Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Blog Tour - The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen + Giveaway!

Title: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

I’m a sucker for a book that does a trope I love really well. And I always get excited when I find a book featuring one of my favourite tropes. Jean P. Nguyen’s All the Feels was both of those things. And I loved it.

I’ve said this before but I’m a total sucker for stories that feature fake relationships that turn into real ones. There’s just something about seeing two people who didn’t think they belonged together realized that what they thought they were faking is actually something real. It totally gets to me every single time and I can’t get enough of those kinds of story. I just can’t ever picture myself ever getting tired of them. So needless to say that Jenn P. Nguyen’s The Way to Game the Walk of Shame sounded like it would totally be up my alley. And having now read it, I can say that I was absolutely right. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame was just a fun story that often had me smiling. But it also surprised me by going deeper than I thought it was going to go. It added another layer to the story and made it that much more interesting to read. But the best part of this story? Taylor and Evan.

Though it could have felt like I was reading a clichéd story about the good girl falling for the school’s bad boy, it wasn’t like that. There was just something about Evan and Taylor that made me forget about that cliché. And I think that’s because neither one of them was really who I initially thought they were. Despite what everyone thinks, Evan isn’t actually a bad boy and Taylor isn’t the Ice Queen her whole class believes her to be. They were just two people with a lot going on in their lives who were just happy to let people believe what they wanted. So it was really nice to see them embrace who they were and who they wanted to be as they spent more time with each other. And that’s just my very wordy and roundabout way of saying that I really liked Taylor and Evan and I loved peeling back the layers to their characters and getting to know them better over the course of this story.

Jenn P. Nguyen’s The Way to Game the Walk of Shame was the fun story I hoped it would be while also going beyond what I thought it would do. Sure, it was a fun story, but it also had it’s fair share of deeper moments that only made me love it more.

Follow the rest of the tour!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 photo signature.png

Monday, May 30, 2016

Blog Tour - All the Feels by Danika Stone + Giveaway!

Title: All the Feels
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life…and her last tangible connection to her deceased father. Thus, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.

Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a call that ignites the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life, and her disapproving mother’s new boyfriend. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to get away from it all…and figure out what (and who!) she really wants.

I knew from the moment I first heard about it that I wanted to read Danika Stone’s All the Feels. It’s a story all about fandoms and how important they can be in your life. Throw in a touch of romance and this was just my kind of story!

Thanks to Danika Stone’s All the Feels I now want to read all the books that involve fandom in some way. Seriously, I loved all the nods to being in a fandom that were throughout the story. So many times while I was reading I would find myself nodding at some of the things Liv said or did because I’ve totally been there before when it comes to some fandom things. Just not quite to the same extreme as Liv. But still. It was a lot of fun reading a story that I could more than relate to I mean, who has’t cried over the death of a favourite movie/tv/book character and wished they could somehow bring it back? Let’s be honest, we’ve totally all been there. And that’s what made All the Feels so great. It was like I was reading a story that could have been about me if I’d been more active in fandoms as a teenager. Oh also, All the Feels has convinced me that I need to go to a big comic con-type event at least once in my life. It’s something I feel like I need to experience.

Liv will be really relatable for anyone who has ever been part of any fandom. So really all of us book people. Whenever she was describing her online friends, or trying to explain how they were more real to her than people in her real life. I’ve totally been there. Hell, some of my best friends are people I wouldn’t have met if not for having been involved in different online communities. Beyond the fandom stuff, Liv was someone who was really easy to like and easy to root for. Or at least I thought so. And then there was Xander. At first, I was a little taken aback when I was told that Xander was always dressed in steampunk garb. But the more I read, the more charming that made him. I think it would have been almost impossible for me not to be charmed by Xander. So I was surprised it took so long for the romance between Liv and Xander to be played up. I mean, I could see it right from the beginning. Heck, you would have to be blind not to see it. But it took a while for the romance to take off and I wish there could have been more of it throughout the story. 

Danika Stone’s All the Feels is the perfect book for anyone who’s ever been involved in a fandom. You’ll find yourself nodding along to so much of the story because you’ve been there. And if you haven’t, you’ll laugh because it’s something you could see yourself doing it. Or at least, that’s how it was for me.

