Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Review: Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

Summary:

Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet— a story of survival…and revenge.

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives.

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past.

This time there’s nowhere left to run.

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil

Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Those Girls is a tough book for me to rate. I think my main issue is that I read other novels by the author before and absolutely adored them. I don’t think Those Girls is poorly written, but for some reason I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I would have liked.

The Campbell sisters have seriously screwed-up lives. The beginning really grabbed me and I would say that portion was my favorite part of the entire book. The awful stuff that goes down between the sisters and their father really turned my stomach. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.

The suspense in the book kept me hooked and there were a lot of situations when I wasn’t sure if the sisters were going to make it out alive. The abuse scenes are not for the faint of heart and it was especially hard knowing all that the young girls had already endured.

Although the characters felt a little two-dimensional to me, especially the villains, I still kept reading the novel. The climax is tense and the epilogue wrapped up the story well. I would recommend the book to fans of psychological suspense with the suggestion of reading the author’s Still Missing first.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review: If You're Lucky by Yvonne Prinz

Summary:

When seventeen-year-old Georgia’s brother drowns while surfing halfway around the world in Australia, she refuses to believe Lucky’s death was just bad luck. Lucky was smart. He wouldn’t have surfed in waters more dangerous than he could handle. Then a stranger named Fin arrives in False Bay, claiming to have been Lucky’s best friend. Soon Fin is working for Lucky’s father, charming Lucky’s mother, dating his girlfriend. Georgia begins to wonder: did Fin murder Lucky in order to take over his whole life?

Determined to clear the fog from her mind in order to uncover the truth about Lucky’s death, Georgia secretly stops taking the medication that keeps away the voices in her head. Georgia is certain she’s getting closer and closer to the truth about Fin, but as she does, her mental state becomes more and more precarious, and no one seems to trust what she’s saying.

As the chilling narrative unfolds, the reader must decide whether Georgia’s descent into madness is causing her to see things that don’t exist–or to see a deadly truth that no one else can.

Publication Date: October 20, 2015


If You’re Lucky surprised me in several ways. I thought I knew where the plot was going, but the author took it in a completely different direction. It wasn’t the story I wanted per se, but I did end up liking the book and found myself eager to finish Georgia’s story.

I thought the author did a good job of telling the story from Georgia’s point of view. We learn early on that she is suffering from a serious mental illness, so it was quite difficult to figure out what parts of her account was real and not. I actually think Georgia’s struggles in therapy and the trials of finding the right combination of medication was the strongest aspect of the novel.

Georgia’s grief was another part of the story that strengthened my connection to her character. Her medication prevents her from feeling too much and she laments over her inability to grieve. Her trying to come to terms with losing the brother she loved so much was heartbreaking.

The mysteries surrounding Fin was just okay for me. He definitely came off as creepy, but I never felt enough menace about his character. I’m assuming my indifference about him came from the author wanting the readers to figure out on their own whether or not Fin is a bad guy. But it also had the effect of taking away from the overall suspense of the story.

I did like If You’re Lucky and I would recommend the novel to fans of contemporary and realistic YA fiction.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

Review: We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

Murder.

Fire.

Revenge.

That’s all seventeen-year-old Alice Monroe thinks about. Committed to a mental ward at Savage Isle, Alice is haunted by memories of the fire that killed her boyfriend, Jason. A blaze her twin sister Cellie set. But when Chase, a mysterious, charismatic patient, agrees to help her seek vengeance, Alice begins to rethink everything. Writing out the story of her troubled past in a journal, she must confront hidden truths.

Is the one person she trusts only telling her half the story? Nothing is as it seems in this edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller from the debut author Emiko Jean.

Publication Date: October 6, 2015


This was a good YA debut with solid writing. I liked the characters and the setting definitely upped the creepiness factor. My main issue was guessing the twist very early on in the novel. Since I knew exactly where the story was going, it took away some of my overall enjoyment.

The prologue in We’ll Never Be Apart is strong and definitely pulled me into the story of Alice, Cellie and Jason. I enjoyed reading from Alice’s point of view since I could tell from the beginning she’s not a reliable narrator. The secondary characters are never really fully developed, especially the staff and patients in the mental health hospital.

