Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: Thoughtful by SC Stephens

Thoughtful (Thoughtless 1.5)
By SC Stephens
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: In Thoughtless, Kiera told her story. Now it's time for Kellan Kyle to share his side in Thoughtful . . .

The only place Kellan has ever felt at home is on stage. Gripping his guitar in a darkened bar, he can forget his painful past. These days his life revolves around his music and his band mates, and that's the way he likes it. And then one woman changes everything . . .

Kiera is the kind of girl Kellan has no business wanting - she's smart, sweet, and dating his best friend. Certain he could never be worthy of her love, he hides his growing attraction . . . until Kiera's own tormented heart hints that his feelings might not be one-sided. Now, no matter the consequences, Kellan is sure of one thing: he won't let Kiera go without a fight.

Review: Words cannot even begin to describe how much I love Kellan Kyle and the Thoughtless series. I devoured all three books when they came out about two years ago and haven't been able to forget about Keria and Kellan's story ever since. When I heard that Thoughtful was coming out and it was Kellan's point of view, I knew that I had to read it!

After always never feeling good enough as a child, Kellan has found a home onstage where he can shine with his guitar and best friends. It also gives Kellan the opportunity to feel that connection with his fans, on and off the stage, and never feel alone. From the moment Kiera walks into the bar, though, Kellan is completely struck by how sweet and beautiful of a person she is. The only problem? She's completely in love with his best friend. Kellan does his best to resist Kiera and be happy for his friend, but when things start to heat up between them and Kellan realizes Kiera may just feel the same way about him, Kellan won't back down without a fight. 

I thought I loved Kellan when I read the Thoughtless series, but holy cow do I love Kellan now. Being inside of his head was so heart-wrenchingly beautiful and I felt so many emotions throughout the entire novel. His relationship with Kiera is so back and forth and I was surprised how much I started to really hate Kiera. It's been awhile since I've read Thoughtless, so I don't remember all of the details of her story, but I just started to hate her for putting Kellan through so much pain! She seemed so selfish in this book because we didn't get to see all that was happening between her and Denny. What we got was Kellan's desire to feel wanted and worthy of someone and have Kiera constantly taking that away from him. Ugh! Kellan is so deserving of love in this book that it just broke my heart!

Having Kellan's point of view means that we got to see the guys act like, well, guys around him. It was fun seeing the band together and how they act around each other. My only problem with this book, though, was that Kellan's emotions became a bit redundant and I felt like we were in his head a little too much. Yes, I get he loves Kiera and has a hard time wanting her while wanting her to still be with Denny, but we didn't need so many inside moments and I could have used more action in the plot rather than inner monologue within Kellan's mind. Other than that redundancy, though, I felt even more connected to Kellan in this book and just wanted to shake Kiera for putting him through so much pain! Can't she see what an amazing guy is right in front of her?!?! Granted, Kellan did have his part in the hardships of their relationship, but he had to put up with so much when all he wanted was to feel loved! 

Before even thinking of starting this book, you have to read Thoughtless. Once you see Kiera's point of view, you'll be able to handle her character's flaws in this book and truly appreciate the emotions and hardships they face in this book. And be prepared to fall completely heed-over-heels in love with the super sweet, yet completely unnerving singer named Kellan Kyle. That's a name you'll never, ever forget after reading this series! 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: Under the Influence by LB Simmons



Dalton,
I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, na├»ve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me. 

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again. 
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.










Author's Note

Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.






Make sure to sign-up HERE for L. B Simmons newsletter for exclusive sneak peaks into 
Under the Influence and a first look at Chapter 1.


About the Author

L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.





LB Simmons' book The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller is on sale for only $.99 cents on Amazon! I LOVED this book, so you all should go and get yourselves a copy while it's on sale for such a great deal! Check out my review of the novel right here!

Waiting On Wednesday (183)

  

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

Nowhere But Here
By Katie McGarry 
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


-------------------------------------

KATIE MCGARRY IS COMING OUT WITH A NEW BOOK. Seriously, I have yet to read a book by Katie McGarry that I have not loved. And I've read almost every single one of her books. I'm so excited to read a book outside of her Pushing the Limits series! This one sounds SO GOOD. I'm not sure how I feel about the main character being named Oz, but boy does he sound yummy! I definitely can't wait for this one! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Heroines from Books


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!

1. Hermione from Harry Potter
2. Olivia from Before Jamaica Lane
3. Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice


4. Abby Abernathy from Beautiful Disaster
5. Cassie from The 5th Wave
6. Annie from Breathe, Annie, Breathe


7. Claire from Outlander
8. JD Schwenk from Dairy Queen
9. Cath from Fangirl


10. Katy from Obsidian

Monday, February 23, 2015

Blog Tour + Review/Giveaway: The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen

The Secret of Pembrooke Park 
By Julie Klassen
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Source: Blog Tour
Summary: Abigail Foster fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry to improve her charms and the one man she thought might marry her--a longtime friend--has fallen for her younger, prettier sister. 
When financial problems force her family to sell their London home, a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play . . . 

