Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

All Broke Down
By: Cora Carmack
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Series: Rusk University #2

In this second book in New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author Cora Carmack s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can't only fight for what you believe in... sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

What a really great book to read as my last book of 2014.  Cora Carmack has always bought a smile to my face and this book did not disappoint in the very least. This author has always written really great new adult books, it’s all story with just enough spice to get you going. 

We are now exploring the mysterious dangerous side of Silas, in the first book in the serious you weren’t sure if you liked him or not but after reading this book my heart goes out to him.  He turns out to be quite the guy with a troubled past but he conquers it and makes himself a better person He does all this with the help of Dylan.  They both meet in a very unusual way but man what a very unique way and I loved that it was this way because it shows just how similar but different they really are.

Dylan has her own history that she has to deal with and is very used to trying to be something that someone else wants her to be.  It’s a hard life to live but when she meets Silas there is something about her that she can finally breathe.  She feels free and because she feels free I feel free with her.  The story makes you feel attached from the beginning to the end to all the characters in the book.  Each one brings a little something special and you can’t help but either love them or hate them. 

This book was less football focused (even though it kind of was but really wasn’t), this book was all about emotion and histories being revealed and finally dealt with.  I think it’s important to talk about things in your life because that is what helps you get through them.  If you sit there and hold all that in you are just going to explode one day or just constantly continue the downward spiral to where you don’t want to be.  This book explored all of that and I enjoyed every minute of it.

This series is great and I can’t wait to read the next one or any book by this author because she’s just that good at connecting the characters with her readers.  Thank you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: Fall For You by Cecilia Gray

Fall For You
By: Cecilia Gray
Released: February 10, 2012
Series: The Jane Austen Academy Series #1

Dive into the fabulous, fun lives of six Academy girls as their friendships are tested, torn and ultimately triumph…

To say Lizzie and Dante are polar opposites is the understatement of the century. He’s a snooty Exeter transfer with more money than Google. She’s a driven study-a-holic just barely keeping up with tuition. It’s obvious that Dante thinks he’s way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pressing her buttons.

But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie’s quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets… Secrets Lizzie can’t seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries…

* * *

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it’s about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

The Jane Austen Academy series are modern retelling of Jane Austen classics set at a beach side California boarding school. Don't miss the rest of the Jane Austen Academy series, where sassy girls, hot guys and Jane Austen collide!

OK so it's very close to the holidays and I don't know why I put these two together but Jane Austen and the holidays (period pieces) always go together for me and what better way than to celebrate this fine holiday with a Pride and Prejudice remix in this Jane Austen Academy series.  I've always adored this theme and concept of Jane Austen's book so why not bring it in to modern times and kick up the drama a notch.  Cecilia Gray does a wonderful job of that in this quick and fun read great for me and the holidays. 

We meet up with Lizzie, who is still reeling from the change that is going on in her school with the addition of a male population and an overall competition for her place in her school.  Being the editor in her school's paper and very out going and of course out spoken she has no problem causing drama and getting attention from someone who would rather lay low until the end of the school year.  But with the new changes made to the school, especially now the potential for a new name to the school Lizzie goes out of her way to try and change this. 

There are still the same shenanigans in this book that were in the original Jane Austen book but of course with a modern twist and that is what I love about  this series the most.  Cecilia Gray has a way of bringing this upbeat, modern twist on such a great classic.  Plus it's a really quick read that you can't help but finish in a sitting.  I think the cover is very cute too.  Although I still picture Dante (Darcy) as a much stronger more still type of character and the guy on the cover doesn't portray that as much as I would like. 

So of course again all the general likeness of the Jane Austen novel but with great modern twists.  I like this book and this series because it's quick, fun, easy, likeable type of series.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love
By: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 15, 2014

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.

Colleen Hoover, you have done it again!  This book was amazing and I felt and gasped everything the character felt and gasped at.  This was a heart wrenching tale that kept you wondering exactly what happened in the past to Miles and what will happen in the future between him and Tate.  Absolutely breathtaking journey between the two of them.

