Sunday, July 31, 2016

Book Review: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Racing the Sun
By Karina Halle
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Source: Amazon
It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.

Since it's summertime, I have been dying to read books that have traveling involved in them. I knew that this book was going to be a great new adult and was excited to see that the main character traveled to Italy, so I couldn't wait to read this book! 

Amber MacLean has been running from life and going back home, but now that she's out of money, she's got to face her fears head on. Amanda knows that she has to find a job in Italy in order to pay for a plane ticket home and she's desperate. So when she sees a wanted ad for an English tutor for two little children, she jumps on it. The last thing she expects to find is two sad little children and their much older, brooding brother who has taken care of them ever since their parents died two years ago. Derio wants nothing to do with Amber, but they continue to butt heads as Amanda finds herself thrown into the position of being the twins' full-time nanny. The more time Amber spends with Derio, the more she sees in the dangerously handsome man. 

I've got to say, this book definitely gives you the travel bug when you read it. Amber is so relatable with her desire to just travel and avoid all responsibility and the scary reality that she could have to go back a boring life doing something that she really doesn't want to do. When she accepts the job with the Larosa family, she is definitely in way over her head with twins who lost their parents way too young and a boss who is gorgeous yet unnerving at the same time. The twins were absolutely adorable and there were so many emotions with them and what they've gone through. They're just kids but they really don't have anyone. 

And speaking of emotions, boy did this book have emotions. Derio had some major baggage and had gone through some horrible things in his life. I mean, he's only 27 and has to take care of his twin siblings instead of being the 20-something he was. It's so heartbreaking! Then, when you learn about what his life was like and what had happened to him, you understand why he is so cold and gloomy all of the time. It's so sad watching Amber try to understand the family and fix someone who really doesn't want to be fixed. 

If you want an emotional New Adult that is definitely going to give you the travel bug, you have to pick up Racing the Sun. I know many of Karina's books have to do with traveling and I can't wait to pick more up!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (204)

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

E-ARC From Author
Only one book for me this week, but holy moly is it a good one! I am OBSESSED with RS Grey's books and have been dying for the second book in her The Summer Games series to come out. This one is about a gymnast and her coach. Yes, please!! This one comes out on August 1st and you all must read it! I'm about 25% of the way through and I'm loving it!

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

Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Review: Breathe by Abbi Glines

Breathe (Sea Breeze #1)
By Abbi Glines
Release Date: May 16, 2011
Source: Amazon
Sadie White’s summer job is at the beach, but she won’t be working as a lifeguard. Since her mom is pregnant and refuses to work, Sadie will be taking over as a domestic servant for a wealthy family on a nearby island.

When the family arrives at their summer getaway, Sadie is surprised to learn that the owner of the house is Jax Stone, one of the hottest teen rockers in the world. If Sadie were normal—if she hadn’t spent her life raising her mother and taking care of the house—maybe she’d be excited about working for a rock star. But she’s not.

Even though Sadie isn’t impressed by Jax’s fame, he is drawn to her. Everything about Sadie fascinates Jax, but he fights his attraction: Relationships never work in his world, and as badly as he wants Sadie, he believes she deserves more. Yet as the summer stretches on, Jax’s passion leaves him breathless—and Sadie feels like the only source of oxygen.

Can their love overcome the disparity in their lifestyles? One breath at a time, they’re going to find out…

Going into this one, I was so excited to pick it up. I mean, it's Abbi Glines! I loved The Vincent Boys and have heard such good things about her Sea Breeze series, so I bought the first five books of the series. Unfortunately, Breathe severely disappointed me with it's cheesy storyline and naive heroine who I just couldn't connect with. 

The day after the last day of school, Sadie White finds herself going to work for her pregnant and irresponsible mother. Sadie is used to being the adult in the family and does what she can to support her mother. Little does she know she's going to work for teenage rockstar and heartthrob Jax Stone. Sadie isn't impressed with Jax's rockstar status, but Jax is taken by Sadie from the moment he lays eyes on her and will do anything to show her he can't live without her. 

Ugh. Anytime I think about this book now that I've read it, I cringe thinking about the cheese-factor. Seriously, this is so unrealistic and I was reading bits and pieces out loud to my friends to show them how unrealistic the dialogue and thoughts were. No one talks like the girl they are dating is the only reason they breathe. Speaking of that, can you say insta-love? Jax just suddenly decided that Sadie was the only one for him and there wasn't any build up to their attraction whatsoever. 

Along with the insta-love and cheesiness, I also was not a fan of Sadie's character. She was very naive and "innocent" which, of course, Jax just LOVED. Ugh, I am okay with an innocent character, but not when that aspect of their character is brought up over and over and over again. She acted so helpless, especially when it came to her mom and taking on her mom's responsibilities, and I was so over it.

