Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Review: One Night with her Best Friend by Noelle Adams

It just took fourteen years...and one hot night.

After growing up with an unstable father, Kate has always prided herself on her organized and well-planned life. She's secure now with a good job and an impressive boyfriend. And with Aaron, her best friend since high school.

Aaron might be smart, funny, and sexy, but he has never been anything more than a friend. Kate will never risk her stable world and her closest relationship by turning the friendship into romance. It doesn't matter how irresistible she's starting to find him, she still intends to resist.

But then everything changes in only one night...




Published: (first published November 3rd 2012) 
Series: One Night Novellas #1
Genre: Romance


Kristine's Thoughts:


Every now and then I find myself without a lot of time on my hands but I still want to do some reading. This is when I turn to novellas. I don't have to make a huge time commitment but I can still get my reading fix. Finding myself really busy this week I decided to try the first novella in the One Night Novellas series. My thinking was that there are a bunch more that I can pick up if I liked it.

Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I don't like to say too much about novellas or short stories because there is only so much book and I don't want to give things away. With that in mind, I will be keeping my thoughts brief.

This is your typical friends to lovers story. Although it has been done a million times it was still enjoyable and entertaining. Sometimes there is something to be said for these shorter stories in that the attraction and denying of said attraction doesn't go on for hundreds of pages. I adored Aaron from the beginning. Kate got on my nerves a little but in the end I still liked her. Honestly though...how she never noticed Aaron as a "man" before is beyond me!

This novella did exactly what I was wanting it to. It satisfied my reading fix without taking up too much time and left me entertained at the same time. I will be keeping the rest of these novellas in mind when I find myself short on time.




About the Author

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn't stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.
 


Connect with Noelle
  


Monday, 29 June 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: To The Steadfast by Briana Gaitan



To The Steadfast
by Briana Gaitan
Genre: Coming of Age Romance
Cover Artist: Romantic Book Affairs
Release Date: August 31st 2015


Resolute. Firm. Unwavering
That was my love for him.
Steadfast for as long as I can remember.

As my best friend's brother, he ignored me before noticing me. He protected me, bought me my first beer, but eventually became my undoing. 

There was a time I would have died to get him to notice me, now I'd do anything to forget him. 
I'm not the one who can tame him, and he's not the guy who will change for me.
This isn't a story about falling in love, this is a story about falling out of love.
Unrequited love. 
And finding the strength to stand up for myself.
Here's to the steadfast.

*This is an standalone story that crosses years from YA into NA genre, due to HEAVY subject matter this book is for ages 16 and up. This is not your typical love story.*


PREORDER

Apple: Coming soon (sign up for my newsletter to be alerted when buy links are available)
Kindle: Coming soon (sign up for my newsletter to be alerted when buy links are available)




About the Author

Briana Gaitan is the bestselling author of the Hollywood Timelines series (The Last Thing and The One Thing) and coauthor of the Ethereal Underground series. 
Briana is a southern native and self proclaimed geek. She has never wanted anything but to create whether it be composing music, decorating her house, or giving voices to the characters inside her head.Her days are spent obsessing over a good read, raising her three kids, and watching anything on the SyFy channel. Through her writing, she hopes to inspire others to believe in the impossible.





Excerpt:
We don’t have drinks this time so instead I raise my hand for a majestic fist bump. I’m not sure what to wish/salute to this time. Over the weeks, we’ve gone through everything. Well, almost everything.
“To love,” I say, knocking my knuckles against his.
“To infatuation,” he corrects, fist bumping me again.
“No, to the steadfast.”

Our eyes connect. Both of us realizing how cruel life can be, how tempting it is to get swept away in the people that pay attention to us.





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Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review: Paperweight by Meg Haston

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.

Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

In this emotionally haunting and beautifully written young adult debut, Meg Haston delves into the devastating impact of trauma and loss, while posing the question: Why are some consumed by their illness while others embark on a path toward recovery?


Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I remembered that I was drawn to this book by the synopsis but by the time I got around to reading it I couldn't really remember what it was about. This happens to me a lot but I consider it a good thing because sometimes a synopsis can give away too much or be misleading. So I was excited to discover (again) what this book was about.

I am sitting here trying to figure out a way to describe how I felt about this book and I am struggling a little. There are words, I am sure, that I could use but I am at a loss to find them. As much as I would love to find the perfect words the only thing that I can honestly say is that I really liked this book. I liked the plot, I liked the characters and I liked the writing. It's as simple as that.

