Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler


The party last Saturday night is a bit of a blur.

Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.

But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details, and begins to ask questions.

What really happened at the party after she left?

Who was still there?

What did they see?

When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question:

Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?

This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time.

Publication Date: September 22, 2015
What We Saw is a must read for every high school and college age girl. I guarantee this novel will haunt you long after you shut the book because there’s so much brutal honesty between the pages. This is probably one of the best YA novels I’ve read this year and I love the powerful message the author delivered with using a ripped from the headlines premise.

I thought the author made a smart decision by having the story told by everygirl Kate instead of the rape victim Stacey. Kate was stuck in the middle of the controversy and provided insight into both sides. Kate has loyalty to the accused basketball players because of her newfound romantic relationship with one of the team’s star players Ben, but she was also a friend to Stacey years ago in middle school.

What We Saw tells the story of just how accepted our society is of slut shaming and sexism. From the second, charges are brought against the male students, there is a general consensus among the students and faculty that Stacey is just a slut who is trying to ruin the boys’ futures. There is never any concern about the victim or what type of PTSD she must be suffering after being assaulted and having the damning images spread online.

Kate’s feelings and actions were very authentic in the novel. She’s not a trailblazing feminist by any means, but I appreciated how despite her boyfriend and friends warning her to stay out of the controversy, she made it a point of digging around for the truth about what happened at the party.

This book will bring you to tears as you realize that there are so many women and men out there who think a rape victim “asked for it.” The ending is far from a HEA, but very realistic and honest like the rest of the novel. 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: The Devil You Know by Trish Doller


Eighteen-year-old Arcadia wants adventure. Living in a tiny Florida town with her dad and four-year-old brother, Cadie spends most of her time working, going to school, and taking care of her family. So when she meets two handsome cousins at a campfire party, she finally has a chance for fun. They invite her and friend to join them on a road trip, and it's just the risk she's been craving-the opportunity to escape. But what starts out as a fun, sexy journey quickly becomes dangerous when she discovers that one of them is not at all who he claims to be. One of them has deadly intentions.

A road trip fling turns terrifying in this contemporary story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Publication Date: June 2, 2015

The Devil You Know was a good YA suspense read that kind of reminded me of the premise of “The Last House on the Left.” I almost felt like the subtitle should have been “This Is What Happens to Good Girls Who Make One Bad Choice.” Cadie makes some questionable decisions and ends up paying for them tremendously.

Cadie was likable and I felt for her a lot. She’s had a lot of responsibility thrown on her since her mom died and she’s been kept from having any kind of social life. She decides to go out to a party one night and ends up meeting two handsome cousins. Because she’s so desperate for adventure, she makes the impulsive decision to accompany the two on a road trip.

The beginning was a little slow going, but I was finding the book to be such an easy read, I didn’t feel dreadfully bored and screaming “When will something happen already?!” I think the plot was also moved on by the incredible chemistry between Cadie and Noah.

The book became a nail biter by the halfway point, but this was also the point when Cadie went from being reckless to just plain stupid. But in her defense, she is still a teen and I think some of her rash decisions were her way to finally rebel after having so many responsibilities thrust on her. I wanted to shake her from time to time, but I never stopped liking her as a character.

I probably would have given the book 4.5 or 5 stars if the whodunit part was stronger. I thought it was pretty obvious who the killer was and guessed very early on before the reveal. There was no jaw dropping moment in the conclusion that made the book a home run for me.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Guest Review: The Guilty One by Sophie Littlefield


From the award-winning author of The Missing Place—in which “Littlefield’s writing shines" (The Boston Globe)—another gripping exploration of the damage people can do to each other, and the resilience they find in themselves.

A man stands on the Golden Gate Bridge, poised to jump…if a woman on the other end of the phone tells him to.

