Review: Tempting the Bodyguard (Gamble Brothers #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

tempting the bodygaurdTitle: Tempting the Bodyguard
Author: by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Gamble Brothers #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don’t protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he’s caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she’s at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…

My Review:
It took me a little while to get into this book as I didn’t like Alana from the outset – as a result of how her character was portrayed in Tempting the Player. But as the story progressed I came to understand her more fully, and began to feel sympathy for her. Overall this was a good read, if predictable.

While I enjoyed reading this series, it is not one of Jennifer’s best in my opinion.

Blog Tour: Cowboy Valentine by Mia Hopkins

Cowboy Valentine - BT Banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Cowboy Valentine by Mia Hopkins. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

CowboyValentine_300finalTitle: Cowboy Valentine
Author: Mia Hopkins
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Forget chocolate and flowers. This homegrown honey is all the sweetness he craves.

Small-town life is nothing but a waiting room for eighteen-year-old honor student Corazón Gomez. Work and school leave little time for love, but with a full-ride Ivy League scholarship and a one-way ticket out of the boondocks, who needs it?

The answer appears on Valentine’s Day when her old cowboy crush ambles into the ice cream parlor where she works, inviting her to go on a late-night ride in his truck. For the first time she wavers between staying on the straight and narrow, and going off-road with the handsome heartbreaker.

After four years working on ranches all over the country, Caleb MacKinnon is back on the family farm helping out his mom and brothers while his father fights cancer. The one bright spot: smart, funny, and wickedly sexy Cora.

From the start, they both know this blazing-hot love affair can’t last. But when autumn comes and Cora has to leave for the East Coast, Caleb must find a solution to keep himself—and his heart—from falling apart.

Warning: Contains hard, cherry-poppin’ sex in a pickup truck and a cowboy charmer who talks dirty in two languages.

graphicteaser4

My Review:
This was a short, sexy read and it will appeal to readers who enjoy the NA genre.

Cora is an intelligent, driven young women with a defined career path in mind. To date, she’s had no time for boys, but all that changes when her old high-school crush, Caleb, walks back into her life. Cue lots of fun, sexy times, and then inevitable heartbreak.

I didn’t realize that this was a novella-length story because, in most cases, I find stand-alone books of this size too short to feel a real emotional connection with the characters. I love novellas and shorts when they are part of a series as they usually add an extra dimension or much-needed back-story.

While I definitely enjoyed reading Cowboy Valentine, and it’s very well written, it lacked substance and depth. We don’t get to see Cora and Caleb’s relationship develop as we skip from first meeting to six months later and then six months after that. We never got to see them go out on dates, it’s just all about the sex. I would have liked more ‘story’ to the story.

I would have liked to see the cultural differences sub-plot adding some conflict to the development of their relationship. This was hinted at, but no more. Personally, I believe this to be a missed opportunity.

That said, I did like both main characters even if I couldn’t fully understand what drew them to each other. And I love this author’s writing style; her prose is beautiful, and I can definitely see myself checking out her future work. I’m wondering if Caleb’s brothers will feature in future books?

If you are looking for a fun, quick read then I would recommend Cowboy Valentine, and it easily holds its own against other similar sized NA titles.

Actual Rating: 3.75 Stars

graphicteaser5

HEADSHOTAbout the Author:
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends.

When she’s not lost in a story, Mia spends her time cooking, gardening, traveling, volunteering and looking for her keys. In a past life, she was a classroom teacher and still has a pretty good “teacher voice” and “teacher stare.” She lives in the heart of Los Angeles with her roguish husband and two waggish dogs.

Links:

There’s a tour wide giveaway, enter the raffleocpter below for a chance to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Review: Frigid (Frigid #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

FrigidTitle: Frigid
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Frigid #1
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn’t anything new. They’d been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the ‘man’ in man-whore. He’s never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn’t want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she’s perfect and she’s everything. But the feelings he has for her, he’s always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they’re stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor’easter, there’s nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.

My Review:
4.5 Stars.

This was quite a short read, but an enthralling one all the same. Ordinarily I don’t like contemporary romance unless there’s other key sub-plots behind it. There was a little drama/suspense in this book but primarily it centers on the relationship between Sydney (Syd) and Kyler. I’m therefore impressed that Jennifer managed to write a book like this that hooked me in quickly and kept my attention the full way through.

