Review: Expiation (Touched Saga #4) by Elisa S. Amore

Title: Expiation
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #4
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One great sacrifice will end it all—but can true love ever be forgotten?
Prepare yourself for a journey with no return.

How can you look forward to the future when you know your days are numbered? Gemma has asked herself that every night since making her fateful pact with Sophìa, queen of the underworld. Three days after giving birth to her child, Gemma must return to Hell and be transformed into a Witch, erasing her past and surrendering herself to Evil. This is the price she’s agreed to pay in exchange for bringing Evan back to life and ensuring the safety of their child. Evan, however, refuses to accept her agreement. He’s convinced that together, they can overcome this new challenge. His deepest fear is different: he knows the Angels of Death will do everything they can to kill Gemma before she becomes a Witch. Pursued by unrelenting danger and dark secrets, Evan and Gemma ready themselves for the ultimate bloody battle to defend their love.
How far will you go to save the person you love?

My Review:
Initial Thoughts Upon Completion: Oh, wow, the second part of this book was enthralling and it kept me on tenterhooks the whole time! Epic finish to this wonderful saga.

Full Review:

I am still trying to process all my feelings on this book. Without a doubt, for me, this book was the most emotional of all. I felt everything – pain, longing, lust, devastation, anger, love, grief… man, I could go on and on. Great job on wrenching emotion from the reader, Elisa!

So, fair warning – this review is likely to be a little rambling and a little spoilery. I’ve tried my best not to mention anything directly but there are a few parts that might give some stuff away. I don’t like mentioning spoilers in reviews but sometimes (when I feel really emotional after a book like I am now) I find I have to discuss certain things in order to properly convey my thoughts and feelings. Read on at your peril!

The first part of this book was a little slow. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it as it was full of romantic /sexy times and I continue to love Gevan as a couple but the pace did pull me out of the story and I found myself skimming over repetitive interiority and redundant descriptions. Then we enter into the main part of the story and HOLY COW the second half was ON FIRE. I could hardly tear my eyes away from this section of the book as the action and the tension escalated.

Gemma was horrible when she transformed but I actually liked her more. Go figure. She had more backbone and the strength of her convictions. I have always felt she was a bit whiny and all “damsel in distress” and I was sick of Evan having to protect her until Brokenhearted when she redeemed herself by her sacrifice.

I felt Evan’s pain at her loss and I especially loved his chapters – I prefer his voice.

The section in Hell was awesome. I wanted to gouge Devina’s eyes out for her continual attempts to seduce Evan but it added great tension. And then she sidled up to Gemma – so manipulative! A brilliant evil villain!

I have to talk about Ginerva because she was exceptional in Expiation. I didn’t care for her much in Touched but her character development is one of the best in this series and I really loved her spirit, her bravery, and her compassion. Simon was great too.

While the twist with Peter was a good one, it didn’t really go anywhere apart from adding some further ammo for Gemma to torture Evan. I continue to believe all the high school scenes add little to the plot or character development and they could be cut without losing anything.

The battle scenes with the witches were EPIC and I loved them. I also loved how Evan never gave up fighting for her. As if I couldn’t love him any more!! He was relentless and my heart broke for all the heartache he endured.

The world building, creativity, and imagination were fantastic in this book. I love when an author factors in the minor details and Elisa did that there. Oh, I also loved the seductive nature of the witches and the sultry scenes with the soldiers and champions – nice!

(I did mention I would ramble, right?!!)

I was a little disappointed that Gemma didn’t remember Evan. When she did, it was too sudden and it was because of Simon not because of the soul connection she shared with Evan. I am a believer in true love so I would have preferred if this aspect of the plot had gone in a different direction. The other thing I was upset over was Liam. Gemma showed little regard for him in this series and that bugged me as a mother. Evan was marginally better in his behavior, but I would have preferred more focus on his importance. When that twist happened with him, it hit me out of the blue and I sobbed my heart out. So glad that Elisa made it right in the end but I still felt an acute ache in my chest while reading those scenes.

Gemma made the ultimate sacrifice in the end and it was really fitting. The epilogue was great, if a little rushed and not everything has been closed satisfactorily (can’t believe where Simon and Ginerva end up) and I’m all kinds of curious over Liam! I know Elisa is writing a spin-off series and I’m beyond intrigued to discover what and who it’s about – is it Peter? Is it Simon and Ginerva’s story? Is it something to do with Liam? I know I can’t wait to find out!

And another great series comes to an end. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of heightened emotions. Thank you so much, Elisa, for a great conclusion to your Touched Saga! I look forward to reading what you write next.

