Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: A Beautiful Wedding

Title A Beautiful Wedding

Series Beautiful, book 2.5

Author Jaime McGuire

Release Date December 10, 2013

You know that Abby Abernathy unexpectedly became Mrs. Maddox. But what do you really know?

Why did Abby pop the question?
What secrets were shared before the ceremony?
Where did they spend their wedding night?
Who else knew about it . . . and didn’t tell?

Everything about Abby and Travis’s elopement was top-secret . . . until now. Fans of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster will get all of their questions answered in this whirlwind tale of the wedding day (and night!)—and as with all good stories, this one will definitely have been worth the wait.

You know, sometimes there's come a point in the life of a series where you want to sit the author down and say to them, "Listen, it's been swell. It's getting old, though. Just stop. Just stop it and let the series die a peaceful death." (I'm looking at you Pretty Little Liars.) Unfortunately, that time has come much sooner for the Beautiful series by Jamie McGuire.

Beautiful Disaster was a fine book. It certainly could have been (and *should* have been) a stand-alone book. We didn't need the same story from Travis. Be honest, there wasn't enough of a change between Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster. Yeah, I get it... It was the same story so most everything should be the same. Okay, but no. It was the *exact* same story with *very little* changed, repacked, and sold as a separate book. There was no difference between Abby's point-of-view (BD) and Travis' point-of-view (WD) and the last time I checked, they were two separate people no matter how in love they actually are.

All that nonsense aside, we couldn't possibly let Abby and Travis rest in the land of ended series, could we? Nope! Now we've got A Beautiful Wedding which practically changes the story that we were led to believe... within the first few pages! Super Fans of the series certainly won't like this. I'll be honest, I didn't too much care for it, either. Though I'm not invested in the series whatsoever it still ruined the story that I previously read.

I didn't care for this book at all. I didn't really care for Walking Disaster, either, though. I guess I have a horrible tendency to read books that I know I'm not going to enjoy. This should certainly be a lesson for me, but I doubt it will be.


2 out of 5 stars

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: Love Show

Title Love Show

Author Audrey Bell

Release Date January 5, 2014

Hadley Arrington is the career-driven editor-in-chief of her university’s prestigious newspaper. Jack Diamond is a laidback student whose good looks have made things even easier than they need to be. She’s the girl who came out of nowhere and kissed him in the rain. He’s the boy who made her do something crazy.

When the stakes seem too high, they have to decide if they’ll let their love show or if they’ll walk away for good.

The thing that I liked most about this book is actually a spoiler, so fair warning that this review has spoilers!

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. I think the characters (even Ben) felt like real people. The story flowed well and didn't feel rushed or forced. However, the book could have done with a little more editing, though I'm not sure I read a finalized copy since I was reading an ARC.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Friday, December 20, 2013

Book Review: Bold

Title Bold

Author Julia Swift & Andrew Landis

Release Date July 4, 2013

Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash and vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who just moved to her Air Force desert town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.

Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered suburban world. But will they discover there is a difference between being bold and being stupid before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?

Bold was such a good, sweet read. I actually enjoyed the story much more than I thought I would whenever I was first contacted about the book. I always enjoy when a book pleasantly surprises me.

Dual perspectives is something that I'm enjoying more and more lately. I love the fuller picture we get when we're treated with a perspective of each of the main characters. Bold didn't disappoint in this aspect at all. Whether or not it's because the novel is written by two people or not, I don't know, but I truly felt like I was seeing the story from the point of view of two well developed characters.

The romance between Sasha and Will didn't feel forced, faked, or rushed. It's always so much better to see a romance develop naturally rather than one that's forced by the author(s).

Overall, I was very pleased with Bold. I'm glad I decided to give it a chance. If you're looking for a clean, sweet young adult romance you should give this one a try.


4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the authors in exchange for an honest review. *

Unfinished Book: Pretenders

Title Pretenders

Series Pretenders, book 1

Author Lisi Harrison

Release Date October 1, 2013

It takes place at a high school in New Jersey. Summer is over. Sophomore year begins tomorrow. Outfits are being planned. Lunch buddies are being secured. Texts are flying. All seems normal when…ping! Everyone in the sophomore class gets an email.

