Sunday, May 31, 2015

Book Review: Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Wild Hearts (If Only… #4)
By Jessica Burkhart
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Summary: Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start? 

This new title in the If Only line is the perfect summer read and proves that love flourishes in the wildest places!

Review: When this book showed up for me to review, I was definitely intrigued. I'm a sucker for cheesy YA romances and this one promised a YA romance with some horses thrown into the mix. 

Brie Carter has spent her life moving around the world for her dad's job as a developer. She's loved moving and experiencing new cultures, but she's never really formed real connections with friends her own age. From the moment her family shows up in Lost Springs, Wyoming, the locals make it clear that Brie and her family are not welcome. Quickly, Brie finds out that her dad's newest development is threatening the local Mustang population, which the locals aren't happy about. When Brie meets Logan, a local cowboy determined to show her how special the Mustangs are, Brie starts to care about the wild horses as well. But can she help Logan and his town without betraying her own family? 

I've got to say, I adored the horse aspect of this novel. I love horses and thought it was cool how Logan was a cowboy who had his own farm and everything. It was cute how he tried to show Brie how great Lost Springs really was and how important the Mustangs were to him. I wasn't a huge fan of how perfect Logan seemed to be with his perfect body and how they instantly fell for each other, but, like I said, it was just a fluffy romance. 

I don't know why, but for some reason I could totally see this as being a Mary Kate and Ashley movie. The main character saw something wrong with the community and teamed up with a cute guy to try and save teh world, or at least their small town. I thought Brie was an okay character who was both likable and annoying at times. I didn't really believe in her friendship with the only girl her age she really meets because Brie pretty much only uses her as a way to sneak around with Logan. Also, the feuding among the adults did not seem mature or as realistic as I thought they should have been. 

In the end, this was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed the animal aspect and how much Brie started to change because Logan showed her the quirks of Lost Springs and how powerful the horses were to his community. However, the conflicts were a little too exaggerated and the plot a bit too fluffy for my taste.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (147)

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

From Publisher
Three fantastic books showed up for me this week from Random House. They are three very different genres and I am so excited to read them! 

From Amazon
I've wanted a copy of this book ever since Christmas. I even asked Santa for it. Sadly, I had no idea that this had only been released in the UK at that point. I had some money left on an Amazon gift card I had and found this hardback copy for only $4, which is the price including shipping. From the UK. How could I say no?? I can't wait to finally read it! 

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

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Release Week Blitz + Giveaway: Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here RDL Banner  
We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Katie McGarry's NOWHERE BUT HERE! NOWHERE BUT HERE is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance and is a part of Katie McGarry’sThunder Road Series, published by Harlequin Teen. Grab your copy today!!

Nowhere But Here - cover


An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible 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.  

Hand rider on handlebars, close-up

From Emily's Point of View. Set up: Emily is riding a motorcycle for the very first time and she's riding it with Oz.

THE MOTORCYCLE ACCELERATES AND THE FEW inches I had established between me and Oz: gone. My body slides forward, colliding into his, and we click together like two puzzle pieces. Heat rushes up my neck and onto my cheeks. My thighs are too close to his, too tight against his body and this is way more intimate than I have been before with a guy.
Even when the two of us kissed.
Oz veers left, away from Olivia’s, away from the main road, and the entire motorcycle pitches to the side. My heart thun­ders and my fingers clutch not only at Oz’s belt loop, but at the material of his jeans, and his hips.
Oz glances at me over his shoulder as the bike straightens out. “Lean with it, Emily.”
Right. Lean with Oz and the bike. Got it. The narrow road curves ahead and this time when Oz and the bike tilt, I move along with it. Oz releases one of the amazingly high handlebars and massages my knee before returning his hand to the grip. Whether in reassurance or to affirm I mastered the curve I don’t know, but either way, I sit higher.
The wind whips through my hair and onto my face and I shut my eyes for a brief second and pretend that I’m flying. There’s something energizing, something hypnotic, something inside me that begs to burst out of a cage in search of freedom.
The motorcycle kicks forward and our speed increases. Beams of sunlight filter through the towering trees and green foliage blurs together as we fly over the road. From head to toe, my body vibrates with the loud growling of the power­ful machine.
My knee still tingles from where Oz laid his fingers on me and I’ve never been more aware of my hands in my life. I should let go of Oz’s body, but I can’t. Belt loops weren’t enough and my fingers have somehow edged up and onto his sides. Oz is solid. Yes, definitely solid. Every inch of him that I touch is tight muscle.
Oz is a year older than me, but somehow he seems older, wiser and hotter than any other guy I’ve known. Just the way he rides his bike creates this overabundance of confidence.
Warm sensations I’ve never experienced before blossom through me. We enter another curve and I lean with him. I like how in sync I’ve become with Oz and the motorcycle. Like we’ve merged into one.
The purr of the engine deepens and Oz eases the bike to a stop. His feet hit the ground and he turns the machine off. It’s as if all sound in the world ceased, or maybe I’ve gone deaf because there’s no way anything can be this still or silent.
The wind picks up and the silence is frightened away with the roar of the trees bending. Both Oz and I shift with the flow of air and Oz doesn’t move the bike until the breeze gentles.
Oz kicks down the stand and the bike tilts, but not too much. He sets a hand over the fingers that I laced together across his stomach. Oh, hell, I’m plastic wrapped to him. I drop my head onto his shoulder and it places me closer, and closer is not what I need.
I go to unglue myself, but Oz squeezes my fingers, send­ing a jolt of electricity up my arms. “You okay?”
I have to clear my throat to speak and that just sucks. “Yes.”
Oz slides his fingers against mine and a fluttering occurs in my stomach. It’s a light fluttering. Ticklish even, and my survival instincts scream at me to get off this motorcycle.


