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.

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
Newsletter

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

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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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