SUBJECT: The Phoenix Five: License To Spill.

Attached is a mega document.

A letter from a mysterious student starts the book. It explains that at the end of each year the school yearbook- The Phoenix- names the five most outstanding freshman. She (or he) always suspected that last years’ five (3 girls, 2 boys) were phonies. She (or he) always thought they tried too hard to be popular. But she (or he) never had the proof. Until now. She (or he) stole the secret diaries they were asked to keep by their English teacher. She (or he) has compiled them into a book.

This is that book.

Years ago, I read some of Lisi Harrison's Clique series. The series didn't do too much to hold my interest, so I only read a couple of the books. However, none of that had any influence on my decision to read Pretenders as I didn't even know that they were written by the same author. Perhaps if I had known this, I wouldn't have bothered grabbing the book from Netgalley.

Frankly, the book didn't grab me soon enough for me to read more of it. From other reviews that I've read (why didn't I read them before requesting this book?!), there's a giant cliffhanger at the end of the book and considering the book didn't draw me in quickly enough, I figured that I didn't want to waste the time to trudge through a mediocre book to only be left in the dark about the rest of the story. Sorry, but my reading schedule is pretty full right now.

I won't make the mistake of requesting a book, read now or otherwise, on Netgalley without first doing more research. Normally, I don't make this mistake, but the book sounded more interesting than it really was. Lesson definitely learned.

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Addicted for Now

Title Addicted for Now

Series Addicted, book 2

Author Krista & Becca Ritchie

Release Date November 30, 2013

He's addicted to booze. She's addicted to sex...staying sober is only half the battle.

No. More. Sex.

Those are the three words Lily Calloway fears the most. But Loren Hale is determined to be with Lily without enabling her dangerous compulsions. With their new living situation—sleeping in the same bed, for real, together—Lily has new battles. Like not jumping Lo’s bones every night. Not being consumed by sex and his body.

Loren plans to stay sober, to right all of his wrongs. So when someone threatens to expose Lily’s secret to her family and the public, he promises that he’ll do anything to protect her. But with old enemies surfacing, Lo has more at stake than his sobriety.

They will torment Lily until Lo breaks.

And his worst fear isn’t relapsing. He hears the end. He sees it. The one thing that could change everything. Just three words.

No. More. Us.

New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content.

The second book (or really third) in the series is rather different than the first two. The first two books are told solely from the perspective of Lily. However, this book is told from the perspectives of Lily *and* Loren. I had become used to seeing things through Lily's eyes, so I was somewhat skeptical that I would enjoy the dual perspectives. However, it was such a treat. I loved getting inside Lo's head. Since he's such a huge part of the story, both on his own and in Lily's life, it was great to have this alternative view of things.

Another thing that I loved about this book was the other characters. While they were certainly present in the other books, they are a bigger presence in this one for sure. Ryke, Connor, Rose, and Daisy are all wonderful. I love that they have bonded together with Lily and Lo to create this group of friends that's become vital to the story. I have genuinely enjoyed the interactions within the group.

Overall, this is a solid book. The writing is great. The story is interesting and has kept my focus completely (no boring spots or lulls). Not only am I excited for the story of Lily and Lo to continue, but I'm also excited to read the spinoffs (Rose & Connor in Kiss the Sky and Daisy & Ryke in Hothouse Flower). Unfortunately, I'm completely caught up with the books that are currently released and I have to wait around for the next book along with everyone else. Such sadness!


5 out of 5 stars

Monday, December 16, 2013

Book Review: Ricochet

Title Ricochet

Series Addicted, book 1.5

Author Krista & Becca Ritchie

Release Date August 1, 2013

As a sex addict, Lily Calloway must do the impossible. Stay celibate for 90 days.

Cravings and fantasies become her new routine, but while Loren Hale recovers from his alcohol addiction, Lily wonders if he’ll realize what a monster she really is. After all, her sexual compulsions begin to rule her life the longer she stays faithful to him.

