5.30.2014

May Wrap-Up

Wow how has time has passed we are already mid year! May brought a few good reads though I must admit I’ve been in such a reading slump. Though some of new summer reads are just want I need. Just light fluffy stuff with some romance thrown in for good measure. Speaking of books it’s about that time to share what I’ve read, bought, and received from publishers last month and of course a little music thrown in for good measure.


What I’ve read this month… 

*The Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick
*Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
*The Only & Only by Emily Giffin
*- my super faves = BUY IT!




Received from publishers [physical books]…
A Long Time Gone by Karen White
Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
The Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick
One Plus One by JoJo Moyes
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Received via NetGalley/Edelweiss… 
The Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe
The Witch of Belladonna Bay by Suzanne Palmieri
Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse
Close to Brokenhearted by Michael Hiebert
The Beach Quilt by Holly Chamberlain
The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

                               What I’ve purchased [physical]…
Mad Girls in Love by Michael Lee West
American Pie by Michael Lee West
The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

                                                   Purchased [Kindle]…
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The One & Only by Emily Giffin


I don’t know what it is about summer that makes me wanna listen to country. Maybe it’s the Texas heat but here are a few of my favorite country jams.

5.29.2014

Review:We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhart

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt 
Published: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: E-copy via NetGalley
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis
Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellaya. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They're a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell's a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she's happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it's wrong, and she must do something about it.

My Thoughts
I am very torn when writing this review. I was so caught up in the synopsis from the start that I couldn’t wait to read it. When I finally did it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Cons:
I was instantly drawn into the whole “secret” that one sis has over the other. I am a sucker for secrets and lies so I was just waiting. Well I waited…waited…and waited. When it was revealed I was like REALLY??!! Ugh! Talk about a letdown. Not to say this book is bad it’s not it just wasn’t what I thought it would be. I also didn’t like the way it was told. It was like told in third person by one of the sisters. I was just utterly confused.

Pros:
I liked the basic story of two sisters who are struggling to deal with coming into their own. Trying to find their own identify and not simply own as one. I also liked how they are trying to deal with the after math of their parents’ divorce. Plus despite their differences and arguments I love their dedication to each other. Their bond is one that is beyond everything.

So maybe my problems with the book aren’t so much the book but my thoughts and expectations of it going into it. I hate when I do that, setting myself up for failure before I even start. So I’ll say this is one of those 50/50 things for me. It can go one way or another.

5.28.2014

WoW [74]

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

The Road by Jay McLean
Expected Publication: December 2014

Synopsis...

*Chloe*

For four years I watched him roaming the halls of high school, always quiet, without a single clue of his A-list status. Then one night he ran into me, literally. He thought he saved me, but he had no idea how impossible that was. Now he wants to talk. Now he wants to get to know me. Now he thinks he's in love with me.
Stupid, stupid boy.  

 *Blake*

I wish I'd found her earlier, but she chose to stay invisible. I watched her take in the world one breath at a time, while living her life alone. I told her that I saved her that night, but I lied. I think she saved me. She wants to push me away and tell me I'm wrong, but it's too late. Now she's been noticed. Now she's a part of me. Now I'm in love with her.
Beautiful, beautiful girl.

Why I Can’t Wait…
I love a story told in dual voices. I feel as if we get the full story. We see things from both sides.


Feel free to link me to yours.

5.27.2014

Review: Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly –Whittemore 
Published: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Format: via publisher in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
On scholarship at a prestigious East Coast college, ordinary Mabel Dagmar is surprised to befriend her roommate, the beautiful, blue-blooded Genevra Winslow. Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer at Bittersweet, her cottage on the Vermont estate where her family has been holding court for more than a century; it's the kind of place where swimming boldly is required and the children twirl sparklers across the lawn during cocktail hour. Mabel falls in love with the midnight skinny-dips, the wet dog smell lingering in the air, the moneyed laughter carrying across the still lake, and before she knows it, she has everything she's ever wanted: wealth, friendship, a boyfriend, and, most of all, the sense, for the first time in her life, that she belongs.

