Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: Beaver Tales: Stories from Below the Belt by C C Castoro

Beaver Tales: Stories from Below the Belt
By C C Castoro
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genre: Humor, Nonfiction (Adult)

Description:
This tell-all book by a spa esthetician reveals all the dirty details you've always wondered about personal waxing. You'll meet the cougar on the prowl, the sexy mystery collegiate and the guy with the perma-sweater; you'll encounter the bare beaver, the winking starfish, and various other bodily quirks and oddities.

Beaver Tales: Stories from Below the Belt started as the personal journal where encounters behind closed doors were just begging to be discussed. Some readers will relate to this book from experience, others will swear off waxing forever, and yet others will be inspired to seek their very own Brazilian.

Always funny, sometimes erotic, and often wrong on so many levels, this daring collection of short stories leaves no stone unturned, no fold unwaxed, and no pesky stragglers behind.

There will be no mystery of what lies below after reading Beaver Tales!

Review:
I haven’t read a nonfiction book in quite some time but I am not a stranger to reality tv and finding out what happens behind closed doors, or really any gossip of any kind and that’s what this book gave me.

We meet a couple clients, and even get to experience what the authors experience was like when receiving a Brazilian.  It was interesting and I definitely wanted to read through the book quickly because it was both intriguing, disturbing and just flat out crazy.  It’s like picturing an esthetician’s reality show with all the blurry images and everything.  Goes to show you how some people are just really out there and others are just plain predictable.

It was definitely a very quick read as it’s rather short and I will say I did expect juicier stories, but still some people only give you tidbits and the rest is left to your own imagination.  Very different read for me but still entertaining.

I definitely picked this book up because the cover looked interested so I had to know what it was about and then I read the blurb and new I had to get behind those closed doors.  So if you want a quick insight into random people's lives, then definitely pick this up.  


Disclaimer:
I received this book from NetGalley and Mill City Press, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Review: Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid

Happily Ever Ninja
By: Penny Reid
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Series: Knitting in the City #5

Description:
There are three things you need to know about Fiona Archer… I would tell you what they are, but then I’d have to kill you.

But I can tell you that Fiona’s husband—the always irrepressible and often cantankerous Greg Archer—is desperately in love with his wife. He aches for her when they are apart, and is insatiable when they are together. Yet as the years pass, Greg has begun to suspect that Fiona is a ninja. A ninja mom. A ninja wife. A ninja friend. After fourteen years of marriage, Greg is trying not to panic. Because Fiona’s talent for blending in is starting to resemble fading away.

However, when unexpected events mean Fiona must take center stage to keep her family safe, her response stuns everyone—Greg most of all. It seems like Greg’s wish has come true. 

Except… not. 

When all is said and done, can Greg handle this new version of his wife? Will his irrepressible cantankerousness push her away? Or can the couple find a way forward without either being forced to step back into the shadows?

This is a full length, 100k word novel, and is the 5th book in the Knitting in the City Series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone except book #1.5

Review:
Initially reading about Greg and Fiona is what made me interesting in this series and this author.  I thought her mini novella about the two of them was the cleverest writing I had seen in a while and it had me laughing and relating to them in many ways.  It was these two that made me fall in love with this series so when I finally got the chance to read the entire book about them I couldn’t help but love them even more as adults.

We continue the series with Fiona and Greg, who have been spending quite some time apart due to his job.  It is tough being a grown up and having to do grown up duties, but it’s even harder when it’s only one of you because the other is away.  I completely sympathize with Fiona because there were months where I would only see my significant other on the weekends, and it’s tough when you have two kids, which Fiona just happened to have.  But she’s a tough person, after all she’s a ninja!  Somethings begin to take its toll on her and she doesn’t know why but when something happens to Greg and she has to go and rescue him, ninja Fiona goes into action.

This book had intrigue, drama, real life situations, real life emotions and just a little bit of everything to pique your interest.  The ninja aspect of the book was wonderful to read, no she’s not a ninja but she might as well be, but she is close enough.  I loved all the action sequences and even some of Greg’s pigheadedness.  I know he’s just trying to protect his wife and his family but really sometimes you have to give your significant other the benefit of the doubt and help each other out.  I think that was a major lesson in this book.  Trusting in each other that sometimes it’s okay to ask for help or need someone.  It’s also nice to hear from time to time.  I need you, those are some powerful words.  Sometimes even more powerful than I love you.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Even the bits and pieces of all the other characters from this series joining forces and rescuing Greg from his dilemma.  I don’t really want to go into too much detail because you really should pick it up and read it, it’s fun and exciting and I found tears in my eyes quite a few times.  I love this series and I’m so happy I’m finally caught up and everything has come full circle.  Of course I can’t wait to read the next one when that comes out as well.


