Review: Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson

Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson
Expected Publication: November 5, 2013
Format: E-Arc via NetGalley
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Rating 4/5

A deeply moving, beautifully-written picture of how the smallest crack in a relationship slowly, over decades, becomes a canyon too wide to bridge.

When Lucy meets Matt on a blind date, Matt is instantly hooked; he sees Lucy as the fun, sexy, and wickedly smart girl of his dreams. Although she’s still getting over an old lover, Lucy is won over by Matt’s sweet, thoughtful nature. But 20 years later, alone in an empty house trying to imagine the lives of her two young children, Lucy comes to realize that the little lies you tell can create more damage than the truth you’re hiding.

My Thoughts
The story of Matt and Lucy was doomed from the get go. Lucy was a wild, fun sexual woman while Matt was the honest to god good guy every mother wants for her daughter. Lucy had been and quite honestly was still in love with her ex Griffin. Lucy and Griffin had that kind of raw magnetic pull to each other that was all wrong; they only things they shared were sex and drugs, nothing “real.”

Lucy decides to go out on a blind date with Matt and wasn’t really interested but kind of used him to get over Griffin. After months of dating Matt, she finds out she is pregnant and just when she was going to tell him Griffin shows up. Instead of pushing Griffin away she spends one last night with him. Fast forward a few years and Lucy and Matt are married and have one child and another on the way. Lucy is starting to feel trapped; she thought she could be happy with Matt and live that “perfect” family lifestyle. After having her son she suffers from post-partum depression. She feels lost but with the help of Matt she begins to find her way and decides to get a job to help her get out of the house for a few hours. That’s when it happens…she spots Griffin.

Lucy just can’t help herself and she begins to have an affair, soon after Matt founds out and the drama begins. Griffin is like Lucy’s drug. All she thinks about is him, knowing he doesn’t want anything serious. While filing for divorce Matt wants custody but at that time the mother always got custody. Matt doesn’t give up hope; he wants his kids after realizing Lucy is unfit to take care of their children. With drugs and other men around he wants better for his kids, so he decides to take matters into his own hands. On a family vacation he decides he will kidnap the kids and start over.

Not to give it all away but let’s just say there are years of being on the run and things aren’t so easy for Lucy either. While I didn’t like the character of Lucy, being selfish and all you can’t help feel her pain in wanting to find her children. But was it all Lucy’s fault? She was always very clear to Matt about who she was and about her past. Matt always knew he was second in Lucy’s life…after Griffin but he always thought he could change her.

So it is true we only believe what we want to believe? We all know deep down what is right and what is wrong but sometimes our hearts lead us and not our heads. This is what makes me love this story however the ending….made me want more! I'm that kind of person who needs everything tied up in bow and wants no stones left unturned. This is a wonderfully written story about family, love, and sometimes doing the wrong things for the right reasons.  I highly recommend this…PLEASE READ THIS! It will definitely make you question if we are really truthful with the people in our lives, but most importantly are we honestly truthful with ourselves.


WoW [52]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

This week’s WoW feature is:
How to Meet Boys by Catherine Clark
Expected Publication: May 6, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Lucy can’t wait to spend the summer at the lake with her best friend, Mikayla. But when Jackson, the boy she’s been avoiding ever since he rejected her, reappears in her life, Lucy wonders if this summer to remember is one she’d rather forget.

Mikayla’s never had much luck talking to boys, but when she (literally) runs into the cutest guy she’s ever seen, and sparks fly, she thinks things might be looking up...until she realizes the adorable stranger is the same boy who broke her best friend’s heart.

As things begin to heat up between Mikayla and the one guy she should avoid, will Lucy be able to keep her cool or will the girls’ perfect summer turn into one hot mess?

Why I Can’t Wait....
If this doesn’t look like the perfect summer read then I don’t know what does. Great story and who can resist a cute summer romance?

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks!


