Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review: Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon (Inheritance, #1)
Cover Source: GoodReads
Title: Eragon
Author: Christopher Paolini
Series: The Inheritance Cycle #1
Narrator: Gerard Doyle
Version Reviewed: Finished, Audiobook
Website: www.paolini.net
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
One boy... One dragon... A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands....
Review:
Oh, Eragon. This book has been on my list since 2009 when I first met my husband. Both being huge readers, we talked about books that we were both into and shared our favorite titles. I was a Twihard through and through at that time but my husband was and still is obsessed with Eragon. From that very first conversation about books, he made it a mission of his to get me to read it.

Fantasy, other than Harry Potter, isn't really my thing so I struggle through books like this. I finally pushed that aside, however, and decided to give in and placate him. I watched the movie when it first came out and, according to my husband, this was my first mistake. He hates the movie with a fiery passion. But since I did enjoy the movie, I thought why not? Maybe I'll enjoy the book.

I was wrong. Just like usual, I struggled so hard through this book. I first gave it a try with my husband's tattered old paperback copy. I couldn't finish it. It just didn't hold my attention long enough for me to get into the story. I barely made it past the first chapter. Not long after, I fell down the rabbit hole of audiobooks and found myself speeding through books quicker than I've ever been able to (slow reader, here). So I thought, hey, maybe if I'm listening to someone read it, maybe I can do it.

And I did, but just like before, I struggled through it. I was doing great for the first half of the book. I was into the story and enjoying it. Then the constant over-description of every little thing got to me. The decently slow pace and wordiness of the book just completely lost my attention and I couldn't stay focused on it. I found myself wanting to listen to something else.

So, unfortunately for my husband, I didn't enjoy Eragon.

Rating: 1 Star.

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, #1)
Cover Source: GoodReads
Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Narrator: Elizabeth Louise
Version Reviewed: Finished Audiobook, ARC eBook
Website: www.katuckerbooks.com
I received the ARC for free in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
I borrowed the audiobook from my local library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
After a terrible car accident destroys her life as she knew it, twenty-year-old Kacey escapes to Florida, where she encounters an irresistible man determined to capture her wounded heart.Just breathe, Kacey. Ten tiny breaths. Seize them. Feel them. Love them.
Four years ago Kacey Cleary’s life imploded when her car was hit by a drunk driver, killing her parents, boyfriend, and best friend. Still haunted by memories of being trapped inside, holding her boyfriend’s lifeless hand and listening to her mother take her last breath, Kacey wants to leave her past behind. Armed with two bus tickets, Kacey and her fifteen-year-old sister, Livie, escape Grand Rapids, Michigan, to start over in Miami. They’re struggling to make ends meet at first, but Kacey’s not worried. She can handle anything—anything but her mysterious neighbor in apartment 1D.
Trent Emerson has smoldering blue eyes, deep dimples, and perfectly skates that irresistible line between nice guy and bad boy. Hardened by her tragic past, Kacey is determined to keep everyone at a distance, but their mutual attraction is undeniable and Trent is determined to find a way into Kacey’s guarded heart—even if it means revealing an explosive secret that could shatter both of their worlds.
Review:
This book has been on my radar for quite some time but I've never gotten around to reading it. I have a ton of books on my list but never seem to get around to them. I'm dedicating myself to finally getting around to those books for the next couple of years. I'm glad that this was one of the first that I dug into.

Ten Tiny Breaths promised a story of heartache and emotion, love, loss, and fight. It perfectly delivered on all of these fronts. Kacey's character was so torn and broken but, at the same time, was headstrong and didn't take crap from anyone. She fought as hard as she could to provide for herself and her sister in any way that she needed to. Even with all of her issues, she was a great person and a great big sister.

Trent was honestly dreamy. :P I really enjoyed his character from the very beginning and even during the confusing parts between him and Kacey (the characters were confused, not me as the reader) he was still easy to love and empathize with.

The secondary characters in this story were just as amazing. They each brought their own uniqueness to the story and often times brought a lightheartedness that was very much needed in the chapters of emotional turmoil.

There were a lot of things in this book that were easy to figure out and I was pretty good at guessing what was going to happen next. That didn't hinder the greatness of this story, however. The authors writing was great and she set a great stage for her characters and their issues.

If you're looking for an emotional read that promises to pull you in, I definitely recommend Ten Tiny Breaths.

