Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #119

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.

Library:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Fracture by Megan Miranda

For Review:
All the Rage by Courtney Summers

Soul Crossed by Lisa Gail Green

A Million Times Goodnight by Kristina McBride

Honeytrap by Crystal Green

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cover Reveal Sign-Up for The Dark Dreamer


A brand new book will be released by me this March and I can't tell you how excited I am for you to read this one! This is a story I've been playing around with for a long time now and I've finally gotten the characters out of my head and on paper. I've created a sign-up sheet for the cover reveal on February 13 here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1_pUIMusIV9azPjDUkutrKZoqPOISpuebZTOFkM2Hm6Y/viewform?usp=send_form


I'm offering a $25 Gift Card Giveaway as part of the event, so make sure you sign up to share the cover in order to receive extra entries. The cover is stunning and was put together by Marisa from Cover Me, Darling. 


Summary:

For as long as she can remember, Rebekah Clayton’s life has been dictated by her dreams. As a dream interpreter, she has become privy to her clients’ deepest and darkest secrets. Affairs, financial ruin, even murder—nothing shocks her anymore. But Grant Raskin’s dreams are unlike any she has heard before.

If Rebekah’s interpretation is right, Grant has foreseen the end of the world. A plague is coming and everyone Rebekah cares about will succumb to the illness. And Grant can trace the origin of the disease back to two men: Dr. Mark Holman and his son Drew.

Grant enlists Rebekah to track down the Holmans and determine their connection to the viral outbreak. But uncovering Drew Holman’s secrets will lead her down a dangerous path—unearthing a deadly conspiracy she never could have predicted.

The first book in a two-part series from bestselling romance author Heather Topham Wood.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Guest Review: Chase Me by Tessa Bailey


Summary:

College drop-out, Roxy Cumberland, moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actress, but her dwindling bank account is quickly putting the kibosh on that fantasy. To make some quick cash, she signs up to perform singing telegrams. Her first customer is a gorgeous, cocky Manhattan trust-funder if she ever laid eyes on one. And what could be more humiliating than singing an ode to his junk, courtesy of his last one night stand? Maybe the fact that she’s dressed in a giant, pink bunny costume...

After a night out to celebrate winning his last case, lawyer Louis McNally II isn’t prepared for the pounding in his head or the rabbit serenading him from the front door. But the sassy wit and sexy voice of the girl behind the mask intrigues him, and one look at her stunning face—followed by a mind-blowing kiss against his doorjamb—leaves Louis wanting more.

Roxy doesn’t need a spoiled rich boy who’s had everything in life handed to him on a Tiffany platter. But there’s more to Louis than his sexy surface and he’s determined to make Roxy see it...even if it means chasing her all over NYC.

Publication Date: March 15, 2015


Jessica's Review:

I really enjoyed this book which explains why I finished it in less than a day. It's a pretty quick read and the chemistry between Roxy and Louis was the biggest factor there. I loved all the comedy and I really hope the author expands this story with the other characters in the book. I'd definitely read her stuff again.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

I was so excited to read Earth & Sky based on the summary alone. I adore alien-themed books that have crossover appeal. Although I liked Earth & Sky, I felt like there were a few too many plot holes and it took away some of my enjoyment of the book.

Poor Skylar. For years, she’s thought her visions meant she was crazy. She is super anxious all of the time because she has flashes of things that feel very wrong to her. But she meets Win and he explains away her craziness and tells her that aliens have been experimenting on humans for thousands of years.

The premise wasn’t a bad one, but later on in the book I didn’t really get why the experiments were continuing after the obvious “failures.” But I kind of went with it and got caught up in the suspense. There is a tiny touch of romance, but not nearly enough for me.

There were some slow parts, but since this is a series starter, I think the intention in this book was to focus on world building before getting to the more juicier bits. I think the series has potential and I’ll probably check out the next book to see where the author takes the plot.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Soulprint by Megan Miranda

Summary:

Alina Chase has been contained on an island for the last 17 years—whether that’s for the crimes of her past life, or for her own protection, well, that depends on whom you ask. With soul-fingerprinting a reality, science can now screen for the soul, and everyone knows that Alina’s soul had once belonged to notorious criminal, June Calahan, though that information is supposed to be private. June had accomplished the impossible: hacking into the soul-database, ruining countless lives in the process.

