Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #95

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual.

Rapture Romance Anthology

For Review:
Connecting Strangers by Rachel Carrington

Pieces of Olivia by Melissa West

How We Deal with Gravity by Ginger Scott

Prototype by M.D. Waters

Wide Awake by Shelly Crane

Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

Publication Date: June 10, 2014

The Murder Complex was a solid YA dystopian that I got really into. The premise was so dark and the world building was one of the bleakest I ever read. It was close to too depressing so I appreciated the hero Zephyr and his flashes of hopefulness. Meadow is a very tough heroine and I started liking her more as the story progressed. There was so much suspense in the novel, especially in the second half. I'd definitely recommend the book to fans of YA dystopians with the one warning that there is a lot of gratuitous violence between the pages.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leto

Goodreads Summary:

You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.

Publication Date: July 8, 2014

The Half Life of Molly Pierce was a terrific debut novel! I couldn’t put it down until I found out what had been happening to Molly during her missing pieces of time. I’ve been getting over YA books a bit, but this novel revitalized my love for the genre.

Molly was a great character and despite her psychological issues, including depression, I found her relatable. She was such a well-drawn character and I think it helped that the author wrote the novel in a stream of consciousness style. I liked Molly’s siblings a lot as well as brothers Lyle and the unfortunately named Sayer that come into Molly’s life.

The central mystery at the heart of the novel wasn’t hard to figure out, but there was still a lot that the author kept me guessing over. I would think I had all the mysteries unraveled, but then something would happen and I’d start to question my theories.  

What I loved most about the novel was that although it was dark, there were some wonderful flashes of humor. Many of the plotlines in the novel are depressing and I appreciated the levity. The romance in the book was interesting, but doesn’t overshadow the main plot of trying to figure out what’s happening to Molly.

I really loved everything about this book and can’t recommend it enough to fans of YA contemporaries that want to read a solid novel of psychological suspense.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Goodreads Summary:

Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

Publication Date: August 14, 2014

I was so excited to get my hands on an early copy of Dangerous Boys! I loved the author’s book Dangerous Girls and couldn’t wait to read more of her work. Dangerous Boys was just as twisted and suspenseful as the original and I’m excited to read future books from Haas.

From the first chapter, I was drawn into the dark and tumultuous lives of Chloe, Ethan and Oliver. The reader knows from the start something awful is going to happen to these characters, but Haas keeps you guessing on how exactly the plot will unfold.

It’s hard to talk about the characters without posting spoilers. But I will say they were complex and the relationships between Chloe and the brothers kept evolving. I thought the book was mostly about a love triangle gone wrong, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

The only thing I wasn’t completely sold on was the character development. The book is short and I really would’ve liked more to understand how the characters got from Point A to Point. Honestly, the book was so good—I could’ve read a thousand more pages.

Dangerous Boys is a standalone and not connected to the first book, but I highly recommend Dangerous Girls. I actually think I liked Dangerous Girls a bit more than Dangerous Boys. But both books are awesome and can be enjoyed by both mature YA readers and those who like novels of psychological suspense.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

Goodreads Summary:

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…

Publication Date: July 29, 2014

Hmmm…that was an interesting book! I wasn’t sure what I expected, but it wasn’t what I got. But I wouldn’t say that was a bad thing. The flawed characters intrigued me and I did like the twists that the author threw in at the end of the book.

The Good Girl has a narrative structure that I normally don’t like: multiple point of views and time jumps. However, the author handled the transitions flawlessly. I never thought the switches were jarring and I felt like the way the book was laid out painted a complete picture of the plot without giving away anything too soon.

The characters were interesting and I felt the strongest connection to Mia’s mother. She felt like a real mom who had made mistakes in the past with her daughter and starts to question her entire life after her daughter’s abduction. Mia was hard to get to know because the story is never told in her POV. I didn’t like her or hate her, I just felt a little neutral towards her. It was a little bit of an issue because it made it hard to cheer for a HEA for her. I also was never sold on the relationship between her and Colin.

The beginning and end of the book really grabbed me. These sections were exciting and emotionally charged. I figured out portions of the plot early on, but there were definitely some surprises the author decided to add. For a debut novel, the suspense was very well done.

I’ve read several books from Harlequin MIRA and I have to say they were all enjoyable. If you like suspense novels with a hint of mystery, then you should definitely pick up The Good Girl.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #94

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual.