Holiday Reads [Review]: A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer
Published: October 29, 2013
Format: E-Arc via NetGalley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 3/5

Holidays on this Massachusetts island are nothing short of magical, from the jolly decorations on the Brant Point lighthouse to the much anticipated Christmas Stroll, in which merrymakers promenade through quaint streets adorned with Yuletide cheer. The season’s wonderful traditions are much loved by Nicole Somerset, new to Nantucket and recently married to a handsome former attorney. Their home is already full of enticing scents of pine, baking spices, and homemade pie.
But the warm, festive mood is soon tempered by Nicole’s chilly stepdaughter, Kennedy, who arrives without a hint of holiday spirit. Determined to keep her stepmother at arms’ length—or, better yet, out of the picture altogether—Kennedy schemes to sabotage Nicole’s holiday preparations. Nicole, however, is not about to let anyone or anything tarnish her first Christmas with her new husband.

My Thoughts
I was really excited to read this one since I’m a big fan of Nancy Thayer’s summer reads that mainly focus in Nantucket. This story is about Kennedy who is going back home for the holidays to visit her dad and stepmom. Kennedy who has a little boy and is expecting again still has hopes, and in my opinion disillusions of her parents getting back together. This seems a little odd seeing how her dad is now happily remarried to Nicole and her mom has a much younger boyfriend. All of this doesn’t stop Kennedy who’s setting a plan in motion on getting her parents back together and knocking Nicole out of the picture.

While I loved Thayer’s description of Nantucket as a winter wonderland, I was kind of disappointed in the plot of the story. Honestly I just saw Kennedy as a very spoiled rich girl who just wanted her way. Although she does come around in the end I just didn’t like her very much.  I mean seriously sometimes I forgot how old she was because you thought she was a child with the way she was acting.

I had high hopes for this read, but I just felt it fell flat. All in all it was just an ok read. Nothing fab but I’ve read way worse before.


Release Event: Meant for Her by Raine Thomas

Meant for Her by Raine Thomas
Publisher: Iambe Books, LLC
Released: October 17, 2013
Buy/Add: Amazon | Barnesand Noble | Goodreads I Kobo I iBooks

Evan Dorsey is a sexy, brooding male with a checkered past. After writing For Everly, which features a more stable, gentlemanly male lead, I wanted to write about an enigmatic guy with a dark edge to him. Early readers of Meant for Her have told me that there were times in the story where they wanted to hit Evan, and other times that he made them positively swoon. Fortunately, that’s just how I wanted him to come across. As a professional baseball player, Evan enjoys living a rootless existence.  The one person he had tying him to a location dies tragically just two months before the beginning of Meant for Her, and he’s determined not to get so invested in a person or place again. His resistance to forming attachments sometimes makes him treat others in ways intended to drive them away, a form of self-sabotage.

Once an attachment does form, however, Evan is fiercely loyal and protective of his friends. He’s not afraid to get physical if it means defending someone he cares about or protecting someone who’s being bullied. There’s a tenderness beneath his gruff exterior that surprises even him on occasion. Physically, Evan is a sublime specimen. He works out daily and takes care of himself, wanting to remain in prime athletic condition. He bears a variety of tattoos on his chest, back, and arms, all of them having meaning to him. His short, dark hair and intense blue eyes combined with his Australian accent and shiny black Harley-Davidson all serve to make him one irresistible rascal.

Photographer Sierra Stratton views the world through a lens all her own. She has an uncanny sense about people, something that often causes her trouble. When she meets the sexy and brooding Evan Dorsey, her intuition tells her he’s suffering, and she wants to be the one to help him. Evan isn’t open to help from anyone, however. His focus is on his Major League career and making himself as marketable as possible for his upcoming free agency. He plans to ride out the season in Atlanta and then sign with another team, away from the painful memories that haunt him. Someone’s eager to send him on his way, too. Between anonymous threats and equipment sabotage, it’s clear he’s earned himself an enemy along the way. To him, it’s one more sign that he’s right to move on. But Sierra threatens his conviction. Her contagious smile proves hard to resist, as does her kiss. She tempts him in ways he never anticipated, making him question his plans for the first time. If he’s not careful, she might just convince him that he’s meant for her.

“There’s something invigorating about autumn in Atlanta,” she said. She shared the same southern accent as Cole, he realized. “It represents promise.” “Promise for what?” She shrugged. “Endless possibilities.”

