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

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

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

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

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

My Review:
4.5 Stars.

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

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

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

All in all, another great read from JLA.

Blog Tour: Just a Kiss by Kate Kisset

JustaKiss bt banner
Today is my stop during the blog tour for Just a Kiss. I’ll share my review with you and there’s a tour wide givaway.

JustaKisseBook-1Title:Just a Kiss
Author: Kate Kisset
Series: A Wine Country Romance Series #1
Rating: 3 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
One Wine Country Villa
Six Santino Brothers
And lots of wine…

Reeling from the loss of her mother, Sarah Dupont catches her fiancé doing the nasty on top of her pastry table at their San Francisco Bakery.

Devastated, she calls her best friend, lifestyle reporter, Danica Vargas. Danica convinces Sarah to start fresh, and rent a room with her at an historic mansion in Sonoma Valley.

With two roommates who act like the sisters she never had and a feisty landlord to stand in as the grandmother she always wanted, Sarah’s opens a café on the Sonoma Plaza. Her life changes the moment the little bell on the door rings and the notoriously sexy actor Jamie Santino, swaggers in.

Jamie, one of the six Santino Brothers, of Napa Valley Winery fame, needs baking lessons for his new movie and Sarah is just the woman to teach him.
Wine flows, their love affair heats up and a tempestuous femme fatale enters the scene.

How can Sarah trust that Jamie isn’t acting when everything he says seems too good to be true?

My Review:
Sarah’s whole life has been falling apart at the seams thanks to a heartless ex-fiance who betrayed her in every way possible. Broke and alone, she moves to be with her friend Danica and sets about rebuilding her life.

Jamie Santino’s film career has been in the doldrums thanks to a disastrous ex who manipulated his feelings to further her own career. He now has the chance to turn things around, but he needs Sarah’s help. Sarah reluctantly agrees to allow him conduct some ‘research’ in her cafe and thus our story begins.

While I liked this book, I didn’t love it.

The writing is decent and the style consistent with other books of this genre. Certainly, Kate Kisset shows enormous promise as a writer. The pacing is good and the story flows without any need to skim. There is a decent amount of descriptive text without it being overbearing. I loved the addition of the girls wine club, the Santino winery, and all the wine-related references (not that I’m a lush or anything, you understand.)

However, this book is too short, and both plot and character development suffered as a result. It was hard to feel an emotional attachment to either Sarah or Jamie, and I didn’t feel a connection to them as a couple. At times, the dialogue was really witty, and at other times it was stiff, unnatural, or downright cringy.

This book has the potential to be better with stronger developmental editing. I’ve recently read a couple of other books with the same issues and it’s quite frustrating, especially when the author clearly has talent.

If you are looking for a light, quick, summer read then you’ll most likely enjoy this book.

Thanks to Inkslinger PR and the author for providing me with a review copy of this book in exhange for my honest review.

Excerpt:
Help me get a grip, I’m melting into her eyes… He took a beat to compose himself.
“What would you like me to do Sarah?” he asked.
She moved closer and parted her lips.
I’m going, going…
“I think I’d like you to kiss me now.”
Gone…
On tiptoe and cradling the back of his head, she guided him to her.
No one could surprise him in the love department except Sarah Dupont. He skimmed his hands over the outline of her soft curves and pulled her in tighter. She tasted like cabernet and cake, and he closed his eyes so he could savor her lips.
A low moan escaped her, and hit him in the gut. He didn’t know where to start with his hands and moved them over the sexy arch of her back and pressed her closer to him.
“The tree,” he said quickly, not wanting to be away from her mouth. “Does the tree hurt your back?”
“Don’t stop kissing me,” she said. The need in Sarah’s voice surprised him, making him strain against his jeans. He fought to slow down, to wait, to catch a breath before he lost it.
He swept his lips across her cheek. “Sarah.” When he reached her earlobe, he nipped. She felt luscious and pliable in his arms. He almost couldn’t handle listening to her quick breaths and the feeling of her heart pumping so fast against him.
“Sarah.” He nuzzled behind her ear, kissing and sucking her neck. “Don’t make me stop.”
She groaned between breaths.
He felt drunk, but he’d had only had a few glasses of wine. Touching, kissing and listening to her whimpers made him feel like he could tip over any minute and bury himself into her.

HeadshotKateKissetLGFile.About the Author:
Former San Francisco Radio Disc Jockey Kate Kisset has a passion for telling great stories. After playing thousands of Hot AC, Country, Rock and Oldies tunes, for her primarily female fan base, she changed her tune and became an author.