Now, there are whispers that June has left something behind for her next life—something that would allow Alina to access the information in the soul-database again. A way to finish the crimes she started.

Aided by three people with their own secret motivations, Alina escapes, only to discover that she may have just traded one prison for another. And there are clues. Clues only Alina can see and decipher, clues that make it apparent that June is leading her to something. While everyone believes Alina is trying to continue in June’s footsteps, Alina believes June is trying to show her something more. Something bigger. Something that gets at the heart of who they all are—about the past and the present. Something about the nature of their souls.

Alina doesn’t know who to trust, or what June intends for her to know, and the closer she gets to the answers, the more she wonders who June was, who she is, whether she’s destined to repeat the past, whether there are truths best kept hidden—and what one life is really worth.

Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Soulprint was a book I absolutely adored. What a cool premise: individuals are paying for the crimes committed by their past selves! I thought the book was suspenseful and I loved the twists the author threw into the story to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Alina was such a relatable main character. I could really feel for her as she tried to distance herself from the crimes of her past self. Although she feels a connection to June, she is resentful for having to pay for the mistakes made by June. A part of the book involves Alina figuring out the mysteries surrounding June’s young and tragic death.

The book is fast-paced and I liked that the action starts from the very beginning chapter. Alina’s escape is dangerous and full of shadowy figures who are never to be fully trusted. Once she’s off the island, the uncertainty continues.

The secondary characters were fabulous. I loved the romance in the book. I thought the book was headed into love triangle territory and I was so glad the author decided not to go that route.  

The only critical thing I could say about Soulprint is that I wish there was going to be more books! Although the conclusion wrapped everything nicely, I want to read so much more about Alina and Cameron.

Rating: 5/5 Stars


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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #118

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.

Library:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

For Review:
Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durrant

Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

My Daylight Monsters by Sarah Dalton

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review and Blog Tour Stop: Angel Dreams by Jody A. Kessler

New Release from Jody A. Kessler - Blog Tour & Giveaway! Both novels in this award-winning series will be on sale for only .99 cents for a limited time.

AD tour - Official -resized

Supernatural boundaries will be crossed as Angel of Death, Nathaniel Evans, risks his eternal soul to save the one he loves, the paranormally gifted and nature-loving, Juliana Crowson.

While working with a new client, Nathaniel finds out that pissing off a demon-wielding warlock in order to help a suicidal teen with misplaced sexual tendencies may be the last thing he ever does as an angel. Unable to stand aside, Juliana’s involvement in Nathaniel’s new case quickly develops into a misadventure with gun-toting bikers, table dancing, and a shamanic exorcism performed by her temperamental Native American friend, Chris Abeyta.

Can Nathaniel and Juliana’s love endure blood-letting rituals in the forest while helping a terrified teen find the will to live, or will fate and the rules of the afterlife tear them eternally apart?

Angel Dreams drop shadow 1600 x 2400
Read an Excerpt from the Novel

The melting butter sensation had made its way to my back and is creeping north and south simultaneously. In another minute I’m going to be a warm puddle. “An Irish Dullahan is a being that comes at night, he’s headless, and forewarns of death.”

“Ah, maybe that is what I used to be, but definitely not anymore.”

His velvet rich voice caresses me from the inside out. I can feel his strength pulsing through his fingertips as he strokes my palm. His clean scent lingers in the air and I let myself drift away with the symphony of sensation.

“Sweet vixen, are you all right?”

“Hmmm?”

“Are you falling asleep?”

“No, why?”

“Your eyes are closed, love.”

“It’s fine. Please don’t stop, Nathaniel.” There it is again, a part of my brain notes, speaking without my permission.

He raises my hand to his lips and kisses the heel of my palm, then the inside of my wrist and up my forearm to the inside of my elbow. The top of my shoulder becomes his next destination and then along the edge of my collarbone. I want to protest — remember, taking things slow — but the jelly which my insides have turned into must include my voice box because recognizable sounds are no longer possible. Feather soft tickling on the side of my neck leaves me breathless, and all reason has now left the building. Somehow my hands have joined my betraying mouth and are doing things without my consent, like they have a separate mind of their own, even though I can still feel what they feel. Strong cords run up the back of his neck. The thick waves of his hair are soft and scrumptious between my fingers. My hand wraps around the base of his skull as he teases the underside of my jaw with his too warm mouth. My other hand moves over his muscular shoulder and down his back. He’s so strong and so solid.

