Thursday, June 22, 2017

*ARC* Until It Fades - Review

Until It Fades

By: K.A. Tucker

Published: June 27, 2017 by Atria Books

368 pages

Source: ebook, Netgalley ARC from publisher

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
 
MY REVIEW:
K.A. Tucker has written another great love story that fans of hers are sure to eat up! If you're new to her books, then trust me when I say that they are filled with emotion, sometimes intense tension between the male and female leads until they finally give in to what they KNOW is there and then BAM, it gets goooooood.

Catherine is a young, 24 year old single mom, working in a truck-stop diner to make ends meet for herself and her daughter. At the age of 18 she leaves home due to a tumultuous relationship with her mother. Learning from her own mistakes she "womans-up" and makes a life for herself. A good, simple life. She hasn't dated in 5 years and basically is very gaurded with her heart and her inner circle of close friends. It's not just her to consider anymore...now she has Brenna to think about. One night on the way home from a blind date gone horribly wrong, she comes across a horrific single vehicle accident. Being the caring human being she is, she stops and attempts to help save the passenger in the vehicle before the car explodes.

Cath's story is told first from alternating between past and present events. Her past in high school is one that caused her and her family a lot of hatred from the very small town and grief. She's done with being in any form of limelight....and then she discovers who exactly the man she saved is. This man is so genuinely grateful to her that he MUST meet her in person. What develops from there is a beautiful relationship that the reader can see coming from miles away.

Oh, Cath....she irritated me at times. I yelled internally at her several times! From her (metaphorical) blindess, to her unwillingness to truly move on from her past, to her struggle with trusting and realizing she IS enough....even for someone like Brett Madden. But I suppose, despite my irritations with this part of her character, I could somewhat understand the journey through which she goes through over a period of 5 years, prior to meeting Brett, and afterward what he helps her to (too slowly) see, that causes her to be insecure and question herself. She needed a big boost in self-confidence and Brett was the man to bring that back out in her.

This book was just what I love in contemporary romance. A happily-ever-after ending with loads of steam mixed in. For the genre in which this one falls (New Adult) I would say this is a bit lighter on the graphic nature....though still mature in content, the descriptiveness of the graphic scenes is slightly less. Language too, though I'm still giving it a medium score, is MUCH less in F-bombs than other books in this same genre.

Top Favorite Quotes:
"If my life depended on your skill with flirting, then hand me a shovel because I may as well dig my own grave."

"Give me at least a shred of hope before I start dropping cats off on your doorstep."

"Life is too short to do what other people think you should do."

"...take advantage of what's in front of you us today, because it might not be there tomorrow, right?"

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Monday, June 19, 2017

Cover Reveal - The Sound of Light by Claire Wallis

The Sound of Light

By: Claire Wallis

Published: July 17, 2017

320 pages

(Goodreads / Amazon - preorder the ebook now!)

Summary:

My littlest girl has always been a bit peculiar. It was nothing I could ever put a finger on, but I always knew there was something inside her that made her a different kind of special. A deeper kind. 

K'acy's got a light around her, one that'll just about knock you over, especially if you don't see her coming. She's got music in her soul, too. Deep, resonating music that echoes and hums, just like the notes that come from the bass guitar she's had attached to her hip since the day she turned thirteen years old. 

She's got a hell of a secret, yes, but she does what she's got to do to make it one worth having. She takes care of people. She changes their stories. I spent my life telling both of my girls that you always gotta do what's right, even when it hurts, and it makes me proud to know she was listening.

I saw the way she looked at that boy on the day they met, and I knew right then that things were going to change. Two different people from two different worlds is nothing but a recipe for heartbreak, and when the lies pile higher and higher, it can change a person into something they're not. 

It took me dying all those years ago to finally figure out just exactly how special my K'acy really is, and even though I'm not with her anymore, I don't want that boy and his family to change her. I want her to keep doing what's right, even when it hurts. 

Because that's who she is inside. That's her deeper kind of special.

**This stand-alone novel from Claire Wallis is intended for readers age 17 and up.**
***Release Date: July 17, 2017*** The Sound of Light will be released in print format via Amazon and in digital format from Amazon, Nook, iBooks, and Kobo.


For more information visit www.clairewallis.com

A Court of Mist and Fury - Review

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

By: Sarah J. Maas 

Published: May 3, 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

626 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
MY REVIEW:
In two words this book was frustrating and delicious! One thing is certain, this book made me FEEL a LOT! Let me explain.