The One by Kiera Cass

Carter Reed by Tijan

For Review:
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Burning Kingdoms by Lauren DeStefano

Mirror X by Karri Thompson

Friday, June 20, 2014

Review: Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Goodreads Summary:

What’s your worst nightmare?

For Ivy Jensen, it’s the eyes of a killer that haunt her nights. For Parker Bradley, it’s bloodthirsty sea serpents that slither in his dreams.

And for seven essay contestants, it’s their worst nightmares that win them an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at director Justin Blake’s latest, confidential project. Ivy doesn’t even like scary movies, but she’s ready to face her real-world fears. Parker’s sympathetic words and perfect smile help keep her spirits up. . . at least for now.

Not everyone is so charming, though. Horror-film fanatic Garth Vader wants to stir up trouble. It’s bad enough he has to stay in the middle of nowhere with this group—the girl who locks herself in her room; the know-it-all roommate; “Mister Sensitive”; and the one who’s too cheery for her own good. Someone has to make things interesting.

Except, things are already a little weird. The hostess is a serial-killer look-alike, the dream-stealing Nightmare Elf is lurking about, and the seventh member of the group is missing.

By the time Ivy and Parker realize what’s really at stake, it’s too late to wake up and run.

Publication: July 22, 2014

Welcome to the Dark House was a pleasant surprise. Young adult horror books are usually hit or miss for me and I was excited that I ended up liking this novel much more than I expected. It actually reminded me a little bit of Ten by Gretchen McNeill—another YA horror book I enjoyed.

The beginning of the book was very scary. Ivy’s nightmares were disturbing and I felt for her as she revealed the horrors she had been through. It was a great start because I could feel the dread building as I continued to read.

I liked most of the characters and it was fun to see all of the contestants’ unique personalities clash or bond when they came together. Garth Vader (gotta love that name) was a scene-stealer and I loved the sweet earnestness of Ivy’s love interest Parker.

The POV switches made me confused often. I was reading an ARC, so I’m assuming the final copy will be labeled with the character’s name at the chapter start to prevent the reader from having to figure out exactly who was narrating. All of the contestants have their own chapters and I found it to be a little overkill. I would’ve preferred the story to be only told from Ivy’s, Parker’s, and Garth’s point of view.

The scares were good, but not anything I couldn’t stomach (I’m more of a horror-lite reader). The Nightmare Elf wasn’t very scary to me. For some reason, I ended up picturing him looking like Link from The Legend of Zelda games and couldn’t get the image out of my head and it took away from his creepiness factor.

Overall, I’d recommend this book to fans of teen horror. The finale was open-ended enough that I’m hoping there will be a follow-up to give the plot more closure.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Rules of Survival by Jus Accardo

Goodreads Summary:
If you want to survive, you have to follow the rules…

Mikayla Morgan is wanted for her mother's murder. She's been on the run for almost a year now, avoiding not only the police but the real killer. Tired of running and desperate to clear her name, she breaks one of the most sacred rules: never return to the scene of the crime.

Every bounty hunter on the Eastern Seaboard is after the Morgan girl—but Shaun Denver and his partner snagged her. She's a piece of work, and Shaun can't decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her. When things take a sharp turn south, Shaun does the only thing he can think of to keep her close—he handcuffs them together.

As the danger mounts and the killer closes in, the chemistry between them threatens to explode. Shaun and Kayla will need to break all the rules if they hope to get out of this alive.

Publication Date: June 2, 2014

I really liked Rules of Survival! The main characters were so likable that I couldn’t help but cheer for a HEA for them both. It was the first time I read the author and I’m curious now to check out more of her work.

Rules of Survival had a lot of my favorite qualities in a book. There was suspense, romance and humor. The combination kept me reading and I literally finished the book in just a few short sittings. I thought the plot would be heavy, based on the description, but there was definitely some lighter moments that had me laughing.

Kayla was a wonderful narrator. She’s a bit snarky and has some fun quirks about her. She was taught by her mom to be a survivor but instead of being a fighter, she’s more likely to outsmart those who are out to get her. Her personality suited the rough-edged bounty hunter Shane.

Shane and Kayla had amazing chemistry from the get-go. I really enjoyed the love/hate relationship they had going on. I liked the time they spent cuffed together since it was a cute setup for them to connect on a deeper level.

The murder mystery plot was suspenseful and kept me guessing. I thought the author threw in some great twists and turns.

