Thursday, October 5, 2017

Book Review: The Girl with the Red Balloon

Title The Girl with the Red Balloon
Series The Balloonmakers, book 1
Author Katherine Locke
Release Date September 1, 2017

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34448522-the-girl-with-the-red-balloon
Review

In the spirit of complete honesty, I was hesitant to pick up The Girl with the Red Balloon. Though I've always had an insatiable curiosity about World War II and German history, I feel lukewarm towards time travel. Something, though, kept pulling me back to this book. I was intrigued, but also worried it would be a disappointment. When I caught it on sale, I threw caution to the wind and bought it. Best choice I've made in a long time.

The Girl with the Red Balloon is easily the best book I've read this year. It's a darker venture into YA that definitely pays off. This was a beautifully written fictionalized piece of Berlin history.

Skipping over how beautifully this was written and the interesting story line (because there are plenty of reviews that can talk about that stuff better than I can), this book made me feel things. That ending! My heart can't handle that kind of ending without a few tears. I want more. Like, I need more. Please.

I'm both glad to see that there's going to be a sequel, but also a bit sad as it's not a continuation of Ellie's story. If it's half as good as The Girl with the Red Balloon, though, it's going to be amazing. I can't wait.

Rating

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: Only Wrong Once

Title Only Wrong Once
Author Jenifer Ruff
Release Date September 30, 2017

A sinister experiment outside Aleppo.

Two deaths: one in LA, one in Boston, each with the same horrific symptoms.


A powerful ISIS leader chooses an American-born microbiologist from the University of Damascus and manipulates him into doing the unthinkable: weaponize a deadly virus and recruit American citizens to disperse the disease.

In Charlotte, a lonely banker desperate for a more meaningful life receives increasingly urgent requests of Come Visit from his cousin in Syria. After losing his job and traveling overseas, will he become a willing participant in the inevitable terrorist plot?

In Los Angeles, FBI counterterrorism agent Quinn Traynor and his team receive a call from CDC agent, Madeline Hamilton. She’s discovered the first victim of a lethal, unfamiliar virus. Their joint investigation uncovers evidence of the imminent bio-terror attack and their only hope is to identify the terrorists carrying the disease. With just two days remaining before it’s too late, the FBI and the CDC race to prevent a pandemic. The ensuing nightmare will hit closer to home than they ever anticipated and one of them will pay an unimaginable price for protecting the country.

From secret jihadist bunkers in Syria to the city streets of Los Angeles, Boston, and Charlotte, Only Wrong Once is a chilling, internationally relevant suspense novel that will leave you reeling from the too-real prospect of a global terrorism nightmare.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36048947-only-wrong-once
Review

Upon reading the blurb for Only Wrong Once, I was reminded of a book that I read last year called Phage. While the story is different in many ways, there's the common thread of bio-terrorism.

Only Wrong Once feels relevant in today's society. Jenifer Ruff expertly weaves a tale of religious men corrupted by hate with the personal tales of  the story's characters.

It took a few chapters for the story to find its momentum, in my opinion, but when it did it certainly took off. The desire to know what happens next kept me glued to this book. From beginning to end, it was thoroughly enjoyable. Just like Phage, I definitely recommend Only Wrong Once if you're looking for a realistic thriller.

Rating



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

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Quotables (#5)

Thursday Quotables is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, you’re invited to join in! This weekly feature is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.



Dark Matter
Blake Crouch
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/43161998-dark-matter
“No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when you’re least expecting it. No time to flinch or brace.”
What were your favorite lines this week? Share your Thursday Quotables in the comments below and I'll be sure to stop by!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Swan Song

Title Swan Song
Author Charlotte Wilson
Release Date September 12, 2017

LOVE AND LONGING IN THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF LONDON

When iconic ballerina Beatrice Duvall died, a nation mourned – and a legacy was born. Sixteen years later, her daughter Ava comes to London to take part in a high-profile tribute to Beatrice, and to learn about the mother she never knew.

There’s just one snag: the tribute is a ballet, Swan Lake. Which is infinitely painful for Ava, because she can’t dance. Won’t dance. Not since she quit the Royal Ballet School last year and walked away from everything that defined her.

But this is London, colourful and crazy, and with actor Seb at her side, there’s so much to discover. Like Theatreland razzmatazz and rooftop picnics and flamingo parties. And a whole load of truths Ava never knew about her mother – and herself.

When the time comes to take the stage, will Ava step out of the shadow cast by her mother’s pedestal? And who will be waiting for her there, in the bright lights?

A coming-of-age novel about family and first love, in the city of hopes and dreams.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36186766-swan-song
Review

Swan Song was a lovely novel. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of coming-of-age books.

