Blog Tour: Songbird by Sydney Logan

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Songbird by Sydney Logan. I share my review with you, an excerpt and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

Songbird ebookTitle: Songbird
Author: Sydney Logan
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One bridesmaid. One groomsman. One classic wedding hookup.
But for Callie and Devin, their weekend of passion is anything but typical.

Callie Franklin doesn’t do one night stands.

Ever.

She’s far too responsible and focused on her career to ever let herself give in to temptation. But, on the eve of her best friend’s wedding, she meets that temptation . . .

And his name is Devin McAllister.

Devin, on the other hand, has no problem with meaningless hookups. The very last thing he needs—or wants—is a relationship.

Relationships come with strings.

Relationships come with heartbreak.

A late-night encounter in the hotel’s piano bar finds the two unable to resist each other. With her angelic voice and bright blue eyes, Devin’s sure he’s never met anyone as beautiful as his Songbird.

Six weeks later, when two pink lines confirm Callie’s worst fears, she and Devin have to face the consequences of their wild weekend.

And they have to deal with each other—whether they like it or not.

With a love story that’s far from traditional, Callie and Devin begin to wonder if their one-night stand could turn into something neither of them anticipated.

A happily ever after.

Songbird Sydney Logan Launch Day Price

My Review:
This is a beautifully written love story that really tugged at my heart strings.

Devin is a commitment-phobic player with a successful law practice. Since his twin sister died when they were fifteen he has struggled to let anyone in, and he certainly hasn’t given anyone a piece of his heart. A chance encounter with Callie changes all that.

Callie is Devins opposite in many ways. She doesn’t indulge in one-night stands but her and Devin are inexplicably drawn to one another and they quickly cave to their mutual attraction.

At her friends wedding the next day, she realizes he is the errant groomsman that has been missing, and they end up spending the night of the wedding together as well.

When she falls pregnant, she is gobsmacked but determined to do the right thing by her baby. Devin receives the shock of his life when she first tells him and he doesn’t react well. Once he’s had time to recover, he tries to make it up to her, but she has shut him out. The rest of the book is the story of how they slowly let each other in and discover a love that was always meant to be.

While their love may be unconventional, it is sweet and romantic and I loved reading every moment of it.

I kept waiting for some big drama, or some major curveballs – certainly with Dominic and Nina, there were options to really milk the suspense – but the author didn’t do that, and I loved her for it. Instead, this is a simple, sweet tale of two people opening up their hearts and falling in love. It’s also a story about family and friendships, and overcoming long instilled fears and pre-conceived notions.

Callie’s mom has been bitter since she got pregnant with her at 17. Some of her warped ideals have twisted Callies perception of men, marriage, and the world in general. However, with the help of Devin and her friends, she is able to make her own decisions, and learns to trust her own instincts. I loved her dad. What a sweet man, and the opening scene where we meet him was very funny.

It’s hard as a reader not to fall in love with Devin. He starts out being a total ass but once he lets his barriers down, and learns to keep his controlling ways on a leash, he was perfect leading man material. His tender love and care of Callie was swoonworthy.

I was gripped from the very first page. I started reading it late at night only intending to read a few chapters but I stayed up until 3am and finished it in one go. I was so engrossed I just couldn’t put it down.

I love Sydney’s writing style and the words flowed beautifully on the page. As this is a character driven story, the character development was superb. She really got under both Devin and Callies skin and I properly understood what made them tick. I felt a strong emotional connection to them and their story. I honestly can’t fault this book at all. What an amazing read. I think I’ll be adding Syndey Logan to my list of favorite authors, and I look forward to checking out more of her work.

Thanks to the author and Inkslinger PR for providing an ARC of this book for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