Stevie's battle with a serious eating disorder is raw, emotional, heartfelt and moving. What I really liked about it was the fact that it wasn't sugar coated, rarely was it pretty and it was effective in showing the internal battle that many people deal with when living with these or similar disorders. The story was not over written which I loved. It didn't get buried in fancy words and writing but was just told in a way that kept it real. This kept the pages turning for me and I had it finished in no time.

I really think that young people are going to like this book. Even the not so young people will enjoy it. It takes on a very serious topic but still manages to deliver a very interesting and enjoyable story. This may be Haston's first young adult novel but I predict there will be many more to come.






 

About the Author

Meg Haston is the author of the How to Rock series, which began with How to Rock Braces and Glasses and then became a hit TV show on Nickelodeon. Meg’s Masters degree in professional counseling from the University of Georgia definitely comes in handy writing about the trials and triumphs of life as a teenager. Paperweight is her first young adult novel.









Saturday, 27 June 2015

Review: Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom


Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she has realized she can't "write what she knows" because she hasn't yet begun to live. So before heading off to college, Eva is determined to get a life worth writing about.

Soon Eva's life encounters a few unexpected plot twists. She becomes a counselor at a nearby summer camp—a job she is completely unqualified for. She starts growing apart from her best friends before they've even left for school. And most surprising of all, she begins to fall for the last guy she would have ever imagined. But no matter the roadblocks, or writer's blocks, it is all up to Eva to figure out how she wants this chapter in her story to end.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell, Don't Ever Change is a witty, snarky, and thought-provoking coming-of-age young adult novel about a teen who sets out to write better fiction and, ultimately, discovers the truth about herself.


ebook, 368 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by HarperTeen
 
Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication data is July 7, 2015**

I feel a little bit confused with this story.  I can honestly say I didn't really get it, and that bothers me.  I can usually see the deeper meaning of things even if it is so deeply buried you need to dig for it.  Nope, didn't get this one at all.

I think the source of my confusion stems from the synopsis of the book where it says it is about someone who ultimately discovers the truth about herself.  This misled me because she didn't, not really.  There was no real journey here.

I know I am being harsh however Eva really had no redeeming qualities.  She was mean, hated everyone, wrote her friends off over nothing and was completely self centered.  It is pretty difficult to identify with a character like that.  I am sure I have been accused of being some of those things from time to time however nothing in my personality, and I assume the general population, is like that all the time.  I get the feeling that the character was written to be eccentric however somehow missed the mark.  I just found her annoying and hoped she would redeem herself in her journey. 

Now on to her relationships.  Again no chemistry.  How can you hate someone one second and then be chasing them while you have another sort of boyfriend you don't really care about? Confused?  you should be.  Eva came off a lot younger than she was based on the maturity she displayed.  I felt like she was one of the girls at camp instead of the counselor.

Needless to say I did not enjoy this book very much.  While I am sure that others may be able to see what I couldn't I will admit that it was not for me.  At the end of the day I was left feeling annoyed.


 
About the Author


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Review: Wicked Ride by Elise Sax

Fiona Jones has never killed anyone, but there’s a first for everything. Still, maybe she shouldn't have hired Ronin—a sexy killer with a wicked motorcycle-- who’s giving her more than her share of attention.

Wicked Ride is the sexy and hilarious fifth and last novella in the five-part Wish Upon A Stud series.

Wish Upon A Stud...A happy ending is just a coin toss away.


His eyes are dark and bore through me. I wonder if he’s playing chicken with his eyes. Well, if he is, he wins, because I can’t keep his gaze. It makes my throat close and my uterus spasm. I stare at his nose, instead. It’s perfectly proportioned and as straight as a razor, but it doesn’t make my airways close. 


Kindle Edition, 36 pages
Published January 15th 2015 
Series: Wish Upon a Stud #5

Kristine's Thoughts:

Wicked Ride is the fifth and final novella in the Wish Upon a Stud series and just like all of the other ones it is laugh out loud funny. Fiona is so sheltered and naive in a way that will leave you shaking your head while chuckling at the same time. Seriously...where does Sax come up with these characters and plots? They are so outrageous in believability but so utterly entertaining and enjoyable.

Every instalment in this series is well worth a read if you want to smile and get lost in some pretty crazy and humorous stories. My only complaint is that I am now at the end and there are no more for me to read. I've enjoyed the warped sense of humour so much that I am going to check out some of this authors other work to see if they lives up to this.





About the Author
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember was her first novel. 



