Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: Claiming Grace by Susan Stoker

Claiming Grace
By: Susan Stoker
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Series: Ace Security #1

Description:
For Logan Anderson, moving on from a traumatic past means moving back to his hometown of Castle Rock, Colorado, to start a personal-security business with his brothers. But it’s not long before Logan runs into Grace Mason, his best friend from high school…and the woman who never answered his letters during his Army years.

Grace was pleasantly surprised to see Logan return to Castle Rock, despite their falling-out ten years ago. Everyone always assumed they would end up together, including Grace, who had eyes only for him. But as Logan eventually escaped their town, Grace got pulled further into her family’s controlling grasp—and farther away from the man she loved.

Now, united by scars both visible and not, the two must fight to free Grace from the suffocating hold of her family. But the Masons won’t let go easily—and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep the couple apart.

A Note From the Publisher
Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author whose series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, and Delta Force Heroes. Married to a retired Army non commissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri to California to Colorado—and currently lives under the big skies of Texas. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, www.stokeraces.com, or find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/authorsusanstoker.

Review:
This book was intriguing, talking about subjects that no one wants to deal with but that exist in everyday life.  There is some true evil out there, lurking behind clean cut personas.  Susan Stoker did a great job bringing this out to the forefront in different ways.  This book was thoroughly enjoyed.

We meet Grace and Logan as they are parting ways way back after high school finishes, come back a couple years after the death of Logan’s family and back in town he comes.  Hoping to find out what happened between him and Grace, why she never responded to him after he left.  It was great finally seeing them reunite and everything was broken down eventually as to what happened to their unfortunate miscommunication.  But there was so much more going on.

This book really delved deeply into abuse, not only physical abuse but sometimes people forget that there is emotional and mental abuse that sometimes is more damaging than physical abuse.  Yes physical abuse hurts and can lead to even worse things, but those wounds heal.  When you mentally abuse someone with words and threats it’s more damaging to the person being abused.  They become a shell of themselves.  It’s not something I wish on anyone, any type of abuse really.  But Stoker really showed you this different type of abuse that you don’t see very often and it was titillating.  Grace was constantly abused by her parents, and she was just too scared to get out from under them.  Until Logan came back in town.

The things her parents do to her were unbelievable, I thought I was watching a Lifetime movie and I couldn’t help but root for Grace to break free from the chains.  It was a really great read.  From beginning to end you just couldn’t stop thinking about it, what was going to happen next?  Could this get any worse, and it usually did.  I don’t really want to give too much away because you really should read it and find out what happens. 


I did find the characters interesting, and I really can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.  I’m hoping it has something to do with Alexis because she seemed just a little bit badass.  Overall the setting was great, the plot was interesting and different.  This isn’t a typical romance where you find someone and something happens and then they get together, no this had a little more depth which makes it more interesting.  Love the cover of the book too, he looks totally delectable.  

Disclaimer:
I received this book from NetGalley and Montlake Romance, 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!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us
By: Kasie West
Release Date: July 2, 2013

Description:
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
 

Review:

This was Kasie West’s first contemporary novel and I have no idea why I wanted this long to read it.  She can do no wrong; her books are amazing from the very first word to the very last and always leave you wanting more.  It’s like when you’re eating something and it’s so good you never want it to end (like ice cream) but then it ends and you’re like nooo I want more!  That’s how I feel anything Kasie West has written.  Well this novel did not disappoint either, loved everything about it.
We meet Caymen and her dolls.  She and her mother live on top of this doll store that they own.  The amount of sarcasm that Caymen has is unbelievably amazing.  She reminds me so much of myself I love sarcasm, but even she takes it to a whole new level and I couldn’t help but laugh half the time, because I totally get her.  Too funny.  She meets Xander who’s there to pick something up for his grandmother.  This is definitely a story of the rich vs. the poor, but even though it was heavily put in this book I think between Xander and Caymen, things like that didn’t even matter. 
 
The interactions between Xander and Caymen (by the way really great names) were entertaining, but there were some serious conversations that they had together.  There were definite heart strings being pulled left and right throughout the humor which I enjoyed because sometimes you have to have those real moments where things matter and are important to everyone around.  There were a lot of those moments, I’m telling you I was right there with Caymen the whole way through I was rooting for her to get the happiness she so obviously wanted and needed. 

Life is always tough but it’s the way you go through it that makes you the person you are.  Sometimes it’s not always the best to hold back from others, those other people can help you in the long run.  I feel like this book really showed how you have to be happy in life, you have to remember that sometimes what you want matters and if you really want it you should go for it.  I really don’t want to talk too much about the book because really if you haven’t read it yet you should go and read it. 