Kyler and Sydney have been BFF’s since they were kids. Both of them harbor romantic feelings for the other but neither has been brave enough to broach the subject, for fear of ruining their friendship. That is a very believable story line and I could completely relate to both characters as they reacted in different ways to things that happened between them.

Kyler is described as a ‘man-whore’ and it’s a very unlike-able trait. I started off hating him but he quickly won me over. At times I was reminded a little of Christian Gray. That I still loved him is down to Jennifer’s ability to create totally swoon-worthy guys that you just can’t help falling for. His sweet protectiveness of Syd also won him additional points.

All in all, another great read from JLA.

Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

ObsessionTitle: Obsession
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone, spinn-off from the Lux series
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance/ sci-fi
Links:

Blurb:
This is a stand alone novel that is an adult spin-off of the Lux Series You do not need to read a Lux book to read Obsession and vice versa.

He’s arrogant, domineering, and… To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something… unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?

My Review:
Holy smoking aliens, this book is so hot it’s scorching!!

I’m a massive fan of the Lux series, and I was intrigued enough about Hunter and Serena from the scenes in that series to read Obsession. I’m glad I did as I loved it.

Hunter starts out being a total douche, and I could relate to Serena’s initial sense of fear around him. As the story develops we start to understand him a little more, and I found myself changing my opinion of the Arum. Hunter thoroughly redeems himself in his one-man/alien quest to protect Serena from the Luxen who are out to kill her. That she falls for him is totally believable, and I was readily rooting for both of them by the end.

I love that Jennifer writes so many bonus scenes, and novellas, from different POV’s, showing different sides to the story. Obsession has inspired me to read Lux again, now that I have a different interpretation of the motivations behind Arum like Hunter.

This book is definitely not for young teens though, as the heady mix of sex and violence are for mature readers only.

Another epic read from the NA, YA, Paranormal, Fantasy, Sci-Fi Queen!

Review: Unchained (Nephilim Rising #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

UnchainedTitle: Unchained
Author: by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Nephilim Rising #1
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead and the fallen angel who just…wants her, Lily is about ready to trade in forever for a comfy job in a cubicle farm.

The fact that she and Julian are civil to one another is enough to have her thrown out of the Sanctuary, but she can’t shake her not-so-angelic stalker or how he brings her dangerously close to ecstasy.

Her forbidden relationship with Julian provides the perfect fuel for suspicion when a traitor is discovered to be working within the Sanctuary. Lily quickly finds herself hunted by well, everyone.

Her only hope is to discover the real traitor before she loses everything–and she’ll need Julian’s help. That is, if Julian is really there to help her…and not destroy her.

Yeah, being a Nephilim isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

My Review:
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I definitely enjoyed reading it, it didn’t grab me in the way Jennifer’s books usually do. It lacks her usual finesse, and isn’t up to the normal superb standard. In the acknowledgments section she admits that this was the second book she ever wrote, back in 2008, and that made total sense. So I’ve adjusted my views accordingly, reviewing it as a debut work of sorts.

It took me a little while to engage with both Lily and Julian. Julian seemed like a total creeper at the start and his description was off-putting, I couldn’t understand how Lily would be attracted to him. As the story progressed and I learned more of his character he grew on me. For a 26-year-old I felt Lily was quite immature at times, but I made allowances given her background She grew up in the Sanctuary and really didn’t have much opportunity to be a kid, so I can understand how she’s mature in some ways, and immature in others. Believable.

Michael was the character I felt most connected to in this story, and I would have loved it if he had stronger plot lines. However, if she continues this series I’d expect to hear more about him in future novels given how this one ended.

In the main the writing is not as good as normal, but I’ve addressed that above. One of the things I love most about JLA’s writing is her ability to write really compelling dialogue between her characters. I still can’t get the Seth/Aiden/Alex dialogue from ‘Pure’ out of my head – totally bloody brilliant in the way it’s written. Not so much here, but she was only starting out.

Pacing is a little slow in parts, but overall okay. Plot is good but nothing overly original. Once I got half-way in I got totally sucked into the mystery and enjoyed it much more.

If you are a fan of JLA you might be a little disappointed with this one so I’d say go into it with an open mind and you’ll enjoy it more.

3.5 stars.