The plot was interesting and I really enjoyed the diary entries that Alice recorded as part of her therapy. Her past was difficult to read about as she went in and out of foster homes and sometimes ended up in very abusive situations. The story behind how she wound up in foster care was truly chilling. The flashbacks didn’t hurt the pacing since it made me more invested in Alice’s story.

My main complaint is that a lot of the suspense in the story depended on the twist. If the clues were a little subtler, I think the book would have been a much stronger read. Overall, I liked We’ll Never Be Apart and I wouldn’t hesitate to read another book by the author.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Guest Review: The Way We Fall by Cassia Leo



Summary:

Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.

Publication Date: February 20, 2015

About Guest Reviewer Joanna:

Joanna Franklin Bell is a writer living outside Baltimore, MD. Her articles can be read in "Baltimore Magazine" and various Patch.com sites; her award-winning short story can be found on the "Single Dad Laughing" blog; and her books can be found on Amazon. "Muse: A Cat's Story" is her children's chapter book, "Mrs. Just-So" is her children's picture book, and "Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski" and "That Birds Would Sing" are her novels. Her third novel, "See No Demons, Hear No Demons" will be released in 2016. Catch up with Joanna on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/JoannaFranklinBell

Joanna's Review:

Strap in, sisters, I'm in a real mood after reading this book. I begrudge every one of the five stars I am awarding "The Way We Fall" by Cassia Leo because in my heart, I gave it one star, and wished it could have been zero. Why? Because I don't like romance novels. I've learned this about myself. I've always been able to appreciate great writing in ANY genre, but I was so annoyed with every cheap character, every over-scripted argument, every predictable story arc, every gratuitous sex scene… that I began to realize that most likely, I hated it all BECAUSE it was a romance novel, and not because it was horribly written.

Don't get me wrong. I'm quite sure it was horribly written. But since I cannot be impartial on that subject anymore, I would never punish a book, or an author, or readers, with my close-mindedness. "I read this book about cats. Well I hate cats, so I gave it one star." You know? I won't be that reviewer. So let's assume that all the reasons I might have hated this book might be all the reasons that a true fan of the romance genre would love this book, and we'll go from there.

Rory is a 24-year-old girl who’s a born-again virgin, more or less, since the one man she's been with is the one man she's loved since childhood and the one man who dumped her horribly and she's never moved on. Or, in romance terms, he was the one throbbing erection in her pulsating womanhood… or something. Houston is her ex-boyfriend, who magically appears in her life again, and seems to be named just so the author can crack two—two!!—Houston jokes. ("Houston, we have lift-off. Houston, we have a problem.")

The book toggles between present day tension and flashback… tension. These two are always tense. Even during the flashbacks while madly in love, they fight, scream at each other, are as crass as possible, and seem to rut only to bury their anger. Wait, I'm sorry… they make beautiful passionate love because that's what romance characters do after fights where they both behave utterly out of character. But this is just me. There are slowly revealed secrets about why they are both in so much pain, regarding Rory's roommate's suicide, and since the roommate was also Houston's sister, we can see why the two characters turned to each other.

But. BUT. Oh, there's so much more. WHY did this Hallie character commit suicide? If only she left a note… (SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT THE MINOR SPOILER) If only she left a note that WEREN'T WRITTEN LIKE ANOTHER ROMANCE CHAPTER. Omg, people, when the SUICIDE NOTE talks about glistening sweat on her ex-lover's back, you know you're reading an author who can't write to save her life, no pun intended. However, the flip side of this is, maybe within the romance genre, this type of thing is just brilliant. Really, I no longer have any idea.

So, other things… Rory's mom is a nightmare, and if you want to write about a mom-character who's a nightmare, knock yourself out. I'm a fan of "Arrested Development" too. But when you are actually trying to paint Rory's mom as a supportive everymom, then… why all the ridiculous inappropriate dialogue? Oh, I know, because the author can't write. And why is the one woman who caused an accident Asian? Maybe the bad guy should be the one black character in the book. Maybe there should also be the token gay party-boy bff… oh wait, he's in the book too. Oh geez. Nothing is original. Not even all the many, many, many pop-culture references, when the characters have inside jokes about this movie and that movie and this movie and that movie and… Cassia Leo is really showing her hand, here, deriving inspiration from every movie from "Lion King" to "Seven" and utterly lacking the finesse to work it in organically, relying instead on stilted references. I cringed, every page. I cringe, now. But (if you're still with me, sisters… Are you still with me? Hello…? Oh hi!) maybe you won't cringe. Because maybe you like romance books, and all this stuff is just part and parcel of watching the girl get the guy, and that scratches an itch we all have, and you're nicer and sweeter and less judgmental than me and maybe you'll like this book just fine.

