Tuesday, September 27, 2016

ARC Review: Down Shift (Driven #8) by K Bromberg

The review as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Signet
416 Pages

The New York Times bestselling Driven series continues with a standalone story about finding love where you least expect it…
 
Behind the wheel, racing champion Zander Donavan is at the top of his game. But after too much excess in his personal life, he’s forced to step away. He needs to accomplish something all on his own—outside of his famous father’s shadow. 

Getty Caster is running away from the abuse that clouds her past. She thinks she’s found the perfect escape—until she discovers a stranger in the beachside cottage she’d been promised. He’s undeniably sexy, but she’s there to heal. Alone.

Before long though, fighting with each other turns into fighting their attraction. And giving into desire sets off a chain reaction that has their pasts colliding. With an unexpected love on the line, can they overcome the fallout to build a future?



I've only read a total of, I think, 3 books from this series, but I've enjoyed them all. Down Shift surprised me. While reading the first few chapters I wasn't quite sure I would like it all that much and then the story broke and we got to the heart of the journey and I was sucked in.

"Just jump"
 
From what I've gathered, Zander is from the first book in the series. Since I started on book 5, I didn't have the pleasure of meeting Zander when he was a kid. When I met him, he was an angry young man having just uncovered some horrible truths about his childhood that his own mind had locked away. My first impression was not a kind one. Here was a man throwing away his career and family over anger. He chose not too talk about it, to find the truth in the lies, but instead lost sponsors and was fired from his racing team - by his own father. 
We then jump to Getty. A very timid and cautious young woman hiding out on a coastal island. What she's running from we don't know yet. She's the complete opposite of Zander's harshness. She's working at a local bar and staying at a cottage owned by an old friend of her mothers when she suddenly gets an unexpected houseguest - Zander.Both having been told they could stay there - one from the wife and one from the husband- they must learn how to live together with their secrets.
 
One thing that I do like from Bromberg is nothing is instantaneous. Yes, there's attraction - but attraction happens instantly. Relationships need to be built, both friendship and more, and Bromberg recognizes this. Especially with two characters who have such messed up pasts. They begin as just two people cohabiting, then slowly a friendship emerges, trust is built until suddenly there are stronger feelings. But as we all know, with these stronger feelings comes more problems. 

Getty's past catches up with her forcing her to finally stand up to the people who held her down. With Zander's help, she's able to see that it wasn't all in her head and she had a good reason for running. I really liked how Zander didn't swoop in and make everything all right, instead he helped her become string enough to stand on her own. In return, Getty showed Zander that it's ok to be vulnerable and that sometimes the past isn't what we thought it was. Letting go and moving forward, while it may be hard, is the best thing to do. 

A story about coming to terms with the past and moving ahead toward the future. Down Shift is drama, pain, and sweetness all rolled into one. 


I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Blog Tour: One Real Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #1) by Samantha Young

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I absolutely adore Samantha Young's writing and I am super excited to take part in the release day Blog Tour for her new series. Young writes romance in ways that just keep you swooning and wanting more! If you haven't checked her out yet, I strongly encourage you to.

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Berkley
382 Pages

Welcome to Hartwell, a quiet seaside escape where uncovering old secrets could lead one woman to discover the meaning of a love that lasts…

While Doctor Jessica Huntington engages with the inmates at the women’s correctional facility where she works, she’s always careful to avoid emotional attachments in her personal life. Loss and betrayal taught her that lesson long ago. But when she comes across a set of old love letters in the prison’s library and visits the picturesque town of Hartwell to deliver them to their intended recipient, she finds herself unable to resist the town’s charm—and her attraction to the sexy owner of a local bar proves equally hard to deny.

Since his divorce from his unfaithful ex-wife, Cooper Lawson has focused on what really matters: his family and the boardwalk pub they’ve owned for generations. But the first time Jessica steps into his bar, Cooper is beyond tempted to risk his heart on her. Yet as their attraction grows hotter and Jessica remains stubbornly closed off, he begins to realize it will take more than just passion to convince her there’s only one real thing in life worth fighting for…


 
 
“You’re not walking back to the inn alone at night, Doc. We’ve been over that.” He grinned as she flushed at the reminder of their make-out session on the beach.