Excerpt:
Traffic’s insane, but I finally make it to Callie’s apartment just after two. I anxiously knock on the door, ridiculously eager to get my hands on her. Maybe she’ll be wearing some flimsy lingerie. Maybe she’ll be naked. My mind’s busy conjuring all the possibilities when she opens the door . . . wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.
“Hey,” she says softly, stepping aside to let me in.
“Hey. You okay?”
She looks pale as a ghost. Is she sick? She looks sick. Maybe I should call an ambulance. Or my dad.
“I’m okay.” Callie leads me over to the sofa. “Look, Devin, I know you probably have some plans for us for tonight, but that won’t be happening.”
“Oh.” Disappointment floods me, but if the nauseated look on her face is any indication, it’s probably best. Besides, there’s the next night. And the next.
“But we need to talk, so I’m glad you’re here. I have something I need to tell you.” She abruptly jumps to her feet and walks toward her kitchen. “Would you like something to drink?”
I can’t tell if she’s being a good hostess or simply stalling, but I ask for a beer. It looks like I’m gonna need it. I hadn’t pegged her for the kind of woman who needs to talk about her feelings.
When she returns to the living room, Callie hands me a bottle and sits down next to me. I notice she only brought one.
“You’re not drinking?”
She curls her feet beneath her. “Unfortunately, no. I won’t be drinking for a long time.”
I’ve had it with the riddles.
“All right, what’s going on? My brother and his girlfriend threatened to murder me if I make you cry. Something’s obviously up with you because you just want to talk.”
Her forehead creases. “Don’t you ever just talk to a woman?”
“Not if I can help it.”
“Why not? The girls you usually date don’t have enough sense to carry on an intelligent conversation?”
“I don’t date, Callie.”
“I see. You just sleep with them.”
“Sometimes. Is there something wrong with that?”
“And are you careful?”
“Careful?”
“Safe,” she says softly. “We didn’t use protection. I just wondered if that’s typical for you.”
Oh. It’d be easy to blame the alcohol, but honestly, using protection was the very last thing on my mind that night.
“No, that’s not typical. I’m sorry about that.”
“So am I.”
Callie seems far more relaxed after my apology. Maybe this night won’t be an epic failure after all. I slide closer to her, but she raises her hand in warning.
“We’re not finished.”
I groan and lean back against the couch.
“Devin, I need you to listen. Something happened that weekend. I’m almost positive you won’t want to sleep with me after you hear what I’m about to say.”
“I seriously doubt that.”
“I don’t.” Callie sits up a little straighter and squares her shoulders. “I want you to know I expect nothing from you. Our weekend together was a mistake, and I’ll deal with the consequences of it. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do at this point, but I thought you should at least know what’s going on.”
“What’s going on?”
Her eyes flood with tears.
“Devin, I’m pregnant.”
Pregnant.
Pregnant?
I stare at her. She stares at me. I watch her closely, hoping that at any moment she’s going to burst out laughing.
But she’s not laughing. She’s crying.
I hear Lorie’s voice in my suddenly throbbing head.
Don’t make her cry.
“Why . . . why are you telling me?”
She wipes her eyes. “What do you mean?”
“You’re assuming it’s mine?”
“Of course it’s yours!”
I snort. “Really? How can you be so sure? Maybe it was that bartender in the hotel’s piano bar. Or maybe it was the guy who sat with you at the reception. Or maybe—just maybe—it was the photographer you were with tonight. You two seem pretty close.”
Even as the bitter words drip off my tongue, I know better. Her face is just too furious . . . her eyes too heartbroken.
Suddenly, Callie stops crying. Her eyes flash with fury just seconds before she slaps me across the face.
Despite the ringing in my ears, I can hear my brother’s warning.
Don’t be an asshole tonight.
Too late.

Sydney Logan Bio Pic jpgAbout the Author:
Amazon best-selling author Sydney Logan holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. She is the author of five novels – Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, Soldier On, Once Upon a December, and Pros & Cons. Sydney has also penned several short stories and is a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Soul.

A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.

Visit her website at www.sydneylogan.com.

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Blog Tour: Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for Desperate Chances (Bad Rep #4) by A. Meredith Walters. I’ll share my review of this book with you and there’s an excerpt.

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DC AmazonGRSWTitle: Desperate Chances
Author: A. Meredith Walters
Series: Bad Rep #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sex changes everything.

And love can turn into an enemy…

Mitch Abrams, the bassist for the popular rock band Generation Rejects, has been in love with Gracie Cook for years. But Gracie, a complicated girl with a lot of baggage, was too blind to see how she felt about the man who had always stood by her.

Until one night of passion brought them closer than they had ever been before.

Feeling off balance and out of control, Gracie does the only thing a girl with self-destructive tendencies can do: end things with Mitch before they can really begin.

So Mitch moves on. With his band, his friends, and a new girlfriend.

Yet he can’t seem to forget about the girl who threw his heart away.

