Review ~ Break You by Jennifer Snyder.

Title: Break You.
Author: Jennifer Snyder.
Genre: New Adult.
Release Date: November 5, 2013.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK ; Amazon

Blaire Hayes enjoys a quiet life, spending her days as a CNA at the local nursing home and nights studying for exams. She prefers things to be as uncomplicated as possible — but when her friends drag her to a party and she bumps into her high school crush, the path of Blaire’s life veers in an entirely different direction than what she had planned for herself.

Jason Bryant created a nice life away from his hometown, putting distance between himself and the suffocating sadness of his father’s death. But when he finds out his grandfather’s health is deteriorating, he decides he must return home. Partying was not on his agenda while in town, but it’s how he bumps into Blaire Hayes—the girl he’d always thought of in high school as an unobtainable pass.

Together the two learn there are moments in life that hold within them all the power to break you…




Review:

Break You is a quick new adult romance about Blaire and Jason, re-connected from their brief moments at high school when Jason used Blaire to get to her friend. I found this book sweet and an easy, relatable book for teenagers and young adults.

I really enjoyed this – it was cute, funny and full of angst at times, always a pleasant read. The characters were great too and I thought the author did a perfect job at making them realistic and easy to relate to. Jason felt like the typical young male – makes a few mistakes but is caring deep down and Blaire and her best friends felt real too. The book felt like it had the kind of situations you could just walk into in real life, and I loved that.

I liked how Facebook contributed to some of the issues in Blaire and Jason’s relationship because it felt real. Social media does impact the lives of young people a lot these days and it felt believable that something seen on Facebook could cause problems.

Break you was enjoyable throughout. I did hope that the ending could have been drawn out a little bit because it felt a bit too quick. Despite this, I still loved reading it. Break You might not have been the most unexpected of stories but for me it was definitely the perfect book to delve into and relate to.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Book Blitz ~ The Opposite of Nothing by Shari Slade.



Title: The Opposite of Nothing.
Author: Shari Slade.
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance.
Publication Date: March 31, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N

Callie Evans would rather hide out in her DJ sound booth than face the fact that she’s in love with her best friend, notorious campus hottie Tayber King.

Tayber turns hooking up into an art form–no drama, no commitment, no lies, and nobody gets hurt. Nobody but Callie, that is. When she sees an opportunity to explore his sexier side using a fake online profile, she grabs it. Now her uninhibited alter-ego ‘Sasha’ is steaming up the screen, and Callie is breaking all of Tayber’s rules.

As Callie and Tayber get closer, online and off, she knows she has to confess. And risk losing him forever.


**For mature readers, contains strong language and adult situations.**



Excerpt:

She changed into a tank top and threadbare shorts before slipping into her desk chair. I’ll just check my school email, ten minutes tops. She was lying to herself, bargaining with the devil. I will not open his profile. I will not send him a message. Making that fake profile for herself last month had seemed like such a good idea at two o’clock in the morning, after a few beers with Jessa and a few agonizing hours of watching Tayber hook up with some random girl at The Brick. She just wanted to know what she was missing. In graphic detail. Sasha let her find out. Except it had only made her wanting worse, and it was such a wrong thing to do. So she’d stopped. At least a dozen times.

But nothing stopped him from messaging her. There it was, blinking away. She should ignore it. Delete, delete, delete. It wasn’t even for her. Not really. It was for Sasha. And she’d sworn she’d never be Sasha again.

Tay: Hey

How could three tiny letters be so suggestive? She could hear him in her head. He’d say it kind of soft, but forceful, like the whole universe of his carnal experience could be contained in one word. She pictured him hunched over his laptop, shaggy hair eclipsing his face, shirtless, bare feet hanging off the end of his extra-long bed.

She had to answer. She wanted him any way she could have him.

Sasha: Hey yourself.

Tay: Why am I always happy to see you?

Sasha: Because I’m awesome like that?

Tay: You are. I’m looking at your picture right now. So beautiful.

Not me. She’d sent him a picture of her cousin, on spring break in Cabo three years ago, filling out her bikini and pulling a duck face for the camera.

Sasha: Not really

Tay: Inside and out

Sasha: Laying it on thick tonight?

Tay: I can’t stop thinking about you.

It was torture. The ninth level of Hell. Everything she’d ever wanted him to say was there on the screen, except it wasn’t really for her.

Tay: I wish I could touch you.

And she was burning, flaming. If he were saying these things in person, she’d disintegrate. She tugged on her tank top, pulling the thin cotton away from her itchy skin.

Tay: Is that okay?

She was practically molting, slipping right out of her skin on the spot. This disastrous attraction might kill her. She squeezed her thighs together and shifted in her seat.

