Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Wicked Sexy Liar, by Christina Lauren {ends 2/17}

"You're a lot of fun, Logan."

"Easy, tiger."

Luke laughs, sending little bursts of warm air across my skin. "I meant more in a general sense but, yeah. That too, obviously," he says, gently squeezing my hip before he steps back and across the door. Goose bumps make their way across my body and I try to hide a shiver.

Luke Sutter is going to be trouble.

This novel is the fourth book in Christina Lauren's Wild Seasons series (see below for a full list of the books in the series) and it focuses on someone outside of the core Mia/Harlow/Lola group: London, Lola's roommate, who is a graphic designer by day and bartender by night.

(and no, I didn't misspell her name in the paragraph above ... read on to see why ...)

Official synopsis:
When three college besties meet three hot guys in Vegas, anything can—and does—happen. Book Four in the New York Times Wild Seasons series that began with Sweet Filthy Boy (the Romantic Times book of the year that Sylvia Day called “a sexy, sweet treasure of a story”), Dirty Rowdy Thing, and Dark Wild Night.

For two people ambivalent about dating and love, they sure get naked around each other an awful lot...

London Hughes is very content to surf daily, tend bar, hang out with her group of friends, and slowly orient herself in the years after college. Everything’s going great and according to the non-plan.

But when a wave knocks her for a loop one morning, then Luke Sutter’s flirtatious smile knocks her for another that evening, she veers slightly off course ... and into his path. Sure, he’s a total player, but the Why not—it’s only one night is a persistent voice in her ear.

For his part, Luke’s been on hookup autopilot for so long that he rarely ever pauses to consider what he’s doing. But after an amazing time with London, he realizes that he hasn’t been moving on from a devastating heartbreak so much as he’s been drifting to wherever—and whomever—the current takes him. With London he wants more.

Every relationship involves two people ... plus their pasts. And as much as she enjoys her fling with Luke, when London learns about his past—more specifically, who’s in it - everything becomes the brand of complicated she strives to avoid. It’s up to Luke then to change some things in order to try and ensure he’s not something she’ll outright avoid as well.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Quick Pick: Flawed (Flawed #1), by Cecilia Ahern

  • Opening lines: I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.

    Remember this.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I saw it on NetGalley and it sounded great. I LOVE dystopian books like The Hunger Games and the Divergent series, and this book did not disappoint. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • The Scarlet Letter meets Divergent in this thoughtful and thrilling novel by bestselling author Cecelia Ahern.

    Celestine North lives a perfect life. She's a model daughter and sister, she's well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she's dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

    But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule. And now faces life-changing repercussions.

    She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

    In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where obedience is paramount and rebellion is punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her-everything.
  • Favorite paragraph:
  • "I'm not like you and Juniper, Granddad," I say sadly, feeling defeaed. "This isn't who I am. I follow rules, I like logic, I solve problems. I don't speak out of turn on things I know nothing about. I don't want to stand out. I want to fit in. I don't want to be the poster girl for anything."

    "Oh, but you already are, Celestine. The tide is changing, and whether you wear the branding of the Flawed or you walk out of here a free woman, you'll never be the same girl you were. They'll be watching you, all of them, and who would you prefer they watch?
    You or the girl you're pretending to be?"
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes dystopian books or books that challenge society.
  • Something to know: The author is actually the author of P.S. I Love You (which was made into a movie starring Hilary Swank) and this her first foray into YA books.
  • What I would have changed: Absolutely nothing! This book was fantastic. I almost wish it was a standalone book though, because now I have to wait until 2017 for the next book in the series (trilogy, if I had to guess), called Perfect.
  • Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to pre-order (it will be out on April 5, 2016), and read the first 5 chapters here for free, via Kindle.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: He Will Be My Ruin, by K.A. Tucker


I'm a big K.A. Tucker fan, so I was excited to find out that she was doing a book tour for her newest book, He Will Be My Ruin, which is a standalone novel - most of the other books of hers that I have read have been part of a series.

Book excerpt:
“I need some advice, Grady, and I have no one else to ask.”

“Shoot.”

“If you needed answers and the only person to give those to you was a person you didn’t know, had never met, and who might not like the questions you have to ask, what would you do?”

He twists his lips in thought. “I’d create a situation to meet this person, and make it hard for them to refuse me.”

Simple in theory…”But how?”

He exhales heavily, his warm breath grazing my cheek telling me that he’s facing me. “Find common ground. A location, a purpose, an acquaintance. Force the meet and then work your questions around the real ones that you want to ask. You can get a lot of information out of a person just by treading too close to what they don’t want to talk about. The look in their eye, their facial expressions, the way they react to the mention of a name, or a place.”

Grady seems more intelligent than what I’d expect of a pot-smoking building super. “You sound like you’ve been in my situation before.”

“Once or twice. Maybe.” I hear the smile in his voice.

Find common ground. Force the meet. The only common ground I have with this guy is now six feet underground in a San Diego cemetery.

Unless…

There is something that we’re both very familiar with.

I pull out my phone and scroll through my emails to find the one with her phone number. I know this is beyond inappropriate, but once I get something in my head, there’s no dislodging it. Plus, I’m high.

“Hello?”

“Hey Dani. It’s Maggie Sparkes.”

“Hi…Is everything okay?” She definitely sounds shocked to hear from me.