I loved the cover, it was interesting, makes you wonder what it’s about it so you will definitely pick it up to read the blurb on it.  It also has quite a catchy title, anything with ninja’s is okay in my book.  Life is an exciting adventure and I know you will find that in this book, an exciting adventure that will pull at your heart strings. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: We Own the Night by Ashley Poston

We Own the Night
By: Ashley Poston
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Series: Radio Hearts #2

Description:
"Happy midnight, my fellow Niteowls..."

As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay "Niteowl" by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock 'n roll and a hard place. She can't wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can't abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer's, or her best friend Micah--who she may or may not be in love with.

But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn't timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She's the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy's manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular-- Dark and Brooding--whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she's in love with Micah or anything. Cause she's not.

As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.

And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.
 

Links:

A Note From the Publisher

Review:
This is a book about taking risks, growing up and finding yourself.  Ashley Poston did an amazing job writing this story of four friends who couldn’t be more different from one another but who will always be intertwined with memories.  The main focus of Ingrid North was a story I could relate to on some levels, and I definitely was immediately invested in her and all the feels that came along with her story.  This book was a wonderfully written and I haven’t read anything this good that kept me so captivated that I couldn’t put it down.  

We meet Ingrid North who is about to graduate high school and has that unknowing scary feeling and decision of what to do after high school, do I go, or do I stay?  Then she has other things to consider, such as other people in her life that she is just not ready to let go of.  It’s a tough decision and Ashley Poston did an amazing job of exporting us into this little farm town in Nebraska and helping us live the lives of Ingrid, Billie, LD and Micah.  There are so many things I would want to discuss in regards to this book but I really don’t want to ruin it for you, it’s really something you should pick up and read.

I loved the dynamic between all the characters.  My heart hurt for Ingrid in regards to her love life.  But I have to say it was an entertaining ride to say the least.  I love that it wasn’t instant love, it was something that was brewing over the years.  There was unrequited love, new love, revealing love and most importantly family and friend love.  Ingrid was going through a tough time throughout this book and it hit on some important real life situations, such as bullying, small town life, and most importantly a the very serious deteriorating disease of Alzheimer’s.  It was sad and heartbreaking at times but still it kept you interested.

I really adored the radio shows, wish there were longer transcripts because the conversation between Nightowl and Dark and Brooding were quite addicting.  I loved every aspect of this book, there was a great story line, excellent writing and absolutely fantastic characters.  This was a really good addition to any summer reading because it had depth and heart.  I’ve never read anything by Ashley Poston, but I think I’m going to go search for the first book in this series and give that a quick read.  She’s definitely an author to watch out for in the contemporary world.


The cover was quite striking as well with the cityscape made out of sound wave bars and the title with the little microphone to dot the i.  This is definitely a book I would pick up when seeing it in a store just to find out more about it, doesn’t hurt that I love music so much and again this plot definitely sounded like something I would pick up and read, and I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read this one, because now I too am a fangirl. 

Disclaimer:
I received this book from NetGalley and Bloomsbury Spark, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Review: Claire By Abigail Strom

Claire
By: Abigail Strom
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Series: Hart University #2

Description:
It’s sophomore year, and Claire Stone has sworn off romance. She’s just gone through a breakup and she wants some time to find out who she is on her own. The only flaw in her plan is her friend (and hot quarterback) Will McKenna, who’s a walking temptation to forget all about her singlehood pledge.

Will has had a thing for Claire since freshman year. Now that they’re both single, he wants more from her than friendship. But Claire doesn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend right now, and with football season underway, Will’s got issues of his own to deal with.

When an injury on the field changes everything, Will and Claire are driven apart. But when the two of them end up trapped together in a snowstorm, they’re forced to deal with each other again. Can they confront their feelings without ruining their friendship? Or will their friendship turn into something more?

Review:
I was fortunate enough to have Abigail Strom reach out to me and offer me the opportunity to review her second book in the Hart University Series and I jumped at that chance.  Not only do I love book that have anything to do with college but I remembered how much I enjoyed her writing and story and Ms. Strom did not disappoint in the least.  This was another great addition to the series.

We are focused here on Claire and Will, who are both too cute in their own right.  I love that Claire is shown as such a strong but scared to be alone type of girl.  There are a lot of girl power type of moments here with the whole trying to find yourself while being by yourself pack she has going on.  But then there’s Will, there has obviously been an attraction for quite some time with these two and watching those sparks fly is so much fun.