But as Mabel becomes an insider, she makes a terrible discovery, which leads to shocking violence and the revelation of the true source of the Winslows' fortune. Mabel must choose: either expose the ugliness surrounding her and face expulsion from paradise, or keep the family’s dark secrets and redefine what is good and what is evil, in the interest of what can be hers.

My Thoughts
This is one of those stories that is so epic it’s beyond any and everything. Bittersweet has everything that you want in a story. This is the story of Mabel and her relationship with her roommate Ev. After never really talking much during their year at school Ev invites Mabel to spend the summer with her and her rich family. Mabel having no other viable options decides to go despite something telling her not to. Once she’s there she realizes she wasn’t brought there as a friend but more as a cover-up. Ev is having a secret relationship with one of caretakers and uses Mabel to cover-up her secret romance.

Mabel realizes that she is in over her head when she sees the entire Winslow’s in all their glory. They are a family who believes in tradition, old money, and that they feel they are utterly untouchable. They also have secrets so scandalous that it will knock you off your feet.  What I find most shocking is that just about everyone knows these secrets and continue to do nothing about them. They just continue to go with the status quo. It's mind boggling! Not to be undone Mabel has one of her own that doesn’t make her any better than them. Mabel soon gets caught up in their lifestyle and wants what they have; even more she wants to be one of them. In the process she soon finds herself in the middle of their drama and secrets but does she had what it takes to stand up for what’s right or does she crumble when they flex their power? At first I saw Mabel as a victim, taken advantage of, maybe even mutilated by these powerful people but then but the end I thought of her as the one doing all of this. She isn’t so innocent in her plans either. She wants what she wants and has no qualms about it.

Bittersweet is one of those summer reads that draws you in with its beautiful landscapes and equally intense writing. Its layers of story lines keeps you locked in and doesn’t let you go. Just when you think you have figured out something, you are thrown a curve ball you never saw coming. Its twists and turns are a thing of beauty. This is one of those books that will leave you shocked, sadden and beyond emotions when you are done. This is one book you have to read to believe.

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review."

5.22.2014

Feature and Follow Friday

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers -- but you have to know -- the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it'll allow us to show off more new blogs!

This week’s question…

Have you ever convinced someone to read a book, a series, or a whole genre? What book(s) and who was it? Did they like it?

I’ve convinced my mom to read YA! It started with The Hunger Games, then If I Stay which lead to Where She Went and The Fault in Our Stars. She loved them. I really want her to read Rainbow Rowell next. I love that she is opening up to other genres.


Feel free to add me however you like…GFC, Bloglovin, Twitter, and/or Goodreads. Be sure to link me up to yours so I can follow back.

Book Blitz: A Sweet Life Boxed Set

A Sweet Life Boxed Set 
(Fourteen Contemporary Romances by Bestselling Authors to Benefit Diabetes Research)
Publication date: May 1st 2014
Add to Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon / BN / Kobo / iTunes

Synopsis
Have your cake and eat it too–your purchase of A Sweet Life helps fight against diabetes!

Priced at only 2.99 (regular price 7.99), indulge in this stunning limited edition collection of fourteen contemporary romances by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors…

You can make a difference while you read! All proceeds from the sale of A Sweet Life will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

Featuring a foreword by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber.

Get your copy today!

1500 pages/ 675 000 words

I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre (The Sullivans)
The only woman wealthy Irish pub owner Jake McCann wants is the one he can’t have–Sophie Sullivan, his best friend’s off limits sister. But when the beautiful librarian appears on his doorstep as his every fantasy come to life, even though Jake knows loving Sophie isn’t the right thing to do…how can he possibly resist?

On A Night Like This by Barbara Freethy (Callways #1)
From #1 NY Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes the first book about the Callaways, a big Irish family born to serve and protect, many as San Francisco firefighters.

