Review: The Ones We Trust by Kimberly Belle

The Ones We Trust by Kimberly Belle
Published: July 28, 2015
Publisher: MIRA
Format: via publisher
Rating: 4/5

When former DC journalist Abigail Wolff attempts to rehabilitate her career, she finds herself at the heart of a US army cover-up involving the death of a soldier in Afghanistan -- with unspeakable emotional consequences for one family. As the story of what happened comes to light, Abigail will do anything to write it.

The more evidence she stumbles upon in the case, the fewer people it seems she can trust, including her own father, a retired army general. And she certainly never expected to fall in love with the slain soldier's brother, Gabe, a bitter man struggling to hold his family together. The investigation eventually leads her to an impossible choice, one of unrelenting sacrifice to protect those she loves. Beyond the buried truths and betrayals, questions of family loyalty and redemption, Abigail's search is, most of all, a desperate grasp at carrying on and coping -- and seeking hope in the impossible.

My Thoughts
The Ones We Trust is a book I really enjoyed. I loved how it was suspenseful and full of mystery but then it was also touching. Abigail was just trying to find herself and get her career on track when she finds herself wrapped up in something she never that possible. I loved how it has the whole military/government aspect of it which gives it a whole bunch of twist and turns which leads to a strong storyline that I thought was fabulous. There is some romance which I think balances out the story and where we see a softer and variable side which I like to see as much as the strong side of Abigail.

This is one read that has everything in it but never seems too overwhelming or overdone. I love how Kimberly Belle balances out everything perfectly and she gives us characters that are flawed but in the most perfect way that you can’t help but root for them. This is one read I will tell everyone about.


Book Blitz: Sun Kissed Summer by Marta Brown

Sun-Kissed Summer by Marta Brown
Published: July 7th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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Buy: Amazon / BN

Summer can change everything.
For shy, bookish Katie Quinn, it just might after an accidental mix-up at the airport on the way to visit her grandparents for the summer leaves her stuck with the wrong suitcase. One full of short shorts, high heels, and absolutely nothing she would normally dare to wear. Until she realizes her newfound look has garnered the attention of Key West’s biggest hottie, Brad-freaking-Garrison, and might just give her the one thing she’s always dreamed of—an epic summer romance.
A romance her summertime best friend only wishes he could give her. But for Oliver, getting Katie to see him as more than just some dumb jock isn’t going to be easy after he agrees to compete against Brad in a kite-surfing competition. And if Brad has any say in it, the prize is Katie herself.
With more than just a contest on the line and a friendship at stake, will this be the summer Katie finds her footing, even if it is in someone else’s shoes?  Will Oliver finally get the courage to tell Katie how he really feels and get out of the friend-zone for good? Or, like a kite in a hurricane, will everything they’ve ever hoped for be lost in the storm?

About Marta
Marta Brown grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was a teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills, 90210 shout out!) She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves the rain.When she's not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder of being seventeen, she's watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.

Connect with Marta

“So, tell me the truth,” I say, staring out at the horizon from Mallory Square as the sun dips below the sea and sets the sky awash in pink and purple, dessert in hand. “Is this your standard swooning date? Or did I get an Oliver original?”
Lifting his brow, a smile plays on his lips. “That depends.” He takes a slow lick of his gelato while eyeing me. “Are you thoroughly swooned?”
Am I thoroughly swooned?
Totally and completely.
“Eh.” I shrug, pretending to be unimpressed, despite having just been on a date that could rival any written in the pages of my favorite romance novels. “I mean, I’ve had better. But I’ll definitely give you an A for effort—since getting good grades is apparently your thing now,” I say teasingly before walking down the boardwalk as the cool, salty air blows against my sun-drenched skin.
“Oh, yeah?” Ollie says, running up behind me, wrapping an arm around my waist, and twirling us around in a dizzying circle until I’m laughing uncontrollably. “You say you’ve had better, huh?” He sets me back on solid ground, but leaves his arms around my waist to hold me steady, keeping our bodies pressed tight against one another. “Good thing this ‘Ollie original’ is a five-parter. Remember? And by my math—you know, since I’m a college guy and all now—we’ve only done four. So…you ready for part five? The swooniest of all?”
The swooniest of all? Is that even possible after everything we’ve done? With a smile as carefree and happy as summer itself, I slip my hand into his, ready to find out. 
“Swoon away, Oliver Hayes. Swoon away.”