He frowned. What the hell did that mean? Once again, she took his hand. Her hand was dwarfed by his, but he couldn’t deny that the contact felt nice. “You looked lost in there, Evan Dorsey. I thought maybe I could do something to help guide you on your way.” Pulling his hand from hers, he said, “You don’t know anything about me.” “I don’t need to.” She tilted her head to the side and looked at him with her compelling eyes. “Have you been sick?”

The question made him glance away. He supposed she hadn’t done her research before making this approach. Still, she was closer to the truth than made him comfortable. Her voice was quiet when she continued, “I ask because your suit looks tailored, but it’s loose on you right now, as though you’ve lost weight. There are dark circles under your eyes, making me think you aren’t sleeping well and probably haven’t been eating right. And your hair is short, like it’s just growing back. Since your scalp is pale, I assume you don’t normally wear your hair that way.” Jesus, she was observant. Shaking his head, he turned to walk back into the reception. “I see,” she said. Her tone made him hesitate. “I’m so sorry for your loss, Evan.” When her slender arms went around him from behind, he didn’t know what to do. No one had ever offered him such a pure gesture of comfort. Everyone who attended the funeral had been too emotionally involved to do so, not that it would have been welcome. But this hug from a stranger was about to undo him. He stood frozen in place as she walked around him to face him again. His gaze moved down to her bare feet and noted that her nails were the same shade of purple as the streaks in her hair. Belatedly, he considered how cold she must be.

About the Author
Raine Thomas is the author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult romantic fiction, including the award-winning Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy and Firstborn Trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing, or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Social Media Links:
Twitter (http://twitter/Raine_Thomas)
Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/rainethomas)
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Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/raine_thomas/)
Linkedin (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/raine-thomas/53/111/bb3)
Website (http://rainethomas.com)
Blog (http://RaineThomas.com/blog/)

Check out the Book Trailer here


Holiday Reads: Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews
Released: October 15, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Format: Finished copy via publisher
Rating: 4/5

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and Savannah was breezy
But there's trouble afoot - and it's heading toward Weezie.
Seems BeBe’s been holding a big secret back that would make Santa’s reindeer stop dead in their tracks.
Can these two best friends wriggle out of these twists? Will they do it in time to ensure CHRISTMAS BLISS?

My Thoughts
Christmas Bliss is a novel about two best friends, Weezie and BeBe and their troubled lives that are happening weeks leading up to Christmas.

Weezie is set to marry the love of her life on Christmas Day but first she must try and organize her life and keep her family and friends all happy at the same time. Her fiancé is a chef who has been offered a dream job in NYC but Weezie is forced to decide between glamorous New York, and her small hometown which she adores. Not to mention she has to deal with her mother who isn’t ready to face the reality of her fathers on-setting dementia.

BeBe on the other hand is very pregnant living with her boyfriend but refuses to marry again after several bad marriages. One day her world is rocked when she finds out that her divorce from her first marriage never happen, that her ex never signed the papers! The last she knew he was in prison and hasn’t heard from him since. She is forced to go back and come face to face with her past if she ever hopes to have a real future with the man she now loves.

Christmas Bliss is the fourth book in Mary Kay Andrews Blue series. I must admit I never read the others but now that I’ve read this one I can’t wait to dive into the others. No worries! If you haven’t read the others either don’t let this stop you from checking this novel out. It truly reads like a stand-alone. I’ve become a huge fan of Mary Kay Andrews her books are wonderfully written and will make you laugh out loud. With out of this world characters, all with that sassy Southern flair not to mention with Christmas as the back drop you can’t go wrong with this awesome holiday read.


WoW [51]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week’s WoW feature is:

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal
Expected Publication: June 14, 2014
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux [BYR]

What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?
Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss—the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died—is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn’t a suicide as everyone assumes. She can’t remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she’s worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend.
If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she’ll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made—good and bad—that led to her last kiss.

Why I Can’t Wait....
Wow indeed! Don’t you just love that gorgeous cover? Plus the story sounds amazing! Can’t wait to get my hands on this gem!
What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks!


