Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: TRUST by Kylie Scott





TRUST
by Kylie Scott
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Pages: 374
Source: InkSlingerPR | Netgalley
Purchase Amazon | B&N | iBooks






Synopsis

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.



My Thoughts

After finishing TRUST, Kylie Scott has me on my knees begging her to write more young adult. PLEASE!!!

I wanted to read TRUST from the moment I read the synopsis about a seventeen year old girl begin held at gun point. When I was seventeen, I was help at gunpoint at my place of employment, and it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. This connection to the character was immediate. I wanted to know how Edie felt. I wanted to know how the people around her treated her. I wanted to know how it affected her and how it changed her. 

Kylie Scott describes moments of great intensity and fear, and she captured the connection of these characters who went though this traumatic event together. Scott creates an atmosphere where you are in the moment Edie and John and you understand the pull that is so strong it continues to bring them together. 

And even with all of the intense moments, Scott brings in a lot of humor to their story. Her dialogue kept me laughing throughout. I loved Edie's sarcasm and strength when she realizes she's not going to take crap for anyone any more. An empowered Edie is fierce.

I loved reading about Edie's friendship with Hang. I've read a lot of books with some awesome best friends in them lately, and I would add TRUST to that category. Hang and Edie are a fun, supportive, and entertaining pair. I hope we get to see more of Hang - maybe in a companion novel. I mean, I am begging for more YA! 

It was easy to fall in love John. For many reasons, John Cole gave off the Marcus Flutie vibe. (If you know Marcus Flutie from the Sloppy Firsts series, you would know this is a high compliment. LOL!) He's the bad boy trying to reform and he tries not to drag Edie into his mess. One of my favorite scenes is the first night of texting with Edie. It was sweet and funny.

Favorite Quotes:

"It's okay to be afraid, Edie. You Just can't let it stop you from doing anything."

"If he makes you cry, he's not worth it."

"Justice is about to be served sunny-side up."

"How about we play spin the bottle, later. Just you and me."

I've already recommended TRUST to a few friends. It's a book I'll recommended to readers who like their YA a little bit edgier. It's one I'll recommend to adults who think they don't like YA because I think this book would change their mind. 

I loved this book so much, I am already ready for a reread. And I can't wait to listen to the audiobook!



Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. I've also purchased a finished copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.





kyliescottimage


Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Release Day Review: WRECKED by JB Salsbury



Wrecked
By JB Salsbury
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Published by Forever
Pages: 353
Source: Publisher | Netgalley 

Purchase




Synopsis

When you can't trust yourself, how can you ask anyone else to?


It's been months since Aden Colt left the Army, and still the memories haunt him. When he moved into a tiny boat off the California coast, he thought he'd found the perfect place to escape life. Then Sawyer shows up and turns his simple life upside down. Beautiful and sophisticated, she seems out of place in this laid-back beach town. Something is pushing her to experience everything she can—including Aden. But as much as he wants her, starting a relationship with Sawyer puts them both at risk. For Aden, the past doesn't stay there; it shows up unexpectedly, uncontrollably, and doesn't care whose life it wrecks.

My Thoughts 

I can't believe I almost passed this book over.

At first glance, WRECKED would not be the kind of book I'm immediately drawn to. The hero, Aden, is ex-military with memories that still haunt him. This is where I would think this book isn't for me - I don't read military books. There's too much heartache, too much emotion, too much of pain that I can't handle. But I didn't want to dismiss a book out of fear or assumptions. I know I miss out on a ton of great books because for this reason. I needed to take a chance. Plus, I haven't read any of JB Salsbury's books and I wanted to read a book by a new-to-me author.

WRECKED did stir up my emotions. The story was painful and there was heartache and secrets, but there was also hope and possibility and healing. Aden and Sawyer have their pasts and their fears - and as they tried to get lost in each other and make each other forget - they became something more. Aden pushed Sawyer to be adventurous. Sawyer gave Aden someone who could give him comfort and peace. 

 What I liked:
  • How much this book surprised me. It's not at all what I thought it was going to be.
  • The kisses! JB writes some smoking hot kissing scenes. Seriously, Aden and Sawyer didn't have to take it any further (even though they did 😜)- because the kisses were epic.
  • How I could completely relate to Sawyer's fear of sharks - THOSE TEETH!
  • The humor - Sawyer was a little bit awkward and Aden was straight forward at it was endearing.
  • It is set in San Diego! I love San Diego and have been to Sunset Cliffs and I liked connecting with the book this way.
 Favorite Quote:
 "Because life is beautiful and terrifying," she whispers. "And we deserve to feel it down to our bones."

WRECKED is a beautiful story about two people finding each other and living a life they didn't imagine for themselves. Aden and Sawyer found their way into each other's hearts and this story found its way into mine. I loved it!