She huffed. “I’m perfectly capable of doing so.”

“Not arguing about it.”

“What happened to the enlightened gentleman who let me pay for dinner the other day?”

“Splitting the cost of a date is different from seeing to your safety.”

“Date?” Bailey’s ears perked up.

“Fine, you can walk me home,” Jessica said abruptly, cutting off Bailey’s curiosity. “’Bye, all!” She hurried out of the house.

Cooper was met by four amused stares. He smiled back at them and Bailey looked ready to burst with delight. She thought they were a tag team.

They weren’t.

Cooper still wanted the doc to make up her own mind.

Didn’t mean teasing her wasn’t fun as hell.

He hurried to catch up with her outside. “Hold your horses, Doc.”

She turned to wait for him. The sadness he caught on her face kicked the amusement right out of him.

They walked together toward the inn in silence until Cooper couldn’t take it anymore. It needed to be talked about. “You happy back in Wilmington, Doc?”

He felt her tense beside him. She suddenly threw her hands up in seeming frustration. “I don’t know, okay? I don’t know. But I do know that my life is back in Wilmington, Cooper. My job is there. And I’m good at my job. Those women need someone like me. I made a commitment to my job that I can’t just break.”

“And what about you?” he argued. “What about what you need?”

Her only answer was this pained expression he didn’t quite understand.

It was full of so much hurt he decided to drop it.

Silence fell between them, but the usual camaraderie he enjoyed so much between them was gone. As the moments passed, he was aware of everything about her. The heat of her body close to his, the quick rise and fall of her chest that told him she was just as affected by his closeness, the little tremble in her full bottom lip he didn’t think she was even aware of.

The previous night, he’d dreamed about her.

She was in his bar like the day they’d met. No one else around but them.

He’d fucked her on top of one of the tables.

Fast. Furious.

So hot.

Cooper had woken up only to jump into the shower. He’d closed his eyes and remembered the dream as he took care of himself.

It was empty, so fucking empty, in comparison to what reality could be.

His dick tightened in his jeans thinking about it, his gaze shooting to Jessica’s mouth. It was time to remind her what was possible between them.

Cooper grabbed her wrist and pushed her up against the side of Dahlia’s gift shop. The alley between it and George’s place was dark and silent except for their heavy breathing. He pinned her in, his hands braced on the wall at either side of her head.

Jessica stared up at him with those big, dark eyes. “Coop—”

He cut off her coming question with his mouth just like last time.

She tasted of the mint ice cream they’d had for dessert and something else. Something all Jess.

She whimpered against his kiss a second before he felt her tongue touch his and that was it.

He was lost.

His kiss turned hungry as a feeling of desperation came over him and he pressed his body down the length of hers. The lush feel of her mouth mingled with the weight of her breasts pressed to him was enough on its own to fire him up, but when she wrapped her arms around his neck and tightened her fingers in his hair to draw him closer, he was done for.

He gripped her ass in his hand, urging her closer, his dick straining against her belly. His hand slid down to the back of her thigh and he hiked one of her legs up against his hip so he could be where he needed to be, fitting snugly between her thighs.

Fuck, he wished she were wearing a skirt.

“Cooper.” She breathed out his name, breaking the kiss. Her head fell back and her eyes fluttered with the sensation of him rubbing against her, mimicking sex. Her cheeks were flushed as she moaned and dug her hands into his shoulders to hold on. She flexed her hips against his and he felt his nerve endings catch fire.

He needed to be inside her.

The soft skin of her throat called to him and, as she gyrated against him, he tasted her, pressing kisses down her neck and across her collarbones. He moved his other hand down her back as his mouth reached the rise of her breasts. He brushed his thumb over the thin shirt and bra that hid them from him and groaned as her nipple visibly pebbled through the material.

If they didn’t stop soon he was going to take her right there.

“Fuck.” He pulled away from her abruptly and she stumbled back against the wall, looking as dazed as he felt.