Gracie, who is still struggling to build a life after crashing to the bottom, finds it hard to forget about her one night with Mitch. And even as she tries to convince herself it was only sex, her heart knows differently.

But life is full of chances and desperate moments. And when Mitch and Gracie are thrown back into each other’s lives, will they seize at the opportunity to do things right?

Or will the rock star and the less than ordinary girl crash and burn?

DC teaser cover photo

My Review:
Well, that was an enthralling read! My first A. Meredith Walters book, but most definitely not my last.

Mitch and Gracie have been BFFs for years. He has always been in love with her, and her with him, but she was too wasted to notice until it was too late.

Gracie is battling some monstrous demons – alcoholism, anorexia and an interfering mom who appears to be at the root of a lot of her issues. Gracie struggles to stand up to her and allows her mother to boss her around like she’s a little kid. I loved how, in the end, she was strong enough to stand her ground and fight to be treated appropriately.

Gracie has been to rehab and she’s making a concerted effort to sort her life out. She has a new part-time writing job, is sharing an apartment with one of her oldest and dearest girlfriends, and she’s trying to wash Mitch right out of her hair. But it’s damned hard, because she remembers how amazing their one-night stand was, and his admission of love has imprinted on her heart and her soul. She knows now that she loves him too, but it’s too late because Mitch has been dating Sophie for the last year and Gracie feels like she has lost her HEA.

Sophie is a total drip and she has never fitted in with the band or made much of an effort to. Now, one part of me understands it, but seriously, the girl has no self-respect. Everyone can see that Mitch still loves Gracie yet Sophie clings to him like a wet limpet. Pathetic.

Mitch is a great guy, but he’s a douche for the way he treats Sophie. He knows she isn’t the one for him yet he continues to string her along. He lost some brownie points for that.

This book is awash with angst and heartache and I just lapped it all up. I enjoyed the world-building and it was sad to see how the band’s dreams pretty much imploded overnight. Character development was superb, and though I haven’t read the other books in the series (yet) I didn’t feel like I missed out. Backstory was adequately filled in and I got to know all the characters and their distinct personas . The writing is excellent and it flowed smoothly – there weren’t’ any sections that I felt were repetitive, unnecessary, or rushed.

Overall this was a fantastic read and I look forward to checking out more of this author’s work in the future.
Actual rating 4.5.

DC teaser pic #1

Excerpt:
I realized I was staring. Mitch knew I was staring.

So of course he purposefully gave his girlfriend his attention, his body angled towards me but his head bent low so that his face was close to Sophie’s. He pushed the hair back off her forehead. His eyes were on her face and he gave her soft smile that I recognized only too well.

A smile that I had thought, at one time, was only for me.

Get over it, Gracie! It’s been a year! What did you think would happen? That he’d pine over you forever? Get a grip!

I started to turn away when Mitch looked back towards me, his eyes locking on mine.

I forgot how to breathe.

My heart thudded almost painfully in my chest.

My mouth went dry and my hands began to tremble. A need that I had almost forgotten about thrummed through my body. My belly tightened and my nipples hardened. The air hummed and sizzled. I was altered completely. Just by a look.

How had I never felt this electricity between us before? The answer was obvious.

I had been totally blind. I hadn’t wanted to see it. Because if I had acknowledged it, everything would have changed. And at that time I couldn’t handle that. The truth was I had been absolutely terrified.

Maysie squeezed my arm but I barely felt it. Jordan was still talking but I didn’t hear him.

All I could see was Mitch.

All Mitch could see was me.

We were locked in a stand off, neither of us moving.

All too soon he broke our intense staring contest. He bent down and kissed his girlfriend almost angrily. It was a harsh press of lips that seemed to take Sophie by surprise. She wrapped her arms around Mitch and held him tenderly even as he ground his mouth against hers.

I looked away. I could barely breathe around the lump sitting painfully in the middle of my chest. A pain that I knew to be jealousy.

And regret.

DC teaser pic #2

ameredithwaltersAbout the Author:
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

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Review: Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy #1) by Wendy Higgins

Sweet EvilTitle: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Series: The Sweet Trilogy #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.
Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Review:
Anna Whitt has always known she is different. Raised by her protective adopted mom, Patti, Anna has led a pretty sheltered life. She is good, kind and sweet with huge compassion for others. Yet, she struggles with an inexplicable inner pull towards alcohol and drugs.