It would figure I'm on paragraph seven before I say anything nice. So the author finds her stride when she writes the chapters from Houston's point of view. She seems more comfortable with that masculine energy. She also had a snippet of really excellent dialogue (she had several, total, but I can count them on one hand) where Houston and his bestie Troy crack I-screwed-your-mom-last-night jokes and the exchange is totally REAL and legitimately FUNNY and crackles with life. If Cassia Leo is actually capable of writing that exchange, then I will hold her best writing against her. She's capable of doing better than the schlock she's churned out, and she doesn't respect her readers, clearly, since she thinks we're just along for the ride even though it took her as long to write it as it'll take you to read it. But maybe romance readers ARE just along for the ride—we all know the plots are predictable, yes?—so maybe that's not a valid criticism within this genre.

There is clearly no editor – "Gloss Publishing" or whatever is most likely just Cassia Leo hiding behind a li'l LLC she made so she doesn't look all self-published like the rest of us… But those stripes show when she's guilty of every fiction trap that any editor worth her salt would tear apart totally. I'd give you examples of that, but someone might begin to feel that I'm being too negative…? (lol, j/k y'all!) So "Gloss Publishing" sent me a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, which she is sure as hell getting…

So read it, just read it please. I read it, and actually finished it, which is more than I can say for half the books I start. That alone should be worth some stars if I can get over my bias. Apparently it's part of a three-part series so you can watch that relationship arc rise and fall three times in a row! Since that might be your thing as a romance reader! It's NOT my thing, as I've made abundantly clear, and I hope you don't all hate me now. But if this writing is enough to piss you off, then so will Cassia Leo's writing, because I already brought more to the table in this review than she did between her glossy covers.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Release Blitz: Static by S.K. Anthony

StaticBanner
Title:
STATIC
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Luminaries #2
Release Date: September 17 2015
Synopsis: Kevin Pierce is a teleporter, a ladies’ man, and a loyal friend . . . or so he thought.
As a genetically altered Luminary, he helps the government bring down some of the most dangerous criminals. Not very challenging if you have his special abilities. But when a group of rebel Luminaries attacks his Organization the fight for survival begins.

One shattering event after another tests the depth of his relationships, his sanity, and his powers. Emotionally torn, Kevin must choose carefully where his loyalty lies. In the middle of all the unexpected chaos he gets the biggest shock of his life when he’s faced by a betrayal he never saw coming. Angry, injured, and ready to even the score, Kevin goes Static . . .
Add it to your Goodreads *here*
about the author
S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!
Blog ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Google + ~ Pinterest

ABOUT BOOK 1
Being strong is one thing. Being an unlimited source of power is quite another.


Genetically altered by the Organization, Annie Fox takes down criminals CIA-style with her luminary strength. With nothing to mend but her broken heart, she is relentlessly pursued by her boss Derek Lake. Just when Annie is about to give him a chance, her ex-husband unexpectedly comes out of hiding.
A wanted man, Nick Logan is a cold-hearted murderer who is considered enemy number one, and orders are clear: kill on contact. He is more powerful than ever and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. His plan? Get his hands on Annie and use her Kinetic energy to destroy them all. When Annie finds herself with an opportunity to end him, she pauses, horrified by the scars covering the face she once loved. A split second that will cost her everything...
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teaser

I changed Jack’s diaper early on Sunday morning and let his tired parents sleep in. After giving him his bottle, he went back to la-la-land. I then made coffee and sat outside drinking it while texting Ryan. Our training session had been canceled because Derek wanted to see us at the Org at ten in the morning.

I heard a noise inside and went back through the kitchen door to find my tiny sister-in-law trying to reach coffee mugs from the cabinet above her. She was getting on a small step I’d given her years ago as a present.

“Why do you insist on keeping things so high up when your head is hardly past the counter?” I asked as I reached around her to get the mug and set it down. I should have known better. As soon as I did that, her elbow connected with my rib and had me wincing.

