Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (3)

Every Wednesday I highlight a book that I've recently added to my ever growing to-be-read pile. I know that I'll never get through them all, but it's nice to have a Wish List in place! 
This week I would like to highlight My Heart For Yours by Jolene B. Perry & Stephanie Campbell.  If you're a frequent reader of my blog you know that I 'judge a book by it's cover'.  If the cover isn't enough to catch my attention I'll pass the book by without even reading the blurb.  I know that's not fair, but it is what it is.  At first glace there's nothing special about this cover, but if you look closely you can see that the heart is drawn on foggy glass.  Something about that snagged me.  Then I read the blurb!  This is my kind of book!

Another thing that peeks my interest with this one is that it's written by more than one author.  Usually that wouldn't be a selling point, but it seems each author wrote a different point-of-view!  Interesting!  Here's a quote from Savannah over at Books with Bite (from her Goodreads review):

"What I loved most about this book is the awesome plot line. Normally, I don't like point of view switches especially if they are not done well. The way both authors wrote each point of view it flowed so well together like peanut butter and jelly."
So, are you sold yet?!  Well, here's some more good news...the ebook is only $2.99!!  So go get it! Yes, now!

My Heart for Yours

For Tobin and Delia, everything was always equal.

A bargain, a trade, a deal to be struck.

A kiss for a kiss.
Your shirt for mine.
Break my heart, I’ll break yours.

Their disastrous split was no different. Tobin’s spent the last year pretending Delia never existed, and Delia’s been in D.C., pretending to be anything but the country girl that she is.

When tragedy brings her back to town, Tobin and Delia realize that time apart hasn't healed either one of them. But staying away from each other is harder than they imagined, especially in small town Louisiana, and old feelings are quickly brought back to the surface.

In the mess they’ve created, is there anything to be salvaged of a love that they both thought would be forever?

To find it at Amazon click HERE.

For the $2.99 Kindle version click HERE.

For the $2.99 Nook version click HERE.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Cloaked by Alex Flinn


I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys.

Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got CLOAKED.


Johnny Marco works with his mom at the family business doing shoe repair for the rich and famous.  His dad left when he was only a baby, and his mom has struggled to make ends meet every day since.  He's a hard working good boy.  But even though he never complains, underneath it all he longs to be free of his ordinary life.  He wants to be a shoe designer, and he knows he'd be good at it, too!  But he knows he will never have the money to do what he wants.  When a famous princess visits the motel where he works he thinks he'll be lucky just to get a look at her.  But Princess Victoriana notices him, and asks him for a favor.  It seems a witch has turned her brother into a frog and she needs Johnny's help to find him and break the curse.  And what will Princess Victoriana do for Johnny in exchange?  Well, she'll marry him, of course!

I love fairytale retellings!  I know some people don't, and I can understand why.  They aren't always original.  But, I like that you can pick one up, have no expectations of literary genius, and just enjoy a good story.  That's exactly what you get with Cloaked.  Johnny is a very likable character.  He tries to help everyone he encounters on his quest, and even when he messes up (which he does quite a bit!) you can't help but hope he will finally get it right.  His best friend, Meg, is my favorite character.  She's in love with Johnny, but she's never let him know how she feels.  When she realizes Johnny is going on a dangerous quest she does everything she can to help him, saving his life more than once.  Even after she finds out he plans to marry Victoriana she never lets Johnny down.  I loved watching how these two handle one problem after another.  I had so much fun reading Cloaked! 

This is the third book I've read by Alex Flinn (also read Beastly and A Kiss In Time), and it's most definitely my favorite.  Have you read it yet?  Would you like to?  Well, I hope so because I've decided to give away my copy!!  So if you would like to get your hands on Cloaked be sure to enter the giveaway below!!  And good luck! 

4 Stars * * * *

Don't forget to enter the Off the Shelf Giveaway too!!

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Off the Shelf Giveaway!

I have teamed up with my amazing friend Amy over at Read to My Hearts Content to host a fun giveaway for you guys!  The biggest complaint my wonderful husband has is that books have taken over our house.  I'm sure you can all relate!  So Amy and I came up with a solution...we're going to give these books away (to make room for more...shhhh).  So welcome to our first Off the Shelf Giveaway!!