All he’d wanted was a taste of her.

Now he knew for certain that just a taste would never be enough with this woman. “Tell me,” he said, a little breathless, “tell me you’ve got this back in Wilmington, Doc.”

He watched the muscle in her jaw twitch as she clenched her teeth.

She couldn’t tell him.

He knew that. Because what they had between them didn’t come around very often.

“Doc?” he persisted, and he learned in that moment that Jessica Huntington was not only smart and sassy but stubborn as hell.

“I can’t do this”—she gestured between them—“not with you.”

And she walked away.

Gutting him.

He was just asking her to think about making room in her life for him. The fact that she wouldn’t even contemplate it for a second, when his blood was on fire with need for her and his mind was on her most hours of the day, was like a gaping wound.

Strangely, the pain fired his determination. Jessica Huntington was lying to herself. Cooper didn’t know why, but he was going to find out.

By then the doc would be in his bed.

Right where they both knew she belonged.

 __________________________

Whoa...so what do you guys think? I think I'm going to break out my copy tonight!

Thank you to Berkley for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Review: Shades of Earth (Across the Universe #3) by Beth Revis

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 13, 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
448 Pages

The final book in the  New York Times  bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Galactica and Prometheus!

FUELED BY LIES.
RULED BY CHAOS.
ALMOST HOME.

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship  Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh—to build a home—on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who—or what—else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed—friends, family, life on Earth—will have been for nothing.





All I gotta say is, just go with your gut people!

Oh man, this book. It was all over the place hitting every emotion on the spectrum: sadness, horror, fear, happiness, love, wonderment...you name it, it was there. But honestly, I guess that's to be expected when you land on a new planet and are unsure of what awaits you. Revis did a great job at describing this new place to us. I could see it visually and found myself, like the characters, wanting to explore and uncover its secrets. And there were a lot of secrets.

Having decided to leave Godspeed behind and lead some of his people to this new Earth, Elder finds himself in over his head. These people look at him to lead and he's just as confused as the rest of them. Amy's solution: wake up the frozens. As you can guess this doesn't go over well. The shipborns are terrified of the earthborns. The earthborns don't understand the shipborns. And then there's Amy's father - now head of the mission. He immediately takes over, giving orders and taking charge.

I was not a fan of Amy's parents. Her father didn't recognize Elder as a leader mostly because of his age, which I get, but he didn't take time to try to understand these new people. He completely disregarded anything his daughter tried to tell him. Yes, he was trying to set up a new colony on a new planet but at the same time, wouldn't you think he would want to know why Amy was woken up early, what happened on Godspeed, how Elder came to be, ANYTHING. Especially her mother who was a scientist! It's literally her job to ask questions!

And don't get me started on Chris.

The world building and the sci-fi element were what made this book for me. When people started dying from mysterious creatures I wanted to know more! The explanation - maybe not as cool as it could have been but interesting. I just wished that I hadn't predicted a majority of the book so early on. Overall this was a solid 3 star series for me and I am interested in what else the author has to offer.



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 8/23: Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

                              

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted MizB at Books and a Beat!
To participate, all you have to do is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can ad the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
 ____________________________





I'd run from the train station right across town, and it had felt like maybe I was running for my last chance at being normal. Charging through the cold air, over the crusty little patches of snow, away from the weirdness of the whole afternoon with Toby. I didn't feel like me.


Page 90, Chapter 22 









What are you reading this week?
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 21, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
404 Pages

Book 2 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!

GODSPEED WAS FUELED BY LIES. NOW IT IS RULED BY CHAOS.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision--no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder learns shocking news, he and Amy must race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed, all the while dealing with the love that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: THEY HAVE TO GET OFF THIS SHIP.


A Million Suns shows what happens when basically a body of government breaks down. When you give people back their free will, what will they do with it? This book picks up exactly where the first ended and I like that Revis left nothing out. She completely went for it in this installment. All the truths were laid out - even ones I never thought existed. Lies, murder, conspiracies, backstabbing - this book encompasses them all.