The story picks up about 3 months after the ending of book one. If you're new to the series this isn't a super big deal in a time gap because book one doesn't end in a cliffhanger. The first 20% of the book though had me all kinds of frustrated both at Feyre and at Tamlin. Yes, Feyre is dealing with some demons and depression after the events of what occured in book one. But, Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court, doesn't SEE her anymore through the potential threat of violence to her. He is blinded by his desire to protect. With little communication between them about the horrific pain and damage of what happened to them, this causes a downward spiral of events. Feyre, seemingly too lackadaisical about it all, turns into this quiet, obedient mouse of a person, too willing to go along with his overbearance and the orders and wishes of everyone around her. This causes her depression to spiral out of control and her physical wellbeing to suffer. So yeah, the first 20% of the book was hard to get through. But I just KNEW there had to be a reason. What Feyre needed was a true partner, someone that could help her harness her new body and her new powers. Someone that could fulfill her new desires as the new being she was.

I could see a love triangle forming and I wasn't sure I could get on board with that at first. Being the excellent writer and storyteller that Maas is though, and experiencing something similar in her Throne of Glass series, she had me wringing with frustration to near panting with desire for more, more, more! At times it felt like I was on a roller coast of emotions! I was twisted with pain, reeling with frustration, squealing with excitement, drooling with desire, shocked with revelations, surprised at tricky turn of events, and every feeling in between! This book.....it increases the heat by a hundred percent! There were parts where I said "oh, this is a re-read section!"

Enter Rhysand. A major side player from book one, the High Lord of the Night Court, he now has a link straight to Feyre through a bargain she made with him in book one. That bargain: a week every month with him at his court. Being terrified to be taken away from Tamlin, Feyre is at first cautious of his intentions and fearful. The connection between Rhysand and Feyre is like a slow ember burning. It was agnonizing at times to watch their flirtatious interactions remain only that. They are both stubborn and strong-willed and damaged. When we finally see behind the mask of the High Lord of the Night Court, woah man! I could not get enough!!

I'm upping my mature content rating for this one because the scenes are more graphic than most YA books. I'm not entirely sure if this is even considered YA....the publisher having "Children's" in the name is very deceiving if one were to assume it's for children. Not that many readers look at that sort of thing. This is definitely more in the NA realm not just in content but also in the ages of the characters. Yes, Feyre is only 20 but the rest of the major players are hundreds of years old - in the lives of Immortal Faeries. There are also quite the number of F-bombs for any potential younger readers, so beware. I don't recall not even one F-bomb in book one so that was increased exponentially.

To go on about the story itself would give away more than I believe the reader needs to know ahead of time. Believe me when I say there is so much that happens in this book! It's a wild ride of emotions and one I will need to re-read one day. For now though, I'm moving on to book 3!

Top 5 Favorite (non-spoiler) Quotes:
"You do what you love, what you need."

"Don't let the hard days win."

"To the stars who listen - and the dreams that are answered."

"I'm thinking," he said, following the flick of my tongue over my bottom lip, "that I look at you and feel like I'm dying. Like I can't breathe. I'm thinking that I want you so badly I can't concentrate half the time I'm around you..."

"Truth is deadly. Truth is freedom. Truth can break and mend and bind."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 3 (high)
Final Rating: 5 stars!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Can't Wait Wednesday: Enrage

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Wishful Endings.
Each week bloggers participate to spotlight and discuss a book they have yet to read, generally one that hasn't released yet. Can't Wait Wednesday is based on Waiting on Wednesday, previously hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Find out more here.

This week I'm waiting on:
Enrage (Eagle Elite #8) by Rachel Van Dyken
Expected Publication: July 31, 2017
Preorder Buy Link: Not available yet (Will be $.99 on release day only!)
Part of a world I loathe.
Part of a family who hates me more than I hate myself.
Living with a girl who reminds me of my darkness.
I'm. In. Hell.
Also known as the Cosa Nostra.
My life was over the minute I stepped off that plane.
Son to a murdered mob boss.
Heir to a throne of murder and lies.
My name is Dante Nicolasi.
And there will be blood.
I have long enjoyed the Eagle Elite series. I just can never get enough of these guys!

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, June 12, 2017

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Review

A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

By: Sarah J. Maas

Published: May 5, 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

432 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
MY REVIEW:
This was my second series to begin of Maas. The first being the Throne of Glass series. I have come to expect great things with her writing in the fantasy genre! Borderline between Young Adult and New Adult due to mature content, this book pulled my imagination right in from go. As any new series starts off, the beginning is world building as told through the point of view of the main character, a human 19 year old girl named Feyre. World building is important especially when the characters are as colorful and numerous as these Fae are.