Here's what's up for grabs:

1 hardback copy of Parasol Protectorate Omnibus (Books #1 - 3) by Gail Carriger

The Parasol Protectorate, Volume 1

1 paperback copy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

1 paperback copy of The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife

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ARC: The Loners (Quarantine #1)

The Loners (Quarantine #1) by Lex Thomas

The Loners

It was just another ordinary day at McKinley High—until a massive explosion devastated the school. When loner David Thorpe tried to help his English teacher to safety, the teacher convulsed and died right in front of him. And that was just the beginning.

A year later, McKinley has descended into chaos. All the students are infected with a virus that makes them deadly to adults. The school is under military quarantine. The teachers are gone. Violent gangs have formed based on high school social cliques. Without a gang, you’re as good as dead. And David has no gang. It’s just him and his little brother, Will, against the whole school.

In this frighteningly dark and captivating novel, Lex Thomas locks readers inside a school where kids don’t fight to be popular, they fight to stay alive.


David couldn't be dreading the first day of his senior year more.  At a party the night before he finds out  that his girlfriend has been cheating on him with Sam, who took over as the quarterback of the football after David quit the team the year before when his mom died.  David decides he's tired of moping around and tells his friends he wants back on the team.  But, as he's leaving the party he gets into a fight with Sam, and the team turn their backs on him.  Serious social suicide. 

But, David has no idea just how terrible his first day is going to become.  An explosion destroys the East Wing of the school and the teachers start simultaneously dying a horrific death.  The military sweeps in and welds the doors and windows closed and they tell the kids that they've been infected with a virus that will kill adults and children.  The only ones that can survive being exposed to it are pubescent teens.  Over the next year chaos ensues.  They develop a sort of society with twisted versions of high school cliques.  The military drops food and other necessities and it's a battle of the strongest to fight for what they need to survive.  Unfortunately, because of David's fight with Sam, he and his brother, Will, end up with no clique to help protect them, which makes surviving that much more difficult.

While I really enjoyed this book there were quite a lot of things that irked me.  For one, no one really talks about the people on the outside.  Where are the parents?  The kids don't act like they even wonder if their parents survived.  There were many times when I just stopped and thought, "Say what!?"  The whole scientific aspect of the story is extremely far fetched.  I found David to be a strong and loyal person, while Will acts like a spoiled brat one minute and a stand in hero the next.  And Lucy, while I really want to like her, she comes off as loyal yet meek one minute, and then cowardice and disloyal when things get rough.  And that's not even touching on her relationships with David and Will.  (I really dislike love triangles with siblings!)  The characters personalities are very inconsistent.  Well, all except Sam, our bad guy...he's just plain evil.

This book is filled with action and adventure and you're hooked from the beginning.  Loyalties are tested.  Death and betrayal run rampant, and the kids find out just what they're willing to do in order to survive.  The Loners leaves us with a cliff hanger of an ending so good that I can't stop thinking about it and my mind keeps wandering from one scenario to another.  It seems that while this wasn't the best book I've ever read, it was good enough to have me itching to get my hands on book #2. 

The Loners will be released on July 10, 2012.

To find it at Amazon click HERE.

To find it at B&N click HERE.

3 Stars * * *

* I recieved this ARC from the publisher via netgalley.
*While tagged as YA, this book is violent and gruesome and includes strong language and sexual situations.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (2)

Every Wednesday I highlight a book that I've recently added to my ever growing to-be-read pile. I know that I'll never get through them all, but it's nice to have a Wish List in place! The ones highlighted here are newly released or have upcoming release dates.

This week I would like to highlight Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker.  I guess I'm just a sucker for a good cover, but I love this one!  After reading the synopsis I knew it had to be this weeks highlight.  And, since it was released yesterday you can grab your copy now!!

Unbreak My Heart
From Goodreads:
Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.

Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

To find it at Amazon click HERE.

For the Kindle version click HERE.

To find it at B&N click HERE.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Awesome Giveaway by Life Between Pages!!

Head over to Life Between Pages and enter the contest!! 

Each entry will have the chance to win one of the following...

1 x US$10 towards any choice of books from The Book Depository

2 x paperback copies of Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (one for each winner)

1 x paperback copy of Complete Novels of Jane Austen

1 x paperback copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
1 x eBook copy of Taste by Kate Evangelista

2 x Glass bead bracelets (handmade by me!) and vintage postcards (one for each winner).

