Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hello 2016!


Well, Happy New Year's Eve anyway:) 

I hope you guys have a safe and spectacular night! I'll be taking the next couple days off to get caught up on a few work things (and finish reading Passenger which so far is AWESOME) so that I might actually get to sleep next week instead of work on all the things I put off until after the holidays:)

Talk to all of you in 2016!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday: Ever The Hunted

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

Erin Summerill
YA Fantasy
Releases December 2016 from Harcourt Childrens Books

From Goodreads:
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

First of all the typography on this cover makes me giddy (even if the "e" in Ever is a tiny bit hard to read since it balloons out to wrap under Hunted). It just screams fantasy, and given the fact that I've been addicted to YA fantasy for a couple years now, I started obsessing over this book as soon as I found it. Also? I have a soft spot for second chance romances where one party has been betrayed or or had their heart broken by the other, so the relationship between Britta and Cohen has me wishing I could fast forward an entire year so this one would already be in my hands. *shakes fist at December 2016*

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review (+ Giveaway!): The Rogue Not Taken

Scandal & Scoundrel #1
Sarah MacLean
Historical Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: eARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Lady Sophie’s Society Splash

When Sophie, the least interesting of the Talbot sisters, lands her philandering brother-in-law backside-first in a goldfish pond in front of all society, she becomes the target of very public aristocratic scorn. Her only choice is to flee London, vowing to start a new life far from the aristocracy. Unfortunately, the carriage in which she stows away isn’t saving her from ruin . . . it’s filled with it.

Rogue’s Reign of Ravishment!

Kingscote, “King,” the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, resulting in a reputation far worse than the truth, a general sense that he’s more pretty face than proper gentleman, and an irate summons home to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the journey becomes anything but boring.

War? Or More?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, making opposites altogether too attractive . . .

The Rogue Not Taken is historical romance at its finest, giving us a relationship full of the very best kind of angst as our hero and heroine navigate the pitfalls of aristocratic society in order to be together. Normally a word like “angst” in reference to a romance of any kind would be a mark against it rather than for, but in the hands of Ms. MacLean we find the kind of angst that leaves a dull ache in our chests as we live and breathe with the characters until we reach their happy ending.

Sophie is an unforgettable heroine, standing up for her sister in the opening chapters in a way that has us cheering aloud and startling those around us, but in giving the Ton a dose of the truth they so rightfully deserve, she finds more trouble than she intended. What follows is an adventure full of physical pain, emotional heartbreak and utter joy, and we find ourselves experiencing the gamut of those emotions with her every step of the way. She’s unafraid to tell King exactly what she’s thinking or feeling and refuses to shrink away when his sharp words hit their mark, instead letting him see that while her emotional armor isn’t impenetrable, she’s not defenseless either.

King is a man who learns Sophie’s sore spots quickly and exploits them ruthlessly in the beginning, earning a narrowed gaze from us time and again as we prepare to punch the book in the hopes that he’ll feel it, but he also knows how to make up for harsh words both intentional and careless. He’s therefore incredibly hard to stay mad at for too long, especially when Sophie handles herself so beautifully, and we’re able to easily root for him to get out of his own way and see how perfect Sophie is for him. Of course it takes him until nearly the final chapter to realize what he has in Sophie, but their initial hostility and then comfortable banter has us smiling all the while even as our hearts constrict when he stumbles and winds up hurting her.

Overall, The Rogue Not Taken is a historical romance for the favorites shelf, Sophie and King both strong and vulnerable in equal measure, and their relationship is the type that has us itching to start again at the beginning as soon as we turn the last page.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find The Rogue Not Taken:

AmazonB&NGoogle PlayiTunesKoboGoodreads

• • • • • • • • • • • • •


Sarah MacLean grew up in Rhode Island, obsessed with historical romance and bemoaning the fact that she was born far too late for her own season. Her love of all things historical helped to earn her degrees from Smith College and Harvard University before she finally set pen to paper and wrote her first book.