Follow the rest of the tour!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 photo signature.png

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog Tour - Charged by Jay Crownover - Excerpt

From New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover comes CHARGED, the latest in her sexy The Saints of Denver series, releasing May 24th! Known for her strong heroines and alpha males, you won’t know what hit you as you read Avett and Quaid’s story. Keep reading for more about the Legal Eagle and Avett and order your copy today.

About Charged

Title: Charged (Saints of Denver #2)
Author: Jay Crownover
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Kobo
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation…or her ruin.

Avert Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.


I narrowed my eyes at her, shifted my weight from foot to foot as her proximity and the charge of her pushing and pulling thickened both my blood and my cock. I was an attorney for a reason. I never met an argument I didn’t like or that I didn’t feel compelled to win. The way Avett always seemed to challenge me was as much of a turn-on as her curvy little body was. 

“Where is your father?” I lifted my eyes from her penetrating gaze in search of the big biker. I didn’t need to try and explain a black eye or a broken arm to Orsen on top of why I suddenly had not interest in searching out a pretty piece of ass to spend time with.

“He’s waiting at the truck. I told him I had some questions I needed to ask you about what happens next.”

“Do you?”

“Do I what?” She was getting increasingly annoyed and I wanted to groan at the way it made her cheeks flush and her breathing hitch. I bet she looked the same way when she was about to come.

Shit. That was not the direction I needed my thoughts to go, but now that they were there I didn’t have a chance in hell of wrangling them back into the safe zone.

“Do you have questions about what happens next?” My voice didn’t sound like my own and I knew there was no hiding the wayward direction of my thoughts as they played out in my gaze as I watched her carefully. 

Slowly, her head shook back and forth, dislodging the bun at the back of her head. Pink stands of hair floated around her face, curling over her shoulders, and my fingertips itched to reach out and push it off her face.

“I know what happens next, Quaid…do you?” Her tone had dropped to a husky whisper that hit me right in the dick. My entire body tensed up and I almost, very nearly, leaned down and met her as she lifted up on her tiptoes towards me, i caught sight of a familiar face. The heady, little bubble of seduction and intoxicating risk that Avett had created around me popped, dropping me hard, back into reality. 

I turned my head as her lips grazed my cheek, and even though it was as innocent as any kiss had ever been, it felt more erotic, more forbidden, and more illicit than any of the actual sex I had ever had. This little slip of a woman could demolish me, waste me, annihilate me, and if I allowed her to do it, I knew it would feel better than anything had in a very long time. 

Don't miss the other Saints of Denver  books!

About Jay Crownover

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 photo signature.png

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Rush by Shae Ross

Title: Rush
Author: Shae Ross
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Priscilla Winslow has a mouth that spits fiery sarcasm faster than I can throw a touchdown. But I’ve wanted her ever since I saw her in that Bo Peep outfit on Halloween. Yep, I’m a sheep who will follow that little hottie anywhere. There’s one problem…she hates me. Just because we ended up in jail and quite possibly ruined both of our futures…

They’re changing the rules…

College Quarterback, Preston Rush is living the dream. He’s leading his team to the National Championship and days away from earning a ‘first round draft pick’ label. When he meets Little Bo Peep at a Halloween party, he thinks he’s scored big. Instead, he wakes up in a jail cell with the corseted beauty. Because of him, she’s in trouble and when he discovers her true identity, he realizes, his nightmare is just beginning.

The always shooting for perfection Priscilla Winslow can’t believe her good deed has cost her soccer career. Even though she knows it isn’t Preston’s fault, she can’t forgive him for the disaster that is her life. She just wishes her damn body would get the message. Every time she sees him, it’s all she can do not to kiss him.

When everything crashed down around him, Preston will have to decide if doing the right thing is worthy losing it all.

As you can probably tell from a lot of what I’ve been reading lately, I’ve been on a major romance kick lately. I just can’t seem to get enough. The latest one I’ve read, Shae Ross’s Rush, was different and unexpected in a good way.