May Day! By Heather Graham
Members of the Krewe of Hunters team plan a relaxing vacation to jolly old London for the English celebration–they never figured that a May Pole just might be murder.

Shopping for a Billionaire by Julia Kent
When mystery shopper Shannon Jacoby meets billionaire Declan McCormick with her hand down a toilet in the men’s room of one of his stores, it’s love at first flush.

Built to Last by Susan Mallery
The tale of Aaron Cross, a man who doesn’t know he needs saving…until he meets Marissa Spencer, a heroine inspired by the real life founder of the Motheread/ Fatheread Literacy Program.

A Baby of Her Own by Brenda Novak
Delaney is tired of waiting for the right man–all she wants is a baby. After seducing a handsome stranger, she returns to Dundee to find that same man is actually taking up residence on a ranch just outside of town–where he will very likely realize she’s expecting.

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
In relationships, Ian Dare offers the bare minimum–until one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor changes his perspective. Their affair heats up and love comes into play, but Riley’s secret past just might cost them everything.

Executive Seduction by Jennifer Probst
When Chandler Santell turns to Logan Grant, the most ruthless CEO in the finance industry to save her beloved Yoga and Arts Center, she never intended to have seduction as part of the plan…

In Too Deep by RaeAnne Thayne
Though fiercely drawn to the comfort of Andrea McPhee’s arms, Will Tanner isn’t sure he can find room for a woman like her in a life focused on vengeance–until he discovers she has secrets of her own.

Every Girl Does It by Rachel Van Dyken
Amanda gets a flash from the past when the nerdy kid she rejected in high school suddenly reappears in her life…dead sexy, he’s all man and he wants her.

Homecoming Season by Susan Wiggs
Miranda Sweeney and her family find hope and healing while spending an autumn at Willow Lake after Miranda survives breast cancer.

 FORWARD

A SWEET LIFE

I have no memories of my paternal grandmother.  My best guess is that I was barely four years old when she died.  But, I like to think I inherited my love of knitting from her.  My older cousins tell the story of sitting in a semi-circle in front of her rocking chair and watching her crochet.  Her fingers moved at a frantic speed as she rocked back and forth.  The amazing part is that she was sound asleep and snoring!  
My father, who was the youngest boy, was basically raised by his oldest sister, my aunt Betty, because my grandmother was diabetic.  She was often tired and sickly, spending the majority of her time in bed.  
Another memory my cousins have shared with me is of our grandmother boiling her hypodermic needles because she was insulin dependent.  My father and three of my uncles were also diabetic and, by the end of their lives, insulin-dependent as well.  And now several of my cousins are affected by the disease.  
Like my cousins, for the last twenty-five years I've been a Type 2 diet-controlled diabetic.
Diabetes is a life-changing disease.  It's estimated that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States are diabetic.  That's 8.3% of the population.  My guess is that we all know someone who is diabetic.
When Brenda Novak's youngest son, Thad, was diagnosed, she went on a one-woman mission to do whatever was necessary to fund research for a cure to this horrible disease.  If you've ever met Brenda you know she is passionate about making a difference.  This is her tenth year holding an auction to raise money for this cause and to date her efforts have resulted in more than $2 million dollars toward research for a cure.  
The book you've purchased will go toward making the dream of a world free of diabetes a reality.  Each one of the authors on this long list of contributors has given of their talent and themselves to aid in this mission.  You're about to read some of the biggest names in the field of romance.  
Three of these talented authors, Susan Wiggs, Barbara Freethy and Rachel Van Dyken, have scored #1 placements on the New York Times best seller lists.  Now that's impressive.  The remaining eleven are all well established authors with booming careers.  In other words, you are in for a real treat.
And really, isn't this the best of all worlds?  Not only is this an enjoyable read but at the same time your purchase is contributing to a worthy cause.  You can't ask for a better win/win situation.
It's been my honor to write the forward.  Keep at it, Brenda.  Not only are you one amazing author, you're a woman with passion and heart.  
Now enjoy.
With warmest wishes,
Debbie Macomber





5.21.2014

WoW [73]

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

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf
Expected Publication: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Synopsis...
Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity;the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for.

Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.

A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together.

Why I Can’t Wait…
This sounds like a very emotional and interesting read. Every so often I love reading a book that makes you think and has a mission behind it. Sounds just awesome!


Feel free to link me to yours.

5.20.2014

Book Blast + Giveway!!: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes


The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Published: May 20, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work!  But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with, if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.


**GIVEAWAY**
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

2 Winners will receive a Copy of The Art of Lainey+Swag by Paula Stokes.



5.19.2014

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse

Since Forever Ago by Olivia Besse  
Release date: May 13th 2014
Publisher: Wunderland Press
Purchase: Amazon
Add to GR

BOOK DESCRIPTION
Fresh off the heels of a devastating breakup, Riley Benson is a mess. But with her ingenious plan to become a ball-busting heartbreaker herself, she’s pretty sure she’ll survive. After all, what better way is there to get revenge than to move on?

Riley’s determined to become the perfect bachelorette—she’s going to drink like a bro, belch like a beast and swear so much that she’ll make even the most seasoned sailors blush. After all, those are the qualities that every guy’s secretly looking for…. aren’t they?

Max Fletcher is in love with the girl who gave him chicken pox and his first broken leg. When his best friend seems to finally be out of the picture, he can’t help but want to keep Riley all to himself. And, after coaching her with the very best of the very worst love advice, it seems as if he might actually get what he's wanted after all those years. But just as the two come to the realization that they're actually kind of perfect for each other, along comes a secret that threatens to tear them apart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Besse is a rookie to the literary scene, moonlighting as a writer to keep what's left of her sanity! Stay tuned for relatable New Adult novels penned by an actual new adult!









**GIVEAWAY**
a Rafflecopter giveaway





5.14.2014

WoW [72]

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

The Right Thing by Amy Conner 
Expected Publication: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Kensington

Synopsis...
On a scorching August day in 1963, seven-year-old Annie Banks meets the girl who will become her best friend. Skinny, outspoken Starr Dukes and her wandering preacher father may not be accepted by polite society in Jackson, Mississippi, but Annie and Starr are too busy sharing secrets and playing elaborate games of Queen for a Day to care. Then, as suddenly as she appeared in Annie's life, Starr disappears.
Annie grows up to follow the path ordained for pretty, well-to-do Jackson women--marrying an ambitious lawyer, filling her days with shopping and charity work. She barely recognizes Starr when they meet twenty-seven years after that first fateful summer, but the bond formed so long ago quickly reemerges. Starr, pregnant by a powerful married man who wants her to get out of town, has nowhere to turn. And Annie, determined not to fail her friend this time, agrees to drive Starr to New Orleans to get money she's owed.

During the eventful road trip that follows, Annie will confront the gap between friendship and responsibility between her safe, ordered existence and the dreams she's grown accustomed to denying.

Moving, witty, and beautifully told, The Right Thing is a story of love and courage, the powerful impact of friendship, and the small acts that can anchor a life--or, with a little luck, steer it in the right direction at last.

Why I Can’t Wait…
Sounds like the perfect summer read. Plus we share a birthday!


Feel free to link me to yours.

5.13.2014

Review: The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me by Suzanne Kingsbury

The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me by Suzanne Kingsbury
Published: March 19, 2002
Publisher: Scribner
Format: Purchased copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Set in Houser Banks, Mississippi, a fictional town frozen in time, Suzanne Kingsbury's debut is an intense and evocative tale of young people coming to terms with the legacy of racism over the course of a sultry Southern summer. Deserted by her mother and raised by her whiskey-drinking, gun-shooting father, beautiful Haley has broken the heart of every boy in town. Yet she hides two intimate and explosive secrets that empower her just as they threaten to undermine everything she holds dear. Haley is engaged in a dangerous flirtation with one of her father's friends when Fletcher Greel, the Judge's son, comes home for the summer, having just graduated from a New England prep school. Fletcher's friend Riley is in love with a blues-singing black girl named Crystal, and Fletcher falls instantly for Haley. These four soon become inseparable, intoxicated by love, desire, and the new-found freedoms of late adolescence.

