Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#6)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that's hosted by Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

Title In Real Life
Author Jessica Love
Release Date March 1, 2016

Hannah Cho and Nick Cooper have been best friends since 8th grade. They talk for hours on the phone, regularly shower each other with presents, and know everything there is to know about one another.

There's just one problem: Hannah and Nick have never actually met.

Hannah has spent her entire life doing what she's supposed to, but when her senior year spring break plans get ruined by a rule-breaker, she decides to break a rule or two herself. She impulsively decides to road trip to Vegas, her older sister and BFF in tow, to surprise Nick and finally declare her more-than-friend feelings for him.

Hannah's romantic gesture backfires when she gets to Vegas and meets Nick's girlfriend, whom he failed to mention. And it turns out his relationship status isn't the only thing he's been lying to her about. Hannah knows the real Nick can't be that different from the online Nick she knows and loves, but now she only has one night in Sin City to figure out what her feelings for Nick really are, all while discovering how life can change when you break the rules every now and then.
Catfish in book form? Uh, count me in! Very sad that I have to wait until March 2016 to read it, though.

What are *you* waiting on this week? Leave a link to your WoW and I’ll be sure to visit!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Review: One Fling to Rule Them All

Title One Fling to Rule Them All

Series The Games of Love, book 2

Author Deanna Dee

Release Date June 9, 2015

It began with the forging of a great friendship.

For three months, Lydia Bell has watched Craig, her best friend and the love of her life, be in a happy relationship with someone else. But she’s over it. Or thinks she is until she hears Craig’s voice on the phone. Desperate to put her romantic feelings behind, she joins her roommates for a night out. Maybe she’ll meet someone.

And meet someone she does—a guy named Scott, who looks a lot like Craig. Despite their awkward introduction, flaming arrows fly, and soon Lydia is running off the dance floor to get away from feelings she shouldn’t have. So much for getting over Craig, and so much for Scott.

Until Monday morning, that is. Turns out Scott goes to her school. Worse, they share a class. As if that’s not weird enough, Scott is also trying to get over someone. To help both Lydia and himself, he proposes a fling, and reluctantly, Lydia agrees. Now she just has to hope this fling rules and doesn’t crash into a fiery mountain.

One Fling to Rule Them All is another winner from Deanna Dee. A continuation of The Games of Love series, this book can be read as a standalone, but makes more sense when read after the second book.

One thing that I really enjoy about this series is the lack of sex. Yes, it's mentioned in them, but there isn't any actual sex happening. Now, I have no issues with books that have sex in them (some of my favorites happen to have lots of sex), so that's not why I'm praising these books. I am giving kudos, though, because they focus on the other sides of relationships (read: emotional, things the couple have in common, and things that happen outside of the bedroom) that haven't been getting a lot of  attention lately.

Another thing that I love about this series is that these scenarios are so realistic. The first book dealt with realizing that not every person is the same. This book focuses on unrequited love. Both books have a common theme of communication. So much drama would be avoided if people just communicated with one another instead of expecting the other person to be a mind reader.

The only compliant that I have would be that I wish we had some minor story line in this book like in the previous book (Craig and his sister) to balance out the romance. I felt like Lydia dealing with her headaches could have been the secondary story line, but they weren't explained or explored (which was kind of disappointing).


4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#6)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.

Here's what I've added to my shelves since last time...

For Review - From Netgalley

- Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
- This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
- Always Leaving by Gene Gant
- Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino
- My Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
- NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

Purchased - Amazon Kindle

- True Love Way by Mary Elizabeth
- Thicker than Blood by Madeline Sheehan & Claire C. Riley

Borrowed - Kindle Unlimited

- One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee
- Thoughts from a naked unshackled mind by Anno Nomius
- Sincerely, Carter by Whitney Gracia Williams

Audiobooks - Borrowed from Library

- The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
- World War Z by Max Brooks

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Before We Were Strangers

Title Before We Were Strangers

Author Renée Carlino

Release Date August 18, 2015

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


This is my first book by Renée Carlino. If her other books are half as good as Before We Were Strangers, it certainly won't be my last.

Before We Were Strangers is a wonderful, lovely, heartbreaking, satisfying, emotional, perfect second chance romance. I couldn't have asked for a better book. The writing style was perfection, the characters were real and loveable, and the story was interesting and unique.

I fell in love with both Matt and Grace. These two characters were absolutely wonderful. They felt like real people with depth. I felt like I was reading about two people I intimately knew. It was easy to slip into Matt or Grace's character and truly feel and understand them. That's exactly what I look for when reading a book like this.

As for the actual story line, it was fantastic. It was an emotional roller coaster full of highs and lows and I felt each one deeply. Those highs were so sweet and perfect while those lows made my heart ache. It all felt very authentic, though.

I almost feel like I should have something more negative to say about this book (all I've done is rave!), but the truth is I just don't. Before We Were Strangers was such a good book and deserves all the praise it gets.


5 out of 5 stars

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#3)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because everyone loves a good list, don't they? We love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week is all about authors we've read the most books from. I scoured through my read list on Goodreads to come up with this list. I was somewhat surprised at the number of books I have read from some authors.

