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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (154)


This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

For Real
By Alison Cherry 
Release Date: December 9, 2014
Summary: No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?


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Finally, a book about sisters! I feel like I rarely read a book that revolves around the relationship of sisters that is realistic and relatable to me, so Alison Cherry's newest release definitely caught my attention. Claire sounds like someone I can totally relate to, so I'm excited to see how she deals with the twist the show throws her way. There also seems to be a hint of romance for Claire, which I'm definitely a fan of. Hopefully this one turns out as good as the summary makes it out to be! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Unstoppable by Shannon Richard

Unstoppable (Country Roads #3)
By Shannon Richard
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: Some things you don't dare let go . . . 

Melanie O'Bryan knows life is too short to be afraid of taking chances. And former Air Force sergeant Bennett Hart is certainly worth taking a chance on. He's agreed to help her students with a school project, but she's hoping the handsome handyman will offer her a whole lot more. Yet despite his heated glances and teasing touches, Mel senses there's something holding him back . . . 

Bennett Hart is grateful to be alive and back home in Mirabelle, Florida. Peaceful and uncomplicated-that's all he's looking for. Until a spunky, sexy-as-hell teacher turns his life upside down. After one smoldering kiss, Bennett feels like he's falling without a parachute. But with memories of his past threatening to resurface, he'll have to decide whether to keep playing it safe, or take the biggest risk of all. 


Review: Oh, man. I absolutely devour every single Shannon Richard novel and am always left wanting so much more. Unlike the first two novels of the Country Roads series, Unstoppable explores the slow growth and realistic uncertainty of starting a relationship that isn't hot and heavy right off the bat. 

After Melanie was shot by the two men who victimized their town, Bennett did not leave her side as she recovered and returned back to teaching. No matter how big of a crush Melanie has developed for Bennett, though, she knows he's just a friend she can count on for anything, and that includes helping her math class build bookcases for an entire semester. Spending so much time together, Bennett has far more than friendly feelings for Melanie, but his past still haunts him, as well as the tragedy that has scared him from ever letting anyone in again. 

Like I said, this book is not like the previous two books in this small town romance series, but definitely in a good way. Bennett and Melanie's relationship is slow-going and they hang out a lot as friends before things come even close to progressing towards being more than friends. That being said, though, I love how we got to see Melanie and Bennett be friends first and finally have a relationship that develops instead of having an attraction that just take of running like so many romance novels do. Not to mention that I absolutely loved how they watched Game of Thrones together. As a GoT fanatic, I understood all of the references and was way too excited whenever they would talk about it together. Nothing like a little Game of Thrones to light the flame of a relationship! 

Not only was their relationship so much more realistic, but Melanie's character was definitely a character I could relate to. Melanie was a high school math teacher and she didn't wear super revealing clothes or have a totally hot body that every single guy in the room stares at. No, she's just average, but Bennett saw everything in her that made her special and completely irresistible in his eyes. And when she got sick and he took care of her? A completely normal occurrence in a person's life, but one that just made me swoon. Bennett is super sweet and I loved how much he took care of Melanie and put her first in their relationship. And the cooking! A man who can cook gets an A plus in my book. 

I must say, though, this novel was definitely a lot more serious and emotional as well. Bennett went through some traumatic and emotional experiences when he was in the Air Force and when something happens that brings all of those feelings rushing back, his relationship with Melanie is put to the test. I was on the verge of tears at one point, and that's definitely saying something. I became very connected to Bennett and Melanie as they faced the uncertainty and shyness newly forming couples go through, which only made me love them that much more when they had to face their own demons as they attempted to let each other in by the end of the book. As much as I loved this book, though, I am beyond ecstatic to finally have Shep's story in the next book! Mmmm, more irresistible men in an addicting story where the small town is impossible not to love? Yes, please!




Oh God, who was she kidding? She’d never felt this way about any man before. Bennett was…well, infuriating to start with, but he was brave, smart, kind, funny, intense. There was nothing like having his full attention focused on her. He gave her way more than butterflies. It was like eagles were flapping around in her stomach whenever he was around. There were no flutters. They were freaking tidal waves.

Yeah, getting over Bennett was going to be way easier said than done.

