Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Blog Tour: Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise - Review

Beyond the Stars

By: Stacy Wise
Release Date: February 8, 2016

Falling for him wasn't in the plans...

Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood’s hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead she’s reluctantly working as Jack’s personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.

Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she’s not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she’d be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.

But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss’s easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her.

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This book made me smile from side to side, oh to know a movie star and become his assistant.  Sigh, while looking off wistfully in the distance of my hopeful dreams.  He he! This book was beyond adorable for its content and characters but I couldn’t help feeling that they were younger than they were supposed to be.  All innocence and sweetness surrounded by movie star magic, Stacy Wise did a great job on this book.

We meet Jessica, who’s already familiar with the entertainment industry so working for someone big doesn’t faze her.  But then she meets him and even though they get off on a rocky start, looks can be deceiving and sometimes you really can’t believe everything you read and see.  Especially when it comes to Jack McAlister who is beyond sweet and adorable in this book.  Sure he has his actor drama moments, but he had his reasons. 

There are some really cute scenes throughout this book and the imagery of the talked about food and Jack’s house sounds absolutely amazing and like a dream.  All of it seems like a dream, but a very good one with a very sweet ending.  It’s almost too good to be true though but alas this is why I love books because in their world things like this can actually happen.  I feel as though Jessica learns a lot throughout this book in regards to who she can and cannot trust, it’s crazy how you are so blind to what is in front of you the whole time because you are giving people the benefit of the doubt.  But lessons are learned and karma will come around, I just know it.

Overall the book was great, quick and easy fast read that I didn’t want to put down until I was done.  The cover is very sweet like the book and I would pick it up to check it out.  The story was sweet and there was barely any seriously intense scenes in this book in regards to getting it on, which sometimes is refreshing depending on the book you are reading.  I loved it though and I would read it again and anything else by Stacy Wise and of course recommend it to you as well.  Go read it, it was a fun read.  Perfect for these cold winter nights that are upon us.

Oh and before I leave can I just say how much I want a pet pig now …. 

About the Author

Stacy Wise is the author of BEYOND THE STARS (Entangled Embrace, 2016). She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Chapman University. She lives in California with her husband, four children, two dogs, and ever-changing number of fish. BEYOND THE STARS is her debut novel.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: Love Hacked by Penny Reid

Love Hacked
By: Penny Reid
Release Date: March 3, 2014
Series: Knitting in the City #3

There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit. 

Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all. 

This is a full-length, 110k word novel and is the third book in the Knitting in the City series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone.

Oh the men in this series just get more intense by the book.  Penny Reid did not disappoint with this funny, serious, intense third book in this series.  The characters are amazing and the dialogue is witty and intellectual.  I actually learned a lot in this book about things I’ve never heard of before. 

We are now focused on Sandra, the psychiatrist in the group of knitters, and she is quite funny with her specially made T-shirts.  She has always dated the same kind of guy but there is just something special about the waiter of the restaurant she has been frequenting for the past two years.  He’s tall handsome and mysterious, who doesn’t like that?  One thing leads to another and they attempt at having a relationship and it’s both funny, intense and I have to say he was a little creepy there for a while.  But he has his reasons. 

Alex is a unique characters, now I know this wasn’t around back then but he reminded me of Walter from Scorpion TV show.  He’s all smart but doesn’t know how to properly handle social situations.  But the difference is Alex is intense, I don’t know another word to describe him but I wanted to scoop him up hug him and just tell him relax it will be okay.  His interactions with Sandra were special though, and I loved reading all their scenes together.  He has what you call dedication and mystery.

Overall I don’t want to give too much of the book away but I love that these knitting ladies are always together every Tuesday hashing out their lives and knitting.  Their interactions are priceless and they couldn’t be any more different but still have that strong bond with one another.  I think that’s what makes this series even more special because they are constantly in all the books and I love finding out new little tidbits about all of them each time. 

This was another great addition to the series, beautifully written, constantly keep my interest and extremely interesting characters all around.  I love this series and can’t say too much about it.  I’m off to read the next one and I can’t wait.  Really you don’t need to know anything more other than the writing is wonderful, the characters are delightful and the story is stimulating!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review: Blocked by Jennifer Lane

By: Jennifer Lane
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Series: Blocked #1

College freshman Lucia Ramirez has a secret crush on Dane Monroe. He’s a tall drink of water — blond, brash, and one hell of a volleyball player. ¡Híjole! Lucia hopes her volleyball scholarship to his school will make him notice her.