Rating: 4 Stars

Monday, July 16, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Being Alpha by Aileen Erin


Being Alpha
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl #7)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin
For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
After traveling to Dastien’s house in Provence, clubbing in Paris, and attending Meredith and Donovan’s Full Moon Ceremony in Ireland, Tessa and Dastien head to the Caribbean. Their trip is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of-sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. Tessa couldn’t be happier. Except that Tessa’s visions are on the fritz. She hopes that means that nothing is brewing. That everything is quiet because all is well. But Tessa’s never been one to assume anything.
When she’s magically attacked and nearly dies, Tessa knows she can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. As much as she doesn’t want to call an end to their six-week honeymoon, it’s time to head back to Texas.
Whoever messed with Tessa is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.

EXCERPT:
I jammed the ice cream in my mouth and pain hit my head so hard that I closed my eyes and dropped my spoon. It clattered to the cement floor, but the sound was far away. I slapped my forehead. “Shit. Brainfreeze.” The pain eased a bit and I was able to open my eyes. Black spots filled my vision. “What the…” Time slowed. It took too long to turn to Dastien, and the black dots expanded.
Dastien was gone.
Everything was gone. I was in a black abyss just like my vision on the beach.
Panic made my lungs grow tight and my heart race, but when magic pricked my skin, fear crashed over me.
What the hell was happening? I tried to blink but nothing changed. I was sitting in the dark. Either I was about to have the most fucked up vision ever or someone was messing with me.
I said a prayer for the vision to kick in. For the black abyss to become something else. For anything to happen that would make this into something that I could understand.
When the vision didn’t immediately start, I knew something was wrong. Really fucking wrong.
Magic spread along my body and it felt like slime. Disgusting. Evil. Very possibly deadly.


Author Bio:
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Christmas In July Giveaway Hop (US)


Welcome to the Christmas In July Giveaway Hop hosted by BookHounds!
Here's what you can win:

One winner will receive my signed hardback copy of Dragon's Oath by PC & Kristen Cast!
The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor – the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt himIn early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.
Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world...In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling…
But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her—or destroy them all? 
RULES
Ends July 30th, 2018 (EST)
Only one winner.
No Cheating.
All entries WILL BE VERIFIED.
US Only
I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.

GOOD LUCK! 

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Heart of the Colossus by Nicole Grotepas


Heart of the Colossus
Nicole Grotepas
(A Holly Drake Job Book, #3)
Publication date: July 12th 2018
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Save them all or die trying.

Holly Drake and her team have seen the evil lurking behind everything the Shadow Coalition does. The last time they plunged into the heart of the shadow empire, they could only rescue one. Now they’re going back for the rest. The crew is ready and willing to put everything on the line. They have a plan, they have the means, this is the job they were born to do.
But time and space are stacked against them.

The mission is a logistical nightmare. How can Holly and her crew save an entire fleet of children? The answer: whatever it takes. Co-opting fuel tankers, recruiting explosives experts, hiring pilots, and revisiting mysterious specters from the past. Some things are too painful, even for Holly Drake, but when it comes to freeing the innocent, not even the ugliest mistakes from her past will hold her back.
Is this the mission that will unveil the true nature of the Heart at the center of the Shadow Coalition? She’s seen the hands, just who is the heart?
EXCERPT:
“I don’t know how you guys talked me into this, again,” Charly Stout said, her voice coming over the comms into Holly’s earpiece. “Last time was a bust. Nearly died. And yet, here I am, again, floating outside the ship in space, my life balanced on the brink.”
“You love danger, that’s why,” Holly Drake said from inside the ship. She was safe and snug, seated next to Trip Taurus, a Centau and the pilot of the Space Cruiser Olavia Apollo. Charly Stout, a human, and Odeon Starlight, a Druiviin, waited outside the ship, clipped in on the underside, out of sight of the Fuel Depot security cameras. There they waited for Shiro Oahu’s distraction to work.
“At least this time I am with you, Charly. You’re not alone.” Odeon said.
“Aw man, Odeon. You know you always pull through, for everyone, always,” Charly laughed. “Thanks bro.”
“If we weren’t parked for the fill, you’d be in here, Odeon,” Holly joked. “I’m barely getting through this without my fix.” The panic attacks about being in space still afflicted her. She could feel the darkness of fear creeping at the edge of her mind, clawing at her sanity. She glanced at Trip who sat silently beside her, watching the instruments on her control panels. The Centau’s head was tilted to the side, the pilot goggles balanced on her forehead, her beautiful pale brown skin contrasting with the white, blue, and orange of her pilot jumpsuit.
“He’s mine this time, Holly. Sorry girl!”
Trip interrupted their banter. “The tank is half full. I hope Shiro is almost ready.”
“Shiro, you in position?” Holly asked, touching her earpiece. The fueling station filled the viewsceen in front of them. Most of what they saw was the giant mechanical arm that pulled in Trip’s ship and kept it secure as the fueling umbilical connected with the ship and filled it with aether. But beyond that there was the central portion of the station where the workers stayed. Inside the station there were a bar, a restaurant, and the people to man those and a few other amenities for commercial ships like Trip’s.
“Nearly there, Ms. Drake,” Shiro said quietly over the comms.
“This is going to cost you, you know?” Trip said, turning to glance at Holly before looking back at the instrument panel.
“We’re going to pay for this fill up, yes,” Holly said. “Don’t worry about it, Trip. You’re practically on the crew at this point.”
“Am I?” Trip asked, leaning back and studying Holly with her bright eyes.
“Don’t get too excited about it. You’re mostly in, maybe still enjoying your trial period.” Holly gave her a measuring glance.
Trip pulled her gaze away from Holly, a smirk touching the edge of her lips like she was disgusted with Holly’s antics. “Just a few minutes more, then she’s full.”
“Everyone be ready,” Holly said.
“In position,” Shiro whispered.
“Ready,” Charly said, followed by Odeon’s affirmation that he too was ready.
There was silence on the comms and in the bridge of the SC Olavia Apollo. Holly could hear the stifled breathing of her crew as everyone waited for the fueling to finish. There was a sound through the ship as the fuel delivery system finished and the umbilical disengaged.
“She’s done,” Trip said.
“Go.”