Mel headed toward the supply closet at the back of her classroom where she locked up her purse in a filling cabinet. She grabbed the key and unlocked the top drawer, pulled out her purse, and slammed the drawer shut. When she turned around Bennett was standing in the doorway. Filling it completely. Mel stopped short and stared at him. His eyes were focused on her, the determination in them making all of the thoughts vacate her brain.

“I can’t leave you alone.” He came into the room and shut the door behind him. “And I’m not playing games.” He crossed the small space. “Or at least I’m not trying to.” He shook his head. “I think about you all the time.” He stopped in front of her, took the purse out of her hands, and put it on top of the filing cabinet. Then he reached up and touched her cheek. His fingers fanned out as he pushed his hand to the back of her head and tilted her face up.

Holy hell, what is happening?

She looked into his eyes, and her knees went just a little bit weak. She reached back and planted her hands against the wall, trying to find some balance, something to keep her upright, because she really didn’t want to miss this.

“Because I am interested in you, Mel.” He cupped her face with his other hand and ran his thumb across her lower lip. “Very interested.” He leaned forward and pressed his mouth to hers.

The kiss was soft and gentle at first, just his lips against hers. He took another step into her, pushing her back. When she hit the wall she gasped, and Bennett took advantage of her open mouth. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth, and she couldn’t stop the moan that escaped her throat.

She plastered herself up against him, against every inch of his hard body. Her arms wound around his shoulders; her hands skittered up the back of his head. She opened her mouth further and his tongue touched hers. Bennett groaned as their tongues began a thorough exploration of each other’s mouths.
His hands were at the back of her head, his fingers deftly pulling out the pins that held up her bun. And then he was unwinding her hair, his hands plunging deep into her unruly curls.

“I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” he said against her mouth. “These curls of yours drive me out of my mind.”

“What stopped you?” She nipped at his lower lip.

“Pure stupidity,” he said, as he claimed her mouth again.

Holy cow, can this man kiss. I feel it everywhere, and do I mean everywhere! He had her toes curling in her shoes, all manner of body parts tingling where they were pushed up against his, and his hands were magic in her hair. One of his hands drifted down to her side. He touched her hip for a second before his hand slid to the small of her back. He held her to him, but really, she wasn’t going anywhere.

“Mel,” a voice called out from her classroom. “Are you here?”

There were only a few things that could bring Mel back to reality with the snap of a finger. The sound of her little brother’s voice was definitely one of them.

“Oh crap, it’s Hamilton,” Mel gasped, pulling back. Bennett’s hand was behind her head, and it prevented her from hitting the wall. “I’ll be right out!” she answered Hamilton, unable to completely cover up the breathy edge to her voice.

Bennett nodded. He let go of her reluctantly, and took a step back. “You’re going to have to give me a minute before I can go out there,” he said, clearing his throat uncomfortably.

“Oh,” she said, nodding. “Um, okay.”

Actually, she was going to need a minute, too. She knew her hair was everywhere, and she had a feeling Bennett’s scruffy jaw had left its fair share of marks on her face. Not to mention her thoroughly swollen lips.

Soooo worth it.

About the Author
Shannon Richard grew up in the Florida Panhandle as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a BA in English Literature and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She's still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she's a pretty big fan of the whimsy.




Tourwide Giveaway

Launch Day Blitz: Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley


Lady Luck (Colorado Mountains #3)
By Kristen Ashley
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Summary: Is love in the cards?

Since birth, Lexie Berry has had nothing but bad luck. Orphaned at an early age, she had a rough childhood and a boyfriend who was murdered. Now the beautiful, stylish Lexie is determined to change her luck and her life. But first she's got to make good on a promise: to pick up Ty Walker from prison. One look at the gorgeous ex-convict and Lexie knows she's in trouble-and already thinking about taking a walk on the wild side . . .

For five years, Ty was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. Now he wants revenge on the people who framed him. Yet when the high-stakes poker player sees the leggy Lexie, he suddenly has other desires on his mind. Realizing that Ty is innocent, Lexie tries to stop his plan for vengeance and help him become a better man. But as Ty battles his inner demons, dirty cops and criminals plot to take him out. Can he and Lexie find a way to escape the past?


