Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Dragon Are People Too by Sarah Nicolas + Giveaway!

I am super excited to be joining Book Bound Tours on their release day book blitz of Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicholas. I absolutely love this cover and am excited to read this new release!

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: 04/28/15
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 255 Pages

Never judge a dragon by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the ├╝ber-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I have an excerpt for you. In this scene, the CIA has just torn apart Kitty’s father’s tea shop looking for her. She’s hovering invisible against the roof. This scene is a great example of Kitty and Sani’s relationship. 

I know my father's dragon-self must be searing with rage, as mine is, but he doesn't show it. "Told you she wasn't here," he says simply. 
"That's too bad," Cleft Chin says. He shrugs. "At least we'll be returning one rogue dragon to the compound." 
One rogue dragon? I don't think there are any other dragons out on assignment today due to last night's mishap. Domestic missions had been immediately recalled and foreign missions were told to hold off on returning until further notice was given. Who could they be bringing in? 
When one of the thugs takes out a pair of handcuffs, I realize they're talking about my father. My dragon-self roars in my head, the sound drowning out all logical thought. 
"No!" I yell, but only Sani can hear me. My ability protects us from being heard, though I'm ready to lose control of that when Sani places a hand on the side of my dragon-head.  
"Kitty." He sounds scared, but far more in control than I am. "Look at me." 
I can't. These assholes are putting handcuffs on my wheelchair-bound father and I'm calculating how many seconds it would take for me to rip all of their throats out. Less than three, I’d bet. 
"Your father doesn't want you caught," he says. "They have half an army outside and I still can't change." 
They start wheeling him out and the full length of my dragon body tenses. I'm thinking, as mad as I am, I could take out the bulk of the U.S. Army right now. If I let the dragon take full control, I probably wouldn't even feel bad about it. I loosen my hold on the magnetic currents keeping me aloft and we descend a few inches. 
"Look at me." I hear Sani's plea on the very edge of my rage-colored world. "Damn it, Kitty!"

Once again, thank you to Bound Book Tours and Sarah Nicolas for allowing me to take part in this Book Blitz!

Book Blitz Organized by:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Book Review: Asa (Marked Men #6) by Jay Crownover

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
384 Pages

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

It's no secret that I love these boys. Crownover has had me hooked since Rule, and hasn't let me go. So, to say that I was super excited for Asa is an understatement. While this may not have been my favorite book of the series, it still held that fire and sass that the Marked Men are known for, and I gobbled up every sentence.

We first met Asa way back in book 2, Jet. And not going to lie, there wasn't a whole lot that was likeable about him. He's an ex-criminal with a rap sheet that could probably cover the state of Texas. He's a con man, a thief, and a liar...or actually he was. A near death experience has Asa rethinking his lifestyle, not to mention, he wants to make up his past mistakes to his sister. Since working for Rome at The Bar, Asa has seemed to turn his life around. At least that's how it looks to everyone else, but to Asa himself, his past will always define him. He's no good, and he's definitely not good enough for that redheaded cop who keeps propositioning him.

Being a cop is all Royal has ever known. When her partner and best friend is injured on the
job, Royal starts to question how good of a cop she actually is, and more importantly, if this is what she should be doing with her life. On a path of self-destruction, Royal sets her sights on Asa. That southern charmer has always been on her mind, but deep down, she knew she should stay away. But now, she doesn't care and she wants Asa.

We tasted like sex and always.

I loved these two together. They were both a mess and both so full of self-loathing, but with each other, they were safe and free. Asa was used to charming the pants of women, but with Royal, he was determined to keep her pants on, so to speak. He fought his own want because of his hatred of himself. Meanwhile, Royal hated herself so much that she just wanted to feel something other than regret. With Asa, she felt everything - good and bad. She also didn't take his shit and constantly called him out.  When Asa finally gives in, he gives in believing he'll tear her up but in reality, she's the one owning him.

My only hitch with this one was that it didn't seem to have the same vibe as the rest. Not that it was a bad thing, but compared to the other books, this one just felt...off. I think it's because Asa was an outsider. He wasn't part of the tattoo crew, and while he was around from almost the beginning, it was more like he was looking through the windows instead of being an active participant. I also think that the lack of the other guys threw me. The Marked Men series has always seemed to be rooted in the friendships of these guys and that just wasn't present here. Most of the story was just Asa by himself. I missed the camaraderie of the gang. 

This series will remain one of my favorites. Each boy has a special place in my heart and I can see myself going back to them multiple times. Crownover's writing style is so real and the characters so vivid. These boys were so alive and jumped off of the page demanding to tell their story. The series wrapped up perfectly with us knowing where each boy lies. And that last paragraph...perfection. Can't wait for the spin-off series!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review: Wait For You (Wait For You #1) by Jennifer Armentrout

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
384 Pages

Some things are worth waiting for.

