Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book I Covet: The Unimaginable by Dina Silver

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 with
I've been really into these kind of "women's fiction" type of reads and after reading the description I feel I can relate to the main character. Also, the early reviews on Goodreads have been really good.

And doesn't the cover remind you of Disney's Tangled? One of the character is named Flynn too!

From the author of One Pink Line comes a story about letting go of the past and finding bravery in the depths of fear. Set on the sun-soaked beaches of Thailand and the rough waters of the Indian Ocean, The Unimaginable paints a vivid portrait of a young woman on a journey to find herself—and her harrowing fight for survival.

After twenty-eight years of playing by the rules, Jessica Gregory moves from her small Indiana town to Phuket, Thailand. But her newfound routine is upended with the arrival of Grant Flynn, a captivating, elusive man who is sailing around the world while trying to move on from a past tragedy. Jessica volunteers to help crew Grant’s boat, Imagine, on a passage across the Indian Ocean and finds herself falling in love with him as the voyage gets underway. But when disaster strikes, Jessica must summon her courage as the crew is confronted by unspeakable terrors––and, aboard a boat named for such promise, comes the unimaginable.


The Unimaginable will be released on December 1, 2014. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.



What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's In His Kiss + Sins and Needles Excerpts

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 with
Labels:
Hello everyone,
I have two books that I want you all to put under your radar. They're both contemporary romance but are very different in tone.



Yep, I'm talking about It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis and Sins & Needles by Karina Halle. I'm a long-time fan of Jill Shalvis' books. She's actually one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and I auto-buy her books. But I'm new to Karina Halle. I've never read any of her books and I'm so excited to get my copy of Sins & Needles.

I have excerpts of both books so read on!



ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVER

Becca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?



Standing up, she moved to the window and took in a most mesmerizing sight.

Not the ocean, though that was pretty damn fine, too.

But Sexy Grumpy Surfer—SGS for short, she’d decided—side by side with one of the other guys from last night, the two of them doing pull-ups on some metal bar. Given their easy, economical speed and the way they kept turning to eyeball each other, they were competing and not for the first time. They were shirtless, their toned bodies gleaming with sweat in the early-morning sun, definitely outshining the Pacific Ocean.

“Wow,” she whispered. She had no idea how long she stood there, or how many impossibly difficult pull-ups the two men did before they both dropped lithely to the ground, straightened, and gave each other a shove.

Their laughter drifted to her ears and she found herself smiling along with them. A sweaty tie then, she decided, and realized she was a little hot herself.

Hot and bothered.

Sexy Grumpy Surfer looked damn good laughing. The other guy moved off, back toward the small building be-
tween the street and beach, but SGS remained. Turning only his head, he unerringly met Becca’s gaze.

Crap. She dropped like a stone to the floor and lay flat. He hadn’t seen her, she thought. He totally hadn’t. The glare on the window had blocked his view. Yeah, for sure he’d missed her...

Slowly, she rose up on her knees to take a quick peek and winced.

He was still there, hands on hips, looking right at her.

He’d missed exactly nothing, and she suspected he rarely did.

Then the clouds shifted, and suddenly the sun was shining right on him, like he was the best of God’s glory. Since the sun was also bright, making seeing details difficult, it was probably—hopefully—her imagination that his mouth quirked in a barely there smile as he shook his head at her.

Her stomach quivering, she ducked again.

And then from her position prone on the floor, she forbid herself from looking out the window ever again.

Ever.

Crawling to her suitcases in the center of the loft, she sat cross-legged, pulled out her list of Must-Buys, and added curtains. Curtains would keep her from being distracted by her view. Curtains would keep her on task.

And away from further embarrassment.

She showered, dressed, and left the warehouse, send-
ing a cautious look down the alley.

Empty.