Hi, my name is Emilie and I love sports romance. A lot. Especially if it’s set in college. Even more if both main characters are athletes instead of just the hero. So Shae Ross’s Rush? Total Emilie bait. Also those abs on the cover. I just couldn’t resist them. But that’s besides the point. Shae Ross’s Rush was, in a way, different from the other sports romances I’ve been reading. For one, both main characters are athletes. That’s not necessarily uncommon, but it’s also not necessarily something I see a lot of. The other thing that made Rush feel different was that it didn’t so much focus on the prowess on the field as it did on all the corruption and messed up crap that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to some college sports. In fact, that was pretty much the entire focus of the story. Well beyond the romance. The fact that some sports teams are valued more than others, regardless of actual performance, and that there is a lot of bad stuff going on behind the scenes is something that your sort of know but don’t really want to talk about. So it was definitely interesting to read a story about that and seeing the ways that it affects the people involved. And it was definitely impacting the people in this story in a big way. 

Neither Priscilla nor Preston was exactly who I thought they were going to be. To be completely honest, I kind of expected Preston to be your stereotypical cocky-jock so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that that’s not who he was. Instead, he was someone who really cared about his family, someone who was willing to risk his whole future to help someone he barely knew, someone who was determined to do the right thing no matter how hard it was and no matter the cost. So yeah, Preston totally surprised me. But in in a really good way. As for Priscilla, I loved how she wasn’t willing to take Preston’s crap. Or any other male athlete’s for that matter. She was an athlete just like they were and she deserved the same amount of respect they got. And she wasn’t afraid to ask for it. Even if sometimes she needed a little push from her best friend to do so. So even though I wasn’t sure how I felt about them at first, Priscilla and Preston worked together. Or at least they did for me. 

I really enjoyed reading Shae Ross’s Rush. It was a different kind of sports romance and looked at a different aspect of college sports. On a different note, I wouldn’t exactly be opposed to reading a story about Carson, Jace or Marcus. Just saying…

 photo signature.png

Monday, May 16, 2016

Release Day - Smut by Karina Halle - Excerpt

Title: Smut
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Buy the Book: Amazon / iBooks / Nook / Kobo
Add it on Goodreads
What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career. 

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a posy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick her her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also might find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership together using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction.


She holds my gaze for a moment and something passes over her. Regret, maybe. Then she nods. “Sit down. Let’s work.”

And so we do. And for the first time in a long time, it’s strained. I’m about to suggest maybe we need the Estonian vodka anyway when she lets out an exasperated sigh over something she’s reading.

It happens to be something I wrote.

“What?” I ask, wondering what I did wrong.

She gives me the are you kidding me? look. “Okay, I was ignoring it earlier but I think you need to get a grip on some of this shit. This simply does not happen.”

“Explain, please.”

“I just think it’s unrealistic for there to be so much talking, let alone the fact that the first time they do it it’s in a public place.”

“Too much talking?”

“Yeah.” She scans over the document. “ You know, give me your cock, oh you feel so good, harder, harder, you’re so big, fuck me harder big boy.”

“Have you even had good sex?” I ask incredulously.

She flinches. “Of course I have. And it’s non elf your business.”

“We’re writing about sex. It’s completely my business. I’m not letting you interject your edits based on your personal experiences about sex because believe me, if the sex is good, you’re moaning my name.”

She raises her chin. “Maybe all those girls were faking it.”

Oh, brilliant. 

“Excuse me?” I say, hands pressed against he table, nearly getting out of my chair. “You have no idea. I pride myself in giving a girl as many bloody orgasms as she can handle.”

“Bloody orgasms don’t sound like fun,” she jokes softly. 

“They can be if you’re into knife play,” I tell her, even though that’s not exactly what I meant. Still, she scrunches up her nose. “Don’t know it until you try it, but that’s neither here nor there. When you were with Alan, he must have made you come at least a few times.”

If he didn’t, I feel like finding the guy and showing him a thing or two for wasting four years of her life.

“Yeah,” she says flatly.

“And in the middle of that orgasm, didn’t you want to yell a few things?”


“And why didn’t you?”

She looks at her nails as if they’re suddenly fascinating. “It didn’t seem right. It was…too intimate. I would have felt dumb. He didn’t like any of that stuff.”