“Stop making fun of me or I’ll break a bone next time,” Annie said.

“But you are perfect for it, Anniewee. You’re already fun-sized,” I said, grabbing a cup for her.

“Whatever. It's up there because it’s Nick’s job. Obviously.”

“Go sit down, I’ll mix your cup. Where is he?”

“Sleeping. It was his turn for night duty.”

“Technically you can fix that by hitting him with some energy.” I personally loved when she transferred her energy to me. It was perfect for those all-nighters I was so fond of.

Annie had this ongoing Kinetic energy that could give the rest of us an extra boost to our own powers. It could also give me a certain oomph that kept me energized enough to last me a week or so. Sadly, I no longer got the chance to enjoy the benefits of her powers. I enjoyed Ryan’s instead.

I met Ryan in my last year in training. She’s a sensor and an amplifier. As a sensor, she could tell Luminaries apart from ordinary people, and because she was in tune with other people’s emotions she could tell if they were lying. As an amplifier, she couldn’t do much for herself, but she helped expand everyone else’s powers, times five.

With Annie, it was different: our energies would last a while and we’d keep going. But with Ryan, it was in the moment. She was a drug to us all. The strange thing was that she and Annie couldn’t do anything for each other. They were too evenly powerful in an unbalanced way. It didn’t matter, though; they never went on assignments together.

Annie and Nick were now partners with Derek, and they helped run the Org. But their idea of managing was turning Derek down whenever he brought up something they didn’t agree with. Before they had the baby, they went on assignments frequently and left Derek to run his own show. Adrenaline junkies was what they were.

I looked at her. “I’m telling you, Annie. You two should stop trying to deal with a baby like normal people.”

“No,” she said, taking a sip while the cup was still in my hand.

“Well that’s stupid; you are Luminaries. Take advantage.” I put my empty cup in the sink and smiled. “Speaking of, would you be a doll and charge up my new babe for me?”

She crinkled her nose. “That doesn’t sound like something I want to do.”

“Relax. As a birthday present to myself, I turned in my Prius for a Tesla S . . . S for sexy hybrid car. I can’t believe I forgot to show you guys. She’s like my bride, beautiful in white.”

“You and your hybrids. You could have just plugged in your car the whole time you were here. There’s a reason you installed a charge port in my garage.”

“Come on! Please?”

“If you want to be so environmental you should just teleport everywhere. You know, take advantage of being a Luminary yourself, instead of using me for your shenanigans.”

“First, Ryan is the environmental one. I would never hear the end of her yapping away if I didn’t get hybrids. Second, I have to keep up appearances that I’m normal for those who don’t know our secrets. How would you explain to your nosy neighbors why I was sitting outside if I didn’t walk or drive here?”

“Stop going outside where they can see you.”

I shook my head. “But I needed fresh air.”

“Uh huh, in February?” She raised her eyebrow. “Like I don’t know you were checking out their daughter?”

“Look at me. I run on heat. February air does nothing to me. And she just happened to be out there wiping snow off her car, that’s all. I even helped.”

“How, exactly?” Annie asked, putting both hands on her hips.

“When she wasn’t looking, a big chunk suddenly slid off. It was discreet, I promise.”

She sighed. “Fine, but this is the last time I charge it. And only because I’m curious to see your new car. Stop smiling.”

“You know your special touch will make it last for double the time, right? Your touch, Annie, is the key.” I ducked right on time to avoid her punch.

Footsteps behind me alerted me that Nick was up. “My wife’s touch is the key to what now? Keep flirting with her and I’ll make sure you’re unable to wake up next to girls for at least a month.”

“Whoa, hey, hey. No harm done,” I said, then teleported next to Annie to give her a kiss on the cheek.

“Dunno what’s the use of being a teleporter if you’re going to be driving around,” Nick said.

“I love to drive.”

“You love to speed.”

“What’s the difference?” I asked him.