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem to know something about the manor's past, the only information they offer Abigail is a warning: Beware trespassers who may be drawn by rumors that Pembrooke contains a secret room filled with treasure. 

Hoping to improve her family's financial situation, Abigail surreptitiously searches for the hidden room, but the arrival of anonymous letters addressed to her, with clues about the room and the past, bring discoveries even more startling. As secrets come to light, will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?


Review: As a huge fan of Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, I was definitely intrigued by this book. With the promise of a gothic mystery in an extravagant old home, I couldn't wait to discover the secrets that Pembrooke Park had to offer. 

When her father loses their family fortune in an investment gone wrong, Abigail Foster has taken it upon herself to help set up their new home at Pembrooke Park. Still hurting from how her childhood best friend brushed her aside for her beautiful younger sister, Abigail is certain she will become a spinster. As her stay at Pembrooke Park begins, though, she is quickly enamored with the local curate as things around Pembrooke Park become stranger and scarier. With strange sounds around the home and surprise visitors around every corner, Abigail puts it upon herself to uncover the secrets that may lead to the notorious treasure of Pembrooke Park. 

While this book was pretty long, there sure was a lot of suspense, mystery, secrecy, and danger put into the story. From the beginning, Pembrooke Park is described as a very strange place. Everything was simply abandoned and not touched for years, that is until Abigail moves in with her family. I definitely got the nods to Jane Austen and Jane Eyre from this book, especially with romance and the creepiness of the house as a whole. Strange noises would come from the house and there were definitely more than one shady character running around keeping secrets of their own. While I was kind of annoyed with how much the characters would hint at a secret but wouldn't just tell us what it was already, I enjoyed the suspense and hunt to uncover the secret hidden treasure of Pembrooke Park. 

When Abigail wasn't snooping around the house or around town to uncover secrets of the past, she was spending some quality time with William, the local curate. I thought that their relationship was adorable and liked how the time period didn't make it okay for them to just give into their feelings. Abigail had to think about her future, her family, and her other potential suitors and couldn't just go ahead and kiss William just because she wanted to. William, though, was determined to show her how much he cared for her and it was adorable how nice and sweet he was. The other characters were great too, especially since you didn't know who you could trust or who was hiding what. The not knowing made for a suspenseful read, but by the end I just wanted to know the secrets already! 

Overall, The Secret of Pembrooke Park was an intriguing read that was something I just wanted to cozy up with and get lost in the world of secrets. It was a pretty fast read and I enjoyed the time period, full of courtship, balls, and inheritances that could very well be the death of you


About the Author
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane—Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. Three of her books have won the Christy Award for Historical Romance. She has also been a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Awards. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in St. Paul, Minnesota. Learn more about Julie and her books at http://julieklassen.com/.

Giveaway


Win One of Four Fabulous Prizes

In celebration of the release of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, four chances to win copies of Julie’s books and other Jane Austen-inspired items are being offered.

Three lucky winners will receive one trade paperback or eBook copy of The Secret of Pembrooke Park, and one grand prize winner will receive one copy of all eight of Julie’s novels: Lady of Milkweed Manor, The Apothecary's Daughter, The Silent Governess, The Girl in the Gatehouse, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, The Tutor’s Daughter, The Dancing Master, and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, one DVD of Northanger Abbey (2007) and a Jane Austen Action Figure.

To enter the giveaway contest, simply leave a comment on any or all of the blog stops on The Secret of Pembrooke Park Blog Tour starting February 16, 2015 through 11:59 pm PT, March 9, 2015. Winners will be drawn at random from all of the comments and announced on Julie Klassen’s website on March 16, 2015. Winners have until March 22, 2015 to claim their prize. The giveaway contest is open to residents of the US, UK, and Canada. Digital books will be sent through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Good luck to all!


THE SECRET OF PEMBROOK PARK BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

February 16              My Jane Austen Book Club (Guest Blog)
February 16              vvb32 Reads (Excerpt)                               
February 17              Psychotic State Book Reviews (Review)
February 17              My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice (Spotlight)      
February 18              Addicted to Jane Austen (Review)                                 
February 18              Peeking Between the Pages (Review)                                      
February 19              Jane Austen in Vermont (Interview)                                           
February 19              Living Read Girl (Review)                                      
February 20              My Love for Jane Austen (Excerpt)                                             
February 20              Truth, Beauty, Freedom & Books (Review)                              
February 20              Laura's Reviews (Guest Blog)                                         
February 21              A Bookish Way of Life (Review)                                      
February 21              Romantic Historical Reviews (Excerpt)                         
February 22              Reflections of a Book Addict (Review)                                      
February 23              Austenesque Reviews (Guest Blog)                                          
February 23              Peace, Love, Books (Review)                                          
February 24              vvb32 Reads (Review)                                           
February 24              Poof Books (Excerpt)
February 25              Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)                                           
February 25              Austenesque Reviews (Review)                                     
February 25              Luxury Reading (Review)
February 26              So Little Time…So Much to Read (Review)
February 26              More Agreeably Engaged (Excerpt)
February 27              Psychotic State Book Reviews (Interview)                               
February 27              Booktalk & More (Review)
February 28              Laughing with Lizzie (Spotlight)
February 28              The Calico Critic (Review)
March 01                   Leatherbound Reviews (Excerpt)                                                
March 01                   Delighted Reader (Review)
March 02                   CozyNookBks (Review)                                         