Sarah now lives in New York City with her husband, baby daughter, their dog, and a ridiculously large collection of romance novels. She loves to hear from readers.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 


One lucky winner will receive a complete set of the print editions of all books in the Rule of Scoundrels series (A ROGUE BY ANY OTHER NAME, ONE GOOD EARL DESERVES A LOVER, NO GOOD DUKE GOES UNPUNISHED, and NEVER JUDGE A LADY BY HER COVER)!  To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 28, 2015

Top 5 Most Anticipated of 2016

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had an amazing holiday full of family, food, books, laughter, more books and then even more books:) I still have family in town to celebrate the new year, but I wanted to do a quick post to share the top 5 books I'm most looking forward to in 2016.

It should be noted that my 2016 must-have list is embarrassingly long, but these 5 are the ones I would consider camping out for if I thought there was a chance I'd get them even a minute early. I'm not much of a camper though, so there would need to be chocolate present to literally sweeten the deal ;-)

*makes grabby hands*

In no particular order:

The Bone Season #3

On the eve of a new decade, after two hundred years of Scion rule, a revolution is beginning. Its unlikely cradle is the clairvoyant underworld in London, and even an old ally’s betrayal cannot stop it.

But an enemy from Paige Mahoney’s past is about to return – an enemy that could quench the flame of hope for good . . .

A Court of Thorns and Roses #2

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

The Witch Hunter #2

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He's readying for a war against those who would resist his rule--namely Elizabeth and the witches, wizards, pirates, and healers she now calls her friends.
Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth's strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves.


Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.


Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men.
a mysterious city stripped of its name.
a mythic hero with blood on his hands.
a young librarian with a singular dream.
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled.
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays!!

Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays!!! I hope everyone enjoys their time with friends, family, and loved ones; I know I'll be eating far more cookies than I should and encouraging those around me to do the same so I'm not alone in my extraordinarily impressive sugar consumption. I'm stretchy-pants bound for the next week at least.

I'll be taking the rest of the week off to eat, spend time with family, and then eat some more, but I'll be back on Monday with a list of my most anticipated reads for 2016.

Warmest wishes and massive holiday hugs to you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Review: See How They Run

Embassy Row #2
Ally Carter
Young Adult/Thriller
336 pages
Scholastic Press
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Inside every secret, there's a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions--from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace's past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.

See How They Run returns us to Embassy Row and the life and death situations the children of politicians constantly barrel their way into, only this installment raises the stakes further as murder creates an international incident.

In the first book our protagonist Grace was in a fairly dark place, struggling to differentiate between fiction and reality with regard to the tragic death of her mother years before, and we couldn’t help but be sucked in as she drew ever-closer to the truth. With this sequel Grace has fallen even farther into darkness, the truth handing her ways to punish herself again and again, allowing her to drown in guilt while refusing any lifeline extended to her by friends and family. As a result of her determination to be solely responsible for what she uncovered about her mother’s death, she pushes everyone around her away, and that unfortunately includes us as readers.

So much of this second installment is Grace running away both literally and figuratively, retreating into herself even more than she did in this first book, and fleeing physically whenever her friends or her brother inquire after her well-being. Much of the dialogue consists of friends and family yelling “Grace!” at her back as she leaves them behind time and again, refusing to acknowledge that they could care for her after all she believes she’s done. Such a mental state, while understandable, makes it incredibly hard to really settle in with her, and we’re instead left to run up against the emotional wall she’s erected just as everyone else around her does.

Overall, See How They Run is a difficult read in terms of our main character, and while the murder and subsequent investigation succeed in grabbing our interest, Grace’s severe depression and unwillingness to accept even the smallest of comforts from her friends, brother or love interest leave us more detached from the second leg of her political journey than we otherwise might have liked.

Rating: 3/5

Find Ally:

This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Review: The Harder You Fall

Original Heartbreakers #3
Gena Showalter
Contemporary Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. He moved to small town Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, with his brothers-by-circumstance hoping to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions.

A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can't be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Can she be the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken.