Review: Brokenhearted (Touched Saga #3) by Elisa S. Amore

Title: Brokenhearted
Author: Elisa S. Amore
Series: Touched Saga #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Links:

Blurb:
A journey through dark, forbidden worlds, beyond the limits of fear.
Are you strong enough to tempt Fate?

From the author of the #1 bestseller TOUCHED comes the highly anticipated third episode of the saga that has bewitched thousands of readers around the world.

How can you go on living if the person you love is gone? Consumed by grief and remorse, Gemma Bloom wonders that day after day. Evan defied the laws of Fate to save her, paying dearly for his disobedience: falling into the trap laid by an Angel of Death, he was poisoned by Gemma’s own lips. Since that accursed kiss, she has been inconsolable, tormented by nightmares and hallucinations in which Evan is tortured by invisible hands.
Just when Gemma believes she’s losing her mind, a deep, seductive evil begins to entwine itself around the fragments of her broken heart. Horrified at first, Gemma finds herself gradually drawn to this new emotion. A terrible, mesmerizing power seems to be growing inside her, threatening to take possession of her soul. Tormented by frightening premonitions and dangerous secrets, Gemma will have to summon all her courage if she wants to challenge Fate and resist the power of darkness.
With her elegant style and intense prose, Elisa S. Amore leads us down a path paved with unbreakable bonds and fatal betrayals, forbidden realms and extreme sacrifices. An unforgettable adventure.

Nightmares. Premonitions. Dark Secrets.
Death Has Never Been So Close.
How brave do you have to be to face your worst fears?

My Review:
Stunning worldbuilding and heartbreaking emotion combine to deliver another electrifying read in the amazing Touched Saga.

Fair warning – if you haven’t read the other books in this series this review may be slightly-spoilery.

Elisa sure knows how to tug at her reader’s heartstrings and Brokenhearted is no exception. During the first five or six chapters of this book I actually felt like my heart was splitting in two and I acutely felt everything that Gemma felt. To have lost the one you love by your own hand has got to be one of the worst situations ever. And to top it off Gemma is pregnant with Evan’s baby and she never even got a chance to tell him – my heart was aching for them.

I really missed Evan in this book. I knew he had to come back on the scene at some stage (otherwise there would be no continuation of the series) and I kept racing ahead hoping, hoping, hoping. It reminded me of reading New Moon a little as I kept waiting for Edward to reappear and thought I’d die if he didn’t show up soon. Exact same feelings here. When Evan came back on the scene it was so worth the wait. I just LOVE him. He is perfect – so protective of Gemma and willing to sacrifice everything for her and his baby despite how her stupid mistake landed them in this situation. I could gush buckets all day long about his character – he is perfect leading man material.

I was quite annoyed with Ginerva in this book – it was obvious she was keeping things back from Gemma, though, it’s understandable that she didn’t feel Gemma could handle them because she was a basket case. Still, if I was Gemma I would have been far angrier with Ginerva when everything is revealed.

The second half of this book was incredible. Elisa has detailed a wonderful underworld that is imaginative and creative and Gemma’s journey through Hell had me gripped. It added a new darker and more fantastical element to the series which I adored. I love all the twists and turns and was so pleased that I had guessed her identity in book one. We were introduced to Sophia and the witches and I can’t wait to see how that plot line progresses in the next book. There is certainly plenty to flesh out and I’m intrigued to see where Elisa brings this.

The romance is in limited supply in this book because they are separated so much but when they are together it is swoon-worthy in the extreme. Their passion comes alive in a very real way.

I’m a big fan of Elisa’s writing style even if there is a tendency to be a little over-descriptive at times, but, in the main I really like how she writes.

There are a few reasons this is a four-star rather than five-star review. Firstly, I felt the editing could’ve been tighter in the first half of the book. A lot of Gemma’s inner monologue became very repetitive, and all that stuff in high school and with Peter was largely redundant. I also disliked how dismissive she was of her baby. I understand she is heartbroken but I expected there to come a time when she dried her eyes and faced up to her responsibility and that was only fleeting and more toward the end. The baby was barely mentioned in the first half of the book and that didn’t sit right with me. I also wish Gemma’s character development was stronger. This is the third book yet she still expects everyone to protect and save her. She spent most of this book crying and she really started to get on my nerves. We are told time and time again how she is strong and brave, but, honestly, in my opinion, her actions do not back that up. She was gullible, needy, and whiny and I really wanted her to grow some resolve. Sorry Elisa. However, there is light ahead because in the last few chapters she presented as a strong character and she stood up for Evan and showed her true colors and I was totally cheering at that point. I hope this is the Gemma we get to see in the next book.