Too bad what’s noticeable is Dane’s obvious hatred for Lucia. Her family’s politics contradict everything he stands for. And politics are front and center in both their families. Dane’s mother is about to face Lucia’s father in the race for US President. 

When Secret Service throws them together, Dane can’t deny his frustrating attraction to Lucia’s athletic curves and sweet faith in the world. Amid the intense pressure of college athletics and presidential politics, can opposites not just attract, but overcome overwhelming odds to be together? Or do their differences block their match from the start?

The concept of this book is great, two presidential candidates’ kids going to the same school, playing the same sport.  Very interesting indeed.  There were even some good lessons throughout the book but I have to say I just could not connect with the characters at all.  I didn’t feel their passion for one another.  With that said, let’s review the book shall we.

We meet Lucia who seems very naïve, maybe too naïve for my taste because it wasn’t totally believable, but I still liked her as a person.  She was very sweet and nice to everyone about her.  Took things too personally and took things wrong sometimes, but that is where the naivetés comes into play.  She’s quite the athlete and with that becomes a different body type than the norm, or what we are supposed to believe is the norm and this weighs heavily in her mind.  She’s stuck with her father’s opponents son, who she’s had a crush on forever and a day, without even meeting him so purely physical.  Don’t get me wrong Dane sounds very attractive, and the man on the cover super yum.  But Dane, eh I don’t know.

Dane is very confident, maybe a little too much sometimes and his Spanish seemed forced and cheesy.  I being of Hispanic decent didn’t feel too conformable with it.  Like those scenes seemed fake.  I don’t know maybe it was the entire political arguments that went back and forth but this wasn’t really my type of book.  Not to say the author didn’t do a good job keeping the story flowing from one minute to the next, I just wasn’t into it.

Overall the book was okay, will I read the second one.  Maybe just to see how it goes and if my onion was right from the first one.  I haven’t read anything from this author before so it was all new to me.  But I will always give anything a second chance.  I did however enjoy some of the volleyball scenes, when they were in it, they were in it to win it.  I loved the determination and stubbornness the two characters had about their sport and their parents, but together it seemed like the odd couple.

I received this book from NetGalley and Psyched Publishing, 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!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Only For Him by Cristin Harber

Only For Him
By:  Cristin Harber
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Series: Only #1

Grayson Ford and Emma Kinglsey—close since they were kids, opposites in every way. He’s the stuff high school crushes are made of, Mister Popular, and captain of every team. She’s artsy, cute, and not in his league, though fully aware of Summerland’s "I Dream of Dating Grayson Ford" support group.

I can’t say no. The girl’s had my heart since before I knew it went missing.

He hides a life of hell. His father hates him, his mother’s gone. Emma is his only savior, yet she doesn’t know her power over him. She’s the only girl he wants, the only one he could ever tell—though he won’t.

I’m stronger, bigger, more of a man than he’ll ever be, but because I ruined his life, I’ve taken his crap, his attacks, the vulgar nature of his existence.

Until she discovers Gray’s embarrassment, his humiliation. Emma fights for him, for a chance. Theirs is a Cinderella story that she believes impossible. But as the layers peel back, it’s just a guy who needs a girl in order to keep breathing.

My mind is already doodling Mrs. Grayson Ford in imaginary notebooks. He has no clue where my head is at… But, given that I didn’t see what just happened coming, maybe I have no clue where his head is at either.

This book was very short and a little more insta for my taste, but still I think it got really interesting at the end because all I could say was I knew it!  I didn’t really know it but I knew something had happened, or was going to happen.  The author really went rather quickly with this book even if the first few chapters were getting to know the characters earlier on their high school lives, and then moving on to the final year. 

I really actually liked Grayson, he’s complex and I’m definitely interested in learning more about him and why he feels the way he does.  There’s a lot going on in there and I enjoyed that the author shed light into domestic abuse, sometimes it’s a topic that most people would rather ignore than get into.  Seeing it upfront in front of you is one thing and hiding it is another.  Even though I think there are more characters in the back that even if they had their suspicions they should have voiced their opinions.  I truly believe you should always tell, I don’t care if they call me a snitch I’d rather get things done the right way.

Anyway back to the book, Grayson was a great complex character while Emma was a little simpler.  She definitely fell for her brother’s best friend, which let’s face it many people tend to do this.  Even if it’s just fantasizing about it but when it really happens it’s an adorable thing.  I think their interactions were a little awkward, rushed and not that inviting but I’m only hoping that from here on out with an ending like that that things will get better.