The synopsis for The Harder You Fall leads us to believe we'll crack the spine of this book and find a hate-sex fueled relationship that eventually turns into so much more, and while that would have undoubtedly been entertaining, what we uncover instead is a slow burn romance full of delightful banter to offset the baggage both Jessie Kay and West carry.

Jessie Kay has a past she's not entirely proud of, labeled a sure thing by the men in her small town and therefore burdened with their suggestive comments and wandering hands whenever in public, and though she wishes she had made different choices here and there, she's not overly self-pitying or convinced she's deserving of such treatment. She's instead determined to find a man who's willing to give and take with her in equal measure, and while West tests that resolve through the majority of the book, she sticks to her guns and gives herself the respect she's so long overdue. She and West fully admit to their mutual attraction early on (once they take the animosity down a level that is), and what follows is two people taking baby steps toward a future that's not limited by the sins of their respective pasts.

It takes West a little while to recognize how low Jessie Kay's self-esteem truly is, distracted as he is by her ability to make light of any situation, but once it becomes clear that her self-worth is linked to her reputation he does everything in his power to show her who he sees when he looks at her. He knows his offer of a 2-month relationship (which stems from the aforementioned baggage) isn't good enough for her, and he's both frustrated and proud in turn when when she tells him she wants and deserves more. They both push each other at just the right moments, never asking for more than the other person can give and content to wait until they're both emotionally ready to be all in, and the journey they take to get there plasters a smile to our faces throughout.

The intensity of their feelings for one another is over the top at times, but the two of them are just so much fun together it's hard to be too bothered by their boldly possessive declarations. Overall, The Harder You Fall is the perfect read for those (like myself) who love tension and banter in their romances, the chemistry between Jessie Kay and West off the charts from page one as they push each other's buttons, and it only builds as their enmity shifts to lust and finally love.

Rating: 4/5

Find Gena:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Cover Evolution: Tempest

Happy Friday Everyone!

As you guys already know, I revealed the cover for the third book in the Wings of War series on Wednesday, and since the past couple cover evolution posts I've done have gone over really well, I thought it might be fun to do one for Tempest.

The covers for this series are all fairly special effects-heavy, meaning they require a lot of compositing different images together in order to fit Ember in various environments and craft the element-based wings as a focal point. Karen envisioned a stormy scene for Tempest, with Ember standing amid crashing waves as the water wings flare from her back, so my first order of business was to find a fitting background image.

When I came across this photograph I knew I'd found exactly what I was looking for, with one obvious exception: There was man in a business suit where I needed Ember to be. Removing a figure from an image in Photoshop can be tricky and time consuming depending on the background given you have to fill in what would otherwise be the empty white space left by the figure being removed. Luckily for me, the texture of the sky, water and rocks made his removal fairly easy, and after adding a bit more color and a few stormier clouds, I had Ember's perfect Tempest environment.

Next up was to add Ember herself. Karen and I always want to make sure each cover feels cohesive within the series while still standing out as unique, so with Tempest Karen wanted Ember to be partially turned and looking over her shoulder instead of simply facing forward. Finding a single stock image of a young woman who looked like the previous models we'd used while wearing non-ridiculous clothing (so many of them were in dresses and high heels - not really what one would wear climbing rocks by the sea) and with her head turned to the side proved to be an impossible task, so I needed to combine several different girls and Frankenstein Ember together.

I used the body of the top left figure and the head of the top right, but ran into a little issue given one had straight hair and one curly. Since the girl on the right also had shorter hair than the left, I needed to bring in a third image in order to blend the two and create a fuller head of wavy hair. I also wanted to make sure Ember's hair had movement since she was facing down a stormy, windy sea, so the bottom image proved to be just the ticket.

Obviously the hair color, skin tone, and lighting of all three images is slightly different, so even when I got all the pieces together in a single figure, it was still a bit of a mess visually:

As you can see, the hair is a patchwork of various colors and textures, and her skin is way too warm to be believable in this environment. After a fair number of color tweaks and adjustments, I was able to make Ember look not only like a single person but also more like she belonged on that rocky outcrop.