Relieved, she left. Several hours later she was back, followed by Eddie, the kid on the bike, whom she’d paid to help lug her loot. Thankfully he came with an older brother who had a truck, and equally thankfully, Lucky Harbor had a “vintage” shop, a really great one. She’d found everything she’d needed there, including gently used sheets that she bought for curtains.

In far less time than it’d taken to shop, she had curtains up and the bed made, and she was sitting on it, staring at an email from her ad agency.

Becca,
The Cushy jingle works. I’ve sent accounting a request to get you payment. Next up is Diaxsis, the new erectile dysfunction medicine. Details and deadline info attached, if you’re interested.

Not Great job, Becca. Not You’re back, Becca. Not We’ve put you back on our top tier, Becca.

But neither was it You’re fired, Becca, so she’d take it. But Diaxsis? She blew out a breath and hit reply:

I’m interested.

The next morning, Becca opened her eyes and let out a happy breath. She’d actually slept, and if there’d been bad dreams, she didn’t remember them. Turning her head, she stared at the curtains where a weak daylight poked in around the edges.

The insulation in her building was either poor or nonexistent. She could hear every single time the back door of the building next to hers opened.

It opened now.

Don’t do it, she told herself. Don’t go look. You’re stronger than this. You don’t need the distraction...

But like Pavlov’s dog, she got up and peeked through the curtains.

It was foggy out, but the bigger news was that Sexy Grumpy Surfer was back. It looked chilly, and yet he was in another pair of board shorts and a T-shirt that hugged the width of his shoulders as they flexed enticingly while he dumped the contents of a shop vac into the trash bin.

Sex on a stick.

He didn’t look up this time, and Becca forced herself away from the window. She showered, ate the leftover ranch-flavored popcorn—breakfast of champions—and gave her keyboard a long, hard look. “Today,” she told it. “Today, you give me something better than It works.”

Sitting on the bed, leaning back against the wall, she pulled the keyboard onto her lap.

A year. A year since she’d composed jingles for the best national brands, and the reasons why were complicated. She’d lost her muse, and her footing. On life. That had to change. Hence the across-the-country move. A new venue, a new beginning. But she still needed to prove herself, if only to the woman in the mirror.

Author Info

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. You can chat with Jill on her website, Facebook and Twitter.







Now, for Sins & Needles...


Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she's much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for - Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie's counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she's not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie's plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn't dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it's one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

**The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it's so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA).






An hour later, Camden was drunk, attempting to make a fire, and we had finally settled on a name. He had wanted to do a nod to some of his Irish ancestry on his late mother’s side, so his new persona was called Connor Malloy. It wasn’t too similar to Camden McQueen, but because of the pacing, the words rolled off the tongue the same way. To tell the truth, he kind of looked like a Connor.

Though he’d always be Camden to me.

“Come sit with me,” he said. He had gotten the fire going and was sitting cross-legged on a Mexican blanket in front of it. The very same place we’d shared some wine and, uh, certain parts of each other. It felt like ages ago. It was amazing how fast everything had changed, even our names.

I hesitated. He was drunk, which was fine. I mean, I’d seen him drunk before. But things were so different and so unpredictable, I wasn’t sure who I was going to get. Camden? Connor? Caithness? Today had been the first time we’d been together in a few days, and while things were going smoothly at the moment, I didn’t want to push my luck.

“Please,” he said, patting the ground beside him.

Feeling he probably wouldn’t ask nicely next time, I got up and sat down beside him. The fire wasn’t too hot since it was a Duraflame log, but it was pleasantly warm and toasty. I brought my knees up to my chest and watched the flames dance.

“So when do I start becoming Connor Malloy?” he asked in a dull voice.

I turned my head to look at him. The flames reflected in his glasses, making it hard for me to see his eyes.

“When we run,” I said.

“Do you ever get tired of running?”

I managed a weak smile. “Why do you think I came here?”

“I thought you came here to screw me over,” he said. It was so emotionless and he watched the fire as if hypnotized.

“I didn’t come here to screw you over, Camden.”