Connect with Elise

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Review: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid


At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
 

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Washington Square Press

Terri's Thoughts

** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is July 7th**

There were two reasons why I wanted to read this story.  The first is that I had previously read Reid's work After I Do and really enjoyed it.  I was excited to see that she had another novel released.  The second reason is that I really like the concept of two parallel stories showing the outcome based on one decision.  This is not an original concept, I have read other stories that have done the same however I really enjoy the possibilities a plot can take with this idea.

I was not disappointed with this read.  The reader sees how one seemingly minor decision made by Hannah drastically changes the course of her life.  I liked how the back stories did not change however everything in Hannah's life was completely different.  As the story synopsis suggests it made me think how much in life is determined by chance?  The story suggests that chance plays a big part in life and I liked how it made me think.  How often have we wondered to ourselves what would have happened if I made a different decision in a certain circumstance.  The answer is easy, it could have changed everything. 

The story also deals with accepting the cards that are dealt and moving forward.  This is a valuable lesson.

Back to the story.  I felt that Hannah had chemistry with both of her "leading" men however one more so than the other.  Since each of these men were in the separate stories it did not matter, each had his own appeal.

Altogether another solid story by Reid.  I will be keeping my eye out for her work as one of my go to authors.

Random thought:  I am often critical of a lot of book covers because they do not represent the content in the book well.  Many times the physical description is wrong etc.  I have to give kudo's to Reid for getting the cover right on this book (if it ends up being the final cover).  In the story Hannah is obsessed with wearing her hair in a high bun.  Look at the cover, yes...a high bun.  Thank you!



About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. Her first novel, Forever, Interrupted, was named one of the "11 Debuts We Love" by Kirkus Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and their dog, Rabbit.

Website
Twitter


Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Once Upon a Cowboy by Maggie McGinnis




In this sexy Whisper Creek romance for readers of Kristan Higgins, Susan Mallery, and Molly O’Keefe, a red-hot cowboy uses some Montana magic to give a reclusive beauty her happily ever after.

Yoga instructor Jessalyn Alcott radiates peace, calm, and serenity—on the outside. Inside, she still feels like the broken, desperate girl from the trailer park. She’s got dark secrets she can’t share, which is why she never lets her relationships go beyond the third date. But when she travels to the Whisper Creek dude ranch for a friend’s wedding, Jess is enchanted by a cowboy whose deep blue eyes, dimpled smile, and rock-hard body make it tough to remember why she keeps running scared.

Cole Driscoll has struggled to find his place on a family ranch where he’s always played second fiddle. His future might be uncertain, but he’s sure of one thing: He wants Jess by his side. Easier said than done. When it comes to getting close, she’s full of excuses, and he longs to fix the hurt he sees in her eyes. Now that she’s at Whisper Creek, there’s nothing he wants more than to break down the walls around her heart and heal her pain with the power of love.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: June 30th 2015 by Loveswept 
Series: Whisper Creek #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

Welcome to my stop on the Tasty Book Tours blog tour. I received an advanced readers copy from Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

The characters in this book were not new to me but I had forgotten how much I loved them until I started reading. Although I was familiar with the characters and some of the back story it was not necessary in order to follow along.

Once Upon a Cowboy grabbed me from the very first page. I was thinking "what??" It certainly appeared like it was going to be very intense with a lot of drama for Jess. Her secrets were pretty serious and she was hiding from a pretty scary past. Needless to say, I wasn't going anywhere once I read the first chapter. I had to know what was going to happen.

When Jess arrived at Whisper Creek it was like a breath of fresh air. McGinnis is superb at describing the landscape and surroundings. It was easy to visualise and she had me wanting to visit some place just like it. You could feel how special the place was and how great the people in it were.

I absolutely adored Jess and Cole and was hoping that they would find their happily ever after with each turn of the page. Both characters were easy to like with great personalities and kind hearts. Although Jess had issues and an unpleasant past she was still likeable with personality traits that were relatable and real. Cole was nothing short of drool worthy right from the start. His actions and intentions towards Jess were sweet and honourable and definitely swoon worthy.

I should probably mention that this book is a very sweet and clean romance. You won't find any between the sheets action in this story. I'm kind of happy that there isn't because it would have ruined the tenderness and impact of Jess and Cole's story and the hurdles that they needed to overcome in the effort to come together.

In the end, I really enjoyed this book and hope that I get the chance to visit Whisper Creek again sometime soon!