Will on the other hand is already a strong guy, just imagine that fit football physique.  But things happen and now he has to deal with the reality that he may not have a life with football and without that he may never get everything he wants.  This was a great story about him finding out who he is what he wants to do with the rest of his life and how can handle life without something he’s loved for so long.  Sometimes things work out the way they are supposed to for a reason.  I totally believe in fate, and because of some snow I think these two found out just how much they belong together.

Overall this was a really great quick read, and perfect for the summer especially if you love the contemporary and new adult genre.  Again I adore college books and there were times when I forgot how young they were because they seemed so more mature but I enjoyed it regardless of how old they were because they had a real story to tell and real struggles to deal with.  These two main characters have more in common with each other than they were even aware of.

I love the cover, I don’t know if that’s how I pictured them but I love it regardless.  Great series and I can’t wait to read about Tamsin, who is next.  I also just realized that Abigail Strom has a connection throughout her books.  I'm going to have to check out the other ones because i know i enjoyed it when Holly was mentioned in this book and her story definitely sounded really interesting so i'll have to go check out that one too, WINNING THE RIGHT BROTHER. I've always loved Silhouette series so this is just an extra bonus.  Make sure you check out more about Abigail Strom here.

Last but not least, again this series is great, perfect summer read, really fantastic addition to new adult genre and fabulous writing.  I'm addicted, thanks!

Disclaimer:
I received this book from Abigail Strom, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson

The Flip Side
By: Shawn Johnson
Release Date: June 7, 2016

Description:
From gold medalist and reality TV star Shawn Johnson comes a debut YA novel inspired by her own experiences as an elite teenage gymnast—just in time for the Summer 2016 Olympic games.

Charlie Ryland has a secret.

She may seem like your average high school sophomore—but she’s just really good at pretending.

Because outside of school Charlie spends all her waking hours training to become one of the best gymnasts in the world. And it’s not easy flying under the radar when you’re aiming for Olympic gold…especially when an irresistible guy comes along and threatens to throw your whole world off balance.

Inspired by her own experiences as a fifteen-year-old Olympic gymnast, gold medalist Shawn Johnson writes a delightfully entertaining novel about chasing big dreams and falling in love, all while trying to keep it real.
 

Review:
With the Olympics just around the corner, and my love for watching the Gymnastics portion of the Olympics I couldn’t help but want to read this book by retired gymnast Shawn Johnson.  I couldn’t wait to see what her book was about and I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it from beginning to end.  I felt everything her main character felt and I got excited for her all the way through.  Shawn Johnson did a wonderful job writing this story about trying to balance two aspects of her life while trying to succeed in all her goals. 

We meet Charlie/Charlotte the Olympic hopeful for Team USA in gymnastics who is trying to lead a normal life by going to high school and hiding what she really does from everyone there.  Its tough being in high school to begin with throw in some Olympic trials and stuff just got even harder, but Charlie really wants that normalcy in her life.  What is normal though?  I think if she was honest in the beginning then she wouldn’t have had such a hard time from it but then again she would have many not real friends, those are not people you need in your lives.  I enjoyed meeting her friends and living her high school life with her.  I thought it was adorable the way her friend set her up without even knowing it.  Those chance encounters they are the ones that will get you every time.  Is it distracting?  Maybe, but if anyone could handle it, Charlie could.

Meeting Bobby was a game changer in her personal life but not her Olympic goal version of herself.  I thought their encounters were cute and adorable and I liked their relationship and impending doom when the truth of Charlie’s life really comes out.  There were a lot of elements in this book that I could understand the main character going through.  Again, life is tough, it’s how you deal with it that makes you the person you are and Charlie is a champion in this book.  I enjoyed reading all the gymnastics terminology, I even went and googled some of them just to see what they could be. 

Overall this was a great book, I actually liked the writing and the story.  I would definitely pick up another book by Shawn Johnson.  This is the perfect book to come out so close to the Olympics and it’s really an overall great quick and easy summer read that will make you want to google more about gymnastics if you didn’t know a little something about it to begin with.  It put a smile on my face.  It had fun elements, serious elements and showed how much if you really want something all you have to do is go for it.


I love the cover. It was absolutely adorable and eye catching and would definitely make me want to pick it up to read what it was about. Overall very fun.

Disclaimer:

I received this book from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: The Fiction of Forever by Brinda Berry

The Fiction of Forever
By: Brinda Berry
Release Date: January 22, 2016

Description:
He’s got a second chance at the one who got away—but it’s on national television, and she’s calling the shots.

Kiley Vanderbilt wasn’t just fuel for Gunner’s teenage dreams about the curvy pageant queen. She was the one who got away.

Until now.

When Gunner returns to Nashville, his high school fantasy in heels challenges him to accept a spot on the dating reality show Forever.

And although the challenger happens to be show hostess Kiley, he’s going to prove once and for all that she wants more. One white-hot kitchen encounter isn’t nearly enough to quench his thirst.