Sasha: I want to touch you too.

Tay: Skype?

Sasha: Can’t, still no webcam.

Shit. This was going to be the end of it, again. Who didn’t have a webcam? She held her breath, waiting for the little indicator to flash that he was answering. A full minute. He was probably frustrated, pulling that mop of hair out of his face now, tugging it into a tiny ponytail. A minute and a half. He’d lost interest. Any second now his light would go out.

Tay: Too bad

She exhaled, a rush of relief that left her giddy.

Sasha: Sorry

Tay: Don’t you want to see me?

Sasha: More than anything

Tay: I want to see my hands on you.

Was he touching himself now? She traced a figure eight over the soft skin below her navel, chasing the flutter building there. She’d never be able to tell him the truth, and this was never going to be enough.

Sasha: You’re touching me now

Tay: Where?

Sasha: My belly

Tay: Lower. I’m touching you lower. I’ve got my fingers between your legs and you’re so wet for me.



About the Author:

Shari Slade is a snarky optimist. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn't toiling away in the non-profit sector, she's writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus.

Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her contributing at Wonkomance, on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr. For new release updates, sign up for the newsletter.


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Review ~ Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa.

Title: Where Life Takes You.
Author: Claudia Y. Burgoa.
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult.
Publication Date: July 31, 2013.
Source: Review copy.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N

Becca Trent lived her childhood next to a cruel woman—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age. The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple of years later, things ended up in tragedy.

Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, but that only work during the days when the nightmares didn’t come back to haunt her. Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now, she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.


Note: This is the first part of a two book novel.



Review:

Where Life Takes You was a high emotion, touching story. The author took the book to places I just wasn’t expecting and her wonderful writing really made me feel for Becca and her story.

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure this was going to be the book for me. It was a bit slow and I was struggling to connect with the plot. It was Becca’s letters to her step-sister Lisa which really kept me intrigued and soon the story picked up and I enjoyed it much more.

Becca was a great character. She was broken, after the tragic past she had endured, but so, so well developed. The author was really brave in expressing Becca’s past, there were a lot of tough, heart-breaking issues which must have been challenging to write. Dan, Becca’s loyal best friend, was a little bit of an issue for me though because I just couldn’t get over the fact that I spent most of the book disliking him. He seemed too weird and obsessive but because he was an integral part of the book, I think he stopped me loving this book despite how incredibly well written it was.

I did love the ending though. Another brave move by the author but a clever one too – it’s surely impossible to read it and not think you need the next book! Where Life Takes You was a brilliantly written, emotional book with a unique plot - definitely worth a read.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon



About the Author:

Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.

Connect with Claudia: Website ; Goodreads ; Facebook ; Twitter

Review ~ Ghost Hand by Ripley Patton.

Title: Ghost Hand (The PSS Chronicles #1).
Author: Ripley Patton.
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Thriller.
Release Date: November 2012.

Download for free! Amazon UK ; Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Black has a rare birth defect known as Psyche Sans Soma, or PSS. Instead of a right hand made of flesh and blood, she was born with a hand made of ethereal energy.

How does Olivia handle being the girl with the ghost hand? Well, she's a little bit morbid and a whole lot snarky.

Her mother thinks her obsession with death, black clothing, and the local cemetery is a bid for attention. But when Marcus, the new guy in Olivia's calculus class, stares at her like she's a freak, Olivia doesn't like it. And when her hand goes rogue, doing things she never imagined possible, Olivia finds herself running for her life with Marcus from a group of men bent on taking the power of her hand for their own nefarious purposes.




Review:

The creativity in Ghost Hand was awesome. It began with such a creepy, action-filled, original and unique opener that I knew I was in for a treat with this book. It was a great book.

I loved that Ghost Hand had a lot of fast-paced action instead of spending lots of time being overly detailed and explaining things too much. The mystery was intriguing but I think maybe I could have done with learning a little more about Psyche Sans Soma. Still, it was fun seeing how PSS affected people and Olivia’s ghost hand was such a cool concept.

Olivia was an interesting character. I liked how she could be snide and had a snarky sense of humour. Her chemistry with Marcus right from the beginning was entertaining and I liked how it progressed throughout the book. I wasn’t blown away with the side characters but I did really like Olivia’s best friend Emma. She was supportive and a loyal friend and was a really likable character. The strained relationship between Olivia and her mother was well developed too and possibly quite relatable for teenage readers, obviously minus the hate of the ghost hand.

Ghost Hand was non-stop action and it was written brilliantly. The ending was executed well and leaves you wanting more. I’m looking forward to reading Ghost Hold and my expectations are high.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Review ~ Falling by Emma Kavanagh.