Overall, this was a huge disappointment and I am so sad that this was the way it was. I have heard, though, that the series gets better with each book and, seeing as I own the next four books, I will continue on with this series. Fingers crossed that book two is much better than book one!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Release Day Blitz: Veiled by Karina Halle

  veiled available now     Veiled AMAZON

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lie and The Pact comes a new romance that will test your limits and leave you breathless. 


It's something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night. 

But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal. 

Or so close. 

Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend. 

That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she's never felt more alone. 

Then there's Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn't for the fact that Ada has met him before. 

Every night. 

In every single dream. 

And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she's in danger of losing everything. 

Including her heart. 

And her very soul.   
       Veiled-now         Veiled-3D-book
Then, out of nowhere:

“You looked beautiful tonight, by the way.”

Oh jeez. Be still my fucking heart.

I try and swallow, his words, the sincerity in his voice rocking my world off-balance. “Which part? When the power went out or when Jacob went upstairs to fight a demon?” I joke. But I joke because I’m feeling this a little too much.

“All of it. You know why I call you Princess?” he asks, his tone graver than before, like he’s letting me in on a very deep secret.

“Because I’m a spoiled brat?”

“Because you’re beautiful.”

Well that shut me up. The sentence hangs in the air, larger than life.

He clears his throat and goes on and I have to fight against the urge to roll over and face him. “You have this way about you. You don’t see it. But I do. Like you’re born royalty. The way you hold yourself. Your walk. The face of an angel.”

Butterflies take flight in my gut, spreading through my veins until my whole body feels like its floating. “Why are you being so nice to me? Am I going to die?”

He laughs softly. “I don’t know why I’m saying these things. Just seemed like the things to say. You’re destined for something great, Ada, I know this. And it’s an honor to help see you through it.”

His words cascade down on me like ashes from a fire. Where they land, I’m ignited.

Jay thinks I’m beautiful.

And more than that, he believes in me.

Silence settles over us, stealing time. I hear him breathing in the dark, steady as a heartbeat. He might even be sleeping.

But I can’t even begin to shut down. My entire body, from the top of my scalp, down to my toes, is buzzing with heat and electricity. It’s like everything I felt for him before, everything I try to ignore, is coming out in full force, responding to his words, to his body so close to mine. I can feel the warmth at my back, sinking into my spine, just from his presence only.

I’m starting to have feelings for him. Not just in a he’s a giant hulking beast who’s here to protect me from the underworld way. But real feelings, slowly creeping into my heart, day by day.

The thought is terrifying in the same way that demons are terrifying.

They both might take possession of me.

They both might ruin me.

And I’m not sure how much of me I’ll have left.



Q: Is this YA?

A: No. The main character is 18 and there is sex, crude language and violence in the book. It is recommended for mature teens or 18 and up.

Q: Is there a cliffhanger?

A: Nope! There's also no cheating and no love triangle (think I've covered the bases there!)

Q: Do I need to read the series (Experiment in Terror) that Veiled is a spinoff of first?

A: Absolutely not. Veiled stands alone. You do not need to have read the EIT series beforehand as this follows a different character (Ada Palomino) and a different storyline. However for those who have read EIT, all your favorites are in the book!

Q: Is it horror? Your other series was and I don't handle scary very well...

A: No, it's paranormal romance (though I promise you there are no vampires or werewolves), and while there are creepy elements to the story, it wouldn't be classified as horror. If you can read KMM's Fever Series or ANY urban fantasy, you'll be fine.

About the Author

      Halle Headshot
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.
Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (251)

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 Hundred Lives of Lizzie Lovett 
By Chelsea Sedoti
Release Date: January 3, 2017
A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn't mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie's life. That includes taking her job... and her boyfriend. It's a huge risk — but it's just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.


I had no idea this one doesn't come out until 2017! I got an ARC of this at ALA because when I saw the summary, I knew it was a book I had to read. Obviously people in her new life are going to realize that Hawthorne is actually just trying to figure out what happened to Lizzie and drama is definitely going to go down. I can't wait to see if it turns out as good as it sounds! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Books Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn After Reading Them

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: Things That Books Have Made Me Want to Do or Learn After Reading Them

1. Travel to a foreign country and teach English. Preferably Italy or Spain! 

2. Travel to Scotland and find my own Jamie Fraser ;)

3. Become a hockey fan and watch the sport more often. I love hockey, but I don't have "a team" that I root for and love to watch. 

4. Work on a movie set. 

5. Become a Olympic athlete so that I can witness the Olympic village myself. And find an Olympic swimmer for myself ;)

6. Not give up soccer when I was younger, play soccer in college, and fall madly in love with my hunky, former-Olympian soccer coach. 

7. Go to Vegas and see an acrobat act! 

8. Become a kick-butt assassin and stop the bad guys in the word. 

9. Hang out around some baseball players :)

10. Run another half marathon! 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

It Ends With Us
By Colleen Hoover
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Source: Publisher @ ALA
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up. She graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant and has a total soft spot for Lily; and the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his no dating rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan, her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all too human characters, “It Ends with Us” is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I love Colleen Hoover. Everyone who knows me online and in real life knows that CoHo is my homegirl. So when I got an ARC of this book at ALA, I was almost on the verge of tears. I could not even believe that I had this book in my hands. Needless to say, the moment I landed from Orlando, I picked up this book and did not put it down until I was finished. 

Lily has worked hard for her life, moving from Maine to Boston and working towards opening her own business. When she meets a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle, Lily couldn't imagine her life being any better. Ryle is not a relationship guy and is determined to live his life a bachelor until the end, but something about Lily makes him change his rule. As the two enter a whirlwind relationship, Lily begins to question her choices, her life, and who she really is as a person. 

Wow. Just. Wow. I did not know what to think, feel, or even do when I finished this book. I follow Colleen Hoover all over social media, so I knew that this book was her most emotional and the one that she put most of herself into. I do not want to give anything away in this book (trust me, it's best to go in blind), but I can say that this was the most emotional book that I have ever read. EVER. I cried in this book and, if you know me, I rarely cry in books. The relationships in this book were so raw, so real, and so emotional. This really makes you think about what it means to really love someone and how much of yourself you give in a relationship. 

I really can't say anything else without giving anything more away. All I can say is that when you pick this book up, be prepared. Thinking about it, I do think that this is my favorite CoHo book to date. And seeing as I LOVE Maybe Someday, that's saying something. I loved Lily's character, her ambition, her drive, and her fierceness, but I also her vulnerability and her ability to let herself crumble and acknowledge that she really doesn't have everything figured out. It Ends With Us is a must read for EVERYONE and, when you do pick it up, park yourself on the couch with hours of uninterrupted reading time ahead of you and a box of tissues on hand. Trust me, you're going to need them.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (203)

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

From Half Price Books

For the last week of the coupon week for Half Price Books, I went to to different stores and found both of these books! I was so excited to find them and get them for half off of their sale prices! They ended up being around $3.50 and I can't wait to read them!

My sister came along to the stores with me and she got two books for herself as well. I am definitely excited for the two books that she got and can't wait to read them myself! 

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

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Book Review: The Angel's Share by JR Ward

The Angel's Share (The Bourbon Kings #2)
By JR Ward
Release Date: July 25, 2016
Source: Publisher
In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…

No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.

Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior...or the worst of all the sinners?

I was so in love with The Bourbon Kings when I read it last year. It read like a soap opera and I was addicted to the drama and secrets that plagued the Bradford family. I couldn't wait to jump right back into their lives and hopefully get some answers to the mysteries that popped up more and more at the end of book one. 

The Bradford family is THE family. They have everything they could ever ask for thanks to their bourbon company. But every family has their secrets and the Bradford's secrets run deep, especially when their father is found dead in the Ohio river. What appeared to be suicide soon turns to murder and everyone is a suspect, especially considering the man had a strained relationship with his own flesh and blood. As Lane tries to save the family business from going under, the four Bradford children are trying to deal with their own demons and accept that what they most desire out of life just isn't what they deserve. 

Okay, so as far as the drama goes, this book definitely had it. Unfortunately, the drama was more geared towards the business and less towards the characters and their illicit affairs. There was so much business talk and it was hard to keep my interest because I don't know a lot about business and I don't really care that much about it. I understand that Lane had to make sure that the family wasn't going to go bankrupt, especially since they were all used to being multi-millionaires, but all of the money talk just got to be too much by the end. 

All of the Bradford kids still had their serious problems, both with people they loved but couldn't have and with other members of their family. There are a lot of characters in this novel, so it may be hard to keep track of in the beginning, but once the story got going, you saw how all of the characters were hurting and growing and trying to figure out how to just survive their crazy, brutal world. But I was disappointed how we still didn't get anything about Max! He's the only Bradford child who we barely saw anything of and we still only got a glimpse of him in this book. Why is he a character if he's not even going to be in the story or the family's business at all? 

Overall, I still enjoyed this second installment in The Bourbon Kings series. There was still a ton of drama, secrecy, and dangerous affairs that I loved in the first book. While the story was a bit too business focused for my taste at times, I still loved seeing these crazy, damaged characters who have no clue how to just be normal people.

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