About the Author

Maggie McGinnis, USA Today Bestselling Author of Accidental Cowgirl and Driving Without a License, which was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award is a former high school English teacher, an accomplished musician, and a certified black belt, who lives in New England with her family. 







Connect with Maggie


GIVEAWAY!!



Monday, 22 June 2015

Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery


When high school senior Kelsey's identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn't know about the tragedy is Michelle's boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can't bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can't deny that she's falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn't want.


Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 7th 2015 by Poppy

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for am honest review.  The expected publication date is July 7th 2015**

I took a read of the synopsis and I knew I just had to read this story.  Something about the storyline just spoke to me.  It could be the fact that I am a twin so it is pretty easy for me to visualize just how many directions this story could take and none of them good.

I will cut to the chase and say that this did not have the deep emotional impact that it could have.  It did however get the point across effectively.  Upon reflection this is a YA story and offers just the right amount of emotion and drama for the genre.

As a twin I couldn't even fathom doing what Kelsey did in this story.  First, I would be mourning so deeply that I would be inconsolable.  Second, the thought of falling for my sisters boyfriend (or husband in the case of real life) just plain gives me the creeps.  It simply goes way beyond the girls code, BFF code, and sister code.  Maybe that is why I was so curious to see how this was going to turn out.

The story is not very long so it does slightly gloss over all of the emotion.  What could have been dragged out longer to get a greater emotional impact was instead a short read that moves rather quickly.  As a result the reader does not spend a lot of time grieving over Michelle, falling for Peter and planning for the future.  This may appeal to some as you get the story and you do not have to "work" for it.

I myself enjoyed this read.  As a twin I like to read any stories that deal with these sibling relationships.  While I may not have found some of it entirely believable (no spoilers here!) I did indeed like it.



About the Author


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Review: Just Sacked by Elise Sax

Layla has been working at her family’s bar since she was five years old. But it’s more than a bar. It’s home. Now with her family gone and debts piling up, her bar is repossessed and taken over by local businessman Hank Taylor. Hank offers Layla a deal: If she can win a drinking contest, she can have the bar back. Layla’s never lost a drinking contest in her life, but after an evening swigging back whiskey, she and Hank wake up together, naked and handcuffed in Mexico. Getting home offers dangerous adventure, and it’s a toss up whether Hank and Layla will get back before they kill each other or fall in love.

Just Sacked is the sexy and hilarious fourth novella in the five-part Wish Upon A Stud series. Each novella is roughly 100 pages with no cliffhanger.

Wish Upon A Stud...A happy ending is just a coin toss away. 


Kindle Edition, 103 pages
Published September 20th 2014 
Series: Wish Upon A Stud #4


Kristine's Thoughts:

I would think that by the time I got to the fourth book that I would be sick of the style, writing and humour of one author but that is just not the case. Although I found this one a little more on the crazy side instead of the crazy funny side I can honestly say that I still can't get enough. I'm kind of upset that there is only one more novella after this one because I am enjoying them that much.

At roughly 100 pages I can't really say a whole lot about the story except that it is really out there with the plot and humour. I have come to the realisation that Sax has the ability to make me smile and laugh out loud with pretty much anything she writes. These novellas have been the perfect solution for me when I need something to entertain myself without any lengthy time commitment. Hank and Layla's story will leave you shaking your head but with giant smile.








About the Author

Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember was her first novel.


Connect with Elise

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Review: Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips


When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?


Paperback, 272 pages
Expected publication: June 30th 2015 by Kensington

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Kensington via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is June 30th 2015**

This is not the typical YA read that deals with crushes, love triangles and teenage relationships.  Well, actually it is but that only scratched the surface of this read.  What this story is really about is dealing with the cards you are dealt and trying to overcome them.  It deals with the pain associated to broken families which results in broken people.

I would not recommend this to the younger audience.  This is simply because it deals with Lexi being a sexually active teenager and trying to fill an emptiness through sexual activity.  On the flip side it does teach a good lesson about being true to yourself and that pretending to be someone you are not will never be fulfilling.

Lexi led a dysfunctional life.  With no real role models in her immediate family this is not surprising.  An absent father for her entire life and a mother with a steady stream of deadbeat boyfriends.  Her attraction to Tyler was not surprising.  I found myself looking forward to any scenes he was a part of.  I also dreaded any scenes with Lexi's friends and Ben as they seemed only dull and judgemental.  Let me tell you that Ben would never treat me the way he treated his steady stream of girlfriends!