Author Bio:
I'm passionate about human rights, animal rights, and living life with no regrets. I love how becoming a parent has deepened my devotion to making the world a better place. I do that best by crafting stories that attempt to answer hard questions--the ones I think about most--while also being entertaining and fun. I live in a landscape that reminds me of my place in the universe, under an endless sky and towering mountains that are older than human memory, and I love it here.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Cover Reveal: Frostbite by Cambria Hebert


Frostbite
Cambria Hebert
(BearPaw Resort, #3)
Publication date: August 3rd 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
What if we lose everything?
It was a question that had haunted me even after I spoke it aloud.
Turns out one loss—one profound loss—is enough to put everything else at stake.
What a house of cards life can be. How easily everything ices over.
We’ve survived an avalanche, made it through a blizzard, but now a chill has set in. A cold so deep it reaches beyond bone.
The end of the storm provided a new beginning, but we can’t start over while we’re still frozen in the past.
How can I face a man who’s lost so much because of me? How can he face me?
This powerful secret between us grows with every breath I take. Will it pull us closer or sever a bond I once thought unbreakable?
The threat to my life is gone. Yet I’m still terrified.
Cold has laid claim to Liam. Whenever we touch, the bite of frost nips at my heart.
His obsession for revenge grows, hurling him further from me and closer to the frostbite taking over.
Previous books in the series:


Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Never Fear the Reaper by Ashley Pagano


Never Fear the Reaper
Ashley Pagano
(Never Fear the Reaper, #1)
Published by: Inkspell Publishing
Publication date: April 23rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
In a world filled with darkness…
can true love spark just enough light to save it?
When Chase hires the mysterious ghost exterminator, Ryder, to cleanse his house from a pesky poltergeist he gets way more than he’s paying her for…
There’s just something about Ryder that has him mesmerized.
Is it the fact that he’s witnessed her do the unexplainable? Or the fact that she’s absolutely breathtaking? Or perhaps it’s that eerie familiar feeling that they’ve met before, perhaps in another lifetime.
Chase desperately tags along with Ryder on a whirlwind of life threatening adventures in exchange for a few precious moments of alone time with her. With the Grimm Reaper’s Scythe as their defense, Chase developing some supernatural gifts of his own and an intense crush developing between the both of them what crazy supernatural force will target them next?
EXCERPT:
Suddenly, from behind me, a calm, raspy voice breaks the silence. “Are you Chase? I’m Ryder,” she asks rather firmly, extending her long fingers for a professional handshake.
Oh God, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, please don’t be her, I repeat over and over again to myself. This girl is too young and far too beautiful to be a ghost hunter. Inconveniently, she is literally my definition of perfection, dressed all in black. Long, dark brown hair, perfect bronze skin, bright green eyes that are surrounded by the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen, a gorgeous pearl-white smile, and a slim yet slightly muscular build. I can’t help but let her catch me looking her up and down. Her appearance makes me even more uncomfortable with my situation. I even notice a colorful, feathery angel-wing tattoo that creeps down her left arm, which is ironic, given her profession. Come on, this girl cannot be doing a job like this.
She smirks in response before I can conjure up an excuse for my gawking.
“Not at all what you expected, huh,” she says, while gesturing to the hostess with two of her fingers.
“Honestly, no you’re not…not really.” I figure it’s better to be honest with her right now. Finally, I build up enough courage to return her handshake. I’m embarrassed when my clammy palm touches her soft, cool skin.
As we follow the hostess to a booth at the far end of the dining area, she responds, “Don’t worry, no one ever does. They expect some older, more spiritual looking woman who’s all decked out in crucifixes.”