Review: Wicked (A Wicked Saga #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

WickedTitle: Wicked
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

My Review:
Wicked is another fantastic fantasy read from writing power-house Jennifer L. Armentrout. I am seriously in awe of her talent. How on Earth does she write so many great books so quickly? She said recently that she’s released 30 books in 3 years. I only discovered her a few months back, and I’ve already read 22 of those 30 and the rest are on my Kindle, along with pre-orders of the books due out this year. I devour everything she reads, and it’s becoming a major problem as it’s taking over my life. Ha ha. So just to put it out there at the start of this review, I have a major JLA addiction and the woman can barely put a foot wrong in my book.

Onto Wicked, I loved it 🙂 Ivy is great, fiesty yet vulnerable, like-able if a bit prickly. My favorite kind of protagonist. Ren is charming as the male lead, though he reminded me a little of Aiden St. Delphi in that he’s mature and takes his responsibilities seriously, but has a funny side too. And he’s massively caring and protective of Ivy which is aahh,swoon.

But Tink is my favorite character from this book. He’s hilarious, and the banter between him and Ren at the end is priceless. He’s got Ivy’s back too, and you know there is more of an agenda there than he’s let on. Hopefully we’ll find out more when Torn is released in the summer.

I love Jennifer’s inimitable writing style and this book is up there with the best of her best. Pacing is great, and I was hooked from the start. The plot was predictable in places, but I still really enjoyed it. The whole thing with Val and what Ivy is – totally guessed it, even with the bum steer. Also where were the Elite with this big threat hanging over New Orleans? Surely they would have sent in the cavalry? The other thing that didn’t make sense to me was how David and Ren were both suspicious of Val (you could tell) yet they assigned her to room that held the gateway? Again, didn’t add up.

JLA loves her cliff-hangar endings, and so do I. This was isn’t a total killer but I’m still dying for the next book. Ivy is facing a real dilemma and I’m intrigued to see what she does. She can’t tell Ren, not that he would turn her in, but she’d involve him in it if she confided in him. Yet she can’t run either, as then they will all be hunting her. So she’s kind-of damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

If you’re a fan of JLA, or of new adult fantasy in general then you should pick up a copy of this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Release Day Blitz: Every Last Breath by Jennifer Armentrout

ELB RWB Banner_edited-1
Today is the release day for Every Breath! I can’t wait to read this book!

Every Last BreathEvery Last Breath (Dark Element #3)
by Jennifer Armentrout

Blurb:
Some loves will last ‘til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

“Armentrout is a major talent…I just can’t stop reading!”
–New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

“Armentrout works her magic with swoon-worthy guys and a twist you never see coming.”
–#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines on White Hot Kiss

View the trailer here:

Buy Every Last Breath here:

ELB Teaser 4_IG

Excerpt:
Roth cleared his throat. “Shortie, look…look at your hand.”
Look at my hand? Why in the world would he be asking me to do that in the midst of all the cray?
“Do it,” he said quietly and too gently.
The dread exploded in my gut like buckshot, and my gaze dropped to my left hand. I expected to see the weird marbling of black and gray, a mixture of the demon and Warden that existed inside of me and a combination I’d become almost familiar with by now. My nails had lengthened and sharpened, and I could tell they were hard enough to cut through steel, as hard as my skin, but my skin…it was still pink. Really pink.
“What the…?” My gaze traveled to my other hand. It was the same. Just pink. My wings twitched, reminding me that I had shifted.
Zayne swallowed. “Your…your wings…”
“What about my wings?” I almost screeched, reaching be‑ hind me. “Are they broken? Did they not come out—” The tips of my fingers came into contact with something as soft as silk. My hand jerked back. “What…”
Stacey’s watery eyes had doubled in size. “Um, Layla, there’s a mirror above the fireplace. I think you need to look in it.”
I met Roth’s gaze for a second before I spun around and all but ran to the fireplace I was sure Stacey’s mom had never used. Clutching the white mantel, I stared at my reflection.
I looked normal, like I did before I shifted…like I was going to class or something. My eyes were the palest shade of gray, a watered-down blue. My hair was so blond it was almost white, and a mess of waves that went in every direction like usual. I looked like a colorless china doll, which was nothing new, except for the two fangs jutting out of my mouth. I wouldn’t show them off at school, but that wasn’t what caught my attention and held it.
It was my wings.
They were large, not as massive as Zayne’s or Roth’s, and normally they were almost leathery in texture, but now they were black…black and feathered. Like legit feathered. That soft, silky thing I’d felt? It had been tiny feathers.
Feathers.
“Oh my God,” I whispered at my reflection. “I have feathers.”
“Those are definitely feathered wings,” Roth commented.
I whipped around, knocking over a lamp with my feathered right wing. “I have feathers on my wings!”
Roth cocked his head to the side. “Yeah, you do.”
He was absolutely no help, so I turned to Zayne. “Why do I have feathers on my wings?”
Zayne shook his head slowly. “I don’t know, Layla. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
“Liar,” hissed Roth, shooting him a dark look. “You’ve seen that before. So have I.”