“Stop it, you two. Let’s go charge your car up,” Annie said, pulling me toward the front door.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: Roped In by L.P. Dover

Roped In by L.P. Dover 
(Armed & Dangerous, #2) 
Publication date: October 19th 2015
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:
Who says a wild heart can’t be tamed?
For years, I lived for the job and let it control me. Violence was all I knew. I protected, killed, and served. My name is Blake Evans, one of the best undercover cops in the country. I thought I was about to live a quiet life on my ranch in Wyoming until an old friend showed up and changed everything. He brought me her, Hadley Rivers, country music sensation and the one woman I couldn’t have. I didn’t want her but she had me completely roped in.
My job is to protect her, to keep her away from some psycho who wants her for himself. However, there’s more to her story than I was led to believe. I promised to keep her safe and I won’t back down . . . even if I have to die trying. I can’t let him have her.



AUTHOR BIOS:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries. 

Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can't forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols. 

Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over seventeen novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, the Gloves Off series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae. 

L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
You can find L.P. Dover here: 
Twitter: @LPDover

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #129

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 Books:

Deceptions by Kelley Armstrong

Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz

For Review:
All We Left Behind by Ingrid Sundberg

Let Me Tell You by Shirley Jackson

The Blind by Shelley Coriell

The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie

Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter

Untouchable Things by Tara Guha


Friday, September 18, 2015

Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Summary:

For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of stunning psychological suspense.

A girl’s memory lost in a field of wildflowers.
A killer still spreading seeds.

At seventeen, Tessa became famous for being the only surviving victim of a vicious serial killer. Her testimony put him on death row. Decades later, a mother herself, she receives a message from a monster who should be in prison. Now, as the execution date rapidly approaches, Tessa is forced to confront a chilling possibility: Did she help convict the wrong man?

Publication Date: August 11, 2015

Black-Eyed Susans is a tough book to rate. For most of the novel, I was completely enthralled with the plot. Psychological suspense is one of my favorite genres and I really love when an author like Heaberlin can keep a reader guessing. Until the conclusion, the book was five stars all day long. I just felt like the way that the novel ended left me with too many unanswered questions.

I liked both versions of the main character Tessa: the teenaged version in therapy following an attempted murder attempt as well as adult Tessa who is continuously haunted by the holes in her memory about the night of her abduction. I thought the setup was good and I really wanted to find out what Tessa had locked away in her mind.

The writing in the book is exceptional. It was moody and beautiful and I felt instantly transported into Tessa’s dark memories. The author really made me want to uncover the mysteries along with Tessa. The suspense in the book was powerful as the countdown commences on whether or not the wrong killer will be executed.

The book contains a lot of tidbits that I found intriguing. The author obviously did her research as the book delves into the use of DNA derived from bone fragments in order to identify the serial killer’s victims. I also appreciated the random serial killer trivia sprinkled in throughout the story.

I didn’t guess the ending at all. And despite my surprise over the revelations, I really didn’t love how the story wrapped up. I just felt like the story was building up to a very dramatic conclusion that I never got.

Despite my slight disappointment in the ending, I would still recommend Black-Eyed Susans and I’m eager to read more from the author

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Blitz: A Different Side by C.M. Doporto


A Different Side (University Park #4)
Release Date: 09/14/15
New Adult
(only $2.99)

Summary from Goodreads:
The highly anticipated story from the University Park Series.

Park Hill University’s star quarterback, Raven Davenport, has every woman dying to get caught in his trap, but he’s only interested in catching one girl – Lexi Thompson. But will he learn how to deal with his inner demons or will they continue to control him to the point of destroying what he loves most? Hear Raven and Lexy's story from a different side.


Buy Links:
(Only $2.99 release week only)
Amazon:
B&N:
iTunes:
Google Play:
Kobo:



About the Author
CM Doporto lives in the great state of Texas with her husband and son enjoying life with their extensive family along with their Chihuahua, Mexican Redhead Parrot, and several fish.

She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from The University of Texas at Arlington. She briefly worked in the area of Public Relations and Advertising and then pursued a career in the field of Human Resources. CM considers herself a life-long learner and returned to school and earned her Master of Art’s Degree in Organizational Development from Dallas Baptist University.

She writes Young Adult and New Adult Sci-Fi/Urban Fantasy stories about ordinary women who do extraordinary things, become a heroine, and find love along the way.

Author Links:
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Monday, September 14, 2015

Review: A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery

Summary:

Perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks, this breathtaking story of love and loss is guaranteed to break your heart and sweep you off your feet.