But when Kiley—untouchable, jeans-tightening Kiley—proclaims she’s unwilling to compromise the show’s integrity, he vows to throw a twist of his own into her behind-the-scenes plotting.

That’s going way, way off Kiley’s script.

Giving in to Gunner would torpedo her plans to prove to her manipulating ex-fiancé and her producer daddy that she has more on her shoulders than pancake and hairspray. She must make him play by her rules on camera in spite of his sexy whispers behind the scenes.

Especially when a social media shitstorm brews on the horizon.

Fourteen days of filming. Six camera crews. And a minefield of hidden cameras. This time, no one’s getting away.

Advance Praise
"The sparks between Gunner and Kiley smolder and smolder and then explode. Loved this book.” ~ Abbie Roads, author of Race the Darkness, coming soon from Sourcebooks

"The endearingly flawed characters, the intriguing reality show setting, and the hint of a happily ever after had me flying through the pages; 5 Stars.” ~ Jen Crane, author of the Descended of Dragon series

Review:
Sometimes you need a second chance, a little growing up and some perspective before you realize what it is you really want in life, or more like who it is you want in life.  This book was a great example of second chances coming around and giving two people a chance.  The author did a really great job at keeping you entertained throughout the whole book.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a book that made me tear up in one chapter and right after in the next make me laugh so hard people looked at me like I was crazy. 

We meet Kiley and Gunner starting with their brief encounter when they were in high school and later in the future.  There were a lot of flashbacks which I appreciated because it showed you how much these two were in each other’s lives or what made them the way they are today.  It was interesting to see the things they did or happened in the past.  Kiley is now in a relationship that doesn’t seem to fit her as they both want very different things.  Then of course Gunner walks in and everything changes even more.

What is super cute about this book and it’s a little different is that they throw in a matchmaking reality TV game which Gunner agrees to being a part of.  The relationship between Gunner and Kiley grow further and with all the drama that surrounds them because of their positions on the show it gets hectic really quickly but entertaining.  The two of them definitely have great character and I love Kylie’s father, he just seems like he wants to do right by his daughter, definitely a sweet man.

There are some really interesting people that are chosen for Gunner to date too, again some of them had me dying from laughter.  But it’s their chemistry that keeps this book going strong.  I love seeing relationships spark up and go in the right direction.  So if you like reality tv, great writing and some real emotions you will love this book because it will keep you entertained.  Great summer reading on the beach, just beware someone will look at you funny when you start laughing, that’s all I’m saying.


Love the cover, I need me a landscaper like that to stare at every once in a while.  The cover is definitely what caught my interest first and then the concept just cinched it.  


Disclaimer:
I received this book from NetGalley and Sweet Biscuit Publishing LLC, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Release Blitz: Single by Collette West



Single by Collette West
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance


Underdog Luke “Single” Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer’s, and he’s all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?

Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.

Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta’s past emerges with the power to tear them apart.


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 About the Author


Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.

Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at collette_west@yahoo.com.

She is the author of NIGHT GAMES, GAME CHANGER and GAME ON.

Amazon | Purchase official New York Kings Fan Gear

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 Excerpt


But I'm not about to let her blow me off so easily, not when we were finally starting to enjoy ourselves. This time, I pull on the corner of her scarf and end up drawing it down over her shoulder, spinning her around. I have her off-balance, trying to find her footing, when she falls into my arms.

Her eyes never stray from mine when her hand comes to rest on my neck at the exact spot where I got hit. I swallow hard, never believing anything in the world could feel as good as this. If given the choice, I'd go through all the pain and rehab all over again just to have her do what she's doing to me now. She glides her fingers along my jaw and across my goatee before lightly skimming them over my lips, making me shudder with pleasure. I lean in, and she lowers her hand, her eyes burning into me. Intent on capturing her lips with mine, I’m close enough to feel her warm breath on my face when suddenly she pushes me away from her, taking a step back.

Holding a hand to her forehead, she’s unable to look at me. "Sorry… I tripped and—"

"Roberta," I gasp, struggling to catch my breath. "It's okay. I—"

Yet all she says is, "C'mon," before turning and leaving the alcove.

I run a hand across my face, trying to make sense of what just happened. I almost kissed her… And for a split second, I could've sworn by the fire in her eyes that she'd really wanted me to. God, could she possibly have feelings for me? No… That's just crazy. She probably didn't want to hurt my feelings, and to save me the embarrassment, she graciously backed away before anything could happen. Yeah, that sounds more like it. Now we can just pretend like she tripped and I caught her and go on our merry way. My fingers stray to my neck, right where hers were. Because that's what she wants, right?

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 Giveaway


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