Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: After I Do, by Taylor Jenkins Reid, ends 7/9

What happened to us?

I can hear a voice in my head, speaking crisply and clearly. I don't love him anymore. That's what it says. I don't love him anymore. And maybe more heartbreaking is the fact that I know, deep down, he doesn't love me either.

It all clicks into place.
Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love.

What a beautiful thing to have been.

What a sad thing to be.

I reviewed Taylor Jenkins Reid's Forever, Interrupted back in December of last year, and it was not your typical romance "meet cute" novel. I was excited to get the chance to review her newest book, After I Do, which is thankfully a bit less depressing, but still very interesting nonetheless.

Official synopsis:
After I Do, Taylor Jenkins Reid, giveaway and reviewFrom the author of Forever, Interrupted—hailed by Sarah Jio as "moving, gorgeous, and at times heart-wrenching"—comes a breathtaking new novel about modern marriage, the depth of family ties, and the year that one remarkable heroine spends exploring both.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This is a love story about what happens when the love fades. It’s about staying in love, seizing love, forsaking love, and committing to love with everything you’ve got. And above all,
After I Do is the story of a couple caught up in an old game—and searching for a new road to happily ever after.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

GIVEAWAY: $50 and $25 Costco gift cards, ends 7/16

$50/ $25 Costco Gift Cards Giveaway!

This Giveaway is Hosted by Mommy Learns A Lot and Co-Hosted by Barbara's Beat!

Two winners will receive either a $50 Costco Gift card or a $25 Costco Gift Card to use towards the purchase of a membership, or any other fun stuff you like to buy in store or online at!

{you could buy a LOT of books at Costco with a $50 or $25 gift card! They also have a great selection of movies on Blu-ray and DVD. Just sayin' ...}

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Birth of the Vampire (Vanderlind Realm, book 1), by Gayla Twist, ends 7/6

But if I had been happy in high school, then I probably would have drifted through life accepting the ordinary world. I would have been like everyone else on the planet, never probing beneath the surface of what is perceived as reality, never having the opportunity to witness the remarkable world that thrives just out of reach of the ordinary mind. If it weren't for my misery and a twist of fate, I would have never realized there was such magic, such love, such passion in the world.

Given the choice, I'm glad I lived to see the unearthly enchantment of the hidden world. Or more accurately, I'm glad I died to see it.

Birth of the Vampire is the first novel in The Vanderlind Realm series, and is a companion novel of sorts to Fate of the Vampire, in that the events take place around the same time the Fate events did. I've read many of Gayla Twist's novels, and they always have her signature wit and ability to tell a story; this installment is no exception.

Official synopsis:
Birth of the Vampire review and giveaway, Gayla TwistDorian is a vampire who doesn’t believe in love. Haley is a human who doesn’t believe in vampires.

At seventeen, Haley Scott’s life is pretty miserable. She lives with her uncle in a small town where she has absolutely no friends and barely any social life. Haley knows for a fact that there are very few people on the planet who care if she lives or dies.

Dorian Vanderlind is a vampire with a past he’s reluctant to face. He visits his cousin as a favor, only to find himself entangled in the enticements of the mortal world.

What happens when these two are thrown together in the most complicated of circumstances? Find out in
Birth of the Vampire ~ Book 1 in The Vanderlind Realm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Announcement post: bloggers needed for Best Buy giveaway

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$100 Best Buy E-Gift Card
(2 codes for $50 each, both can be used together online or at the store)


-2 Free links with announcement (Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest)

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Excerpt: Falling for the Groomsman, by Diane Alberts

Falling for the Groomsman blog tour

Excerpt from Falling for The Groomsman, by Diane Alberts:

Tyler came out with the ice bucket, his green eyes settling on her instantly. The weight of his stare made her want to fidget, but she forced herself to stand still. His brown hair was longer than she remembered, curling slightly at the edges. He had a little bit of scruff going on, and muscles like whoa.

It was obvious that he kept in shape while he was out saving the world. So not fair. He reached out and placed a hand on her upper arm. His fingers on her bare skin sent a shiver straight up her spine. She tilted her chin up. “Stay here while I go get you ice?”

And spend more time walking an unwilling trip down memory lane? No, thank you. She shook her head and looked over her shoulder. The elevator was awfully close. “I don’t need any. I’m fine, I swear.”

“Just wait here for me.” He skimmed his finger over her arm. God, he wasn’t even trying to tempt her, yet he was. So unfair. “I’ll only take a second. I promise I’ll be right back.”

Unlike the last time you left, she added silently.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Announcement post: Costco giveaway, bloggers needed (closes 6/21/14)

Hosted By: Mommy Learns A Lot

This will have 2 winners First prize is a $50 Costco Gift Card, Second is a $25 Costco Gift Card. 

