Cover Reveal: Brave by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Today is is the cover reveal for the third book in Jennifer L. Armentrout’s series A Wicked sage: Brave! I can’t wait to read this book. Let me know what you think of this cover or the first two books if you read them!

There’s also a giveaway that you can enter and information about a virtual signing!

Title: Brave
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: A Wicked Saga #3
Genres: Paranormal
Release Date: December 11th, 2017
Links:

Blurb:
Ivy Morgan hasn’t been feeling like herself lately. Not like anyone can blame her. After all, being held captive by a psychotic fae prince hell-bent on permanently opening the gates to the Otherworld is bound to leave some mental scars.

It’s more than that, though. Something dark and insidious is spreading throughout Ivy, more powerful than she could ever imagine… and it’s coming between her and the man she’s fallen deeply in love with, elite Order member Ren Owens.

Ren would do anything to keep Ivy safe. Anything. But when he makes a life altering choice for her, the fallout of his act has far reaching consequences that threaten to tear their lives apart.
If Ivy is going to have any hope of surviving this, she must put aside the hurt and betrayal she feels, and work with not only those she loves, but with an enemy she would rather kill than ever trust. War is coming, and it soon becomes clear that what Ivy and Ren thought they knew about the Order, themselves, and even their enemies, has been nothing but a cluster of dangerous, deadly lies. Ivy knows she must be more than just brave to save those she loves–and, ultimately, to save herself.

Because behind every evil fae Prince, there’s a Queen…

To celebrate the upcoming release of BRAVE (book 3 in the Wicked Saga), Jennifer is offering an exclusive virtual signing! Through this virtual signing, you will be able to order SIGNED & PERSONALIZED copies of WICKED, TORN, and BRAVE! And best of all — This is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY! More details about the virtual signing can be found here.

About the Author:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES 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, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Links:

GIVEAWAY
There is a giveaway to celebrate the cover reveal for Brave.
· PRIZE: SURPRISE SIGNED PRIZE PACK (containing multiple signed books & swag)
· OPEN INTERNATIONAL
· ENDS 10/2/17

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

Review: If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Happy release day to If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout! Scroll down to read my review for this book, see some teasers, enter the giveaway and check out the trailer!

Title: If There’s No Tomorrow
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when her and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

My Review:
A beautifully written coming-of-age story that packs a powerful punch. Emotional, insightful, and ultimately uplifting in the end, this book captured my attention from the instant I picked it up and I barely put it down until I finished it.

I am a massive JLA fan and I’ve made no secret of the fact that I think her YA paranormal series is her best work, but after reading TPWF and ITNT, I have to say that her YA contemporary romances are now vying for that prime position.

Even though this is a complete standalone and it’s in no way connected with TPWF, it stirs the same emotions, the same intensity, and the same addictiveness. At least, it did for me.

I read this book in less than twenty-four hours but that is nothing new for me with a JLA book.

Lena was a fantastic MC – a genuinely nice, sweet girl who made a bad decision and was slowly allowing it to chip away at her self-esteem and her self-worth. Her whole world tilted on its axis overnight and she was drowning in a sea of guilt and self-loathing. Sebastien, her BFF and longtime secret crush, was her rock, and he tried everything to get her to open up, but she was terrified of telling him the truth.

Sebastien was a swoony leading man and I loved the delicious push and pull nature of their relationship as they both held back from making the first move. Their connection was beautiful and it jumped off the pages of my Kindle. All the little touches and gestures and actions were gorgeous and I was totally rooting for them.

When the big event occurred it came out of nowhere and took me by complete surprise. Gosh, my heart was in my mouth and I was devastated at the fallout. I couldn’t believe it and I read on with a definite tightness in my chest. Jennifer perfectly demonstrated the whole gamut of emotions one would feel in such a situation and it was expertly written. She didn’t shy away from tackling the complex aspects of the tragedy, and it was real, raw, vulnerable, and so gritty and powerful. It made me stop and think about choices and consequences and responsibility. The message was very well delivered.

In the end, we get our HEA and I was so happy. It’s taken me a few days to write this review because I’m still processing it all. For me, that is always the sign of a great book.

If you enjoy emotional romances with a powerful message and books that really make you delve deep and think, then this is the perfect read for you.

Another showstopper, Ms. Armentrout. Thank you so much for another fantastic read, and for the advance complimentary copy which I’m always very grateful to receive.