Overall, Rules of Survival was a fun rainy day read!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Guest Reviews: Relentless by Anna Wells and Played by Liz Fichera

Michaela Prentice and Jordan Marsh's friendship began in the worst of circumstances after she discovered his girlfriend in bed with her fiancé. It had seemed only natural to spend time together as they got over their mutual breakups, but she soon realized Jordan wanted more than friendship.

Jordan Marsh knew the minute he met Michaela that he had to have her. Unfortunately she was already taken, but he wasn’t about to let her get away. When Jordan sets a goal he’s relentless until he gets what he wants, and what he wants is Michaela.

As they make the transition from friends to lovers, Jordan exposes a sensual side to his nature that Michaela didn't know existed and can't seem to resist. However, Michaela quickly learns that Jordan isn’t the friend or lover she thought she knew. His world is filled with secrets and she soon finds herself caught up in his deceptions. Is she facing another betrayal?

Warning: This book is funny, steamy and contains sex scenes with chocolate that some readers might find delicious.

Publication Date: March 25, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3.5 stars. The writing was good and the story was entertaining, but it was predictable. And if a guy ever just barreled over me and what I said like he did with her, we'd have some serious issues. LOL we definitely wouldn't be moving forward at lightning speed, I don't care how long I knew him.

This Game Is Getting All Too Real

He said: I like to keep under the radar and mostly hang out with my friends from the rez. But when I saved Riley Berenger from falling off a mountain, that rich suburban princess decided to try to save me.

She said: If I can help Sam Tracy win the heart of the girl he can't get over, I'll pay him back for helping me. I promised him I would, no matter what it takes.

Publication Date: May 27, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3.5 stars. I think I would have given this more stars had Riley been a more like able character, but it gets old reading about a spoiled brat who repeatedly fails to think before she acts. I loved Sam though and he was the only reason I made it through the story. :)

Thanks to the publishers for copies of the novels for review!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Massive 4K Fan Giveaway!!!

Thank you all for helping me reach 4,000 fans on Facebook and Twitter! To celebrate, I'm hosting a huge giveaway with tons of prizes: gift cards, paperbacks, eBooks and book swag! A big thank you to all the authors who have decided to take part. Giveaway is international and ends June 30. Best of luck!

Prize List:
$15 Amazon Gift Card
$10 Amazon Gift Card
$5 Amazon Gift Card
Choice of eBook (up to $5.00)
Falling for Autumn by Heather Topham Wood Signed Paperback
Speak of the Devil by Shawna Romkey Signed Paperback and Swag
Dakota Captive eBook and Paperback by Alythia Brown
Gemini Rising by Louann Carroll eBook
A Shadow of Time by Louann Carroll eBook
Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux eBook
Wasteland by Lynn Rush eBook
Death Lies Between Us by Jody Kessler eBook
The Grave Winner by Lindsey Loucks eBook
The Grave Winner Signed Bookmark
Son of a Mermaid eBook by Katie O’Sullivan
Chasing Shadows eBook by Tia Silverthorne Bach
I, Zombie by Jo Michaels eBook

The Bird by Jo Michaels eBook

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #93

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual.


Bitter Sweet Love by Jennifer L. Armentrout

For Review:
The Real Thing by Cassie Mae

Until Alex by J. Nathan

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

Friday, June 13, 2014

Guest Reviews: Retribution by Amy Thompson and Broken by M.L. Young

Regan Edison has just moved from California, to enter her first year at Georgia Liberty College, the place where jacked up Chevy trucks and hunting are a way of life. Regan hopes to start a new life for herself and she thinks that Georgia is just the place to do it. That is until she meets an unexpected stranger.

Colter Hayes is a member of the Collectors, a group of wrongfully punished lost souls. Colter and the rest of his team, Finn, Kaiden and Devon, work for the Requiem Council who pass judgment on those souls that are neither tagged for Heaven nor Hell. The Council has charged the Collectors with finding the lost in exchange for a chance at redemption.

When an ex-councilmember known to pass Retribution on lost souls sets his sights on Regan, the Requiem Council dispatches the Collectors to Georgia to work as protectors for Regan. The Collectors must fight to save Regan from a fate they know all too well, but can they work to earn back their chance at redemption or are their fates sealed forever?

Who is meant for Heaven?
Who is meant for Hell?
And who is just lost?

Publication Date: June 17, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3.5 stars. I really liked the idea of this story and the characters were awesome, but the story itself was odd. Some parts were rushed where I felt it should have more detail, and some parts dragged where I hoped it would rush and get to the good part again. I'd happily read the next part, but not sure if pay for it as horrible as that sounds.