“Please, call me Connor.”

“Seriously, Camden, listen to me. I know you don’t believe me or trust me but...you have to know, you weren’t why I came here.”

“No? Then I’m a bit disappointed,” he said sadly.

“I didn’t think I’d know anyone here. That’s why I came back. I figured everyone was either too old to remember me or had moved on. No one stays in the town they were raised in unless they have a reason. I thought I could just start over. I thought my uncle could help me. Or at least try. But he didn’t want me.”

“You could have gotten a job like everyone else. A real job.”

“I tried—“

“You didn’t try.” His eyes snapped to mine, taking me by surprise. “You wanted the easy way out. Don’t you know by now that there is no easy way out?”

His tone put me on edge. I tried to placate him with kind eyes. “I’m getting out now, aren’t I? We both are.”

A savage smile slowly spread across his lips. “But you think this is easy. Don’t you? You’re relieved that all you have to do is help me with something you’re good at. Somehow, in the end, you’ll walk away. Maybe not any richer, but you’ll walk away. And you’ll feel great about how much you helped Camden McQueen or Connor Malloy or whatever my name will be. You’ll walk away feeling like a winner. That’s not fair, Ellie. You don’t deserve to feel that way.”

I couldn’t figure out what to say because what he was saying was the truth. He removed his glasses and put them on the ground beside him. His eyes, heavy lidded with drink, drifted to my mouth. I gulped nervously, not liking the tension that was jagging between us.

“How do you think I should feel?” I asked thickly. My nerves were on fire. Everything was on fire.

“Like this,” he said. Slowly, he leaned over and kissed me. His lips were soft and tasted like bourbon. I couldn’t kiss him back if I wanted to; I couldn’t do anything but freeze. He pulled back a little, his eyes inches away. I could see my frightened reflection in the black hole of his pupil. “See? You’re afraid."

“You want to scare me?” I whispered.

He kept his lips an inch from mine. His fingers smoothed the hair off my face, tucking it behind my ear.

“Yes,” he murmured. His lips brushed mine as he spoke. My breath hitched as his other hand slid the strap of my tank top and bra off my shoulder. I shivered from his touch, from his eyes, from whatever was buried in his heart and eating him alive.

“Camden,” I warned, my voice shaking.

He placed his lips on my shoulder and started kissing down my arm. He was right. I was scared. I was so, so afraid. Yet a terrible part of me wanted him to continue. I was turned on and frightened, ready to run, ready to fight, ready to grab him and kiss him, devour every part of him. I didn’t know what was going on, but I was stuck in a cage with something that might or might not harm me, that might give me everything and leave me with nothing.

His lips came back up my arm and across my collarbone. Slowly. Very slowly. The slowest, softest kisses I’d ever felt. Then his mouth edged down my chest. I was sure he could feel my heart underneath, pounding wildly. With his hand, he pulled down my top and bra and exposed my right breast. My nipple was already hard and now puckered in anticipation. His lips circled it, then his warm tongue lashed it gently, teasing, tempting. He let out a small sigh then tugged at my nipple ring with his teeth. The pleasure traveled along my nerves like lightning strikes.

I couldn’t swallow. I felt like I was drowning under his touch. “Camden, please...”

Please stop, I was thinking. This isn’t right. It feels right and it feels wrong but it isn’t right. There’s motive and it isn’t lust. It isn’t lust. It’s revenge.

Revenge never felt so good.

He nipped at me, and my back arched. A low moan escaped my lips. I wanted him. I wanted the person that didn’t exist. I wanted the wrong thing.


Author Info
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with). She’s hard at work on her next novel. Find Karina on her website, Facebook and Twitter.