Both the story and the characters were great. I really appreciated that the main focus of the book was on Ava and her grieving the mother she never got the chance to know. The romance, though, was sweet and adorable. I'd love more of Ava's story if it ever came about.

Reading Swan Song reminded me of how much I enjoy Charlotte's writing and that I should really pick up and finisher her Ceruleans series.

Rating



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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#30)

"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 The 57 Bus
Author Dashka Slater
Release Date October 17, 2017

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren't for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment. The case garnered international attention, thrusting both teenagers into the spotlight.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33155325-the-57-bus

* What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by! *

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: The Border

Title The Border
Author Steve Schafer
Release Date September 5, 2017

One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks―gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape...
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29542264-the-border
Review

What drives someone to flee their country? What drives someone to leave everything they've ever known? What drives someone to risk their lives to get to a country that may ultimately turn its back on them? Unlike anything else I've ever read, The Border gives us a fictional look at what drove four teens to make the decision to cross.

In the author's note at the end, he says "This political discourse often loses sight of the individuals at the heart of the issue. [...] They leave desperate situations to find an opportunity for a better life. And they risk everything along the way." That couldn't be more true for our main characters in the novel. I think Schafer does a fantastic job at providing a candid look at a heavy situation that most never to get to see.

The best way that I can think of to describe The Border is heartbreaking, but with hope of better. It's an emotional read that feels pretty on point in terms of realism. I highly recommend it.

Rating



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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Spotlight/Giveaway: Behind the Song

Title Behind the Song
Author Various; K. M. Walton, editor
Release Date September 1, 2017
Publisher Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781492638810

Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul-searching, and wings spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, and the musicians who move them.

So turn up the volume and cue up the playlist. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33918882-behind-the-song


I got the chance to ask a couple of the authors a question for this spotlight! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer my question.

Which song (or artist) inspires you to write? Which song perfectly fits one of your books?

Beth Kephart
I wrote by Berlin Wall novel (Going Over) with David Bowie’s “Heroes” banging in my ear; of course I would. He lived where my character lived; he wrote that song for Berlin. I wrote my monster storm story (This Is the Story of You) with Bruce Springsteen’s “Jack of All Trades” near, because I was writing about a storm-ravaged community in need of his kind of care. Right now, with the world so fragile, so hard, I listen to Sia’s “Never Give Up,” because her voice breaks like our hearts breaks and we will not, I swear it, give up.

Tiffany Schmidt
My next novel, Bookish Boyfriends, tells the story of a modern fifteen-year-old who wishes for a romance as swoony as those she’s read in classic novels. Well, her wish comes true and Merri gets firsthand experience with boys that are like both Romeo and Darcy. Well, any novel with Romeo and Juliet influences needs the Dire Straits song with that same title on their playlist. My playlist had multiple versions, but this one by Matt Nathanson is a particular favorite. It nails the wistful, angsty, emotionality of Romeo.

K. M. Walton
In BEHIND THE SONG each contributor chose one of their favorite songs and used it as inspiration to write a short story or personal essay. This idea of mine, born in my car jamming to Radiohead, has turned out better than I ever dreamed. My list of contributors blows my mind. What an honor and a thrill it was to work with that level of talent.

My short story contribution was inspired by Marcy Playground’s “All the Lights Went Out”, a song that refuses to not be amazing. The slow start, the raucous strum of electric guitar that builds to one of the most satisfying crescendos of all time. It’s a timeless jam. After reading the lyrics a few times, ideas swirled in my head. Ultimately, I decided to write the story of friends, Scarlett and Billy. One has always had secret feelings for the other. I titled it Doomed? which is a nod to a line from the song. I’ve been told the ending packs an emotional punch. You’ll have to read it to see why!

Buy Links


Author Bios & Links


If Beth Kephart could be a song, she would be a song. Not an instrument, not a singer, but the song itself. Instead she is a writer of books, some might say too many books. Memoirs and young-adult novels and middle-grade novels and corporate fables and a book about teaching memoir writing, even an autobiography of a river. She’s still trying to get the writing thing right. Meanwhile, she’s having a lot of fun teaching what she finally does know at the University of Pennsylvania and at Juncture Workshops: www.junctureworkshops.com
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath (Once Upon a Crime Family book 1). She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.
Website | Twitter | Facebook

K.M. Walton is the author of Cracked, Empty, and Ultimatum. She’s editing and contributing to her music-focused YA anthology, Behind the Song. K.M. co-authored Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking for mathematics teachers K - 8. She graduated from West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and spent most her teaching career in middle school teaching language arts. Mean people baffle her – she’s so passionate about acceptance that she gives school presentations—middle school through university level—titled: "The Power of Human Kindness.” K.M. lives in PA with Team Walton, which includes her husband, two sons, and cat. Visit her at kmwalton.com.
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway

Open to US & Canada Residents Only


Do you enjoy reading while listening to music or is silence more your style? Do you have a favorite playlist for when you read? Tell me about it in the comments down below!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review: Unraveling Oliver

Title Unraveling Oliver
Author Liz Nugent
Release Date August 22, 2017

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.
Review

I was mistaken when I thought this book would focus more on Oliver and Alice's relationship. You should take the title literally. This book is all about Oliver and what makes him tick. This isn't a bad thing, just something that I wasn't expecting really.