March 02                   Laura's Reviews (Review)                                                

Weekly Roundup [2/17-2/23]

WHAT IS UP WITH THIS WEATHER. We had Monday off for President's Day and then had a snow day Tuesday and Wednesday, and then a "cold day" on Thursday and Friday because temperatures were as low as -15 here. So I had the entire week off from school! While it was great being able to read all day, I couldn't really go anywhere and had to brave the cold/snow just to get to the rec to workout. I haven't been able to run outside in over a week and I miss it so much. Treadmills just aren't the same. But since I haven't had school, I've read a book a day this past week and I read some pretty darn good books! Now, though, it's back to reality and finally back to school…

Book Reviews

The Raven Boys by maggie Stiefvater
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Hero by Samantha Young

Memes

Miscellaneous

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Book Review: Hero by Samantha Young

Hero
By Samantha Young
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: Alexa Holland’s father was her hero—until her shocking discovery that her mother and she weren’t his only family. Ever since, Alexa has worked to turn her life in a different direction and forge her own identity outside of his terrible secrets. But when she meets a man who’s as damaged by her father’s mistakes as she is, Alexa must help him.

Caine Carraway wants nothing to do with Alexa’s efforts at redemption, but it’s not so easy to push her away. Determined to make her hate him, he brings her to the edge of her patience and waits for her to walk away. But his actions only draw them together and, despite the odds, they begin an intense and explosive affair.

Only Caine knows he can never be the white knight that Alexa has always longed for. And when they’re on the precipice of danger, he finds he’ll do anything to protect either one of them from being hurt again.
 

Review: HOW IS SAMANTHA YOUNG SO PERFECT. Okay, so I don't know anything about her as a person, but her writing is pure perfection. Her On Dublin Street series is one of my favorite series of all time, so I was definitely excited to read her new standalone that promised an unforgettable romance. 

Alexa Holland's family came tumbling down when she discovered her father's horrible secret. Alexa has tried had to build a life to avoid his reputation, but when she's confronted with the man who was affected by her father's mistakes, Alexa is determined to help him. Caine Carraway wants absolutely nothing to do with a Holland, but Alexa is too stubborn and determined, so he hires her as his personal assistant to teach her a lesson. Instead of pushing her away, though, Alexa and Caine discover an immense attraction for one another and have a very hard time resisting…until they don't. But Caine knows he could never be enough for Alexa, no matter how hard Alexa tries to show him otherwise. 

Oh. Em. Gee. This book. THIS BOOK. I mean, I knew it was going to be good, but I ended up devouring this book in one day because I just could not get enough of Alexa and Caine. The first thing I loved about this book was how honestly funny it was. I loved Alexa's snarky attitude towards Caine and how they constantly bantered with one another. I laughed out loud multiple times and think that the dialogue between those two was just spectacular. They drove each other crazy yet they couldn't ignore the super intense chemistry going on. And boy, did they have chemistry. Those two were on fire, but, of course, there were emotions that got in the way…

Normally I'm not a huge fan of books where one or both characters constantly push each other away, but Samantha Young did such a good job at making their relationship believable. Caine threw up his walls, but Alexa always knew when and why he was being distant and did everything in her power to try to bring him back to her again. Wow, though. That secret Caine was holding in was so sad and definitely not what I was expecting, which made this book an even more emotional ride than it already was. Alexa was dealing with very tough family issues and Caine was just dealing with his guilt and feeling of not being good enough for anyone…oh Caine! Even though he acted all stubborn, dangerous, and demanding, he definitely had his sweet side that just swept me off my feet. If anything, you MUST read this book to have Caine Carraway in you life. 

Samantha Young is an author who not only understands romance, but knows how to create a romance that is utterly addicting, emotional, and just so freaking good! Caine was the perfect balance between dominating and sweet, and Alexa was the perfect woman to bring him to his knees. Not only did Alexa and Caine have to worry about themselves in their relationship, but they also had the real world to deal with as well. And there's even some suspense thrown in just case you weren't addicted enough to the story. Everyone HAS to read Hero and, if you haven't yet, go pick up every other story Samantha Young has ever written. Trust me, you'll thank me later.


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