When she meets bad-boy ‘man-slut’ rocker, Kaidan Rowe, her life turns upside down in a flash. Kaidan helps her come to terms with who she really is and in the process she falls deeply in love with him. Kaidan blows hot and cold and she never knows how he feels about her.

Thrust into a world of angels, demons and Nephilim, Anna has to keep her wits about her if she is to survive this new reality. When she reconnects with her dad, she is strengthened by the force of his love and support. One of the things I loved most about this series was the importance of family and it was refreshing to see a strong mother and father figure.

This book sucked me in immediately and held my attention the entire time. I adored Wendy’s writing style and there are some really sweet romantic moments and some laugh out loud funny parts.

I loved Kaidan’s sharp British wit and his all round sexiness. It’s a little disturbing to learn what he has to do for ‘work’ but Wendy never glamorizes it.

All in all this was a fantastic read and I’m looking forward to continuing this series.

Footnote: In the Lux series, Kat and Daemon take on fake identities in the name of Anna Whitt and Kaidan Rowe. I was intrigued enough by this mention to check out this series. I’m so glad I did. I guess I now have something else to thank Jennifer L. Armentrout for!

Review: Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2) by Lisa Swallow

falling skyTitle: Falling Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #2
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: contemporary romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky’s world turned upside down when she met rock star Dylan Morgan, and exploded when she discovered his hidden past.

Four months after Sky learns Dylan’s devastating secret, she’s trying to piece her life back together. Without an explanation from Dylan, Sky has no choice but to try and forget him.

Dragged back into the life he ran from, Dylan continues to spiral downwards as he copes with his fame the only way he knows how. Shattered by the revelation Sky knows his darker past, he forces himself to return to England and explain.

Sky and Dylan reconnect, attempting to build on the shaky foundations of their summer. But the outside world continues to conspire against them.

Taking place in the epicentre of the Blue Phoenix world, Sky and Dylan’s story continues amongst the chaos surrounding the band and its members.

My Review:
I raced through this second installment, eager to know how things would end up for Sky and Dylan. I loved how both of them matured and developed as characters and how their relationship changed from being a sort of ‘crutch’ to a true partnership.

I still love this author’s writing though there were parts of the dialog that felt unnatural. Personally, I believe she missed a couple of plot opportunities, especially with Lily and Sky’s break-in. (Partly because I just don’t want their story to end.)

The last quarter of the book I was waiting for something climactic to happen but it didn’t. It was only at the end that I realized this is the last story centering on Sky and Dylan and I’m pretty heartbroken because I am not ready to say goodbye to them yet.

I’ve no interest in reading Liam’s book. We barely got to hear from him in Book 1 & 2 so I don’t feel any connection to him and Honey is just uugghh – a stereotypical gold-digger. I won’t be checking out that book, however, I’m really interested to read Jem’s story. He was a really interesting character – flawed, troubled and majorly hitting the self-destruct button.

Overall, this was a great read and this is a gem of a series.

Blog Tour: The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde

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Today is my stop during the blog tour for The Affiliate (Ascension #1) by K.A. Linde. I’ll share my review of the book and there’s a tour wide giveaway!

TA AmazonTitle: The Affiliate
Author: K.A. Linde
Series: Ascension #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Links:

Blurb:
On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm’s lifelong plans come to fruition when she’s chosen for one of the most prestigious positions in her homeland—an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks.

When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene’s position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have…

King Edric himself.

Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.

My Review:
This was a great fantasy read and a promising start to a new series.

We meet Cyrene as she is preparing for her presentation in the Royal Castle. Chosen as the Queen’s affiliate, she immediately captures the eye of both King Edric and his sleazy brother Kael. As she tries to adjust to life in the Castle away from her family and without her childhood bestfriend, she becomes embroiled in mystery and intrigue and eventually sets out on a journey that will lead to a shocking revelation about her true identity.

There are some romantic interludes with the King and a couple of close encounters with Kael, but in the main the romance is light in this book.

I struggled to get into this story at the start – there was a lot of information provided initially and I was a little confused. Once I hit the thirty percent mark, this book really took off, and I became thoroughly engrossed in it.

The plot and worldbuilding are imaginative, the characters are complex, the writing is great. A solid read. I look forward to reading the rest of this series when it’s released.