I was expecting a cliffhanger ending but this one ends on a fairly happy note even though we know there are tough times ahead.

I look forward to the conclusion of Gemma and Evan’s love story.

Cover Reveal: After I Break by Mandy Peterson

Today is the cover reveal for After I Break by Mandy Peterson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover MSN Art Studio (Maduranga Sampath).
After I break is a direct sequel to the first book Before I Shatter.

After I BreakAfter I Break (Before I Shatter #2)
By Mandy Peterson
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: July 28, 2017

Blurb:
On the heels of tragedy, Vita must stay hidden to stay alive.

Gemini’s Director has made a deadly move in his attempt to recover Vita as his second-in-command. Led by her ever-prepared rescuer Evan, Vita jumps headlong into the inner sanctum of the Undocumented — an organization united in their mission to save the chaotic purity of mankind. Allying with former enemies proves difficult, especially when they expect Vita to be the girl the Gemini propaganda created: a visionary leader, terrifying soldier, and advanced human. A girl she simply is not anymore.

When her mother finally reveals the secret of Vita’s origin to her, Vita wonders just how much her intended purpose determines her fate. Questioning her value and humanity, she would just as soon stay a regular person until intelligence uncovers a new mix of Vita 2.0 candidates under the Director’s harsh command — all children.

There’s no other option but to stop the Director:
a madman who has discovered that Vita is broken
and will go to any lengths to make her whole again.