At this point, the trickiest parts were behind me and I was able to really let myself have fun building the wings. As with Embers and Gaia, I started with just the flat illustration of the wings before adding a base layer water texture to give them a little depth.

From here, I layered various water splashes in all shapes and sizes across the wings, masking the wing shape in a few places so it appears sections here and there are made entirely made of water, but overall they still retain the shape that links them to the previous two books.

The final step was to add in the title, tagline and Karen's name, as well as some additional water spray in and around the rocks to really give this cover a lot of movement, and the result was our final Tempest!

Ember must stop the apocalypse from happening, but at what cost?

The Angels of destruction have arrived, and only Ember stands in the way of their mission to carry out God’s wrath and annihilate His enemies.

When the barrier between celestial creatures and humans beings is broken and Angels descend to Earth, Ember soon learns there’s a fine line between good and evil. As she faces a world full of monsters and magic, a terrifying darkness rises and threatens to destroy everything she’s fighting for.

In the riveting third installment of The Wings of War series, Ember and her friends embark on an epic journey, where unlikely allies are forged and age-old beliefs crumble to dust. And just when Ember accepts love in her life, it’s ripped away from her in the most terrifying way possible.

Tempest releases late January 2016

Find Embers:

Find Gaia:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Maybe This Christmas

O'Neil Brothers #3
Sarah Morgan
Contemporary Romance
384 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O'Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he's simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he's never ruined, and he's not about to start now.

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she's been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he's sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she's always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

Maybe This Christmas gives us a delightful best friends to lovers romance, one rippling with all the delicious tension that stems from a relationship in transition, and we can’t help but flip the pages at record speed to see how long it takes buried feelings to come bubbling to the surface in all their exhilarating glory.

Brenna is someone who kicks our protective instincts into high gear from the first page, the fact that she’s been completely in love with Tyler O’Neil her entire life but has found herself relegated inescapably to the best friend role making our hearts hurt instantly. She’s in no way maudlin about her predicament however, instead she’s largely come to terms with the firm boundaries of their friendship, but like anyone who’s experienced unrequited love, hope springs eternal. It’s easy to root for her chapter after chapter, hoping she finally works up the nerve to tell him how she feels but of course completely understanding when her fear of losing him altogether keeps her silent.

The tension between them is so thick we practically have trouble breathing as we read, the air heavy with all the words that continue to go unspoken yet charged with possibility as things ever-so slowly start to change. Even though we’re well aware this is a romance and we’re therefore pretty much guaranteed a happily-ever-after, Ms. Morgan does a beautiful job of making us question whether or not such a thing is actually possible for these two time and again.

We’re of course left with a smile on our faces though, infused with the warmth that comes from vicariously experiencing a woman get the one thing she’s always wanted but never dreamed she’d actually have.

Rating: 4/5

Find Sarah:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wednesday Flourish: Tempest

Happy Hump Day Everyone!

I'm really excited today to reveal the cover for the third book in the Wings of War series by Karen Ann Hopkins, Tempest. I'm not going to say very much about our process in developing this third cover because I'm going to be doing a cover evolution post with Tempest on Friday, so you'll get to see the step by step process there:)

Before I share the cover though, here's a quick reminder of the first two books, Embers and Gaia:

Each of the books in this series focuses on a different element, with protagonist Ember learning how to wield fire in Embers and control earth in Gaia, so Karen and I wanted the wings to reflect the focal element of each book. What's the element for Tempest you ask? You might have an inkling based on the title. WATER. And this cover is definitely my favorite of the series, so I hope you guys love it as much as Karen and I do!

Ember must stop the apocalypse from happening, but at what cost?

The Angels of destruction have arrived, and only Ember stands in the way of their mission to carry out God’s wrath and annihilate His enemies.
When the barrier between celestial creatures and humans beings is broken and Angels descend to Earth, Ember soon learns there’s a fine line between good and evil. As she faces a world full of monsters and magic, a terrifying darkness rises and threatens to destroy everything she’s fighting for.