Unraveling Oliver is told through multiple points of view (none of which are Alice, in case you're wondering). Though there are numerous points of view, each feels distinct. They all flow together nicely and pain a vivid picture of who Oliver is.

As for the story, it was overall enjoyable. While I was able to figure out some of Oliver before it was revealed in the story, other parts were still a surprise. I'm also thoroughly impressed that the story was told without any graphic scenes of abuse. The reason for four stars instead of five was the ending. It didn't feel true to Oliver's character after everything we've found out about him.

In general, Unraveling Oliver was an interesting psychological character study. Though short, it packed a sizable punch.

Rating



* This book was received from Gallery/Scout Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#29)

"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 Without Merit
Author Colleen Hoover
Release Date October 3, 2017

“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, Without Merit explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love and truth.
 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33280872-without-merit

* What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by! *

Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review: Watermark

Title Watermark
Author Marti Ziegler
Release Date August 5, 2017

Whom could you trust if you were stranded fifteen hundred miles from home?

Misfortune has plagued Juno Brock for months. Recently widowed, a chance encounter with a dangerous criminal in St. Louis exposes her to information that can see her branded. Or worse, hanged. When a pirate attack on the Mississippi River maroons her in the wilds of Michigan Territory, she has but one choice: use her wits to secure passage on a boat traveling downriver and reunite with her family fifteen hundred miles away.

An arrogant mistake in his youth has set flatboat pilot Malcolm Moreau on a forked path of redemption and revenge. His successful livelihood transporting goods to New Orleans revolves around cargo, not passengers, but Juno’s recent encounter with his longtime enemy makes her the exception. A bargain is struck: safe passage to Natchez, Mississippi, in exchange for the information she unwittingly discovered.

What follows is a month-long journey where mistrust and resentment unfolds into an unexpected friendship filled with secret confidences and before long, attraction. Sometimes dangerous, often humorous, their voyage down America’s most infamous river and the outlandish characters they meet along the way will ultimately inspire a destination neither expected: love.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35955262-watermark
Review

I previously read and loved the author's first book, Clingstone, so I had pretty high hopes for Watermark. Unsurprisingly, this book far exceeded any expectations I had when I started it. Even though I've only read two of her books, this one is without a doubt my favorite (for now).

Marti Ziegler is a brilliant historical romance author. While I may not read much historical romance, I can attest that this is a fantastic book, no matter the genre.

Both the aspects of life on the Mississippi River during the late 1820s and the lovely deep connection between our two main characters, Juno and Malcolm, are told in a beautiful prose that I just couldn't get enough of. I loved both Juno and Malcolm and I adored them together. Also, I really enjoyed the story line about Malcolm and Joliange and everything that entailed. It added another depth to the book that I liked. Overall, there's not a single thing I would have changed.

I said before that I was looking forward to seeing more from the author. That remains true still. Her writing is exactly what I needed during a reading slump.

Rating



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

Friday, August 11, 2017

Book Review: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray

Title Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Author Tarryn Fisher
Release Date July 13, 2017

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her, but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he's found what he's been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35186206-atheists-who-kneel-and-pray
Review

Atheists Who Kneel and Pray feels different from other Tarryn Fisher books I've read. Don't get me wrong, it's still Tarryn Fisher. The words are beautiful and they make you feel things, deep and aching things. So the way the story is told feels much the same as her other books, but the heart of the story feels different.

I didn't feel as gutted and emotionally raw after reading Atheists Who Kneel and Pray. This felt like a more soothing and sweet love story than what I might have normally expected from Tarryn. I loved seeing this from her. I know that she can craft a story that will tear you down before building you up, so it was nice to see something a little more tame.

When I finished this book, I instantly wanted to rate it five stars. I loved this book. It touched me in ways that I needed. That being said, I'm only rating it four stars now that I've had a bit to digest the story and think it over. Here's what I had some issues with...

1. Why didn't David search for Yara after she left? She left after six weeks of being married. He didn't start searching for her until their second anniversary had passed. Like, what? How can you go so long without searching for the woman you love?

2. How in the ever living hell could David get with Petra after Yara left? Yes, I understand that Yara left David. I understand she moved on. I understand that he moved on. I understand all of that. But why Petra? Why HER of all people? He claimed to still be in love with Yara after all that time, but yet he started a relationship and became engaged to the one woman that caused such anguish for his wife. I do not understand.