WoW [132]

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

Chance Harbor by Holly Robinson
Expected Publication: October 6, 2015
Publisher: NAL

Catherine and Zoe are sisters, but even their mother, Eve, admits her daughters are nothing alike. Catherine is calm and responsible. Zoe is passionate and rebellious.  Nobody is surprised when Zoe gets pregnant, drops out of college, and spirals into drug addiction.

One night Catherine gets a call from Zoe’s terrified daughter, Willow, saying her mother has abandoned her in a bus station and disappeared. Eve blames herself, while Catherine, unable to have children, is delighted to raise Willow as her own.

Now, five years later, Eve is grieving her husband’s death and making reluctant plans to sell the family’s beloved summer home on Prince Edward Island. But a series of unexpected revelations will upend the family and rock three generations of women.

Why I Can’t Wait
I love a book that focuses on family dynamics and this one sounds really good! I can’t wait to read this one.

Feel free to link me to yours.


Mini Review: The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri

The Witch of Bourbon Street by Suzanne Palmieri
Published: June 30, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Challenges: 2015 SRC Challenge
Rating: 2/5

Set amidst the charming chaos of The French Quarter and remote bayous of Tivoli Parish, Louisiana, Suzanne Palmieri’s The Witch of Bourbon Street weaves an unforgettable tale of mystery and magic.

Situated deep in the bayou is the formerly opulent Sorrow Estate. Once home to a magical family, the Sorrows, it now lays in ruins, uninhabited since a series of murders in 1902 shocked the entire community. When Frances Green Sorrow is born, the family is on the brink of obscurity and the last remaining Sorrows cling to the hope that she is the one who will finally resurrect the glory of what once was.

However, Frances has no wish to be the family’s savior. Disillusioned, she marries young, attempting an "ordinary life," and has a son, Jack. When her marriage fails and she loses custody of her boy, she runs away to live a quiet life on the dilapidated Sorrow Estate, where she practices solitary magic amid ghosts and gardens. But when Jack disappears, she is forced to rejoin the world she left behind and solve the century-old murder that casts a long shadow over Tivoli Parish and its inhabitants in order to find her son.

My Thoughts
This book was so so. I just thought it started out really slow for me and I couldn’t really into the story line or the characters. I have to admit I was a little confused in the beginning with the shifting of the time lines and all the different characters that I had to keep doing back to keep things straight. But that did get better over time. I had high aspects for this read but I honestly just couldn’t get into it. With the Louisiana bayous as its backdrop and the whole Southern gothic feel to it I was hoping for great read but sadly it just wasn’t my cup of tea. 


Book to Movie [11]: Paper Towns by John Green

Paper Towns by John Green
Published: September 22, 2009
Format: paperback purchased
Publisher: Speak
Challenges: 2015 TBR Pile
Rating: 4/5

Who is the real Margo?
Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew.

My Thoughts
It’s no surprise that I’m a huge John Green fan and while this one isn’t my fave it’s very enjoyable. We meet Quentin who is just an average kid who has always been in love with the girl next door Margo. Margo is of course the untouchable girl who is popular and hasn’t really spoken to Quentin since they were kids. All this changes one night when Margo comes into his room and makes him come on an all-night adventure with her and makes it a night he will never forget.

The next morning Margo is gone and her parents are tired of her little adventures and don’t seem to care she is gone. Q soon finds out that she tends to leave little clues and is determine to find out where Margo went and more importantly who is the real Margo. Is she the girl he was always dreamt her to be or is she indeed much deeper than people give her credit for?
Paper Towns is a good read that flies by and that’s solely because John Green is a master of words. He writes in such a way that the words just flow with such ease that you are quickly swept up. This book is funny and the road trip scenes were my favorite I never laughed so much I had tears in my eyes. While this book focuses on Margo and Q the relationship I really loved was that between Q and his friends. These are true blue friends ones that always have each other’s backs and you could see how much they truly cared for one another plus they were so goofy who wouldn’t love them?

