Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review + GIVEAWAY: Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller, ends 6/8

There was a medical term for double-mindedness. Dipsychos. It was part of the pathology for akratic paracusia. "Of two minds" was how my textbook defined it. Reason and the Doubt at war in your brain.

"The point is, there will always be competing voices," I heard North say. "In your head and in the world. You can't spend your life caught between them."

I looked up at him. "You're telling me to choose."

"I know better than to tell you to do anything," North said, reaching around me to shut down his computer. "But if you don't decide, the world will choose for you."

This novel is set in the early 2030s, and is a fantastic piece of dystopian fiction that doesn't seem all too different from our 2014 world - at first. Rory Vaughn is super excited when she is accepted to Theden, an exclusive prep school near Boston. However, she soon discovers that the faculty at Theden has secrets, and it leads to a conspiracy that has been covered for quite a while.

Official synopsis:
What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness? What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?

What if you never had to fall?

Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results. Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school. Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Book Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed, by L. Marie Adeline

I threw my head back and laughed, because he had no idea about S.E.C.R.E.T.

But less than a week later, Will would discover from whence his so-called sex goddess learned to be so goddess-y - and I would be left standing in a dark hallway at Latrobe's. He'd think of me as some dirty slut, covered in another man's scent, another man's pleasure, eight different men not counting Will: all from S.E.C.R.E.T. - nine if you count Mark Drury, my recruit.

Soon I would no longer be a sex goddess to Will but rather a dangerous woman.

Soon this man who once could not get enough of me would not be able to get away from me fast enough.

I reviewed the first two novels in the S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy back in October, and I was definitely intrigued by them. These are definitely erotica novels, but have a great story within as well, which are usually the best kind of "smut" books that I read. S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed is the last novel in the trilogy, and Cassie's "happily ever after" with Will starts to look like it may not happen after all.

Official synopsis:
The only thing that Cassie Robichaud has ever really wanted is Will Foret, the love of her life. But when Will discovers that Cassie is part of S.E.C.R.E.T., an underground group devoted to helping women experience their deepest sexual fantasies, Will breaks it off. Heartbroken, Cassie dries her tears and devotes herself to helping the latest S.E.C.R.E.T. recruit, Solange Faraday. Cassie also reignites her relationship with sexy bad-boy Jesse, even if he can never love her as deeply as Will did.

Meanwhile, beautiful, brilliant Solange, a local news anchor and divorced mom, has a great career but a wilting love life. She rekindles long-lost passions, going deeper and hotter than any other S.E.C.R.E.T. candidate before her. Will she find what her heart most desires? And when Will realizes he's made a tragic mistake, will Cassie be able to forgive him? In the end, as both women blossom as sexual beings, they also discover that ecstasy and true love are closer than they ever imagined.

S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed is the explosive, sensual and sexually-charged finale to the bestselling S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review and Signed Copy GIVEAWAY: Just Call Me Ninja, by Clare Haltom, ends 5/29

"I -" She wasn't even sure what to say. Ninjas. Bad men. With guns. But she knew from her mother's occasional interactions with law enforcement that it was best to get away first and then sort things out.

She set down the pillow and the tuna. Nick kicked them behind an old create in the corner.

He motioned to the space he'd uncovered.

The hole was black. The light from the windows illuminated only writhing flecks of dust.

He watched the door over her shoulder. "Go."

Underground. With a guy she barely knew. Or maybe didn't know at all, given this ninja business.

All I have to say about this novel is that it better have a sequel, because it ended with a lot of loose ends to tie up! I'm guessing the author will have a sequel, but I wanted to know more in this installment. (looks like there will be a sequel, in fall 2014!)

Official synopsis:
Clare Haltom
Sophomore Callista Trent is used to being the anonymous new girl. But when her mother’s nomadic job finally keeps her family in one place long enough to force Callista to settle in, she wants none of it. She doesn’t expect it to last, anyway—it never does.

She also doesn’t expect to stumble across a group of shinobi, modern-day ninjas who also happen to be high school students. Or for them to claim destiny sent her to join them. Or for the hot, harmonica-playing loner from her chemistry class to be one of the instructors.

For once, she starts to think that maybe she could belong somewhere. But she quickly learns her new friends aren’t running some casual karate school. And when Callista’s assigned to a dangerous mission they say only she can complete, she begins to suspect it wasn’t destiny that brought her to the shinobi at all but a carefully laid plan. Oh, and the worst part? The boy she thought she could trust may have known the truth all along.

Monday, May 19, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Maggie Bag Campus Tote ($85 value), ends 6/2

Sponsored by:
Hosted by:
Co-hosted by:

One lucky winner will win:

Maggie Bag Campus Tote

Value $85

*I've partnered up with other bloggers to bring you this giveaway - this would be GREAT to carry books or an e-reader in!

Date: May 19   12:01am - June 2 11:59pm

Valid only in the Continental United States
Void where prohibited
18 years or older to enter/only 1 entrant per household
 Winner is chosen through
All entries are optional.
All winning entries will be verified.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Giving In, by Maya Banks, ends 5/14

He shook his head. "I'll take care of it. All I ask is for you to sit and keep me company while I work my magic in your kitchen."