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

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

Publication Date: July 7, 2015


A Million Miles Away is a really hard book to rate. I think my rating is going to fall somewhere in the middle because I really enjoyed certain aspects of the story while I felt disconnected from other parts. I think the premise was solid, but the execution was just okay.

For the most part, I liked the main character Kelsey. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it must be to lose your twin in such a sudden way. She not only has to deal with her own grief, but also must try to handle the difficult grieving process her parents are going through.

I got why Kelsey pretended to be her sister in order to learn more about Michelle after her death. I think that was the strongest part of the book: the way the author showed the complexities of the grieving process. I empathized that Kelsey wanted to find that connection once again with Michelle.

But she definitely took things too far with Michelle’s boyfriend Peter. And although the romance was sweet and I really liked Peter, I couldn’t get behind their relationship. I understood at first why Kelsey lied, but she had too many chances to make things right and she didn’t. I was glad she finally tried to fix her mistakes at the end, but I honestly thought she got off easy for the things she did.

Overall, I liked A Million Miles Away and despite my mixed feelings about the characters, I would recommend the story to fans of YA novels with a lot of heart.  

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cover Reveal: Surge by Melissa West

Release Date: 04/05/16
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old alien Val Stone was born for one mission-kill teenage Randolf "Rolf" Cartier before he fulfills the prophecy, becomes the future American president, and murderers thousands of her kind.


Val is ready to sacrifice herself for the good of the prophecy. She's learned every detail of Rolf's life. She knows when he wakes, each step he takes throughout his day, and the exact time when he falls asleep. She's prepared to strike.

But what she doesn't know is that Rolf's been watching her, too. Waiting for her. Ready to overpower her and save himself. Only when the day arrives, doubt overcomes purpose, and suddenly they discover the prophecy was all a hoax.

Now they're running against the clock, desperate to reveal who created the fake prophecy before the human killing spree becomes the complete wipeout of the human race.


Books in this series:
(covers linked to Goodreads)
 photo gravity_zps96ec702b.jpg  photo hover_zps0a09d157.jpg 
Links to Gravity (Book One):
GoodreadsAmazonB&NKobo Books

Links for Hover (Book Two):
GoodreadsAmazonB&N
Kobo Books

Links for Collide (Book Three)


About the Author
Melissa West lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes to read, and could not live without coffee. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: This Is One Moment by Mila Gray

Summary:

Didi Monroe’s waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

While Zac’s away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker.

Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help.

Yet Didi can’t help but be drawn to him, and though he’s strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them.

As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for a man she knows is going to break her heart. Because Walker doesn’t believe in love or happy ever afters. So what possible future can there be?

Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi is forced to choose between fighting for love or merely falling for the illusion of it.

Publication Date: September 10, 2015
I read This Is One Moment because I really loved the author’s previous novel in the series called Come Back to Me. And although I enjoyed the story of Kit and Jessa in the first book, I fell madly in love with Didi and Walker. Although I gave the first book close to five stars, This Is One Moment was a five-star plus read!

The setup was unlike anything I read before: Didi is a psychology intern at a military hospital where Noel Walker is recuperating. Walker has been through hell and is one of only two survivors of a vicious military attack. Although Walker is physically wounded, his emotional scars are much worse. Didi is a very empathetic person and she really makes an effort to help Walker despite his efforts to push her away.

The romance was epic in this one. Walker and Didi have so many obstacles to overcome and I really wasn’t sure if they would end up together. Walker was such a complex character and I liked that the story wasn’t just about the romance, but also about Walker coming to terms with his inability to save all of his men. Like the previous book, the novel touches upon PTSD in a very insightful way. Didi could be a frustrating character at times, especially in regards to her relationship with the movie star, but the love triangle did create some extra tension in the story.

This Is One Moment is an absolute must read! I loved everything about it and the ending was perfect. Although Come Back to Me is a great book, you can definitely read this novel as a standalone.