And if you want to try your luck, Karina's publisher Forever is running a giveaway to celebrate the paperback release of Sins & Needles.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you add both books to your Goodreads list or your wishlist. I am so excited for both books. Just for the excerpts, I know they're going to be amazing.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Updates + the Book Splurge Continues

Saturday, August 23, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
The books I bought online in July, earlier this month and one of my pre-orders came this week. Yay! I luurrvveee getting books in the mail. But before I get into the pretty, pretty books here are our posts this week.
Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
I liked Ugly Love but I didn't love it. Find out why.

Book I Covet: I Was Here by Gayle Forman
I'm counting down the days!

Review: Fast Track by Julie Garwood
Really enjoyed this one.


Michelle: I was reading Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis but I put it down for a little while (not because it's not good; in fact, on the contrary) but I just gotta sneak in Taking It All by Maya Banks and Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins this weekend.

Leslie: I just moved in at the university dorm and I'm starting my classes next week. I am reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on and off on my phone, but I'm trying to explore the city and campus so I am not really reading anything at the moment.



Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
I pre-ordered Isla in 2012, you guys! And I finally have it in my hands. Woot!

Impostor by Jill Hathaway
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Thornhill by Kathleen Peacock
Eternal by Kristi Cook
Hidden by Sophie Jordan
Until I Die by Amy Plum
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
The total of this order (including shipping) from bookoutlet.com is $28.91. I love the prices on BookOutlet but it takes forever for my orders to come in. I ordered these on July 11th and they didn't come in until August 19th.

Sway by Kat Spears (won)
The 100 by Kass Morgan
The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin
So (not) funny! My blog tour review copy arrived 2 weeks after the blog tour. The eARC's format was all messed up and half of the pictures were missing so I'm glad that the physical ARC did arrive because now I can finally see all of Addison's pictures.
Taking It All by Maya Banks
Another one I've been waiting and waiting for. Jeez, when it comes to book mail USPS is really crappy.

What new books did you guys get? I wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle


*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 352 pages
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Buchanan-Renard #12**
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
A corrupt congressman, a mother’s secrets, and a sizzling romance ignite passion and suspense in the new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.
Cordelia Kane has always been a daddy’s girl—her father raised her alone after her mother died in a car crash when Cordelia was just two years old. So when he has a serious heart attack, Cordelia is devastated, and the emotion is only intensified by the confusion she feels when he reveals the shocking truth about her mother.
Cordelia can’t suppress her curiosity about the woman who gave birth to her, and when she discovers the answers to her questions lie in Sydney, Australia, she travels there to get them.
Hotel magnate Aiden Madison is Cordelia’s best friend’s older brother. He’s oblivious to the fact that she’s had a crush on him for years. When he gets railroaded into taking her along to Sydney on his company jet, he unknowingly puts her life at risk. He’s recently angered a powerful congressman by refusing to purchase overvalued land. Congressman Chambers is not a man to let such an offense slide, and he has the resources to get even and to get what he wants.
In Australia sparks are flying between Cordelia and Aiden, but multiple attempts on Aiden’s life are made while Cordelia is with him, and he realizes he must put a stop to the madness before he loses the thing he values most.



Some mild spoilers.

Julie Garwood's historical romance novels were one of the first I read when I discovered romance novels at the age of fourteen. I read them one after the other because they were so addicting. I think she went on a bit of a writing hiatus and do not write historical romances anymore. I wanted to check out her newer titles (Garwood is writing romantic suspense these days) so I picked up Sweet Talk in 2012. Unfortunately, I didn't particularly enjoy Sweet Talk (read my review here).

When I got a chance to review Fast Track I was excited but apprehensive... am I going to like it or will it be a lukewarm experience like Sweet Talk was?

But before I get into all that, I want to clarify some things. The book's description basically said that a corrupt congressman was after Cordelia after Aiden made him angry. And that's a big NO. There was a corrupt congressman and Aiden did make him angry, but he was not after Cordelia at all. Actually, his character had nothing to do with Cordie at all. The congressman storyline had very little to do with the main plot. It could've been taken out of the story entirely and it wouldn't have made a difference.