3. The ending was abrupt. I loved that David and Yara reconciled. I wanted them to be together. Because of that, I needed more. I needed to see them come together in love again. We see that for a brief period before the book ends, but I need more to believe in their happily ever after. I feel like Yara and David have a rough road ahead of them to get to their HEA and I wanted to see more of that. That real and raw pain it takes to get to the HEA is what makes it so much sweeter. I definitely missed it here.

Rating

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book Review: (It Happened) One Friday

Title (It Happened) One Friday
Author Lori L. Otto
Release Date July 25, 2017

He did it. After everything they'd been through, Callen McNare crossed the line into a territory from which there was no coming back. Max Scott was always patient and loyal, but he's not quick to forgive or forget.

And for Zaina Mishra, she finally got her wish. Trey Holland did it. They did it–after two and a half years of waiting. It was all that she wanted, but maybe not all she'd really hoped for in the end.

They were four friends from high school on a trip to paradise after graduation. They were two couples in love.

There was always a possibility that everything would change some day.

It happened one Friday.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35575871-it-happened-one-friday
Review

I loved this novella! It was exactly what was needed between Love Will and In the Wake of Wanting.

Lori Otto has created such a rich world within her books. They're full of well developed characters with relatable and realistic lives. And I just adore that her books are all connected and the story continues throughout each one.

I can't wait for more from Lori. Her books are some of my absolute favorites.

Rating

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#28)

"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 Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date September 5, 2017

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32768509-girls-made-of-snow-and-glass

* What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by! *

Monday, July 31, 2017

Spotlight/Giveaway: The Way It Hurts

Title The Way It Hurts
Author Patty Blount
Release Date August 1, 2017
Publisher Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781492632788

From the award-winning author of Some Boys comes a new ripped-from-the-headlines story about the unthinking backlash of Twitter culture

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there’s only one way to set things right…

Music is Elijah’s life. His band plays loud and hard, and he’ll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he’d rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town…until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother’s. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program—and being the star in her high school musical isn’t going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder.

Elijah can't take his eyes off of Kristen's performance, and he snaps a photo of her in costume that he posts online with a comment that everybody misunderstands. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don’t stay online…they follow them into real life.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32841616-the-way-it-hurts

Buy Links


Excerpt


Ride Out was hard rock, not pop. So, yeah, we didn’t attract mainstream fans, but the fans we did have were vocal and loyal. I grinned when I saw the latest comment from some chick calling herself BroadwayBaby17. She hated our stuff. Said our sound was just noise and what words she could make out in our lyrics were misogynistic and disrespectful. Like we gave a fuck. I didn’t know why she bothered to click any of it, but she did and then tried to give us shit about it that she claimed was feedback. I had to admit, she knew technique, but if her scene was Broadway, there was no way she’d ever get what Nick, Sam, and I were trying to do with Ride Out. I mean, anyone who went to a Metallica show expecting Michael BublĂ© is bound to be disappointed, right?

And vice versa.

Sure enough, BroadwayBaby17 wiped the floor with our latest cover.

BroadwayBaby17: Someone explain to me why growling into a microphone is considered talent ’cause I’m just not seeing it. (Can’t hear anything right now either. LOL.)

BroadwayBaby17: OMG, these lyrics are so incredibly sexist! Someone tell these guys girls aren’t really impressed by your “pogo sticks” *barfs*

BroadwayBaby17: Boom, boom, boom. That’s all this band does is play percussion like it’s sex. *sighs* Sex and drums, drums and sex. BORING.

Another user named Ride_On747 crawled up BroadwayBaby17’s ass: Beotch, go back to drama club and leave metal to the boyz! These guys rock!

Thank you, Ride_On747! He was a huge fan of ours. Neither user had a photograph in their profile, so I didn’t know if they were male or female. It was kind of obvious that BroadwayBaby17 was a girl because of the way she always harped on us. Our lyrics were sexist, our beat was too primal, and our sound was too noisy.

Whatever.

But Ride_On747 was always there to take BroadwayBaby17 down a peg. I grinned and sent the brother a mental high five. Don’t like us; don’t listen. Easy.

I logged in using my personal account FretGuy99. This was mine; I didn’t post band stuff from that account. The band’s account was Ride_Out. I liked keeping them separate. We all had the password, but it was usually Sam or me doing most of the band’s postings.

Looked like he’d just posted.

Ride_Out: Hey, BB! You ever shredded a guitar? You ever cut loose with a metal scream? You ever play any original stuff at all? Until you can say yes to any of those questions, you got no right telling us we suck so _|_.

Oh, crap! He’d given her the Internet version of the middle finger.

BroadwayBaby17: OMG, so mature. If you can’t take criticism, get off the forums. This is a place for serious artists.