But Houser Banks is a small town where attitudes hearken back to a time of racism and hatred. As the summer wanes, disapproval of Riley and Crystal's romance takes increasingly violent turns, and Haley's secrets surface to devastating results.

My Thoughts
This is one of my favorite books ever. I actually found this gem at BN in the bargain bin years ago and was instantly taken by the synopsis that I had to have it. I loved this story of Haley and her summer with Fletcher Greel. Fletcher is everything that Haley isn’t and she finds that intimating at first but then she can’t help but fall for him. Haley is from the south where people are stuck in their ways and are stubborn to change. While Fletcher is a guy whose smart and has everything easy in his life. He thinks everyone has his way of thinking. I’m a sucker for the whole opposites attract thing so I enjoyed the romance between these two. However Haley’s has secrets that could change everything she holds dare. Their summer of love is not only fun and adventurous but also has a dark underside.


This is a true coming of age story that will have you glued to its pages. Between the hot summer south and the budding love you can’t help but fall in love and feel for all the characters. It’s equal parts love story, suspense and adventure. Suzanne Kingsbury writing is simply breathe taking and beautiful. She writes of the south with both beauty and darkness with both equally represented in the read. It will make you remember your first love and also make you think. It makes you realize that sometimes love isn’t just enough that sometimes the world isn’t so nice and can be downright cruel at times. I recommend this read to everyone! Afterwards you will feel like you learned and were part of something. It touches all points in what a great read should have. This is the ultimate summer book to read on one of these hot summer days.

5.12.2014

Cover Reveal: Calling California by J.P. Grider

Calling California by J.P. Grider
Publication date: June 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
Cali Parker is poor. She has a lot on her plate – her father is dying, she’s working to help pay the rent, and she’s two-years behind in college.

Griffin Brooks is rich. He has not a care in the world – he’s acing his engineering courses, his hobby is restoring his fifty-thousand dollar classic car, and he has a different girl on his arm every week.

When Cali sees Griffin on her first day of class, she’s immediately smitten and thinks she’s found the perfect guy. When Griffin sees Cali at the bank, he immediately forgets the blonde he was with that morning. Then they meet, and their worlds collide.

Cali doesn’t belong in Griffin’s world, and he doesn’t understand hers. But just when Griffin convinces Cali that their two different worlds can blend, a secret is revealed that tears them apart.

Is their love strong enough to bring them back together, or will their worlds drift further apart?

             AUTHOR BIO
J.P. Grider is a Young Adult and New Adult author. She is the author of six novels. Her young adult series The Honor Trilogy consists of A Touch of Honor, A Man of Honor, and A Heart of Honor, while her first two novels - Unplugged (A Portrait of a Rock Star) and Maybe This Life - are standalone adult contemporary novels. Her most recent release is the new adult romance Calling California, which is the first in her Hunter Hill University series. The next book in the series – Mending Mick – will be released in October, 2014. All the books in the Hunter Hill University series will be standalone books and can be read in any order.

     You can follow J.P. on


5.10.2014

Cover Reveal: Mosaic [Dragonfly #4] by Leigh T. Moore

Mosaic [Dragonfly #4] by Leigh Talbert Moore
Expected Publication: June 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
The future never goes as planned.
People are never what they seem.
Time changes everything.

So you want to know what happened to Anna and Julian? Well, listen up, because I’ve got the whole scoop. I’m Jules, btw, and I am an artist, as you already know if you’ve read Watercolor. What you might not know is I inherited my mother’s cute little newsy nose, thank you very much.