The main plot line had to do with Cordelia's mother. At her father's deathbed, he revealed that Cordie's mother was actually alive. Of course, Cordie wanted to meet and learn more about the woman and why she left Cordie to be raised by her dad. She found out (along with other secrets) that her mom currently lives in Sydney. Cordie wanted to go, if only to see the woman in person. Aiden insisted (he was being an alpha--there was no "railroading") that she take his private jet along with him. But Cordie's mom didn't want to be found and that's when the trouble (and danger) started.

The story wasn't quite the way the description described but I am happy to say that I liked Fast Track! I gave it

Okay, so I wasn't wowed by it or anything. It's not particularly memorable either. However, Fast Track was very, very entertaining nonetheless. I enjoyed it so much more than I did Sweet Talk and I was pleasantly surprised by how fast I read it. It was one of those books where when I look down at the page number, I'd be pleasantly surprised to see that I've read 40 pages in a seemingly short period of time.

I really enjoyed Cordelia's character. She had a good head on her shoulders, she acted her age and her reactions to the situation she found herself in were believable. When she found herself in dangerous situations, she screamed and called for help. I get so irritated with heroines who are "strong, independent women" who put themselves into dangerous situations to prove they're strong and independent (they're otherwise known as TSTL heroines). But not Cordelia. She acted rationally and I really, really liked that about her.

I liked Aiden's character too. He's a good guy. He liked having things his way but he wasn't too overbearing. But nothing really stood out about his character--in a line-up of romance novel heroes, he would fade in the background.

I do wish we see more of a progression in their relationship though. Cordelia and Aiden have known each other forever and had an established friendship. Cordelia has had a crush on Aiden since she was a little girl and she's trying to get over him. But circumstances forced she to spend a lot to time with him and depend on his help. Then, they fell into bed and... well, I feel we didn't really get to see much of a development of their romantic relationship.

What this novel lacked was deep emotion and heart. While I liked the all the characters, I didn't have any strong feelings for them. Like I said enjoyed Fast Track, I was entertained by it and I really have no issues with it but there was nothing remarkable about it. Fast Track was ultimately a fluffy, easy breezy read.


**Fast Track is #12 in the Buchanan-Renard series but it can be read as a stand-alone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book I Covet: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 with
It's by Gayle Forman. 'Nuff said.

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


I Was Here will be released on January 27, 2015. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.



What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Atria
Pages: 322 pages
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Source of my copy: bought
Series: n/a
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.
Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.
They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.
Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.



As soon as I got my hands on this, I picked it up. From the cover and the description (which was a bit vague), I was expecting dirty hate sex and two characters who'll fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom until they developed deeper feelings for each other. Yeah, that was NOT it at all.

Ugly Love was good. I enjoyed it a lot but I don't love it.

The story alternates between Tate in the present and Miles six years in the past before he met Tate. We're actually getting two stories: Tate and Miles in the present told through Tate's first person POV and Miles and his relationship with Rachel six years ago told through his first person POV--for some reason his POV in this weird centered format. In the present, Miles was a broken man and we slowly find out in his chapters how he got that way. His and Rachel's story was heartbreaking. By the end of the novel, you understand why he was the way he was and I felt sorry for him.

But Tate in the present was not getting the information about Miles that we are getting. Sure, he never "lied" to her since he stated what he wanted in the beginning, which was that she not question his past or expect a future--it was to be a strictly friends (except they're "not friends") with benefits sort of deal. Miles in the present was closed off, ran hot and cold and he constantly pushed Tate away only to pull her back in again. If you skipped all of the Miles chapters, what he did to Tate in the present wouldn't be so easily dismissable.