This story had a little more substance than I thought from the synopsis.  Several issues were addressed from teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol addiction, and broken families.  For this I found myself glued to the pages to find out what would happen next.  I enjoyed this book.




About the Author


Rebecca Phillips has been a fan of contemporary young adult fiction ever since she first discovered Judy Blume at the age of twelve. After a brief stint writing bad poetry as a teenager, she finally found her niche with realistic, coming‑of‑age YA. Her third novel, OUT OF NOWHERE, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She's also the author of the JUST YOU series. Her next YA novel, FAKING PERFECT (Kensington), is set to be released on June 30, 2015.

Rebecca lives just outside the beautiful city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two children, and one spoiled rotten cat. She absolutely loves living so close to the ocean. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she can be found vacuuming up cat hair, spending time with her family, watching reality TV, reading all different genres of books, or strolling around the bookstore with a vanilla latte in her hand.


Website
Twitter



Thursday, 18 June 2015

Review: Death By Coffee by Alex Erickson

When Krissy Hancock and her best friend Vicki decide to open a bookstore café in their new town of Pine Hills, they decide to call it "Death by Coffee," after Krissy’s father’s most famous mystery novel. Little do they know how well the name fits…

On their very first day of business, Brendon Lawyer huffily takes his coffee…to the grave. It seems he had a severe allergy to peanuts…but how could there have been nuts in his coffee? And who stole his emergency allergy medication?

Fortunately, Krissy’s love of puzzles and mysteries leads her not only to Officer Paul Dalton, but also to many of her new neighbors, who aren’t terribly upset that the book is closed on Brendon. But one of them is a killer, and Krissy needs to read between the lies if she wants to save her new store—and live to see how this story ends…



Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Kensington 
Genre: Mystery

Kristine's Thoughts:

**I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.**

It has been a while since I have read a cosy mystery so this book seemed to be the perfect solution to that. Take two best friends who open a book/coffee shop, a handsome cop and a suspicious death and you have the makings of an interesting story. Right??

Well... unfortunately this one fell quite flat for me and it was all (or mostly) because of Krissy Hancock who happened to be the main character. I didn't like her. It is as simple as that. She was annoying, selfish, immature, a terrible friend and business owner and dull at the same time. This is the first book in a new series so hopefully Erickson can get the kinks out and make her a more enjoyable character because right now she lacks anything endearing or positive.

The actual murder mystery was not an exciting one and what made it even less exciting was the lack of sleuthing on Krissy's part. There was nothing unique or genius about how she got her information or followed the clues. She was just nosey and asked and people answered. It just wasn't believable. Then the plot would endlessly get interrupted by cat stories that had no relevance the story. I think the intention was humour with the cats but it missed the mark.

If Krissy could gain some likeable qualities and get better at her amateur sleuthing and some of the other kinks get fleshed out (like the cats) than perhaps the next book, Death by Tea will be worth a read.




About the Author
Alex Erickson has always wanted to write, even at a young, impressionable age. He's always had an interest in the motive behind murder, which has led him down his current path. He's always ready with a witty-at least in his opinion-quip, and tries to keep every conversation light and friendly. Alex lives in Ohio with his family and resident felines, who provide endless amounts of inspiration.






Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Review: Date With A Rockstar by Sarah Gagnon


Monet isn t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane--she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness. Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that's spread through saliva. It's completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don't. Now that she's on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn't even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life. But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy's attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him--and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she's ready and ruin everything. The only way to win Jeremy's heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him."

Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: June 23rd 2015 by Spencer Hill Press

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is June 23rd 2015**

I had a good time with this story.  I think I may have enjoyed it a little more than I probably should have.  I'm not saying it shouldn't have but it delivered a little bit more than I thought it would.  I am not sure I will be able to voice my thoughts.

I liked the concept of this.  Mix in a little dystopian flavor but not too much.  Set in the future when our resources as we know them today have all but gone and the world has adapted to the new realities.  What I liked was that it wasn't so much that it would be compared to those heavy weight dystopian books that are out there.  In my mind that genre has been saturated at least for now.

Add in a reality TV show where woman are competition for the love (and money) of a rock star.  Who doesn't love a little reality television?  And competing women?  It equals claws are out entertainment.  I can appreciate how catty we women can be.  If that isn't enough then you can sort through that drama and there is a really sweet romance.  I found myself along for the ride.

The story becomes a little bit ridiculous at the point in the plot where the contest is coming to a close.  I can't lie, it was over the top Jerry Springer style ludicrous.  I'm not sure what that says about me but I was laughing my head off.  I am not even sure if that was the intention when it was written however I appreciated it for how over the top it was.