ELB Teaser 3

The Dark Elements series
Haven’t start this amazing series yet? Get your copies of the earlier books here:

Bitter Sweet Love

White Hot Kiss

STone Cold Touch

JLA_Author-photoAbout Jennifer L. Armentrout:
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

There’s a giveaway! For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

InkSlinger Blogger Final

Cover Reveal: Summer Haikus by SJ Pajonas

Today is the cover reveal for Summer Haikus by SJ Pajonas. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Summer Haikus
Summer Haikus (Happily Ever Asia)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Multicultural Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: August 6, 2015

Blurb:
“When it comes to fight or flight, I always choose to run like hell.”

Isa planned the perfect summer:
Tokyo and the Summer Olympics — check.
Helping her best friend prepare for the marathon — check.
Forgetting she’s in love with Masa — double check.

But when Isa’s mother is hospitalized, she has to abandon her summer plans to run the family’s Tokyo business. Masa’s offer to help makes it impossible for Isa to ignore him — and the firecracker kiss they shared half a world away. Everyone expects the world of her, but the pressure to please them all is as oppressive as the Tokyo summer heat. The simplest answer to all her problems? Run.

You can find Summer Haikus on Goodreads

Excerpt:
I walk out onto the front lawn and take another deep breath. It’s a beautiful night in East Lansing. The sky is clear, stars twinkling, and an almost full moon hangs not far above the tree line. I took an Astronomy 101 class last fall, and I’ve been in love with the stars ever since. When I was still trying to decide on my major, I considered astronomy. I thought maybe I was destined to study the stars, what with Halley being named after a famous astronomer and my love of nighttime, but I don’t want to do that for a living, just like I don’t want to be an engineer either. I breathe deep one more time, and the fresh air sobers me a little, so I reach into my pocket for my phone and text Halley.
“Masa showed up and I had to run. Can’t do that. Heading home. Check on me in 30,” I type and wait for her reply while watching the masses of people walking the streets. This is the last chance to party before summer tears groups apart. I wonder if I can walk back to my dorm with someone else.
My phone buzzes in my hand. “Ok. Promise. Sorry about Masa.”
“Whatever,” I say at my phone.
“Isa! Wait up!” I freeze before slowly turning back to the house. Masa comes bounding out the front door, running up to me. “Let me walk you home. You’ve had too much to drink.”
“It’s okay.” I wave at him and turn to go. “I’m sure I can find someone to walk me who’s already going that way.”
“No, please,” he says, lunging forward and grabbing for me. “I want to make sure you make it home all right.” The heat of his hand on my arm stops my breathing. I would give anything to slip my hand into his and walk home with him by my side. I catch my breath in a gasp, and he lets go, shoving his hands in his pockets.
“Fine. Let’s go.” I walk in front of him for a bit, texting Halley again. “Couldn’t ditch Masa. He’s walking me home,” I type to her.
“Good,” she replies and adds in a kissing smiley face. There are days when I want to strangle her.
Masa eventually walks beside me and holds my waist when I trip over cracks in the pavement. I twist away from him and put a few inches between us to steady my beating heart.
He clears his throat. “So, have you heard any more about the apartment you’re staying in in Tokyo?”
“Yeah, it’s in Akasaka. Your dad’s apartment is there, right?”
“Yep. Akasaka is a business district and close to Tokyo Station, Shinjuku, and the Imperial Palace. You’ll love it.”
A warm breeze blows my hair into my face, so I tuck it behind my ears. I went easy on my hair today, letting it be wavy instead of straightening it, but I took the time to put on makeup and even eyeliner. I’m getting better at the cat eye, thanks to the beauty vlogs I follow.
“I’ve mapped out ten running routes for when we get there. I want to make sure she’s acclimatized before the Games start. I have three routes with hills, three flat ones, and four combinations. I think it’s enough. I hope it’s enough. Maybe I should make more.”
“I’m sure it’s fine, Isa. It’s probably overkill already.”
“You’re right, of course. You’re always right.”
“I can’t believe you’re still watching Lost,” Masa says, laughing, as I weave around a group of people walking against us on the sidewalk.
“I never watched it the first time around, and we already watched Battlestar Galactica and Breaking Bad together this year.”
Masa tips his head and stares at the ground. “I miss those Friday nights already.”
These statements are the confusing part of my relationship with Masa. He seems to enjoy spending time with me, and we’ve even slept in the same bed with each other before, but he’s never once shown any romantic interest in me.
What if I told him how I feel? The timing is perfect, right before the summer. If he feels the same way, I can convince him to come to Tokyo with me. We’d figure things out together while exploring the city and attending the Olympics. I smile, imagining the two of us doing all the things I planned together instead of me doing them alone.
“What are you smiling about?” Masa asks, as we cross over Harrison and Michigan Ave. Only a few more minutes till home.
I wipe the stupid smile off my face and frown. “Nothing.” I lengthen my stride until I’m right outside my dorm. The parking lot is quiet, and it’s still early enough for me to use my swipe card at the far end door instead of entering through the lobby.

SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Pinterest
Instagram
Tumblr
Youtube
Wattpad
Amazon Profile
Newsletter


banner Lola's Blog Tours

Blog Tour: Adventures Abroad by Jen McConnel

Adventures Abroad Banner
I am excited to be part of the blog tour for the Adventures Abroad series by Jen McConnel. I’ll share the blurbs and buy links for each book and there’s an excerpt from the first book in the series. There’s a tour wide giveaway at the bottom of the post!

Adventures Abroad Series Synopsis:

Four countries.
Three girls.
Three loves.
One adventure abroad they’ll never forget.

WhatHappensinLondonWhat Happens in London (Adventures Abroad #1)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Sarah landed in London, just hoping to leave her home behind and escape her family. But she didn’t plan on falling headfirst into Carson’s arms.

Get ready for a summer of self-discovery and romance in the first of the New Adult novella series, Adventures Abroad!

Praise for What Happens in London:

“Travel through London with Sarah, you’ll squee, laugh and swoon at her adventures, I know I did!”- Lisa Burstein, author of Sneaking Candy

Buy links:

Excerpt:
“I wish Carson could see me,” the words slipped out, but then I flushed.
Joelle cocked an eyebrow. “Who’s Carson?”
I shrugged, my face hot. “Just a guy I met here in London.”
I waited for Joelle to tell me I was being stupid, but she just looked thoughtful. “Want him to come with us tonight?”
I shook my head hurriedly. “No, he’s at work.”
“He won’t work all night, will he?”
I hesitated. “True. Do you think the other girls would mind?”
Joelle grinned. “We can always ask them.”
Before I could stop her, she’d called out, “Ladies, any objections to Sarah bringing a man?”
I tried to shush her, but she was laughing. Rachel looked up from curling her eyelashes. “Sure,” she said with a smile, “ask him if he has any friends!”
Oh God, this was getting out of control. “I don’t really know—”
“Do you have his number?”
Mutely, I shook my head. Joelle eyed me critically.
“But you said he has to work. Do you know where he works?”
“The bookstore in Piccadilly Circus,” I answered automatically, and Rachel grinned in triumph.
“Oh, ladies,” she said loudly, “who wants to hit the books before we go out?”
I gave up trying to talk them out of it once we were on the Underground, but when we got to Piccadilly Circus, I tried one more time.
“What if he’s busy?”
Rachel gave me a playful shove. “The least you can do is ask.”
We headed to the bookstore, but when I tried to linger on the sidewalk, Joelle grabbed my arm and led me forward. “Don’t chicken out now!”
The girls were giggling as we entered the store, and I realized that the customers were staring at us with interest. Horrified, I suddenly remembered that we were all dressed for the club. No wonder everyone was staring; I didn’t think halter tops and glitter were customary bookstore apparel.
Feeling naked, I crossed my arms as my eyes darted around the cash registers, searching for Carson, just as a familiar voice called my name. I swiveled around to find him standing behind us, carrying a pile of books.
His eyes traveled up and down my body, and I felt my skin heating up. Casually, Carson set his books down on the counter and stepped forward.
“To what do I owe this pleasure?” His eyes were dancing, and suddenly, I didn’t feel so self-conscious.
“My friends and I are going out tonight,” I began. I coughed, clearing my throat. “They wanted me to ask you, um, if you wanted to come along.”
“And bring your friends!” Rachel added loudly.
Carson glanced at her with a grin and then brought his eyes back to me. “Sounds like a good idea.” He took a step closer and whispered in my ear, “If I weren’t at work right now, I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off you.”