Title: Falling.
Author: Emma Kavanagh.
Genre: Mystery/Thriller.
Release Date: March 27, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon UK ; Amazon

A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.

Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom has woken up to the news that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

'Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head.'




Review:

Falling was one of those books where I just couldn’t stop reading. I lost count of the amount of times I said one more chapter because there was always a twist that kept me reading. I did lose a night’s sleep reading this but it was massively worth it.

The plot alternates in perspectives, from Cecelia to Tom, to Jim and to Freya. Four complex characters that are all connected, some way or another. The characters were written brilliantly. You didn’t have to like or understand their choices but I found myself growing to sympathise and see where they’d been coming from as you can really get into their minds. You just have to read it to see how their stories work and how the author did an amazing job.

I still don’t understand how this is a debut novel. Emma Kavanagh has a great career ahead of her if this is the standard of book she’ll be releasing. The murder investigation flows wonderfully. I spent the whole time trying to piece it all together and there wasn’t a point where I was thinking – that just doesn’t work. You will probably go through the whole book guessing who has done what and some people will get it right when others won’t. I don’t think that should get in the way of enjoying a book because you have to be interested and you have to care about the story to spend time figuring it out.

Gripping, engaging, tense and fantastic are the best words I can use to describe Falling and I need more from this author, now.

Rating:
*I received an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Review ~ Fan by Danny Rhodes.

Title: Fan.
Author: Danny Rhodes.
Publisher: Arcadia Books.
Release Date: April 15, 2014.

Pre-order: Amazon UK

In 1989, eighteen-year old John Finch spends his Saturdays following Nottingham Forest up and down the country and the rest of the week trudging the streets of his hometown as a postal worker. His blossoming relationship with girlfriend Jen is his only other respite. In 2004 he spends his days teaching in a southern secondary school while delaying the inevitable onslaught of parenthood. Leading inexorably towards the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough, and the worst sporting disaster in British History, this book glides between 1989 and 2004, when the true impact of this tragic day becomes evident.

Fan is a book about personal and collective tragedy. It's about growing up and not growing up, about manhood and about what makes a man, and about football's role in reflecting a society never more than a brick's throw away from shattering point.

Dark, haunting and deeply personal, Danny Rhodes' heart-felt novel explodes with gut-wrenching emotion and exposes how disaster can not only affect a life, but change it's course forever.




Review:

This is how to write a book. Fan is dark, brave and completely enthralling – much more than ‘a book about football’, Danny Rhodes has written a wonderful coming-of-age book.

I was drawn to this book as soon as I was aware of it because I thought it would take a lot of talent and guts to work a sensitive event like Hillsborough into fiction, but Fan surpassed my expectations massively. The book switches between present day and the past perfectly, as we learn about John and how football and the Hillsborough disaster have affected the past fifteen years of his life. I could feel the emotion and I found the plot really thought-provoking and impactful.

I loved John’s journey throughout this book – nothing felt like the exaggerated, false development it could have been. His character felt real and honest and by no means a cheerful, uplifting personality but definitely compelling.

Fan is an awesome book just taken how it is, but as you see the tragedies John saw on his football ‘away days’, it made me consider more the off-field side of the game. It helped me relate to the horrible Bradford City stadium fire, something I wasn’t alive for but a tragedy which affected my family as we lost a part of it. I just don’t think this book can be dismissed as purely a football story. Fan isn’t a book about a man whose life was affected by on-pitch incidents – it handles a much more serious and heart-wrenching side to the sport.

This book was incredible, a harrowing issue but written brilliantly. Definitely the best sports book I’ve ever read and I’d go as far as saying one of the best books I’ve read in my life. Words just don’t do Fan enough justice.

Rating:
*Thanks to Arcadia Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK


About the Author:

Danny Rhodes grew up in Grantham, Lincolnshire before moving to Kent in 1994 to attend the University of Kent (and then Canterbury Christchurch) in Canterbury. He has lived in the cathedral city ever since. After a number of his short stories appeared in magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, his debut novel, Asboville was published in October 2006. Well received by critics, it was selected as a Waterstones' Paperback of the Year and it has been adapted for BBC Films by Nick Leather. Rhodes' second novel Soldier Boy was published in February 2009. Fan is Danny's third novel, and he continues to write short stories. Danny Rhodes was at Hillsborough on 15 April 1989.

Review ~ Waybrooke by Julia Barkey.


Today is my tour stop for Waybrooke by Julia Barkey. My stop will include a review of the book and a giveaway. To follow the rest of the tour (and enter the other giveaways), click the banner above to take you to the schedule.

Title: Waybrooke.
Author: Julia Barkey.
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi.
Release Date: August 16, 2013.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N

Carrie Kent leaves her home in California to help at her Aunt Crystal's institute. There, she meets an interesting group of people with very interesting abilities.