Rating: 5/5 Stars


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

Monday, September 7, 2015

Guest Review: The Lies We Tell by Meg Carter

Today I'd like to introduce you to my newest reviewer Joanna! I really enjoy reading her reviews and I'm sure all of you will love them as well. Here's her bio:

Joanna Franklin Bell is a writer living outside Baltimore, MD. Her articles can be read in "Baltimore Magazine" and various Patch.com sites; her award-winning short story can be found on the "Single Dad Laughing" blog; and her books can be found on Amazon. "Muse: A Cat's Story" is her children's chapter book, "Mrs. Just-So" is her children's picture book, and "Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski" and "That Birds Would Sing" are her novels. Her third novel, "See No Demons, Hear No Demons" will be released in 2016. Catch up with Joanna on Facebook at: 

Now onto the book review!

Summary:

Can we ever escape our past?

The last time Katy saw Jude was on a school trip, when Jude was attacked by a stranger and Katy ran away. Twenty years later, Jude is back, and her reappearance coincides with a series of unsettling incidents: a stranger appears in the downstairs flat; one night Katy’s house is vandalised; her mother is mugged and her home ransacked. And Jude seems to know an uncomfortable amount about Katy’s current life...

For fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train, THE LIES WE TELL is an addictive, complex and completely gripping psychological thriller in which present and past intertwine to devastating effect. Forced to revisit the same rocky waters of friendship and power they inhabited when they were fifteen, as the story reaches its explosive climax, Jude and Katy realise that when it comes to memory, truth and family – nothing and no-one are what they seem.

Publication Date: August 17, 2015

Joanna's Review:

"The Lies We Tell" by Meg Carter started out with a bang: the ending. This is because the complimentary copy I received on my Kindle from the publisher loaded on the very last page, which I read quite closely and earnestly because I thought I was reading the quote which began the whole story, and not the one that ended it. So my experience reading this book was no doubt unique.

Once I got smart and started at the beginning, I discovered that what the ending had given away did nothing to detract me from the growing intrigue of the plot. The book does owe a lot to the forces that create story lines like, "I Know What You Did Last Summer." Two grown women (Jude and Katy) are Carter's protagonist and antagonist, and their teenage selves in flashback reveal what they did, didn't do, may have done, forgot doing, are conflicted about, are vengeful over, last summer. Or in their case, many summers ago. Oh, and for the record, I quite liked the antagonist (Jude) while I good-n-loathed the protagonist (Katy). Is this how I am meant to feel about the characters? It's a question I wouldn't mind asking the author. I kept hoping Katy would take the third overly-long step off a dangerous precipice in her life. Since, in the book, she's already taken two and unfortunately survived them both, neither of which have diddly to do with the plot nor character development.

Other things that have diddly to do with the plot: 1. Pages and pages and pages of skim-worthy prose. 2. Overuse of repeated phrases and words that the author apparently forgot she already used and no editor was kind enough to point out. 3. Lots of bald typos, but perhaps the copy I read wasn't through its final proofread, even though there was no such disclaimer, so I think it's probably just sloppy. 4. Characters who berate the world for the exact same shortcomings, without any intentional parallel drawn among them: it's more like the author could only think of one thing that would really hurt, so she assigned it as a backstory, indiscriminately, to everyone (I'll call it the "Who's Your Daddy Drama"). That said, the author can actually write. She can craft a sentence and sometimes a good one, and she can build a simmering intrigue. She can also throw in gratuitous sexytime which -- in keeping with many other pages -- does nothing to further the plot nor character development, but does stick up like little nippley coming-of-age gems in what's otherwise often a bland whitewash of exposition.  Her fault is that she simmers for too long, and the story gets tiresome -- I finally just skimmed and skimmed to get to the ending of, to find out what all the last secrets are. However: that is also her greatest strength. I skimmed and skimmed to get to the ending, because I wanted to know the ending! I cared! I was ready for some answers and some justice and the big Scooby Doo-style reveal! Of course, I already knew one of the secrets, since my book loaded backwards, but there was plenty else to learn.

The first third of the book showed much promise. After that, it dragged and became quite repetitive and fell apart, losing stars along the way. I'd like to see what the author writes next, since much of this could be a first-book-flaw. And I would read another of her stories; however, I'd just hesitate to recommend this one.

As I mentioned, I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

3/5 Stars

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #128 and $75 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

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.

Enter my new release giveaway below for your chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card!


For Review:
Reckless Hearts by Sean Olin

Doing It for Love by Cassie Mae

A Change of Plans by Robyn Thomas

Lies We Live by Brenda St. John Brown

Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell

Led Astray by Kelley Armstrong

A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

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