B&N // BAM! // IndieBound // iTunes // Amazon

About the Author
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.  And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Tour Giveaway
One winner gets a copy of the book with signed bookplate plus a Vera Bradley wristlet. Five winners get a copy of the book with signed bookplate. Ends 8/19 ***US/Canada only***

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I Own the Most Books From


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 Authors I Own the Most Books From


1. Nicholas Sparks || 16 Books


2. Jane Austen || Too many to count!


3. Sophie Kinsella || 9 Books


4. Maya Banks || 8 Books


5. Kate Brian || 8 Books


6. Meg Cabot || 8 Books


7. Jennifer Echols || 7 Books


8. Cassandra Clare || 7 Books


9. JK Rowling || 7 Books


10. Eloisa James || 6 Books

Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Review: Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley

Lady Luck (Colorado Mountains #3)
By Kristen Ashley
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: Is love in the cards?

Since birth, Lexie Berry has had nothing but bad luck. Orphaned at an early age, she had a rough childhood and a boyfriend who was murdered. Now the beautiful, stylish Lexie is determined to change her luck and her life. But first she's got to make good on a promise: to pick up Ty Walker from prison. One look at the gorgeous ex-convict and Lexie knows she's in trouble-and already thinking about taking a walk on the wild side . . .

For five years, Ty was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit. Now he wants revenge on the people who framed him. Yet when the high-stakes poker player sees the leggy Lexie, he suddenly has other desires on his mind. Realizing that Ty is innocent, Lexie tries to stop his plan for vengeance and help him become a better man. But as Ty battles his inner demons, dirty cops and criminals plot to take him out. Can he and Lexie find a way to escape the past?

Review: Every time I pick up a book from Kristen Ashley's Colorado Mountain series, I hope that it is going to be worth the time spent reading all 600+ pages. And, let me tell you. Out of the time I've spent reading her books? Worth every single minute. 

Lexie Berry is used to things never going her way. As an orphan, she's grown up taking care of herself until she met her high school boyfriend Ronnie. But when Ronnie was murdered after he got involved with drugs and prostitution, Lexie is left with some not so friendly friends wanting favors that Ronnie owed. What Lexie doesn't expect, though, is to become wrapped up in the life of Ty Walker, an ex-con who was just released from prison after being sentenced five years for committing a crime he didn't do. Ty needs Lexie to help him seek revenge, but Lexie soon turns into so much more than Ty's means to an end. Ty and Lexie have had rough lives and become entirely new people as they get to know each other, but can they forget their demons and start over? 

Oh. My. Gosh. What a book. First off, let me start by saying that I wasn't all that impressed in the beginning. An ex-con? Who barely says anything and literally towers over everyone in the room? But as soon as Lexie unleashed her goofy and endearing side on him, he was a goner. I loved Lexie's personality and how she would call Ty such funny names with the purpose of being endearing. Ty may look hard and mean on the outside, but Lexie's fun personality made him fall for her and trust her enough to open up to her. Their relationship was definitely unconventional when it started, but I loved how it developed and they seriously fell for each other. 

While the romance was definitely fiery and passionate, there was a lot more to the story. The main characters were dealing with so much scandal, danger, and secrecy that I was on the edge of my seat the entire novel. While some of the details were lost to me in the long dialogue explaining who was bad and who was good with the dirty cops and drug scandals, the situations Lexie and Ty find themselves in are heart pumping and push them even closer together. 

What can I say? Kristen Ashley sure knows how to write a novel. While it may be much longer than other novels, she packs so much into one story that you don't even notice the pages go by until the end. Oh, and we also get the irresistible Tate that I fell in love with from Sweet Dreams, as well as some more of the fantastic folks from their small mountain town. If you haven't picked up this series yet, I'd definitely recommend it!


Weekly Roundup [7/22-7/28]


Greetings from the beach! We packed up our car and headed out on Friday for our long awaited summer vacation. To a book blogger, a 12 hour carried only means one thing: lots and lots of reading time. I finished up three books, one of which was over 600 pages. I'd say it was a very successful drive. Since then, I've been laying on the beach, working on my tan, and reading some pretty amazing books. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I'm obsessed with taking pictures of the beach and the books that I'm reading on the beach. What can I say? I'm having a fabulous time and vacation has just started! I can't wait to spend the rest of the week in reader's heaven! 

Book Reviews
Undeniable by Shannon Richard
The Year of Chasing Dreams by Lurlene McDaniel

Memes

Miscellaneous
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