At some point I must have pulled him on top of me because I’m suddenly aware of the smell and feel of crushed grass beneath me. My ear is being nibbled and I can hardly breathe, not because of the weight of him, but because of the sheer excitement and the rush of blood pounding through me. It’s taken my breath away. Turning my face to find his mouth, he’s all too agreeable to meet me. My self-control has become as distant as yesterday’s breeze.

“You have the most kissable mouth I’ve ever seen,” he whispers and then proceeds to prove his statement.

Nathaniel is strong and gentle and urgent and tender. I send out a silent prayer to Father Time to let this perfect moment last forever. How did I not know kissing could be like this?

AD tour sale - Official

About the Author

When Jody isn’t navigating the terrain of her imagination and writing it down, she can be found exploring the wilderness of Colorado with her family, or in the kitchen baking 032cookies & brownies - and then trying not to eat them all. She’s passionate about continuing to learn and reads anything and everything that catches her interest. Jody is a full time mom, a Reiki Master, and has taught Hatha yoga for over a decade.

Jody’s debut novel, Death Lies Between Us, is the winner of RomCon’s Readers’ Crown award for best Paranormal Romance in 2014. She is currently working on a historical time travel series set in Montana in the 1860’s. The first book in the series, The Night Medicine, will be published in March 2015.

Jody A. Kessler invites you to visit with her at: www.JodyAKessler.com, or on Facebook & Twitter

For a chance to win a $10 amazon gift card or a signed paperback of the Death Lies Between Us (An Angel Falls, #1) please enter the rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see a complete list of tour stops, please click here: http://jodyakessler.com/newsevents/

My Review:

I was slightly nervous going into Angel Dreams. I had read Death Lies Between Us over a year ago and with so many books since then, I thought I’d have a hard time getting into the plot. This wasn’t the case at all. Actually, I feel like this book could be read as a standalone and a reader could easily get drawn into the paranormal plot.

Nathaniel was my favorite character from the last book, so I was glad to see him back and in fine form (well at least most of the time). Honestly, his relationship with Jules turns me into a big pile of mush and I had a cheesy grin on my face during the times they’re relationship was “on.” They had a lot of drama thrown at them in this book, but overall I was happy with how things concluded.

Jules is a good character. She’s funny and I liked how she was able to tap into her inner strength when faced with adversity. The plot of this book was a little darker than the first in the series, but I felt like there were enough lighter moments to not make the book too heavy of a read.

The secondary characters were well developed and I liked most of them. I wasn’t a huge fan of shaman Chris. Just the way he spoke to Jules made me want to slap up side the head. In the beginning, he says something like “Stop being so na├»ve, woman!” He wasn’t on my good side from then on.

I liked the pace a lot in this book. Book number one set up characterizations and provided background on the paranormal world Kessler has created. This paranormal world is expanded on in Angel Dreams in a very natural way.

Overall, I’d recommend the book for readers of YA and adult paranormal romance. The romance part is very innocent, but I still like reading books where the romance is angsty with lots of longing looks and innocent hand holding.

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review: The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford

Summary:

An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep —in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia's death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind - or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge. 

Publication Date: March 17, 2015

I’ve been on a bit of a psychological suspense kick lately, so I was happy to delve into The Pocket Wife. For the most part, I loved the story and how Celia’s thoughts were often hard to decipher because of her mental breakdown. However, the ending was a little strange for me and I didn’t completely love how the author chose to wrap up the story.

Most of the book is told from Celia’s point of view. She has suffered bouts of depression in the past and seems to be in the midst of another emotional crisis. During this period, one of her neighbors is found dead. Celia tries to figure out if she’s responsible while also battling her paranoid delusions.

I loved the writing style in The Pocket Wife. There’s almost an ethereal quality to the way Celia views the world. I thought the narrative would confuse me, but I found myself still able to connect with Celia and empathize. I thought the secondary characters were riveting and I found myself really despising Celia’s husband as he continually took advantage of her mental illness.