 
 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

New York Times bestselling author JB Salsbury spends her days lost in a world of budding romance and impossible obstacles. Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. Since 2013 she has published six bestselling novels in The Fighting Series and won a RONE Award. JB Salsbury lives with her husband and two kids in Phoenix, Arizona





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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Excerpt and Giveaway: THE FORBIDDEN by Jodi Ellen Malpas



THE FORBIDDEN
by Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publication Date: August 8, 2017
Published by Forever
Pages: 368


Read an Excerpt of THE FORBIDDEN by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Keeping his eyes on mine, he calls to the barman. “Two tequilas, please.”
“Tequila,” I muse, looking over my shoulder when the salt and lemon land behind me. “Is that my challenge?”
“Crying off?” he goads, reaching into his pocket and pulling out some notes.
“Never,” I scoff, turning into the bar. I don’t know what his game is, but I want to play. With him. “You’re asking me to prove I’m sober by doing a shot?” I narrow my eyes on him, teasing. “Or is your plan to get me drunk and take advantage of me?”
He smiles to himself as he pays the barman. “You don’t look like the kind of woman who could be taken advantage of.”
“What kind of woman do I look like, then?” I challenge quietly.
He turns into me, watching me for a few moments. “I don’t know, but I think I’d like to find out.”
I hold his gaze for a few seconds, no retort coming to me. I think I want him to find out, too, just as much as I want to find out what kind of man he is. My eyes drop from his sparkling greys, down his tall, lean frame to his feet.
Oh…fuck…
“Let’s play,” he says, moving in closer and pulling one of the glasses forward. I don’t mean to, but I yank my arm away abruptly when he brushes against me, startled by the tiny stabs of pleasure that pitter-patter all over my skin. The fleeting touch tells me he would feel as good as he looks, and—give me strength—he smells divine, all manly and earthy and fucking edible.
The sudden lapse in movement and talking from both of us becomes slightly awkward. I can feel him looking down at me.
“What do I have to do?” I ask again quietly, almost on a breathy gasp.
He clears his throat. “You’re not drunk?”
“Not even the slightest bit.” I raise my nose in the air.
“Good. Then you’ll smash this challenge first time.” He places a finger on the brim of one of the shot glasses. “Brace your palms on the edge of the bar,” he orders, firm but softly. I look at him, finding a serious face. “Go on.”
Frowning, I place my hands on the edge of the bar. “Okay?”
He takes my hips. He takes my fucking hips! I freeze from top to toe and swallow hard, waiting. My insides are quickly furling, my mind in chaos. “Move back a bit,” he says, pulling at them a little until I step back.
Oh, Jesus. I’m on fire. I have a strange man bending me over a bar in public, and me, Annie I’m-immune-to-men Ryan, isn’t fighting him off. It’s like he has me under a spell. What gives? I dare not look behind me. I’m not stupid enough to think Lizzy isn’t currently watching a man manipulate my body to where he wants it.
“You feel tense,” he observes, releasing me and moving back to my side.
I don’t deny it; neither do I confirm it. His big hands felt so good resting on my hips, so much so I have to resist not claiming them and putting them back where they were. “What now?” I ask, evidently struggling for air, damn me.
“Now.” He picks up his beer and grins. “I get to gloat that I had you bent over a bar within five minutes of meeting you.” He takes a swig, still grinning, and I hear the roar of a man down the bar laughing his head off.
Oh, the fucker! Part of me has admiration. Another part of me wants to slap him stupid; I don’t care how beautiful he is. And another part of me wants to rip his clothes from his body and ravish the sly bastard.
I cannot believe I fell for it! How many women has he played like a fiddle? I drop my head, shaking it to myself.
I knew that smile was dangerous. A man who can bend a woman to his will so easily and so soon couldn’t be anything less than lethal. And the fact that he got me with his wicked game means hats off to him. I can’t possibly take that away from him, and since I’m lacking in the dignity department right now, I decide not to slap him. Nor will I chuck a drink over his head, or fire a load of verbal abuse at him.
I’ll do what he least expects.
I push myself up and turn to face him, unable to stop myself from smiling at his half-grin. Holding his gaze, I slowly lick the back of my hand, blindly take the salt off the bar, sprinkle a bit, and take one of the shots of tequila. But as I’m taking my hand to my mouth to lick the salt up, he seizes my wrist and takes the shot from my other hand. My heartbeat accelerates, our eyes glued to each other as he moves into me and slowly brings my hand to his mouth. I watch, gripped, as he lazily licks up the salt from the back of my hand, eyes on mine, and then knocks the tequila back. Kill me now, for I will certainly die a happy woman. His tongue on my skin. His eyes boring into mine. His hold of my wrist. I must look like a statue—unable to talk, move, or think clearly.
“There’s one more tequila,” he says, cocking his head toward the bar but keeping me in his sights. “And it’s yours.”
Oh good lord. My heart is speeding up by the second as I watch him lick the back of his hand and sprinkle some salt. Then he offers it to me. I stare at his hand, and then slowly look up at him. I could get lost in those grey glittery eyes.
“I taste good,” he whispers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE by Christina June




IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE
by Christina June
Publication Date: May 9, 2017
Published by Blink/HarperCollins
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher | Purchased
Purchase Amazon | B&N | Indiebound






Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.