This story was just a little bit of different mixed with a little bit of the familiar to combine in to an entertaining read for me. I can see it appealing to the YA audience.

In closing, I have one random thought.  How did Gagnon come up with the word Fluxem for her disease.  I don't know if the word is made up or if she got it from elsewhere but what an appropriate word!  It sounds like a gross disease.  Kudos for that




About the Author


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Review: After Hours by Claire Kennedy

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips.

Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.

Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.

Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything.

Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.

Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions.

From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win.

The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty.


Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Expected publication: June 16th 2015 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult

Kristine's Thoughts:


**I receveived an advanced readers copy from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

When I read the synopsis I thought that this story would be filled with exciting adventures and dares from the restaurants game of "Tips". I thought that the plot would revolve around this game and that it would be a cute YA story about summer fun. That was not the case at all. Yes there was the game, but it didn't seem to be the central focus and the dares were really quite lame.

Instead the story seemed to be about four dysfunctional teenage kids with all kinds of problems and their creepy boss. It goes back and forth between the teenager's point of view to tell the story. Most times I am a huge fan of multiple points of view because you get to understand all sides but it seemed to have the opposite affect with this story. I felt like I never really got to know any of the characters well enough to care about their story or outcome. It felt busy and chaotic and just a tiny bit sloppy.

In short, I wasn't a fan of most of the characters, the plot was all over the place and I couldn't quite put my finger on who the target audience would be. Was it a romance? Was it a mystery? I'm not sure but what I can say for sure is that it was awkward.



About the Author
Claire Kennedy lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is hard at work on her next novel.  



Monday, 15 June 2015

Review: Between Us and The Moon by Rebecca Maizel



Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.


Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: June 30th 2015 by Harper Teen

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Harper Teen via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication data is June 30th 2015**

This is a story that took me back to the kind of stories I used to read back when I was actually of the age that this is marketed for.  A story figuring out the difference between who you want to be and who your really are and first love.  What combination is better?

I really enjoyed the inner battle that Sarah had with herself as she tried to figure out who she was.  How many of us girls/women have taken a period of reflection after a break-up?  I know I have however Sarah took it to a whole other level.  Given her age this was a completely believable reaction in my opinion.

The age difference between Sarah and Andrew was a little bit uncomfortable however it was the basis of the whole lie that became this story.  Their love story was somewhat innocent (however I would not recommend this story for the younger YA audience) and it was really sweet.  I particularly like the message that was delivered that Andrew appreciated Sarah for who she really was and not who she was trying to br.

I can't say a whole lot more without giving away some of the plot details.  This story was a gem about growing up and discovering who you are and for that I really enjoyed it.  I also felt that the way it wrapped up in the end was completely appropriate for what had transpired.  I definitely recommend this read.


About the Author


Sunday, 14 June 2015

Review: Hot Wired by Elise Sax

Marie Foster is not a cheater. Nevertheless, she gets thrown out of college for doing just that. With her life turned upside down, she decides to try new things. You know…Get drunk in a bar. Pick up a guy. Marry a stranger, who just happens to be a hot billionaire.

Hot Wired is the sexy and hilarious third novella in the five-part Wish Upon A Stud series.

Wish Upon A Stud...A happy ending is just a coin toss away.




ebook, 100 pages
Published August 2014 
Series: Wish Upon A Stud #3

Kristine's Thoughts:

This is the third novella in the Wish Upon A Stud series and I am not sick of it yet. Perhaps I don't get the opportunity to tire of the series because each instalment is so short and about different characters. What I do know is that they are seriously funny in a messed up kind of way. Books will often make me smile but rarely do they make me laugh out loud and these books do. Sax has a way with coming up with seriously dysfunctional characters that are so awkward and relationship challenged that you can't help but route for them when you aren't laughing at the outrageous things they say and do. I loved Maria from the very first sentence. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series and checking out some other work by this author.




About the Author
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember was her first novel.


Connect with Elise


 

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Review: Wishful Kisses by Krista Lakes


How do you convince the man you love to believe the impossible?
Poor Kimberly has spent her entire life pining for a man that will never return her affections. After spending a fantastic week in the summer of 1990 together, handsome and charming Tony Frontera made a promise that he would return to Kim after Operation Desert Storm. Unfortunately, he broke that promise when he was killed in action.

Kim spent the next two decades trying to fill the hole that he left in her life, but it never happened. Despite a rewarding career, she never found true happiness, the happiness that she should have had with Tony...