About the Author
Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan. Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine's 2012 Reviewer's Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.  


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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Book Review: Moonlight on Nightingale Way by Samantha Young

Moonlight on Nightingale Way (On Dublin Street #6)
By Samantha Young
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Summary: Logan from Echoes of Scotland Street is back with his own smoldering story, as the New York Times bestselling On Dublin Street series returns…

Logan spent two years paying for the mistakes he made. Now, he’s ready to start over. He has a great apartment, a good job, and plenty of women to distract him from his past. And one woman who is driving him to distraction…

Grace escaped her manipulative family by moving to a new city. Her new life, made to suit her own needs, is almost perfect. All she needs to do is find her Mr. Right—or at least figure out a way to ignore her irresistible yet annoying womanizer of a neighbor.

Grace is determined to have nothing to do with Logan until a life-changing surprise slowly begins turning the wild heartbreaker into exactly the kind of strong, stable man she’s been searching for. Only just when she begins to give into his charms, her own messy past threatens to derail everything they’ve worked to build…

Review: HOW IS THIS THE LAST BOOK?!? I didn't even realize that this was the last of the series until I got to the epilogue. I wasn't sure why all of the women from the series had short snippets in the epilogue until I read the author's note. All I can say is, what a way to end the series! 

After spending the past two years in prison for protecting his sister, Logan is a different man. With a string of women in and out of his life, he isn't looking for anything serious. Needless to say, his neighbor Grace does not appreciate the loud noises from his extra curricular activities at night when she's trying to edit books for her job as a freelance editor. Grace does her best to avoid her delicious, yet annoying new neighbor, but when his life is turned upside down, Grace is there to lend a helping hand. The more time they spend together and learn more about each other, they realize they actually have a lot in common and aren't as annoying to each other as they had thought…

From the moment Logan was mentioned in Echoes of Scotland Street, I knew that he would be a fantastic love interest for this last book. He gave up two years of his life to get back at a man who abused his sister, which shows that he will do anything for those he loves. Of course, when he got out of jail, he tries to make a new life but can't be as carefree and loving as he used to be. Instead, he has to deal with people judging him and can't see himself settling down anytime soon. I loved how much Logan and Grace bickered in the beginning, especially when Grace found some unmentionables from one of Logan's late night visitors. It was definitely a light-hearted start to an emotional read. Their relationship reminded me a lot of the one in Wallbanger at the beginning of the novel because the guy is a womanizer and the girl is there to be attracted to the guy but is also seriously annoyed by his promiscuous ways. 

I'm always a little nervous when it comes to introducing new characters into this series, but Grace flawlessly inserted herself into the On Dublin Street world. She had a really rough upbringing because her parents were so critical and not loving at all. Grace is relatable because she's pretty insecure about herself and constantly doubts she could ever be good enough for a guy like Logan. But I loved how much Logan's family and the On Dublin Street family were involved in making the relationship between Logan and Grace happen. There were a lot of family moments and, as always, I loved seeing all of the old couples married and still happy. They are such a welcoming family and only want the best for those they love, which means they'll do anything to get Logan and Grace to let go of their insecurities and just be together. 