You can find After I Break on Goodreads

You can pre-order After I Break for only $0.99 here:
Amazon

After I Break full wrap

Excerpt Chapter One
Thick fingers coil around my upper arm, dragging me through the crowd pressing in from all sides. Tall, polished buildings made of stone and glass create a corridor, guiding us. Pop-up kiosks crowd the cement walkways, each table displaying specialty wares from food to fabrics. The rich aroma of coffee teases my nostrils. The happy jostling of this crowd directly contradicts the misery beginning to fill my heart.
An old man fighting for his life with an ax.
Losing the fight with a horrifying shot to the head.
My stomach cannot handle the overload. Evan insistently carries me through to the edge of the crowd, but my feet drag. Bile rises up my throat and spews all over the sidewalk. My rescuer pauses impatiently and yanks me along as soon as I finish, ignoring the disgusted cries of a woman now wearing vomit-spotted white pumps.
“Sorry!” I manage to choke out as he pulls me away. I yank my arm free of his grip and keep pace next to my partner who manages to look relatively calm but hurried. We get some interesting looks as we rush through the streets.
Evan is dressed sensibly in his jeans, t-shirt, flannel, and hiking boots. On the other hand, I am woefully unprepared for a trek through a bustling morning in a metropolis. Still clad in pajamas, wool socks, and bed-head, passersby glance at me as if I might be mentally ill.
Who knows? Maybe I am.
Wherever we are, it is a comfortable temperature out, warmer than the Swedish cabin that we disappeared from. The people sound different here, too. Their language is rounder, and the words run together. The English language is recognizable and gives me some measure of comfort. At least I can speak the language here. I keep my head down and follow Evan through winding streets to a large brick building with two large domed windows and a large clock in the center.
“What is this place?” I wheeze. My socks slip and slide on this floor, making me work twice as hard to keep up with his brutal pace.
Unaffected by my plight, Evan’s voice is stiff. “King’s Cross. Train station. They’ve got a place where you can change.”
My gaze wanders over the modern surfaces within this massive structure. People flow through the entrance and exits, living streams. Evan leads us to a row of lockers and pulls a key from his boot. I raise a questioning eyebrow as he fiddles with the lock.
“Grandfather and I prepared for this possibility. We’ve got tickets, clothing, money. Everything we need to get to safety.” He flings a gray duffle bag across his body and hands me a matching overnighter. “The ladies room is over there.” He motions behind me. “I’ll be waiting outside. Go get changed.”
I’m in shock. Slow to think. Even slower to speak. My brows furrow. “What — ?”
“Not now, Vita.” He cuts me off with a hand in the air. “There will be time for that later. Please, just go get changed.” His eyes plead with me. Just cooperate.
So I do. Surprisingly. I’m not used to taking orders any more, but now is not the time for me attempt to regain my dinged pride. Obviously. I have no idea what is going on, which sadly is a feeling I am starting to become familiar with. Betrayed by my sort-of boyfriend, deceived by my father, and targeted by an assassin in a Gemini jacket. Sure. I can acknowledge that I have zero plans, and doing something is better than the alternative. Even if it’s as simple as getting dressed.
After I slip on a pair of black leggings, black tank top, and gray loose knit sweatshirt, I lace up the pristine running shoes. My feet welcome the soft interior, the protection of real soles. My toes wiggle in appreciation, and I sigh. True to his word, Evan is waiting immediately outside the door for me. In his hands, two large paper cups of coffee, one he hands off to me as we walk. Wordlessly, he locates and boards our train with no issues. All I have to do is follow along.
The exterior of the train reminds me of a very long tram similar to the ones we had in the Lunar Colonies, but the interior could not be more different than those bleak boxes. Individual black leather seats pair off on either side of a center aisle. I run my fingertips along the cold seat backs as we meander toward the middle of the car. Bags jingle as passengers stow them overhead before sliding into their chairs. As I hoist mine overhead, Evan taps my forearm. He shakes his head ever-so-slightly. Do not stow your luggage.
Instead, we settle in with our bags in our laps. As the train pulls away from the station, I can’t stop myself from examining the changing scenery out the nearest window. Evan speaks to an attendant briefly, but my brain is firing rapidly. I can’t seem to find a single topic to latch onto. Catching my breath from the relentless pace through all of those crowded streets, I feel the heaviness seep in slowly through my pores.
Scrambled eggs with shards of glass scattered on their fluffy peaks.
Being knocked to the floor.
Pinned underneath Evan’s weight.
Seeing stars as my head makes contact with the hard wood.
Door crashing in.
Weapons trained on us.
George swinging the ax.
Gunshot.
Then suddenly in another town, likely a different country from the way these people speak. Hurtling through swarms of bodies; now speeding through the landscape. No idea where I am or where we are going.
Tears begin pinching the features of my face. My knuckles turn white on the armrests. I blink as fast as I can. My mind grasps for something — anything — to keep these tears from spilling down my cheeks and shrink the lump in my throat. Warm hands peel mine from their strangle hold. They fit so well around mine.
“I need you to hold it together. Just a little longer, okay?” His low voice penetrates my grief.
“How can you be so calm?” My voice doesn’t match his. It wobbles and squeaks.
“Because I have to be. We can deal with this later. For now, we need to get to safety.” His rock solid expression leaves me conflicted. Should I feel glad or horrified that he’s not falling apart after what happened to his grandfather?
My lower lip trembles. The world has betrayed me. Gemini has betrayed me. “I thought we were. Safe.”
His hands squeeze mine. “Only 30 more minutes. Then we get off the train and take a car the rest of the way.”
“Where are we going?”
He leans in closely to whisper in my ear. “It’s a small base with the façade of a storage unit. They’ve agreed to help us if it should ever come to this.”
“They who?”
A sigh heaves his chest. Whatever the answer is, he thinks I won’t want to hear it. “The Undocumented.”
My eyes grow wide. The last time I saw the Undocumented, we were shooting at each other. My favorite teammate had been killed. How many times had they made an attempt on my life and the lives of those I cared for?
Seeing my wild look, Evan grasps my hands harder. “It’s okay. They aren’t what you think they are.”
“How do you know?” I rip my hands away and tuck them into my lap. “This is insanity! We could be walking into a trap!”
He sighs. “It’s not.”
“They could kill us on sight!” They would certainly have every right to. The faces of the three men I shattered nearly two years ago swim in my mind. Someone has to be unhappy about that.
“They won’t.”
“But —”
“Because I’m Undocumented.” Evan declares, matter-of-factly. “They’re the people who are helping us. They’re the contacts who’ve been working tirelessly to give us shelter, identities, security, in case of an emergency. So believe me when I say this is the safest place we could possibly be.”
I clamp my mouth shut and recline my seat.

The first book in the series!
Before I Shatter (Before I Shatter #1)
Before I Shatter

Vita must make the choice:
Continue risking her life for a cause she doesn’t believe in
or make an unprecedented escape?

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon

Mandy PetersonAbout the Author:
Mandy Peterson grew up all over Nebraska and eventually settled down there with a family of her own: husband, daughter, and son.

When she isn’t writing about herself in third person, Mandy the high school librarian can be found digging through young adult and new adult lit. An avid reader of all genres (but she secretly told me she loves sci-fi the most), you will usually see her with her nose in a book or face to her Kindle app, iced or blended coffee drink in hand. A former roller girl and roller derby referee, she can also be found watching roller derby online or dragging her family behind her to cheer on teams in person all over their great state.