**Send any questions you have to:

 -Giveaway Dates: 6/26/2014 9:00 am PST- 7/16/2014 11:59 pm PST
-Sign-ups close: 6/21/2014

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-Extra links: $2.00
-Co-host: $8
Co-host will get Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blog Comment, Google +, and Instagram Links!
Sign up: HERE

***The blogger with the most referrals will receive a Co-Host spot at no cost!***

Make sure to say you were referred by Books I Think You Should Read!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quick Pick: Four Seconds to Lose, by K.A. Tucker

  • Opening line: (10 Years Ago) "Blood drops decorate the dusty gray concrete like an abstract piece of art."
  • Reason I picked up the book: Back in February, I read and reviewed Ten Tiny Breaths and One Tiny Lie, also by K.A. Tucker, and they were great. This is the third book in that series, and some of the characters from the past novels have cameos here, too. 
  • And what's this book about?
  • When a gorgeous young dancer walks through his door, a strip club owner must decide whether to follow his rules or his heart in the third novel by the author of One Tiny Lie and Ten Tiny Breaths.

    Owning a strip club isn’t the fantasy most guys expect it to be. With long hours, a staff with enough issues to keep a psych ward in business, and the police regularly on his case, twenty-nine-year-old Cain is starting to second guess his unspoken mission to save the women he employs. And then blond, brown-eyed Charlie Rourke walks through his door, and things get really complicated. Cain abides by a strict “no sleeping with the staff” rule. But being around Charlie challenges Cain’s self-control…and it’s been a long time since any woman has done that.

    Twenty-two-year-old Charlie Rourke needs a lot of money, really fast, in order to vanish before it’s too late. Taking her clothes off for men makes her stomach curl but Charlie tells herself that at least she’s putting her acting and dancing skills to good use. And though her fellow dancers seem eager to nab their sexy, sophisticated, and genuinely caring boss, she’s not interested. After all, Charlie Rourke doesn’t really exist—and the girl pretending to be her can't get distracted by romance.

    Unfortunately, Charlie soon discovers that developing feelings for Cain is inevitable, and that those feelings may not be unrequited—but losing him when he finds out what she’s involved with will be more painful than any other sentence awaiting her.
  • Favorite paragraph: 
He's made no effort to speak to me since hiring me. The few times i've crossed paths with him in the back hallways, I've gotten nothing more than a nod.
But when I'm on that stage, I feel those dark eyes on me, like those of a predator stalking his prey, while the music vibrates through my body, and my limbs coil around the cool brass, and my hips swirl and curl and dip and bend.  
I really am a fantastic actress. 
And Cain is an even more fantastic distraction. 
  • Recommended for: Anyone who likes a good story OR anyone who has read the previous novels. It's a stand-alone novel, but it was fun to see the previous characters pop up now and then.
  • Something to know: The next book in the series, Five Ways to Fall, focuses on Ben, Cain's bouncer friend from the club, and a girl he falls for. I just received an e-galley from NetGalley, so check back soon from that review. 
  • What I would have changed: The only thing I didn't entirely like was the ending - it almost seemed too perfect, because the main character gets everything she wants (whereas her life in the rest of the book is NOT perfect by any means).
  • Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Sweet Filthy Boy, by Christina Lauren

How old this city is. The plaque on the building I'm up against states it was built in 1742. This structure alone is older than any love affair alive in this country. Ours might be the youngest, even though it always felt as though we were picking up where our souls left off on a thread much further up the line.

I know now that I love him, that what we have is real, and that I probably loved him that first second I saw him from across the room, enjoying my happiness as much as I did. For whatever Lola and Harlow say about it, I'm a true believer.

It is possible to fall that fast.

The team of Christina Lauren (pen name of duo Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) are back with new material, having finished their successful Beautiful Bastard series, and it's just as good, if not BETTER, than that series. I am a huge fan of that series as well (click on the link to see my reviews of all the books in it), but the characters in this one have even more complicated backstories, and the fact that it was set in both Vegas and Paris probably had something to do with my love for it as well.

Official synopsis:
One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review: The Redhead Plays Her Hand, by Alice Clayton

Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

An impromptu dinner party ensued, and after dinner was over, we all ended up on the cushiony chairs in the backyard, Winter in Los Angeles was chilly at nighttime, at least enough that the cashmere throws I brought out were necessary. Snuggled in a large love seat, Jack played with my hair, as we laughed and chatted with our friends. Strings of white lights dotted the fig and plum trees out back, and the potted lemon trees that framed the patio threw off their fragrance into the night. I leaned into Jack's warmth, his breath heady and thick with brandy as he and Holly went back and forth about his shooting schedule. He'd be leaving in a few weeks, but this time was different from when we'd been apart in the past. This time I got to stay here, in my home that I'd worked so hard on and barely gotten to enjoy before heading off to New York. Now I was able to work where I lived, and I relished my surroundings.