The plot thickens. “Any of what stuff?”

“Sex that didn’t involve the missionary position or the bed.”

My mouth drops open. My brain and my penis can’t compute this. “I feel so sorry for you.”

We must remedy this.

She glares at me. “It’s not like I didn’t want to do it. I did. And he did try it. Most of it. But it always went back to the same old.”

I knew it. She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.

“I don’t mean to brag,” I tell her in all seriousness. “But you do realize that I could give you an orgasm in thirty seconds.”

Her eyes widen. I can’t tell if she’s horrified or intrigued. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want you to try.”

She’s not getting it. I frown, trying to explain. “If you’re having good sex and it’s with someone you’re comfortable with, you won’t worry about holding back. You’ll cry out all the nonsense you want, you’ll make noises like a pig and scream like you’re on fire because you truly can’t have a good orgasm unless you’re letting go on all accounts.” I lean back in my chair and study her, running my fingers along my jaw. “I would venture that every time you came with your ex, you were only experiencing half of what you should have been. How is it with your vibrators?”

I expect her to tell me to fuck off, that I’m getting too personal but to my surprise she gives me a small smile. “It’s better. But I do have a roommate with exceptionally good hearing.” She clears her throat. “Anyway, so I guess I’m wrong. The heroine can make all the noise she wants.”

“And have first time sex in public.”

“I don’t know…”

“Believe me, when you finally get a chance to fuck, you don’t care where it is. That’s why I always have a condom in my pocket. And the more public the sex, the sneakier you have to be, the hotter it is.”

“But in the book you would never get caught.”

“You don’t always get caught in real life too.”

I can see she wants to ask me where I’ve done it but she loses her nerve. “Okay.” She looks back to the document. “I accept defeat.”

But I don’t want her to. I want to prove to her I’m right and not have her take my word.

Is there a non-creepy way to show her just how amazing good sex can feel? I’m thinking not.

Or…maybe there is.

About Karina Halle

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 Level 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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sale and more.

 photo signature.png

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood

Title: The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1)
Author: Jennifer Blackwood
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide

1. Don’t call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.
2. Don’t stare at hot boss’s, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)
3. Don’t get on the malicious first assistant’s bad side.
4. Don’t forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.
8. Don’t break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.

You know how sometimes you just want to read a fun romance that’s just going to put a smile on your face, maybe even make you laugh, and take you out of your own head for a few hours? I was looking for exactly that when I picked up Jennifer Blackwood’s The Rule Book and it did exactly what I hoped it would.

Lainey Taylor has never really been one for rules. But working at Starr Media means having to abide by a specific set of rules, each one more ridiculous than the last. But Lainey is determined to follow them, because without this job, she won’t be able to keep helping her sick mom. She needs this job and if to keep it she has to follow a ridiculous set of rules, then that’s what she’ll do. But everything that could possibly go wrong in her first week of work goes wrong and by some miracle, Lainey hangs on to her job. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s also Brogan Starr, CEO of Starr Media and Lainey’s very hot boss. She knows the last thing she should be doing is think about Brogan in anything less than a professional way. But how is Lainey supposed to help herself when the more time she spend with Brogan at the office, the more time she wants to spend with him outside of work.

Jennifer Blackwood’s The Rule Book was such a fun story. Like a lot of the romance books I’ve been reading these days, I hadn’t really heard anything about it until I came across it on NetGalley. But once I read the description, I knew that it was going to be my kind of story. And it absolutely was. Beyond being a fun and flirty romance, I found The Rule Book to also be a really relatable story. Or at least it was for me (well, not quite the romance with the boss part, but the rest). I totally understood what Lainey was going through, trying to find her footing in a new job after just having finished school. Thankfully, I didn’t have someone like Jackson in my first post-grad job, but even without someone like that who’s constantly trying to get you to screw up finding your rhythm after graduation can be hard. Especially when you have as much going on as Lainey did. All that to say that, in that aspect, The Rule Book was really relatable. Though I couldn’t exactly relate to the romance part of the book, it didn’t stop me from really enjoying it. Though I sometimes disagreed with one or both of them, I really liked the dynamic at play between Lainey and Brogan which absolutely made me root for them. Even when they were being stupid. But I’ll get to that. 

Much like Lainey’s work storyline was a relatable one, Lainey herself was a really relatable characters. Or at least she was for me. I connected with her right from the start and got completely caught up in her life. So many of the thoughts she has, whether about having inappropriate crushes or about having trouble resisting the lure of the one-click purchase button, are ones I’ve had myself and it’s those little things that often had me smiling throughout the book. What I loved about Lainey? Her sassiness. Lainey was definitely not afraid to say what was on her mind and I loved her for it. Even if sometimes I wished she would actually chew Jackson out for real and not just in her head because he so totally deserved it. And Lainey’s sassiness also came in handy with Brogan. Because Brogan sometimes (often) needed someone to give him a reality check and Lainey was great at doing just that. Because despite being swoony in all kinds of ways, Brogan sometimes was pretty clueless about some things. Namely how he felt about Lainey. And that having too many rules is not really living. But thankfully he came to his senses.

Though I might have randomly come across it, I’m happy that I found out about Jennifer Blackwood’s The Rule Book. It was a story that was fun and put a smile on my face while I was reading. And I’m just going to put it out there that I wouldn’t be opposed to reading a story all about Zoey...

 photo signature.png

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

There only thing I love more than finding out about a new Morgan Matson book is getting to read a new Morgan Matson book. It feels like I had been waiting to read The Unexpected Everything for forever. And now that I’ve read it, I can say it was everything I expected and so much more.

Andie had a plan for her summer. One that involved spending her summer at John Hopkins in one of the best programs for future premed students to build up her resumé. But that was before a scandal rocked her father’s political career and changed everything. Now, Andie can look forward to a spending her summer at home with the father she hasn’t had a relationship with in five years. But maybe not having any plans is just what Andie needs. If her summer had gone according to plan, Andie wouldn’t have ever realized everything she was missing by sticking to the plan. Because sometimes, the best parts of life are the ones you never planned on.

Morgan Matson is one of my all-time favourite authors, there is no doubt about it. There is nothing I love more than picking up one of her books and immersing myself in the world she created for a few hours. And when I’m done, I can’t help but be sad that I won’t get to that again for quite some time. Sure, I can reread books, but it’s never the same as reading them for the first time. When I picked up Morgan Matson’s latest release, The Unexpected Everything, I wanted to take my time, to really savour the story and the time I would spend in this story with these characters. And I loved every single page of it. Morgan Matson is a master at writing contemporary stories that just suck the reader in. I got so wrapped up in this story, in all the relationships and the way they were connected and woven together. And all those complex relationship is what made this story so fantastic. I loved seeing all those relationships. The friendship between Andie and her three best friends Bri, Toby and Palmer made me wish for a group of friends who have known me for my whole life. Andie’s relationship with her father, seeing them reconnect after years of just sharing the same space, made me miss my own father even though I talk to him on a weekly basis. And Annie’s relationship with Clark just made me so stupidly happy. The reason I completely bought into all of these relationships? The characters all felt so incredibly real.

There was never a time while I was reading that all the characters in The Unexpected Everything didn’t really like real people. In fact there were plenty of times while I was reading that I desperately wanted to be a part of the group of friends I was reading out. I wanted to be friends with Andie, Tobi, Bri and Palmer, and by extension Tom, Clark and Wyatt. I wanted to participate in Palmer’s crazy scavenger hunt, I wanted to have Bri sneak me in to not-so-great movies, I wanted  Toby to guide me through the museum, and I wanted to walk dogs with Andie. I loved all four of these girls, but most of all I loved Andie. I loved seeing Andie’s personal growth over the course of the story, seeing her go from following a plan she felt she had to follow to someone who was doing things for herself. It wasn’t always easy for her to let go of her plans and there were definitely some bumps along the way. And as much as I loved who Andie was at the start of the story, I loved who she was even more by the time I reached the end. Also Clark. Clark is quite possibly my new favourite book boy ever. I can’t even handle how freaking adorable Clark was. If he and Andie weren’t so great together, I would totally want him for myself. 

Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more. There wasn’t a single moment of this story that I didn’t love. Also, if I could maybe have a book about each of Andie’s best friends, that would be awesome. 

 photo signature.png

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Without Borders by Amanda Heger

Title: Without Borders: A Wanderlove Novel
Author: Amanda Heger
Publisher: Purchased
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Source: Diversion Publishing
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
For Annie London, a month in a Central American rainforest means handing out mosquito nets, giving medical aid, and teaching children about the birds and the bees. With any luck, it will also land her application in the “accepted” pile at a top tier medical school. But as soon as she steps off the plane, Annie realizes her bug spray, feeble Spanish, and medical supplies won’t help her deal with her new feelings for Felipe—her best friend’s older brother, who’s much hotter than she remembers, and who also happens to be the doctor in charge of the trip.

Gawking “volun-tourists” may keep his family’s medical clinic afloat, but Dr. Felipe Gutierrez doesn’t have to like them. Or the way they make snap judgments about his practice and the people he cares for. But when his old crush, Annie, shows up to volunteer, her killer curves and kind smile fan the embers of a flame Felipe didn’t realize he’d been carrying. A flame that makes him question all his preconceived notions.

As ideas and cultures clash, Annie and Felipe must decide how far outside their comfort zones they are willing to go—both for their work and for one another.

I hadn’t heard about Amanda Heger’s debut Without Borders until just a few days before it was set to be released, but the moment I heard about it I knew it was my kind of story. And I wasn’t wrong. Once I started reading Without Borders I had trouble putting it down.

Annie needs a recommendation letter for her med school application and to get it she’s spending the next four weeks in the Central American rainforest going from village to village to hand out mosquito nets and teaching locals about safe sex. There’s a lot that Annie expected about the rainforest, but Felipe and her feelings for him were not on that list. Though he doesn’t like it, Felipe puts up with the volunteers that come and go because it’s what allows his family’s clinic to operate. When one of those volunteers is the girl he had a crush on as a teenagers, Felipe starts to think that maybe this brigade through the rainforest won’t be so bad. Annie and Felipe are both pushed out of their comfort zones but maybe they’ll be able to help each other find their way.

When I first read the synopsis for Amanda Heger’s Without Borders, my first thought was that it sounded exactly like an Emilie book. My second was that it reminded me of the short-lived TV show Off the Map about doctors operating a clinic in the middle of the South American jungle (also known in my mind as what Zach Gilford did for a while after Friday Night Lights ended). The combination of those two things was enough for me to want to read Without Borders. And so I did. And I found myself having difficulty putting the book down. And wanting to travel to the South American jungle no matter how many unsafe situations the characters in the book found themselves in, but that’s a different story. For real though, I loved Without Borders because it felt like it was really different from what I’ve been reading lately. It had what felt like a really unique premise and setting that just really worked for me. My favourite part of the Without Borders? The romance. If you are looking for a story where the two love interests jump into bed or act on their feelings right away, go look somewhere else. This is not that book. Without Borders was the kind of slow-burn romance that I love. Sure, the story basically takes place over 28 days, but it’s an intense 28 days which is why it felt like it took much longer for things to happen between Felipe and Annie. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Things had to happen the way they did and the story just wouldn’t have felt the same if their relationship had been rushed.

To say that Annie got a bit of a culture shock when she arrived in Nicaragua would be a slight understatement. It was interesting to see the way her views and opinions changed over the course of the story as she was immersed in this new culture. It was one of those things where at first I wanted to believe I would do better than Annie if I were in her shoes, but the more I read, the more I realized that I would have reactions very similar to hers. No matter how open-minded you are, you often can’t help but fall back on what you know instead of trying to understand this new and different culture. And that led to a few culture clashes between Annie and Felipe. Because let’s just say that Felipe wasn’t always the most open person with the American doctors he had to deal with during his brigades. But try as he might, he couldn’t deny his feelings for Annie, feelings he’d had since he was a teenager. Despite their differences and the way they clashed because of their different background, Annie and Felipe just worked and I loved seeing them happy. Though as much as I loved Annie and Felipe, the person I couldn’t get enough of was Marisol, Annie’s best friend and Felipe’s younger sister. I honestly cannot wait to read her story because I just know it will be entertaining as hell.