Okay, time for me to make an appearance.

FretGuy99: BroadwayBaby17, you only think people like you are artists. You’re elitist. You can’t respect anyone who takes a different view.

BroadwayBaby17: Not elitist. Just telling it like it is. Dude, don’t suck up to Ride_Out. Take my advice and study classical guitar before you ruin your chances of being original.

My phone buzzed. Dude, I am going to rip this chick a new one for the trash she’s talking about us.

I texted back. Relax. Let her dig her own grave.

FretGuy99: I have studied classical guitar. I can play lead or rhythm. I can strum chords, and I’m hella good at fingerpicking. I can play it all, baby. Just because I want to play metal doesn’t mean I have no talent. So shut up about shit you don’t know anything about and go shopping or something.

BroadwayBaby17: And there’s the sexism! I didn’t say anything about you having no talent. I just don’t like Ride Out.

FretGuy99: Then why the hell are you here on a heavy metal forum? Go back to the show tunes forum!

My phone buzzed. The shopping bit was clutch, dude. LMAO!

I shrugged. She had it coming.

Sam changed the subject. Nick wants us 2C North’s play tonight. Said we’d B there. 7 PM.

Hell. I raked my hair off my face. Sitting through some boring school play for a school I didn’t even attend was just about the worst way to spend a Friday night. But it was for Nick, so yeah—I’d go. Nick and Sam were more than just guys in the band. They were my brothers. Not a lot I wouldn’t do for either of them.

About the Author

PATTY BLOUNT grew up quiet and invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice writing smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. Today, she’s the award-winning author of edgy, emotional contemporary romance. Powered by way too much chocolate, Patty supports women’s rights by giving a voice to characters facing realistic situations like rape (SOME BOYS, 2014), bullying (SEND, 2012), and grief (NOTHING LEFT TO BURN, 2015). She enjoys hearing from her readers so visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Author Links


Giveaway

Open to US & Canada Residents Only

Friday, July 28, 2017

Book Review: Girl in Snow

Title Girl in Snow
Author Danya Kukafka
Release Date August 1, 2017

Who Are You When No One Is Watching?

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.

In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32920254-girl-in-snow
Review

A mystery this is not. It is, but not really. Finding out who killed Lucinda Hayes serves as a backdrop in a three person character study. While I originally thought I was going into a whodunit novel, I wasn't disappointed by what I read instead.

The story moves at an unrushed pace, taking place over just a few days. Told in expressive prose, the writing was the most enjoyable part of the novel for me. I'd love to read more from Danya Kukafka in the future.

The murder falls into the background and Lucinda seems to just be a thread that holds the story together rather than the focus. As such, I didn't feel much about the killer's reveal (or Lucinda in general).

I think if you go into Girl in Snow knowing that you're getting a character study more so than a mystery, you'll be more inclined to enjoy it. As such, I've rated it 4 stars (whereas my rating would be much different, i.e. lower, if I rated it viewed as a mystery novel).

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Simon & Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Review: The Marriage Pact

Title The Marriage Pact
Author Michelle Richmond
Release Date July 25, 2017

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice's prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . . Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples. And then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31748890-the-marriage-pact
Review

The Marriage Pact is a fast paced and suspenseful read. A crazy and twisty ride from the very beginning, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found myself rapidly flipping pages and devouring the story from the very beginning.

Don't get me wrong, The Marriage Pact isn't a perfect book. It's a bit over the top at times, perhaps. There are moments where you have to suspend some disbelief, but those times didn't take away from my enjoyment of a really engrossing story. Also, the story deserved a more forceful and definitive ending. For the majority of the book, the story is powerful and strong. The ending, though, felt weak and flat in comparison.

Overall, The Marriage Pact was an engaging read. I definitely enjoyed it, but I think it's one of those books that some will love while others will take a pass.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday (#27)

"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 Little & Lion
Author Brandy Colbert
Release Date August 8, 2017

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25062038-little-lion

* What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Share your links in the comments below and I'll be sure to drop by! *

Monday, July 10, 2017

Spotlight/Giveaway: Paper Hearts

Title Paper Hearts
Series Heartbreak Chronicles, book 2
Author Ali Novak
Release Date July 4, 2017
Publisher Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN 9781492653363

“I’m sorry,” he said, slowly untying the ribbon that held his mask in place. “It’s just—I didn’t want you to think of me any differently.”

Somehow I kept my mouth from falling open. I knew his face, but my mind couldn’t accept that he was the person looking down at me.

“My real name is Alec.”

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.

Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.

Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22741571-paper-hearts

Buy Links



Excerpt


“When I first saw you standing there,” he said, “I thought you were someone else.”
Of course
, I thought. Here we go again. I knew what his answer would be, but I asked, “Really, who?”
“Don’t laugh, but I thought you were Violet James. She’s the actress in—”
He’d asked me not to, but I couldn’t help but laugh. “Yeah, I know who she is.”
Violet James, a.k.a. vampire princess Lilliana LaCroix from Immortal Nights. The show was her first starring role, and ever since it aired, people insisted we could be twins. I didn’t see it. Violet had pale hair and light-brown, almost golden eyes, which was a stark contrast to my red mane and green ones. Yet, whenever I ventured into the touristy areas of LA, people would stop me on the street to ask for an autograph.
It wasn’t that I hated being compared to Violet. After all, she was beyond gorgeous, but it always came up when I met someone new. It didn’t matter who the person was. I could be meeting the president of the United States or the Little Mermaid, and sooner or later they would point out the resemblance. In fact, I’d heard it so many times that I knew exactly how the conversation would go. Normally I was asked personal questions about Violet (as if looking
like someone gave you the power to read their mind), when the next season would start (suddenly I had insider information?), and if I could do that Lilliana quote that everybody seemed to love. (No, I’m not quoting a sex scene!)
But tonight something entirely different happened. Aaron went off script.
“As soon as you glanced my way, I knew you weren’t her.” He said this like it was amusing.
“When Violet looks at you, she has a way of making you feel minuscule even if you’re six feet tall.” Aaron spoke about Violet as if they knew each other, but he was quick to change the subject. “So you never said. What are you doing here tonight?”
“Oh, I volunteer for the CCA.”
For the first time since I met him, Aaron smiled. It was one of those slow half grins, and my lips tugged up in response. “Normally my dad has to drag me to these social events, but I have a friend who”—he hesitated, his smile disappearing—“has a close connection to the cause.”
…meaning his friend has cancer. Or has a family member with cancer. Either way, it was terrible. My first thought was to offer some type of condolence, but I didn’t know anything about his friend’s situation, and Aaron clearly wasn’t willing to get into the details. The best thing I could do was be friendly and maybe try to wrangle another smile out of him.
“Well, you’ll be happy to hear that my particular job is integral to the cause,” I said, splaying a hand against my chest. “I spent the earlier part of my evening working coat check.”
This made him laugh. It wasn’t loud or long, but there was enough of a chuckle to make my heart flutter.
“In this heat?” And as if to make a point, he unbuttoned his tuxedo jacket and tugged it off. After folding it neatly and setting it down between us, he reached for his bow tie. “Do you
mind if I…?”
“Nope.” I grinned and kicked off my heels. “Oh, thank God. These evil things remind me why I’m not fond of formal wear.” As fun as it was to get dressed up in a ball gown, the pain in my feet was far from glamorous.
“Aside from your dress,” he said, and I couldn’t tell if he was teasing me or asking a question.
Dammit, we’re back to this topic again?
“I honestly don’t care about the stain.” I glanced down at the brown spot. Now that it was dry, it was much less noticeable. “It’s just…” I didn’t know how to explain my plan to return the dress without sounding horrible. Aaron didn’t prompt me further. He sat there, staring at me until I figured out what to say. “Okay, I’ll tell you why I flipped, but if I do, you’re going to think less of me.”
Aaron looked me directly in the eye. “I highly doubt that.”
“Wanna bet?” I asked, but I didn’t wait to hear his answer. “I left the price tag on.”
He was quiet for a moment as he considered my words. “That makes you a bad person?”
“Yeah, because I was going to wear it and return it. Look, I’ve never done something like that before, but all the volunteers had to dress up for the ball and I don’t own any formal dresses, and this was the least expensive one I could find, but tuition at Stanford is going to be ridiculous and—”
Before I could finish, he held up a hand to cut off my rambling. “No. I don’t think you would have done that.”
“How do you know?”
“I’m an excellent judge of character,” he said, like it was a fact and not his own opinion.
“How does that work? Wait, don’t tell me… Intuition? Spidey senses?”
Aaron shook his head.
“Then what?” I demanded. I needed to know how he understood something about me before I did, especially considering we’d just met. Because as soon as Aaron announced that I wouldn’t return the dress, I knew he was right. I didn’t have the guts to follow through.
“Because,” he said matter-of-factly. “I’ve never seen anyone look as guilty as you do over something they haven’t actually done.”
He stood and brushed off his pants, and I was positive he was ditching me—which, I realized, is probably a good thing, because our entire encounter thus far had been mortifying. But then he did something I didn’t expect. He sucked in a quick breath and held out his hand.
“Would you like to go for a walk?” he asked, gesturing at the gardens.
He seemed eager and cautious in the same instant, and it put every humiliating second from tonight out of my head. I glanced down at his outstretched fingers, and a slow smile worked its way onto my lips.
Okay, cute guy. Why not?
I put my hand in his and let him lead the way.