You can find and contact Mandy here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
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Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of After I Break. This giveaway is open international. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #3
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Fantasy
Links:

Blurb:
A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

My Review:
Amazing, as I knew it would be. I almost had at coronary at the end and those battle scenes were EPIC. This book makes me want to reread the other two again just to see where it all began and to look at the interactions with Rhysand in a totally different light in book one and two now that I know what I (we!) know! While I devoured this book, and it was fantabulous, I’m so sad this is the end of Feyre and Rhys’s love story as I adore them so much BUT I’m really excited to continue the series with some of the other characters. Really hope Nesta and Cassian’s story is next. Sarah Maas is an unbelievably talented author and I am a massive fan of her work – she is up there with the very best. I’m looking forward to reading her next few releases and I’m already on a countdown.

Review: Wicked Restless (Harper Boys #2) by Ginger Scott

Title: Wicked Restless
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Harper Boys #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: YA Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Andrew Harper grew up in a house marked by tragedy. His older brother Owen did his best to shelter him, but you can only be protected from life’s pain for so long. Eventually, you end up just feeling numb…and isolated.

Loneliness was the one constant in Andrew’s life. Until one girl, met by chance in a high school hallway, changed everything. Emma Burke was a mystery and all that was beautiful in this world, the only air Andrew ever wanted to breathe. She took the lonely away, and filled it with hope and color, and Andrew would do anything to keep her safe, happy and whole.

But sometimes, what feels good and right is what ends up hurting us the most. And when Andrew and Emma are faced with an impossible decision, Andrew is tested to see just how far he’s willing to go for the girl who owns his heart.

Cuts are deep.

Scars are left behind.

And revenge beckons.

When Andrew finally gets his chance, in college, five years after his first love broke him completely, he finds out old feelings don’t really disappear just because you say you hate someone. The more he tries to avenge all that he believes he lost, the more he uncovers the real story of what happened years before.

Love is wicked. But a restless heart is never satisfied beating on its own. Can Andrew and Emma make it right before it’s too late, or will the ties that bind them now destroy their only chance at a future?

My Review:
Gosh, didn’t think Ginger could top Wild Reckless but she did. This book was incredible – the character development was superb, the plot flowed fluidly, the writing was beautiful, and it evoked so many different emotions in me. I never wavered in my love for Andrew and all his emotions were genuine and believable. That boy sacrificed so much and he was in so much pain – my heart physically ached for him. I wanted him to find happiness so badly and my only complaint is that I wish we got a longer epilogue, but that’s probably just me being greedy. Loved the little glimpses of Owen and Kensi. Absolutely exceptional. You knocked it out of the park, Ginger. Highly Recommended.

Review: Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott

Title: Wild Reckless
Author: Ginger Scott
Series: Harper Boys #1
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Kensington Worth had a vision for her senior year. It involved her best friends, her posh private school in downtown Chicago and time alone with her piano until her audition was perfected, a guaranteed ticket into the best music programs in the world.

Instead, a nightmare took over.

It didn’t happen all at once, but her life unraveled quickly—a tiny thread that evil somehow kept pulling until everything precious was taken from her. She was suddenly living miles away from her old life, trapped in an existence she didn’t choose—one determined to destroy her from the inside, leaving only hate and anger behind. It didn’t help that her neighbor, the one whose eyes held danger, was enjoying every second of her fall.

Owen Harper was trouble, his heart wild and his past the kind that’s spoken about in whispers. And somehow, his path was always intertwined with Kensington’s, every interaction crushing her, ruining her hope for any future better than her now. Sometimes, though, what everyone warns is trouble, is exactly what the heart needs. Owen Harper was consumed with darkness, and it held onto his soul for years. When Kensington looked at him, she saw a boy who’d gotten good at taking others down when they threatened his carefully balanced life. But the more she looked, the more she saw other things too—good things…things to admire.

Things…to love. Things that made her want to be reckless.

And those things…they were the scariest of all.

My Review:
Ginger Scott is fast becoming one of my favorite authors, and Wild Reckless has just catapulted ahead of Hold My Breath as my fave book of hers. I read this in one sitting and it was virtually impossible to put it down. I love a misunderstood bad boy who is the complete opposite of his public persona and that is exactly what we received in Owen Harper. Yes, he was a prize jerk at times but it was a defensive mechanism to push people away from him – a way to hide his true self from the world.

Kensi was the perfect match for him and I loved how she was both vulnerable and strong. Owen needed someone to fight for him and Kensi was the right girl for the job.