We meet Tate as she is moving in with her pilot overprotective older brother, yes all that description was definitely necessary, he, he.  He also happens to live across the hall from very sexy brooding mysterious Miles who feels the need to eliminate his six year dry spell with Tate, but there are rules of course, aren’t there always?  Tate cannot ask about his past or his future, in other words this is just the right now for release purposes only, but come on that only works if you don’t have a heart. 

The physical relationship is definitely there between the two but it’s the emotional that keeps stumping Miles, while Tate can’t help but falling for him.  They are so different but so good for each other, and hey who doesn’t love a couple that is a nurse and a pilot, it’s like kismet.  Throughout their journey they have a lot of ups and downs and some very steamy scenes but really what got to me was the emotional heart stopping moments between them.  Kept me riveted the entire time from beginning to end.

I definitely felt for the characters and I love when that happens because that’s when you know the author did an amazing job writing this and really understands what readers want to read.  Overall this book was amazing, I didn’t want it to end but I’m happy the way it did end.  That too is a very important part of a book, a good ending.  But this book had a great beginning middle and end and it was just blissful enough that I didn’t want to put it down until I finished it.  (That meant staying up all night after doing my daily chores etc., well into the am hours). 

Love the cover because it’s just simple, Ugly Love.  Sometimes you have to go through that so you could appreciate the beautiful love.  Amazing read, I think Colleen Hoover’s just get better and better the more I read from her. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: When by Victoria Laurie

By: Victoria Laurie
Release Date: January 13, 2015

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father's premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client's young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she's unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie's whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it's too late?

This book was actually quite a pleasant unexpected surprise.  I haven’t read a mystery type book in a while and this book just seemed to fit me just fine for the moment.  The author did a great job of creating these characters that you couldn’t help but find interesting.  I’ve never heard of someone having the power or ability of knowing everyone’s death date.  That definitely has to take its toll on you.

We meet Maddie who is in high school and a bit of an outcast because of her ability, her best friend Stubbs is also a bit of an outcast, but together they shine.  Even though they are constantly harassed (this book actually takes the time to deal with bullying and I love it more for that because bullying is something that shouldn’t happen even though we all know it does). Together they go about trying to change people’s fate on when they are going to die and it all starts with one mother who wants to know about her child’s death date.  This sets off a chain reaction in their little town, because not only does the other son of that particular mother dies, but it’s all about the way he dies.

In begins the FBI’s interest in both Maddie and her friend Stubbs, but when another student dies, they go in full force.  This of course is where the harassing starts, but you have to read it to find out what happens next because really it’s all unexpected.  When you think it’s one person and then maybe it could be another it turns out to be someone you didn’t expect at all, and this is what makes this book so great.  It keeps you guessing from the beginning to the end, you even begin to doubt your own thoughts in the middle.  Like, could he have done it? Only one way to find out!

Overall the book was a quick read, very interesting and kept your attention all the way through.  It was an interesting a new concept that I haven’t read previously and that’s always a plus, because really who wants to read the same book over and over again (concept wise) without there being some surprises in it that you weren’t expecting.  I would recommend this book to anyone and if you figure it out before the ending then kudos to you because I was completely fooled ha, ha.

Love the cover also, really shows how much of an outcast Maddie really feels like. And the backwards three in the title is also interesting, I would unquestionably pick up this book to see what it was about and once I read the blurb in my basket it would go.

I received this book from NetGalley and Disney Book Group - Disney-Hyperion, 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, December 8, 2014

Promo What If By A.J. Pine - Giveaway

Title: What If
Author: A.J. Pine
Series: If Only #2 (Companion)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Sometimes it takes letting go of the past to find out who you want to be.

During his semester abroad, Griffin Reed almost gave his heart to a girl who loved someone else. Lesson learned. Now he’s home, where following in his father’s footsteps may not be what he wants, but it’s what his parents expect. It might be taking the easy road, but he doesn’t see a way out.

Something that could have killed Maggie Kendall took away the person she used to be instead. Her condition makes her dependent on sticky notes, photos, and medication just to get through each day. The last thing she needs is a distraction—or someone new to disappoint.

What they refuse to see is they are perfect for each other. Maggie makes Griffin want to be a better man, and he makes her believe a future is possible. But these two have to find a way to share the secrets ripping them apart, if they’re ever going to have a chance at happiness.