The pacing was good and I never found myself bored. The only aspect of the book I really didn’t like was the conclusion. The mystery was wrapped up well enough, but it felt very anti-climatic. I was expecting more of an explosive ending to such a powerful story.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

Summary:

A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn't. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.

Publication Date: February 24, 2015


This was an interesting book and although I thought I’d be suckered in by the horror surrounding a school shooting, I actually found the other elements of the book more riveting than the central plot. I thought Finding Jake did a good job of examining traditional sex roles in society and what it means for families who don’t follow the “norm.”

Simon was a surprisingly relatable narrator. I find male characters hard to connect with sometimes, but that wasn’t the case here. I thought the author was incredibly insightful when it came to discussing parenting and specifically parenting children who are different from others. Simon wants to embrace his son’s differences, but also can’t seem to help pushing him to fit in with the “normal kids.”

I thought Simon’s plight as a stay at home dad was realistically portrayed. He wasn’t whiney about his life, but I did feel like his sensitivities were justified. Even today, there is a natural inclination for society to dictate who “brings home the bacon and who fries it up.” The best parts of the novel for me were his struggles to help him and his son fit in to a seemingly close-minded neighborhood.

The mystery element kept me engaged, but I didn’t feel the emotional resonance in these sections that I experienced in the flashback scenes. I felt like Simon wasn’t as powerful as a narrator and I found myself actually more curious over his wife’s reactions as the tragedy unfolded. Maybe the hyper-analysis worked better for the flashbacks than the present day scenes.

Overall, I liked Finding Jake and I definitely feel like it’s a strong debut. I look forward to future books from the author.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #117

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.

Purchased:

Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

For Review:
Normal by Graeme Cameron

Bad for You by Abbi Glines

After Hours by Claire Kennedy

Angel Dreams by Jody A. Kessler

Friday, January 16, 2015

Guest Review: Forgive Me by Eliza Freed

Summary:

When two lost souls find each other, are they still lost?

Charlotte O'Brien is lost in the devastation of her parents' death. With her foundation in ruins, she buries herself in an unlikely lover, Jason Leer.

When they're together it's everything, but when they're apart it's utterly frustrating. Can love survive when distance is measured in more than just miles?

Forgive Me is the first book in The Lost Souls Series.

Publication Date: July 1, 2014


Guest Reviewer Jessica's Take:

This story started out well and definitely grabs the reader, but then her behavior and actions made it easy to dislike her. I understand her need to have her own life and to not want to look back with regrets, but some of the things she did with that mind set was just ridiculous. As for Jason, I didn't like how he treated her like a child and I pretty much hated him at the end.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy for review!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Review: His Reverie by Monica Murphy

Summary:

I knew from the moment I first saw her she was the one. The only girl I could ever want.

The only girl I could ever love.

She is light.

I am darkness.

She is innocent.

I’ve done too much.

She is good.

I am bad.

She is my every dream.

I should be her every nightmare.

We come from different worlds. She’s…perfect. And I’m…

Not.

Somehow she wants me anyway. So we’ll grasp at what we can.

Publication Date: July 28, 2014

His Reverie tells the love story of a “good girl” and a “bad boy.” Reverie is the daughter of a preacher while Nick is an ex-convict who had been wrongfully jailed for a year. Their romance unfolds at a gradual pace and it was sweet to read a realistic story of young and forbidden first love.

I like the author’s writing style, but I hadn’t realized the book was young adult. However, I thought she wrote the book in a way that gave it crossover appeal. She didn’t pretend teens never had sex. However, Reverie came off as way too sheltered and it was hard to connect with her character. Nick was more down to earth, although he had some moments where his decisions were not well thought out at all.

This book seemed mostly a setup for future books. Before I started reading, I did realize this would be part of the series, but the cliffhanger came out of left field for me. It will definitely make readers want to continue on to the next book.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Falling for Autumn Book News


Falling for Autumn is now available on all sales channels! Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords! The $2.99 price will only be available for a limited time, so pick up your copy ASAP! I'm also including the link to my Rafflecopter giveaway for a $100 gift card to Amazon!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Falling-Autumn-Heather-Topham-Wood-ebook/dp/B00JMHTHV0

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/falling-for-autumn-heather-topham-wood/1119199413

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/507487

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/falling-for-autumn/id956366987

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/falling-for-autumn-3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger

Love hurts … Sometimes it even kills.