I loved the setting and the backdrop of basketball and Ken’s musical ambitions along with all the family drama and dysfunction. It was angsty in parts but perfectly blended with heartfelt emotions and gut-wrenching dilemmas.

The romance was perfect and I felt the chemistry and the love between our couple.

The writing was sublime as I’ve come to expect from this author and the pacing was spot on.

This book does touch on some heavy-duty topics but I felt it was handled appropriately. It doesn’t delve into them in huge detail but it was appropriate for the story.

I am only dying to read Andrew’s story next and I’m off to one-click it.

Thank you for another stellar read, Ms. Scott.

Highly Recommended.

Blog Tour: Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf


Today is my stop during the blog tour for Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf! I review this book and there’s a guest post form the author!

Title: Remember Me Forever
Author: Sara Wolf
Series: Lovely Vicious #3
Rating: 4 stars
Genres:
Links:

Blurb:
Isis Blake hasn’t fallen in love in three years, forty-three weeks, and two days. Or so she thinks.

The boy she maybe-sort-of-definitely loved and sort-of-maybe-definitely hated has dropped off the face of the planet in the face of tragedy, leaving a Jack Hunter–shaped hole. Determined to be happy, Isis fills it in with lies and puts on a brave smile for her new life at Ohio State University.

But the smile lasts only until he shows up. The menace from her past—her darkest secret, Nameless—is attending OSU right alongside her. And he’s whispering that he has something Isis wants—something she needs to see to move forward. To move on.

Isis has always been able to pretend everything is okay. But not anymore.

Isis Blake might be good at putting herself back together.

But Jack Hunter is better.

My Review:
It feels like I was waiting forever for this book and I was so looking forward to reading the conclusion to Isis and Jack’s story.

It opens several months after the funeral and Isis is trying to get on with her life in the wake of Jack’s sudden departure. She moves to college, strikes up some new friendships and is trying to move forward when Nameless shows up on campus. Then Jack makes an appearance and her heart starts to hurt all over again. Jack is battling his feelings and he’s determined to stay away from Isis before he ruins another girl that he loves.

I enjoyed that we got dual POV here and it helped because otherwise, I think I would have done a total U-turn on my feelings for Jack. He’s in a whole world of pain and shutting Isis out from misguided protection, but at least I could understand where it was coming from.

Isis is her usual crazy, nutty self and I loved how she didn’t apologize for that. I felt her fear with Nameless but she was strong and brave in the end confrontation.

When our couple finally admits their feelings the romance was everything I had been hoping for and more. This pair is so perfect together and I loved it!

I love my angst and drama and this book had enough of that to hold my attention. I also adore Sara’s writing style and her prose is great. Without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing about this series are the two mains and the funny witty banter between them. Sometimes Isis behavior was downright cringy but I’ve got to give kudos to Sara for creating a unique, refreshingly different one a kind female heroine. She has her flaws and her strengths and she undergoes great development as the series progresses. Jack is an unlikely male hero in some ways but no less interesting and definitely swoon worthy. Characterization was superb.

However, there were a few issues that stopped me from rating this five stars. The first quarter of the book is very slow moving and not much happens. I’ve been waiting for three books for our couple to get together and they only did at the 77% mark on my kindle – I just didn’t get enough of their romance or enough scenes of them together and the epilogue felt rushed and unsatisfactory. The other issue I have is with the Nameless subplot – it lacked depth and credibility as a result and I think more could’ve been done with it.

In summary, though, this was a stellar conclusion to a fabulous series and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Thanks to Entangled Teen for providing an ARC of this book, which I have voluntarily reviewed.

Earlier Books in the series

love-me-neverforget-me-always

Guest Post Finding Your Voice In Writing by Sara Wolf
The best way to find your writing voice is, in my opinion, writing about something you love. For me it was writing fanfiction of videogames, books, etc that I loved. That really helped me to just write naturally, because the characters were already in my head, and so was the world. So all that was left was my own voice, and I could see it clearly coming through. I guess my recommendation is to write fanfiction, then! It helps to hone your skills and story-telling abilities a ton, especially if you write in a universe you really and truly love. The more you love it, the better your writing/honing will turn out to be!

Another way is to play around with tenses. A lot of people write first person present tense, which is my preferred favorite, but flexing your writing muscles by writing third person past or even the off-the-wall second person are great exercises. Different tenses really push you beyond your comfortable boundaries as a writer, and helps you find what you’re really good at. You can even switch it up in the same book, though you have to be careful about confusing your readers with that advanced move. It’s a delicate balance.