About the Author

Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Giveaway

Open to US & Canada Residents Only!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Book Review: Behind the Hands That Kill

Title Behind The Hands That Kill
Series In the Company of Killers, book 6
Author J. A. Redmerski
Release Date May 7, 2016

Even professional killers need vacations, but for Victor Faust, his vacation in Venezuela is about more than relaxation and time alone with Izabel Seyfried. It is a chance for him to come clean to Izabel: to tell her the truth about why he sent her to Italy with his brother, the truth behind his interest in Nora Kessler, and about his knowledge of Izabel’s child with her former captor. But before Victor can spill his soul, reality proves that for some killers, vacations are just pipe-dreams.

Attacked and kidnapped, Izabel finds herself stuffed in a suitcase, while Victor later wakes up imprisoned in a cage. In any other situation, Victor would find a way out and save himself and the woman he loves—but not this time. When the identities of their kidnappers are revealed, Victor loses all hope, and begins the mental process of accepting his and Izabel’s last moments together. And Izabel’s final moments of life.

As if his circumstances are not complicated enough, members of Vonnegut’s Order are finally closing in on Victor. And when they do, he comes face-to-face with someone else he once knew and loved, who could either help him, or make a grave situation much worse. Victor’s past has finally caught up with him: the women he has cared for, loved, and killed; the families he has destroyed; the unforgivable crimes he has committed. And now he must face the consequences, and pay the ultimate price for absolution.

But when it is all over, Victor may not have the strength to pick up what is left and move on. Because the event changes him. Because love changed him. And because, unlike before when he thought it is was for the best, he cannot imagine a life without Izabel in it.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26160134-behind-the-hands-that-kill
Review

Reviews for previous books: book one, book two, book three, book four, and book five. There may be spoilers for previous books in this review. You have been warned!

So in The Black Wolf, we get a glimpse of something between Izabel and Niklas. It feels like there's this chemistry between them that's pulling them together. After reading Behind the Hands That Kill, I think I want that explored even more than after reading The Black Wolf (and I really wanted it then).

As a reader, I completely expect characters to undergo change throughout a series. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I like the direction that Victor's headed in. He doesn't feel like the same man. I know that makes little sense. How can he feel like the same man if he's changing, right? I don't know how to explain it, I guess. I think the best way for me to explain it is this... Izabel is changing into a fiercer, more badass version of herself. Victor is turning into a syrupy, more mushy version of himself. I can't see them together anymore. Perhaps that part of the reason I'd be down to explore a relationship between her and Niklas (who still retains his badassness).

Behind the Hands That Kill is definitely a filler book (the very first) in the series. It does, however, lay a pretty solid foundation for what's coming next in the series, taking down Vonnegut. While this book wasn't the strongest of the series, I'm still excited to read more.

Rating

3 out of 5 stars

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Book Review: Damaged Like Us

Title Damaged Like Us
Series Like Us, book 1
Author Krista & Becca Ritchie
Release Date June 27, 2016

Don’t date your bodyguard.
It was the one rule he had to break.

Maximoff Hale is a force of nature. A ship unwilling to be steered. Headstrong, resilient, and wholly responsible — the twenty-two-year-old alpha billionaire can handle his unconventional life. By noon, lunch can turn into a mob of screaming fans. By two, his face is all over the internet.

Born into one of the most famous families in the country, his celebrity status began at birth.

He is certified American royalty.

When he’s assigned a new 24/7 bodyguard, he comes face-to-face with the worst case scenario: being attached to the tattooed, MMA-trained, Yale graduate who’s known for “going rogue” in the security team — and who fills 1/3 of Maximoff's sexual fantasies.

Twenty-seven-year-old Farrow Keene has one job: protect Maximoff Hale. Flirting, dating, and hot sex falls far, far out of the boundary of his bodyguard duties and into “termination” territory. But when feelings surface, protecting the sexy-as-sin, stubborn celebrity becomes increasingly complicated.

Together, boundaries blur, and being exposed could mean catastrophic consequences for both.

The Like Us series is a true series, one continuous timeline, that follows a family of wealthy celebrities and the people that protect them. Damaged Like Us can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca's other novels.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21427834-damaged-like-us
Review

This is such a difficult book for me to review. Krista & Becca have written 12 other books that I've read and absolutely loved. The Addicted series is my favorite new adult series. The Aerial Ethereal books were also fantastic. I'm always excited to read their next book. To say that I was excited for the Like Us series is a bit of an understatement.

Unfortunately, Damaged Like Us just didn't work for me. Chances are, if I had never read anything by Krista & Becca before, I would probably feel less disappointed. However, I've come to expect a book that's full of emotion, a solid story, and characters that I fall in love with from them. Damaged Like Us just didn't give me that.