Review: Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano

Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano
Published: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Harper
Format: Copy via publisher
Rating: 2/5

A young girl tells the story of her family's tragic demise using a deck of cards of the eponymous Mexican game in this spellbinding debut novel that marks the arrival of a powerhouse new talent.

With her older sister Estrella in the ICU and her father in jail, eleven-year-old Luz Castillo has been taken into the custody of the state. Alone in her room, the young girl retreats behind a wall of silence, writing in her journal and shuffling through a deck of Lotería cards-a Mexican version of bingo featuring bright, colorful images.

Neither the social worker assigned to her case nor her Aunt Tencha, who desperately pleads for her niece's release, can cajole Luz to speak. The young girl's only confidant is her journal. Within its pages, Luz addresses an invisible higher power, sharing her secrets.

Using the Lotería cards as her muse, Luz picks one card from the deck with each shuffle. Each of the cards' colorful images- mermaids, bottles, spiders, death, and stars-sparks a random memory. Pieced together, these snapshots bring into focus the joy and pain of the young girl's life, and the events that led to her present situation. But just as the story becomes clear, a breathtaking twist changes everything.

My Thoughts
I received this a few days ago and was really taken by the description so I dived right in. This reads more like novella than a novel; it’s a fast and easy read. The cover and illustrations are so vivid in color very true to the Loteria cards.

I was very intrigued by Luz’s story, the story is told by her conversions to someone who is simply called YOU. She tells her story by shuffling the deck and pulling the cards of the Loteria game. However I felt by doing that it was just a bunch of random stories, I just didn’t feel a connection. I really wanted to like the story; it had a good premise maybe it was just the way it was formatted that I didn’t like.

I was very interested in knowing the story of how her sister was in the ICU and why her dad was in jail. I also enjoyed her telling of family memories when things were good. Like all good things they must come to an end though. The root of it all is family, loyalty and the cards that life has dealt you. I think I would’ve rather had more of a story minus feeling that the story was forced by the cards.


Holiday Reads: Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

I know it’s a tad too early for anything Christmas, but what can I say…I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! Yep, I’m one of those freaks who just loves any and everything that comes with the season. While others get sad, mad or just plain grumpy I’m the total opposite. I just come alive during this time of year, which is kind of strange since I live in Texas and it hardly gets cold this far south. However maybe that’s why I love it so much, anything beats 100+ degrees!

So from now until Christmas I will be posting reviews under the offering: HOLIDAY READS. Some are new some are old but all give you options to settle down and snuggle under a warm blanket with a hot drink and enjoy some magical holiday reads.

Starry Night: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber
Published: October 15, 2013
Format: E-Arc via NetGalley
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

My Thoughts
First off I’m a huge fan of Debbie Macomber, her books are so great and her characters are well written and a bit quirky. What I enjoy most is of course the romance! Starry Night doesn’t disappoint either, though I don’t really know why it’s called a Christmas novel since it doesn’t just focus on that time but the whole holidays in general.

I loved the romance of Carrie and Finn, like any love story there is a bit of dislike in the beginning but you know that’s all a lie because you feel the attractive between these two from the very start. Two souls who aren’t looking for love, since they both have been hurt but two who have lots of it to give. While they both admit they are from different worlds, they can’t deny that there is something there that pulls them together.

What started out as a regular job assignment turns out to be true love. Two people who are meant to be together no matter what others think. There is something magical to be said about the holidays. Many think it’s cheesy and just for kids, but I still believe that anything can happen during that time of year. So yes it can be a bit cheesy but I like a novel that can give you hope. I love it when everything turns out the way it should, what’s wrong with that? So pick up this novel, it has a great romance and background of the holidays just adds to its magic.


WoW [50]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week’s WoW feature is:

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Expected Publication: July 1, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig. I am looking for the things that are buried.

Why I Can’t Wait....
I’ve been getting into a lot of mysteries/thrillers lately. I love a great book that can take you on a journey that you never see coming. I think this one is one of those.

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks!