  1. Ann M. Martin (133+ books) - I actually don't have her books rated on Goodreads, but I've read each and every single book in the Baby-Sitter's Club series as well as some of the spin-offs. I included her because she was my favorite when I was in elementary school.
  2. Sara Shepard (26 books) - Wow! I'm totally surprised at the number. Sara Shepard has been my guilty pleasure author of the past few years. I even have a couple of her other books on my TBR list.
  3. Ellen Hopkins (13 books) - I think I've read all of her books except her most recent, Love Lies Beneath (but it's on my TBR list).
  4. V. C. Andrews (11 books) - I owe my love for her books to my mom. She had lots of her books and when I wasn't able to get to the library for new books, I had lots to choose from.
  5. Krista & Becca Ritchie (9 books) - These girls are probably my current favorite authors. They write amazing NA books. I'm anxiously awaiting more awesome books from them.
  6. Lori L. Otto (9 books) - I've read both her Emi Lost and Found & Choisie series. Both are really enjoyable romance series.
  7. George R. R. Martin (8 books) - One of my book resolutions this year was to read A Song of Ice and Fire series. Great decision. I'm now waiting just like everyone else for the next book.
  8. Teresa Mummert (8 books) - I might have to classify Teresa as another one of my guilty pleasure authors. A few of her other books are still on my TBR list.
  9. K. A. Tucker (8 books) - I really love K. A. Tucker's writing. She's another one of my favorite authors currently.
  10. J. K. Rowling (7 books) - There were a lot of authors (at least five others) that I had read seven books from, but I decided to give this spot to the Harry Potter series. They are definitely some of my all-time favorite books.
Who are your most read authors? Leave a comment with your TTT and I'll check it out!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Book Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Title The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Author Stephanie Oakes

Release Date June 9, 2015

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

People always say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I just can't stop. It's a horrible habit that I wish I wouldn't have picked up. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly lacks a spectacular cover (admit it, it's kind of boring) and I almost passed the book over for that simple reason. Ignoring the cover, the blurb does seem interesting, but I feel like even that sells the book short.

Sometimes a good book just sneaks up on you. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly was so good. I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. Without a doubt, this book will be one of my top 10 in 2015. If you're looking for your next 5-star read, this is it.

This book is made of the good stuff. Captivating writing style, interesting story, and intriguing characters. I was thoroughly impressed. And I just want to throw it out there that this is a debut novel!

The only issue that I had (and it's a super tiny one) was the ending. I wanted just a little more. Just a little more story at the end and it would have been perfect. Maybe an epilogue would have satisfied my needs? Or maybe, likely, I'm just greedy.

I'm certainly interested in reading more from Stephanie Oakes.


5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#5)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that's hosted by Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

Title Cam Girl
Author Leah Raeder
Release Date November 3, 2015

Vada Bergen is broke, the black sheep of her family, and moving a thousand miles away from home for grad school, but she’s got the two things she loves most: her art, and her best friend and soulmate, Ellis Carraway. Elle and Vada have a friendship so consuming it’s hard to tell where one girl ends and the other begins. It’s intense. It’s a little codependent. And nothing can tear them apart.

Until an accident on an icy winter road changes everything.

Vada is left deeply scarred, both emotionally and physically. Her once-promising art career is cut short. And Ellis pulls away, unwilling to talk about that night. Everything Vada loved is gone.

She’s got nothing left to lose.

So when she meets a smooth-talking lothario who offers to set her up as a cam girl, she can’t say no. All Vada has to do is spend a couple hours each night taking off her clothes on webcam, and the “tips” come pouring in.

It’s all just kinky fun till a client gets serious. “Blue” is mysterious, alluring, and more interested in Vada’s life than her body. Online, they open up to each other intimately. Blue helps her heal. And he pays well, but he wants her all to himself. No more cam shows. She agrees, because she’s starting to fall for him. And when he asks to meet, she says yes. Because she’s dying to know the real man behind the keyboard.

Even if one of his conditions is to bring Ellis. The girl who wants nothing to do with her anymore.

Now Vada must confront the past she’s been running from. A past full of devastating secrets—those of others, and those she’s been keeping from herself…
Leah has published two books so far. I have loved both of those books. So far, she's been able to do no wrong. I've got high expectations for Cam Girl and I, without a doubt, believe Leah will exceed them.

What are *you* waiting on this week? Leave a link to your WoW and I’ll be sure to visit!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: Critical Hit-On

Title Critical Hit-On

Author Deanna Dee

Release Date February 25, 2015

Roll for attraction.

Molly Moreau used to be a geek with the best of them—role playing games, multi-user dungeons, trading cards—the works. Then she found her long-time boyfriend in a dark corner with a girl dressed as Lara “boobs and guns” Croft. That was it for the relationship and for her geekiness. After moving back home, she got a job at a normal bar and grill with normal people to live a normal life. That is until Craig shows up with his RPG character sheet.

Craig Lawrence has been rolling 1s on the relationship front ever since his last girlfriend broke up with him because he apparently spent too much time playing guardian to his rebellious little sister. When he meets Molly, he wants more than anything to win her heart, and this time he’ll do anything to keep his family problems from interfering.

When fate (Molly’s best friend) brings Craig and Molly together (sets them up on a date), will this relationship roll yet another 1? Or will it score a critical hit?

Squee! Critical Hit-On is a breath of fresh air in the book world. It's such a fun and geeky romance. I loved it!

This is certainly not your typical, dime-a-dozen romance. Yes, it does have a little bit of drama (douchey ex-boyfriend, complete misunderstanding and overreaction), but those things aren't the focus of the story. Instead, the story focuses on bringing two people together, happily.

The geekiness is strong in Critical Hit-On. I, for one, loved it! I could possibly see where it might be a bit much for some people because it is laid on a little heavy. However, I don't think anyone should discount this book just because of its extreme geekdom. Instead, embrace it!

Overall, this is a winner for me. Great main characters that are well developed, interesting secondary characters, and an entertaining storyline.


5 out of 5 stars

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