Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Book Review: Rival by Penelope Douglas

Rival (Fall Away #2)
By Penelope Douglas
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….


Review: I've never heard of Penelope Douglas or her Fall Away series, but one look at this cover and I knew I had to read Rival as soon as I could. Good thing I did because Penelope sure knows how to create a couple with such intense emotions and insane chemistry that I could feel the heat simmering through the pages. And I loved every minute of it. 

After spending the past two years at boarding school, Fallon is back and ready for revenge. Her step brother Madoc had hurt her in ways no one else ever could and she's ready to finally show him who's boss. But as soon as they see each other, old emotions and attraction come rushing back and it's impossible to resist each other, even though they know it's a bad idea. Again. Will things end differently this time or will they both run away when they've finally pushed each other to their limits? 

Seriously, I am still freaking out over this book. While I was reading it, I even called my sister to rant and freak out over what was happening in the book. Fallon and Madoc became so real to me and I was hooked to their hot and heavy relationship. I loved how they bantered and tested each other and definitely didn't make their relationship easy. This story reminded me so much of Gossip Girl, which I just so happen to be obsessed with, with the couple who continuously taunts each other and the scandals, lies, and affairs of the rich adding so many more complications to the relationships of all of the characters. Needless to say, it was the perfect combination to create an enticing couple with a seriously addicting story. 

I haven't read the first book in this series, so I was a little worried when Fallon started talking about the past she had with Madoc, but didn't reveal what exactly pulled them apart and why Fallon was so hurt by everything. As I read on, though, everything was revealed in due time through various flashbacks and conversations, which made the story that much more intense. After reading this book, I definitely want to read the first one to see how Tate and Jared got together because they were pretty awesome. Not only was the main couple impossible not to love, but I was equally intrigued with their best friends, which included Tate and Jared, and especially Jax. Thank goodness we get Jax's story next because I am dying to get a look inside of his life, which we only got to see a little bit of as he helped out Madoc and Fallon try to stay together. 

So, um, yeah. I liked this book. A lot. I was a little iffy the first fifty pages in, but once more and more was revealed about Fallon and Madoc's past, I only fell more and more in love with them. With feisty main characters, even feistier secondary characters, and secrecy and scandal around every corner, you can't go wrong with Rival. You have to check out Penelope Douglas's Fall Away series right now. You're missing out on a hot New Adult novel that will seriously rock your socks.


Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table


This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table 

Haha, oh boy. Bringing back the high school days! I definitely tended to be friends with the people who loved books and movies as much as I did and people who were as dedicated to getting good grades as I was. Of course we were interested in other things, like sports and different clubs, but we were all pretty to succeed during and beyond school. But we all had our own quirks and were definitely not the perfect popular people of the school. So here's who would be sitting at my table if all YA characters went to the same high school


1. Mia from If I Stay by Gayle Forman
2. Rachel from Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
3. Kiara from Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles 


4. Anna from Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
5. Olivia from Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young
6. Maggie from Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles 


7. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
8. Dani from The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne
9. Annie from Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally


10. Hudson from Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review: Breathe by Kristen Ashley

Breathe (Colorado Mountain #4)
By Kristen Ashley
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: There's nothing like the first time . . .

In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town's quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal's last remaining virgin. For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable. She's resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company-until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods...

Chace doesn't think he's the good guy everyone believes him to be. He's made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye. Through his choices, he's come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption. Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion. Yet always casting a shadow over their happiness is Chace's dark past


Review: Seriously, how does Kristen Ashley do it? She creates these super long, complicated stories that involve lies, deceit, mystery, murder, and some hot and heavy romance that is impossible to resist. With two of her novels already under my belt, I couldn't wait to finally crack into Breathe, the fourth book in her Colorado Mountain series. 

Faye Goodknight is Carnal's quiet town library, always walking around with her nose in a book. Little does the town know, the innocent library has been harboring a huge crush on Chace Keaton, the town's gorgeous cop who also just so happens to be married. When Chace's wife is murdered, he's determined to uncover who killed her, no matter how much he didn't like her. Chace knows he's not a good guy and that Faye deserves someone much better than him, but after Chace runs into Faye out in the woods in the middle of the night, they can't seem to stay out of each other's lives. Soon, Chace and Faye find it impossible to resist each other, but Chace has some dark secrets he isn't ready to tell Faye, and doesn't know if he ever can. 