When the Fountain of Love suddenly grants her deepest wish, she finds herself back in 1990 in her old body, able to change the hand that fate dealt her. However, the power of the fountain is limited- in order to change Tony's fate, she must do the impossible. Although she had dreamt about saving Tony, she never thought about how she would do it. With only your words, how do you convince your soul mate that you are from the future? How do you tell them to abandon their country and leave everyone they know behind?


Kindle Edition, 85 pages
Published April 17th 2014 by Zirconia Publishing, Inc

Terri's Thoughts

I was looking for a fun short read and I stumbled across this one in the kindle store and I thought I would give it a try.  I am glad I did.

This appears to be a part of a series of books in the Kisses series by Krista Lakes.  From what I can tell the other stories may be full length however this one was a nice short novella.

In 85 pages we see Kimberly and Tony fall in love and then Kimberly remember Tony twenty years later after his death.  The reader then gets to see Kimberly try to change the past by going back in time so that Tony does not die.  For the short length I thought it was well done.

This story in my opinion could have worked very well as a full length novel as the concept had numerous opportunities that could have been explored.  What it did manage to achieve for me was generate some interest in the rest of the series to see if they were the same idea.  I am not sure if the others are similar but I feel the need to check it out.

About the Author
Krista Lakes is a newly turned 30 year old who recently rediscovered her passion for writing. She loves aquatic life and running marathons. She is living happily ever after with her Prince Charming and her bouncing baby boy.


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Blog Tour/Excerpt & Giveaway: Crave by Jennifer Dawson


And, then I see him. My heart slams into my chest, my pulse kicks up, something akin to panic rushes across my skin. He’s staring right at me. My throat dries up like the sierra and every cell in my body knows he’s the one.

I want him. More than I’ve wanted anyone in a long time. 

I vow. I crave. I give in.
 
I used to be a nice, normal girl. I had dreams. Good, happy dreams of a white picket fence, 2.5 kids, and a fairytale love that lasts forever. Nobody ever warned me that sometimes, the prince dies three weeks before the wedding.
 
Like any addict, I swear this time is the last….
 
Now, I go through my days, a shadow of my former self. I pretend I’m okay, and the people in my life pretend to believe me. But, sometimes, when I can no longer stand the craving, I roam an underground sex club looking for my next hit. It’s dirty and wrong, but I can’t stop, and my only line of defense between them and me, is the rules I’ve designed to keep me safe. The men always abide by my rules. Until I meet him.
 
And, like any addict, I’m wrong.
 
I don’t question the instincts that tell me to run. One look at him, standing there, power radiating off him in waves, tells me all I need to know. He will make me crave those happy dreams I’ve left behind. And that is not an option.

Kindle Edition, 308 pages
Expected publication: June 1st 2015 
Series: Undone #1
Genre: Romance/Erotica

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of this blog tour and in exchange will give my honest thoughts.

Layla has an addiction and like any addict she can only ignore her cravings for so long. She craves pain, punishment and release the way I crave gummy bears. Once it's in my head there is nothing that will get rid of it until I get some. Of course, her addiction is far more dark and dangerous and eats away at her in a way that is impossible for her to ignore.

It is while she is attempting to get her fix that she meets Michael and is instantly drawn to him. She knows he is dangerous and capable of making her feel the things she doesn't think she deserves to ever feel again. The sexual chemistry between the two is so strong and powerful that no amount of will power can keep her away for long.

The pages of this book are filled with sex and lust. It is dripping off the pages and steaming up the room. This is not a boy meets girl story where they fall into bed and make sweet love to each other. It is darker and grittier and capable of making most people blush. It is rough and angry and needy. Fans of erotica are sure to love every lust filled page.

What I really liked about the book is that it wasn't just another sex story aimed at topping the one before it. There was a real dark and sad story that went with it. It was about Layla's struggle to move on from the death of her fiance and the survivors guilt that ruled her every waking and sleeping moments. Although she didn't think she deserved happiness ever again, Michael brought out emotions that she struggled to come to terms with. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story. You could really feel her inner turmoil and her battle to become healthy and strong again.

Although the alpha, dominant male is not my thing, I do enjoy my make believe book version once in a while. I have to say that I kind of loved Michael. The way he handled Layla and attempted to bring her back to life was kind of swoon worthy in my eyes. It really made me route for them all the way.