But since, as a reader, you're getting him at his best when you switch to his perspective you just kind of feel bad for the guy. I put myself in Tate's character though, and she knew basically nothing about him, and I wanted to shake her silly out of her "liquid" haze about this guy who was essentially not treating her all that well. But she just took all of his shit like a doormat; she took his scraps that he gave her like a sad puppy. She didn't have much self-respect for most of the book so it's hard to respect her.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it a lot. It was just that I couldn't fully stand behind Tate and Miles' characters. It all came together in the end, though. I loved the epilogue, which tied that story into such a nice, satisfying ending. I liked that we even got a chapter told through Rachel's eyes. I found her character the most fascinating of all, actually. Hopefully, Hoover will release a novella of some sort to tell her story after she and Miles broke apart and how she healed.

Oh, FYI, there were quite a number of smexy scenes--more than the usual you'd find in Hoover's previous books. While Ugly Love was no where close to Fifty Shades or Crossfire series, it's steamier that the typical NA novel, which I didn't mind at all.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up + Book Splurge

Sunday, August 17, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
I went on a big of a book splurge this week, or more like this month.
This is just about a third of it. I'm still waiting for a bunch more to make its way to me. 
Actually, I can't seem to stop buying books now that I have a steady paycheck and I'm not really saving for anything.

I think I need to put myself in a strict book buying ban, like I can only buy a book if I read ten books or something. Not that book buying bans really work with me...

Anywho, here are our posts this week.

Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone by Adele Griffin (Blog Tour)
If you enjoy manic pixie dream girl kind of characters, you're going to enjoy Addison Stone. Also, I wrote a haiku just for Addison.

Book I Covet: Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers
This YA thriller set all over the world and I cannot wait.

Book Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
This one kinda fell flat for me.

Nalini Singh's Rock Addiction Cover Reveal
Nalini Singh story about a rock star and a shy librarian. Look out for my review later this coming week.

If you haven't already (or if you wanna earn more entries), our Taking It All (Maya Banks' newest) giveaway is still going on. Enter here.


Michelle: Fast Track by Julie Garwood. This one is pretty good!

LeslieArranged by Catherine McKenzie. My sister recommended this one to me and I'm LOVING it.



Here are the books I bought that arrived at my door this week in more detail.
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I've have had my eyes on these books for a while and I finally have them in my possession!

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
I bought the e-book of DoB&S a while back but I wanted to get the entire series in a physical format to match my copy of DoS&B. So, with the purchase of these two, I finally have the entire Daughter of Smoke & Bone series. Yay!

I got one book for review this week.
Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
According to the review pitch, this collection of novellas is a perfect entry to the world of Mercy Thompson for newbs like me. 

What new books did you guys get? I wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle


*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nalini Singh's Rock Addiction Cover Reveal

Friday, August 15, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
Today, I'm doing a cover reveal.** Now, we don't often participate in a lot of cover reveals here but when we do, it's usually for an author whose books we love and basically auto-buy.


If you didn't know already, Nalini Singh (who is one of my favorite authors--I'm in love with her Psy-Changeling series and her Guild Hunter series) is writing a contemporary romance! It's called Rock Addiction and the story is about rock star bad boy Zachary Fox and shy librarian Molly Webster. I've already read it and while I didn't love it, I did enjoy it. I'll be posting my review on Tuesday next week.

Without further ado, here is the cover of Rock Addiction as well as a steamy teaser from the novel.


A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…
Pretty darn hot, right? The tattooed arm looks a kinda awkward, though. The upper arm muscle doesn't look quite proportionate but if I don't look too closely, it's okay. Rock Addiction will be out on September 9th!


For more info about Rock Addiction (which will be the first in a series--I saw somewhere that Fox's band members are getting their own novels or novellas) the best place to go is Nalini's website/blog. She's also pretty active on Twitter.

Have a great weekend everyone and happy reading,
Michelle


P.S. Don't forget to enter our giveaway. You can win a copy of Taking It All by Maya Banks!



**Thank you to The Rock Stars of Romance for the opportunity to be part of this cover reveal.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 296 pages
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Source of my copy: bought
Series: standalone
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?