In the words of Faye Goodknight, this book was fraking good. First, let's start with Faye. I love books where the main character is someone who doesn't have it all figured out and never gets the guy right away. That's Faye. She's quiet, loves books, and geeks out over tv shows and movies. Oh, and she's been pining after Chace for eight years. Faye is so relatable and I love how realistic her character is, especially with how her love for books affects everything in her life, from how she decorated her apartment to her ability to relate to kids who also like to read. Regarding her massive crush, who wouldn't fall for someone like Chace? He is so hot, not only on the outside but by how much he cares for Faye and really wants to treat her right. While Faye is supposed to be the naive and inexperienced one in the relationship, she never lets Chace run all over her and is actually an equal in their relationship. I loved how they explored their boundaries with each other and finally gave into the chemistry that had been bubbling for so many years. 

As always, Kristen Ashley managed to throw in a very enticing, heart pumping storyline to test Faye and Chace's relationship. I loved how Faye made it her duty to look after the little homeless boy who always came by the library. Of course there's mystery behind who he is and where he comes from, so Faye and Chace work together to try and help him. Then, on top of that, Chace is still dealing with the dirty cop scandal that Carnal had been involved in, which had ruined the five years of his life when he was forced to marry his deceased wife. The threat of that scandal isn't going away any time soon and his relationship with Faye puts Faye into a lot of danger. So much more drama and intrigue is thrown into the story with these scandals and danger lurking behind their town. While I was completely wrapped up in the romance between Chace and Faye, I was also given a story that kept me on the edge of my seat. 

Need I say more? With another glowing review for yet another Kristen Ashley novel, I honestly don't know if she could ever go wrong. How does she manage to write about insanely sexy men falling for lovable and relatable women in a story with enough suspense that make it impossible to stop reading? I don't know, but I'm not complaining. If you haven't checked her out yet, then you have to pick up a book by Kristin Ashley because you're definitely missing out.



Weekly Roundup [8/26-9/1]


I survived my first week of my senior year of college! Granted, I've had a four day weekend to recuperate, but it wasn't too bad! I really love my classes so far and I'm excited to see what I get to learn throughout the semester. My knitting club and book club have their first meetings this week, so we'll see how many new people show up to those (I started both clubs in my freshman and sophomore years). I've missed knitting every week with my friends, so it'll feel good to finally have my hour of knitting and ranting about life with some pretty awesome people back again. What I'm most excited for, though, is the Fall In Love Tour that's stopping by a town only one hour away from me. That means that this Saturday I'm actually going to meet Colleen Hoover, Abbi Glines, and Jamie McGuire! Someone pinch me now! I absolutely adore their books and can't wait for the chance to meet them in person. Can it be Saturday now?

Book Reviews
Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Memes

Miscellaneous

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different
By Sandy Hall
Release Date: August 26, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, somethingis happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. 

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are ment to be together.


Review: I'm a sucker for a good romance, so when I read the summary for A Little Something Different, I knew it was a book I had to read. I was intrigued that the entire romance was told through perspectives other than the main couple. I couldn't wait to literally watch Gabe and Lea fall for each other…

As soon as they meet each other, Gabe and Lea see something in each other they can't seem to shake. And everyone else seems to see it too. From their creative writing teacher to the bus driver, everyone can see the chemistry Gabe and Lea have with each other. Too bad relationships just aren't that easy. Gabe has a secret that has left him shy and scared to do something about his feelings for Lea and Lea is too confused by Gabe's mixed signals to take their relationship to the next step. But if everyone sees that they're meant to be, surely they will too…

First off, I just have to say how darn cute this book was. While it wasn't the most complex novel there is, I loved watching Gabe and Lea develop a relationship through the eyes of everyone around them. This book is like a people watcher's heaven; you get to watch from the outside as Gabe and Lea skirt around each other because they're so unsure of how the other feels. We get to hear both of their insecurities and uncertainties as they confide in their best friends, whose perspectives we are able to see.  What I love about that, also, is the fact that we really get to know not only Gabe and Lea, but everyone else in their lives too. I loved how Gabe's friends got to know Lea's friends and how secondary relationships started to form through that as well. While I wasn't a fan of the passages from the perspectives of the bench and the squirrel because it made the story seem a bit too juvenile, I thought the mix of the other perspectives was charming and perfect for Gabe and Lea's romance. 