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eternal Kiss of Darkness special ebook edition

From Jeaniene Frosts blog:

To celebrate the upcoming release of Once Burned, from now though June 25th, my publisher is offering a special ebook edition of Eternal Kiss of Darkness for only $1.99! As some of you know, Eternal Kiss of Darkness won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and it was a New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller. Plus, in this limited-time discount edition, you can get a sneak peak at the entire first three chapters of Once Burned, available wherever books are sold June 26.
Order at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, Kobo, or your favorite ebook retailer.
Watch the new book trailer for this special edition of Eternal Kiss of Darkness:

Link to the trailer is here:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5)

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5) by Ally Carter

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)

The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.


I picked up I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Book #1) from the library a few years ago because I thought it looked like a fun, cute and quick read.  Well, I was right!  I really enjoyed it, along with the rest of the series.  The adventures that these friends go on are so much fun.  I mean, come on, who hasn't wished they lead the life of a spy!?  If you haven't read any of this series and you enjoy a good YA/Chick Lit/Mystery/Spy novel (yes, they really fit all of those genres!) you should try them.  I gave the first four books in the series 3 & 4 stars.

*Spoilers Ahead if you haven't read Books 1-4!*

Out of Sight, Out of Time begins with Cammie waking up in a convent in the middle of the Alps.  She's confused because she's told it's October 1st and the last thing she remembers is leaving Gallagher Academy to protect her friends from the Circle of Cavan---in June.  She's been missing for four months and she has no idea where she has been, what she did or why she's injured and has lost so much weight.  All she wants is to go home, back to her school, her family and her friends, but when she gets there things aren't exactly as they were when she left.  Her friends are angry with her for leaving without them, her boyfriend Zach is now going to school at Gallagher Academy with them.  She's no closer to remembering what happened over the summer, but she knows it's not an accident that her memory is missing.  And, she's determined to figure out what she spent her summer doing and what the clues her father left behind mean.

This book was much more fast paced and action packed than previous books in this series.  It's darker, it's deeper and the situations are much more dangerous.  The girls have grown up a lot throughout the books, and the maturity level of the story has grown with them.  One of the things I like the best about these books is the loyalty between Cammie, Liz, Bex and Macey.  Every girl needs strong girlfriends in her life, and these girls have that in each other.  This book was really very good, the best in the series by far, and I look forward to seeing where the Gallagher Girls curiosity leads them.

4 Stars ****

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Insurgent (Divergent #2)

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

**Disclaimer:  If you have not read Divergent this review may contain spoilers!!  Also, if you have not read Divergent go now!!  Get it!!  Read it!!  That is all!**

I've been finished with Insurgent for a few days now, and every time I sit down to write my review I draw a total blank.  Why?  I just can't seen to come up with words to explain just how intriguing I find this series.  I was afraid that Veronica Roth wouldn't be able to pull off book #2 with as much action and adventure as Divergent and still give us an amazing story, but she did just that.     

The factions are at war and everyone must pick a side.  But what do you do when you think both sides are wrong?  How do you betray the people you love and help the people you've come to despise?  And how do you live with yourself when you look in the mirror and see the person you've become, the person that watched her mother and father murdered and took the life of one of her best friends to save her own?  And as if all of this isn't enough to deal with Tris knows there are secrets all around her.  Who can she trust?  Who's working against her?  Who is feeding information to the enemy?  And most important, what is the secret that is so important that her parents were willing to die to reveal it?

Insurgent is full of action and adventure, love and betrayal.  Secrets are revealed that no one, not even the ones responsible for the war, could have imagined.  And the Divergent are at the very center of it all.  And, an ending so ironic it literally left me sitting there staring off into space with my mouth agape finishes off the suspense of Insurgent!  Bottom line:  This series is amazing! 

5 Stars *****

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wish List Wednesday (1)

Every Wednesday I am going to post about a book that I've added to my ever growing to-be-read pile.  I know that I'll never get through them all, but it's nice to have a Wish List in place!  The ones highlighted here will be newly released or have upcoming release dates.  So welcome to my first Wish List Wednesday.

This week I'd like to highlight What She Left Behind by Tracy Bilen.  The cover is what first drew me to this book, but after reading the blurb I have to say it sounds exciting!  Can't wait to get my hands on this one, and since it was released on May 1st hopefully that will be sooner rather than later!