Thank you for having me!

author-photo-sara-wolfAbout the Author:
Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Links:

Giveaway
One winner will win the Ultimate College Survival Kit, including:
• *Ouch! BandAids. 24 Assorted adhesive bandages with absorbent pads.
• A durable, sleek, modern laundry backpack. Machine washable with a secure locking drawstring closure.
• 3M Command Adhesive Poster Strips to hang posters and Dormify prints on your wall with no hassle. Pack of 12 strips.
• 3M Command Adhesive Medium Hooks for hanging hand towels, jewelry or more. Pack of 2 hooks.
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Dish Soap perfect for those dirty dishes that (unfortunately) won’t clean themselves
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s All Purpose Spray Cleaner. 100% natural for any and all household cleaning
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Scrub Cleaner perfect for kitchen and bath cleaning.
• A 1oz bottle of Eco-Me’s Gentle Laundry Soap.
• Namast’ay in Bed Eye Mask, perfect for sleeping in late.
• An aluminum head massager to relax your body when you massage your head with the soft-tipped stainless-steel tips. 10″ Tall.
• A set of ear plugs. Plug in and tune out
• Weekly Calendar Message Board to help you plan out your schedule.
• Holy Moly It’s Raining Poncho
• A Ping Pong ball, in case of emergency.
• Bring your bath essentials to the shower in style with the Mint Spa Basket Shower Caddy. Waterproof – made with durable plastic with sleek chrome handle (9.25 x 7 x 5 inches)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter:
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Review: When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Title: When It’s Real
Author: Erin Watt
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls… and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

My Review:
When It’s Real by Erin Watt rocked my world and then some!! A perfect rock star romance with a rich, hot, obnoxious bad boy behaving badly and the cute, normal girl-next-door type who wins his heart.

Oak Ford has lost his mojo and his way and his bad boy party lifestyle are finally catching up to him. The solution to his problem? A fake girlfriend, or so his manager and PR company think. Cue Vaughan Bennett, and the start of our love story.

I adored this book, savoring every beautiful page from start to finish. There is nothing overly intricate in the plot or the character development but it’s the superb execution of same that is the winner here. I loved the musical influences and the twitter feed was hysterically funny. The writing is brilliant as I’ve come to expect from this author and it flowed perfectly.

I kept thinking Justin Bieber as I was reading this book even if the description didn’t wholly fit. I loved the snarky banter between our couple at the start and how they gradually opened up to one another. Vaughan was a bit of a sap when it came to W and I wished she had more gumption as it seemed at odds with the rest of her personality.

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the Oakley Ford show. Man, I loved him from the get-go and my heart ached for him. The romance was slow building and real and everything my romance-loving heart desires.

This is a bit different from the Royals series. It’s not angsty or dramatic and it’s definitely less steamy despite the rock star backdrop and all that entails; however, this is trad-pubbed so I imagine the author had to toe a strict line. It doesn’t matter anyway, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment at all, it’s more of an observation.

In summary, this was a superb read and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Yes, it’s not a new story but it doesn’t matter. It’s a wonderful read and one that had me hooked throughout. I really look forward to reading more of this author in future.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via the author’s assistant and I have voluntarily reviewed same. Thank you very much, Erin Watt, you have another show stealer on your hands!

Cover Reveal: Loving Kalvin!

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Today is the cover and blurb reveal for Loving Kalvin! Loving Kalvin is the fourth book in my Kennedy Boys series. Massive thanks to Fiona Jayde of Fiona Jayde media for the amazing covers and graphics she has created for this series. I hope you love them as much as I do!

Loving KalvinLoving Kalvin (The Kennedy Boys #4)
By Siobhan Davis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Upper Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: July 2017

Blurb:
A second-chance romance from USA Today bestseller Siobhan Davis. Standalone with HEA and no cliffhanger.

Lana
I knew it would end in disaster, but I didn’t listen to reason. I didn’t care. Because I loved him so much.

Kalvin Kennedy ruled my heart.

Until he destroyed it.

Shattered it so completely that I became someone else. Someone I loathed. Someone who repeatedly lied to her loved ones.

So, I ran.

From him. From myself. Desperate to hide my new reality.

But I could only run so far.

When he reappears in my life, I’m terrified. Unbelievably scared of facing the consequences of my actions.

Never mind that I still love him and want him so badly—there’s too much at stake now.

How can I trust him with the biggest secret of all when he’s likely to rip my world apart again?

Kalvin
Lana was always far too good for me. Everyone knew it but her.