Darkness has a way of creeping up when Ian is with Priss. Even when they were kids, playing in the woods of their small Upstate New York town, he could feel it. Still, Priss was his best friend, his salvation from the bullies who called him “loser” and “fatboy”…and from his family’s deadly secrets.

Now that they’ve both escaped to New York City, Ian no longer inhabits the tortured shell of his childhood. He is a talented and successful graphic novelist, and Priss…Priss is still trouble. The booze, the drugs, the sex—Ian is growing tired of late nights together trying to keep the past at bay. Especially now that he’s met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. But Priss doesn’t like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen…

Summary: February 10, 2015


Crazy Love You has an appropriate name because this book is CRAZY! I love psychological suspense novels like this one and every Lisa Unger book I’ve read so far has been an intense thrill ride. If you haven’t picked up one of her books yet, I highly recommend you do so immediately.

Crazy Love You is a book that I find hard to pigeonhole into one particular genre. It has a bit of mystery, suspense, romance and even some otherworldly elements. I liked how the twists in the novel kept me guessing and I could never really figure out completely where the plot was going. I enjoy unreliable narrators and Ian definitely falls into this category.

The plot moved at a good pace although I felt like the book took me a really long time to finish. While I was reading I didn’t notice the story dragging, but I think it could’ve been trimmed by about a third. Also, some of the time jumps threw me out of the plot because they were very frequent.

The final third of the book was excellent. The plot really came together as Ian’s life starts to fall apart. I wasn’t sure if the conclusion would be satisfying, but I was happy with the way the author chose to end the novel.

Although this wasn’t my favorite Unger book, I still would highly recommend the novel to readers who want a dark thriller with twisted and memorable characters.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #116

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.

Don't forget to enter my New Year's $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. Rafflecopter posted below.

For Review:
The Cage by Megan Shepherd

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

Coral-600 by Roxy Mews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 9, 2015

Review: Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke

Goodreads Summary:

Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters' story. Those girls don't get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing

Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status.

When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time.

While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story.

And maybe even find herself a happily ever after.

Publication Date: October 14, 2014


This book was a wonderful alternate fairytale told from the point of view of the “ugly stepsister.” I loved Imogen and I felt for her as she had to face so many problems that affect teens: self-image issues, bullying, and depression. The author is definitely one to watch.

The book is a contemporary take on the tale of Cinderella. But instead of Cinderella as the heroine, she’s the cruel one that taunts the troubled Imogen. The novel is basically Imogen’s journey to self-acceptance while also learning to move on from the devastation of losing her mom at such a young age.

The secondary characters were all developed well along with Imogen. I adored Imogen’s relationship with Grant and how gradually things progressed beyond friendship.

The author did a superior job of realistically portraying teens and delving into the emotions that drive Imogen’s sometimes self-destructive behavior. I really felt Imogen’s feelings jump off the page as she is faced with the cruel disdain of others. The book will give you all of the feels.

Overall, I really enjoyed Damsel Distressed. The only negative for me was the book felt more geared to the younger YA reader. I got a little bored at times with some of the petty high school drama. I was more interested in Imogen’s inner thoughts than some of the day-to-day mundane details. However, if you’re a fan of realistic YA fiction, you’ll enjoy Damsel Distressed.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Summary:

In a riveting debut novel that reads like Prep meets Gone Girl, a young woman is determined to create the perfect life—husband, home, and career—until a violent incident from her past threatens to unravel everything and expose her most shocking secret of all. Twenty-eight-year-old New Yorker Ani FaNelli seems to have it all: she’s a rising star at The Women’s Magazine, impossibly fit, perfectly groomed, and about to marry Luke Harrison, a handsome blueblood. But behind that veneer of perfection lies a vulnerability that Ani holds close and buries deep—a very violent and public trauma from her past that has left her constantly trying to reinvent herself. And only she knows how far she would go to keep her secrets safe.