Bailey Wrenn is a small town girl with a big back story. Her mother left when she was young, leaving her in the care of an out of touch alcoholic father that barely noticed her existence. After trudging through life with no clear direction, she begins to wonder if she needs to leave this scarred memory of a town behind and finally move on. When Bailey hears from her friend Julie that life in Chicago is great and she should come out sometime, she takes that open invitation, and comes to visit her old friend with no idea of when she’s going to leave.

One night, after Julie drags her from the apartment to see a local fight, she sees Kyle, a mysterious MMA fighter with a winning streak and an elusive personality. He doesn’t talk to anybody after his fights, and disappears faster than Bailey can blink. One day during a chance encounter filling out job applications, Bailey runs into Kyle at his work, and the electricity between them is bright enough to light up the city.

It’s only when they begin to get close, though, that things are turned upside down. An old boyfriend and a brutal and devastating past makes Bailey believe she can’t be close to another man ever again, even if he seems perfect. She feels alone. She’s broken.

HEA and no cliffhanger! This is a standalone novel.

*This book is recommended for readers 17 and up for violence, language, and some adult situations.

Publication Date: April 20, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3 stars. The writing wasn't bad and I loved Kyle, but I didn't really connect with Bailey and the story was boring at times. I'm sorry to say that, I really am, but it was just a bit predictable and knowing what's coming makes it boring.

Thanks to the publishers for copies of these books for review!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Fragile Line by Brooklyn Skye

It can happen in a flash. One minute she’s kissing her boyfriend, the next she’s lost in the woods. Sixteen-year-old Ellie Cox is losing time. It started out small…forgetting a drive home or a conversation with a friend. But her blackouts are getting worse, more difficult to disguise as forgetfulness. When Ellie goes missing for three days, waking up in the apartment of a mysterious guy—a guy who is definitely not her boyfriend, her life starts to spiral out of control.

Perched on the edge of insanity, with horrific memories of her childhood leaking in, Ellie struggles to put together the pieces of what she’s lost—starting with the name haunting her, Gwen. Heartbreakingly beautiful, this poignant story follows one girl’s harrowing journey to finding out who she really is.

Publication Date: April 21, 2014

Fragile Line turned out to be an amazing book! I had thought it was going to head in a paranormal direction, but that wasn’t what the plot was about at all. I really liked Ellie and sympathized how scary it was for her to wake up with hours and days missing completely from her memory.

The beginning was a bit confusing, but the good kind of confusing. I couldn’t really figure out what was going on with Ellie and what was happening to her during the blackouts—it made me eager to keep reading. As the story progressed, I was able to guess what was going on and I was curious to see how the rest of the plot would develop.

I liked the romance in the book and enjoyed the angst of whether Shane and Ellie would work out. I didn’t totally love Shane at first, but by the end of the book, he had me swooning. There’s a quasi love triangle in the book, but it was enjoyable and I was never completely sure if any of the relationships could really work.

I loved the writing style and the pace of the novel. The author really had me feeling how confused and heartbroken Ellie was over her predicament. The book flowed effortlessly and I never found myself bored by the plot or skimming sections.

The final quarter of the novel was dark. It was so sickening to see what was happening to Ellie during those lost periods of time. It was bad enough to wake up with a tattoo without remembering getting it, but the rest was so much more twisted.

The novel is YA, but with some of the plotlines, I think it would be better suited for older teens and adult readers. Fans of psychological suspense will likely enjoy Fragile Line.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Cover Reveal for Finding Autumn: A Falling for Autumn Novella Plus ARC Giveaway!!!


Two years earlier, Blake Preston received a phone call that would change everything. His stepfather—a man he trusted and admired—had been accused of sexually assaulting one of his students. His stepfather declared his innocence and Blake chose to stay loyal to the man who had raised him as his own.

Cook University is the one place Blake can keep his anonymity. No one knows about the scandals surrounding his stepfather’s arrest and subsequent conviction. To his friends, he is merely the star running back for the college team and an NFL hopeful. But the life he has built at Cook is threatened when Autumn Dorey locks eyes with him at a campus party.

Getting entangled with Autumn is a mistake. Yet Autumn is the only person who can answer the one question that haunts him: is his stepfather a monster?