This is the second book by Jennifer Dawson that I have read and I have to say that I really like her writing style. Her stories draw me in and leave me wanting more. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next!





About the Author
Jennifer Dawson grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in psychology. She met her husband at the public library while they were studying. To this day she still maintains she was NOT checking him out. Now, over twenty years later, they’re married and living in a suburb right outside of Chicago with two awesome kids and a crazy dog.

Despite going through a light FM, poem writing phase in high school, Jennifer never grew up wanting to be a writer (she had more practical aspirations of being an international super spy). Then one day, suffering from boredom and disgruntled with a book she’d been reading, she decided to put pen to paper. The rest, as they say, is history.

These days Jennifer can be found sitting behind her computer, writing her next novel, chasing after her kids, keeping an ever watchful eye on her ever growing to-do list, and NOT checking out her husband.


Connect with Jennifer


Chapter One Excerpt

Eleven P.M.

Two months. Five days. Twenty-one hours.

It’s my new record although I have no sense of accomplishment. No, I’m resigned as I walk down the dark, deserted alley. The heels of my knee-high, black patent boots click against the cracked concrete in echo of my defeat. The distant sounds of the bass thuds in my ears in time to the heavy beat of my heart.

My own personal staccato of failure.

I’m not sure why it’s always a surprise. Maybe because, at first, my conviction is so strong. By now my pattern is long and established—I vow, I crave, I give in.

Rinse. Repeat.

But, like any good addict, I always swear this time is the last.

Of course, I try. My therapist has given me “management tools” to get me through the hard times, and like a good patient, I follow her instructions to a tee—I meditate, do yoga, and write all my crappy feelings in the journal she insists I keep.

Only, it’s backfired and become part of the ritual. When the cycle starts, it’s a matter of time before I end up here.

I’m sure when John brought me to this underground club the first time, he’d never envisioned I’d be back on my own, wandering through the crowds, looking for my next fix. The club reminds me of him, and I wish I could go somewhere else so I wouldn’t be confronted with my betrayal, but I don’t have a choice. There aren’t ads for places like this. Or maybe there are and I don’t know where to look.

Swift and sudden, anger clogs my throat, and for a split second I hate him for changing me so irrevocably, and leaving me so permanently. Fast on the heels of anger, the guilt wells, so powerful it brings a sting of tears to my eyes. In the pockets of my black trench coat, my nails dig crescents into my palms.

I push away the emotions. Exhaling harshly, my breath fogs the air as I spot a hint of the red door that signals both my refuge and my hell. I hear the muffled hum of music that will crescendo once I’m inside to pump through me like a heartbeat.

My pace quickens along with my pulse.

As much as I hate giving in, I can’t deny my relief. Once I step through that door, I don’t have to pretend. I don’t have to be normal.

The tension, riding me all day, distracting me in meetings, making me wander off in the middle of conversations, ebbs. A twisted excitement slicks my thighs as the bare skin under my skirt tingles.

I haven’t bothered with panties. It makes things easier, quicker. Less about getting off and more about taking care of business.

I have on my usual club fare: short, black pleated skirt that leaves a stretch of thigh before my stockings start. A sheer, white silk blouse that’s unbuttoned low enough to show the lace of my red demi-bra. My lips are slicked with crimson and my dark chestnut hair is a tumble of shiny waves down my back.

My outfit is carefully orchestrated. I leave as little to chance as possible.

No leather or latex. I’m not into bondage. Chains and rope do nothing but leave me cold. Once upon a time I loved to be restrained by fingers wrapped tight around my wrists, digging into my skin, but now I can’t handle even a hint of being bound.

I reveal plenty of smooth ivory skin, my clue to guys into body modification or knife play to stay away. I like fear, but not that kind. I want my bruises and scars hidden away, not worn like a badge of honor for the world to see.

My wrists and neck are free of jewelry so the Masters don’t confuse me with a slave girl. I tried that scene once, thinking all their hard play and intense scenes would focus my restless energy and make me forget, but there is no longer anything submissive about me.

I don’t want to obey. I want to fight.

Giveaways!!

1 US Winner will receive gift basket that contains a signed copy of CRAVE

Prize package contains:
Decorative reusable storage trunk
Signed copy of CRAVE
$25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
4 Premium Chocolate Truffles
Argan Oil Sugar Scrub w/shower scrunchie
Pink & black Pillar Candle
Black & Pink Chalk Board Flower Pot
Hanging chalk board
Candle Holder with pink sparkly battery votive

3 INT/US winners will receive an e-Copy of Crave