"It certainly appears I'm getting the better end of this deal," she said dryly.

"On the contrary," he said softly. "I get your company. I find that's worth a hell of a lot more than one cooked meal."

She was speechless again, an affliction she seemed to suffer on a regular basis around him. And the hell of it was he sounded absolutely sincere.

"I swear I don't know what I'm going to do with you, Jensen Tucker," she said in a bewildered voice.

He smiled. "If you don't know, I'd be happy to show you."

Giving In is the second book in the Surrender trilogy, the first one being Letting Go, which I reviewed in March. I found this story to be just as strong as that of Dash and Joss's, although a few nitpicky things in it annoyed me, and the third book in the trilogy, Taking It All, will be out this August, too.

Official synopsis:
Kylie sees the way Jensen looks at her. The dark promise in his eyes. That rough edge of dominance she knows he possesses. But dominance is the one thing that frightens her above all else. She and her brother barely survived a childhood steeped in violence and abuse. She could never give up total control and submit to a man. Especially a man like Jensen. Could she?

Jensen sees the shadows in Kylie’s eyes. Knows he has to tread very carefully or risk losing any chance he has with her. All he wants is the opportunity to show her that dominance doesn’t equal pain, bondage or discipline. That emotional surrender is the most powerful of all, and that to submit—fully to him—will fulfill the aching void in her heart in a way nothing else ever will.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book Review: She Shall Be Praised, by Ginny Aiken

Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

Out of the corner of her eye, Emma saw the happiness vanish from Robby's face. He lowered his gaze to the ground at the same pace he lowered his "lance."

"No, sir," the child said "I meant to go after we were done -"

"In a ranch," Peter said, his words clipped and edged with the weariness of frequent repetition, "we work first, play later. Go find out what you need to do, then do it. We'll have us a long, meaningful talk once you've finished."

As soon as the boy had gone a few feet away, Pippa trotting along beside him, the rancher turned to Emma. " I do believe I've told you not to indulge him with all those fantasies. Why do you insist on going against the one thing I've insisted you do? Why must you fight me?"

She tilted her up in the air. " I have yet to fight you, sir. And I have found myself in need of making a choice. My alernatives are few - two, as a matter of fact. The one you prefer would have stifle all the joy out of that little man of yours. If you're of a mind to do so, then suit yourself. I will not do that to any youngster, much less such a wonderful, bright, engaging young man."

"But I am his father!"

"Indeed! But not his jailer, I would venture. On the other hand, how about a killjoy? A spoilsport, perhaps?"

As she spat out the questions her courage grew, as did her determinations. The child needed to be ... well, a child at this point in his life. Sure, he could also take care of his share of the chores, but that was, of course, his share, a child's share.

I received this copy of She Shall Be Praised to review and was very excited as it is part of the A Women of Hope series. I enjoy reading romance novels but don't care for all the sex scenes that are described in them. The book is a Christian/Faith based romance novel with all the ups and downs of a good romance novel without the sex scenes that turn people away from other romance novels. It was very engaging and once I started to read the story I did not want to put it down.

Official Synopsis:
When socialite Emma Crowell stops the carriage on the way to Portland to 'exercise' her new puppy, the last thing she expects is to be left behind in decidedly unsuitable attire, let alone kidnapped. Fortunately, she is soon found by local rancher Peter Lowery. Unfortunately, he has no intention of abandoning his livelihood to take her back to civilization until the fall. He will, however, provide food, shelter and safety, and in return he expects Emma to earn her keep.

She Shall Be Praised book review, Ginny AikenEmma is surprised to find she enjoys the challenges of life at the cabin and feels drawn to Peter and his young son Robby. But though willing to learn, no matter how she tries, she never seems to live up to expectations. As Emma seeks God's guidance and aspires to the picture of womanhood shown in the 31st chapter of Proverbs, Peter comes to realize that he may be underestimating the strength and character behind this woman's beauty.

I won't give away the ending but I will say that I was surprised by it. The author does a wonderful job of showing how Emma grows up from the minute she is kidnapped by the men who robbed the stage coach she was riding. She is an over-privileged young lady who has traveled the world yet can't cook even a simple meal. Peter, the ranch owner, still expects her to earn her keep and he shows no mercy in the beginning. He is so intent on proving she is worthless, that he sets out to make things even harder for her.

Book Review and $20 Amazon gift card GIVEAWAY: Royally Lost, by Angie Stanton, ends 5/14

Angie Stanton
The last thing she felt like was sleep, so as she lay in bed, she replayed everything that had happened tonight. Nikolai, a gorgeous guy, not to mention the heir to the Mondovian throne, jumped aboard her river cruise boat and made out with her on the top desk. 

Who would possibly believe her? She barely believed it herself.

I signed up for this blog tour before knowing that Royally Lost was written by Angie Stanton, the author of the Jamieson series (the first one being one I reviewed back in September of last year). I found this one to be a cute story, too, but also have the same problems: an "insta-love" story that's not entirely realistic.

Official synopsis:
Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

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