This book comes to life on the big screen tomorrow and I will definitely be checking this one out it seems like from the previews that the movie has captured the feel of book. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to a John Green book and this one captures that fun and youthful feel that takes me back to my teenage days, when everything was fun, new, exciting and you had the world at your fingertips. So if you want something fun and yet mysterious add this read to your list.

Release Day + Giveaway: Just A Kiss by Kate Kisset

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It’s the release day for JUST A KISS by Kate Kisset!! I am so excited for this fantastic new romance. Be sure to enter Kate’s amazing giveaway and grab your copy today!!

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Three friends, One Wine Country Villa Six Santino Brothers And lots of wine… Reeling from the loss of her mother, Sarah Dupont catches her fiancé doing the nasty on top of her pastry table at their San Francisco Bakery. Devastated, she calls her best friend, lifestyle reporter, Danica Vargas. Danica convinces Sarah to start fresh, and rent a room with her at an historic mansion in Sonoma Valley. With two roommates who act like the sisters she never had and a feisty landlord to stand in as the grandmother she always wanted, Sarah’s opens a café on the Sonoma Plaza. Her life changes the moment the little bell on the door rings and the notoriously sexy actor Jamie Santino, swaggers in. Jamie, one of the six Santino Brothers, of Napa Valley Winery fame, needs baking lessons for his new movie and Sarah is just the woman to teach him. Wine flows, their love affair heats up and a tempestuous femme fatale enters the scene. How can Sarah trust that Jamie isn’t acting when everything he says seems too good to be true?

Exclusive Excerpt: Help me get a grip, I’m melting into her eyes… He took a beat to compose himself. “What would you like me to do Sarah?” he asked. She moved closer and parted her lips. I’m going, going… “I think I’d like you to kiss me now.” Gone… On tiptoe and cradling the back of his head, she guided him to her. No one could surprise him in the love department except Sarah Dupont. He skimmed his hands over the outline of her soft curves and pulled her in tighter. She tasted like cabernet and cake, and he closed his eyes so he could savor her lips. A low moan escaped her, and hit him in the gut. He didn’t know where to start with his hands and moved them over the sexy arch of her back and pressed her closer to him. “The tree,” he said quickly, not wanting to be away from her mouth. “Does the tree hurt your back?” “Don’t stop kissing me,” she said. The need in Sarah’s voice surprised him, making him strain against his jeans. He fought to slow down, to wait, to catch a breath before he lost it. He swept his lips across her cheek. “Sarah.” When he reached her earlobe, he nipped. She felt luscious and pliable in his arms. He almost couldn't handle listening to her quick breaths and the feeling of her heart pumping so fast against him. “Sarah.” He nuzzled behind her ear, kissing and sucking her neck. “Don’t make me stop.” She groaned between breaths. He felt drunk, but he’d had only had a few glasses of wine. Touching, kissing and listening to her whimpers made him feel like he could tip over any minute and bury himself into her. 

      Kate Kisset Bio 
HeadshotKateKissetLGFile.Former San Francisco Radio Disc Jockey Kate Kisset has a passion for telling great stories. After playing thousands of Hot AC, Country, Rock and Oldies tunes, for her primarily female fan base, she changed her tune and became an author. Just a Kiss is the first book in her wine country romance series, The Single Girls Wine Club. She lives in Northern California and Santa Barbara with her family and rescue pup “editor” Luciana Parmigiana, where she hikes, reads, listens to music, and drinks wine.
Private Readers Club | Website | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads   

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Mini Review: Loving Eden by T.A. Foster

Loving Eden [Kissing Eden #2] by T.A. Foster
Published: September 25, 2014
Format: Kindle buy
Challenges: 2015 TBR Pile
Rating: 3.5/5

Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?

I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.

Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.

My Thoughts
This is the second book in the Kissing Eden series and I must say I liked this one a little better than the first book. In this read we see what happens after Grey and Eden decide what to do after their summer of fun. We see what happens when the summer ends and real life sets in. We see Eden as she moves to Texas to be with Grey and the aftermath of her decision. Just when you think life is going to give them a break someone from Grey’s past comes to throw a wrench into their plans and it will change everything.