Just a Kiss is the first book in her wine country romance series, The Single Girls Wine Club.

She lives in Northern California and Santa Barbara with her family and rescue pup “editor” Luciana Parmigiana, where she hikes, reads, listens to music, and drinks wine.

Links:

There is a tour wide giveaway, which you can enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blog Tour: Adventures Abroad by Jen McConnel

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

Adventures Abroad Series Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Praise for What Happens in London:

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

Buy links:

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

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

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

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

Buy links:

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

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

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

Buy links:

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

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

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

Buy links:

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

Links:

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Review: The Other Side of Summer by Elyse Douglas

The Other Side of SummerTitle: The Other Side of Summer
Author: Elyse Douglas
Series: stamdalone
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Links:

Blurb:
Joanna Halloran, a best selling writer and astrologer, lives in a beach house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a violent storm, she roams the beach, glances seaward and spots a man clinging to a piece of wreckage, being tossed helplessly. She dives in and pulls him safely. Robert Zachary Harrison is from a wealthy, political family. As he slowly recovers from a private plane crash, he and Joanna fall in love and spend passionate and secluded weeks together. But because of family duty, Robert departs, not knowing Joanna is pregnant.

Twenty five years later, Senator Robert Harrison is running for President of the United States. In the midst of a contentious presidential campaign, Joanna’s daughter, who has a passion to expose secrets, seeks revenge on her father she has never met.

She meets and falls in love with her father’s adopted son. As secrets emerge, Joanna and Robert meet again and confront the past and present. Robert confesses a secret that Joanna had never known. Now, on the world stage, they struggle to keep their families and careers from destruction.

My Review:
he Other Side of Summer is a decent read and it will appeal to those who enjoy contemporary women’s fiction.

I really enjoyed the writing style and it’s clear from the high-quality prose and very professional editing and formatting that the authors know what they are doing. The words flowed easily on the page and the descriptive text was beautiful. Pacing was good and it kept me engaged from start to finish.

I completely fell in love with Joanna’s beach house – please can I live there? I could vividly picture it in my minds eye and it truly was a little piece of heaven on Earth.

This story is told in three different parts. One the one hand I liked how it was structured, but it did hamper my ability to really connect with the characters on an emotional level. Apart from Joanna and Robert, we don’t see enough of the other characters to form a bond. I felt the book could have been a bit longer and allowed the reader more opportunity to get to know the characters and observe more character development.

My favorite part of the book was the first part. While Joanna and Robert fall for each other straight away, I felt it, believed in it, and was totally caught up in the whole tragic nature of their love. It’s clear from the book description that it’s not going to be a happy-ever-after type scenario so I knew heartache was just around the corner.

Robert was afraid of turning into his father but unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. I hated how he treated Maya and by the end of the book I was really quite disgusted with him.

Joanna lost some points too as the story progressed. Maya clearly needed her to stand up for her, to fight the wealthy, powerful Harrison family to acknowledge her, but Joanna did the complete opposite. As a woman and a mother Joanna’s treatment of her daughter appalled me.

Matt is a sweetheart and while I was rooting for him and Maya, it all happened way too fast. It would have been more believable if their romance had stretched out for a month or two before becoming serious and before it came out in the open.

Overall though, this was a decent read; largely due to the excellent writing and interesting storyline. With a little bit of fleshing out I think this could be a very accomplished piece of work.

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars.

I received an advance copy of this book via Lola’s Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review their work.

Elyse DouglasAbout the Author:
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a degree in English Literature. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist. Douglas has been a musician, a graphic designer and an equity trader.

Elyse Douglas, have completed seven novels: The Summer Diary, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town, The Christmas Diary and The Other Side of Summer.

You can find and contact Elyse here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


Lola's Blog Tours

Blog Tour: When Faults Collide by Claire Granger

When Faults Collide banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for When Faults Collide. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 14 July, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. For my stop the author has written a tens list about her ten favourite books!

When Faults Collide CoverWhen Faults Collide (Faultlines #1)
By Claire Granger
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 1, 2015

Blurb:
Asha is a 23 year old graphic designer and blogger living in Richmond VA with a dark past. She grew up in India in a brothel where her mother was a prostitute and came to America to live with her father when she was 13. 10 years later and while she has survived, she lives her life under a strict set of rules and lives fairly sheltered in order to protect herself. Her most important rule: never get involved romantically.