I tried to stay away, but I was weak.

And I hurt her.

Crushed her until she barely resembled herself. Forced her to follow a path she would never have willingly chosen.

And then she was gone.

And my world has never felt as empty, as lonely.

She begged me to stay away. Not to find her. To forget she ever existed.

But that’s like asking me to slice my heart in two and toss half aside.

I’ve never believed in fate, but when I rock up to the University of Florida, I’m ready to eat my words.

Because she’s here. Like I hoped she would be. And I’m determined to prove I deserve a second chance.

You can find Loving Kalvin on Goodreads.

You can pre-order Loving Kalvin exclusively on Amazon
It will be available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited once released.

Previous books in this series
Finding KylerLosing KylerKeeping Kyler

The first three books have to be read in order. All future books can be read as a standalone with an HEA and no cliffhanger. The Kennedy Boys series is free to read in Kindle Unlimited and book one, Finding Kyler, is currently available for only 0.99$ on Amazon

Blog Tour: Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney


This is my stop during the blog tour for Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 21 May. View the tour schedule here.

Black DawnBlack Dawn (Black Dawn #1)
By Mallory McCartney
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult/ New Adult
Release Date: February 14, 2017

Blurb:
The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.

You can find Black Dawn on Goodreads

You can buy Black Dawn here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Excerpt:
Sweat rolled thickly down his neck, making his getup suffocating. The night was bleak and all-consuming as Brokk Foster looked to where he knew his best friend and Commander was hidden. Weeks of tactical planning and training had brought the soldiers of Black Dawn to this moment. The slight tremor in his hands was the only sign of how he was feeling. Brokk pressed himself closer to the mossy ground, breathing in the sweet smell of dewy grass. A snap of twigs and the group went rigid, frozen in the shadows. Laughter filled the forest air as four men with blood-red sashes of the guards draped brazenly across their chests walked into view a few hundred yards away. They quipped at each other, totally relaxed, their voices sounding like a constant buzz to Brokk. His blood thrummed in his ears as his heart pounded wildly. The seconds felt like centuries until finally, he saw a flash of silver and a smooth voice filled his mind, “Now.”
Brokk didn’t need to be told twice. Springing from the ground like a demon from the darkness, he pulled his curved twin blades out in seconds as he cut the men off. The group stopped, looking pale in the moonlight and extremely exposed.
“Evening, boys,” Brokk said in a taunting voice. “Sorry to interrupt your rounds, but I dare say you’re a little close for comfort to our home. Convenient for us, though,” he added, twirling the hilts in his hands. “We wanted you exactly here.”
Their leader took a daring step toward him. His mistake. Brokk yelled into the darkness, “Memphis, keep him alive!”
In a flurry of movement, his friends dropped from the surrounding trees, all dressed in the same camouflage, their weapons at the ready. A mad cackle broke the guard’s momentary trance, and they tried to run. Chaos ensued.
Brokk threw his blades at the nearest tree—a satisfying thud sounded as they found their mark. He ran, eyes fixated on the two guards that had broken away from the fight ahead of him. It was laughable really, just how much they thought they had a chance of escaping. They had no idea who they were up against.
The familiar popping and breaking of bones shivered through his body when animal instinct took over as the wolf inside him did. The ground shook from his colossal paws, golden fur rippling like a beacon in the night. His growl rumbled like thunder, and for a split second, he forgot who he was. All that mattered was that he took his targets down. The guard’s deaths were much swifter than they deserved.
Brokk shifted back, trying to calm the elation of how good that had felt. Memphis snapped him out of his glorified moment. “Brokk! Come here.”
The last guard was openly crying, now forced to his knees, hands shaking behind his head. Brokk almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
Up close he was much younger than Brokk thought, fear replacing the guard’s bravery now. Memphis’s icy blue eyes cut into his, and he didn’t have to say anything for Brokk to understand. Telekinetic or not, his friend wore his heart on his sleeve. They were all on edge and who could blame them? Six years of hiding. Six years of losing this war. Brokk swallowed back his thoughts, wearing his mask of oozing confidence and anger.
“W-who are you?” The guard’s voice squeaked out several octaves higher than it should have.
Nyx kicked him in the gut, making him wheeze in pain and gasp for air. Memphis crouched down in front of him, his long blond hair tied back, revealing his severe features. They all bore scars, some more visible than others.

About the Author:
Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

You can find and contact Mallory McCartney here:
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon
Instagram

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Black Dawn. Three winners will each win a signed copy of Black Dawn. Open International.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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