Author Bio:
Ashley Pagano has always dreamed of being an artist both figuratively and literally. Her love of art was instilled by her mother who always inspired her to be creative either with a paintbrush or with a pen and paper. As far back as she can remember her life was always centered around introspection, storytelling, and imagination. Because she is so artistic, she took to the idea of creative writing very passionately. Her ability to describe a scene, person, or place, she compares to painting a picture, where she can describe every detail vividly in order to make the reader feel like they’re truly living in the story. Her works of writing usually center around a powerhouse female protagonist (which reflect her own personality), who progresses through many wild and extreme obstacles. Ashley loves to write stories that end with a cliffhanger, that leave the reader begging for more and questioning what happens next. Her most recent novel sets the stage for the paranormal romance of the century and includes ghosts, poltergeists, and demons who just love to get in the way of true love. Ashley has won awards for her design, art, and writing.
Ashley doesn’t believe in down time whatsoever and actually loves having a full “To-Do”list. Ashley is a wife to her wonderful husband, Eric and a mother to a beautiful little baby girl named Dakota. She is also a Graphic Designer and a health and fitness coach. Her husband and daughter inspire her to be the best person she can be and encourage her to pursue any of her dreams (no matter how extravagant they may be).

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Let's Get Lost
Cover Source: GoodReads
Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Narrator: Amanda Leigh Cobb
Version Reviewed: Finished, Audiobook
Website: www.adialsaid.com
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila's own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you're looking for is to get lost along the way.
Review:
I've already told the story of how I came into possession of the hardback of this book in review for Never Always Sometimes, so I won't repeat it here. But I will say that it was a big deal for me and, therefore, these books hold a special place in my heart. That being said, I didn't really enjoy Never Always Sometimes very much so I was a little nervous going into Let's Get Lost. I was afraid that I was going to end up being disappointed again.  I was also nervous because this audiobook, which is the version I'm reviewing, has the same narrator as Never Always Sometimes and I was definitely not a fan of her performance in that book.

I am so relieved to say that this book and it's narration were soooo much better than Never Always Sometimes. I thought the story for that book had a lot of potential but fell kind of flat. This one, however, was a great story that actually held my attention and made me curious about what was going to happen next.

Though I wasn't expecting it, I loved the constant change in point of views. Each character in this book had their own story to tell and needed their own chapters to really express the importance of Leila's affect on their lives. Each of them were beautiful and raw and pretty realistic in their issues. For this reason, I really enjoyed Let's Get Lost.  It's  story of how one person can change the lives of those around her and I thought it was a beautiful adventure.

Also, Stoner Timmy was a bright and shining star.

Rating: 4 stars

Cover Reveal: Mewranters – Attack of the Sea Monster by Kachi Ugo


Publication date: November 6th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Middle-Grade, Young Adult
If there are no sea monsters ravaging the seven seas, or three-headed hydras prowling our streets, it’s not because they don’t exist; it’s because we exist.
We are the last line of defense against nature’s indiscretions.
We are nature’s police.
We are Mewranters.

When Perry Johnson hits twelve, he finds out he’s a Mew—an almost extinct species of people who possess the ability to change shape into three different forms: an aerial form, a terrestrial form, and an aquatic form.
On the day of his initiation, he shifts into a huge Golden Eagle. But this is a bad thing since no eagle Mew makes it past the age of twelve. To complicate his life, his shifting into an eagle Mew has reawakened the sea monster. A tentative partnership is formed between the different clans. But when Perry Johnson realizes that this partnership could mean the death of his parents, he has a decision to make.
With every Mew in the country out to kill him, and the sea monster calling him out to the sea, Perry must quickly learn why every Mew is threatened by the existence of an eagle Mew if he is to stand a chance at saving his parents and killing the monster. If he fails, it may very well be the end of his family…and the rest of the world.


Author Bio:
My whole life has evolved around writing. I started writing stories when I was about seven years old. Then, of course, the stories I wrote were horrible: bland, uninteresting, and twist-less. When I was about ten years old, I dabbled into writing comics. Then, I would take my favorite cartoon characters, and I would draw stories around them. I would make these characters do and say whatever I wanted them to do and say. I enjoyed it! After filling my notebooks with these drawings, I would curl up on my bed in the night and read them to myself. It never failed to bring me joy.
When I hit twelve, I stopped writing comics and I started reading novels. While my mates still flipped through picture books and comics, I took an interest in thick-sized, picture-less “story books” that opened me up to a whole new world of possibilities and adventures. Then I would often finish a full-length fantasy novel in less than a week. It was about this time that I really started to write stories. I started with writing short stories in the universe of my most enjoyed series. Then as I developed as a writer, reading other writers’ works, I began to write stories in universes I created.
Now, I’m an avid reader and author of contemporary/epic fantasy. For me, writing is much more than a hobby. It’s a passion. I love writing, and I love readers!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: Deadly Games by Karen Rock