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

Trailer

https://jenniferlarmentrout.com/About the Author:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES 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, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Links:

Giveaway
• PRIZE: SURPRISE SIGNED PRIZE PACK (containing multiple signed books & swag)
• OPEN INTERNATIONAL
• ENDS 9/14

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

Review: Fallen Heir (The Royals #4) by Erin Watt

Title: Fallen Heir
Author: Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #4
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

My Review:
Compulsively readable, and highly addictive. You won’t be able to put this one down until you’ve finished it. At least, I didn’t. A phenomenal addition to The Royals series, and a surefire crowd-pleaser. Erin Watt has definitely knocked it out of the park again! I just want to grab Easton and smother him with love – that boy is so in need of it!

This book is more of a character-driven story than the original trilogy, in my opinion. You will find lots of the same delectable drama, witty banter, laugh-out-loud moments, and emotional highs and lows as the initial books, but Fallen Heir delves deeper into character development in a way Paper Princess didn’t. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just an observation. If you go into this expecting lots of plot twists and turns, you might be a tad disappointed.

Easton. Oh, Easton.
How my heart ached for you.
How my palm itched to slap your face.
How I wished I could reach into my Kindle and hug you to death.
How I wanted to shake you repeatedly and demand you pull your head out of your ass.
To say Easton has lost his way is a massive understatement. He is aimless, virtually parent-less, and struggling without Reed to keep him on the straight and narrow. He lashes out when he is hurt, and he acts so foolishly when he is drunk (which is a lot of the time.)

I really liked Hartley. I admired her determination and her strength of character. Her family are jerks, and she has been treated terribly unfairly, but she is still fighting and surviving, and I had tons of respect for her. I liked that she challenged Easton, and fought their attraction, and the slow-build up of their romance was perfect.

I’m starting to really dislike Lauren. Ggrrr. I wanted to choke her after that conversation she had with Hartley in the Royal kitchen (as an aside, I think Easton’s personality may be rubbing off on me a little. Hence, all the aggressive, violent undertones to this review. I’m not really like this in real life. I swear!)

The last ten percent of this book was like – hell,yeah, here we go! I was on tenterhooks the whole time! And I LOVED it. And then bam! Cliffy city. Holy moly. It was awesome. I’m hoping it’s not as it seems because my heart will shatter, but I cannot wait to read the next instalment.

In summary: Another hugely entertaining read, with superb character development and a H and H who will both tug at your heart strings.

Actual 4.5 stars.

Massive thanks to the author and Nina Bocci for supplying an ARC of this book which I am voluntarily reviewing.

Cover Reveal: The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson

Today is the cover reveal for The Bride of Glass by Candace Robinson. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The cover is designed by Jenny Zemanek @ Seedlings Design Studio.

The Bride of GlassThe Bride of Glass (Glass Vault #2)
By Candace Robinson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Horror
Age category: upper Young Adult
Release Date: September 1, 2017

Blurb:
Perrie Madeline is trapped in Vale’s clutches as the Bride. Can Perrie find a way to escape her mental prison?

Maisie Jaser is on a rescue mission to retrieve her cousin and best friend, Perrie. Together, she hopes to bring down Vale and rid the world of the destruction he has caused.

Will Vale prevail?

The Bride of Glass is a mixture of humor, romance, violence, darkness, and hope.

You can find The Bride of Glass on Goodreads

You can pre-order The Bride of Glass here on Amazon

First book in the series:
Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault
Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault
Some see it… Some don’t…

You can buy your copy of Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault here on Amazon.

Candace RobinsonAbout the Author:
Candace Robinson is just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. Her days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books. She live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! She resides with her husband and daughter.

You can find and contact Candace here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram


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Review: Sustain by Tijan

Title: Sustain
Author: Tijan
Series: standalone
Rating: 3.75 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
I had a simple life.
I worked two jobs, made ends meet, and hung out with my mom and twin brother. The other part of my life was about avoiding him, but when SWAT raided my boyfriend’s home, that was the last straw. The boyfriend got tossed and to help me keep busy, my brother talked me into joining their old band again, but I had to be honest. It wasn’t a hard sell. Playing drums was in my blood. I used to be addicted and that craving hadn’t been satisfied in three long years. The only problem was their lead singer.
It was him.
The drums might not have been the only thing I was addicted to. I think I was still addicted to him too.

My Review:
I’ve been binge-reading Tijan for weeks now and she is definitely up there at the top of my fav authors’ list. I love the soap-opera style drama and emotional complexity of her novels. They always suck me in and eat me right up!

Sustain is a friends to lovers story set within a rockstar world (one of my favorites) with a male lead that is to die for, so I was off to a good start. I ADORED Luke and Bri was also great, even though both of them frustrated me with their inability to communicate at times. Another great thing about Tijan is her ability to create strong secondary characters. I loved Gunn! Braden was a loveable rogue and Elijah and Emerson were the token jerks (especially the latter – I wanted to swing for him so many times.)