Maris’s safe suburban world was shattered the day her daughter was found murdered, presumably at the hands of the young woman’s boyfriend. Her marriage crumbling, her routine shattered, Maris walks away from her pampered life as a Bay Area mom the day she receives a call from Ron, father of her daughter’s killer. Wracked with guilt over his son’s actions (and his own possible contribution to them), he asks Maris a single question: should he jump?

With a man’s life in her hands, Maris must decide, perhaps for the first time, what she truly wants. Retribution? Forgiveness? Or something more? Having lost everything, she’s finally free to recreate herself without the confining labels of “wife,” “mother,” or “mourner.” But will this shocking offer free her, or destroy her?

Publication Date: August 11, 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 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:

Joanna's Review:

"The Guilty One" really wanted to be a five star book. It sure started out that way. It hooked me instantly without any cheap "in medias res" scenes, invested me in the main character, and had me ask questions. I went from dreading reading it (I always somehow end up getting the stupid romances) to realizing within one page that this was truly something different.

Then, I said, "Okay. This lady can write, but I've read this story before. This is a mash-up of two of Anne Tyler's books, and I remember these plot lines…" Oops, I was wrong. Right when I thought I had identified an overused, overdone, overplayed fiction device, I discovered I was wrong within sentences. I'd never read this story before. This was unique.

A few pages later, I said, "Ohhhh, now I get it, this is just like that movie where Jennifer Aniston wears fake scars and doesn't have on any make-up after an accident…" Nope, wrong again. As before, the slight similarity in a single element of the story was there, but absolutely nothing else. Again, this was unique.

Go Sophie Littlefield! I'd never heard of her, but I realized I'd met a new writer I respected. I picked up the book more and more, loving it more and more. I loved Maris, I loved Ron, I was thinking I was going to get to know Deb, and Pet, and Norris, and George... Calla's beautiful name was straight from its lily, Karl was complex and so far believable. I found some inconsistent paragraphs, some wrongly-described timelines, some errors of setting, but I was reading an uncorrected proof copy (which I was given by the publisher in exchange for this review). Maybe the editor will have caught those. I barely cared, continuing to read and read…

…and it got better. Right when I thought I knew everything, there was another surprise. And then right when I thought there were no more surprises, there was another one. This book was an eternal pleasure with every paragraph, aside from the fact that it's about a LOT of rotten stuff, namely loss and grief and, as the title would suggest, guilt. It's not an easy read, emotionally. But it's a TRUE read, a REAL read.

Until it isn't.

So apparently someone pushed Sophie Littlefield off the same bridge she saves one of her characters from, because someone who might be Soppy Evensmallerfield took over. What were subtle characters became totally bland and one-dimensional and simply walked around speaking lines randomly with no believability whatsoever. Even a few throwaways were introduced, and I have no idea why. There is no earthly reason for a few of the characters to exist, but it's like they were even more bored by the story they were in, so they wandered to this one, looking for the party. They were disappointed here too. EVERYONE DISSOLVED INTO STEREOTYPE and even that's almost a compliment, since they weren't even interesting enough to BE a stereotype anymore.

Everything started to suck. And I, yes me, yes your judgmental reviewer, I DOCKED A STAR.

Take that, Soppy Evensmallerfield! That's what you get for hijacking a good writer's story! It was actually GOING somewhere, VALIDATING life's hardest emotions, CREATING worlds in my head, and then it fell off the rails. And not even in a grand, light-em-up kind of way, like how all of Stephen King's books can be good until he decides he hasn't quite shocked you enough, so he has the bad guy wrenching off his protagonist's breast with a can opener (totally happened – read "Lisey's Story") and you're like REALLY?! No, this just kind of fell asleep at the wheel and drifted gently and disappointingly into a field, where it ended. The characters stood around like wooden marionettes while the off-stage lighting crew hollered their lines unconvincingly, yanked a few strings to make the limbs move in an approximation of lifelike-ness, then went to the bar for a drink since no one was in the audience anymore.

It's enough to make me dock lots of stars, but I have to remember how much I loved it going in.