Blake conceals his identity and starts a friendship with Autumn under false pretenses. What begins as a way to uncover the truth about his stepfather changes as he grows close to Autumn. His relationship with her calls into question everything he thought he knew about his family. Against all odds, he falls in love with the one girl he’s forbidden to have feelings for. But can their love last once Autumn finds out who Blake Preston really is?

***Not a standalone. Falling for Autumn from Blake's POV. Includes bonus chapters set after the events of Falling for Autumn.**

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Thanks to Mayhem Cover Creations for the amazing job they did on the cover! I love it =) And below is a sneak peak of Finding Autumn!

Unedited Excerpt:

I had thought the night had turned around and was improving, but I understood it wasn’t to be as I returned to the table from the Valley Amusement’s bathroom. Autumn had pulled me out of my funk as soon as we arrived at the bowling alley. Touching her and kissing her was exactly what I needed to chase away all of the other dark feelings. Autumn Dorey absolutely and positively consumed my entire being.

Kissing her did funny things to me. It made me hope for things—things that I probably had no business hoping for. It made me want to come up with outlandish schemes to stay forever inside this bubble I had created for us.

Walking up and seeing Autumn surrounded by three guys had me seeing red immediately. She may not have been mine for good, but she was mine for the moment—and no one was taking her from me without a fight. Moving closer, I was able to make out the discomfort on Autumn’s face and it made me want to hit first and ask questions later.

“What’s going on?”

Autumn gave me a stricken look and I wondered what was going on with her and these three jackasses. They looked like complete tools—tall and skinny with almost a matching uniform of jeans hanging off their asses and Abercrombie t-shirts.

One of the douches came up behind me and slapped my back as if we were old friends. Before he even opened his mouth, I was ready to end him. “Is Autumn your girl? No judgment here, dude. We’ve all been there, done that.”

“I’d watch what you say next. Because unless I hear an apology to Autumn, your teeth will end up on the floor.”

It didn't take me long to put it together that Autumn went to high school with the three losers. I didn’t know the guys, but I knew their type. There were always the big talkers in the locker room who liked to brag about how much “tail” they got. Most of us knew the truth—the only action they were getting involved stealing a bottle of their mom’s lotion and turning on Cinemax after midnight.

The tall blond faced me and he puffed up like a peacock. It was an intimidation tactic and I almost rolled my eyes. If he thought I was backing down, he was out of his mind.

“I’m not sure what you know about Autumn, but I’ve known her for a long time. I was her boyfriend and the bitch fucked around on me the entire time we were together…”

Fuck me, I thought. No wonder Autumn’s parents were overprotective. The guy had crazy eyes and by the way he spoke, he sounded like he was still bitter over their breakup.

“If you’re her ex, then you definitely deserve at least a punch in the face.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: All Lined Up by Cora Carmack

Goodreads Summary:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.(less)

Publication Date: May 13, 2014

This book was so cute! I love Cora Carmack’s books and All Lined Up didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed the slow-building romance between Dallas and Carson. I especially loved that the story was built around Texas football.

I was melting over how Dallas met Carson. Their first kiss at the party was equal parts sweet and hot. Dallas has been screwed over by jerky football players, but Carson breaks the trend for her. Her father is the team’s football coach and that fact has a tendency to make her leery of getting involved with players. Carson feels a bit like an outcast on the team and is driven to play for Rusk University despite being a walk on. Both characters were easy to cheer for.

The pace was good and there wasn’t too much angst between the characters. The things keeping Carson and Dallas apart felt realistic since it involved issues that college age new adults often face.  

The book is definitely more sensual than sexual and I really loved that the two leads didn’t jump into bed together. The relationship developed at a very gradual pace and I enjoyed how both characters grew close as they spent more time together. Carson was definitely a sweetie and I probably liked the chapters told in his POV a tad more than the ones from Dallas.

Overall, a great read for fans of YA and NA books! I love Carmack’s writing style and can’t wait to read more from her.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book for review!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #92

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual.

For Review:
Rules of Survival by Jus Accardo

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

By a Thread by R.L. Griffin

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh O'Brien

You by Caroline Kepnes

Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: The Broken by Shelley Coriell

Goodreads Summary:

He took her life, but left her alive.

Three years ago, reporter Kate Johnson was the first victim—and only survivor—of the Broadcast Butcher. Scarred both physically and psychologically by the brutal serial killer, Kate lives life on the run, knowing that one day, he will find her and finish what he started.

In the pursuit of justice, you sometimes have to step outside the law.