I do think the cover is cute and it definitely caught my attention but I was hoping for more from the book, but this is my first book from this author and I’m definitely going to give the rest of the series a try.  Initially I found this book on Amazon and saw that it was free, it’s always good to have books that are in a series and have the first one be free so that you can get more interested and want to read the remainder, did that make sense?  Hopefully it did because I’ve found other great series that way too.    

Review: Friends Without Benefits By Penny Reid

Friends Without Benefits
By: Penny Reid
Release Date: September 29, 2013
Series: Knitting in the City #2

Friends Without Benefits can be read as a standalone, is a full length 120k word novel, and is book#2 in the Knitting in the City Series.

There are three things you need to know about Elizabeth Finney: 1) She suffers from severe sarcastic syndrome, especially when she's unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her like Nico Manganiello, and 3) She knows how to knit.

Elizabeth Finney is almost always right about everything: the musical merits of boy bands are undervalued by society, “benefits” with human Ken dolls are better without friendship, and the sun has set on her once-in-a-lifetime chance for true love. But when Elizabeth’s plans for benefits without friendship are disarmed by the irritatingly charismatic and chauvinistic Nico Manganiello- her former nemesis- she finds herself struggling to maintain the electric fence around her heart while avoiding electrocution or, worse, falling in love.

Oh Penny Reid, I think I’m slightly addicted to this knitting group and I can’t wait to read all about them.  But oh how stubborn our little Elizabeth is, but what a fun adventure I had with her.  It’s also fun that in a series we get to visit past and future characters, that’s just like the cherry on top of the ice cream.  The writing is done beautifully as always, and is quite addicting.

We are now focused on Elizabeth who is about to reunite herself with her past, sure she’s more looking for the showing off at the high school reunion, like hey look at me I’m a doctor and what are you, probably nothing!  But things escalate where she is way more visible to the public than anticipated.  Sure it didn’t help that “The Face” Nico Moretti was at her reunion and just so happens to be her first.  Oh the two of them with the bickering back and forth and the intense stares are well intense!   

It’s hard when you have a tragedy happen to you at a young age, it tends to leave an impression on you and defines who you are and how you react to certain situations.  I believe that’s what happened to Elizabeth when she was younger and Nico just happens to be tied into the whole ordeal.  But watching them together, interacting, was pure pleasure.  The two of them couldn’t be more ying and yang but they complement each other perfectly.  I was rooting for them the whole time and it was not some childish insta love it was something that grow and progressed.

There are some great things that were touched upon in this book such as Angelica’s disease, which you will have to read to find out who she is and what she has, but she was adorable and I can clearly picture her as well.  That’s what I love about this book it gives me clear and concise imagery of the people and the surroundings that I can literally visualize it.  Henceforth bringing me into their world in Chicago and that is quite a gift to have as a writer.  So I will definitely read about the remainder of this knitting group.  These girls are all quite different but when they come together they are a force to be reckon with.

I am such a sucker for books that contain other languages, and being that I’ve been to Italy before I know how sexy and amazing it may sound, even if they are saying something so meager.  This book had a lot of Italian in it and it got me all interested and bothered like Elizabeth.  Hmmm, Nico.  Yup, I’m all for him! The cover is adorable and that is actually how I pictured Nico, very Italian very manly darker features, completely sexy and I can imagine a deep voice speaking Italian.  Super Yum!

Overall I really liked this book, I loved seeing Quinn and Janie again, and I’m off to read the next book which is about Sandra, who is a psychologist/psychiatrist either way I know it’s going to be really interesting as she’s always over analyzing everyone.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Neanderthal Seeks Human
By: Penny Reid
Release Date:  March 14, 2013
Series: Knitting in the City #1

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Ok so you may see a few more reviews from this knitting in the city series because I went and got all of them because that’s how much I loved that Ninja book.  Oh well so this is the first book in the series, and it was smart and adorable and addicting because I couldn’t put it down.  Penny Reid did a great job on keeping my interest throughout the book with the most random facts. 

Imagine being a walking Wikipedia, that’s how Janie Morris is, and it’s charming.  Whenever she gets nervous or there is an awkward silence she just can’t help herself, random facts just spew from her mouth.  It’s quirky and interesting and I loved that about her.  She has the worst day ever, like anything that could have gone wrong absolutely goes wrong.  Embarrassing, frustrating, annoying, unfortunately and just really an awful all around day for her, almost all of it.  That is until she finally meets the security guard she has been stalking, Hottie McHotPants!  Their meeting is unfortunate or maybe it isn’t because everything happens for a reason after all.  