My recommendation? Read it or don't read it? That's a good question. I say:

Read it, get to the point where they're at the gala, close it, then email me and ask how it ends. I'll tell you in a single sentence, and you can save yourself the disappointment of limping your way towards it yourself.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #131

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:
Drop of Night by Stefan Bachmann

The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude

Wedding Date for Hire by Jennifer Shirk

Bastard by J.L. Perry

The Engagement Game by Jenny Holiday

Shade Me by Jennifer Brown

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: The Escape by Hannah Jayne


When two boys walk into the woods, and one comes out covered in blood, what would you believe?

Fletcher and Adam venture into the woods for an afternoon hike, but when day turns into night and neither boy returns, their town is thrown into turmoil. Avery, the detective's daughter, is the one to find Fletcher—dishelved, disoriented, and covered in blood. He has no memory of what happened, but Avery can't shake the feeling that something's off. When Adam's body is finally found, Avery is determined to uncover the truth. But if she stands by her gut, and Fletcher, is she standing by a friend, or a murderer? The answer might cost her her life.

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

This was a very okay read for me. I didn’t particularly love the book, nor did I despite it. There was a solid mystery to figure out and the suspense was well done, but I didn’t particularly like the conclusion. Also, the character development didn’t always mesh well for me.

I thought the beginning of the book started off with a bang. The scenes in the woods were expertly written and I loved the descriptive language the author used. I felt like I was right alongside the characters as they fought for their lives. I had hundreds of theories over what could have happened to the boys from them witnessing a drug deal gone bad to a supernatural attack by a Big Foot creature. Suffice it to say I was wrong on both accounts and what actually happened left me annoyed over the red herrings placed in the book.

Avery was an okay character and I actually liked her more in the beginning of the book than in the latter chapters. Instead of insta-love, she has a case of insta-friendship with Fletcher that didn’t make much sense. There isn’t a romance, but I couldn’t understand why she was so set on believing his innocence when she barely knew him. Fletcher had his ups and downs for me in the book, but I at least could make sense of most of his actions.

The pacing was well done until the conclusion. It felt very rushed and I didn’t feel as much resolution as I had hoped. I also didn’t feel as much suspense as I had in the opening chapters.

Overall, a good, quick teen thriller that is a perfect rainy day read.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy for review!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guest Review: Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

I'd like to introduce you to my newest guest reviewer Lauren (insert big round of applause)! Lauren is a voracious reader and she'll be helping out on my blog from time to time.


A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head...

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Lauren's Review:

4.5 stars! No spoilers per se, but some details revealed below.

So, briefly: Our bleeding-heart-brakes-for-animals Heidi sees a bedraggled young lady while waiting for the L during a particularly rainy time of year. Chicago, go figure. As sad of a sight this is, Heidi can't help but fly to the rescue after noticing the little baby tucked in her too thin jacket. Heidi brings Willow (ze girl) and Ruby (ze bebe) into her home, much to the chagrin of her workaholic husband, Chris and her attitude ridden daughter, Zoe. Cut to a few very awkward dinners and lots of eye rolling.

This was my very first Kubica experience, having missed
The Good Girl (a mistake I plan to remedy ASAP) and I am just so pleased with her! I mean that less in the pat-on-the-head-we're-so-shocked-and-proud-of-you way but more in the YASSSS QUEEEEN kinda way. After a string of novels I felt like I was TRUUUDGING THROUUUGHHH, Pretty Baby was so refreshingly exciting. SQUEEEE!

What starts out as a story that seems to reek more of a disgruntled marriage than any other conflict slowly, so slowly unravels into something much darker. Disclaimer about me as a reader: I don't guess. I don't mentally read ahead. I prefer to take in exactly what's in front of me, so I am constantly shocked and surprised. Maybe I'm just a simpleton. In fact, I don't think it was until this passage, more than halfway through the book that I even realized something was LEGIT AMISS: "
There is a clock in this room, as well, red digital numbers that drift from 2:21 to 4:18 a.m., all in the blink of an eye as I hover, there, at the foot of the sofa bed...