Then she meets Blake, a 25 year old music venue owner with an equally dark past. From their first encounter, Asha finds it difficult to follow her own rules and can’t deny the connection between the two of them.

Can Asha overcome her demons to go beyond surviving to thriving and will Blake be the perfect broken piece to the puzzle of her heart?

You can find When Faults Collide on Goodreads

You can buy When Faults Collide here:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Top Ten Favorite Books

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    Jane Eyre was essentially my first taste of romance in unfortunate situations. I absolutely loved the story the first time, and I love it the same each time I re-read.
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    Speak was the first time I read a book from a rape victims perspective and a brief taste of PTSD. I was 15 when I read it and I remember that it took me a while to “recover” after I finished. It’s one of those that sticks with you.
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Back in my teenage years, I very much related to this book. Yes, it may be cliché to relate to the angsty YA novel in those years, but truthfully this book made me feel like I wasn’t alone. Like if someone could write about what it felt like to be invisible, then surely I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.
  4. Adopting the Hurt Child by Gregory Keck
    Nope, not fiction, but this book changed the way I parented so it absolutely makes the list of favorites. Anyone considering adoption or just interested in parenting a trauma victim needs to read this book.
  5. The Consequences Series by Aleatha Romig
    This entire series is so amazing, and I was hooked from start to finish. Aleatha takes you on a journey of love and hate and trust and betrayal. This series is a WILD RIDE but makes you stop and think and is a screw-with-your-mind-but-in-a-good-way type of series. 😉
  6. Tangled by Emma Chase
    Tangled was a pee-you-pants-while-snort-laughing kind of book. I’m fairly certain that my husband thought I was going through a bought of temporary insanity while I was reading this one.
  7. The Vampire Diaries Series by LJ Smith
    This series was like my Bible in my middle school and high school days. I have re-read it at least a dozen times and even still, it’s a favorite. I honestly believe this is among the best vampire YA books out there.
  8. On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
    This was a really sweet and funny romance that I loved from start to finish. The character descriptions are extremely vivid and you truly feel like you know and have a relationship with all of them- the main characters and the supporting ones.
  9. Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss
    I read this one to my kids all the time, and it was given to me as a graduation present. I *still* cry when I read it, thus it must be counted as a favorite. 🙂

  10. Monster in the Dark Series by Pepper Winters
    Tears of Tess (the first of the series) will blow your mind with twists and turns but by Twisted Together (the last of the series) I was so completely in love with Q and Tess. This is BY FAR my favorite dark erotic romance.

Claire GrangerAbout the Author:
Claire grew up in Texas, but her family moved to Virginia in 2001. She now resides in Richmond with her husband, 4 children (2 sets of twins!), and their fur babies.

She blogs over at The Granger Bunch and has her first novel releasing this summer! “When Faults Collide” is a contemporary romance, the first of the “Faultlines” series! She is already working on book two of the series as well as a non fiction and a few other exciting projects!

She is passionate about racial identity and equality issues, foster care, adoption, and non-profits that work to help victims of sexual assault and trafficking.

She is shamelessly addicted to romance, erotica, dark/twisted/taboo, smutty, sexy, anti-hero, flawed hero, controlling, mind blowing books! Basically everything that would make her mother cry. 😉

She loves hearing from her readers- it keeps her going! Thank you so much for all of your continued support! <3 You can find and contact Claire here: - Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of When Faults Collide. These are the prizes you can win:
– a signed copy of When Faults Collide by Claire Granger
– a $25 Amazon gift card

For a chance to win enter the rafflecopter below:
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Lola's Blog Tours

Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsTitle: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Series: standalone
Rating: 5 stars
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Links:

Blurb:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

My Review:
This book is total genius, I absolutely loved it and I have read it four times at the last count. I adore John Green’s writing, he is so witty and eloquent and there are so many quotes that stand out for me. I personally really liked the dialogue between Hazel Grace and Gus and it was so easy to get invested in these characters. I’ll happily admit that I spent parts of this book laughing out loud and others sobbing into my pillow (always the sign of a brilliant book in my view). I have seen some criticism which has stated the dialogue is unbelievable for kids of their age and I couldn’t disagree more. While I appreciate that not every teenager would converse like that, I think to assume that some aren’t capable of articulating in such a fashion is insulting to the intelligence of teenagers. I found it very refreshing. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book.