WhatHappensinParis_FinalCoveWhat Happens in Paris (Adventures Abroad #2)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Camie can’t figure out what she wants, from college or life…until she meets Hunter. But will the magic of a romantic night in Paris last till the morning?

Fall in love with the second novella in the New Adult series, Adventures Abroad!

Buy links:

WhatHappensInBerlinWhat Happens in Berlin (Adventures Abroad #3)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
Interrupting a summer of fun, Joelle takes a detour to Berlin for her older brother’s wedding. Spending time with her family is enough to make anyone go a little crazy. She’s ready to lose it…until she meets Vi, a girl ready to turn her world upside down.

Follow her journey in the third installment of the New Adult series, Adventures Abroad!

Buy links:

WhatHappensAbroadWhat Happens Abroad (Adventures Abroad #4)
by Jen McConnel

Blurb:
After a summer of fun, Camie, Joelle, and Sarah are ready to reunite in Italy for one last adventure, but heartbreak waits in the shadows of the cobblestone streets. Can Florence cast its spell and turn lost love into a final fling?

Catch up with the girls in this final installment of the New Adult series about love, escape, and true friendship.

Buy links:

Jen McConnelJen McConnel Bio:
A Michigander by birth, Jen McConnel now makes her home in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She writes NA, including the recently released Adventures Abroad series (Bloomsbury Spark), the award winning YA novel Beautiful Curse, and various other works. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Links:

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz: 3volve by Josefiena Guteirrez

3volve banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for 3volve by Josefina Gutierrez. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 6 till 12 July, you can view the complete blitz schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.
This blitz features 3volve and another book by this author: The Shadow of Loss. Both books can be read as standalones although the characters from The Shadow of Loss make a small cameo appearance in 3volve. I share two excerpts with you today, one for each book.

3volve cover3volve
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 14, 2015

Blurb:
From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.
This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.

You can find 3volve on Goodreads

You can buy 3volve here:
Amazon

Excerpt:
I’ve never claimed to have it all together. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was roaming through life high and excited for the unexpected. I love my family, my parents, my brothers, my friends, but their love was never enough to save me from myself. My self-destructive way, how I always kept ruining the best things I didn’t know I even had.
My story isn’t filled with morality. It doesn’t have some intriguing message about love, and life. Shit, it’s a mess. I’m a mess. I’m not here to tell you what should be important—we all have different values. I’m not here to tell you about responsibility. Hell, if you finish reading my story and gain insight, then more power to you!
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo a twenty-two year old, former wild child, and this is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. It isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt runs deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human. If you want a sugarcoated story, look to someone other than me.

The Shadow of LossThe Shadows of Loss
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance
Age category: Young Adult

Blurb:
Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.

You can find Shadow of Loss on Goodreads

You can buy Shadow of Loss here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

excerpt
“I sense you have lost something precious, yourself.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. How can I lose myself, I’m right here,” I point to myself for the desired effect.
“One can lose thyself, and have their shell remain. It is what we call Susto.”
“What is Susto?”
“You have lost your soul mijita,” she leans forward and grabs my hands.
I can’t control my laughter, but seeing the look of horror on her face calms me right down. “You’re actually serious? My soul? Lost?”
“It is a very serious matter. If left for too long, you may never be complete. You will remain in limbo. You must let me help you.”
“I don’t believe in any of this.”
“You pull at your left sleeve, sí. You suffered an accident, a trauma?” she grabs my arm.
“My sister told you,” I pull back, “It doesn’t prove anything.”
“Aye no. Your sister didn’t tell me anything. I know.”
“How?”
“When you come in to buy the locket. I saw you are lost. That’s why I asked your sister to allow you to work here. I help.”

Author Photo JosefinaAbout the Author:
Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author, who resides in San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew. Her current projects in the works are a Fantasy dystopian series, a Mystery-Thriller eBook, and New-Adult Contemporary Romance.

You can find and contact Josefina here:
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Pinterest

There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of 3volve. These are the prizes you can win:
– 2 amazon gift cards of 20$
– A designed box including: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, a signed paperback of The shadow of Loss by Josefina Gutierrez, 2 Bookmarks, Silk decorative flowers, Photo frame and a Notebook Potpourri bag (US Only) – see picture, books not show

Designed Box

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lola's Blog Tours