Kubica had such a skilled way of building to her conclusion. And I loved her take on chapters. I know she is not the first author to use the POV of multiple characters to break up the novel but it was the perfect way to execute the story. We were able to see what made Willow the way she was without Heidi or Chris having any of this knowledge. We watched Heidi unravel. And with Chris, we witnessed an inconvenienced husband have his reality BROKEN because he stopped looking at his wife long ago.

Sidebar: Zoe, the 12 year old daughter is awful. I don't care. She's awful. Granted her mother is a little intense, but Zoe needs Jesus and boarding school. Sry. Bye.

And then there's Willow. Where to even start. We can blame her for everything coming unhinged if we want, but that's not the right move. We can judge her for keeping little Ruby when it was so wildly clear that she was not fit, equipped, prepared to take care of a child...but that doesn't feel so good either. As her story goes on not only do we learn about her tragedies, we learn about her spirit. She has so much of it. After her parents died and her younger sister was adopted, Willow was forced to spend her formative years with a foster family that sexually, physically and mentally abused her. There is one scene later on in the novel when one of her foster brothers (we like him) sneaks her out of the house and she realizes she hasn't had to wear shoes in six years...because SHE HASN'T LEFT THAT HOUSE IN SIX YEARS. That. Is. Just. And the girl survived it all. Guyz, like, I have a meltdown if I have to put pants on for more than three days in a row.

Pretty Baby ain't fun but it's so readable I can hardly stand it. The pages fly by and the story progresses at such a subtle speed that you, the reader, don't even realize you've been accelerating this whole time and suddenly you're CAREENING towards the conclusion. Insert awesome rollercoaster metaphor here!

If I may say about the ending, the readers are left with an idea of how Willow was doing but we really don't know what is going to happen to Heidi, and her family. Good. They were all outstandingly selfish in their own right, so it's nice to just leave them be, to let them sort themselves out. But Willow, we needed to know how she turns out, that finally she's in the a place where people are nice to her. She's safe, the baby is safe and we can finally put this book down and fall asleep.

Also! I was given a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. NEATO!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Monday, October 19, 2015

Review: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay


Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Publication Date: December 9, 2014

Princess of Thorns is unlike any fairytale retelling I have ever read before—mostly because the novel has very few of the same elements of the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. Although the book didn’t make me feel like I was reading a new spin on Sleeping Beauty, I did enjoy the plot and the high fantasy elements.

The characters took a little while for me to like, but they did grow on me enough that I found myself hoping both Aurora and the cursed Prince Niklass would find their happy endings. Probably my favorite part of the entire book was their romance. They had respect for each other and a solid friendship that evolved. Their dialogue was a lot of fun too. The romance was slow building, especially since Niklass believed Aurora to be a boy for a good part of the story.

I thought the character development was well done and I really enjoyed the author’s ethereal writing style. My one complaint would be that there wasn’t enough world building. I never felt myself transported along with Aurora. The author had a lot of stuff to work with and I would have liked to know more about the fairies, ogres, curses, etc.

Although this is a standalone, I wouldn’t mind reading more about the amazing world the author crafted. I actually think a prequel about Aurora’s mother would be a fantastic read. The author has several other novels released and I look forward to checking them all out.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Friday, October 16, 2015

Review: Prophecy by Julie Anne Lindsey


On the other side of death, is destiny.

Callie Ingram is spending her senior year focused on one thing: swimming. Her skill as a competitive swimmer is going to secure a scholarship and her future, or so she hopes. She has big plans, and Liam Hale, her gorgeous new neighbor, isn’t going to affect them. But when Callie sees Liam beheading someone, she learns his family has a secret that will change everything. The Hales are Vikings, demi-gods who’ve been charged by The Fates to find their new destined leader.