Deadly Games
Karen Rock
(Dallas After Dark)
Publication date: July 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
ONE NIGHT ONLY
Special Agent Katherine Bowden doesn’t do girls’ nights out. She doesn’t do blazing hot dances with male strippers or unbelievable, uninhibited one-night-stands. If you ask her ex, all she does is work: study evidence, profile criminals, track them down. And now Katherine’s back home in Dallas, with a new set of all-male colleagues second-guessing her every move, and a possible serial killer hunting women just like her. But just this once, Katherine is going to try all those things she doesn’t do . . .
Growing up on the Reservation led Nash Hawkins down paths he’d rather forget. When his dream of joining the police force was crushed, he turned his hard body and wicked imagination into a meal ticket. His chemistry with Katherine is like nothing he’s ever felt. And though he’s sure a woman like her won’t want to get seriously involved with him, Nash knows things—things that might help catch a killer.
Nash and Katherine can save lives, if they put aside the desire that torments them both. But the closer they get, the more they have to lose . . .
“A highly entertaining and cohesive suspense novel with an emotionally satisfying romance that will keep readers glued to the page.”
RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars on Dangerous Moves

EXCERPT
“There’s only one woman I’m interested in impressing.”
Leaning forward, Nash brushed his lips where Katherine’s neck met her shoulder. Her soft, sweet fragrance wafted from her skin, reminding him of their incredible night. Moments when their limbs had been entwined, when his hips moved against hers before giving way to an explosive joining.
The memories rolled over him in sweetly painstaking detail. He dipped his tongue into the hollow at the base of her throat. Her heartbeat tripped along at high speed, her pulse pumping overtime beneath his mouth.
Her head tipped back and her fingers landed on his shoulders, gripping him. “Nash,” she gasped, a throaty sound of want.
His fingers slipped one of her buttons through its hole, then another, as she arched towards him. With a growl, he tunneled his fingers through her hair and kissed her.
He put his hands on her hips, and he tightened his grip, the effort costing him. He wanted to continue, his whole body primed and ready, but he needed to let her go. She’d resent being maneuvered if he didn’t back off and would see him as a lover, not a real partner on this case and in… …and in what?
What other kind of partner did he want to be to her?
He ended the kiss gradually, giving her mouth a little nudge as he pulled away. “Much more of this,” he murmured against her lips, “and I won’t be able to stop.”
Katherine’s eyes were dazed when they opened, her breathing ragged. “Right,” she gasped and withdrew slightly, confirmation he’d done the right thing by hitting the brakes.
So why the hell did it feel so damn wrong?
He rested his cheek on the top of her head. How well she fit in his arms, tucked under his chin. Her breath rushed against his neck, slowing with his. For a couple of heartbeats, she said nothing, then she cleared her throat. “I’m not very good at this.”
“At what?” he murmured against her silken hair.
“The whole seduction thing. Sex…”
“You’re kidding, right?”
Pulling back, she shook her head. Her expression was one of numb misery, her face pale, hands clenched into fists in her lap. It made him want to kiss her all over again and soothe that pain away.
Where did her insecurity come from?
He had a hunch and played it. “At the club, your friend said you were recently divorced.”
Katherine’s emotions churned so close to the surface he could feel them. She was trembling, whether from hurt or rage he wasn’t sure. Possibly both. “Six months ago. Cheating ex. He and the woman I caught him with are engaged.”
“What an ass. And a damn fool.” He smoothed loose strands from her face and rubbed his thumb over
her lips, which had turned down in a frown.
“There’re always two sides. I didn’t give him enough attention or affection. He called me an ice queen.”
Nash’s nostrils flared, expelling the outrage rising on her behalf. “You’re the most passionate, responsive woman I’ve ever met.”
“You are the sex god,” she joked. “Guess that makes you the expert.”
“That’s on stage. Off it, I’m just a man who feels damn lucky to be with you. The problem was your ex, not you.”
She jerked back to stare at him, wide-eyed. “What do you mean?”
“You just weren’t into him.”
Her mouth opened, a rounded “O” of surprise.
“You’re a woman of discerning taste.”
Her lips closed then curled upward in the corners as her eyes ran over him. “So, you’re saying I’m into you?”
He cupped her face. “God, I hope so.”
With a groan, she stood. “I should get going. If I stay, our one-night stand will turn into two and then…”
He got to his feet and slid a hand in hers. He didn’t know where any of this was headed, but he damn well knew he had to let her make the next move. “Let’s take this one step at a time.”