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago--an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe--please God--make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn't need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she's building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing.

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that's just so... so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet.

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she's has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for.

I want a Cam. Like seriously, where can I find one?

This was my first book by Jennifer Armentrout. I had read it awhile ago, forgot to write the review, and then reread it so it would be fresh in my mind. And boy, am I glad I did.

Avery is running from her past - all the way across the US to a college far far away from the life she grew up in. Something happened to her when she was fourteen and the repercussions of her actions have followed her since. In her mind, her only option was to run and it's on her first day where she literally runs into Cam. But because of her past, she has no time for him and goes out of her way to avoid contact even when it seems like the fates aren't helping (he lives across the hall from her).

Cam is just adorable. I mean, he has a pet turtle named Raphael. He was funny and sweet, and extremely patient. The author took the time to build a friendship between the two. They had a good rapport with each other and on top of that, you felt their chemistry. Cam never pushed Avery for anything more but was always there when he needed her. He makes her eggs every Sunday, come on!

What bothered me about this book was Avery's lying. She was constantly on Cam about being able to trust him and being honest, yet when he asks her point blank what happened to her, she lies. She lies all the time. And, don't get me wrong, my heart breaks for what she went through and how it was handled - that was horrible and should have never happened. But the way she treats Cam, the getting mad at him for not believing her, everything, I honestly don't understand how he stayed around. Trust is a two way street and that's what Avery couldn't understand.

Aside from that issue, I really enjoyed this book. The side characters also added life to the story so that it wasn't just focused on the two mains. I love when there are strong ensembles in stories. It just makes everything that much more believable. I will be continuing this series because I'm interested in the other characters and what Armentrout can bring to the table.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

ARC Review: The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Crush
192 Pages

Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back.

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.

There's beauty out there, and we're going to find it.

Dakota's had one hell of a day. After getting accepted to her dream art school, she finds out that her boyfriend cheated on her with her best friend. With no one to really voice her troubles to, she vents on paper and then, on a whim, puts it in a bottle and sends it out to sea. Only it doesn't go very far, in fact, it comes right back where Jack finds it.

Having run into Dakota at a local coffee shop, Jack was instantly transfixed. However, years of self-doubt and isolation from people his age have made Jack shy and uncertain of how to act around girls. Then there's also the fact that his family is extremely rich, he never knows exactly what people want from him. When he finds Dakota's message, he comes up with an idea - he creates this alter-ego, Alejandro, and writes Dakota back.

When I read the premise of this book, I was really excited. Guy finds message in a bottle and begins a relationship with girl via letters...sold. Well, that's not really how it happened. I was a little disappointed that Jack knew of Dakota before finding the letter. He had almost an insta-love connection with her. That threw me for a bit and also kind of moved me away from Jack. But once I read more about his character, he grew on me and he became quite the adorable one.

With Dakota, I loved her. Such a strong, unique, individual woman she was. Here's a girl who grew up on a hippie reservation of sorts. She was homeschooled and raised by artists. Art is her passion, her driving force, and when she meets Jack, she finds someone who matches her passion (his with music). Her actions made sense, her emotions were real, and I felt for her. I wanted her to find her way on her own.

The relationship between Dakota and Jack was a slow build-up. There was chemistry, but she was wary because of her past heartbreak and this 'Alejandro' thing, and Jack was hesitant because he was afraid to be himself. This was my first read from Gehrman but I don't think it will be my last. I liked the way she told the story. Both characters had interesting backgrounds that you don't normally see in YA and it made the story that much more intriguing. I like authors who change it up, and Gehrman did exactly that.

I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Book Review: Slow Burn (Driven #5) by K Bromberg

The review as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: February 25, 2015
Publisher: Signet
400 Pages

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Driven series. 

One Night. That's all it was supposed to be.

Reeling from the sudden loss of her sister, Haddie Montgomery has sworn off relationships. All she wanted from Beckett Daniels was a sexy distraction to help her escape her pain for just a little while....There weren’t supposed to be any strings attached—so why can’t she shake the memory of that unforgettable night from her thoughts? Or the taste of his kiss from her lips?

No matter how hard Haddie tries to forget about him, Becks relentlessly tries to prove that she should start living for today. But she is determined to avoid romantic commitment, and she can always use her ex-boyfriend’s reappearance to help snuff out the slow burn within her that Becks has sparked....

Or will fate force her to realize that this kind of connection doesn’t come along very often and a chance at love is worth the risk?

Hello, my name is Jenn and I like to start books in the middle of the series. I just can't seem to stop. Luckily, there are a lot of series now that don't require you to have read the entire collection. This was one of them and also my first from this author.