I was really looking forward reading Ten because I have heard Gretchen McNeil praised as a good horror writer. But Ten was underwhelming at best.

Most of the book read like a silly teen "scary" movie--as in not scary at all. The last fourth of the book did get exciting somewhat. It did give me a bit of a run around trying to figure out who the killer was and I was finally engaged. The mystery of the last fourth of the novel was what saved the book from my giving it less than three stars.

I never really connected with any of the characters, even the main character. The secondary characters felt like shallow cutouts of cliché teen personalities like you'd find in a cheesy TV show. Maybe since most of them were merely there to die, the author didn't really put that much effort in giving them any of them any sort of real personality. I hardly cared about any of their deaths, and that really lessened the "scary" factor of the novel for me.

As for the main character Meg, she was more developed than the others but only just. I couldn't have cared less if the killer got to her. Meg had a bit of a romance going on with one of the boys but I never really felt any spark between them.

I read this book fairly quickly but only because it was one of those easy, mindless reads and not because I was really invested in the characters or even finding out who the killer was. If you're looking for a true horror novel, you'll want to skip this one.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Book I Covet: Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae Myers

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 with
I love action-packed reads and Inherit Midnight promises to be one. And I love that it's set all over the world.

The Competition:
Outlandishly wealthy Grandmother VanDemere has decided to leave her vast fortune to the family member who proves him or herself worthiest—by solving puzzles and riddles on a whirlwind race around the globe, from the mines of Venezuela to the castles of Scotland. There will be eight competitors, three continents . . . and a prize worth millions.

The Players:
Seventeen-year-old Avery is the black sheep of the VanDemere clan, the ostracized illegitimate daughter. Finally, she has a chance to prove herself... and to discover the truth about her long-lost mother.

Marshall might be Avery’s uncle, but there’s no love lost between the two of them. He’s her main competition, and he’ll do anything to win—including betray his own children.

Riley is the handsome son of Grandmother VanDemere’s lawyer. As the game progresses, Avery falls hard for Riley. Suddenly, losing the game might mean losing him, too.

As the competition takes treacherous turns, it becomes clear there can only be one victor. Who can Avery truly trust? And is winning worth her life?


Inherit Midnight will be released on February 10, 2015. Click on the cover to go to the book's Goodreads page.



What book(s) do you "covet" this week?
Leave us a comment with a link so we can check your WoW of the week too.



 
"Books I Covet" is a weekly or bi-weekly blog post series we do here on Wednesdays. It will feature books we are very excited about reading and plan on buying/borrowing in the near future. It is basically the "Waiting On" meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, but we just like the title "books we covet" better. We will include the books' blurb, cover art, and/or release date if they're available. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hello everyone,
Before I get to my review of The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, as part of the blog tour participants are to come up with a creative tribute to Addison Stone. Here's my haiku for her.



Format: e-ARC
Publisher: Soho Teen
Pages: 256 pages
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: n/a
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
"From the moment she burst into the downtown art scene, seventeen-year-old Addison Stone was someone to watch. Her trademark subversive street art and her violent drowning left her fans and critics craving to know more about this brilliant wild-child who shone so bright and was gone too soon." —Adele Griffin

Two-time National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin offers an ingenious fictional take on celebrity biography, as told in first person interviews through the eyes of Addison Stone's parents, friends, boyfriends, mentors, critics, and more-punctuated in full color with Addison's artwork, photographs, and emails. When it comes to Addison's untimely and mysterious death, nobody escapes unscathed.




The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is set up in a very unique way, sort of in the same vein as Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children because the author combined words and pictures to tell the story. But unlike Miss PeregrineThe Unfinished Life of Addison Stone is a "docu-novel," a biography about Addison Stone who was beautiful, a brilliant street artist, seemingly high on life and full of quirks and idiosyncrasies but also mysterious and she had a darkness that shadows her. The people around her thought they knew her but, really, they only knew pieces of her.