Progress. That’s what Lily’s striving for. But by trying to become closer to her family—people who aren’t aware of her addiction—she creates larger obstacles. When she spends time with her youngest sister, she learns more about her than she ever imagined and senses an unsettling connection between Daisy and Ryke Meadows.

With Lily and Lo’s dysfunctional relationship teetering and unbalanced, they will need to find a way to reconnect from miles apart. But the inability to “touch” proves to be one of the hardest tests on their road to recovery. Some love brushes the surface. Some love is deeper than skin.

Lily and Lo have three months to discover just how deep their love really goes.

Includes the first chapter to the sequel Addicted for Now.

Companion to the Sequel: A full-length New Adult Romance that continues where Addicted to You left off. As a companion novel, it bridges the gap between the first and second book. It is highly recommended to be read before Addicted for Now.

You know what? The silliest things bother me. I understand novellas in between full-length novels in a series. Bridging a gap in the story can be vital in keeping a series going. However, considering this is a full-length novel, I'm confused as to why this is a half-number book as opposed to a full-number book. Maybe it's because it's not "required" reading for the series? Which sounds crazy considering it covers an important three month time period with Lo in rehab and Lily working through her addiction. Ah, whatever. Like I said, it's always the silliest things that bother me.

While this might not be "required" reading for the series, I certainly recommend reading it. While this book focuses mostly on Lily (not enough Lo!!!), we're also given flashbacks into Lily and Lo's past. I love learning more about the characters in the books I'm reading. It always makes for a more enjoyable experience.

Yes, I'm aware that this isn't much of a review. But I did want to bring attention to the fact that the half-numbered full-length book bothered me even though it's silly. Also, the first chapter of the next book, Addicted for Now, is included in this book. After reading it, I'm dying to start the book! What in the world am I going to do whenever I'm caught up and have to wait for the next book like everyone else?! Be sad, that's what I'll do.


4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: Addicted to You

Title Addicted to You

Series Addicted, book 1

Author Krista & Becca Ritchie

Release Date August 22, 2013

She’s addicted to sex. He’s addicted to booze…the only way out is rock bottom.

No one would suspect shy Lily Calloway’s biggest secret. While everyone is dancing at college bars, Lily stays in the bathroom. To get laid. Her compulsion leads her to one-night stands, steamy hookups and events she shamefully regrets. The only person who knows her secret happens to have one of his own.

Loren Hale’s best friend is his bottle of bourbon. Lily comes at a close second. For three years, they’ve pretended to be in a real relationship, hiding their addictions from their families. They’ve mastered the art of concealing flasks and random guys that filter in and out of their apartment.

But as they sink beneath the weight of their addictions, they cling harder to their destructive relationship and wonder if a life together, for real, is better than a lie. Strangers and family begin to infiltrate their guarded lives, and with new challenges, they realize they may not just be addicted to alcohol and sex.

Their real vice may be each other.

New Adult Romance recommended for readers 18+ for mature content.

I'll admit it... the first reason I wanted to read this book was because it was about a female addicted to sex. There's tons of books about guys that crave and need sex. I can't think of a single one, other than this one, that puts a female in that situation. Immediately, I was intrigued to see how it was portrayed by the authors.

Speaking of authors, I wasn't completely sure how I was going to enjoy a book written by two people. Generally, it's easy to pull off if the book is told from dual perspectives (different authors provide different voices), but this book is only told from Lily's perspective. So, how'd they do? Wonderful! There wasn't any noticeable change in voice in Lily (maybe it's because they're twins, haha... totally kidding, I know twins are absolutely two separate people).

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I was drawn into the story immediately. I loved the characters, especially Loren. The book, being the first in the series, ends very abruptly. I'm excited to see how the series progresses.

Currently, there are two other books in this series. I'll be starting the next one, Ricochet, immediately.


5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review: Four Seconds to Lose

Title Four Seconds to Lose

Series Ten Tiny Breaths, book 3

Author K. A. Tucker

Release Date November 4, 2013

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.