It’s high school reunion time, and everyone’s coming back to Fairview—everyone who’s not already there, mind you. What went wrong, who’s fault it was, and why the heck nobody knew about me… it’s all coming out.

Long-distance relationships rarely last, and a lot of water has passed under that bridge. Big Secrets will be exposed, and in the end we’ll know if that old saying is true: Love is stronger than time.

Mosaic, the exciting conclusion to The Dragonfly series, coming June 2014!


You can now get the book that started it all… Dragonfly… for free


             AUTHOR BIO
Leigh Talbert Moore wrote her first graphic novel at the age of nine--about a lady scientist burned by acid. Sadly, the text of "Fury Woman" was lost, and Leigh's novelist aspirations went on hiatus.

Then, after a decade working in journalism, editing, marketing, and public relations, she began writing books again, and in 2009 completed Dragonfly. Today, Leigh is the author of several popular young adult and new adult novels, all with a strong romantic slant.

She lives with her husband and two young children in the middle of the country, where she conjures new worlds, characters, and situations while playing chauffeur, chaperone, group activity leader, and referee.

And she's still trying to remember the plot of Fury Woman...

Author links

5.09.2014

Review: Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

Nantucket Red by Leila Howland 
Expected Publication: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: E-Arc via NetGalley
Rating: 3.5/5
Challenges: 2014 NetGalley/Edelweiss

Synopsis
Cricket Thompson's lifetime of overachieving has paid off: she's headed to Brown University in the fall, with a spot on the lacrosse team and a scholarship that covers almost everything. Who knew living in the dorm cost money? An Ivy League education seems to mean living at home for the next four years.

When Cricket is offered the chance to earn enough cash to afford a real college experience, she heads back to Nantucket for the summer. But the faraway island challenges Cricket in ways she hadn't anticipated. It's hard to focus on earning money for next year, when she finds her world opening up in entirely new ways-to art, to travel, and, most unexpectedly, to a future completely different from the one she has been working toward her whole life. A friendship blossoms with Ben, the gorgeous surfer and bartender who encourages Cricket to be free, even as she smarts at the pain of seeing Zack, her first love, falling for her worst enemy.

But one night, when Cricket finally lets herself break all her own rules, she realizes she may have ruined her carefully constructed future with one impulsive decision. Cricket must dig deep to fight for her future, discovering that success isn't just about reaching goals, but also about listening to what she's been trying to ignore-her own heart.

My Thoughts
Nantucket Red starts right off where Nantucket Blue left off. Cricket and her boyfriend Zach have decided to break up and not do the whole long distance thing and she and her best friend are still distant with each other. Cricket is dealing with the struggles of growing up and having to make money for college plus deal with her feelings of being back on Nantucket. She makes new friends and enemies on top of everything else.

I was a little torn with this book. I mainly felt that way because I was so taken by Nantucket Blue that I couldn’t wait to read this one. I loved the whole Cricket and Zach romance and just wanted them to beat the odds and stay together. Yes I get that life isn’t always perfect and that sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes distance and makes the heart grow fonder. However I just didn’t like how their romance was played out. I didn’t really like Zach that much here, I felt at times he wasn’t whom I thought he was. Maybe it was on account on how Cricket treated him and their relationship, meaning she wasn’t always open and honest with her emotions.

The things I did enjoy were the returning characters. I especially loved Liz, she is a crazy and fun chick and I loved that. Cricket definitely needs her in her life, she totally balances her. My verdict is still out on Cricket’s best friend Jules. I was giving her the benefit of the doubt seeing how she was going through things but even when she was being semi nice to Cricket I always felt like she had a motive. I just never trusted her and I don’t know exactly why.

While I wasn’t super gaga over this read it was still very good. Maybe since I read the two books back to back and the first one was just so swoon worthy, I know I  shouldn't compare but I can't help it. I was happy however with how things played out in the end.