When Elder made the choice to free his people from the drugging of the water, I don't think he anticipated the fallout. Not everyone wanted the truth. What was interesting was how many people preferred to be blind. On the other side, there were the ones who now that they could think for themselves, they didn't want to follow the leader they always had. They wanted to choose their leader and Elder doesn't know how to deal with that. He was so naive in a way. He figured everyone, once freed, would still follow blindly and just accept all that he does as truth.

Then there was Amy. With all the truths mostly uncovered, she just wanted her parents back. She was naive in a different way from Elder. She was so focused on getting to Sol-Earth that she didn't take the time to understand the people of Godspeed. She didn't understand Elder's loyalty to them. She wanted Earth back.

Middle books aren't always the strongest for me. Since they are basically a bridge from the beginning to the end, sometimes they are just info dumps or slow moving plot lines. I didn't feel that with this one. It was it's own beast with it's own problems - some new. It moved the plot along nicely and has me wanting to know what happens now. There's so many unanswered questions. So many things that I just don't trust. I want to be as optimistic as Amy, but it all honesty, I'm scared of what's to come - in a good way though!



Monday, August 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: Every Little Thing by Samantha Young





Happy Monday! I am so excited to be part of the cover reveal for Every Little Thing by Samantha Young. This is the second in Young's Hart's Boardwalk series. I absolutely adore Samantha Young and I cannot wait to read this!

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The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 2017
Publisher: Berkley

Hartwell, Delaware—the perfect place to get away from it all, and find what you never knew you needed…

Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content—her successful business, a close circle of friends, and her steady boyfriend…even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey’s blindsided by a betrayal, she’s shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey’s free spirit, independence, and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn’s painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realize he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he’s never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they’ve found together only comes around once in a lifetime.




Thank you so much to everyone at Berkley and Penguin for allowing me to take part in this cover reveal!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8)

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: July 31, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown UK
330 Pages

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.




On June 26, 1997 the world was introduced to Harry Potter. Whether you started at the beginning or joined the magic later on, no one can deny that this book series is one of the best things to happen to literature in a very long time. I will admit, I didn't read the first book until right before the first movie was released, but once I did, I was enchanted. Fast forward many years later, and many emotions later, when we all thought this world was over, we got Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

I won't lie. I had extremely mixed emotions about this one. Yes, I love Harry Potter. But I also love the way that is was wrapped up. Book 7 ended perfectly. I didn't want anything to ruin that. On the other hand, I was intrigued by this future world that was being introduced to us. So, like many, I devoured it the moment I opened it.

Book 8 picks up right where 7 ended - our grown up crew all sending their children off to Hogwarts. But this time we focus on Albus Potter. When we first meet Albus, he's nervous and a little scared of going off to Hogwarts, but like his father before him, he gets on the train and instantly makes a new friend - Scorpious Malfoy (who is freaking adorable). The play fast forwards their first few years at Hogwarts and we watch Albus become this extremely sullen teenager who feels the pressures of being Harry Potters son. Mix that with his best friend who has to deal with the rumors of his  birth and you get two outcasts who want to prove they are more than their last names.

I don't really want to give anything away plot wise, but it was a very interesting one. But I will agree with a lot of the reviews I've been reading in which there are holes. But I don't chalk this up to bad storytelling. More like this was a play. In a play you don't get the pages and pages of background and descriptions that you normally get in a regular book. So it was definitely more of a visual imagining. But I love plays and I love this world so it was easy for me to watch it play out.

Then there were the characters.

Oh man, I knew there would be feels involved but I didn't expect the FEELS, ya know? I don't want to say, but there's one scene (fans will know when they read it) that just hit me really hard and, yeah, I'll admit it, I got teary. I had this book rated at 4 stars when I started this review and have since bumped it up to five because of the feelings I'm getting while writing this.

So thank you, JK Rowling for this world and for everything you've given us since. I've heard that she wants this to be the end of Harry for her (writing wise) and I completely understand. Rowling has given us the tools for it to live on forever in our hearts and minds.







 
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