Let's start with the biggest part of the book, the romance. It was wonderful to see more diversity in Krista & Becca's work with the M/M couple. However, Maximoff and Farrow's relationship felt so different than any other relationship they've ever written. There was a distinct lack of emotional connection between them. It felt like their entire relationship, as well as the majority of the book, was focused on sex. I get it, some relationships are more sexual than others. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But how am I supposed to believe this couple fell in love and will stand the test of time if that's all I see? How is their relationship any different than Moffy's one-night stands? (If you answer is because Farrow's still around in the morning, no. That's just disappointing.) This was the biggest letdown of the entire book. I didn't feel their connection. Krista & Becca's previous works were believable, realistic romances that I fell in love with. This relationship missed the mark completely.

The big twist that brought to light Maximoff and Farrow's relationship? Totally and completely awful. Besides, where did it even come from? Why now? Was it just to further the plot (because that's certainly how it feels) and force Moffy and Farrow's relationship out in the family? It made me sad that this was the direction they went with the story. And the parents' reactions? Unbelievable and completely out of character.

Aside from the relationship aspect, the book lacks a solid plot. Sure, you can have a character driven book. That's fine with me. I'm a fan of character driven books. However, in order for them to be successful, the characters need to be well developed and fully fleshed out. Definitely didn't feel like the case here

Let's talk Moffy. He's supposed to be a revered person in his family. The hero worship seemed over the top, though. Yeah, he'll go to great lengths to protect his family and he's always there for them. Their over the top love for him didn't feel authentic, though. To top it all off, his relationship with Ryke was disappointing. Didn't we put all of that to bed already?

I was hoping to see more from the other family members, especially the ones that will also be getting books (Jane and Sullivan, from what we know so far). Yes, the focus of this book was Moffy and Farrow. I get that. However, in previous books there was the main couple but still plenty of the other characters from the series. It was definitely disappointing that so much revolved around Moffy and Farrow, especially considering their relationship was so sexualized and lacking any real depth.

Though Damaged Like Us completely missed the mark for me, I will be reading the next book Lovers Like Us in hopes of some redemption. I sincerely want the Like Us series to be just as successful and amazing as the Addicted series. I'm holding out hope that it will get better.

It greatly pained me to write a negative review for this book because I love Krista and Becca's work so much. However, I really wanted to share my thoughts after reading Damaged Like Us. I apologize if my review is all over the place. I've got a lot of feelings about this book and wanted to get some of them out sooner rather than later.

Rating

2 out of 5 stars

Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review: Anatomy of a Scandal

Title Anatomy of a Scandal
Author Sarah Vaughan
Release Date December 5, 2017

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34466492-anatomy-of-a-scandal
Review

Without a doubt, one of my favorite reads of 2017. I found myself recommending it to someone when I was only halfway through. I knew (and was right) that it would be a 5 star read.

Anatomy of a Scandal is an intense book that grips you from the very beginning and doesn't let go. There were a few particularly powerful moments when I had to close the book and just absorb what I read, but all that did was compel me to read more. This is a wonderfully and brilliantly written novel.

Anatomy of a Scandal reads like something straight of a newspaper. It's relevancy is astounding and perhaps even slightly scary. This is a gripping and realistic look at the line between consensual sex and rape. It's also a heartbreaking look at how these truths define our lives.

Absolutely recommended. I will certainly be looking forward to reading more from Sarah Vaughan in the future.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

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

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Book Review: Until It Fades

Title Until It Fades
Author K. A. Tucker
Release Date June 27, 2017

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.

For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32035791-until-it-fades
Review

I love anything by K. A. Tucker that I've ever read. I know that I'll always get a quality story with developed characters and stunning writing when I pick up her books. She's an insta-buy author for me.

Until It Fades is different from her other books, though. While we're still treated to all the good qualities of a classic book from K. A. Tucker, we get something new. Something just as fantastic as what we're used to. This book is a lighter and sweeter side of her.

Until It Fades is a slow-burning romance with absolutely no thought to rushing the main characters together. The slow pace made perfect sense for our heroine, though it drives you wild when you know the couple belong together. Trust me, this isn't a flaw in the story. The pacing did nothing but lend believability of the story.

I've never really read a sports romance before, but it didn't interfere with my enjoyment of the story at all. If anything, I think I'd be more willing to read others now that I've dipped my toes in the water and had a pleasant experience.

Whether you're already a K. A. Tucker fan or if you're new to her work, I think Until It Fades will be a winner for most everyone that enjoys a sweet and slow-burning romance.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (#15)


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!

Top Ten Books I've Read So Far in 2017 

In no particular order, of course!

Clicking on a cover will take you to that book's Goodreads page!




What have been your favorite reads of 2017 so far? Leave a link to your Top Ten Tuesday down below and I'll be sure to stop by!