Callie’s caught in the middle of a budding Norse apocalypse, in love with Liam Hale and desperate to protect her best friend…who the Hales believe is marked for transformation. Putting the clues together as fast as she can, can discovers she has the power to rewrite destiny, for herself and all humankind

Publication Date: October 6, 2014

What drew me to read Prophecy was the very beautiful cover. I really, really love it! I thought the description was interesting too—especially since I never read a paranormal YA book about Vikings who are demi-gods living alongside us. I was happy with the execution of the plot and I really liked the main character Callie.

Prophecy was a hodge podge of mythology, but I found it easy to pick up on what was happening. The pace was very quick and I liked that the action started from the get go. Although the Vikings were an interesting lot, I actually thought the scenes with the villains were the most intriguing. There definitely was some nail biting going on.

The love triangle was just okay for me and I actually have a hard time deciding on who the right guy should be for Callie. Justin was soooo nice and sweet, but I could tell he was being friend-zoned. Liam was a little jerky at first, but he ended up winning me over eventually. A poor normal guy like Justin probably would never stand a chance against a super hot, brooding Viking.

The book didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but there is definitely more story to tell. I look forward to see what the author has in store in future installments.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Blast and Giveaway: Stirring Up Trouble by Andrea Laurence

Book Information

Title: Stirring Up Trouble
Author: Andrea Laurence
Release Date: October 12, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Contemporary Romance


When a prim and proper baker and a laid-back bartender have a neighborly disagreement that gets them both in trouble with the law, a sweet reconciliation is stirred up in the playful third romance in Andrea Laurence’s sexy Rosewood series.

Maddie’s life is perfectly sweet. Her bakery’s tasty treats are rising to the top of every must-have list in town, and her commute is just a block away by foot. She loves everything about her little downtown Victorian bungalow—except for her unbearably noisy neighbor, Woody’s. The bar’s obnoxious and sexy owner, Emmett, seems to live to aggravate Maddie. But he mostly thinks she could use a stiff drink to dislodge the stick up her ass. He’s just trying to run his business. Bars stay open late, they play music, they serve alcohol. If she doesn’t like it, why did she buy a house across the street?

When Maddie and Emmett’s battle lands them in front of the local judge, they’re ordered to do several weeks of community service cleaning parks and painting over graffiti. As they scrub away the latest works of art by the town’s anonymous “Penis Picasso,” the baker and the bartender slowly begin to see there’s more to each other than meets the eye. So what happens if they wave the white flag and surrender into each other’s arms?

Buy Links

Barnes and Noble:

Author Biography

Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she's working on her own "happily ever after" with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody's business.

Social Networking Links


Message From the Author:

Hey everyone. I’m excited to be here today to tell you about my latest sassy, sexy Rosewood romance – Stirring Up Trouble. This is the third book in the series, featuring the great characters you’ve grown to love and a few you’ve grown to hate. This book features Chamberlain sister and prissy princess, Maddie. She’s purchased an old Victorian home across the street from the town bar, owned by laid back bartender, Emmett Sawyer. These two couldn’t be more different, from the hours they keep, to their ideas of a good time, but sometimes opposites attract and for these two, it’s explosive. But first, they’ve got to stop trying to make each other miserable and that’s going to require the help of the town judge, some sweet treats and the infamous town vandal, the Penis Picasso. Here with me today are Maddie and Emmett. We’ve asked them what sweet treat or frosty drink reminds them of one another, so I’m going to turn it over to them!

Maddie: It just so happens that it’s also Emmett’s favorite treat, but I’d say he’s one of my homemade MoonPies. Now, for those of you who’ve had a MoonPie, they don’t look like much of a gourmet treat on the outside and frankly the ones you get at the gas station really aren’t. They’ve got a reputation as being a little country - but like Emmett - looks can be deceiving and the MoonPies I make in the shop have so many layers of surprising, refined flavors. They’re made with homemade marshmallow cream, sandwiched between freshly baked gingersnap cookies. Then I dip them in a dark chocolate ganache and sprinkle the edges with some crushed, candied pecans. They’re a little spicy and very sweet, just like Emmett. I just can’t get enough of him.