Agent Hayden Reed spends his life chasing monsters. The only way to stay sane is to detach, but the second the Broadcast Butcher case crosses his desk, Hayden knows this is the case that might just cost him his soul. To catch this vicious murderer before he strikes again, Hayden must find Kate and earn her trust. For it's her darkest secrets that hold the key to stopping this madman once and for all . .
Publication Date: April 29, 2014

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a good romantic suspense read and it was the reason I couldn’t wait to start The Broken. The book grabbed me from the beginning and I felt the suspense was really well done.

The Broadcast Butcher is the serial killer at the center of the novel and he was super scary. The chapters told from his POV gave me the heebie jeebies and I definitely don’t recommend reading this book before bed. Kate is one of his victims that got away while Agent Reed is determined to stop the killer.

Agent Hayden Reed was a great protag and I liked how dedicated he was to solving the case. I also found his past intriguing and I enjoyed how the author gave us tidbits along the way to slowly reveal his complicated romantic history. I liked Kate’s feistiness and her relationship as a caregiver to a disabled vet named Smokey Joe. When Kate and Hayden meet, I could feel the chemistry instantly. I did enjoy the angst of whether the characters would be able to get over their issues and get together.

The book is light on the romance and more about discovering the identity of the killer before the murderer closes in on Kate. I figured out some of the mystery early on, but there were still a few twists thrown in to keep me invested. The final third was full of a lot of action that kept me reading until I finished the book.

The Broken is a great romantic whodunit that I’d highly recommend to readers of the genre. The book is the start of a series but it looks like the next book features a new mystery and characters.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Guest Reviews: Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr and The Dare by Hannah Jayne

Tamar Rosenfeld has been in love with New York Leopards linebacker Abraham Krasner since they were twelve years old. She'd always considered it destiny that they'd end up together…until Abe was drafted and she professed her feelings in a moment of blind excitement. The sting of his rejection was like nothing she'd ever felt before, and it's nothing she'll ever forget.

Older and wiser, Tamar has landed a dream job as a reporter for one of New York's premier athletic websites. Determined to stop being the safe, boring girl she's felt like for most of her life, Tamar makes a list of all the things she wants to do and see in her new city, and Getting Over Abraham is priority number one.

But destiny has finally chosen to interfere. Just as Tamar's decided to move on, Abe's realized she's the only woman for him. When he confides the truth, Tamar has to decide if she can put her crush behind her, or take a chance on the very man who's been holding her back all these years.

Publication Date: April 14, 2014

Jessica's Review:

4 stars. I really liked this book and while I may not rush out and buy it, but I've already snagged the others in the series. I loved the friendship between them and how they stood by each other through all life through at them. It wasn't full of drama, don't get me wrong, but if I had a guy stand by me like Abe did with her than I'd still be married. LOL worth reading!!!!

Two jumped off the pier that night...but only one came back alive

Bryn did everything with her best friend Erica. So when someone dared Erica to jump off the pier one night at Harding Beach, Bryn was right by her side. But when Bryn made it back to the surface, Erica was nowhere to be found. Bryn tries to make a fresh start by burying her memories of that awful night. But when a Twitter post from "EricaNShaw" pops up on her feed and a chilling voice mail appears on her phone, she realizes that someone isn't ready to let go of the past...

Publication Date: July 1, 2014

Jessica's Review:

4 stars. There were a few grammar issues, but other than that this was a really good book. I don't usually do the whole suspense genre, it tends to freak me out, but this one just sucked me right in and all the twists made me feel as crazy as the main character felt. I sort of figured out the bad guy before the end, but I didn't realize I was right until the end of the book. Worth a read!

Thanks to the publishers for copies of these novels for review!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Works in Progress Updates and Deadly Prophecy (Second Sight Spinoff) Book Teaser

Here are my current works in progress:
Finding Autumn (In Edits)-Release Scheduled for July
Pretending Hearts (Falling for Autumn #2) (In Progress)
Deadly Prophecy (Second Sight Spinoff) (1/4 Complete-In Progress)
The Memory Witch 2 (In Progress)
I'm not going to post official release dates for the rest of the books since I still have a large chunk of them to write. I will give you a teaser though (unedited) of Declan's spin-off book. This will have spoilers if you haven't read the final Second Sight book.