The reason this is not a higher rating is down to some issues with the plot and certain things not being properly explained. Also, while the chemistry between Luke and Bri was sizzling, in the main, the romance was a bit on the light side. Then it all felt very rushed at the end when I wanted to see some of them together as an actual couple.

Definitely, not up to the magnificence that is the Fallen Crest series – man, I love that series SOOOO much and can’t wait for book six – but still a decent read, and one I’d recommend.

In summary, this is a very good standalone contemp NA/Rocker romance and a must read if you are a Tijan fan.

Actual rating 3.75 stars.

Review: Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Title: Kissing Max Holden
Author: Katy Upperman
Series: standalone
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Kissing Max Holden was a terrible idea…

After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

My Review:
Full of bad boy charm, hot swoony romance, family drama and life lessons, Kissing Max Holden is a superb debut from author Katy Upperman and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

The gorgeous cover and enticing blurb hooked me instantly and I was really looking forward to reading this book. Thankfully, it lived up to my expectations and more.

Jillian is a good girl with a dedicated focus on a bakery career, and she is on a countdown until she starts culinary school in New York. Max Holden is the boy next door and her one-time bestie. All that changed after his dad took a stroke and Max started going out with his girlfriend.

I loved how the book opened on the scene where Max climbed through her window, and that we got stuck into the meat of the story straight away. I was rooting for them from the get-go!

This book gave me so many feels, and it was heartwarming as much as it was heartwrenching.

Max is to die for, and my perfect kind of misunderstood, sexy, bad boy with a heart of gold. I wanted him to ditch that scheming girlfriend for Jillian so badly! All the stolen kisses and sneaky moments were diamond! Absolutely, loved them, and the romance scenes were perfectly written. They made my heart swoon, and I felt the intense connection between our couple.

I also loved how family and friendship played a big part in this story.

The writing was fantastic, the pacing was spot-on, and it was an addictive read that I had a hard time putting down.

I cannot wait to see what this author delivers next, and I really hope this book does well for her because it’s a fab read.

Highly Recommended.

Actual 4.5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I am voluntarily reviewing same.

Review: Still Jaded (Jaded #2) by Tijan

Title: Still Jaded
Author: Tijan
Series: Jaded #2
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Sheldon, Bryce, and Corrigan ruled their school until a killer wanted to rule them. Three years later, Bryce’s back home from Europe the local celebrity jock. Corrigan’s busy running his fraternity and Sheldon’s about to be pulled back into the social world of drama. With the killer killed, who’s trying to hurt Sheldon this time? Or maybe it’s someone closer than she wants to admit?

My Review:
This book turned my stomach into knots, and I honestly felt a terrible panicky feeling in my chest while reading it. This series is like a sick addiction, one I just can’t get enough of even though half the time I want to scream and yell and throw a few things around the room. These characters infuriate me but I’m obsessing over them. It is like the most extreme car-crash TV multiplied ten-fold with an extra dollop of highly-emotive angsty drama on top. These characters have few redeeming qualities, and they can in no way be described as positive role models, but they are strangely endearing all the same.

I spent the first half of this book feeling sorry for Sheldon, the middle part screaming at Bryce, and the last part scratching my head in utter confusion over the apparent connection between Sheldon and Corrigan. I adore love triangles and this one is frustratingly good. I like that Tijan explores the theme of actually being properly in love with two guys at the same time. And it’s not lust or insta-love as these three have been best friends for years. I know some people don’t believe it’s possible to be in love with two people at the same time, but I think it’s credible. Gosh, it cranked the awkwardness level to new heights but I lapped it up. I started to have some sympathy for Bryce toward the end even though he still acted like an ass with that bloody supermodel.

The stalker subplot is good but very much in the background and I’m expecting that to develop in the final book.

I liked seeing a different side to Corrigan and it seems fairly clear that she has already chosen him even if she doesn’t realize it. I’m not sure how I feel about that. There was no clue to this connection in the first one so I find it weird that she might love him more than Bryce. If subtle clues had been evident in the first book, it would be more believable. The other issue I had is that all of the time the three of them spent in Barcelona isn’t relayed for the reader which is very bizarre because the supposed issues in their relationship arose from that chapter in their lives. We are told bits and pieces but otherwise it was glossed over. It would have made more sense if book two focused on that time and this was book three etc.

Glaring editing errors, some plot holes, and timeline issues grated on my nerves too but there is no way I can rate this less than 5 stars. Any book that ties me into so many knots and has me up half the night thinking about the characters and the plot is worthy of top marks. Dying to see how this series closes out now!

My recommendation comes with a health warning – only for those who enjoy high-stakes drama, despicable characters with little moral compass, and angsty emotional romance.

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.

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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:
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Giveaway
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