Emmett: Hey, folks. So, if I had to sum up Fancy in a drink... she would be imported French Champagne. The good stuff, not some knockoff sparkling wine. She would be a little sweet, a little dry. If you’re not used to her, she can give you a headache. Some people thinks she’s too fancy for everyday consumption, but once you’ve tasted her, nothing else quite measures up. That’s my Maddie in a glass.


Stirring Up Trouble Excerpt

“You know, Fancy Pants, that’s your problem.”

Her eyes widened as he used his new favorite nickname for her. He didn’t know why it would offend her. She was a fancy pants, through and through. “I don’t have a problem.”

“Yes, you do. You think you’re so much better than everyone else, but you’re not. So what? You studied in Paris. Estelle was a self-taught baker using her grandmother’s recipes, and her chocolate chip cookies were better than yours.”

Maddie gasped. “My chocolate chip cookies are made with vanilla beans from Madagascar and chopped milk and dark chocolate from Switzerland!”

“It’s a cookie, not a piece of art that needs provenance to display in a gallery. Some people just want what’s familiar. Nobody’s grandma used vanilla beans from Madagascar. Importing all that fancy stuff might make you feel special, but it doesn’t make you better. Frankly, I think it would hurt your bottom line. You think you’re going to pay back your daddy for this place while you blow money on embossed pink pastry boxes and imported chocolate? This isn’t a patisserie on the Champs-Élysées, Fancy Pants. You might think it sets you apart, but to be successful, you need to know your customer. People around here don’t care where Madagascar is, much less if that’s where your vanilla comes from.”

“People want high-quality products, and that’s what I’m going to give them. My clientele is a little more sophisticated than yours. I suppose you’re well versed in your customers and what they want, right? Beer and football.”

“Damn right, and that’s what I give them.” Emmett turned to face her and leaned down so she heard every word he said. “They want a place to relax and unwind. They want to watch sports and listen to music. You might think that I started bringing those bands in just to keep you up at night, but you’re giving yourself a little too much real estate in my brain, Fancy. It doesn’t have anything to do with you. You’re just an unwelcome distraction.”

Maddie looked up at him, her full bottom lip trembling slightly as he railed at her. “Earlier you said I was beautiful—a sadist—but beautiful. Am I distracting because I drive you crazy or because I’m beautiful?” she asked in a breathy voice that made his chest and his pants tighten at the same time.

Those pouty lips made him want to run the pad of his thumb across them and kiss away her frown. It was a ridiculously unhelpful thought, but like he’d said, she was a distraction in a variety of ways. He wished she wasn’t so attractive because that just crossed the wires in his brain. He’d much prefer her outsides matched her annoying insides, then it would be easy to ignore her.

She had the shiniest hair he’d ever seen. It was always up in a ponytail or a bun, which was a shame because it was like shimmering chestnut silk. He wanted to know what it would look like if it fell free around her shoulders. He wondered how it’d feel to run his fingers through it. Her skin was like porcelain and her eyes like the shells of a robin’s egg. Maddie’s every feature was delicate and feminine, rousing a protective nature in him he wasn’t used to.

And then she opened her mouth and ruined everything.

“Both,” he said.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: Play of Light by Debra Doxer


I lived in paradise, and I loved Spencer Pierce.

At fourteen, my life was perfect. The beach was my playground, and the boy who stole my heart lived just around the corner. But perfect never lasts. In one horrifying moment, I lost it all. My family was destroyed, and the boy I believed in turned his back on me. Paradise became a nightmare.