Overall this book was incredible from beginning to end and I know I say that a lot but it’s a whole different feeling when it’s something by Kasie west because her contemporary novels are just really quite perfect.  The plot was entertaining, relatable and sensitive all at the same time.  The characters are very likeable, approachable and funny, let’s not forget the amount of sarcasm coming out of Caymen’s mouth, love it!  The setting is great too because it’s a little town that is more touristy and there is a definite division between the rich and the poor, which really helped to bring the point across in the book.  Go get this, it’s worth it! Always!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Blog Tour: There's Something About Nik by Sara Hantz


There’s Something About Nik 
by Sara Hantz
Genre: Standalone YA Contemporary
Published by Entangled Teen
Published on February 13th, 2017
Nik Gustafsson has a secret: He’s not really Nik Gustafsson.
He’s not a spy. He’s not crazy.
He’s just the son and heir to one of the most important families in Europe—one where duty always comes first. And his posh, too-public life is suffocating him. So when he gets the chance to attend boarding school in America, pretending to be an average exchange student is too big of a temptation to pass up.
Then he literally runs into Amber on campus. And she hates him at first sight.
It’s kind of exhilarating to be hated for who he is, not for his family name or his wealth. Maybe if he turns up the charm and turns down the aloof mask he habitually wears, he can win her over. Even though a bad past experience has made her swear off dating this year.
But the more he gets to know her, the more uncomfortable he is keeping things from her.
Because Nik Gustafsson has a secret. And it’s a big one.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hot boy who’s the strong and silent type, a studious girl who refuses to believe in fairy-tale romance, and one epic secret that could be disastrous if it comes to light.

Review:
This was a super cute and super adorable quick read about a fantasy I’m sure many girls/women have had all their lives, after all who doesn’t want a prince charming?  Sara Hantz did a wonderful job transporting us to this private school where it seems even royalty attends. 

We meet Nik who is under cover trying to be a regular guy.  Its hard being second in line for the throne, even if it’s not something he really wants there is still too much attention on him.  Normalcy is a rarity in his life and he’s just seeking a little bit with a year away in America.  Of course he wasn’t planning on meeting someone, let alone someone as special and as strong willed as Amber.  The two of them are like ying and yang until you put them together and they fit just right.

Amber also has had a tough life, although not because of media and duties, there are things she has overcome in her past and has always had a hard time trusting people because of those actions.  Trust is a major part of any relationship, break that just a little and sometimes it’s just too hard to gain back.  Even though she adamantly doesn’t want a relationship this school year only wanting to focus on her photography and application, she couldn’t help but feel that attraction with Nik.  Again two peas in a pod these two.


There was a very sweet innocence to the entire book that you don’t see very often.  Oh to be that young and na├»ve, what a treasure these young people have today that they take for granted.  Overall the book was a great quick read.  The characters were just adorable and even though there wasn’t too much depth to the book it still kept you rooting for the couple to get together in the end.  The setting was very typical of a boarding school, not that I’ve experienced one in the past but it’s definitely what I can imagine it to be.  New Hampshire as a whole is also just a beautiful state and very remote in some places so perfect place to set this book in.  Loved it!

Excerpt:
Nik drew in a long breath. He was in uncharted territory and didn’t know how to proceed. He’d never met anyone quite like Amber before—specifically, anyone who showed such disinterest in him. Was this what being normal felt like? To be ignored or dismissed like he wasn’t important? Suddenly, he wasn’t so sure if he liked it. He surreptitiously studied her, while she did everything she could to avoid eye contact. She certainly wasn’t his type, if indeed he had a type. His previous girlfriends had all been tall with blonde hair, which would imply that he did. Then again, in his country, most girls he met looked like that.

Amber was small, at least a head shorter than he was. Her dark brown hair seemed ridiculously short as it framed her face. A pretty face with freckles. And what was it with that camera she hugged close to her, like it was something so precious? He’d hoped that in America he’d finally be away from people constantly trying to get a shot of him. Yet, the first day here, he’d met a girl who seemed obsessed with taking photos. No wonder he’d frozen up around her.

“What are you staring at?” Amber’s question brought him back to the present with a start.

 “Nothing,” he replied abruptly, feeling like a small child being caught doing something wrong.

She reminded him of his old nanny, who’d always said that he shouldn’t stare at people because it made them feel uncomfortable. Most of the time, he didn’t even realize he was doing it.

 “It didn’t seem like nothing to me. You were looking at my hair, weren’t you?” she accused.

“Yes. It’s much shorter than I’m used to seeing.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. He should’ve known better than that. He’d been trained since a child to be circumspect, and here he was, not two days in America, and he was forgetting how to behave.

“Girls don’t have short hair in your country?” Amber challenged, as if daring him to say even more about how she looked.

Which was another thing. All the girls he knew were masters of polite conversation. He had no clue why she was being so unfriendly. He hadn’t been rude to her. Admittedly, he’d been looking at her hair. Well, her hair and also her camera. But surely that wasn’t enough to make her so antagonistic.

Maybe it was a cultural thing. He would check with Josh later whether it was something he’d done by mistake. In the meantime, he couldn’t just stand there in such awkward silence.

“It’s different from girls at home, yes. But it’s very striking,” he added, hoping that would appease her.


She remained silent for a moment, with an expression on her face like he was a bug who had landed on her shoe. “Thank goodness for that,” she finally said, “or I might have had to spend the next several months sitting in my room willing it to grow.”

About the Author:

Sara Hantz has been a prolific reader all her life, but it wasn’t until she was an adult that she got the writing bug. She writes contemporary adult and young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and when not writing, working, or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV – in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she’d win gold.  She has presented many writing workshops with her partner-in-crime Amanda Ashby.


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