They happen to run into another again, one thing leads to another and they become friends.  Eventually coworkers.  It’s cute seeing them together and how utterly clueless Janie can be when it comes to Quinn.  He’s hinted things randomly and still she just doesn’t get it.  It doesn’t help that she thinks so low of herself, girl sometimes guys like girls with curves especially if they are all in the right places!  You know!! So it was fun watching them interact with one another.  Very sweet and fun, and very informative random facts.

I greatly appreciated that they worked into something, sure they lusted after one another from far away at first, but they did get to know each other a little more throughout the book.  They sort of took time before anything serious happened.  It wasn’t a wham bam thank you ma’am can I have another type of book.  It was a work to get there and then work to keep it there that is reality.  Things just don’t fall into place all the time sometimes you have to work for them and you have to compromise and share things. 

I admired the intelligence of this book and the author’s writing style.  It’s intrigued me and I will get through all of these books sooner rather than later.  I think the cover is unquestionably adorably and if I saw that in the store I would definitely pick it up to see what it’s about.  Great series and I can’t wait to read what else is in store for this knitting group! 

Friday, January 15, 2016

Blog Tour: The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy
Publication: January 11th, 2016

Updating best friend to girlfriend is more than a change of status…

Emma has been best friends with Eli since she moved to his neighborhood ten years ago. Tired of being cast in the role of the girl next door, Emma creates a fake Facebook profile in the hopes of starting an online friendship with Eli, which would hopefully lead to more. Like...way more. From friend request to In a Relationship--it all seemed so completely logical when she'd planned it.

Eli can't figure out what Emma is up to. He’s pretty sure she's the one behind the Facebook profile, but then again, why would she do something so drastic instead of just admitting she wants to be more than friends? And who the heck is this new guy he saw her with? Eli starts to think that just maybe...he missed his chance with the girl next door.
Two best friends, one outlandish ruse. Their status is about to become way more than It’s Complicated…

This Entangled Teen Crush book contains one fake Facebook profile, two best friends who secretly crave each other, and a dreaded sex talk with parents…boy crush in the room included. Pushing a relationship beyond the friend zone has never been so crazy…

Another amazing book from Entangled: Crush.  This time in a tangled web we have weaved ourselves in this story about the boy next door, catfishing, friends forever and feeling down on yourself when obviously there is no reason to! Author Jodie Andrefski has done a wonderful job writing this story about these characters that you can’t help to relate to, or in some cases want to relate to.

It’s really great to see books getting so entangled in the modern age, and really who doesn’t know about catfishing, sure it’s not the best way to go, but sometimes we just don’t think clearly.  Especially when it has something to do with love.  If you live under a rock and don’t know what catfish is, it’s when you pretend to be someone else online to get another person’s attention, or just attention in general really.  Where was Nev in this book, he he, jk.  We meet these two characters who are neighbors and have been best friends forever and a day.  But of course one wants to be more than just friends and pulls up this master plan to make the other realize what they really have together.  We all know this isn’t going to end pretty but we have to see what’s going to happen.

The book overall was entertaining from beginning to end.  There were times where I wanted to slap Emma in the face and tell her to get over it, but I see where she was coming from as well.  Then again hey there are more fish in the see (even if the one here seemed a little bit creepy, just saying). But then again, lol, when you know you know and Emma definitely knew! 

Eli seems like a really great catch though, he seemed to be a very well rounded character who both had good and bad sides to him but overall was a great character to watch.  You could see when the realization hit him of exactly what he had, how he could lose it and really what he needed to do.  Although I think he could have done more I was still rooting for him.  Sometimes I wish I had a best friend like that, standing date every Sunday to watch a move, ah bliss. 

Anyway the two of them figure out what needs figuring with a little bit of hi-jinks thrown in the loop.  Great book, quick and easy read.  Can’t wait to read another book from this author because everything flowed very seamlessly and kept me interested the whole way through.  I think the cover is absolutely adorable and just feel good.  That’s how I felt about this book, just made me feel really good.  Oh to be young again! Go check this book out!

Jodie Andrefski has been passionate about reading ever since she was a little girl, when she used to climb trees to escape with a favorite book. She now lives and writes in a small town in Pennsylvania with her teenage daughter. Though still an avid reader, she now prefers a comfy chair over the crook of a tree. An unapologetic coffee fiend, she's even happier if her java comes with pie. Jodie often draws on her background in education and mental health counseling to bring real world experience to her writing. She is a firm believer in the magic of a first kiss, and insists that you should never, ever give up on your dreams.