Let me start briefly with the name of Feyre. In the Kindle copy I was reading there is a pronunciation key but it's at the very back, after the acknowledgments! So for the first 3% or so (less than 13 pages into the book) I was saying her name like "Fey-ER" much like these words in the English language: pasture, acre, puncture. Phonetically this is what her name should sound like. A friend of mine pointed out the correct pronunciation explained by the author and thankfully around page 13 of my Kindle copy the MC explains how to say her name. "Fay-ruh". I had a hard time getting on board with this at first because it didn't jive with English grammar. Minor frustration.

I highlighted a lot! But it wasn't for the purpose of favorite quotes. It was because there is so much rich information being given that I didn't want to forget anything.

Oh the feels! I was feelin' alright! From the cloud of darkness the human girl literally finds herself in, the confusion of this new world she's forced to live in, to the friendships that develop, and later the sexual tension that's formed between Feyre and Tamlin which leads to passion and loyalty. I even experienced a couple teary-eyed moments.

Here's what you need to know if you're interested to read this story. Feyre is the youngest daughter of three living with their widowed father. Having once been wealthy and now the poorest among their village, she alone goes out to hunt for food to keep them alive. She has reached the point where she will do anything it takes to feed herself and her family. One night hunting she kills both a deer and an extremely large wolf. She sells the pelts for coin and they now have enough food to last a week or two and money to buy more supplies as needed. What she doesn't realize is that the wolf she killed was no ordinary wolf. A massive beast comes demanding payment for a life debt. Feyre being the one to have killed the wolf, the beast offers her two choices. She can either be killed by him, or come to live beyond the wall with him. But what lies beyond the wall is Prythian, a land extremely dangerous to humans as it is ruled by faeries and other creatures. Due to a battle some 500 years ago, there is a treaty in place to keep the Fae and the humans separate so each can live in relative peace. As Feyre comes to live with and get to know these Fae she develops friendships and feelings for them all. What she had always heard in childhood stories to keep humans away from the wall, is not at all like what she is experiencing first hand. She also learns of a curse that has taken over the Fae lands and it threatens to spread over the wall and harm her family as well.

Feyre is strong-willed, sharp-tongued, determined and stubborn. She's a fighter! She is definitely someone to root for!

Part of the story had me reminiscing of Beauty and the Beast. Don't be mistaken though, it's only a few similarities, not actually a retelling.

I can't write up my review without mentioning the side characters that I thoroughly enjoyed! Lucien and Rhysand are at the top of that list and I'm very curious to see what more happens with them.

The somewhat surprising thing to me is that the book doesn't end in a killer cliffhanger. I would say it's a small taste of a happily-ever-after before the next major obstacle hits. I actually sort of liked this and that I wasn't strung along to wait to know what happens next. I enjoy the occasional cliffhanger but it was nice for this one to not end like I was used to the Throne of Glass books ending.

Fans of YA/NA fantasy with romance will definitely want to give this series a read! I owned book one for longer than I realized before I got around to reading it...about a year. I should NOT have waited that long!

Top Favorite Quotes:
"Against slavery, against tyranny, I would gladly go to my death, no matter whose freedom I was defending."

"Because I'd want someone to hold my hand until the end, and awhile after that. That's something everyone deserves, human or faerie."

"Because when the legends get written, I didn't want to be remembered for standing on the sidelines."

Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4.5 stars

Thursday, June 1, 2017

*ARC* Keeping Kyler - Review

Keeping Kyler (The Kennedy Boys #3)

By: Siobhan Davis

Published: May 29, 2017

459 pages

Source: ebook, Netgalley ARC from author 

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
The captivating third book in the Kennedy Boys series concludes Faye and Kyler's love story.

Nothing or no one will keep them apart…

Kyler Kennedy is in the wind. 

Shocked and upset, he has taken off on a solo mission—to track down his mom’s ex and demand answers. 

Faye understands what it’s like to have your world turned upside down. Determined to support her boyfriend, she gives chase. Yet nothing could prepare her for the ugly truth. Ky has always been plagued with inner demons, and as he falls apart, Faye finally discovers what he’s been hiding from her—from everyone. 

When serious accusations arise, Kyler’s future hangs in the balance. But Kennedys stick together in times of crisis, and they rally around him now. 

At least there is nothing to prevent Faye and Ky from being together. They go public with their relationship, but not everyone is thrilled for them. Enemies reappear, and fresh battle lines are drawn, but Faye is ready to fight back. 