Author Bio:
Award-winning author Karen Rock is both sweet & spicy—at least when it comes to her writing! The author of YA and adult contemporary books writes spicy suspense and small-town romances. A big believer in Happily-Ever-After, Karen loves creating unforgettable stories that leave her readers smiling. Karen is an avid reader and baker who loves having the Adirondack Park as her backyard, where she lives with her husband and daughter who make her life complete.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid

Never Always Sometimes
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Narrator: Amanda Leigh Cobb
Version Reviewed: Finished, Harback, Audiobook
Website: www.adialsaid.com
I purchased the hardback myself and borrowed the audiobook from my local library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
Never date your best friend.
Always be original.
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken.
Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.

Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.

Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.
Review:
So the story of me and this book begins when the book was first published. My husband, my daughter, and I were in the mall and, as usual, decided to look around Barnes and Noble. Suddenly, over the intercom, they announced that the book signing for Adi Alsaid was to begin in ten minutes. It's safe to say that I freaked out. Prior to this, I had never met an author or gone to a book signing. I'd always wanted to go to a book event but, for financial reasons, it had never been possible.  I awkwardly met Alsaid and purchased this book as well as Let's Get Lost, excited to add them to my shelves.

Because of this, I was super excited when it came time for me to read the book. I've been on an audiobook kick lately, listening so much easier when I'm running after a five year old, a one year old, and keeping my household in check, so I borrowed the audiobook from my library and began listening.

Right off the bat, I was unhappy with the narrator. The descriptive text wasn't so bad by the dialogue was horrendous. All the females sounded like 10 year old valley girls and it was practically impossible for any character to sound anything other than sarcastic. I grabbed my hardback copy to cross reference the conversations to see if the author intended for every line to sound like it did, not surprised to find that he didn't. So, main tip if you're thinking about reading this book; READ it. Don't listen to it.

My other complaint with this book is the characters. Dave, though a promising character, is a little spineless and kind of got on my nerves with how he almost refused to stand up for himself.  Julia is just a terrible person, in my honest opinion. She's rude, ungrateful, and rarely seems to do anything for anyone else besides herself. She's constantly talking bad about others and putting them down and she never gives Dave the slightest bit of romantic attention until he's finding happiness with someone else.

I wanted to love this book. I really did. From the way that I came into possession of the book, to the promise  of a light, fun high school read. The story itself had great possibility and could've been great. The characters just didn't work. Also, how many times can the word cliche be used in one book?

Rating: 2 Stars.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Excerpt & Giveaway: The Successor by Alina Jacobs


The Successor
Alina Jacobs
(Holbrook Cousin’s Saga, #1)
Publication date: July 5th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
He’s gone from the battlefield to the boardroom; now this billionaire has to win his girl.
Hot tempered Grant Holbrook has just returned to the states and he’s already in trouble.
In jail and estranged from his adoptive parents, Grant thinks his luck is turning around when Kate, his birth father’s gorgeous assistant walks into the police station to bail him out.
As the newly discovered heir to a multi-billion dollar fortune, Grant is the talk of New Cardiff, his father’s exclusive New England hometown, and not everyone is happy that he’s there.
Deemed the most eligible bachelor in America, Grant has to run an international corporation and fend off the woman that want him.
But there is one woman who won’t throw herself at him—Kate.
How can he convince her that he needs her in his life not just for a night but for the rest of his life?
Sleeping with the boss’s heir is not in her job description.
Kate has sworn off men. After a string of bad relationships culminating in the absolute worst night of her life, Kate promised herself she was going to concentrate on her career and bury all of her bad decisions.
But when her billionaire boss asks her to find his long lost heir after a Holbrook family tragedy, Kate finds herself falling for the volatile Grant—but she cannot give in. She would lose her job and ruin her reputation if she were caught sleeping with her boss’s son.
Kate is the executive assistant of billionaire Walter Holbrook, and she prides herself in achieving the impossible. But when Grant starts pursuing her, he may be the one problem Kate won’t be able to solve.
As secrets from her past start to resurface, will it drive her into his arms or will she ultimately resist Grant Holbrook?
The Successor is book 1 in the Holbrook Cousins Saga, but can be read as a standalone novel. This 80,000 word steamy romance novel has no cliffhangers but a very happily ever after.