Before he could ask Kate her opinion on the case, she shoved him hard. His back slammed into the brick siding of the restaurant. He glared down at her as she twisted her lips into a hateful expression. “What the hell was that?”
“What are you talking about?” He held up his hands in front of his body. “I told you what she wanted. Not every case is going to be about someone missing.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about and you know it. You’ve been a bastard since yesterday and just embarrassed me in front of a client.”
“You’re the one who kicked me and made a scene. I was joking with you, it’s how we always are.” Kate opened her mouth to retort, but he rallied on. “I don’t know why you’re so sensitive about getting married to Jared. Maybe it’s a mental problem. Have you talked to your mom about it? Maybe your parents’ divorce has given you commitment issues.”
“Or maybe you’re just a dick. Yes, we always rag on each other, but this was different. You called me fat and made fun of my ring.”
“You act like such a girl sometimes. I always tease you about how much you eat and your relationship with Jared. Stop being so uptight.”
“We’ve been friends for a while now and I know you, Dec. I know when you’re messing with me and when something else is going on. You’re not happy about the engagement.”
“Christ Kate, leave it alone. My life doesn’t revolve around you and your convoluted love life. I said I’m happy for you. What else do you want? Should I throw a parade in your honor? Offer to give you away at the wedding?”
Kate took an uncertain step away from him. “No. I thought you would be my friend and Jared’s friend. I thought you would be a decent human being and realize I’m finally happy after almost losing Jared. I can’t change what happened between me and you, but if you can’t deal with it, then maybe we should reconsider a partnership.”
Declan stared over her head into the parking lot. “We’re good. I swear. Maybe my jokes were tasteless, but I didn’t mean anything by then. We make a good team and it would be stupid to walk away from what we started to build together.”
Kate stared at him for a long moment, apparently weighing whether to accept his half-hearted apology or walk away for good. “Fine, but our business needs ground rules.”
“What kind of rules?”
“For one, no sleeping with the clients.” Declan’s jaw dropped as Kate continued on. “Don’t give me that look. I saw the way you were looking at Jenna and picturing her with no clothes on. We can’t have you scorning women who have come to us for help.”
Declan thought it was a stupid rule, but his relationship with Kate was shaky at the minute. He would give her this to appease her. Making their business a success was more important than sleeping with the clients.
“Fine. My rule is to stop hitting me. If we’re working together, I can’t be worried about your violent urges.”
Kate rolled her eyes. “What can I say? You bring out the worse in me.”

Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: Push by Claire Wallis

I feel like I am wrapped in a cyclone. Everything is whirling around me, drawing the air out of my lungs and filling me with the best kind of turmoil. Every time his tongue slides against mine, a prickle in my gut tells me how right we are together. How much I need David. How much I need us.

I hope the cyclone never stops.

Emma Searfoss has spent a lifetime trying to escape her abusive stepfather. It's why she moved far away from home. It's why she's kept no ties with her remaining family. And it's why she's got a major rage problem. When her neighbor shows up to fix the kitchen in her new apartment, his enigmatic charm calms the fire in her. David is cool and collected, and he makes Emma feel safe for the first time ever. But David has his own chilling past—his six previous girlfriends have all disappeared without a trace. Emma's walking a dangerous line, but David's pull is intoxicating. And impossible to resist…

This is a new adult romance with mature content for readers 17 and up.

Publication Date: May 1, 2014

Gah! This book! I rarely can’t figure out a rating for a book and Push is one these incidences. The story is very intriguing, but the characters were all so messed up, it made me hard to root for them. I was definitely more into the mystery aspects of the book than the romance.

Emma was such a crazy main character. At first I was glad to read about a female not being a pushover, but she wasn’t tough—she was mentally unstable. She jumps into this consuming relationship with a virtual stranger and seems to accept all of his shadiness just because he’s a good lay and tries to beat every man who is inappropriate to her to a pulp. David seemed great on paper: sexy, thoughtful and protective. But from the summary and flashbacks through the novel, it is obvious he is not all that he seems.

A big portion of the book has to do with Emma’s intense relationship with David. I wasn’t feeling the romance because of the characters, so I actually skimmed a lot of the sex scenes. The sex scenes were well written and super hot, but I just felt icky reading them since I couldn’t cheer for the couple to work out.

The mysteries were what kept me reading. The flashbacks were my favorite parts of the book. The prologue and epilogue were also fantastic! The author is super talented and really knows how to draw readers into the lives of these dark and twisty people. Beware of the HUGE cliffhanger though. However, it will make readers eager to check out the next installment.

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!