No one is taking her new family from her.

Especially not a manipulative ex. 

With time running out for Kyler, Faye takes matters into her own hands. 

But when you play with fire, you risk getting burned.

**********

Please note this series is only suitable for readers age 17+ due to mature content and themes. The first three books in this series must be read together but, thereafter, every book will work as a standalone with an HEA and no cliff hanger.
MY REVIEW:
This series has been an enjoyable journey, though tough for me in some aspects with certain themes early on. All along the way I have been a fan of Kyler and Faye and so reading their story till the end was a must for me!

Book two, Losing Kyler, ends in a cliffhanger so book three picks up right where it ended. Kyler has a revelation thrown at him that he wasn't expecting and he leaves his family, and Faye, to clear his head without telling them where he's going or when he will return. What he thinks is best is to not bring Faye into more drama after everything she's been through. But Faye, loving him as she does and knowing he needs someone to lean on, goes after him with his brother Kalvin. Part of this journey brings about major disappointment for Kyler but it also brings Faye and Kyler closer together as she tries to help him heal from deep emotional wounds he's been carrying around for 8 years. She is the one person he feels he can completely confide in.

Just when you think their happily-ever-after is nearing, they are hit with problem after problem. One of the things this series does is it never makes it too easy on the characters. They are constantly battling manipulation, drama, lies, deceit, secrets and scandal. It's a modern-day soap opera filled with everything one loves about contemporary romances!

Check out my reviews are the first two books in this series:
Finding Kyler
Losing Kyler

As the Goodreads summary explains, this part of the series was meant to be a trilogy and any books coming after will be standalone books. Therefore, I'm listing this one as a series ender.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance complimentary copy of this book.

Fans of authors such as Erin Watt, Abbi Glines, and K.A. Tucker will eat this one up!

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
Why does it take the threat of losing someone to make you appreciate them in the way you should?

"They are far from perfect, but they're my far from perfect."

Life is too precious to waste a single second worrying about something that may or may not happen, or being too afraid to take a risk.

"You're my forever girl, Faye."

"Relationships don't come with guarantees."

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Thursday, May 25, 2017

*ARC* It Started With Goodbye - Review

It Started With Goodbye

By: Christina June 

Published: May 9, 2017 by Blink

272 pages

Source: ebook, Netgalley ARC from publisher 

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

A modern play on the Cinderella story arc, Christina June’s IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE shows us that sometimes going after what you want means breaking the rules.
MY REVIEW:
My top two favorite Disney movies/stories are Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. So yeah, I'm a sucker for any book that has these themes. It always sucks me in. I'm also a cover snob....but this cover didn't really intrigue me all that much.

I'm not so sure I would have described this as a "modern play on Cinderella". There are some similarities....a step mother that our MC, 16 year old Tatum, isn't close to. A grandmother (step) that happens to be extra kind towards Tatum and is made mention that she is "like a fairy godmother" and a stepsister that she isn't close to. But that's about where the similarities end. Dad goes away for the summer with his job and the mean stepmother is in charge of Tatum. Being about as grounded as you can get, she is only allowed to babysit and do her community service hours. She has started a graphic design business at the insistence of a friend, but she keeps this hidden from her stepmother. During one of her step-sister's ballet events at her prestigous private school, she uses the opportunity to leave business cards to try to get more clients. While there she meets a very charming, handsome guy, but never gets his name. In the course of time she starts getting emails from interested students from the school that she advertised her services at, and among them is a cello player whose emails to her verge on the flirtatious side.

I found the first 25% of the book to be rather slow. It really didn't get me interested until about 40% in. The reason is that I most definitely want a love story with my books. It felt like an introduction to a male prospect took longer than it should have in the beginning of the story...and that was an assumption that the first male introduced to our main character would be "the male". But I pushed on to see what more the story would bring. Even at 85% there is still no real romantic storyline. What does develop into one happens within the last 10% of the book.

Due to the amount of time Tatum is emailing, she spends a lenghty portion of brain power contemplating how to sign her emails, which valediction is best. This got annoying to me because it was mentioned EVERY time she sent an email.

The story has a theme more on the lines of what miscommunication and misunderstanding can bring about in relationships. I would recommend this book for middle school and high school age readers. The content and language are both very minor in nature.

Favorite Quotes:
"It's always better to do difficult tasks with friends."

"Do not underestimate the power fear has over our choices."

Yours in music and marshmallows, Seamus.

Language Rating: 1 (light)
Mature Content Rating: 1 (light)
Final Rating: 3 stars

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