My Thoughts

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is a wonderful summer read. It's charming and heartwarming and funny. It was a fast, enjoyable read, and left me with a giant smile on my face.


Before starting IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE, I didn't realize how much I would have in common with Tatum. I once found myself in a similar situation of being an unknowing participant) and could completely understand her feelings of injustice, but also shame. I often felt that Tatum was given a raw deal, so I was happy to cheer for her when something went her way.

What I liked:
  •  Abby - She was a good friend to Tatum and came into her life at just the right time - when she needed a friend, someone who hand her back, the most. One of my favorite lines “You’re good people, Tatum,” she said.
  • The wise "feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother" Blanche. She offered insight, perspective, and love to Tatum. She made the unbearable moments more bearable.
  • The online friendship/flirtation with SK. It was fun to read their cute back and forth emails and also witness their vulnerability. Their connection was sweet.
  • Seeing the growth of the family and all of the amazing things that can happen when they finally take the time to have the difficult conversations and try to understand each other
AND JUST LOOK THIS COVER! I LOVE IT. It is so pretty and it is what drew me to the book in the first place.


Favorite Quotes:

It was Abby’s turn to grasp my shoulder in solidarity. “We should start a club.” 
“The loser club?” 
“How about the Missed Opportunities Club?”
-I love the camaraderie between Tatum and Abby.

“Nothing is immovable, Tatum. Everything is negotiable.” 
I smirked and nodded at the TV. “Did you learn that from The Golden Girls?” 
She smiled back. “It might have been The Facts of Life.” 
-The connection to The Golden Girls was a nice touch (I love that show) and then to mention The Facts of Life (another favorite from back in the day) made it even better.

IT STARTED WITH GOODBYE is a fun summer read. If you like stories about blended families, friendships, and want a happily ever after, then this book may be for you!



Disclaimer:  I received an ARC of this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. I've also purchased a finished copy for my personal library. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: UNTIL IT FADES by K.A. Tucker




 

UNTIL IT FADES
by K.A. Tucker
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Published by Atria Books
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley 
Add to Goodreads
Purchase Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound







Synopsis

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season). 


And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?


My Thoughts

I straight-up loved this book! I learned about UNTIL IT FADES when I met K.A. Tucker at Apollycon earlier this year and I have been anxiously waiting for it ever since. And even though I have several of Tucker's books, it was the concept of a small town, a young woman with a past, and fear of the media spotlight, that put this book at the top of my TBR list.

This story sunk its hooks into me and I read it well into the night. I enjoyed Tucker's style of writing and the first person perspective and really getting to understand Catherine - her life, her friendships, and her relationship with her family.

What I liked:
  • The idea of Catherine being a truck stop waitress. I knew this occupation/profession would bring a lot of interesting people into her life. (I was a waitress at a restaurant right off of the interstate, so I find this part of her life totally relatable.)
  • Brett Madden - I fell for him immediately. His gratitude and that first hug he gave Catherine and I was a goner.
  • Catherine's five year old daughter, Brenna. She was inquisitive and active and adorable. Her presence wasn't to add a cuteness factor to the story, but rather to show the love between a mother and her child. And to show the wonder of a child's love for the people in her life.
  • The flashbacks - I enjoy this method of storytelling and getting to learn about the character's past
  • This book made me laugh and filled my heart with hope. There were moments of intensity that had my heart pumping and the tears threatening to flow.

Favorite Quotes:

"for the fairy-tale lover in all of us" - THIS DEDICATION.I need more of the happily ever afters

"This is the problem with where I live. Small towns, small lives. Big mouths." - There are wonderful things about small towns, but when people get to talking and your life becomes everyone's business, Catherine can't help but focus on the negative. 

"Because this is a good thing, and you deserve good things in your life, whether you'll accept that or not." Catherine is just too hard on herself

I feel foolish for waiting so long to read a book by this author because I enjoyed UNTIL IT FADES so much. I'm just thankful that I have a whole collection to dive in to.

I highly recommend this book because everyone deserves their happily ever after!


Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Quotes were taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may differ from the final published version. Thoughts and opinions are my own.


K.A. Tucker is the author of He Will Be My Ruin and the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.


FIND K.A. TUCKER ONLINE:
http://www.katuckerbooks.com/
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