Stunned silence. That’s my response as I watch him leave, but when the door bangs shut, I’m all words.

“What the hell was that? Miles, what do I… I don’t even…” Okay, maybe I’m all words, but I never claimed they were coherent.

Miles watches the door with me as he approaches the bar.

“Do you want control of your life, Mags?”

I nod. Everything I do is an attempt to regain control. Of course that’s what I want.

“It’s up to you, sweetheart. If you want my opinion, that was some romantic shit he just pulled, but if you want a say, if you want to be a part of this decision, then be a part of it.”

So I spring up from the stool and race outside to where Griffin sits, already behind the wheel of his truck. Thank God because I didn’t think this through. No coat.

I yank open the passenger-side door and climb in. Wide-eyed but grinning, Griffin waits for me to say something.

“I don’t want to date you,” I say, repeating what I keep telling him, keep telling myself.

“I know. We have an agreement. I was there when we made it.” His confidence doesn’t falter, but his words are painted with a slight edge he means for me to hear.

I rub the chill from my arms, and Griffin starts the truck.

“For the heat,” he explains.

“I know about our agreement, but that doesn’t mean you get to waltz in here with this sort of anti-grand gesture and knock me on my ass.”

He lets the mask fall, and there he is—him.

“Knock you on your ass? Maggie, I didn’t mean…”

“I know. This is uncharted territory. So you know what that means.”

He sighs. Because he knows.

“Ground rules?” he asks.

“Ground rules.”

“Lay them out for me,” he says. “Let me know how this works.”

I maneuver to my knees, my hands fisting in his jacket.

“Rule number one. Never, ever say good-bye without kissing me.”

His brown eyes darken almost to black.

“Did I knock you on your ass?” I ask.

“Yeah, Pippi.” His voice is low and gravely. “You did.”

“Good.” I run a hand through his hair, my itching palm finally getting its fill. “We’re even.”

He waits for me to come to him, and I press my lips to his, taste what I’ve been hungry for all week. But it’s more than just him. I taste his hunger, too. So we linger while the truck heats up, while his warm breath mingles with mine. For a few moments, it is the perfect kiss good-bye.

If only I knew what came after rule number one.

About the Author

AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, from Eric Northman to the Salvatore brothers. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.
AJ's debut New Adult novel, IF ONLY, is out now with Entangled's Embrace line. The companion novel, WHAT IF, releases December 8th. Next year look for her new duo of New Adult books, ONE NIGHT and ONE LIFE with Penguin/Intermix.


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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: Upside Down by Lia Riley

Upside Down
By: Lia Riley
Release Date: August 5, 2014
Series: Off the Map #1

If You Never Get Lost, You’ll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . or if they were meant to live a world apart.

Book #1 in the OFF THE MAP series

This was definitely one of those intense and anxiety ridden love stories that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end.  These two are just so completely messed up in their own minds that they can't help but find that they fit perfectly together, well it takes some time but it happens.  

We begin our intense journey in a funny way where Talia is off to meet one friend but ends up running into Bran in a very weird and humorous way.  There is something about him that just catches her eye immediately and vice versa.  The two of them begin a very strange friendship that lingers into something stronger but still slightly care free of real intense feelings.  At least that is what they hoped to accomplish.

The deeper their friendship grows the more accepting of Talia, Bran is the more she begins to fall for him.  With all her OCD tendencies she is used to people running away from her, but when he makes it a point to go towards her, to calm her it triggers something in Talia.  Bran’s bastardness and Talia’s intensity drives this book through and through and you can’t help but wonder what the two will do next.  One minute they are living life passionately together, the next they are fighting and pulling away from one another. 

In the end I think they each need the other to complete the perfect pair.  Even with all their nuances they really do complete each other.  It was an intense journey through their love experience and I can’t wait to find out what happens next now that they have finally taken the plunge and decided to give this real love a try.

Love the cover, love the characters even the flakey crazy mother and her douche bag boyfriend, there are of course some parts I didn’t agree with (mother issues) but those needed to happen for Talia to be the person she is.  Stronger.  Love that this book took place in a different country too because that is always a fun adventure.