What She Left Behind

“Don’t even think of leaving… I will find you,” he whispered. “Guaranteed.”

Sara and her mom have a plan to finally escape Sara’s abusive father. But when her mom doesn’t show up as expected, Sara’s terrified. Her father says that she’s on a business trip, but Sara knows he’s lying. Her mom is missing—and her dad had something to do with it.

With each day that passes, Sara’s more on edge. Her friends know that something’s wrong, but she won’t endanger anyone else with her secret. And with her dad growing increasingly violent, Sara must figure out what happened to her mom before it’s too late…for them both.

To find it at Amazon click HERE.
For the Kindle version click HERE.
To find it at B&N click HERE.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris

Deadlocked (Sookie Stackhouse, #12)

**Deadlocked is #12 in the Sookie Stackhouse series.**

Growing up with telepathic abilities, Sookie Stackhouse realized early on that there are things she'd rather not know. An now that she's an adult, she also realizes that some things she knows about, she'd rather not see--like Eric Northman feeding off another woman. A younger one.

There's a thing or two she'd like to say about that, but she has to keep quiet--Felipe de Castro, the vampire king of Louisiana (and Arkansas and Nevada), is in town. It's the worst possible time for a human body to show up in Eric's front yard--especially the body of the woman whose blood he just drank.

Now it's up to Sookie and Bill, the official Area Five investigator, to solve the murder. Sookie thinks that, at least this time, the dead girl's fate has nothing to do with her. But she is wrong. She has an enemy, one far more devious than she would ever suspect, who's set out to make Sookie's world come crashing down.

I have been a fan of this series almost from the very beginning, and I always anxiously wait for releases and then devour the new books so fast they leave my head spinning.  This one was no different.  I read the entire book in less than 24 hours!  I couldn't put it down.  This series has been getting a lot of criticism lately, and I agree that some of the last few books haven't been amazing like I've come to expect.  But Deadlocked seems to have picked back up some of the thrill I love so much.  Of course, we get the mystery we've come to expect from Sookie.  There's lots of betrayal, jealous lovers, and rifts that probably won't ever be repaired.  It's obvious that the series is winding down.  Many loose ends were tied up, and the stage has been set for what I hope will be Sookie's happily-ever-after in the very last book of the series, Dead Ever After.  I'll be sad to see an end to a series that I have loved so much, but I think all fans will agree that it's time for Sookie to be happy.  Really and truly happy! 

4 Stars ****

Friday, May 11, 2012

Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires, Book #12)

Black Dawn by Rachel Caine

Black Dawn (The Morganville Vampires, #12)

**Black Dawn is Book #12 of the Morganville Vampires Series**

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Black Dawn takes up exactly where Last Breath (Book #11) ended.  The vampires and humans have all retreated to Founder's Square and are hiding from the draug.  Amelie has been bitten by Mangus, the master draug, and is turning into a draug herself.  The vamps and humans are working together to try to figure out a way to save Morganville from a threat so deadly that even the vamps are afraid to go outside.  Of course, it falls to Claire, Eve, Shane and Michael to save the day.  

Considering the fact that I was pretty disappointed with Last Breath, I was relieved to enjoy Black Dawn so much.  As usual, I really enjoyed the relationship between the four friends.  When Shane is in trouble they all risk everything to save him.  There is a lot of tension between Eve and Michael, and it hurts Claire to see them so unhappy.  At one point Michael even tells Claire that he was wrong about not wanting her to move in with them way back when she first came to Morganville.  The friendship between the four of them is so strong.   

When I first began this series I loved how unique the concept was.   A whole town created by vampires where humans know what lurks in the dark, but they attempt to live together in harmony...well as much as possible.  These vampires aren't your fluffy, romantic version that so many books are all about.  These vamps are real, blood-thirsty and devious.  Humans don't leave the house after dark.  They're free to live as they please, but they're pretty much captives in the town.  I used to read these books and I would hold my breath not knowing who could be trusted and who couldn't.  I suppose it's because the series has gone on for so many books, but I've lost that thrill.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Black Dawn.  It was probably my favorite in the series.  But, when Oliver threatens Eve and/or Claire I know he's all talk.  When Amelie tells Claire she's going to turn her I know it's not really going to happen.  Even psycho Myrnin, who has lost it and attempted to kill Claire time and time again, has become soft.  Although I'm still enjoying it, I miss the thrill and excitement that was so rampant in this series.  I'm really excited to see where the series is headed now with the vamps telling them the rules are changing.  This could be good!  Maybe not so good for our four friends, but good for me!  I am anticipating lots of excitement for Bitter Blood (Book #13)!  Hopefully it won't disappoint!