Review: Watch Me Disappear by Diane V. Mulligan

Watch Me Disappear by Diane V. Mulligan
Published: September 1, 2012
Format: Free Kindle read
Rating: 3/5

Lizzie Richards isn’t excited to be starting over at a new school for her senior year, but she’s trying to take her mother’s advice and make the most of it—the only way she can: By disobeying her strict parents’ rules. Lizzie’s father has moved the family around every few years to advance his career, so she has never had a chance to develop the kind of “BFF” relationships she thinks most kids have. She’s bracing herself for another lonely year at her third high school when her neighbor Maura gets sick of watching her little brother when she could be partying. Thanks to Maura’s plotting, Lizzie becomes everyone’s new favorite babysitter. Seeing her opportunity, Lizzie decides to break her mother’s rules by using Maura’s computer to create a secret Email address and Facebook account. She is quickly friended by Missy, a fellow transfer student as eager for a friend as she is. Things are looking up for Lizzie until Maura’s ex-boyfriend Paul sets his eye on Missy. Caught between her new best friend and the neighbor whose friendship promises instant popularity, Lizzie doesn’t know what to do—because she’s fallen for Paul, too.

My Thoughts
This story had promise and potential yet it just never made it. Lizzie and her family moved at the start of her senior year of high school. She was forced to become friends the girl next door, Missy. One night by babysitting she became serious and ended up going through Missy’s computer. Needless to say Missy figured it out and it became her mission to make Lizzie’s life miserable.

I took that as a sign that something was bound to happen. You know the turning point where you know good or bad, this is the where the action starts. Well, boy was I wrong! Nothing ever happened! It was just a basic story of a year in the life of a high school student. You know parties, going to the mall, hanging with friends. This wouldn’t be wrong, it’s just that I always had a feeling like something was coming ahead but just never did.

I wanted more of a story; I wanted the author to experiment more with the characters.  I felt the author was taking us into one direction, yet the storyline ended up going totally another way. It wasn’t all bad, I just hate when I feel like it’s going a certain way yet it never did. I just felt underwhelmed that’s all.


Cover Reveal: What Remains by Nicole R. Taylor

What Remains by Nicole R. Taylor
Publication date: October 15th 2013
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic
Add to Goodreads
Buy: Amazon/Smashwords

I’d never known true darkness until the lights went out.
I had never known what it was to be hungry.
Everyone I ever knew was dead. If they weren’t, then they wished they were.

I know I did.

Prue Ashford has been surviving alone in the Australian bush for the last three years. After an unknown virus wiped out most of the human population, she escaped the chaos and hid. Every town and city was locked down into quarantine, but that only led to the inevitable. Death.

Living off the land, avoiding other survivors turned bad, she’s led a lonely life, surviving on the edge of a very narrow cliff. The moment she begins to lose hope is when she meets the handsome and enigmatic, Shaw.

He’s the first human being she’s seen in three years that hasn’t tried to kill her and she doesn’t dare to hope. She’d given up finding anyone alive that still had goodness inside of them.

Her only option if she wants to live is to trust Shaw and he takes her to the isolated community he calls home. Being among people again is it’s own challenge and Prue finds herself tested on every front. Making friends was never easy for her and making them after an apocalypse is even harder.

Hannah, the town’s apprentice doctor, becomes the closest thing Prue has to a best friend and Nan fast becomes her surrogate mother. Shaw brings feelings to the surface that she would rather forget and Eva, the mayor’s daughter, seems hell bent on making her life a living hell.

In the end, Prue must make a decision. Stay in the town at the end of the world and learn how to love again, or go back into the wasteland of human civilisation and go it alone.

What Remains is a gritty story of human survival. When society crumbles and chaos reigns, people become desperate. They turn to violence and resort to extreme measures to go on living. Parts of this story may be confronting for some people. It contains violent situations staged by desperate people, the extremes that people go to to show their love and a dose of bad language. It’s recommended for readers 18 and up.

Nicole R. Taylor is a Paranormal, Urban Fantasy and Contemporary Romance author from country Victoria, Australia.

Previously, she has written for various small street press music and entertainment publications as a gig and album reviewer before publishing her first Urban Fantasy novel in early 2013.