In the riveting third installment of The Wings of War series, Ember and her friends embark on an epic journey, where unlikely allies are forged and age-old beliefs crumble to dust. And just when Ember accepts love in her life, it’s ripped away from her in the most terrifying way possible.

Tempest releases late January 2016

Find Embers:

Find Gaia:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Year of Lightning: Guest Post with Ryan Dalton

Today I have the pleasure of turning the blog over to author Ryan Dalton so he can talk a little bit about his upcoming release, The Year of Lightning (coming January 12!). As you guys know by now, I'm a big fan of all things time travel so I asked Ryan if he wouldn't mind giving us a little peek into that aspect of the story, and I love where he took my prompt. I hope you guys enjoy as much as I did!


When people think about time travel, they usually start with all the crazy adventures they could have. Exploring ancient civilizations, seeing when we all finally get jetpacks, assassinating Hitler–you know, fun stuff like that. On the surface, time travel may seem like all DeLoreans and giggles, but I’m here to tell you it’s dangerous stuff! So if you ever find yourself traveling through time, here are three things you should never, ever do. I mean never. Ever. Seriously, ever.

1-Fight your past or future self. Literally no one wins with this one. Yes, Past You or Future You may totally have it coming, but that beating’s only going to splash back on you. One of two things is going to happen. Either 1) you’ll spend years anticipating the day Past You will show up to knock you senseless, or 2) you’ll put the beatdown on Past You, and with each punch you’ll suddenly have the memory of Past You getting pummeled by Present You. Just imagine remembering losing a fight to yourself while also being yourself and delivering said beating. Not only is it painful, but it introduces all sorts of existential crises. You don’t want that drama in your life.

2-Kill an insect. Or animal. Or person. Or maybe even a tree. You know what? Don’t do, say, touch, breathe on, or look at ANYTHING. If science fiction has taught us anything, it’s that the Butterfly Effect is just waiting for you to screw up so it can destroy the timeline as we know it. Oh, you stepped on a grasshopper in the Cretaceous Period? Get ready to arrive home and discover giant squids are now the dominant species. And that’s a best case scenario. Do us all a favor, don’t let the giant squids win. Take a peek outside your time machine, get a couple photos, then turn around and get back inside. For the good of humanity.

3-Make sports bets or invest in fledgling tech companies. We’ve all seen that one time traveler who’s just in it for the money. The guy whose grand plans go no farther than making his Past Self rich, thereby making his Current Self rich. There’s just one problem. If you do that for your Past Self, you’re going to spend the rest of your life feeling invincible. Untouchable. Charmed. You know how people act when they feel that way? Like jackasses. You’re about to turn Past You into an insufferable jackass, which will only compound over time and make Present You an even bigger jackass. And what do jackasses do when they travel through time? They violate rule #2, do something stupid like try to punch a T-Rex, and bring the Butterfly Effect down on all our heads. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to end up a sacrificial offering to the Squid King. Not again.

If you want to be extra careful, print this post and keep it with you at all times. You never know when time travel might happen to you, and it never hurts to be prepared. Oh, and happy travels!

P.S. Want to read more about time travel with a healthy dash of mystery, rogue lightning storms, and creepy houses with no doors? My debut novel The Year of Lightning will be released on January 12, 2016. If that sounds like fun, you can find more info here:

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • 


When 15-year-old twins Malcolm and Valentine Gilbert moved to a new town, they never imagined that the old house across the street could bring them so much trouble. A secret machine has reawakened inside, with the power to pierce time itself.

Meanwhile, lightning storms are breaking out all over town. They’re getting worse every week, and seem to enjoy striking kids who just want to pass science class and mind their own business. When Malcolm and Valentine discover a connection between the house and the storms, their situation goes from mysterious to crazy stupid dangerous. Someone is controlling the great machine, and their purpose is nearly complete.

In a race against time, the twins must uncover the chilling plan, the mastermind behind it, and the force that’s driving the deadly storms. They’ll hunt a powerful enemy that threatens their town’s existence, and the only clues are written in the sky.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm

The Lords of Worth #1
Kelly Bowen
Historical Romance
323 pages
Available Now
Source: Bought
(Thanks for the recommendation Amanda & Felicia!)