Haddie is not dealing well after the loss of her sister and the story begins with our main character at her friends wedding, getting trashed and just looking to get laid. Enter Becks, a mutual friend, who has been interested in Haddie for some time. He convinces her that a one night stand is not a good idea and for this one time, she agrees. But Becks has no willpower and eventually caves to Haddie's whim, only to find that one night is not enough.

I felt for Haddie, I really did. Losing a family member to cancer is something that is personal to me and to a lot of people unfortunately. What I didn't understand is how she just kind of gave up on her life. There's living in the moment, and then there's just being plain ridiculous. Her fear that what happened to her sister would happen to her plagues Haddie throughout the book. Even seeing the love her sister left behind, Haddie still couldn't understand why she needed more than no-strings attached.

As the story progressed, I kept getting more and more frustrated with Haddie. The relationship with her ex and how she just let him live with her. I mean, come on, it was obvious to everyone what he really wanted! But the kicker was when a serious medical issue comes up and she keeps it from everybody - including her best friend. That doesn't make you strong. Suffering in silence doesn't make you a better person to your friends. Ugh, sorry, it just really bothered me how she would complain about no one being there for her but they had no idea what was going on!

And then there was Becks. He was good. He dealt with Haddie's bullshit a lot longer than most would have, but he also wasn't this 'boy next door' that the author described him as. He had a temper and said things in anger that were extremely harsh. There were almost two different Becks and who knows which one you were going to get.

Finally, there was the relationship between the two. So much volleying back and forth. One minute they were good, then everything was hell, then it was good again. The chemistry was on fire in the beginning but then seemed to get lost. It was hard to see why they wanted to be together.

Overall, I didn't dislike it but I didn't love it. Others have told me to read Driven and swear I'll fall in love with Colton. I'm willing to give that a chance. I liked the way Bromberg wrote, I just didn't connect greatly with these characters.

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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

10 Years Later: A Second Chance Romance by J Sterling

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 28, 2015
Publisher: Self-Published
256 Pages

It’s been ten years since I've seen him. Ten years. I have no idea what he’s doing,where he’s been or if he’s even still single. Have I thought about him over the years? Of course. Absolutely. But that doesn't mean anything, right? Just because you think about the boy you used to be in love with doesn't mean you’re still in love with them now. Does it?

I haven’t seen her in ten years. She’s the whole reason I’m even coming to this reunion. If it wasn't for her, I would have stayed home. I made mistakes back in high school. Hell, I was just a kid then. But I’m here to right my wrongs,tell her I’m sorry and win her back. She changed my whole life and she doesn't even know it. It’s time she knew.

Some fear it, some love it. For some, it's that time to show off how far you've come. For others, it's a way to relive the glory days. It's the 10 year high school reunion.

Now, I didn't go to mine because, honestly, there wasn't anyone from high school that I really wanted to see. That was a time period that I am happy to forget. But for some, such as Cammie, it's a chance to maybe get back something that was lost.

Cammie had a rough senior year. Her life literally fell apart and the only thing that kept her going was Dalton - the boy she'd been crushing on for almost all of high school. She lived for their secret rendezvous, however, she was afraid to tell him how she really felt for fear that it would ruin what they had. 10 years later, she's regretting that decision and is hoping that the reunion will be just the place to meet up.

Dalton hasn't forgotten Cammie. Even though he's been off the social media networks, it doesn't mean that he hasn't been keeping tabs on her. He listens in to the morning radio show that she works on just for the chance to hear her voice. And like Cammie, his only reason for attending the reunion is to see her again.

While I didn't fall in love with the characters, it was a fast and cute read. I almost wish that the book had been divided into two parts: the first focusing on their high school relationship and the the second focusing on their meeting at the reunion and after. I liked reading the flashbacks throughout the story, but there were some that seemed thrown it at very weird moments and it took me out of the story a little. And there were no clear breaks at points between the past and the future.

However, I adore Sterling's witty writing. The internal monologues of her female characters are hilarious and for the most part, are relatable. Yes, there was some ridiculous drama thrown in that could have been easily avoided with just a little bit of communication, I liked the overarching feeling of hope that Sterling provided.

I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a fast read, or something to read down by the beach. 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

"Real" Book Challenge March Recap

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

It's Springtime! You know what that means? Outside reading time. I look forward to it every year and here in California, March kicks off spring for me. Add that plus a road trip to Texas, and March was a good reading month for me. So here are all the "real" books I've read in March:

Goal: 80
Total So Far: 17
Current Level: Real Book Enthusiast 

I added 8 more toward my goal for the month. Not bad at all. You can still join by heading over to  Fic Fare and signing up. Until next month!

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