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. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Wild Crush by Simone Elkeles

Wild Crush
By: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Series Wild Cards #2

When the only girl you want is the one you can't have... 

Bad boy Vic Salazar breaks all the rules except one: Don't make a move on your best friend's girl. It’s a Guy Code that Vic lives by. It doesn't matter that he's had a crush on her for years. Monika Fox is off limits. 

Monika has a secret of her own and when a tragedy throws her and Vic together, the only boy she trusts is the one she shouldn’t confide in. Vic. 

As Vic struggles to keep his distance, and Monika struggles with her secrets, will their wild connection violate every rule both vowed never to break—about relationships, about friendship, about love?

Oh how I’ve missed Simone Elkeles and I’ve been waiting for her book forever and a day (yes I know it came out in September but I’m just getting around to it).  I was happy to see it in my To Be Read pile (or list since I’m all about the Kindle).  I needed a little Latino reading, can’t beat my Latino men and Victor was just perfect.  I loved him from the first book and was so happy to read more about him in the second book in this series.

Victor the bad boy who feels as if he isn’t worth anything because that’s what he’s been told throughout his whole life, throw in the fact that he’s in love with his best friends girlfriend and things just keep getting worse for him.  Its hard hiding your true feelings to other people but it seemed like that happened a lot in this book.  Its difficult being a teenager, I remember the days and it’s even harder when there are real life situations happening around you and you just don’t know how to handle them the right way because you won’t open up. 

I got a lot of that from this book, there were so many secrets floating around that if you just opened up and were honest from the get go then maybe things could have turned out differently.  It’s crazy really you know that whole sliding door theory really is true.  Anyway back to the story.  It didn’t disappoint, there was a bit a drama, a bit of shockness, some intimate moments and good old fashioned high school pranks going on.  The characters are all back and better than ever, some obviously better than others.  I don’t really want to spoil the book for anyone so I can’t really say too much about what happens but it was good.  You will enjoy it.

I love the cover, think it’s super cute and sexy at the same time.  Victor Salazar is sweet under all that tough exterior and Monika is a good girl but she needs to be real with herself, let everything go and you will be free.  There are a lot of underlying messages in this book that young adults really need to take a look at.  If someone asks you to keep a secret, if it’s not beneficial to them maybe it shouldn’t be kept a secret.  Just saying! Save lives not help destroy them. There is also a good message of self-worth, you have to give that to yourself first before anyone else can and even when you don’t think you have anyone there is always someone there for you, just open your eyes and you will see. 

I really enjoyed this book, and read it rather quickly too.  Love the cover, the characters, the situations and the writing itself.  I would recommend this book and you don’t even have to read the first one to read this one.  Oh I did find something that was cute today that I had no clue about … here is a little movie about the first book.  Check it out it will help you put the characters into the authors perspective and check out more about the first book.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: Ninja At First Sight: An Origin Story by Penny Reid

Ninja At First Sight: An Origin Story

By: Penny Reid
Release Date: November 21, 2015
Series: Knitting in the City

What do a cynical former Marine and a sheltered former Olympic contender have in common? 
Absolutely nothing. 
He has a girlfriend and she’s never been kissed. 
He’s sullenly sarcastic and she’s earnestly empathetic. 
He can’t stop thinking about her. 
She knows she should keep her distance. 
Nevertheless, when opposites attract, the results may be unexpected, but they’re also undeniably magnetic. 
‘Ninja at First Sight’ is a standalone, prequel novella (for book 5 of the Knitting in the City Series, ‘Happily Ever Ninja’) 

Call me crazy but I’ve never heard of Penny Reid, and I have to say I’m disappointed that I didn’t discover her sooner.  I saw a review on another site about this book and I though hmm, let me check it out and I’m so pleased that I did because I fell in love with the characters, the writing, and the wittiness in a heartbeat.  It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book that actually made me go to a dictionary to make sure what certain words meant and I love books that challenge me in that way.  It means this author took time and effort to write this book and I enjoyed every second of it. 

We meet Fiona who is off to college away from her parents and everything for the first time, she’s never been away and alone before so you can only imagine the freedom she now has.  But this doesn’t deter her because she’s a hermit for the moment.  That is until her suitemate starts introducing her to people on the floor.  One chance meeting with a handsome fellow floor mate named Gregg and her world is slightly tilted to the right, in a really great way.  The two are a magnet for each other, something just clicked between the two of them and I think it was amazing.  The banter back and forth between the two of them, the debates are very interesting and not something you see in young adult/new adult novels any longer and I thoroughly felt entertained.

The two of them together is igniting the flame.  The settings, the first moment they kissed everything was just intense and mind staggering that even my eyes lost focus for a minute.  It was just a yes type of moment.  I cheered for them throughout the book but I mainly cheered for Fiona, because this is her first time living life to the fullest away from parents, sports, and sickness.  Major life changing events happen to her and its just super sweet to experience it through her eyes.

Although now I have to say the cliffhanger … ughhh I hate it but I love it at the same time! I need the next book like yesterday!