Grady watches me quietly. “I’m sorry to be calling so late. You know how you offered help with anything I needed? Well, I need a favor.”

About the book:
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans.

A woman who almost had it all . . .

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.

Until he became her ruin.

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

Monday, February 1, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Robin Hood necklace {ends 2/8}


The novel Hood's Heart, by Dana Michelle Burnett, is coming to stores on 2/9, and to celebrate, the author has graciously donated a Robin Hood necklace for one of my lucky readers to win!

About the novel:
Mia Kershaw has always struggled with the drudgery of adult life, but even she was surprised when she walks away from her relationship and life in New York to hop on the first available flight to London. All she knew was that her life was not turning out anything like she planned, and only her best friend could help her fix the mess she had made of everything.

But days spent in historical England take a toll. She is having dreams of a life she never had, a life that took place centuries ago and all of it seems more real than the life she left behind.

Jaxon Davies has lived in London his entire life. He thought he was content just tending bar at the local pub until a stranger from America catches his eye and reveals his connection to a famous English legend.

Now, as the past as present collide, they must decide if the truly believe in fate and a love that spans two lifetimes. Are they ready for the secrets of Hood’s heart?


{Best part: it's FREE to read if you have Kindle Unlimited, or only 99 cents to pre-order if you do not - great deal!}

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Appealed, by Emma Chase {ends 2/4}

She jerks away and sets her glass on the coffee table. Then she backs up a step - putting space between us. "I'm not doing this again with you, Brent. You're not sucking me back in."

My jaw tightens. "Okay. How about you explain what that means?"

"How about you go f--k yourself with a lacrosse stick?"

Hello, Square One - long time, no see. 

This is the third book in Emma Chase's The Legal Briefs series, and I reviewed the second book, Sustained, last August. The novels are all standalone novels, even though some of the characters repeat from book to book; ie, Jake, the male main character from Sustained, makes a few appearances in this one.

Official synopsis:
When Brent Mason looks at Kennedy Randolph, he doesn’t see the awkward, sweet girl who grew up next door. He sees a self-assured, stunning woman … who wants to crush the most intimate - and prized - parts of his anatomy beneath the heels of her Christian Louboutins.

Brent has never let the loss of his leg in a childhood accident affect his ability to lead a fulfilling life. He sets high goals–and then he reaches them.

And now he has his sights set on Kennedy.
**
When Kennedy looks at Brent Mason, all she sees is the selfish, Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue-worthy teenager who humiliated her in high school to join the popular crowd. A crowd that made those years a living hell.

She’s not a lovesick social outcast anymore - she’s a DC prosecutor with a long winning streak behind her. Brent is the opposing attorney in her next case and she thinks it’s time to put him through a little hell of his own.

But things aren’t exactly working out that way.

Because every fiery exchange has her wondering if he’s as passionate in the bedroom as he is in the courtroom. Each argument and objection only makes him want her more. In the end, Brent and Kennedy may just find themselves in love…or in contempt of court.

APPEALED is a sexy, humorous romance about first crushes, second chances and the final verdict of the heart.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

GIVEAWAY: Movie Night Trivia, by Robb Pearlman {ends 1/31}

Movie Night Trivia will be in stores and on Amazon on February 2nd, but you can win yourself a copy here first!

As you may or may not know, I also run a movie blog, so this book definitely caught my attention, especially with the Oscars and SAG Awards coming up soon.

About the book:
Cider Mill Press is pleased to release Movie Night Trivia in time for the live broadcast of The Oscars awards ceremony. Movie goers and trivia buffs can prepare for the most glamorous event of the year with this fun trivia book, featuring over 400 questions, as well as full-color movie posters and shots of iconic movie moments throughout to make the evening a true cinematic experience.

From the cinematic classics to recent releases, animated and action, there is something for every member of the family or friend group. This will make the perfect addition to an Oscar Night party or binge-watching all the nominated films. Keep score or let the answers fly! Take home the golden statuette for trivia, and thank 
Movie Night Trivia in your acceptance speech!

Packed with hundreds of questions, fun facts, and bonus lightning rounds, this book is the first of its kind. Featuring an introduction from popular YouTuber Tina Alexander (“How It Should Have Ended”) and compiled by bestselling author Robb Pearlman, 
Movie Night Trivia is sure to impress film fanatics for years to come. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Quick Pick: The Conspiracy of Us, by Maggie Hall

  • Opening lines: The piece of paper could have been anything.

    The spotlight behind me flashed acid green, then pink, then went dark. The pink still seared my retinas, lending a rosy glow to the folded page clenched in my fist.

    I stared at it for a few seconds, then reopened it.

    The six-inch square had just dropped out of Jack Bishop's bag.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I received it to review, actually a long time ago (Jan. 2015) and it sounded good. I'm now finally getting around to reviewing it :).
  • And what's this book about?
  • A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance--perfect for fans of Ally Carter

    Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

    To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family--but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she's falling in love with.

  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes a YA book that combines mystery with history.
  • Something to know: The book ends on a cliffhanger and the second novel, Map of Fates, is out March 8th. There will be a third book too, according to Goodreads, that will be published in 2017.
  • What I would have changed: Sometimes I found myself struggling to get through the book because the author throws a lot of (some made up, some not) history at us. It's hard to keep all the names and people straight, too. That being said, I am still interested in reading Map of Fates and actually just requested an ARC of it. 
  • Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to purchase.
*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.