This contemporary romance is very coming of age and doesn't leave much to the imagination when it comes to sexual situations. It is a far cry from sappy romances with their hints or innuendos towards what is going on in the bedroom. That said that fact that it was out there made it a little less offensive and able to move past it without feeling sucked into the wording. The book is not all romance but is sprinkled with humor and treads on some serious issues such as Hollywood's obsession with weight, the stress media places on celebrities, and how hurtful people can be from behind a computer screen.

Official Synopsis:
Grace Sheridan is flying high. With scorching passion from her gorgeous Brit superstar Jack Hamilton plus the lead role in a new television dramedy, she could just pinch herself. Then a demand from her show’s directors to drop fifteen pounds brings her back down to earth with a thump. Forced to subsist on air, cucumbers, and boot camp, Grace wonders if the body that brings the newly crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” to his knees is just too booty-licious for Hollywood. Jack, meanwhile, seems overly enamored of the celebrity lifestyle. Forbidden by his publicity-conscious manager to reveal his relationship with Grace, he’s hitting the industry party scene way too hard.

As Grace’s bod incites fiery debate about the message of “thin is in,” Jack’s jealous fans are downing the hate-erade, viciously slamming her curves. Grace longs for Jack’s support, but he’s showing up late and disheveled to her most important moments. With tempers between them flaring, Hollywood’s most talked-about redhead might have more to lose than a few stubborn pounds. She and Jack were clearly made for each other—but will the day ever come when they can walk the red carpet together, hand in hand?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Petals on the Wind, by V.C. Andrews, ends 6/20

I thought and thought that night of how I could make Momma pay for everything wrong she'd caused, how I would exact the price that would hurt most. It wouldn't be money. It would have ot be something she prized more than money ... 

I reviewed Flowers in the Attic back in January, when the movie of the same name premiered on Lifetime. A few weeks ago, Petals on the Wind also premiered on Lifetime, and I have now reviewed the book, of the same name. The book and the movie were very different, which was interesting, but I found myself again disliking the dramatic flair that Andrews has for telling a story.

Official synopsis:

They were such brave children to withstand such suffering. Such clever children to escape such terror!

For Carrie, Chris and Cathy, the attic was a dark horror that would not leave their minds, even while they built bright, promising new lives. Of course mother had to pretend they didn't exist.

And Grandmother was convinced they had the devil in them.

But that wasn't their fault. Was it? Cathy knew what to do.

She now had the powers she had learned from her beautiful mother. She knew it in the way her brother still yearned for her, in the way her guardian touched her, in the way all men looked at her.

She knew it was time to put what she knew to the test. To show her mother and grandmother that the pain and terror of the attic could not be forgotten... Show them.

Show them - once and for all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Casablanca Blues, by Tahir Shah, ends 6/11

Review by: Gwendolyn Mulholland

The Bright Winter sunshine threw long shadows in the late afternoon, as Blaine strolled down the length of the grand Boulevard Mohammed V. He was walking on air, having been serenaded by Bergman and Bogart at the Rialto.

As he glanced into the shop windows and took in the random features of the street and of life he thought about the world he had left behind It had been a sham, one detached from reality.

Three blocks from the end of the boulevard, Blaine noticed a scruffy shop-front. The sign had fallen away decades before, but the window display hinted at treasures within.

He forced open the door.

Inside lay an Aladdin's den of oddities and accessories from the days of the French Protectorate. There were old postcards in black and white, threadbare furniture with rounded legs, cut crystal glasses and cocktail shakers, gramophones, empty jeroboams of Moet, aspidistra stands, and crates of scratched old 78s.

I received this copy of Casablanca Blues to review and will admit I was a little unsure when I started as I have never watched the movie Casablanca, even though it is a classic. There are so many levels to this story that draw you in that I found it hard to start reading. There is mystery and intrigue at every corner and new situations pop up around every turn.

Official synopsis:
Blaine Williams lives and breathes Casablanca.

He’s trapped in a make-believe world of Bogart and Bergman, smoke-filled caf├ęs, fugitives and hit-men.

And he’s having a mid-life crisis.

Having lost his girl, his job, and his home, he flees to the one place that’s always provided comfort in times of sorrow and despair: CASABLANCA

Diving in at the deep end of Morocco’s most misunderstood city, Blaine is sucked down through the many interwoven layers until he hits its bedrock.

And it’s there that he meets Ghita, a fabulously wealthy socialite, who’s got a plan for him – one laced with intrigue and revenge.

Through an adventure paid out in twists and turns, Blaine and Ghita find themselves in a storyline straight out of Casablanca the movie.

Hilarious, poignant, and shocking at times, CASABLANCA BLUES lifts the veil on modern Morocco and conjures a secret realm hidden from travelers and locals alike.

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