Thanks to the author, publisher, and Inkslinger PR for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest opionion.

kalinde copyAbout the Author:
USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.
When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

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Review: Summer Sky (Blue Phoenix #1) by Lisa Swallow

summer skyTitle: Summer Sky
Author: Lisa Swallow
Series: Blue Phoenix #1
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sky changed her life for a man once, and she has no intention of doing it again – even if he is a six foot, tattooed rock god who makes a mean bacon sandwich.

Sky Davis is fed up of boyfriend Grant taking her for granted and when she comes home to find him wearing a girl, Sky suspects the relationship is over. She takes an unscheduled holiday and leaves the life (and guy) she hates behind.

Rock star Dylan Morgan is struggling with fame and infamy, sick of his life being controlled by other people. Dylan cuts his hair and walks away from his role as lead singer of Blue Phoenix, leaving chaos and speculation behind.

Outside the English seaside town of Broadbeach their cars and worlds collide.

Sky decides Dylan is an arrogant guy with too many tattoos, and Dylan is amused by the smart-mouthed girl with no idea who he is. Dylan and Sky soon discover they’ve travelled to Broadbeach for the same reason – to escape from reality back to a place with happy childhood memories.

Losing themselves in a world where they know nothing about each other, Sky and Dylan begin a holiday romance that soon heats up their rainy English summer.

Fantasies can’t last forever and when reality crashes the party, Sky isn’t sure she wants to be more than his ‘summer Sky’.

Returning to the real world and public scrutiny isn’t their only problem. Blue Phoenix lead guitar player, Jem Jones, has a reason for wanting Sky out of Dylan’s life, and is determined to come between them. Some things won’t stay hidden, even when they’re paid to ‘go away’.

Summer Sky is a romance where occasionally more than the bacon sizzles. This is the first in the new ‘Blue Phoenix’ series of contemporary rock star romances.

*Please note this is not a standalone and has a cliffhanger – Sky’s and Dylan’s story continues in Falling Sky (Blue Phoenix #2)

My Review:
This book totally sucked me in and I read it in two sittings. Apart from a couple of minor annoyances, I really enjoyed it. Love this author’s writing style and will definitely continue the series.

The author brings you into the heart of the story from the get-go and straight away my interest was piqued. Sky is a likeable MC and I loved Dylan at the start; though later on I became more suspicious of his motives and wondered if he was trustworthy. A hot, troubled rock star god? Yeah, this was definitely my kind of book.

There was a part about a third of the way in where I grew a little frustrated as it appeared that the couple were going round and round in circles and the dialog became a little repetitive. However, it was only a minor speed-bump.

I loved the rock star world in the second part of this book and I felt the author did a great job of presenting it as outwardly glamorous but inwardly quite twisted and full of debauchery. It made for some great reading.

I loved the writing style and it was a very accomplished novel, in my opinion.

All in all a great read and I’d highly recommend it. I think fans of J.Lynn would especially enjoy this series.

I’ve already downloaded Falling Sky and I can’t wait to get into bed tonight and continue the story, especially after that shocking cliff-hanger ending (love it).

Thanks to Lisa Swallow for promoting this book which enabled me to pick up a free copy.

Review: Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses #4) by Addison Moore

whiskey kissesTitle: Whiskey Kisses
Author: Addison Moore
Series: 3:AM Kisses #4
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Conteporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
This book can be read as a standalone.

Izzy Sawyer has always been the it girl. She believes she’s the last person on earth who deserves a happily ever after. Holt Edwards has always been the player that women voluntarily fall to their knees for. When it comes to love, Holt doesn’t believe in fairytale endings.

When Izzy dives back into the dating pool, Holt is right there, ready and willing, to offer tips and tricks to get her through an entire army of blind dates—starting with a bone melting demonstration on how to deliver mouthwatering kisses.

One thing leads to whiskey and Izzy is starting to think happily ever after doesn’t seem like such a bad idea. Holt is starting to rethink his stance on fairytale endings.

But Izzy has a secret that has turned her world upside down. Holt has a secret of his own that cost him far more than he ever bargained for.

Sometimes life doesn’t give you the happily ever after. Sometimes it’s best to leave fairytale endings on the bookshelf where they belong.