That was five years ago. Everything changed when we moved from our home by the sea. I’ve changed, and I don’t like who I’ve become. I miss the smiling, carefree beach girl who disappeared that terrible night. I want to find her again. I want to face the people we ran from so long ago. Most of all, I have to face Spencer. So I can prove that when he broke my heart, he didn’t break me.

But when I see him again, Spencer Pierce is no longer the boy from my memories. He’s now a man who could devastate me if I let him. He watches me when he thinks I’m not looking. There’s regret written on his face when he’s near. Each time I see him, my heart aches for what might have been, and I think his does too. How can I convince myself I’m over him when I suspect he never got over me?

Publication Date: December 2014

Play of Light has been sitting on my Kindle for a while now and for some reason, I just couldn’t find the time to read it. I’m really regretting the wait now because the love story between Sarah and Spencer was so touching. The novel was so much more than just a cookie cutter New Adult romance.

The characters were just so easy to connect with. I felt like I was right with Sarah and Spencer as they had shared moments of happiness and heartbreak. I loved their relationship as young teens and how protective Spencer was of Sarah from the very beginning. And then five years later when they come back together, I was completely swooning over Spencer. His chemistry with Sarah was off the charts. I do wish that the intense feelings hadn’t been so instantaneous and took a little more time to develop after the two of them not being in contact for five years.

From the very beginning, I was completely engrossed in their love story. The pace never dragged and I enjoyed Doxer’s writing style. She expertly captured all of the different emotions that each character was going through. During the intense scenes, I felt choked up and in the heartwarming scenes, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

The conclusion was the perfect ending to Sarah and Spencer’s epic love story and I can’t wait to read more from the author.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Book Blast: Discern by Andrea Pearson

Discern, A Young Adult Fantasy

Nicole Williams is an Arete—a fourth child with magical abilities—yet no matter how hard she tries, she can’t Channel her power. In fact, she seems to be the only student at Katon University who fails at magic.

This doesn’t stop her from competing to be included on a university-led expedition to Arches National Park. She is determined to show everyone, but mostly herself, that she does belong. Yet, to qualify for the trip, she must produce at least a speck of Wind magic, and that appears to be impossible.

Nicole turns to her best friend, Lizzie, for help, along with fellow student Austin Young, who is considered by all a magical rarity. He also happens to be the hottest guy on campus and just might be interested in her.

As the competition progresses, Nicole wonders if she’s making the right choice—especially when she learns that the strange fossils they’ll be studying in Arches might not be as dead as everyone thinks.

Available from the following retailers for $0.00 (regular price: $3.99)

About the Author:

Andrea Pearson graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of science degree in Communications Disorders. She is the author of many full-length novels (the Kilenya Series and Katon University series), and several novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life - it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family and close friends is where she's happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Ex Trials $0.99 Limited Time Book Sale

The Ex Trials is on sale through Wednesday for just $0.99! Pick up your copy on any Amazon retailer!


One dream vacation in paradise.
One co-ed bachelor and bachelorette party.
One week marooned with my ex.

Six months ago, Casey Silvers ended her scorching romance with sexy rocker Cole Caldwell. None of her friends know the true reason behind her sudden change of heart. Despite her claim of their chemistry fizzling out, her feelings for Cole had never gone away.

After receiving the invitation to her best friend's co-ed bachelor and bachelorette getaway, Casey knows she must once again face Cole. For one week, she'll be forced to party alongside the man who has come to despise her. The tropical cruise is meant to be a trip to paradise, but Casey is certain it will turn out to be a vacation from hell.

But as the ship leaves port, past secrets are revealed--secrets that could change the fate of Casey's romance with Cole. With forces keeping them together, Cole and Casey soon discover that the passion between them has yet to extinguish.

***Standalone New Adult Romance-Ages 17+ Due to Strong Language and Sexual Situations***

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #130

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:
Harmony House by Nic Sheff

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

What She Knew by Gilly MacMillian

Driving Her Crazy by Kira Archer

Copygirl by Anna Mitchael and Michelle Sassa