When a documentary producer invites Ani to tell her side of the chilling incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, she hopes it will be an opportunity for public vindication. Armed with the trappings of success—expensive clothes, high-powered byline, a massive engagement ring—she is determined to silence the whispers of suspicion and blame from her past, and prove once and for all how far she’s come since Bradley. She’ll even let them film her lavish wedding on Nantucket, the final step in her transformation.

But perfection doesn’t come without cost. As the wedding and filming converge, Ani’s meticulously crafted facade begins to buckle and crack—until an explosive revelation offers her a final chance at redemption, even as it rocks her picture-perfect world.

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

I have seen a trend lately in women’s fiction books where the narrator is unlikable and angsty, but the reader is still supposed to relate to her and sympathize with what happens to her. I loved the plot behind Luckiest Girl Alive, but when you care less about what happens to the main character, I believe a lot of the emotional impact of a story can be lost.

On a positive note, Luckiest Girl Alive is a great story. I love when a book grabs you and won’t let you go and that’s what happened here. The author did a great job of teasing out what had happened to Ani back in high school and how the events shaped the person she had become. The flashbacks scenes were my favorite and I found high school TifAni much more relatable than her adult self.

The book is pretty dark with themes like rape, bullying, and murder. And a few of the twists totally shocked me! I love when an author can throw something at you that you’d normally never see coming. The last half of the book kept me up super late reading.

I guess my main and only issue was my inability to relate to TifAni. She was such a shrew and although her past was horrible, I didn’t think it gave her license to be such a raging bitch to everyone in her life. Her obsessions with dieting and labels were also an annoyance.

I was leaning towards three stars, but as I write this review, I realize there were more likes than dislikes. I don’t agree with the summary’s comparison to Gone Girl, but the book is still a very good read.

Rating: 4/5 Stars


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

Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis

Summary:

The #1 international bestseller reminiscent of After I'm Gone, Sister, Before I Go to Sleep, and The Silent Wife--an intricately plotted, thoroughly addictive thriller that introduces a major new voice in suspense fiction--a mesmerizing and powerful novel that will keep you guessing to the very end.

No one has ever guessed Emily's secret.

Will you?

A happy marriage. A beautiful family. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life--to start again as someone new?

Now, Emily has become Cat, working at a hip advertising agency in London and living on the edge with her inseparable new friend, Angel. Cat's buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her. But she can't bury the past--or her own memories.

And soon, she'll have to face the truth of what she's done--a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far. . .

Publication Date: January 27, 2015


One Step Too Far was such a frustrating book! I was totally suckered in by the summary that dared me to figure out Emily’s secret. But when I found out the secret, I was letdown. I expected something totally different and I felt cheated by the ending.

I liked the writing style and how we got scenes of Emily’s past and present. I preferred the scenes building up to Emily running away from her life. I kept trying to figure out what could’ve been so horrible to make her leave.

The plot was very slow. I felt like a lot of mundane stuff could’ve been left out to move the story along. Plus, there were too many points of view and the constant switching felt jarring and unnecessary.

There were also a lot of horrible characters in the book. Emily’s parents are horrible, Emily’s twin is horrible and for a lot of the book Emily is horrible as well. I liked Angel, the best friend Emily makes after she runs away. I liked that she seemed to found her happily ever after over the course of the novel. To be honest, I think I related and liked the “bad” twin Caroline the most.

I couldn’t guess the direction the novel was going so I liked that there were a few surprises to come. I found the novel’s end unsatisfying although loose ends were tied up. I just found some of the events and Emily’s reaction to them a little unbelievable. There was a lot of potential to the novel and I would check out more from the author.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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



Saturday, January 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #115

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.

Don't forget to enter my New Year's $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway. Rafflecopter here: http://www.authorheather.com/2014/12/new-years-100-amazon-gift-card-giveaway.html

For Review:
Paperweight by Meg Haston

The Replaced by Kimberly Derting

Second Life by S.J. Watson

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams

Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger

Friday, January 2, 2015

Psychic Storm Cover Reveal and Review Requests


So, I'm taking part in my first anthology! Yippee! Psychic Storm will be releasing February 3 and features so many awesome paranormal romance authors! If you'd like to review any of the books in the anthology, I have a signup form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1K1z7yqX7dZiEDNfJ8pmxlqjqR0kt37NbRq0w49wut3A/viewform?usp=send_form