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Where Secrets Smolder...

Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.

...Passion Ignites.

This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?

I’ve Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm has a deceptively light title and cover, a sweet, carefree young woman twirling in the snow a far cry from the horrors heroine Gisele was forced to endure at the hands of her husband. Though the packaging doesn’t quite fit the tone of this tale, the story itself is outstanding, giving us a woman brave beyond measure who’s determined to give other women the freedom the rules of society at this time deny them.

For much of this story we can only guess what physical, emotional and sexual abuse Gisele suffered thanks to her husband's sadistic streak before she faked her own death and made her escape, but we don’t need all the gory details to find ourselves in awe of her strength from the first page. When she learns he’s to marry again (years later) her first thought is of the poor woman to be passed from father to husband as property, and instead of allowing her memories and past trauma to rule her, she strides boldly forward to save his new bride just as she was able to save herself.

Despite all that’s happened to her, she surprisingly doesn’t have a crippling fear of physical intimacy, allowing her romance with new partner in life-saving crime Jamie to proceed perhaps more quickly than we initially might have thought. That’s in no way a complaint however, instead it’s refreshing to see Gisele try to rebuild that part of her life and reclaim ownership of her body and her desire, thus cutting the final threads that tie her to her husband.

The plan Gisele, Jamie, and a stellar group of secondary characters hatch to keep the wedding from moving forward as planned is a darkly brilliant one, and watching as Gisele ever-so kindly provides her husband the rope with which to hang himself is nothing short of immensely satisfying. Overall, I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm is a page-turner of a romance, the desire to see Gisele and Jamie together equal to the desire to see Gisele’s husband get what’s coming to him, driving us to read as fast as possible to get to our much needed happily ever after.

Rating: 4.5/5

Find Kelly:

*I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm is currently only $.99 on Amazon! Win.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Top 5 of 2015

Happy Friday Everyone!

Since December is flying by at record speed (seriously, I'm pretty sure Thanksgiving was yesterday?) I thought I'd go ahead and share my top 5 reads for 2015. When I searched through all my ratings for the year I discovered I only gave three books a 5/5 and only a handful more a 4.5/5. Apparently I was impressively stingy with my high ratings this year. Whoops. Below are the three titles that absolutely blew me away and left me no choice but to give them the highest rating possible, and two more that were outstanding and secured themselves a place on my shelf of favorites.

I want to live inside Leigh Bardugo's mind for an hour. I won't be selfish and demand more time than that, just an hour so I can see what it's like. I was initially wary of this book as I tend to struggle when I'm bounced around from person to person, but Leigh made every single character so intriguing and rich in personality that I was desperate for more time with each of them rather than less. I couldn't recommend this book more highly.

Find Leigh

Beauty and the Beast is my all-time favorite fairy-tale, so I jump at the chance to devour every retelling I can find. This version I thought was particularly well done, especially the final third where court politics really come into play and Feyre has to prove what she's made of. Sarah J. Maas can be brutal to her readers though, tearing beloved characters down again and again before building them back up, so I'm mildly nervous about what the next book holds in store but have no doubt it will be worth it:)

Find Sarah:

Contemporary YA is not my go-to genre; those of you who read this blog with any frequency know I tend to gravitate toward the paranormal and fantasy, but I will forever read anything Emery Lord decides to write. Her characters always feel completely genuine and lacking in any unnecessary drama to cause me stress as I read. If you've yet to read any of her books, I hope at least one goes on your letter to Santa this year!

Find Emery:

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Kate and Curran. I feel like that's all that really needs to be said about this one.

Find Ilona:



This one would have passed me right on by if not for Candace inviting me to be a part of the tour, so THANK YOU CANDACE! I have a soft spot for stories where a character has been grievously wronged and continues to be so through a good chunk of the story because I can't wait for the moment when everyone realizes their error. Phoenix spent 17 years in prison for a crime she didn't commit, and when she gets out she continues to be a pariah in her small town. Despite that however, she shows no weakness or self-pity, and holds no ill-will toward those who are cruelest to her. Instead she holds her head up high for the sake of her son and her own self. LOVED it!