In this read I saw more of a growth in Grey and I liked him a little more in this read than the previous one. We see a little more of his story and I came to understand why he was the way he was. And while he still wasn’t the ideal guy I wish he was I could see why Eden liked him. I saw glimpses of a guy who really does care for her and the passion he has for the people and things he loves and wants to protect.

This was a really good follow up and I actually liked this one more than the first which is rare for me. We see lots of the characters from the first and we meet some great new characters which make this book so good. This one made the series worth the read.

Wow [131]

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

Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis
Expected Publication: August 4, 2015
Publisher: NAL

Pragmatic, independent Lily St. Claire has never been a beachgoer. But when her late father leaves her a small house on Hideaway Key—one neither her mother nor she knew he owned—she’s determined to visit the sleepy spit of land along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Expecting a quaint cottage, Lily instead finds a bungalow with peeling shutters and mountains of memorabilia. She also catches a glimpse of the architect who lives down the beach….

But it’s the carton of old journals in the front room that she finds most intriguing. The journals were written by her mother’s sister, an infamous beauty whose name has long been banned from the St. Claire home. The journals tell a family tale Lily has never heard, of her mother and her aunt as young girls in Tennessee and the secrets that followed them into adulthood. As she reads, Lily gains a new understanding: about her family and about herself. And she begins to open her heart—to this place, these people, and the man next door. But can she ever truly learn to trust, to believe that love is not a trap but a harbor? And is it true that hearts, even broken ones, can be forged anew?

Why I Can’t Wait
This sounds like a perfect read to end the summer. I love a book with a little mystery and this one sounds like it perfectly fits the bill.

Feel free to link me to yours.


Mini Review: Kissing Eden by T.A. Foster

Kissing Eden by T.A. Foster
Published: March 6, 2014
Format: Kindle buy
Challenges: 2015 TBR Pile
Rating: 3/5

Have you ever thought of taking a vacation alone? I mean step on a plane, check into your hotel, and lie on the beach completely and utterly alone. No? Me either, but then right before senior spring break I got dumped.

Something about break ups makes you do things you didn’t want to do, and try things you didn’t know you were capable of. That’s how I ended up at the Palm Palace. That’s how I met Grey. That’s how my spring break turned into the most unforgettable week of my life.

My Thoughts
I had high hopes for this book. It looked like the perfect summer series but after I finished I was honestly just split. It was an okay series. I liked the idea of it being set on Padre Island in Texas which is a beautiful place but I just couldn’t buy into the romance between Grey and Eden.

I loved Eden and how she was determined to move on after her breakup to show some independence by going on vacation alone. But to be honest I just didn’t like Grey. He just seemed so rough and mean at times that I couldn’t see him as the romantic guy that Eden was trying to make him out to be. I wanted to like him and at times I thought my opinions would change but all I saw him as was a guy who just wanted her physically. Don’t get me wrong I love a steamy read but this one just didn’t win me over. This one was a first for me I loved the story line and some of the characters just not the male lead.


Mini Review: Things You Won't Say by Sarah Pekkanen

Things You Won’t Say by Sarah Pekkanen
Published: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

How far would you go to save your family?

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There's been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn't hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband's insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie's world. It's about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike's flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie's younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

My Thoughts
This is my first time reading Sarah Pekkanen and I ask myself why did I wait so long? While this plot line could be ripped from the headlines I loved how this was a strong story with rich and interesting characters that made the plot that much better. This story had me from the very beginning and didn’t let go until the very end. You definitely feel for Jamie. She has to endure the weight of the world on her shoulders with what has happened with the actions of her husband. Not only is she trying to grasp what he did but she now has to deal with his ex and her sister. Is it too much and how will Jamie deal with all this while trying to salvage what’s left of her family.

What I loved more than anything is that we get to see all sides of the story. Just when you think you lean one way you see the other side and your opinion can change. It’s the story of family and what you would do to protect and save them. This is one read that will definitely make you think and even see things in ways you might not have seen them before.  