Unlike the first and second book, this book is told from the perspective of two characters, Cain and Charlie. I did enjoy seeing the story from both perspectives and I think the author did a very good job here.

Once I found out that this book was about Cain, I was very excited. I was intrigued by him in the first book and was delighted to find out more about him. However, I had a slightly harder time being drawn into this story. While I originally thought it had to do with the dual perspectives, I now doubt that. Considering I really enjoyed seeing the story from both Cain and Charlie's point of view, I'm not really sure why I wasn't as into the story as I thought I would be. Even though the story had a harder time drawing me in than the first two books, I still enjoyed it.

The next book, Five Ways to Fall, is Ben's story. Without a doubt, I look forward to reading it.


4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Book Review: One Tiny Lie

Title One Tiny Lie

Series Ten Tiny Breaths, book 2

Author K. A. Tucker

Release Date June 11, 2013

Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents' tragic death and Kacey's self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would...and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.

I devoured Livie's story much faster than I did Kacey's. Okay, it wasn't that much faster. I finished One Tiny Lie in two days where Ten Tiny Breaths took me three. Still... it certainly seemed a lot faster to me. That being said, it's absolutely safe to say that if you enjoyed Ten Tiny Breaths, you'll enjoy this one. In fact, I'll even say that I enjoyed this one slightly more than the first.

This story picks up a few years after the first and is centered around Kacey's younger sister, Livie. While we do see glimpses of Kacey/Trent, they certainly don't steal the show from Livie. Normally, I don't know how I feel about another book (or show or movie, etc.) starting from a different perspective than that of the first book. However, I love it here! The Kacey/Trent story wrapped up in the first book, but everyone else was left wide open to have their story told. And K. A. Tucker is taking advantage of it and performing flawlessly!

The next book in the series centers around Cain and I absolutely can't wait to read his story. I would say that it's official... K. A. Tucker is certainly on my list of favorite authors.


5 out 5 stars

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Blog Tour: Rewired

Progress Banner

Title Rewired

Series Progress, book 3

Author Amy Queau

Release Date November 12, 2013

Tour Host Keepin' It Real Book Blog

“Because if it weren’t for Jesse, I would have never been the girl you fell in love with.” -Charlie

Impasse: def. noun. 1. a situation in which no progress seems possible. 2. a difficult or puzzling situation from which there is no easy escape.

Charlie is about to find out how far into Jesse’s tormented past she needs to travel when she hops into his car, leaving the man she loves alone and searching for answers.
But Samuel’s a fighter. He’s not about to give up without an explanation. And he’s soon to discover events in Charlie’s past that offer reasons to her recent behavior. But will it be enough for him to want her back?
Unable to forgive herself for what she’s done to Samuel - and her crumbling future without him - Charlie’s solution is simple: Help Jesse open his mind and his heart, allowing him to trust someone for the first time in his life.

Rewired is the third and final book in The Progress Series.

Warning: This book contains sensitive material (including sexually explicit content, acts of graphic violence, language, and triggers) and may not be appropriate for all readers.

Oh my gosh! This book... no, this entire trilogy broke my heart into a million pieces. We finally reach the end of this roller coaster we've been on with Charlie and Jesse and, my goodness, what a roller coaster it's been.

Amy Queau's writing is breathtaking. Her characters have relatable and depth that you don't find elsewhere. Her story flows beautifully. The emotion she makes us feel is real and passionate. I don't think I could possibly say enough to explain to you how much I've enjoyed her writing.

The ending of Rewired absolutely broke my heart. I cried! Oh goodness, I cried. While it wasn't the ending I would have picked, I understood it and I liked it.

If you haven't started Amy Queau's Progress series, do it now! It's amazing!

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! *


5 out of 5 stars

About Amy Queau
Amy QueauI am a mother and wife, first and foremost. I decided to hit the computer and write Progress because I had a very personal story to tell. I do hope you enjoy it.

I live in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN with my husband, two children; Junior and Evie, and my dog, Saba Lou.

I enjoy writing, drawing, crosswords, games, reading and of course, spending time with my beautiful family.

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