Izzy can’t stop thinking about Holt.
Holt can’t seem to quit his favorite new addiction—Izzy.

The mercury is rising—secrets are percolating—and their lust for one another is just about to detonate.

Izzy needs just one more hit of Holt and his late night Whiskey kisses, but deep down she knows that will never be enough. She wants all of him—every bone melting kiss he ever has to offer.

Izzy wants Holt
Holt worships Izzy.

Summer in Hollow Brook just heated up.
Sparks are flying.
Together Izzy and Holt are unstoppably electric.

My Review:
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This is my first Addison Moore book and I haven’t read the other books in this series.

I really enjoyed reading this and it was quite a quick read. However, I did have a few issues with it that stopped me from rating it higher.

Izzy is a like-able MC and I really felt for her the whole way throughout the story. All she has ever tried to do is abide by her father’s last wish – to make sure her mom isn’t alone, her sister is looked after, and to write to him. I had a feeling that her father would reappear at some point. One of the sweetest parts of this book were the letters that Izzy wrote to her Dad – these parts were exceptionally well written.

Holt is smoking hot and also a really nice guy. Quite mature for 22, except for his actions at the end of the book which were uncharacteristically immature and also not relevant to the plot. Overall, I really loved him though and one can’t help but fall for him, particularly when he is so protective of Izzy.

There was some very witty dialogue between Holt and Izzy, and Izzy and her mom. But in other parts I felt the dialogue was cringe-worthy, cheesy and very unnatural. A little inconsistent.

Izzy’s mom and sister were extremely irritating characters and so selfish, particularly Laney. I really didn’t like her at all. Holt’s dad is a prize jerk, yet in the emotional reveal at the end he seems to have developed into the persona of what a man his age should be – but it wasn’t in keeping with how he acted in the rest of the story.

Izzy has been struggling to deal with the aftermath of a hugely traumatic experience and consequently she has shut herself off to love and relationships. I felt the author handled this very well, and I could feel Izzy’s pain. However, when Izzy and Holt finally get it on she had no doubts and appeared overly confident for someone who was supposed to be a troubled virgin. In reality, I think she would have been way more apprehensive.

There is a plot-line around the fact that Izzy is 5 years older than Holt and there are a few scenes where she worries about this and one scene where others petty prejudices come to the fore. I’m not sure that it’s as current or relevant nowadays but I could relate to Izzy’s sentiments as I met my husband when he was 21 and I was 26 and I initially turned him down because I felt he was too young, and I worried what others would think. However, that was sixteen years ago, and I thought it was more acceptable nowadays? So not sure in current times how big of a deal it would actually be.

The ending was too neatly wrapped up to be believable, and I was incredulous for the most part. But it didn’t dent my overall enjoyment of this book. I will definitely check out more of this authors work. However, I’ve no interest in reading about Lainey and Ryder or Cole and Roxy so I will probably check out Bryson and Baya’s book.

I’d like to thank Addison Moore for running a free promo on this book which allowed me to pick up a complimentary copy.

Review: Awoken (The Lucidites #1) by Sarah Noffke

awokenTitle: Awoken
Author: Sarah Noffke
Series: The Lucidites #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Fantasy/ Paranormal
Links:

Blurb:
Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.

In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.

And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.

Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?

My Review:
I was gifted a copy by the author in exchange for my honest review.

Awoken has a very interesting premise, and that – along with the beautiful cover – is what attracted me to this book. Overall I did enjoy reading it, but I had some issues with the plot and pacing which stopped me from rating it higher.

The whole notion of dream travelling is very intriguing and it was imaginatively thought out and described. It was very creative and I really enjoyed that aspect of this book. I also liked the author’s style of writing; her prose is decent and it is in keeping with other books in the YA genre.

It took me a while to warm to Roya and I blew hot and cold on her a few times. She is thrown into an impossible situation and I can completely understand how challenging it would be to wrap your head around that. However,she was very whiny for far longer than necessary in my view. As the story progressed I liked her more but some of her actions with the love interests irritated me.

I enjoy a strong romance thread and the romance was a little light in this book for me. I’m sure that will appeal to others, though. Aiden was cute from the get-go.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the first and last 15-20%. I was quite confused the first few chapters and it felt like we were just dropped in the middle of a story; there was no build up or gradual weaving into the plot. I honestly hadn’t a clue what was going on at first. I enjoyed the middle section the most and it flowed well. The plot was building up to this epic confrontation with Zhuang (the villain of the piece) and when it arrived it was rather anti-climactic, and also quite confusing.