***** 5 stars

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crossed (Matched Trilogy, Book #2)

Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched, #2)

** Crossed is Book #2 in the Matched Trilogy.**

Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of a rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices every thing to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.
Crossed picks up right where Matched left off.  Ky has been sent to the Outer Provinces.  He's been told that he'll fight there for 6 months and then his status will be restored to Citizen.  He quickly finds that no one makes it 6 months.  The Enemy fires on them every night, the weapons the Society gave them are shooting blanks, and children are dying every day.  Ky knows the only way he's going to survive is to escape into the Carving (the desert).  He and his friends Vick and Eli leave in the midst of Enemy fire and everyone assumes they're dead.

Meanwhile, Cassia is living in a girl's work camp.  She doesn't know how, but she has to find a way to get to Ky.  When the Society conveniently comes to pick up some of the girls to take them to the Outer Provinces Cassia manages to slip aboard the plane mostly unnoticed.  However, when she gets there she's told that Ky has already escaped.  She, her friend Indie (who is a sneaky, untrustworthy person!) and the one and only boy left that knew Ky escape off into the night following Ky. 

As Cassia and Ky finally find each other many things are brought to light, the main thing being the Rising, a group of people rebelling against the Society.  Cassia wants to find and join them, but Ky knows better.  He blames them for the death of his mother and father and their entire village.  What Cassia wants is the one thing Ky doesn't think he can do for her.  And then there is Xander's secret.  Cassia knows Xander has something to tell her, but what she doesn't know is that Ky already knows what the secret is. 

I feel torn on how to rate and review this book.  I really enjoyed Matched, and while I didn't dislike Crossed, I also didn't love it either.  Given the fact that this group was on the run for most of the book I really expected more action and adventure.  What I got was poetry.  A lot of poetry.  A lot of the same poetry repeated over and over.  Now, don't get me wrong, the poetry is a big part of the premise of the series, and it's important.  I just feel like it was a bit over done this time...and boring. 

I'm holding out hope that Reached (Book #3) will deliver an excellent wrap-up to the series and that it will completely change my opinion of where Crossed has lead us.  I definitely enjoyed this book enough to continue the series, but it was boring enough to make me concerned for Cassia's future.

I gave this book 4 stars, mainly based on the fact that I like the series too much to go any lower.

Stronger Through Christ: A Mother's Memoir

Stronger Through Christ by Ami Dark-Rosen

Stronger Through Christ

Life doesn’t always go as planned. How many times have you asked the Lord why bad things have happened to you or those you love? I have asked Him that question countless times throughout my life when hardships have come my way. When I was five years old, I encountered a curveball that I was not expecting; this curveball has altered my life in such a way that has caused me to ask the Lord for His forgiveness. Thankfully, that bump in the road afforded me with blessings and joy. But, just as I had begun to relish in those blessings, the Lord presented me with another difficulty to overcome. The struggle that resulted forced me to learn how to cope with a new way of life; and I would not have survived without Jesus Christ holding my hand and guiding me through. He has turned the hardships into opportunities for growth, enrichment, and encouragement. I began this memoir as a gift for my daughter, Sarah. My wish for her is to recognize that she is a child of God’s and that her life, and every life, has purpose.
Ami was diagnosed with diabetes as a child.  This is her story of how God has been there with her as the disease has attempted to control her life.  She went through her childhood always feeling different from her friends.  In her teenage years she didn't take very good care of herself.  Like most teenagers it wasn't the most important thing going on in her life...or so she thought.  Unfortunately this proves to be detrimental to her future and she soon finds herself fighting for her life.  Even though she wins the battle, her life is never the same and she realizes her life will be a battle from that point on.  Although she struggles with where her life is, often times feeling bitter and sorry for herself, she never looses faith in God.  She knows this is His ultimate plan for her and she trusts Him.  The author's committment to the Lord is an amazing thing, and she is extremely encouraging.  I would recommend this book to anyone who has gone through a difficult life and questions where God is when you need him. 

I did find several grammer/typo mistakes in the book, but it wasn't bad enough to become distracting.  It is a quick and enjoyable read.