Summary:

From Bestselling Author, HEATHER TOPHAM WOOD –– NEW REVELATIONS –– Life should’ve been perfect. Kate Edwards won the heart of police detective Jared Corbett and is coming to terms with her psychic ability. Things are blissful—until the day she meets Declan Brayden. Kate doesn’t trust the damaged and arrogant seer, but knows combining their abilities would allow her to help more people. When visions of a missing fitness instructor turn into a race against time to save her life, Kate might have no choice. HEAT LEVEL: 2

From Bestselling author, APRIL AASHEIM –– ARMAND –– "Never trust a warlock…” Before Maggie Maddock and her sisters returned to Dark Root, Oregon, a generation of witches and warlocks reigned over The Council -- 13 men and women devoted to holding back the dark they believed would eventually end the world. This is the origin story of Dark Root's most notorious warlock: Armand. HEAT LEVEL: 2

From USA TODAY bestselling author, DALE MAYER –– TUESDAY’S CHILD –– What she doesn't want...is exactly what he needs. Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can't control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she's tapped into a killer--or rather, his victims. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her? HEAT LEVEL: 3

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN –– JUST A LITTLE NUDGE –– Marley Sexton never aspired to be a stripper. But it’s the only job that puts a dent in her mother’s medical bills. It’s also the only job where she feels justified using a little talent she calls nudging. But JC Moreno figures out Marley may have taken the nudge too far. Marley’s not big on trusting people, especially a man with a gun, a badge, and a story that doesn’t add up, but maybe they can work together to both get what they want…if they don’t end up dead. HEAT LEVEL: 3

From NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author DEANNA CHASE, HAUNTED ON BOURBON STREET –– Jade loves her new apartment—until a ghost joins her in the shower. When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn't count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy landlord. But when the ghost moves from spooking Jade to terrorizing Pyper, the dancer, it's up to Jade to use her unique ability as an empath to save her. HEAT LEVEL: 4

From bestselling author, MORGAN HANNAH MACDONALD –– SPIRITS AMONG US –– WHAT HE SEES WOULD SCARE YOU TO DEATH. Cajun bad boy and ex-FBI profiler Jon-Luc Boudreaux is in Paris hunting a serial killer. That's nothing new, neither is being haunted by the victims, but watching the murders through the killers eyes, now that's something new entirely. Jon-Luc is on the hunt for the most diabolical killer he's ever encountered, and Angela Henderson, fashion designer, is next on the killer's list. HEAT LEVEL: 4

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI –– LONDON –– If there was ever a race-traitor job, this was definitely it. Revik arrives in London with a new job, a new home…and new people watching him, seemingly more than he has helping him watch the Bridge, a holy warrior hidden among humans to keep her safe from dark Seers called the Rooks. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Allie has no idea that she’s the Bridge…or even that she’s a Seer. Then she meets Jaden. HEAT LEVEL: 4

From bestselling author, JORDAN CASTILLO PRICE –– AMONG THE LIVING –– Victor Bayne, the psychic half a PsyCop team, is a gay medium more concerned with flying under the radar than making waves. He hooks up with handsome Jacob Marks, a non-psychic from an adjacent precinct at his ex-partner’s retirement party and it seems his luck has taken a turn for the better. But then a serial killer with a gruesome M.O. surfaces--and no one agrees what he looks like. HEAT LEVEL: 5

From NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, C.J. ELLISSON –– VAMPIRE VACATION –– Meet Vivian. She's a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions creates the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true. The powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guest room minutes before the next arrivals. HEAT LEVEL: 5

From bestselling author, HAZEL HUNTER –– TOUCHED –– In the world of Isabelle de Grey, eyesight isn’t the only way to see. When she touches objects and people, she looks into their past. But her gift is equal parts curse. She has yet to find the lover who can accept the brutal truth of what she sees. Isolated and rejected, she is ready to leave Los Angeles and abandon her career when she meets FBI profiler Gavin “Mac” MacMillan. Thrown together when the daughter of a mutual friend is abducted, Isabelle discovers that Mac could be the man who won’t push her away. HEAT LEVEL: 5

Also, don't forget to enter my $100 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway