Saturday, July 14, 2018

Book Review: Moonshot by Alessandra Torre

by Alessandra Torre
Release Date: July 4, 2016
Source: Own Copy 
Baseball isn’t supposed to be a game of life and death…

The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase... he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil.

I tried to stay away. I couldn’t.

Then, the team started losing.
Women started dying.
And everything in my world broke apart.

I love a good sports romance, so when I saw this was coming out back in 2016, I knew I had to have it. Almost two years later, though, an this book was STILL sitting on my shelves! I finally got the motivation I needed, though, and devoured this book in one day. 

Ty has lived and breathed Yankees baseball ever since she started to live with her father when she was very young. Everything was easy. She loved the team and they loved her. Until Chase Stern came to play for the team. Chase is a notorious lady's man who is one of the best players in the league. Ty knows she should stay away from him and resist his charm. But she can't. And that one decision changes the rest of her life forever. 

HOLY COW THIS BOOK. The first 100 pages are pure angst and I was SO FOR IT. I loved how Ty tried so hard not to like Chase, but he was too irresistible. Even Ty's father knew Chase being on the team would affect Ty, but Chase saw something refreshing in Ty and they had such insane chemistry. Then, there was a plot twist and I LOST IT. This book had me feeling so many emotions and I was so invested in this story that I literally could not put it down. 

The baseball in this book was everything and I loved how involved with the team Ty was. Then, there was the whole murder mystery aspect that was so intriguing and definitely had me surprised at the end. And even with all of the obstacles thrown into their way, I was rooting for Chase and Ty until the very end. While this was a romance, it was also a mystery/suspense novel, which definitely kept me on my toes. 

If you can't tell, I absolutely LOVED this book and can't believe that it took me so long to read. It had the angst I loved in the sports romance genre that I'm obsessed with. There wasn't a dull moment in this book and it definitely pulled out all sorts of emotions from me! If you haven't had the chance yet, you HAVE To pick up Moonshot!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cover Reveal: Hold You Close by Melanie Harlow by Claire Contreras


“I’ll never be able to keep her.”

Hold You Close, an all-new second chance standalone romance by New York Times bestselling author Corinne Michaels and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Harlow, is coming August 20th!


Hold You Close by Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow
Publication Date: August 20, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Photographer: Lauren Watson Perry, Perrywinkle Photography
Cover Design: Sommer Stein, Perfect Pear Creative


From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance.

Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I’ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it.
He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle—which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils.
I’ve always loved to loathe him.
I never planned to need him.


London Parish is my little sister’s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her.
Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister’s three adorable kids—until our lives are changed in one tragic moment.
Now we’re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction.
My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface.
Because I’ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.


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About the authors

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Corinne Michaels is the author of nine romance novels. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness. She enjoys putting her characters through intense heartbreak and finding a way to heal them through their struggles. Her stories are chock full of emotion, humor, and unrelenting love.

Corinne (1 of 1)-4matte.jpg 

Melanie Harlow likes her martinis dry, her heels high, and her history with the naughty bits left in. When she's not writing or reading, she gets her kicks from TV series like VEEP, Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Homeland. She occasionally runs three miles, but only so she can have more gin and steak. Melanie is the author of the AFTER WE FALL series, the HAPPY CRAZY LOVE series, the FRENCHED series, and the sexy historical SPEAK EASY duet, set in the 1920s. She lifts her glass to romance readers and writers from her home near Detroit, MI, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and pet rabbit.

Harlow Headshot Color.jpg

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Connect with Corinne

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Book Review: Off the Grid by Monica McCarty

Off the Grid (The Lost Platoon #2)
by Monica McCarty
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Source: Publisher
A hunt for dangerous secrets leads to explosive chemistry in this exhilarating romantic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Going Dark.

A team of Navy SEALs go on a mission and disappear without a trace--they are The Lost Platoon. 

Investigative reporter Brittany Blake may have stumbled upon the story of a lifetime in her search for her missing brother. When he seemingly disappears overnight, she refuses to accept the Navy's less-than-satisfying explanation. She begins her own investigation, which leads her to top-secret SEAL teams, covert ops, and a possible cover up...

John Donovan is having trouble biding his time, waiting for his Commanding Officer to figure out who set up their platoon. John's best friend and BUD/S partner, Brandon Blake, was one of the many lives tragically lost in the attack against his team. When Brandon's sister, Brittany, tracks John down, looking for answers, he realizes that she may be their best bet--or bait--for finding out who is targeting SEAL Team Nine.

After reading Going Dark, I really loved the characters of this series and trying to uncover what really happened to the Lost Platoon that caused them to have to go into hiding. I was excited to read about another one of the SEAL members and watch him fall in love!

Brittany Blake has a gut feeling that her brother isn't okay, and as an investigative reporter, she's learned to trust her gut. The problem is, the more she digs into her brother's disappearance, the more danger she puts herself in. John Donovan swore to his best friend that he wouldn't hurt his sister, Brittany, but when she starts sticking her nose where it doesn't belong, John knows he has to do something to stop it, especially when she tracks John down to where he's hiding out. John has to distract Brittany from uncovering the government secret that's putting lives at danger, but the more he spends time with Brittany, the harder he finds it to keep his hands off of her. 

From the moment this book started, I really enjoyed Brittany's character and how she's a different person from who she was when she shared a kiss with John years ago. Now, she's not putting up with his crap and she's finally sticking up for herself. I admired Brittany's determination as a writer and a sister to find out what really happened to her brother's SEAL team. It was fun watching John not know what to do with this new version of Brittany or with his feelings that were harder and harder to ignore. 

While this is a romantic suspense story, I found that it was a little lacking in the action department. I loved how they traveled around together, but I think that the middle chunk of the book kind of dragged by as they were waiting to figure out who the real threat to Brittany and John were. Even then, we didn't really get any of the answers I wanted. I understand that this is a series and the author needs to keep us hooked for the next story in the series, but I wanted more answers!

Overall, I really did enjoy this romance and Brittany and John's relationship. While the pacing was a bit slow and I wanted more action, I enjoyed the mystery behind who really set the SEAL team up and who was after Brittany. For an entertaining romantic suspense series, I definitely recommend picking these books up!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book Review: Welcome to the Dark Side by Giana Darling

Welcome to the Dark Side (The Fallen Men #2)
by Giana Darling 
Release Date: April 20, 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited 
I was a good girl. 
I ate my vegetables, volunteered at the local autism centre and sat in the front pew of church every Sunday.
Then, I got cancer.
What the hell kind of reward was that for a boring life well lived?
I was a seventeen-year-old paradigm of virtue and I was tired of it. 
So, when I finally ran into the man I'd been writing to since he saved my life as a little girl and he offered to show me the dark side of life before I left it for good, I said yes. 
Only, I didn't know that Zeus Garro was the President of The Fallen MC and when you made a deal with a man who is worse than the devil, there was no going back...

This is Daddy Zeus Garro's story from Lessons In Corruption. A standalone in The Fallen Men Series.

I have heard so much hype about this MC series and while I enjoyed the first book, I was SO EXCITED to finally read Zeus's story. I knew there was going to be an age gap, which is a trope I'm super picky about, but I couldn't wait to see if it was going to be as good of a book as I thought it was going to be. 

Ever since he saved her life in a downpour of bullets, Lou has been writing letters to Zeus Garro through all of the trials throughout her life, including going through cancer. Now, Lou is 17 and she's tired of being the good girl who listens to her parents and does no wrong. And what better way to be bad than to finally make herself a part of Zeus's life? Zeus knows his attraction to Lou is wrong, especially considering she's his daughter's age, but he's drawn in by her light and her desire to get to know the dark side she knows he can offer...

Like I said, I am super picky about big age gaps in books, so I wasn't sure how this how going to go, especially since this was such a big age gap. The beginning of this book begins with Lou and Zeus meeting when Lou is a little girl and then continues through her childhood writing letters to Zeus. I really enjoyed this because it was just a friendship between a girl and her savior, with the romantic side not coming up until Lou is 17 and finally meets Zeus in real life again, which is well into this book. I appreciated how loyal Zeus was to his family and how he tried so hard not to like Lou in that way, but couldn't help himself when he saw how mature she was after having gone through cancer and fending for herself in life with a crappy family. And considering Lou wasn't going to take no for an answer, it was no surprise that Zeus eventually gave in to both of their desires. 

While I wasn't satisfied with the action in book one, the action and suspense was spot on with this book. I fell in love with the characters Lou grew closer to, especially the MC members, and I was FREAKING OUT when danger came and they didn't know who they could trust in the club. I loved seeing Cress and King from book one and I am SO READY for Harleigh Rose's book! Like I said, this book had so many lovable characters, as well as a pretty hot romance, and it only made me want even more once I read the last page! 

Every Motorcycle Romance fan NEEEEEDS to pick up this series! While I enjoyed book one, I devoured and was obsessed with this book. Everyone needs Daddy Zeus in their lives!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Book Review: Lessons in Corruption by Giana Darling

Lessons in Corruption 
by Giana Darling
Release Date: December 1, 2017
Source: Kindle Unlimited 
He was eighteen. 
The heir to a notorious, criminal MC. 
And my student. 

There was no way I could get involved. 
No way I could stay involved. 
Then, no way I could get out alive. 

Book One in The Fallen Men series. A standalone.

It's no secret that I love a good motorcycle romance, so when one of my instagram friends recommended this series to me, I went to amazon and immediately downloaded it from KU. 

After finally leaving her husband, Cress finds herself living for herself for the first time. And that means starting a fling with a hot biker she met at the grocery store. Cress is finally giving into the desires she's hidden deep inside of herself, even though her parents are determined to make her see the error in her ways. When Cress realizes that her new student happens to be the biker she's started an intense relationship with, she freaks. Can she really be the kind of woman who breaks all of the rules just to finally be herself? 

I had super high expectations going into this one and, I will say, the beginning was a little slow for me. We got to meet Cress and watch her make new friends with the other teachers at school and slowly learn more about the biker way of life. When we finally got halfway through the story, though, and we got to follow Cress and King more closely as a couple, I really loved this book. I loved how she became friends with people in the gang and really became a part of their family. 

I will say, Cress definitely had a very wishy-washy attitude towards her relationship with King because he was one of her students. It was a little annoying at times how she constantly pulled back with the same excuse, but King was soooo swoon-worthy and did everything he could to show Cress he was serious. Half the time, I forgot that King was 18 years old because he was so mature and had such a big role in the gang. 

I really ended up enjoying this motorcycle romance and I am DYING to read Zues's story (King's dad) in the second book. If you're a motorcycle romance fan who likes their romances on the taboo side, you need to check out Lessons in Corruption!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Book Review: One and Only by Jenny Holiday

One and Only (Bridesmaids Behaving Badly #1)
by Jenny Holiday
Release Date: February 27, 2018
Source: Publisher 
Miss Responsibility meets Mr. Reckless
With her bridezilla friend on a DIY project rampage, bridesmaid Jane Denning will do anything to escape - even if it means babysitting the groom's troublemaker brother before the wedding. It should be a piece of cake, except the "cake" is a sarcastic former soldier who is 100% wicked hotness and absolutely off-limits.

Cameron MacKinnon is ready to let loose after returning from his deployment. But first he'll have to sweet talk the ultra-responsible Jane into taking a walk on the wild side. Turns out, riling her up is the best time he's had in years. But what happens when the fun and games start to turn into something real?

As a huge wedding movie fan, I was so excited to start this series. Who doesn't love a good bridesmaid story where the bridesmaid falls in love with the groom's brother?

Jane Dennings is thrilled one of her good friends is getting married and asked her to be a bridesmaid, but she'll do anything to get out of the insane DIY rampage the bride has gone on. That means when the bride begs one of her friends to babysit the groom's troublemaker brother, Jane immediately volunteers. Cameron MacKinnon is aware of his bad reputation and is too tired to do anything about it. Especially when he comes home from military on not so honorable terms. He wants to let loose and have fun now that he's back home, but a stubborn bridesmaid won't leave him alone. As they spend more time together and Jane takes her job of babysitting too seriously, Cameron is ready to play some games and have some fun. 

Like I said, I love a good wedding story, so the whole atmosphere of this book was just so fun. I loved how every chapter was a countdown to the wedding and Jane was doing anything she could to get out of the crazy prep the bride was obsessed with. I enjoyed the dynamic between Jane and the other bridesmaids and how the author set up the whole world so well that, halfway through the book, I was already excited to get to book two to read about another one of the bridesmaids! 

With weddings come awkward family relationships, and Cameron was definitely in an awkward situation with his brother. I really loved Cameron's character and how there were so many layers to him. We got to see those layers as Jane got to know him more and it was cute how he started to fall for Jane when he wasn't that impressed with her when they first met. Jane's determination to keep an eye on Cameron was so funny and I liked how their relationship started out on the fun side. 

Overall, I really loved this book and think it's the perfect book to read during wedding season! I adored the main couple, especially how Cameron was in the military and dealing with his own trauma from what he went through, and how there was so much more to him than met the eye. For an adorable romance with a fantastic main couple, you need to pick this up!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Book Review: One Small Thing by Erin Watt

One Small Thing
by Erin Watt
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Source: Publisher 
Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.

I am a huge fan of Erin Watt and I LIVE FOR the Royals series. When it came to their first YA book, though, it didn't wow me like I wanted it to. So when it came to reading this book, I went in blind and with no expectations. And I was blown away. 

Ever since her sister died, Beth has felt trapped. Her parents are becoming more and more protective and Beth feels like she'll never be able to leave, even when she finally graduates high school at the end of the school year. When she first meets Chase, she's excited and finds herself having a crush. Until she finds out that Chase was involved in her sister's death. Chase is trying to get through life day by day after serving his punishment for what he did. When he meets Beth, he's shocked to find someone willing to give him a second chance. But while Beth is willing to see his good, no one else would ever understand a relationship between them. 

Oh my goodness, from the moment we met him, I was obsessed with Chase. I felt so bad for him for carrying the weight of his past on his shoulders. Chase was such a strong character and never let anyone push him down, no matter how hard they tried. Beth tried so hard to show Chase that their pasts and society's opinions didn't matter if they felt so right together and I loved how adamant she was. Chase and Beth were able to bond over their grief and loss and form a connection that no one else could ever understand. 

While I was reading this book, I just couldn't put it down. Normally I hate characters like Beth who act out when their parents set down rules, but I completely understood Beth and really empathized with her. I understood where her parents were coming from, but I felt just as frustrated with them as Beth was and I wanted her to rebel and go out and live her own life. Especially if it meant growing closer to Chase!

Overall, One Small Thing completely surprised me and I devoured the story. I have a HUGE crush on Chase and really loved Beth's character. Beth grew so much and had so many ups and downs, which is just the reality of life for a teenager, especially a teenager who has gone through as much as Beth has. For a raw storyline and an adorable romance, you have to pick up One Small Thing!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Cover Reveal: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

Would you dare to defy destiny? Are our destinies written in stone? Do we become nothing more than the self-fulfilling prophesies of other people's opinions? Or can we dare to become who we believe we were born to be?

“A gorgeous, heartfelt journey of redemption and love” (Wendy Higgins), ONLY A BREATH APART is a young adult contemporary novel from critically acclaimed Katie McGarry. 

“Haunting, authentic, and ultimately hopeful” (Tammara Webber), ONLY A BREATH APART will be available on all retailers on January 22, 2019!



Jesse dreams of working the land that’s been in his family forever. But he’s cursed to lose everything he loves most.

Scarlett is desperate to escape her “charmed” life. But leaving a small town is easier said than done.

Despite their history of heartbreak, when Jesse sees a way they can work together to each get what they want, Scarlett can’t say no.Each midnight meeting between Jesse and Scarlett will push them to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other.


Gritty and real, Only a Breath Apart is a story of hope conjured from pain, strength drawn from innocence, and love earned from self-respect. Beautiful, poignant, and fierce.” ―Kristen Simmons, critically acclaimed author of the Article 5 series



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.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Book Review: Order of Protection by Lexi Blake

Order of Protection (Courting Justice #1)
by Lexi Blake
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Source: Publisher
To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She's soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She's actually Taylor Winston-Hughes—born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win's charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry. 

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can't reject the case. This trial could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he's not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together. 

As the case takes a wild turn and Win's entire life is upended, she must look to the people she's closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves...

I love a good murder mystery mixed with a good romance, so I couldn't wait to pick this up when I read the synopsis. I also really enjoyed Lexi Blake's Lawless series, so I had high hopes going into this one! 

When attorney Henry Garrison and Win Hughes meet, there's instant chemistry that they both are determined to fight. Especially since Win is actually Taylor Winston-Hughes, an orphaned rich girl with not the best reputation. But the two spend an unforgettable two weeks together and go their separate ways. When Taylor is accused of the murder of her best friend, she has to turn to Henry to help her figure out who did it and how to get her out of trouble. Henry is shocked and hurt when he learns who Taylor really is, but he soon learns he needs to focus on the case at hand, ignoring his emotions, or else Taylor's life could be ruined forever. 

Right away, the pacing of this book was so weird to me. This book is marketed as the main character being accused of murder, but the actual murder doesn't even happen until almost halfway through the book. We spent over 100 pages watching Henry and Taylor circle each other. Then, their "two weeks" together happens in like two pages. I didn't even know what we spent the first half of the book on when we finally got to the action. I wanted so much more action, mystery, and intrigue than we got. 

I did enjoy the romance and how Taylor and Henry were so hurt by their pasts in romance. I really enjoyed Henry's character and how he was just trying to be a better person, but his character couldn't carry the story. When it came to the mystery of the murder, I felt like I should have been surprised at the end, but I wasn't really that shocked. I was just left off wanting more. 

While this one sounded like an amazing Law and Order type book with a romance, it fell flat to me. I think the main problem was the pacing. I really wanted to love these characters, but I didn't get the intensity and intrigue in the murder mystery that was occurring.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Book Review: More Than Words by Mia Sheridan

More Than Words
by Mia Sheridan 
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Source: Publisher
No one lays open the heart and soul quite like New York Timesbestselling author Mia Sheridan.

The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other's refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed her--Jessica's first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen's music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It's only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don't belong in each other's worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.

Mia Sheridan is one of my go-to authors for an emotional romance. Archer's Voice is such a unique book and I've been gobbling up all of her other books that I can get my hands on. I was so excited for this romance that was set in Paris and I couldn't wait to dive in! 

From the moment they met in an old train car, Callen and Jessica connected over their pain and desire to escape in the make believe. But when Callen stops coming to their secret meetings, Jessica is left with the memory of her broken prince. Years later, Callen is an award-winning composer and known for his womanizing ways. Jessica is finally living in Paris with the opportunity to translate lost diary pages of a woman who traveled with Joan of Arc when she runs into Callen. The two enter into a whirlwind romance where they truly discover if they've just become too different to ever fix each other. 

When this book started, I really enjoyed the premise of how these two met and how they ran into each other again in Paris. I was really intrigued by Jessica's job of translating old journal pages that were found. As Jessica's story progressed, the story of the woman writing in the journal was unraveled as well. I will say, though, that Jessica's character was very pure and innocent and I found it really hard to connect with her. She was so passionate about her work and that was pretty much it. She was a little too bland for my taste. 

When it came to the romance, I had a hard time buying into it. Callen seemed to like the cliche rock star and I wasn't a fan of him at all. His insecurities were not surprising and I had a really hard time buying his big secret. Then, things that happened with that secret were pretty predictable. I just didn't care for the story by that point and found myself dragging through the end. 

While I really wanted to love this book, it was lacking for me. I didn't care for Jessica, the main character, and I couldn't bring myself to love the romance. There were too many cliched parts and decisions that were made for the sake of the plot. I really love Mia's other books, this one just didn't do it for me.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cover Reveal: Double Down by Alessandra Torre

Double Down
By Alessandra Torre
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs


In Vegas, there was one man who was off limits. One man… and I fell for him. I knew there were risks. Still, I played the game. When Dario Capece called, I answered. When he beckoned, I came. When he broke all my rules, I looked the other way. I knew there were risks. I just never realized they included death.

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About Alessandra Torre

Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Book Feature + Giveaway: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Message from Elliott 

My name is Elliott. You don’t know my story yet, but you will. I spent my summers with my aunt and uncle just down the street from Catherine. She lives in a looming, rickety bed and breakfast called the Juniper, and spends most of her time outside, away from the memories that live between the Juniper’s walls amidst more tangible dangers that I never knew existed until now.

It’s not so much that I fell in love or even that I fought for it, but that a war is waging inside Catherine’s home—one I can’t fight for her. It doesn’t matter how strong I am, or how determined I am to stay. I can only get close enough to observe her pain in detail. And, so I stay, and wait, and help her the only way I know how; to do what I couldn’t for her before.

I hope you’ll understand.


Elliott began to speak, but a small group of girls approached our table. 

“Aw,” Presley said, dramatically touching her chest. “Catherine got herself a boyfriend. I feel so bad that all this time we thought you were lying about him being from out of town.” 

Three carbon copies of Presley—Tara and Tatum Martin and Brie Burns—all giggled and tossed their bleached-blonde tresses. Tara and Tatum were identical twins, but they all strived to look like Presley. 

“Maybe just outside of town,” Brie said. “Like a reservation, maybe?” 

“Oklahoma doesn’t have reservations,” I said, appalled by her stupidity. 

“Yeah, they do,” Brie argued. 

“You’re thinking of tribal land,” Elliott said, unfazed.

“I’m Presley,” she said to Elliott, smug. 

I looked away, not wanting to witness their introduction, but Elliott didn’t move or speak, so I turned to see what was holding up their exchange. Elliott offered me a small grin, ignoring Presley’s outstretched hand. 

She made a face and crossed her arms. “Is Brie right? Do you live in White Eagle?” 

Elliott raised an eyebrow. “That’s the headquarters for the Ponca tribe.” 

“And?” Presley sniped. 

Elliott sighed, seeming bored. “I’m Cherokee.” 

“So that’s an Indian, right? Isn’t White Eagle for Indians?” she asked. 

“Just go away, Presley,” I pleaded, worried she would say something even more offensive. 

Excitement sparked in Presley’s eyes. “Wow, Kit-Cat. Are we getting a little big for our britches?” 

I looked up at her, anger blazing in my eyes. “It’s Catherine.” 

Presley led them to a booth across the room, continuing to tease Elliott and me from afar. 

“I’m so sorry,” I whispered. “They’re just doing it because you’re with me.” 

“Because I’m with you?” 

“They hate me,” I grumbled. 

He turned his spoon upside down and stuck it in his mouth, seeming unaffected. “It’s not hard to see why.” 

I wondered what about my outward appearance made it so obvious. Maybe that’s why the town hadn’t stopped blaming Mama and me for my grandparents’ mistakes. Maybe I looked like someone they should hate. 

“Why do you look embarrassed?” he asked. 

“I guess I was hoping you didn’t know about my family and the smelter.” 

“Oh. That. My aunt told me years ago. Is that what you think? That they’re mean to you because of your family history with the town?” 

“Why else?” 

“Catherine.” My name sounded like a soft laugh tumbling from his mouth. “They’re jealous of you.” 

I frowned and shook my head. “What could they possibly be jealous of me for? We barely have two pennies to rub together.” 

“Have you seen yourself?” he asked. 

I blushed and looked down. Only Dad had ever complimented my looks. 

“You’re all the things they’re not.” 

I crossed my arms on the table and watched the warm hue of the corner streetlight blink between the branches of a tree. It was a strange feeling, wanting to hear more and hoping he’d talk about anything else. “What they said doesn’t bother you?” I asked, surprised. 

“It use to.” 

“Now it doesn’t?” 

“My uncle John says people can only make us angry if we let them, and if we let them, we give them power.” 

“That’s pretty profound.” 

“I listen to him sometimes, even though he thinks I don’t.”

“What else does he say?” He didn’t hesitate. “That you either get good at rising above and meeting ignorance with education, or you get really good at being bitter.” 

I smiled. Elliott spoke his uncle’s words with respect. 

“So you just choose not to let what people say get to you?” 

“Pretty much.” 

How?” I said, leaning in. I was genuinely curious, hoping he would unveil some magical secret that would end the misery Presley and her friends loved invoking in me. 