I recieved this book free for reviewing.

I give this book 2.5 stars.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.


I absolutely adored this book...and I'm a bit ashamed myself for it. 

If you've read other reviews you know just how controversial the story is.  Honestly, I agree with both sides!  Travis is the bad boy, and he's good at it.  He loves to fight and makes great money at it.  He's never had a girlfriend before but he's "bagged" (I cannot tell you how much I hate that word!) most of the girls at school.  Covered in tattoos and oozing testosterone most girls shamelessly throw themselves at him even though they know they'll only be a one night stand.  But not Abby!  Abby is running from a past and Travis is exactly what she wants to stay away from.  She tells him from the first time they meet that she will not be one of his bimbos.  They agree to be friends, but of course, they both fall head over heels.  Travis, the bad boy turned Romeo...yeah, not so much.  Yes, Travis loves Abby.  Yes, Abby loves Travis...even though she tries her damnedest to deny it to herself and everyone else.  If the fight to become a couple was the only fight between these two I'm sure we'd all sleep much better at night, but alas it can't be that easy.  No matter how hard he tries Travis can't keep from messing it up.  No matter how hard she tries Abby can't keep from messing it up.  Are you seeing the pattern here?  Travis is jealous, angry, obsessed, possessive, violent and volatile.  He's like a live volcano and he erupts at ever turn.  He is dangerous!  So why is it that I love him so much?!  And Abby...Abby, Abby, Abby...I spent most of the book wanting to smack her in the back of the head!  Her constant denial irritated me so bad!  Just admit you love him and it will all work out.  But I really don't know why I felt that way, because, for the most part, her feelings are justified.  That's just how much I love Travis I suppose.

So, in response to the reviews that comment on how disturbing and wrong the relationship is, I agree totally 100%!!  Travis is a dangerous man to get involved with.  He beats the hell out of anyone that looks at Abby wrong and he is obsessed with her to the point of being stalker-ish.  Bad, bad representation of what a romance "should" be. 

And to do a total response to the 5 star reviews that gush over how much they love the book:  Me too!!!!  I love how much Travis loves Abby!  I love how possessive and jealous he is!  I even love it when he beats the hell out of someone for looking at Abby wrong!  I love how he never gives up no matter how much Abby denies their future...even when you start to feel like he's stalking her!!  Is this bad...yeah, probably.  But I don't care!  I LOVED this book!!  It really was a Beautiful Disaster.

5 stars * * * * *

**Beautiful Disaster is labeled Young Adult, but it involves college aged people and is full of rough language, situations and quite a lot of sex scenes.  I would not recommend this book for young teens or anyone at an impressionable age.  I can see how this book might make someone  (particularly kids) think an abusive relationship isn't as bad as it appears.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.


Somewhere in the Scorpio sea lies the island of Thisby. It's a small island mainly inhabited by fishermen, and every Fall the capaill uisce (pronounced copple ooshka) come ashore only on the this island.  Fearsome water horses, they feed on meat and blood.  They are predators, killers, every year taking the lives of several innocent fishermen.  The island of Thisby is also famous for The Scorpio Races, which are held each year in November.  Men capture and tame the capaill uisce. Well, as well as a fierce monster that hears the call of the sea can be tamed.  They train and prepare them for a race on the beach.  

Sean Kendrick is a sure thing. He's the one to beat. He is the equivalent of a water horse whisperer, and most seek his advise on everything concerning horses, land and sea. He lost his father to the races when he was a child, and since then he has worked for Benjamin Malvern, horse breeder and the richest man on the island. Sean has won The Scorpio Races four times on the capaill uisce he loves, Corr. But he can't really be happy because Corr belongs to Malvern. When Malvern tells him he will sell Corr to him if he wins The Scorpio Races this year Sean knows there is nothing he won't do to win. But what about the strange and determined girl that has captivated him? 

This year newly orphaned Kate "Puck" Connolly, has decided she is going to ride in The Scorpio Races.  Initially it is to delay her older brother, Gabe, in leaving her and her younger brother, Finn, for the mainland, but she quickly realizes she has to win the race in order to save the house she and her brothers have inherited from their parents.  No woman has ever entered the race, and the townspeople are not happy with Puck for challenging tradition.  Especially since she decides she will be riding her horse, Dove.  Her small land horse. 