EXCERPT:
The suite was bigger than the garage apartment Grant had lived in with his adoptive parents when he was a child before they moved to the cinder-block house. He followed the butler back to the sitting room, where Kate waited.
"Will this room be okay?" she asked him.
"Yes," he said, "it's perfect."
"Great!" Kate smiled brightly at him. He felt melty inside.
I need to just f--k her and get it out of my system, he thought then immediately chastised himself.
"I'll leave you to rest," she said. "Tomorrow, I'll join you for breakfast and take you through the grounds and New Cardiff Township. It will be fun!"
After she left, the butler told him, "I'll have some light supper brought up for you."
"Thank you," Grant said. "What's your name?"
"Stefan."
"Thank you, Stefan."
"My pleasure," Stefan replied as he left the suite.
Grant took a long, hot shower. He wasn't sure what to do about Gus, so he stuck the dog in the tub and hoped that he didn't make a mess. When he went into the sitting room, there was sliced steak, broiled vegetables, some sort of pasta, and a salad waiting for him. There was also a small plate of cheese and fruit. On a wooden platform were two bowls, one with water and one with small cut-up bits of chicken and broccoli for Gus. The pup raced over to it and devoured the meal. Grant fed him small pieces of his own meal since Gus looked as if he was still hungry.
His bags had also been brought up, but Grant didn't bother to unpack. "We're only staying a day, maybe two," he said to Gus. "Just until I figure out what my biological father wants and how much he's willing to pay me to go away. I bet there's some sort of contract for me to keep my mouth shut." The puppy started wandering around the room anxiously.
"I bet you need to go out," Grant said. He found a coat in the closet and shoved his boots back on. His uniform had been taken away to be cleaned, he supposed.
He tucked the dog under his arm and went outside then set Gus down on the perfectly manicured lawn.
"Hello there," said a female voice.
"Kate," Grant said, turning to look at her.
She smiled at him.
"Thanks for everything," he said to her.
"Are you settling in?" she asked. She was wearing some sort of asymmetrical coat. She looked so elegant standing there in the soft light from the windows. She had changed out of her heels and was wearing
thin canvas sneakers. Just seeing her delicate ankles in those shoes as she shifted her balance was making Grant crazier than a repressed nineteenth-century professor.
"Do you live here?" he asked.
"I live with my grandmother on the next property over," she told him.
"I see."
Grant was feeling warm from the shower and the meal, and Kate was looking up at him, her hazel eyes almost green in the light. He reached out and ran his hands down the side of the coat. It was soft, and the calluses on his hands caught on the delicate threads.
"What are you doing?" Kate said with a breathy laugh.
Grant pulled her close to him and kissed her. She didn't struggle, just melted into his arms, so he kissed her harder and let his tongue slide into her mouth. He came up for a breath then kissed her neck while he slid one hand up her thigh, under her dress.
Kate's brain seemed to catch up to what her body was doing. She pushed his hands off and stepped back from him. Her face was flushed.
"Sorry," Grant said, not meaning it.
"I have to go," she told him, then she turned and practically ran off. Grant let out a long stream of curse words, dropping into a nearby chair.
What were you thinking? he scolded himself. Get your head on straight. You can't sleep with your father's assistant. In his desire for Kate, he wasn't watching for Gus, and now the dog was missing. He cursed again and took out his phone to use as a flashlight and poked around the landscape, looking for the adventurous corgi.


Author Bio:
Alina is an architect by day, writer by night. Her favorite thing to do is curl up with a hot drink and a good book. She lives in a large Southern city in an old house with an old dog.
Alina Jacobs is a pen name.







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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)
Cover Source: GoodReads.com
Title: City of Bones
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Version Reviewed: Finished, Audiobook
Narrator: Mae Whitman
I borrowed this audiobook from my local library.

GoodReads Synopsis:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know...

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.
Review:
City of Bones is one of those books that I have been dying to read for quite some time but, for whatever reason, have never picked it up. I've literally owned the paperback for years but have never opened it.  I decided that this would be the year that I would change that.

This book was honestly everything that I expected and hoped it would be. There's so much action and adventure and I honestly saw some parallels between Valentine and Voldemort, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There's so much to lose yourself in inside this story that I found myself instantly hooked, needing to know what was going to happen next, which creature we would learn about in the next chapter, what kind of choices the characters would have to make.

There were a few things that were easy for me to figure out along the way but that didn't take away from the surprise of the situations when they actually happened. If anything it made me sad that I was right and that these characters would act in that way.

I am definitely excited to read more and I'm curious about how Jace and Clary's relationship will change and grow. I'm also really curious about Bane's character. I found him extremely entertaining and interesting.

Rating: 4 Stars.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Sneak Peeks & Giveaway: An Impossible World by S.P. Cervantes


An Impossible World
S.P. Cervantes
Published by: Amber Leaf Publishing
Publication date: July 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Romance
What would happen if terrorism spread and hate took over? What would the world become?
Isabella (Belle) Grey trained her entire adult life to protect those around her––training that would prove invaluable in her quest to make a new life. Forced to live in an impossible world, terror was not only outside the walls of her protected community but also raged behind the walls of her very own home.
No longer willing to put up with her husband’s drunken abuse, Belle made the desperate decision to run away from the safety of her community and escaped alone into the broken world beyond.
Chased by death as bombs exploded in the distance, her next decision could not only save her life but could potentially bring light back into her darkened soul.
When faced with the impossible, Belle found strength in an unsuspecting stranger who set her path in a new direction––one she never considered.
Fear. Love. Revenge. Strength … all come together in this epic tale of fate and survival.
Only 99¢ for a limited time!
SNEAK PEEKS:
Keagan
“In this world, loving someone is a weakness.” He let his fingers trace my chin, “I’ve always been strong. I need to be strong.” His voice was a whisper as his eyes fell to my lips.

I didn’t break my gaze from his, “You are strong.” I wanted to say so much more but was too lost in the way his eyes told me he wanted everything I did.
He leaned in so close that I could feel his warm breath mix with mine. He placed one hand on the wall behind me, “You make me weak.”
Christian
“I want to be the first person you kiss under the stars, and I think you do too.”
He didn’t wait for my answer, he was right, he knew everything about me.
“Is it too hard for you to hear that I prayed every day of my life since I left that we’d be brought back together again, only when it actually happened, I don’t have you at all?”


Author Bio:
S.P. Cervantes is the author of the acclaimed contemporary romance A BROKEN FAIRY TALE series. The series allows you to connect with a group of friends and their triumphs over tragedy. "Dust to Dust" is a suspenseful stand-alone romance that introduces readers to this close knit group of loyal friends. "Wished Away" is an emotional romance that should be read before the Bad-Boy romance, "His Jar of Hearts". The stand-alone highly acclaimed romance called "The Wife" is now available.
S.P. Cervantes's new dystopian romance, AN IMPOSSIBLE WORLD, will be released on July 25th.
S.P. is also the author of the highly rated Young Adult Romantic Fantasy trilogy Secrets of Shadow Hill. "Always and Forever", "The Prophecy", and "War of Wizards" that has been described as "Twilight Meets Harry Potter". It's not your typical romantic fantasy.
S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Cover Reveal: Scandalous by Sybil Bartel


Scandalous
Sybil Bartel
(Alpha Bodyguard #1)
Publication date: September 10th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Bodyguard.
Babysitter.
Chauffeur.
Not what the hell I thought I’d be doing with my life.
Especially not for a spoiled Hollywood actress on location in Miami Beach. But triple pay and carrying a gun had its advantages. I’d shove away paparazzi and screaming fans for a lot less. The Marines trained me to be Force Recon—intimidation and crowd control was child’s play compared to four tours. This assignment should’ve been easy money.
But the doe-eyed starlet with the perfect ass dragged me down her rabbit hole. Living for the spotlight, she leaked the perfect scandal. I warned her making headlines wasn’t in my job description, but she kept smiling for the cameras.
Now she was going to find out just how scandalous a bodyguard could be.
*SCANDALOUS is a sexy standalone book in the new Alpha Bodyguard Series!
The Alpha Bodyguard Series
SCANDALOUS – Tank’s story
MERCILESS – Collins’s story
RECKLESS – Tyler’s story
RUTHLESS – Sawyer’s story


Author Bio:
Sybil Bartel grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew her into the world of storytelling. She loves the New Adult genre, but any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she isn’t writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
But Seriously?
Here are ten things you probably really want to know about Sybil.
She grew up a faculty brat. She can swear like a sailor. She loves men in uniform. She hates being told what to do. She can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks her out. Her favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—she can’t decide. She has a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on her for driving directions, ever. And she has a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell her husband.
To find out more about Sybil Bartel, be sure to follow her on Twitter (she loves to hear about your favorite book boyfriend!), visit her website, like her on Facebook or join her Facebook group Book Boyfriend Heroes for exclusive excerpts and giveaways.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Great Book Purge - July (US Only)

Welcome to 
The Great Book Purge!
At the beginning of 2018 I devoted myself to minimilizing my home and my life.
In an effort to do this, I decided it was finally time to get rid of all of the books I've been hoarding for years. I've been using my books for monthly giveaway hops but I decided that it wasn't enough. So now, each month, I'll be giving away a random book!
Here's the deets:

This Month's Prize:
One winner will receive my copy of
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Everything is going to change.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
Remember. Survive. Run.

RULES
Ends July 31st, 2018 (EST)
Only one winner.
No Cheating.
Entries WILL BE VERIFIED.
US Only
I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.

GOOD LUCK! 

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