Overall it was a wonderful novella, a great beginning and I can’t wait to find out what happens next and of course read more books by Penny Reid.  Teriffic! Love the cover, it really caught my eye like hm what is this book about.  

About the Author:
Penny Reid is a USA Today Best Selling Author of romantic fiction. When she's not immersed in penning smart romances she works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She's also a full time mom to three diminutive adults (boy-8, girl-6, and girl-5 months), wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.

Buy Link:

Blog Tour: Not Okay, Cupid by Heidi R. Kling

Not Okay Cupid Blog Tour

Not Okay Cupid
Not Okay, Cupid 
by Heidi R. Kling

Published by Entangled Crush
Released on January 11th, 2016
Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart…
Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.
Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.
With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge…or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.
WARNING! This book contains betrayal, revenge, and that most tempting vice of all, the bad boy you know you can’t have.


I love these Crush books, they are too cute and too addicting that you have to sit there and read them in one sitting or at least as soon as possible and this book did not disappoint either.  Not Okay Cupid was adorable and fabulous in its own right. Heidi R. Kling did a great job of showing these group of friends who really belongs with who all just in time for the Valentines (Cupid) dance.

We meet Hazel who thinks her life is just perfect that is until she catches her perfect boyfriend cheating with her perfect best friend.  One thing leads to another and she obtains the help of her said best friend’s brother to help in her plot for revenge. I’m sure you could imagine what happens next because these things like this never work out the way they are supposed to but oh the story was adorable and I love reading to find out how this all goes.  It’s the getting there part that is exciting, the anticipation and Hazel and Felix definitely have a bit of anticipation between them.

You get hints here and there about Felix and how he may have unknowingly felt about his sisters best friend for quite some time and it’s adorable, because who doesn’t fantasize about things like this happening to them as well, I know I did.  Heidi R. Kling did this story line justice that’s for sure because I was hooked lined and sunk for these characters! I do feel kind of bad for Felix’s sister though, sure she did the wrong thing by stealing her best friend’s boyfriend, but I think there is more to her than that.  Or maybe she’s just really that shallow and wants everything her friend has but I am in the back of my mind giving her the benefit of the doubt.

Hazel is very naïve in this book and that’s what I love best, because it’s not all about who’s having sex with who or just inappropriateness all around, this is a simple innocent story about some good kids that had bad stuff happen to them and how they handled it, even if it wasn’t the right way, somehow it all worked out.  Oh how I love contemporaries!

I thought the cover was cute and even though some things were mentioned about beach and surfing I think I would have rather seen something to do with the cupid dance or the cupid story told throughout the book.  Maybe give it that even more valentine feel, because love is in the air. Overall I thought the writing was great, flowed naturally and nothing was forced.  This book had everything you needed to keep you satisfied with a good contemporary book.  You should definitely go read this book and enjoy it from beginning to end as much as I did!

About the Author:
After earning her BA in Literature & Creative Writing Literature from UC Santa Cruz and finding her voice in YA, Heidi went on to earn her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She has directed and written children’s theatre on both coasts and lives with her husband and two children in Palo Alto, CA.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Review: Deal Breakers By Laura Lee

Deal Breakers
Bu: Laura Lee
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Series: Dealing With Love #1

How were they supposed to know that one night would change everything?

Devyn has life all mapped out. She just needs to accomplish one more thing before graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult—lose her virginity. And who better to assist her than her best friend, Riley?

Riley is the self-proclaimed king of fling. His college years have been filled with meaningless hookups until the one night that ruined him for all other women. The one night he spends with his best friend, Devyn. Right before he screws it all up.

Balls to the wall, baby!

Now five years later, Riley is determined to atone for his mistakes and prove that he can be the man that Devyn deserves. Little does he know that Devyn’s been keeping a secret from him all these years. A big secret. Now he has to figure out how to win back the only girl he’s ever loved while navigating the pitfalls of her unexpected revelation.

Deal Breakers is filled with lots of laughs, a sexy romance, and an overflowing swear jar.

I really enjoyed reading about these two who couldn’t really be more the same in some ways and completely different at the same time.  You could tell from the moment they met that they were perfect for one another.  But Devyn just wanted to be friends, isn’t that how it starts though.  The author did a good job of depicting both their lives together and separately.

I really enjoyed reading about their college years and how the two got along so well, Riley tried so hard to be with Devyn then but it didn’t happen until the very end when they were about to go their separate ways.  I appreciated how much the author spent on telling the story of their college lives and then moving on to the future and what was waiting for them.

The characters in this book were very entertaining.  Sometimes I didn’t think much of Riley only because he seemed like such a player that it turned me off but then there were sweet moments that made me rethink him.  Devyn on the other hand seemed very determined to keep on the track she started but as you will see something deters her, but she is still very determined and very naïve. The background characters like Devyn’s brother are just too hilarious and I can completely picture him in real life as a big bear who acts like he’s all tough but really just a big teddy bear.  And let’s not even start with the little guy.  Too cute for words is what he is! I fell in love with him right away, I love little ones and their honest mouths.  Be careful what you say around them because they are like little tiny sponges that soak it all in.

Overall this book was very enjoyable to read through and I was happy things worked out in the end for all the characters.