Mini Review: What She Really Wants by Barbara Delinsky

What She Really Wants by Barbara Delinsky
Published: May 5, 2015
Format: free Kindle read
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 4/5

Is it really the thought that counts? Sarah Markham loves her husband Tom. They've been married for eighteen happy years, but on some level, she worries that he doesn't see her as she really is. And nowhere is this more evident than in his gift giving. It's not for any lack of love--Tom adores Sarah and spends lavishly--but he never quite surprises her with the perfect something. Enough. This year, when their anniversary rolls around, Sarah tells him, "I want you to think and to look at me and to see who I really am and what I really want." Can Tom rise to the challenge? Will he be able to get Sarah what she really wants?

My Thoughts
Now this is how a short story should be! It reads like a full and complete story and one I really enjoyed. It shows that sometimes what we want are the simple things in life, not the most expensive and out of this world gifts. We see that if we pay close attention we can come up with the best gifts that one could ask for.


Blog Tour: Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Expected Publication: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

About the Book (#musicismylife):
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow the Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.
But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
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About the Author
Growing up in Tennessee, MIRANDA KENNEALLY dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband. Visit www.mirandakenneally.com, and follow Miranda @MirandaKennealy& www.facebook.com/miranda.kenneally.
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As much as I love music, I am generally not a fan of country. I don’t like banjos. I don’t like sappy lyrics about trucks and hauling hay. Dolly Parton is my mortal enemy—my mom plays “Jolene” over and over and over and over, and it makes me want to chop my ears off like van Gogh. Yeah, yeah, I’m from Tennessee, where it’s a crime if you don’t love country, but I like deep, rumbling beats and singing loud and fast and hard. I do not like closing my eyes and crooning to a cow in the pasture. Yet here I am at a Jesse Scott concert, getting ready to meet him and to see if he’ll let me shadow him next Friday.
My school requires every senior to “shadow” a professional for a day. It’s their way of helping us figure out what kind of career we want. Like, if you want to be president when you grow up, you might get to shadow the mayor. Want to be a chef? Have fun kneading dough at the Donut Palace. When I said “I want to be a musician,” I figured they’d send me to work in the electronics section at Walmart.
I certainly never expected to shadow the king of country music.
It turns out that Jesse Scott is my principal’s nephew. Jesse won TV’s Wannabe Rocker when he was ten and has gone on to become very successful. In sixth grade, every girl in class—myself included—took the Teen Beat quiz: “Would Jesse Scott Like Your Kissing Style?” (Obviously the answer was yes.) In middle school, I had a Jesse Scott poster on my ceiling. It’s hard to believe he’s only eighteen, because he’s already won three Grammys. When he was younger, his songs were about family, fishing, and playing baseball, but lately they’re about love and making love and all things sexy.
I wouldn’t say I’m a fan anymore, but I would never give up an opportunity to learn from a professional with such a gorgeous, pure voice. I want to learn what it’s like to perform day in and day out. Despite what everyone and their mom says—that I’ll struggle as a musician—all I want is to play guitar in front of a crowd and hear people cheer for me.
I can’t believe I’m backstage at the Grand Ole Opry! I bounce on my toes. Jesus, is that an archtop Super 4, the model Elvis played? I’ve never seen one in real life. It probably cost more than my house. I’m ogling the guitar when Jesse Scott comes out of the bathroom, drying his hair with a towel. He pads across the room to the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of rugged jeans with more holes than Swiss cheese. The lighting is dim, and he doesn’t seem to notice I’m here, which is good, because I’ve moved from ogling the guitar to ogling him.
Who wouldn’t? He was one of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” and it is a truth universally acknowledged that you should stare at people who’ve made that list. The guy’s gorgeous. Like in the boy-next-door way. His wet, wavy, brown hair curls around his ears and nearly hits his shoulders, and while he doesn’t have a six-pack or anything, his body is fit. I wish he’d look my way so I can see his famous brown eyes. They always remind me of those caramel chews Poppy gives me when I visit. Jesse has some sort of Gaelic symbol tattooed on his left shoulder blade. I want to reach out and trace the design.
God, get ahold of yourself, Maya. Don’t be a horndog. Besides, he’s so not my type. I don’t do pretty boys.