What starts off as a side job soon turns Carrie's life into chaos as she, and her new friends, face a secret criminal organization called E.Y.E who are willing to sacrifice everything in order to keep the group quiet.




Review:

Waybrooke had such an intriguing plot. I needed to pick it up and see how everything turned out, and the plot did not disappoint. I’m just so torn with my review of this book though because I really really enjoyed it and only put it down once the whole way through, but then I feel like I should look at the aspects which didn’t work, regardless of how entertaining the story was.

The book was fast paced and tense – I never knew what to expect next and I liked how the suspense was building as the book went on. I did think that the pacing at times was too fast, though, and the plot wasn’t as developed as it could have been. Things just kept happening with no explanation and people just seemed to disappear without ever coming back. I would have preferred a bit more development instead of some of the dialogue.

My other issue was that it seemed to need re-editing. Even though I think most books I read seem to have the odd spelling or grammatical error, Waybrooke had a lot of little mistakes, especially at the beginning. I’m pretty sure at some point near the start it switched from third person to first person to back to third person again. I hoped this wasn’t going to continue throughout the book and luckily I only noticed the odd mistake afterwards.

I feel like a fair review must touch on the things I’ve mentioned above, but then I also need to say that if I was reviewing Waybrooke purely based on entertainment, it would definitely be a five-star rating. The action was brilliant and non-stop, I didn’t get a chance to stop and breathe but I didn’t want to either. There were lots of twists and things I’d convinced myself were going to happen but never did. Even the ending surprised me, and they rarely do that these days.

I really liked the mix of characters too. Carrie was strong and caring and I did like how she wasn’t just swooning over the male attention she was getting. I loved Matt too. He was refreshing and witty and amusing. Waybrooke is just the start of a series and I was left wanting more. I’m definitely going to pick up the next book and I really am looking forward to more from this author.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon


About the Author:

My name is Julia Barkey and I am sixteen years old. I write because I really can't imagine myself not doing so. Stories, characters, settings and plots are flowing through my mind almost constantly.

I currently live with my parents, my brother, and my two younger sisters in the lovely state of Michigan.

I published my first book 'Waybrooke' in August and am currently working on my next novel. I enjoy family time, playing games, crafting, and talking over coffee.

Connect with Julia: Goodreads ; Website


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Review ~ Miracle Girl by Ellis J. Delmonte.

Title: Miracle Girl.
Author: Ellis J. Delmonte.
Publisher: Hawkwood Books.
Release Date: November 10, 2007.

Purchase: Amazon UK ; Amazon

When her mother is taken seriously ill, Rachel’s life is thrown into turmoil. It’s already a crucial year at school with GCSEs and a starring role in the school play, but now everything is that much harder.

Her family is fraught with tensions and secrets, her little brother lost and needy, her affections and friendships abused.

How does anyone at 16 years old tackle such impossible challenges? Rachel finds a way through with dignity, humour, honest and love, which is why her mother calls her Miracle Girl.



Complete review also posted on Readgig here.


Review:

Miracle Girl was about Rachel and her family, trying to come to terms with the serious illness her mother is facing. I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy it, since the plot tackled things a little too close to home for me, but provided you have the tissues on hand, this book is an incredible story.

The book was written from the perspective of Rachel and she was a great character. She gave a refreshing outlook on the heart-breaking life she was living and although this book was a tear-jerker, the love and humour and caring nature Rachel brought to Miracle Girl made it much easier to read. The plot was touching and accurately written from someone who seems to have real knowledge of the illness handled – I found it relatable throughout.

I loved Rachel and how brave she was, and her relationship with her mum was a real stand-out in this book for me. In their conversations, you grew to learn about both of their lives and they were strong, admirable characters. Baz was also an uplifting character. He was just too sweet and really made me smile. Along with Rachel’s dad, nan and grandad, they weren’t a perfect family but that just made it more believable and interesting to read.

Miracle Girl was a fantastic poignant book. It was a sad story but with added humour and some great characters. Maybe it wouldn’t have the same appeal to someone who hasn’t been through similar situations Rachel faced, but I have, and I found this book faultless.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book to review for Readgig.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon

Review ~ Deep Surrendering (Episode 1) by Chelsea M. Cameron.



Title: Deep Surrendering (Episode 1).
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron.
Genre: New Adult.
Release Date: March 20, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N ; Kobo

She's all about rules. He lives by none but his own. When these two meet, the results could be disastrous.

When Marisol Everly's friend Rory sets her up with Fin Herald, Marisol doesn't expect that it will amount to anything, .but that was before she saw Fin's searing blue eyes and mischievous smile. Not to mention, he seems absolutely fascinated by her mundane life. He's everything that a girl could want, but there's something else that ripples under the surface of his flirty behavior. Something darker. Something that fascinates Marisol, but scares her at the same time. Is she willing to risk falling into an abyss she might not get out of?