In summary, this is an interesting concept and the story will appeal to fans of YA fantasy who aren’t keen on strong romance sub-plots. While parts are confusing, it is still an enjoyable read.

I’d like to thank Sarah Noffke for providing me with a complimentary copy, and I wish her every success with her writing.

Review: Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider

calling californiaTitle: Calling California
Author: J.P. Grider
Series: Hunter Hill University #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

My Review:
Cali has had a tough life, with one knock back after another. Money has never been in great supply in her household and she’s had to defer college to save up enough money to go. Then her dad gets sick and her mom is pulling two jobs to try and meet his medical bills. Griffin has had it cushy and never wanted for anything. A major player, he’s never met any girl he felt like settling down with, until he meets Cali.

Cali has a chip the size of a planet on her shoulder over money. On one level, I could feel her pain and empathize, but on another level I wanted to give her a swift kick in the butt and tell her to get over herself. She allows it to control and ruin basically every aspect of her life. I have to say, after a while, it became tedious to read it, and by the end of the book any sympathy I had for her had been erased.

The redeeming element in this book is undoubtedly Griffen. All he does is try his best to support and please Cali, and all she does is constantly push him away. There is an inciting incident at the start, when they are kids, that brings the whole ‘soulmates’ premise into play. I loved that and it helped me believe in their love, because without that I really didn’t see what attracted Griffen to whiny Cali.

There’s a really good twist about half way through the book. I suspected there was something coming, but not that! I love when a book surprises me. Again, Griffen acts in Cali’s best interests in helping to bring the secret out into the open. Cali feels betrayed by him and her mom (which is initially a natural reaction) but then she forgives her mom for a lifetime of lies and kicks Griffen to the curb even though he only concealed it for a few days, and only to do the right thing. That was the part where I started screaming at my Kindle.

The writing is consistent with other books in this genre and we get our HEA in the end. It’s an enjoyable enough read even though I wish some of the characters ( and Cali in particular) behaved differently.

I received a review copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.


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Review: The Legacy Human (Singularity #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

the legacy humanTitle: The Legacy Human
Author: Susan Kaye Quinn
Series: Singularity #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Science Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Spiritual successor to the bestselling Mindjack trilogy…

When transcending humanity is the prize, winning the Game is all that matters.

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in a new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

Check out Susan Kaye Quinn’s website for information about The Legacy Human everything Singularity.

My Review:
This is my first Susan Kaye Quinn book but it most definitely won’t be the last.

Imaginative. Creative. Exceptionally well executed. Beautifully written. WOW. I’m blown away.

The Legacy Human challenges the reader to explore what it actually means to be human. I found it very thought-provoking and deeply spiritual in parts. What happens to our soul if in the future we manage to transcend humanity? Do we still have one? Is there a way to maintain that essential component of what it is to be human? And if the opportunity was there would you aspire to ascend? These are some of the questions I asked myself, and some of the issues that Eli has to face on his self-developmental journey. Throw in some untrustworthy characters and a hefty dose of suspense and you end up with a roller-coaster ride of a read.

Eli is very easy to warm to. His willingness to place his mother’s safety above his own was very endearing. Cy, his best-friend-slash-brother, is fiercely loyal and a brilliant side-kick. I felt a strong emotional connection with both characters and they were very well written and developed as the book progressed. I have a feeling I know who Eli’s father is and if I’m correct it is going to shatter his world. Can’t wait for the next books in the series to find out!

The world-building is superb and I could easily picture the Ascender and Legacy cities. I would love to see this made into a movie; I think it would be visually stunning.

Susan’s writing is breath-taking and so inspiring. She is truly amazingly talented.

I felt the pacing was a little slow in the first part of the book, but it’s only a minor complaint. It didn’t deter from my overall enjoyment of this book.

A friend who is a big fan of Susan’s recommended that I read this book and I’m so glad I did. I have the Mindjack Trilogy on my Kindle already and I look forward to reading some more of Susan’s work.

In summary, this is an exceptionally well written book with stunning world-building, imaginative plot, like-able characters and a promise of great things to come with the rest of the series. Highly Recommended.