Find This Heart of Mine:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Their Fractured Light Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway

I'm thrilled today to welcome authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner back to the blog as part of the promotional tour for the final book in their outstanding Starbound trilogy, Their Fractured Light. I absolutely adored the first two books in this series and can't wait for a little time off over the holidays to dive into this one uninterrupted:) For now though, I'll have to tide myself over with the few tidbits and hints dropped in this interview. I hope you guys enjoy!
LaRoux Industries and Roderick LaRoux are capable of monstrous things, and nothing makes me happier than when a villainous character finally gets his due. What one fictional villain made you flip pages at record speed to get to the moment where their evil finally caught up with them?

Wow, we really had to think about this! Ultimately, although villains are, you know, villainous, they need to be more than that to hold our attention. In Their Fractured Light we learn a lot about Roderick LaRoux – a lot of his history, and his reasons for doing the things he does. A really compelling villain usually has a motivation that, on one reading of events, sort of makes sense. A villain like that for us was President Snow from The Hunger Games. The guy was okay with the Hunger Games themselves existing, so obviously he was evil, but he was also… complicated. And that’s pretty awesome.

If all the three Starbound pairs could choose another group of epic sci-fi characters to team up with in their attempt to take down LRI, who would they most want to work with?

Aaaah, what a great question! Without a doubt it would be the crew of the Serenity, from the TV show Firefly. We’re both huge fans of the series, and Mal Reynolds and his gang would get along with Team Starbound like a house on fire. They’d be pairing up and comparing con jobs and weapons and making diabolical plans in no time! We’re pretty sure that Zoe and Jubilee would be instant besties. If they didn’t shoot each other first.

Gideon and Sofia have no choice but to work together in Their Fractured Light. Though it might pain them both to admit it, what’s one thing each admires about the other’s abilities?

It totally would pain them to admit it! Sofia’s an outstanding con artist, and Gideon admires her ability to keep a cool head and talk her way out of the most difficult of situations, pulling together what she has to somehow make it work. She’s like the MacGyver of con artists. Gideon’s a hacker, and he’s been single-mindedly pursuing his goal for years now. Sofia admires his intelligence, and his ability to pull together data and see things nobody else can. She also admires the fact that he works out. A lot.

If your teenage selves were able to read the Starbound series, which of the romantic pairings would have made you swoon the most?

You can’t make us choose! We love them allllllll! Honestly, we’d have swooned over them all for different reasons. Tarver and Lilac, because true love is an incredible thing to find. Flynn and Jubilee because they’re fighting for a chance to find out if what they have is love. And Gideon and Sofia because amidst the romance, these two are pure sass.

What one word would Gideon and Sofia each use to describe the secrets they uncover at LaRoux Industries?

Hrmmmmmm, let’s see. One would say ‘horrifying’ and one would say ‘unimaginable’, but we’ll let readers find out for themselves which is which!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions ladies!

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A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.


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AMIE KAUFMAN is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

MEAGAN SPOONER grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

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Three lucky winners will each receive a Starbound prize pack! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. 

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Be sure and check out the other stops on the tour for more reviews, interviews and guest posts!

Week 2:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Flame Never Dies

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking The Spine and is a fun way to see what books other bloggers just can't wait to get their hands on!

The Stars Never Rise #2
Rachel Vincent
Paranormal Young Adult
Releases from Delacorte Press August 2016

From Goodreads:

ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS COVER! The Stars Never Rise had an equally beautiful cover, and I obsessed over the start to this series from the moment I saw it. Normally demon-related stories are not my thing as they absolutely terrify me, but Rachel Vincent never fails to suck me in with her gritty awesomeness. I'm really looking forward to seeing where things go, though I have to admit to being slightly alarmed by the last line of the synopsis. Rachel Vincent is an author who isn't afraid to emotionally eviscerate her readers, so I know this will be one of those instances where I flip immediately to the end and read it first ;-)