom and gloom.  There are so many moments where I was smiling and laughing.  I loved a look into the crazy rock star world, and there were many moments of hilarity from Jay's band mates.  And honestly, Charlee has a great sense of humor.  This again points to her strong character, she hasn't let what has happened to her break her.

“You have the heart one expects to see at the centre of a fire, bending and twisting like steel, but never breaking.  If something happens to mine, yours would be stubborn enough to beat for both of us.”

Okay, I've gushed enough, and could probably go on forever if I don't force myself to stop.  I can only hope that if you were on the fence about this book before reading my review, that I have helped in some way to push you over the edge.  I can not see how anybody would be disappointed in this story, and not fall in love with these characters.  Oh, and the ending?  Absolutely perfect and we are treated to a wonderful epilogue.

“No matter what happens, no matter where we go from here, we go together.”