After her apparent suicide, one of her former teachers decided to put together an biography of Addison Stone by interviewing the people who knew her best and, by the end when the pieces are finally put together, we get discover not only the truth about her suicide but also attempt to answer the question of who Addison Stone really was.

I found the way the novel was set up to be really interesting and unlike anything I've read before. I felt I was reading a biography. The entire novel was told in first-person accounts of Addison's parents, friends, boyfriends, classmates, mentors, critics, etc. and we get a chronological story from when she was a young girl until her death. In between the words, we also got personal pictures of Addison "in action" courtesy of some of the people being interviewed as well as her art pieces. Unfortunately, since I read the digital advance reader's copy I didn't get to see all of the pictures and art--the pictures actually kind of messed up the text and it was sometimes a challenge to read to read the e-ARC. But I did see enough that the first-person accounts, the pictures and the art all combined to give me an intimate look into Addison's character. I felt I got knew her like I would a real-life celebrity. 

However, like how I feel about celebrities, I never really felt any emotional closeness to Addison's character or any of the characters in the novel. Reading The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a passive experience for me and I never truly cared about what happened to her. I was also watching the television show The Killing the same time I was reading this novel so I kind of warped the two in my head. I kept waiting for a twist in the end where Addison's suicide will turn out to be a murder but there was no such twist. There was a creep factor though because Addison said she heard the voice of a girl named Ida but the girl died a hundred years ago. Her doctors diagnosed it as a mental illness but there was a revelation at the end that made you question whether it really was a mental illness or she was being haunted.

The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone was a very interesting, unique read. While I didn't really connect to Addison's character or any of the other characters, the novel did keep my interest throughout. I didn't love this novel but I did enjoy it.


For more info about The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone, read an excerpt and to get in on the pre-order campaign (the first 100 people who pre-order gets an exclusive tote bag), click on the picture below.

Happy reading,
Michelle

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekly Wrap-up + LOTS of New Books

Sunday, August 10, 2014 with
Hello everyone,
I had a four-day weekend this week because of the Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio scare. But neither hurricanes really affected us where we were. I did take advantage of the two days I didn't have work and did a lot of reading. I finished two books and I'm halfway done with my third.

Here are our posts this week.

Author Interview with Maya Banks About Taking It All + GIVEAWAY
Yep, we're giving away a copy of Maya's newest release so enter, enter, ENTER!!

Book I Covet: Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh
Sexy chef hero, y'all.

Tracey Garvis-Graves' Cherish Cover Reveal
One of my favorite author is releasing a companion/sequel to a novel I wished and hoped would get a sequel. Yay!


Michelle: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. I'm enjoying this one a lot more than I did Hopeless.

Leslie: I'm still reading North of Beautiful by Justina Chen. Yup, I read at a snail's pace.



After over a month of waiting, the books I shipped to myself from the ALA conference in Las Vegas finally arrived. They came with the boxes were falling apart, I know some of my swag got lost and a couple of my books were damaged but I'm just grateful that the books arrived at all. I seriously thought they'd gotten lost and I'll never see them again.

Here are the books I got from the ALA conference.



I also got a few physical copies for review this week.
Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele (via Blogging for Books)
The Gloomy Ghost by David Lubar (unsolicited)
Wolfsbane by Gillian Philip (unsolicited)

Then, I bought some books.
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Lux: Consequences by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Lux: Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Since I got a copy of the first bind-up of the Lux series, I just went ahead and got the others to complete my collection. I can't wait to read the series. I heard amazing things about it.
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning
After reading Arrangement by Catherine McKenzie, I wanted to read more chick lit novels and You Don't Have to Say You Love Me came highly recommend from my trusted reviewers on Goodreads.

What new books did you guys get? I wanna see! Leave your STS* link so I can come gush over them.

Happy reading,
Michelle


*Stacking the Shelves, or STS, is hosted by Tynga's Reviews