Review:

Deep Surrendering (Episode 1) was exactly the opener to the series of novellas I was looking for – full of intrigue and mystery and a plot that could just go anywhere.

For such a short story, Chelsea M. Cameron did a great job at developing the main character Marisol. Even though there’s a long way left in this short story series, we learnt a bit about her family, her studying, her friendships and even her ex-boyfriend. I loved her friendship with Chloe too. The author touched on a lot and it helped me quickly feel connected with Marisol and I liked her a lot.

As for Fin, Chelsea really left me in suspense about him. He’s an interesting character and we still have so much left to learn about him. With that, Deep Surrendering probably isn’t the book for people who aren’t keen on waiting since the fact that it will run over around 12 to 14 novellas, one every month, means there will probably be a lot of small cliff-hangers. For me though, I love this format and I’m counting down the days until April 17 when the next instalment is released.

Deep Surrendering had a fascinating plot and was written brilliantly by the author. It was fast-paced and full of chemistry. The ending was sudden and abrupt but in a good way because it’s left me itching to find out what happens next. I can’t wait for Episode 2!

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon



About the Author:

Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.

Connect with Chelsea: Website ; Twitter ; Facebook ; Goodreads

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Book Blitz ~ The Boyfriend List by R.S. Novelle.



Title: The Boyfriend List.
Author: R.S. Novelle.
Genre: New Adult Romance.
Publication Date: February 10, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N ; Smashwords

The Boyfriend List follows twenty-year-old Reagan in her quest for the perfect relationship after a somewhat tragic spring break breakup leaves her disillusioned about love… again.

Reagan had always prided herself on making levelheaded, practical, analytical decisions about everything. Everything, that is, except where guys are concerned. Which was proven to her, once again, when her “boyfriend” opts to take another girl on their oh-so-romantic trip to his lake house. In order to prevent future heartbreak, she creates a checklist of all the qualities she wants in a man, and vows not to give her heart away again until she can determine if they fit every last criteria.

After scouring campus with her two best friends in her tricky journey, her detective work returns a pile of unworthy rejects, and it seems as though her choices are narrowed down to only two options: the hot stranger who’s inspired her new project, and her best guy friend Ian, who she’s always kept at bay due to his perceived playboy reputation.

Reagan gets more than she bargained for with her new set of rules, however, and is surprised to find that love, and the perfect boyfriend, may have been within reach the entire time. But will Ian’s reputation ruin his chances to prove his worth? And can Reagan let go of her insecurities long enough to even give him a chance?

The Boyfriend List is a light, New Adult romance about friendship, trust, and learning to let go in order to embrace what real love can offer.




Excerpt:

Maybe she needed to get some fresh air, she decided. Go for a walk, clear her head. Anything to distract her focus from her thoughts and reset her mind back on her paper.

Decision made. She shut down her computer, set aside her books and wrapped her long hair into a somewhat sloppy bun on the top of her head. Reagan had contemplated a light sweatshirt to ward off the last cold brisk of winter that clung to the night air in stubborn resignation, then decided against it. But before she’d even left her bedroom, she turned back and yanked it off her bed after all. Apparently she was having a hard time making up her mind about everything that night.

Zipping it halfway up her torso, just below her breasts, she crept quietly out the front door and turned to lock it behind her. A quick breeze whipped its way around the corner and down the corridor, and as a shiver worked its way up her spine, she was thankful she’d listened to her intuition. Maybe she should do that more often.

But just as Reagan turned to go down the stairs and head out on her walk, she was met – nearly head on – by an unexpected sight. Ian stood before her, mildly drunk but mostly sober, looking as surprised to see her as she was to see him. It was clear he’d been out for a night of fun, though she’d seen him far worse on more occasions than she could count on both hands. But it was also just as clear that, once again, he’d come home alone. She couldn’t help the little smirk of satisfaction that turned up at the corners of her mouth on that discovery, though internally she chastised herself at the thought.

“And just where do you think you’re going?” His voice danced over the words with dramatic flair, an indicative side effect of his inebriated condition.

It took her a minute to find her voice. “I need a break.” She finally explained, “This essay’s killing me and I want to clear my head.”

“Nice jacket.” He flicked the toggle of her zipper, and Reagan felt it flutter in her core. “Want some company?”

The flutter was moving faster at the suggestion. His eyes had grown dark, almost as dark as the night sky, and she thought she saw something in them that begged her to say yes. Suddenly, she wasn’t so sure she needed her sweatshirt any longer, since the temperature seemed to have risen up all around her, working a pink tint into her cheeks. She was glad it was so dark out, hopefully he couldn’t tell this time. “Aren’t you just getting in though? You’re probably tired...right?”

Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes... she chanted in her head. The truth was she very much would’ve loved his company, maybe a little too much, but she wasn’t certain she trusted herself around him yet...alone...in the middle of the night. There were too many possibilities, too many temptations that her imagination could come up with. If she acted on any one of them, and was wrong in her assumption, well the let down could be brutal at best.

“Tired? Me?” He shook his head and made a face at the suggestion. “The party was just getting boring. Too many of the same people, not worth the time.” Was he implying that she was worth his time then? Reagan certainly hoped so, considering how long they’d been friends. But she couldn’t help wondering if there was something more behind the words. “So what do you say? Can I walk with you?” And as he tilted his head in that subtle way that only Ian could, a dimple working it’s way into the corner of his cheek, she felt her breath rush out of her lungs.

He’d put the ball back in her court again. Damn him! There’d be no getting around it this time, she’d have to give him a definitive answer. And quickly. Reagan knew she should say no. There was something inside, warning her that it wasn’t a good idea. As though accepting his innocent invitation would somehow change things. Alter their relationship and shift their energies toward one another in a way that could never be put back again. But, when she really thought about it, hadn’t they kind of done that already?

And yet everything inside of her wanted to scream yes, and keep the momentum of what they’d started earlier in the day moving forward. It wanted to let him take her hand in his, entwine her fingers around his, as though it was the most natural thing in the world for them to be doing. All she could manage though was a simple nod, stiffened by the breath she held tightly in her chest. It was almost as though she was afraid to acknowledge what she wholeheartedly wanted, even to herself, because doing so would only leave her open and vulnerable to a future of regrets and failures.


About the Author:

Renee’ Novelle is Preceded by a long line of published family members, including Pulitzer Prize nominated author and Poet Laureate of Kentucky Jesse Stuart.

As a child, Novelle was already gaining recognition for several of her works, and in her formative years, she continued this trend by earning local awards for her short stories and poems.

Inspired to cultivate her talent, Novelle pursued freelance journalism and has found placement of 75 of her pieces in both online and print publications since 2008. Additionally, she has written multiple screenplays, and contributed her savvy, effective writing style to many non-profit and for profit organizations. She launched several blogs over the years, which garnered international attention.

In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. She writes psychological and paranormal thrillers, as well as contemporary fiction and new adult fiction. For a complete schedule of upcoming releases, please visit www.RSNovelle.com

Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, Summa Cum Laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you're meant to be.

Connect with Renee: Website ; Facebook ; Twitter ; Goodreads

Author Interview:

Where are you from originally?

Originally I was born in the tiny little town of Ashland, Kentucky. But we moved pretty quickly, and I grew up almost all of my life in Gainesville, Florida (Go Gators!). Living in a city that kind of revolves around the college there, and is comprised of mostly college students gave me some great material for my upcoming New Adult stories.

Tell us your latest news?

I’m so, so excited to have just released my first New Adult romance! I had so much fun writing this book, and I really hope that readers will be able to connect with the characters. I had originally planned it as a single title, but I’ve received so many requests asking for more of Reagan and Ian that I’ve decided to turn it into a trilogy! I’m really excited to explore the next step in their journey together.

Where do you get your ideas?

It depends on what genre I’m writing in. Sometimes they come from real life events and experiences. Other times they’re inspired by pieces of a news story I’ve heard or something in the community. But lately my muse likes to drop them into my head at 3am while I’m trying to sleep.

What is your writing process?

I generally tend to think of the title first (I work backwards like that), and then form the general concept of the story around that. I sit on this for weeks, months, even years in some instances until I feel like I know the story and characters well enough to plot the whole thing out. After writing a detailed outline, I start the first draft and edit as I go. Then I give it one or two more edits before passing it on to my proof readers/beta readers. I tend to write quickly, so once I have an outline and commit to writing a story, I usually have it done in 2-3 months.

Are any of your characters based on real-life friends or acquaintances?

I think I pull aspects of personalities from my real-life friends, but there isn’t a character that is completely someone I know. I based a lot of Ian’s characteristics, the way he loves and his attentiveness to those he cares about, around the person I’m in love with. They’re very much alike in that regard. And I’ve had friends like Petra in the past who are so outgoing and confident in every situation.

Do you ever incorporate yourself into your characters?

Absolutely! I think as a writer it’s hard not to. You want the characters to be relatable and feel real, so I’m constantly giving them my own insecurities and strengths, and relying on my own experiences to portray a particular moment. But even more than that, I often find that my characters are enjoying my favourite type of coffee or tea, or that the color nail polish that I’m wearing as I write a scene is the color they’re wearing as well.

Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself and if you did where did you get the inspiration?

I designed the overall concept and feel of the cover, but I worked very closely with a professional graphic artist to bring it all together. I understand my limitations, and I think it’s very beneficial to utilize professionals whenever possible. And I enjoy the collaboration of working with someone else, bouncing ideas off each other and watching the process of the image coming to life.

Coffee or Tea?

Coffee!!! I live for caffeine. But a nice cup of tea helps me unwind after a long day of writing.

What do you do outside of writing?

I also still write as a freelance journalist for magazines. But when I’m NOT writing, I enjoy the beach, going to concerts or musicals, trying a new restaurant, or exploring a new city. Since I spend so much time at my desk, I really enjoy activities that will get me outside and active.


Giveaway:

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Review ~ Lover, Divine by A. Star.


Today is my tour stop for Lover, Divine by A. Star. My post will include a review of the book and a tour wide giveaway. To follow the rest of the tour, click the banner above to take you to the schedule.

Title: Lover, Divine (Mythos: Gods & Lovers #1).
Author: A. Star.
Genre: Mythology.
Publication Date: February 25, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N (Lover, Divine is at the promo price of $.99 for the duration of the tour).

Born into one of the wealthiest families in Ireland, Siobhan Law has status, privilege, and a secret: The Greek gods of Olympus and their kingdom in the clouds are real, and her family acts as one of their agents on Earth.

When the beautiful immortal celeste Liam Argyros shows up claiming to have come to Earth to deal in the affairs of the divine, Siobhan finds herself unable to resist his charms. New to the game of passion and seduction, she quickly ends up in over her head, sinking deeper with every attempt Liam makes to win her over.

But Liam’s divine mission is far more complex than she ever imagined and nothing is truly as it seems. Because Liam has a secret of his own: He is Apollo, Olympian god of the Sun, and his mission will never be complete until he has claimed Siobhan’s heart forever.




Review:

Lover, Divine was a fascinating story for me. I don’t read mythology books all that often, mainly because they confuse me to no end. But I did love the sound of Lover, Divine (and the cover) and was looking forward to reading it.

The book flowed really well and I flew through this book, not wanting to put it down. The author wrote an intriguing plot which kept me guessing throughout, and I loved all the twists. As far as enjoying the story goes, I did like it a lot, but there were just a couple of things I wished were different.

My issue was with the main characters, Siobhan and Apollo. It’s not that I didn’t like Siobhan but she was kind of frustrating. She wanted Apollo to be honest and berated him when he wasn’t but she forgave him so easily every time. Apollo I didn’t really like at all and it seemed the first half of the book, everything was solved by him putting his hand up Siobhan’s skirt. I’m sure he was irresistible but… I must say though I did love the side-cast of characters. Rupert and Vicky were great characters and their involvement was perfect. I liked Melissa and Garrett too and thought they brought a lot to the story.

I also loved the action. It was written wonderfully with a few unexpected turns for me. Fast paced and brave, the action made the book feel complete for me and as it was ending, it just kept getting better. I did kind of wish the action had started a little sooner, but Lover, Divine was still a great book for me. It was always entertaining and I actually enjoyed a mythology book without being confused! I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon


About the Author:

A. Star is a fan of dirty passion. She likes to read it, and she damn sure likes to write it. Her first adult romance/fantasy novella is called Invasion, an alien romance about sacrifice. Lover, Divine is the first release from the Mythos: Gods and Lovers series. Future releases under A. Star include, King, Desired (Mythos: Gods and Lovers #2), the Love & Steampunk series, the Purr, Inc. stories, and more.

Connect with A. Star: Website ; Goodreads ; Facebook ; Twitter

Giveaway:

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Book Blitz & Review ~ Lost by Layla Hagen.



Title: Lost (Lost in Us #0.5).
Author: Layla Hagen.
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance.
Publication Date: March 2014.

Download for free! Goodreads ; Smashwords ; Amazon ; B&N

**Lost is a prequel novella to Lost in Us and can be read before or after. **

Whatever might help him forget his past and numb the pain, James has tried it all: booze, car races, fights, and then some. Especially women. College offers plenty of opportunities for everything. . . Especially when you have a trust fund to spend.

Serena spirals deeper and deeper into a hurricane of pain. But no matter how far she falls, there’s no redemption from the overwhelming guilt.

Two souls consumed by their pasts fight to learn how to survive. But all hope seems to be lost.

Until they meet each other.




Excerpt:

When the speech starts, something about her voice is not right. But when I look up from the brochure, I forget about her voice altogether.

Her eyes.

I know that look in them. Haunted and lost.