“Oh, I get angry. It gets old when people feel the need to tell me their great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess, or that stupid joke about if I got my name from the first thing my parents saw after they walked out of a teepee. I can get heated when someone calls me chief, when I see people in headdresses outside of our ceremonies. But my uncle says we should either be compassionate and educate or leave them alone in their ignorance. Besides, there’s too much ignorance in the world to let it all get to me. If I did, all I’d ever feel is anger, and I don’t want to be like my mom.” 

“Is that why you were punching our tree?” 

He looked down, either unwilling or unable to answer the question. 

“A lot bothers me,” I grumbled, sitting back. I glanced at the clones, dressed in cutoff denim shorts and floral blouses, just variations of the same shirt from the same store. 

Dad tried to make sure I had the right clothes and the right backpack, but year after year Mama watched as more of my childhood friends faded away. She began to wonder what we’d done wrong, and then I began to wonder, too. 

The truth was, I hated Presley for hating me. I didn’t have the heart to tell Mama that I would never fit in. I wasn’t vile enough for those small-town, small-minded girls. It took me a long time to figure out that I didn’t really want to, but at fifteen, I sometimes wondered if it was better than being alone. Dad couldn’t be my best friend forever. I took a bite of my sherbet. 

“Stop,” Elliott said. 

“Stop what?” I asked, the cool orangey-goodness melting on my tongue. 

“Looking at them like you wish you were sitting over there. You’re better than that.” 

“We should probably, um . . . we should go.” 

Elliott stood, waiting for me to slide out of the booth. He followed me out, so I wasn’t sure if he noticed Presley and the clones covering their insults and giggles with their hands. 

When he stopped next to the trash can behind their booth, I knew he had. “What are you laughing at?” he asked. 

I tugged on his T-shirt, begging him with my eyes to keep walking. 

Presley rolled her shoulders and lifted her chin, thrilled to be acknowledged. “Just how cute is Kit-Cat with her new boyfriend? It’s precious how you don’t want to hurt her feelings. I mean . . . I have to assume that’s what”—she gestured to us—“this is.” 

Elliott walked over to their table, and the girls’ giggles quieted. He knocked on the wood and sighed. “You know why you’ll never outgrow the need to make others feel like shit so you can feel better, Presley?” 

She narrowed her eyes at him, watching him like a snake ready to strike. 

Elliott continued, “Because it’s a temporary high. It never lasts, and you’ll never stop because it’s the only happiness you’ll ever have in your sad, pathetic life that revolves around manicures and highlighting your hair. Your friends? They don’t like you. No one ever will because you don’t like yourself. So every time you give Catherine a hard time, she’ll know. She’ll know why you’re doing it, just like your friends will know. Just like you’ll know that you’re overcompensating. Every time you throw insults Catherine’s way, it’s that much less of a secret.” He made eye contact with each clone and then Presley. “Have the day you deserve.” 

He returned to the door and held it open, gesturing for me to walk through. We navigated the parked cars until we were on the other side of the lot, and headed back toward our neighborhood. The streetlamps were on, the gnats and mosquitoes buzzing beneath the bright bulbs. The quiet made the sounds of our shoes against the pavement more prominent. 

“That was,” I began, searching for the right word, “legendary. I could never tell someone off like that.” 

“Well, I don’t live here, so that makes it easier. And that wasn’t entirely mine.” 

“What do you mean?” “It’s from a scene in Detention Club Musical. Don’t tell me you didn’t watch it when you were little.” 

I stared at him in disbelief, and then laughter erupted from my throat. “The movie that came out when we were eight?” 

“I watched it every day for like a year and a half.” 

I giggled. “Wow. I can’t believe I didn’t catch it.” 

“I’m just glad Presley didn’t. That would have made my monologue much less intimidating.”


About The Book

Title: All The Little Lights
Author: Jamie McGuire
Release Date: May 29, 2018


The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

About the Author

Jamie McGuire is the #1 New York TimesUSA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Walking Disaster, the Maddox Brothers series, the Providence trilogy, and the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster, which paved the way for the new-adult genre. She was the first independent author in history to strike a print deal with retail giant Walmart, and her work has been translated into fifty languages. She lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Jeff, and their three children. To learn more about Jamie, visit, or follow her on Twitter @JamieMcGuire.

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