I could go on and on and on about this book and how amazing Samantha Young is. I think this was a phenomenal, emotional, and adorable ending to the On Dublin Street series. I'm going to miss the couples and family that I've grown so close to over the years and the yummy men I've fallen in love with. Anyone who hasn't started this series, you must! As for the rest of us, I can't wait to see what Samantha has in store for us next.

Waiting On Wednesday (195)

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

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
By Sarah Ockler 
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Summary: The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

I love Sarah Ockler's books, so I am definitely excited for her newest release. And how good does this book sound? Could you imagine having an amazing talent that is abruptly taken away? And how yummy does Christian sound? I love how he challenges Elyse and how they are going to fall for each other. I seriously can't wait for this book! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Plan to Have in My Beach Bag This Summer

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 Books I Plan to Have in My Beach Bag This Summer

This week's topic is actually absolutely perfect because I am leaving for my family vacation to Myrtle Beach on Friday! Of course, I have a huge pile of books I bring with me every year and I already have mine picked out for this year! I made a video about the books that will be in my beach bag next week if you want to check it out. If not, the books will be listed below. I have a lot of new adults on the list because those are the books I've been buying but haven't had enough time to actually read because I've been reading review books. Oh, I just can't wait to finally read the books that have been staring at me from my shelf. Not to mention, all of them are absolutely gorgeous books! On to the list

1. Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven 
2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
3. Nowhere but Here by Renee Carlino

4. Whatever Life Throws at You by Julie Cross
5. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
6. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

7. Clipped Wings by Helena Hunting
8. One Tiny Lie by KA Tucker 
9. Quaterback Draw by Jaci Burton

10. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (146)

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

From Publisher
Only a couple to review this week, but they look so good! I definitely miss historical romances, so I can't wait to get back into them with Mary Balogh's new release. And Opening Up looks like a great read as well! 

From Amazon
I have seen this copy of The Hunger Games on some UK Instagram accounts and I was OBSESSED with it. I found some used copies on Amazon that were only $6, so I ordered one! It took a couple of weeks to arrive, but it is in perfect condition and so gorgeous! I can't wait to collect the other two in the series of this cover style! I also got a copy of #scandal by Sarah Ockler, who I absolutely love. The book was only $5 used on Amazon (hardback) and came in wonderful condition. I'm so excited to read Sarah's newest book! 

From Half Price Books
Half Price Books was having a Memorial Day sale where everything was 20% off, so I could not resist a trip there. I ended up grabbing So Inn Love for $.80 and The Best of Roald Dahl for less that $2. I love Catherine Clark and am excited to have another one of her books to add to my collection. I also have loved Roald Dahl ever since elementary school, so when I saw this book compiled of his best stories, I did not even hesitate to snatch it up. 

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

Friday, May 22, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Kissing in America
by Margo Rabb
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 26th 2015
Rate: 4/5 Stars


I loved romances because when you opened the first page, you knew the story would end well. Your heart wouldn't be broken. I loved that security, that guaranteed love.

In real life, you never knew the ending. I hated that.

Sixteen-year-old Eva has never been in love. But when she meets Will, everything changes. With him, her grief over her father's death fades, and she can escape from her difficult relationship with her mother. Then, without any warning, Will picks up and moves to California. So Eva—with the help of her best friend, Annie—concocts a plan to travel across the country to see him again. As they leave New York City for the first time and road-trip across America, they encounter cowboys, kudzu, and tiny towns without stoplights. Along the way, Eva and Annie learn the truth about love and all its complexities.

When I first read the summary of the book, I was excited to finally have a main character who loved romance novels as much as I do. Eva has found solace in romances after her father died and those novels definitely influence how she views romance in real life. I couldn't wait to meet Eva and relate to her utter love of romance novels. 

For the past two years, 16-year-old Eva has been grieving over her father's death while her mother has buried herself in work and refused to discuss her father anymore. As if he never existed at all. Eva still can't move on, so she buries herself in romance novels as a way to escape the world. Her romances, though, create notions in her head about her own life and she soon finds herself head over heels in love with Will, a boy who understands her loss and grief. So when Will announces he has to move to California for the summer, Eva makes a plan to take a road trip across the country with her best friend to compete in a reality show just to see Will again. Along the way, Eva discovers things about herself, her family, and her grief. 