When she isn't writing, Nicole likes to spend time curled up with a good book and her 3-year-old rescue cat, Burger. She gets itchy feet more often than not and has lived in three countries and travelled to three times as many.

Author Links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


WoW [49]

Waiting on Wednesday [WoW] is a weekly event hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week’s WoW feature is:

Lies You Wanted to Hear by James Whitfield Thomson
Expected Publication: November 5, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

A deeply moving, beautifully-written picture of how the smallest crack in a relationship slowly, over decades, becomes a canyon too wide to bridge.

 When Lucy meets Matt on a blind date, Matt is instantly hooked; he sees Lucy as the fun, sexy, and wickedly smart girl of his dreams. Although she’s still getting over an old lover, Lucy is won over by Matt’s sweet, thoughtful nature. But 20 years later, alone in an empty house trying to imagine the lives of her two young children, Lucy comes to realize that the little lies you tell can create more damage than the truth you’re hiding.

Why I Can’t Wait....
I sense a little mystery here. Can’t wait to read what exactly these “little lies” are. Sounds like an awesome and intriguing read.

What are you waiting on? Please link me up to yours. I’d love to see your picks!


Review: Style Me Sexy[Short Novella] by Tara Chevrestt

Style Me Sexy [Short Novella] by Tara Chevrestt
Published: October 2013
Format: NetGalley
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Rating 2/5

A charming short story about beauty, the beholder, and believing in yourself.

Bridget knows she isn’t beautiful; her ex made that point abundantly clear. So when her online-only romance suddenly leads to a real-life blind date, she beelines to the salon for a makeover. She’s dismayed and embarrassed when her usual stylist isn’t available and the sexy Javier steps in.

Javier has long been aware of the timid but kind woman, and vows to take this opportunity to make her see that she's beautiful on the outside, as well as in. Will he succeed in keeping his own feelings at bay and style her sexy?

My Thoughts
I normally don’t like novellas but since I have so many on my Kindle I figured this past weekend I would finally just read a bunch of them. I really wanted to like this but I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t believe the connection between the two characters.  I liked the whole idea of the online romance meeting thing, but I just felt they were making Bridget into this ugly duckling person which I didn’t buy into. Without giving it away I just felt this novella was quite predictable, no real surprises. It had the making of something great; but just fell kind of flat in my eyes.


DNF: How to Love by Katie Cotugo

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Published October 1, 2013
Format: E-ARC provided by Edelweiss
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Rating: DNF

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

My Thoughts
I really debated if I should even write a review for this book, for the sole reason I simply didn’t finish it. It really did pain me since I always finish things I start. Even if I don’t like something I usually just push through it and be done with it.

I was so pumped up wanting to read this book when I first heard about. Then I saw so many people talking about it and saying so many amazing things that I was like yes I can’t wait!

So why couldn’t I finish? Honestly I just couldn’t connect with the characters, plain and simple. Do you know the thing that bugged me the most? Sawyer! I honestly didn’t and couldn’t see what Reena saw in him. He seemed like a guy who was toying with her when he wanted. Granted I only read halfway through the book but I hated him so much. I couldn’t for the life of me see what she saw in him. I just couldn’t buy into their "love story."

Maybe in the future I will revisit it and see if I can finish it. I might be one the few who didn’t get it but this is just my opinion.


Review: Hereafter [Shadowlands #2] by Kate Brian

Hereafter [Shadowlands #2] by Kate Brian
Published: October 1, 2013
Format: ARC provided by publisher
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating: 3/5

Rory Miller thought her life was over when a serial killer set his sights on her and forced her into witness protection. But a fresh start on Juniper Landing Island was exactly what she and her family needed. For the first time in years she and her sister hang out at the beach, gossip about boys, and party together. She's also made friends with a local clique--including a magnetic and mysterious boy named Tristan.

But Rory's world is about to change again. Picturesque Juniper Landing isn't what it seems. The truth about the swirling fog that rolls in each morning, the bridge that leads to nowhere, and those beautiful locals who seem to watch Rory's every move is more terrifying than being hunted by Steven Nell. And all Rory ever wanted was the truth. Even if it means learning that she can never go home again. From the best-selling author of the Private and Privilege series comes the second novel in a heart-stopping trilogy about a girl who must pick up the pieces after the only life she's ever known ends.