I am so beyond happy that I found out about Amanda Heger’s Without Borders because I loved this story. And it’s got me looking forward to what’s going to come next form this new author. I already know that I can’t wait to read Marisol’s story in Semi-Scripted.

 photo signature.png

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Title: Never Let You Go (Never Tear Us Apart #2)
Author: Monica Murphy
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: May 3, 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crowonver, and K.A. Tucker, the second novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy wraps up an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

The truth hurts, they say—and my pain cuts deep. While I was falling for Ethan, he was deceiving me the entire time. He help a huge secret, protected by his lies. When I discovered what he was hiding, the truth shook my world, threatening to ruin us forever. Ruin me. But I soon realized that what we share can’t be destroyed.

The connection between us is too strong. It always has been. I can’t deny him any longer. And I can’t deny my truth: I’m in love with Ethan.

I don’t want to let him go.

While we’re trying our best to make this relationship work, other forces are fighting against us. My family, who wants to keep me safe. The media obsessed with my tragic past. The public that feeds off of it. Even Ethan’s father—the man who nearly destroyed me all those years ago. He’s doing his best to finish the job.

Despite my love for Ethan, the doubts creep in, clouding my mind. Is he worth the pain? Will our love survive, or will we have no choice but to end it—end us—once and for all?

I read Monica Murphy’s Never Tear Us Apart earlier this year and it left me completely desperate to read the sequel. Much like with the first book, Never Let You Go was dark and at times the romance was twisted, but through it all it never stopped feeling real.

Now that she knows the truth about Ethan and his connection to her past, Katie isn’t sure she can trust him anymore. But Ethan is also the only person who will ever come close to understanding what she went through all those years ago during the worse days of her life. And though she wants to hate him, Katie also misses having Ethan in her life. Katie might be willing to forgive Ethan for his deception and make their relationship work, but it sometimes feel like the whole world is working against them. They’ll have to fight to be together, and just when they think they have a shot at their happy ending, their past will come back to haunt them one more time.

After reading Monica Murphy’s Never Tear Us Apart earlier this year and feeling completely raw and conflicted about everything I was feeling about the story and its characters. Oh, and I needed to read Never Let You Go as soon as possible. The only problem with that was that at the time, Never Let You Go wasn’t available. But then a couple of weeks ago it landed on my Kindle and I dropped pretty much everything to devour it. And when I say devour, I mean devour. I struggled to put my Kindle down the entire time I was reading. And that’s because the story was just that good. Where Never Tear Us Apart had me constantly back and forth about how I felt about the romance, with Never Let You Go, I was on-board right from page one. After seeing Ethan/Will and Katie struggle through their feelings for each other and what having a relationship with one another meant, I understood, like they did, that there was no one better suited for them than each other. Much like with the first book, this story was emotional roller-coaster ride that never really let up. But that’s what made the story so fantastic and engaging. 

I loved seeing how different Katie was in Never Let You Go compared to how she was in Never Tear Us Apart. Where in the first book she was just surviving, barely venturing out into the world, in this second book she really came into her own. She wasn’t afraid to say what she thought and do what she wanted, even when it cost her. She was coming to terms with her past and the fact that she didn’t have to let it define her future, despite what everyone around her was telling her. I loved seeing Katie become that strong person I knew she was based on everything she had gone through. As much as Katie grew over the course of these two books, I feel like that’s even more true for Ethan. Never Let You Go felt like it was very much about him coming to terms who he is and not let himself be defined by his father’s actions. That process of accepting himself was reflected, in a way, in the the chapter titles and the way he went from being Ethan to accepting that he was also Will. And I loved the by accepting who they were, horrifying past and all, they were able to come together and build something strong. 

Monica Murphy’s Never Let You Go beautifully concluded the story that began in Never Tear Us Apart. Though it wasn’t always easy to read and broken my heart on more than one occasion, it was the conclusion that Katie and Will deserved.

 photo signature.png
Related Posts with Thumbnails