I don't think I've ever read a book where my opinion changed so much throughout. One minute I'm wondering why Ms. Stiefvater chose to write about, of all things, killer horses.  Then, when I was in the middle of my day to day life and NOT listening to the book, I couldn't get my mind off of it.  The story started slow. It took me awhile to really get into it. I found Puck to be very childish and Sean to be extremely dreary. I know and understand the reason for both of their personalities and quirks though.  You really get to see these two characters grow and mature, and I loved how slow and steady their relationship progressed. Too many books have the lovers fall head over heals into a relationship that is unrealistically romantic.  It's refreshing to read a story about two people that get to know each other, spend time together and then realize their feelings.  It just feels more real. 

The the last half of the book was much more exciting, I was hooked! The races were exciting and beautifully written.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  And I love Finn!! His devotion to his sister was amazing, and he totally cracked me up at the end.  I picked this book out because not only do I love YA and dystopian novels, I also love Maggie Stiefvater.  Although I initially thought it might, this book did not disappoint!!  This book is 90% about the water horses and the race, and 10% love story. If you're looking for a sappy love story, this is not it.  It is however, an amazing book.  I am a bit sad that it's a stand alone novel;  I'd love to read more about the island of Thisby in the future.

As a side note I'd also like to say that the audiobook was great!! I don't usually like it when more than one person narrates, but this time it really worked perfectly!

I gave The Scorpio Races 4 stars.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Few Ramblings...

First of all I want to give a big Thank You to everyone that has visited my new blog!  I'm amazed at the amount of views I'm getting in such a short time.  Also, a big shout out to a great friend, Amy, from Read to my Heart's Content, who has been great at supporting me and sending her readers my way.  If you haven't already, you should definitely check out her review blog.  And for those of you that might be looking for something for your kiddos to read, head over to Kid's Corner for Super Reading, where she reviews the books her and her boys enjoy together.

I also wanted to let you know where I'm headed in the near future.  When I decided to start this blog I went back and picked out some of the books I've recently read to get me started.  I have a few more that I'll be posting soon:  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, who happens to be one of my favorite authors.  I originally read her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy and loved it, so when she released The Scorpio Races, which is a stand alone novel, I knew I had to read it right away.  I plan to have this one done by tomorrow.  Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire is another one I've recently finished and will be posting soon.  It should be...interesting.

I normally have at least two books that I'm in the middle of at any given time.  I spend a lot of time driving so I'm extremely fond of audiobooks.  I also have many, many shelves full of hardback and paperback books and a Kindle library that overfloweth.  I try to pick books that are of completely different genres so that there's no confusion, but that's usually a non issue.  It's so easy for me to fall into the worlds I'm reading about that it's not that difficult for me to keep them separate.  However, I do occasionally find that I will get so caught up in a book or series that I simply cannot switch back and forth.  I'm just entirely too enamored and have no desire to read anything else...or do anything else!  I seem to be in one of these periods right now.  I have had Tiger's Curse, which is Book #1 in The Tiger Saga by Colleen Houck, on my to-be-read list since it came out last year.  For some reason it kept getting pushed to the side while I picked up other books.  A few weeks ago I found it on sale at, and I grabbed it up.  Now there are three books out in this series, and I just started Book #3 yesterday.  So, that's another review to look forward to. 

I don't want to promise too much too far into the future since I'm so bad about skipping around from book to book, but several books were released yesterday that I've been waiting for for what seems like ages.  It's very likely that these will be the next books on my blog!  1.  Deadlocked by Charlene Harris; 2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth; 3. Black Dawn by Rachel Caine; and 4. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Claire, which comes out on May 8th.  So, that's what's in store for me over the next few weeks!  Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Summer of Skinny Dipping

The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Summer, #1)

After she's snubbed by her snooty cousins in the Hamptons, 16-year-old Mia Gordon meets next-door-neighbor Simon. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny dipping, she's caught in a current impossible to resist.


Mia is so excited to be spending the summer with her family in the Hamptons.  It's been years since she's seen the cousins she spent her childhood playing on the beach with and she knows  the summer is going to be perfect!  When they arrive she's disappointed to see just how much her cousins have changed.  Instead of hanging out on the beach with Mia all they care about is partying.  Mia finds herself spending a lot of time alone on the beach...until she meets Simon, the neighbor her cousins totally disapprove of.  Simon is a free spirit, loves painting and skinny dipping at night.  He plans to travel the world after he graduates from high school next year.  Too bad his dad is determined to send him off to his Alma Mater, and he doesn't care what Simon says about it.  Simon and Mia fall head over heals...of course.