My Thoughts
I must admit I was disappointed in this sequel to Shadowlands. This book left me wanting way more. I honestly felt it was a filler novel. It didn’t tell me that much more than I didn’t know from the previous novel.

In this novel it picked up where Shadowlands left off. We learned that not everything is what it seems in Juniper Landing. Rory found out she was indeed dead and so was her family. She learned she is a “lifer” someone who will stay there and help usher in those who aren’t ready to move on. 

However some strange things start to happen and those who were supposed to go to heaven were indeed ushered to the “shadowlands.” Not to mention things that never had happen before suddenly do. Many wonder if it’s Rory that has brought this odd behavior with her. While I liked certain parts of this book, I just felt there were things missing. I just didn’t feel there was enough of a story for my taste. I didn’t feel a connection with this one as I did with the first.

I’m hoping that in the final installment we get more of a story and hopefully get more questions answered. All in all I thought this book was simply… alright. Not bad but clearly not as good as the previous book.


Book Blitz: Dragonfly and Undertow by Leigh Talbert Moore

Dragonfly [Dragonfly #1] by Leigh Talbert Moore
Release Date: June 6, 2013
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Summary from Goodreads:
Falling in love changes everything...

Three bad things I learned this year:
-People you trust lie, even parents.
-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one.
-Things are not always how they appear.

Three good things I learned this year:
-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away.
-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one.
-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.

Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.

Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced... Until he mysteriously withdrew.

Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father.

A secret that could permanently change all their lives.

Undertow [Dragonfly #2] by Leigh Talbert Moore
Release Date: July 18, 2013
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Summary from Goodreads:
Falling in love will pull you under...
Bill Kyser has a plan to take the sandy farms of his hometown and turn them into a world-class tourist destination--and become a billionaire in the process.

Alexandra "Lexy" LaSalle has a plan to change her life by becoming a world-famous artist.

Meg Weaver has a plan to hold onto Bill no matter what she has to do.

Three friends, three dreams.
One fatal decision will change all their lives forever.

In Dragonfly, Bill Kyser gave Anna the three journals that held the story behind the powerful developer's seclusion and the damaged lives of his family members.

Anna hoped to find a way for Julian to know the truth, but as she digs deeper into the tragic events of the past, she realizes silence could be the only option.

Now she's in an alliance with the man she formerly feared. And if Julian finds out what she knows, she could lose for good the boy she's starting to love.

A half-step, and I was in his arms. A glint of blue and his mouth covered mine. I trembled as his hands traveled up the sides of my dress to my shoulders then lightly cupped my cheeks.

His lips moved to the corner of my mouth, then my jaw, and a tiny noise slipped from my throat. I was tense and electric, and all I could think of were his soft lips touching me, my fingers exploring the hard lines of his stomach through his thin cotton shirt.

His mouth traveled to my ear, where he kissed me lightly before whispering. “Let’s sit.”

Taking my hand, he sat in the sand and pulled me onto his lap, and I watched as he unbuttoned his shirt, revealing his lined chest. Then he took my hands and placed my palms flat on his warm skin. Gorgeous.

“Now you,” he said, and his arms circled to my back.

I was breathing fast as he slid my zipper down and my straps fell to the sides. My head was so light, I could barely breathe. This was all new to me, and there was no way I was stopping it. My shoulders shook, and I looked down.

“Are you afraid?” he whispered.

I shook my head no, lying. He cupped my chin, tilting my face up, and looked into my eyes. The breeze blew his golden hair around his cheeks, and I was convinced this was what an angel looked like.

About the Author
Leigh Talbert Moore is the author of the popular young adult romantic comedy The Truth About Faking, its companion The Truth About Letting Go, and the mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel Rouge, a Quarter Finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
She is an award-winning journalist and editor, who has also worked in marketing and public relations for many years. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the southeast and Midwest U.S., and she runs the popular writing-craft blog That’s Write. A southern ex-pat and beach bum, she currently lives with her husband, two young children, and one grumpy cat in the Midwest.
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