I sit up straight in my seat and tune in to her speech. I frown as I start to pay attention to what she says. She has some kind of notes in front of her, but she’s not reading them. I don’t think she’s saying what she’s written on them at all. She speaks of hardship, loss, and the ability to put everything behind through hard work. I have a hunch she’s referring to something more than what’s happening here today. Her porcelain skin gets paler with every word. Her eyes become glassy before long, and then she tucks a strand of black hair behind her ear. I’m sure as hell she wiped away a tear.

No.

Someone like her shouldn’t be crying. Hurting.

I suddenly have the urge to hold her, do whatever it takes to stop what is hurting her. Make that look in her eyes disappear, and make her smile instead.

It’s an urge I don’t recognize.

I also have another urge. I recognize this one. The urge to bite that full lower lip of hers, and run my tongue down her neck, all the way to that sweet hollow. And then rip her shirt. Button by button. Better, even. Rip them apart all at once and cup her breasts. Twirl my tongue around her nipples.

Fuck.

I’ve got to get a grip. I’m so aroused I’d like nothing better than to disappear with her into an empty classroom. But I don’t think she’s the type. Her skirt is a few inches too long for her to be that type.

Even if she were . . . I’d like to do things a little differently than usual.

First, I’d put a smile on her face.

Then I’d get her to beg me to take her.

When everyone applauds and she leaves the stage, I stand up and walk to the front, planning to start the first thing right away. After she shakes the parents’ hands, and hugs one of the girls who won, she stops in front of a guy who puts his arm around her waist and kisses her.

On her lips.

The view hits me like a whiplash. Of course she has a boyfriend. It’s not like she would wait for me, the biggest fuck-up among fuck-ups, to make her smile. She already has someone who can make her smile.

Except she’s not smiling. After they break from the kiss, her expression hasn’t changed. Whatever causes her torment, the idiot she’s with has no idea how to make it better. Someone like her should always smile. She deserves someone who can make her smile. And this idiot is far from what she needs.







Review:

Lost is a prequel novella to Lost in Us and it covers the major events in James and Serena’s lives up until they met. I thought it did a wonderful job at giving us an insight into their back stories as it touched on things mentioned in Lost in Us with a lot more detail.

For the first six or so chapters, Lost alternates between the POV of James and Serena and then afterwards their chapters are combined. I loved this format because it really lets you delve deeper into the characters’ lives. I read Lost after I read Lost in Us and I feel like now any detail which was lacking in book one has been explained and I would think that anyone reading Lost first would go into the next book already feeling a connection to James and Serena.

Nothing about Layla Hagen’s writing in Lost shouts out that she is a new author. The plot was beautifully written and the characters are believable and well developed. The ending was perfect as it takes you to the start of Lost in Us, the sequel which there is no doubt you will have to read once you’ve read Lost.

Lost is a great prequel. It’s fast paced, covers the key moments that affected James and Serena’s lives and once you’ve finished, it’ll leave you wanting more. Lost is the opener to a refreshingly good series and I would recommend anyone to get stuck in.

Rating:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Review also posted on Goodreads ; Amazon UK ; Amazon


Check out book one, Lost in Us, below and read my review here!


Title: Lost in Us.
Author: Layla Hagen.
Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance.
Publication Date: February 17, 2014.

Purchase: Amazon ; B&N

Serena has learned to live with her past, locking her secrets and nightmares deep inside her. But when her boyfriend of six years abruptly leaves her, she’s catapulted back into pain, nursing a broken heart. When indulging in mountains of chocolate doesn’t work, Serena decides the best way to deal with her shattered heart is to indulge in something else. A rebound . . .

The night she swaps her usual Sprite for tequila, she meets James. The encounter is breathtaking.
Electrifying.
And best not repeated.

James is a successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. A man who has amassed a fortune by taking risks. A man who has shunned commitment completely, and still does. He’s the exact opposite of Serena. But sometimes opposites attract. Sometimes they give in to burning passion. Sometimes opposites are perfect for each other.

James is everything her damaged soul could want. His kisses are intoxicating, his touch out of this world. He makes her forget. He grants her peace from her pain. But as they grow closer, Serena discovers she isn’t the only one with a past. James carries the scars of a past much darker than hers. One that has left him damaged, hurt, and wary of love. A past that gives him the power to shatter her.

Now James and Serena must find a way to mend one another. Or risk losing each other forever.




About the Author:

My name is Layla Hagen and I am a New Adult Contemporary Romance author.

I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later.

I write romantic stories and can’t wait to share them with the world.

And I drink coffee. Lots of it, in case the photo didn’t make it obvious enough.

Connect with Layla: Website ; Goodreads ; Facebook ; Twitter

Giveaway:

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