I gave The Summer of Skinny Dipping 3 stars. It probably deserves more, but I can't seem to do it.  The Summer of Skinny Dipping was an enjoyable read, however...

** spoiler alert **

*Please don't read ANY further unless you want to know exactly how this book ends!!

First of all let me say that I like my books with a nice HEA. I really enjoyed this book so I'm trying not to let the ending negatively influence my star rating, but I just can't give 5 (or even 4!) stars to a book that leaves me feeling empty inside. Great character building, great plot, great love story...but why, oh why would the author kill off the best character in the book? Simon was the only one that really had it all together and knew what he wanted out of his life. How cruel to have that snatched from him. Yeah, I know...that's life. But it still sucks.  I've read lots of books where characters die, and I don't ususally like it but it wouldn't negatively influence my rating.  For some reason in this book it bothers me more. 

**end spoiler**

Delivered with Love

Delivered with Love by Sherry Kyle

Delivered with Love

An old love letter found in the glove compartment of a young woman's inherited 1972 Volkswagen propels her to leave her life in Los Angeles and go to the small town of Capitola, California. There her dream of finding the writer of the letter leads her on an unexpected journey that changes her life forever.

After Claire's mother dies she finds herself working as a waitress in a job she hates and living with her sister and her husband.  When Claire is fired from her crappy job her brother-in-law kicks her out of the house.  With no idea what to do or where to go she packs her bags and jumps in the 72 VW Bug that belonged to her mother.  With nothing more to go on than a love letter to her mother that she finds in the glove compartment, signed only with the letter M, she sets off in search of the man that once loved the mother she misses so badly.  She's not even sure what it is she's looking for, but what she finds is "home".

This is a really, really cute story.  I feel a bit  bad that I'm only giving it 3 stars when I did enjoy it so much, but the problem is there are just too many coincidences.  We've all had that, "Wow!  It's a small world!" moment, but the ones (yes, more than one!) in this book are just a bit too unbelievable.  Other than that I really enjoyed the book and I recommend it to anyone that is in the mood for a quick chick lit and/or Christian lit read with a little romance thrown in.

I gave Delivered with Love 3 stars.

*I got this book as a Kindle Freebie! (Not free now.)

A Week at the Beach

A Week at the Beach by Virginia Jewel

A Week At The Beach

Thanks to a scandalous affair, NYC girls Chrissy and Cami were banished from their usual beach vacation in the Hamptons. Needing to get away, Chrissy begged her stepfather for the keys to his family’s Outer Banks beach house. Darren needed to get out of LA, and his best friend Nick was delegated to keep an eye on him. Hoping to stay out of trouble, the boys flew off to the Outer Banks to spend a week at the family beach house. When the boys discover that the house is already occupied by two beautiful NYC girls, the fun begins.
This was such a cute book.  I read it all in one sitting and then wished I'd taken it slower because I didn't want it to end.  Chrissy and Cami head to the beach to stay in Chrissy's step-father's family beach house.  Chrissy, who was just caught in a relationship with a married man, is looking for a wild vacation to help her forget that he's never going to leave his wife for her.  Cami, who tags along simply because that's what she does when Chrissy asks her to do something, is hoping for a quiet and relaxing week at the beach.   These two girls are so different that I was constantly wondering why they were even friends.  Even though they are on vacation together they spend most of the week doing their own thing totally unconcerned with the other.  A bit strange.

Darren and Nick live in L.A., are best friends and they also work together.  When Darren has some trouble at work and needs to get out of town for a while, he and Nick set off for his family beach house...the same beach house as it turns out!  When the four realize the mistake they quickly realize the house is big enough for them all and they agree to stay out of each other's way and share the house.  Darren spends his week out partying while Nick, like Cami, decides to get in some relaxation. 

Nick and Cami quickly realize they enjoy each other's company and they spend the entire week together.  But Cami is determined not to fall for Nick.  After all, she lives in NYC and he lives in can that work?  The journey to figure out the answer to that question is so much fun! 

I gave A Week at the Beach 5 stars.

* I got this as a Kindle Freebie! (Not free now.)

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