A Little Something Different was definitely a simple and quick read, but sometimes that's just what you need. Lea and Gabe aren't that couple that have a super intense attraction and instantly get together. No, they awkwardly work at it for almost a year, but watching them fall for each other is just too cute not to love. I really enjoyed how they were encouraged by their teacher in creative writing class, a sweet waitress at the dinner, and even the baristas at Starbucks. So much goes into a relationship and A Little Something Different explores the world around a relationship and how sweet falling in love can really be.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (114)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where bloggers share what they got throughout the week!

From Library

I know I really shouldn't go to the library because I have so many books at home that I have to read. But when I saw Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe, I just couldn't pass it up! Not only is the cover adorable, but it has to do with cupcakes. As a baker, I love all novels that have to do with food. I can't wait to dig into this one!


That's it for me! What did you all add to your shelves this week? 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review/Giveaway: Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis

Blackfin Sky
By Kat Ellis
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: When Sky falls from Blackfin Pier and drowns on her sixteenth birthday, the whole town goes into mourning – until she shows up three months later like nothing happened.

Unravelling the mystery of those missing months takes Sky to the burned-out circus in the woods, where whispers of murder and kidnapping begin to reveal the town’s secrets. But Sky’s not the only one digging up the past – the old mime from the circus knows what happened to her, and he has more than one reason for keeping quiet about it.



Review: Right off the bat, I knew that Blackfin Sky was going to be a creepy book that held a lot of secrets. I was pleasantly surprised how much the story really drew me in and kept my attention until the very end with all of the secrecy and lies. 

On Sky's 16th birthday, she falls off the Blackfin pier and dies. Too bad she doesn't remember dying. Three months after her "death," Sky walks back into her high school as if it's another day, and to her it is. But when she learns that people have thought she's been dead, especially after they buried her and held a funeral, Sky has no idea what happened to her. Sky digs deeper into the town she's been living in for the past 16 years and discovers secrets behind the forbidden woods that could reveal the town's real history and uncover what really happened to Sky after she died. 

At the very beginning of the novel, Sky discovers that she's supposedly been dead for the past three months, even though she remembers those three months as her just living her ordinary life in Blackfin. That being said, the town Sky lives in is definitely one of those creepy towns that you know holds a ton of secrets. The only problem is, we have no idea what those secrets are and neither does Sky. Sky starts to realize that things have always been strange in Blackfin, she's just never noticed it before. Things definitely get scary as Sky uncovers the burnt down circus in the woods and meets even more mysterious people that know more about her than she even knew herself. Trying to keep all of the facts and secrets about Sky and Blackfin straight became confusing at times because there was so much history to the town, but once everything fell together at the end, the story and characters were much easier to understand. 

As always, I loved the romance we got in the novel. As great and adorable as the romance was, though, I wanted more from Sky's relationships with her "best friends" in the novel. Sure, Sky has a huge crush on her best friend's brother, but we didn't really get to see her relationship with her best friend that much. I mean, if I was going through as much as Sky was, I would definitely call my best friends for help, not some random guy I had just met or people who really freak me out, which is what Sky ended up doing. Cam wasn't really present throughout the novel and I wish we could see their close relationship balanced with Sky's relationship with Sean. We did get more of Sky and Bo's relationship, but I think there could have been a lot more best friend moments than we got. 

In the end, Blackfin Sky was a creepy story about a strange town with even stranger people. I really enjoyed Sky's character and how real she was with everything going on around her. The mystery behind who Sky really was and what was happening in the small town of Blackfin provided an intriguing story that brought in some pretty unique characters.



Giveaway
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Blackfin Sky by Kat Ellis! Just fill out the rafflecopter below! Ends 9/5 ***US ONLY***

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