First off, this book deals a lot with grief and it's so sad to see how Eva and her mother differed in their grief over the loss of Eva's father. Eva is struggling so much inside and it seems like her mother doesn't even care. In reality, though, her mom just deals with the grief in a different way, which is really hard for Eva since it seems like she has to face it all alone. It only makes sense, then, that when a boy comes along that seems to really understand Eva, she falls hard and fast. I wasn't a huge fan of how quickly Eva became obsessed with Will. I mean, she literally traveled across the country to see him even though he seemed kind of flakey and not as willing to contact her as she did him. The end, though, was so realistic and I was actually really glad that things weren't all rainbows and sunshine for the characters (sorry, I'm trying to explain it vague enough so that I don't give anything away). I really loved Eva's character and how relatable she was when it came to having a crush and obsessing over that relationship. 

What I also loved about this book was how much Eva experienced throughout her road trip. Road trip novels are so much fun to read and it was great how Eva got such a diverse experience everywhere she went. She first stopped in Cleveland (being from Ohio myself, I loved the Skyline references!) and then met some real life cowboys in Texas. It was funny how Eva would describe some situations how they would be described in one of her romance novels. That was a fun quirk that made the romance connection tie in really well. While a lot of this book was about Eva chasing after Will and her insecurities in their relationship, there was still a lot that dealt with friendship and family. Annie was a great friend and I really enjoyed their relationship. Then, Eva was still trying to figure out how she wanted to deal with her mom and if she even wanted to go back to New York at all. Eva had a lot of learning and growing up to do in this novel, all while trying to follow her heart. 

Overall, I actually really enjoyed this novel. I thought it was kind of annoying in the beginning how obsessed with Will Eva was when they really hadn't even spent all that much time together, but as the story progressed and ended up, Eva's experience was actually pretty relatable and realistic. If you want a story that deals with the hardships of grief, tests the strength of friendship, and explores the naivety of first love, you should definitely check out Kissing in America
“Wonderful . . . Margo Rabb has created nothing less than a women’s map of American mythologies, navigating from Emily Dickinson to Barbara Cartland, from the cowboys of the rodeos to the makeup studios of Hollywood, and from the bottom of the Atlantic to the spacious skies of the USA.” — E. Lockhart, New York Times bestselling author of We Were Liars

“A wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence and the inner lives of girls. Margo Rabb writes with compassion and clarity about lives that are worth telling, journeys that need to be taken, peace that needs to be reached. I loved it.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray Love

“That Margo Rabb can write a story so gorgeous, funny, and joyous that is also unsentimental and honest is a testament to her skill and to her heart. I loved everything about Eva and the supporting cast in this beautiful novel.” — Sara Zarr, author of The Lucy Variations

“Rabb eloquently gets grief right in this compassionate, perceptive, and poignant story, deftly leavened with irreverent humor, of a girl in conflict with her mother. Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting-not to be missed.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With a full cast of multidimensional characters, this novel explores the complex nature of relationships and the many faces of grief and love with equal parts humor and poignancy.” — School Library Journal

“A smart teen’s novel. [The] characters are authentic and complex. Rabb knows the perfect point to interject humor to diffuse a potentially devastating situation—a leavening of sorts to the reality that death and love inexplicitly alter the landscape of a person’s life.” — Booklist (starred review)

“In this indelible coming-of-age story, Rabb seamlessly weaves together multiple narratives. Sprinkled with the poetry Eva reads and writes, this story makes for a hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Humor and depth . . . Often entertainingly snarky” — The Horn Book

“It is a marvel and I love every word of it: the carefully structured plot, the memorable characters, the wholly apposite style and tone. It is funny, sad, wistful, wise, and altogether memorable.” — Michael Cart

Follow the Kissing in America AUDIO TOUR that Epic Reads is hosting. You can win lots of prizes and hear excerpts from Margo Rabb's book. Click on the banner below to start following the AUDIO TOUR!

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Follow the Kissing in America by Margo Rabb Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Margo Rabb's stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope: All Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, New England Review, One Story, and elsewhere, and have been broadcast on National Public Radio. She received grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in The Atlantic Monthly fiction contest, first prize in the American Fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. She grew up in Queens, New York, and now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two children. A complete list of her published work can be found here.

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