Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Hi all!

The second book in a great contemporary YA series!




Author: Katie McGarry
Title: Dare You To
Series: Pushing the Limits #2
Release date: 7th of June 2013
Published by: Harlequin (UK) Ltd
Imprint: Mira Ink
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 456 in Paperback format
Source: Bought for the Bookdepository

Summary:

Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."


If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

Review:

I’ve been looking forward to this book as soon as I finished the first one from the series and, luckily, I wasn’t disappointed in the follow-up with a new troubled couple to root for.

As with the first one, this book was about conflict and solving or at least easing the issues that made going on difficult. Most characters in this story had various issues on different levels of seriousness. It seemed that everyone had something to hide, something that brought pain, a dark past, etc, and while that can be depressing and frustrating to read about, there were enough “positive” characters to keep the balance. Plus, it was nice meeting up with the already familiar ones for the previous book.

I have to admit that after reading the preview I had a completely different idea on where the story would be heading compared to what I ended up reading about. I expected to see more of Beth’s life in the context of her initial troublesome foster home with Isaiah and Noah, but the actual plot went to a completely other setting – the seemingly perfect small town. And putting Beth in such an environment certainly had me intrigued – how would she cope/behave in such a drastically different place? The contrast between her and the other inhabitants wasn’t as huge after the first glance as expected. Everyone had issues, Beth just wasn’t hiding them or pretending things were perfect. That is also why I wouldn’t tag her and Ryan complete opposites in every way – both were troubled and bent to the extreme according to their tolerance and trying not to snap.

I didn’t feel depressed or angsty while reading this book, even though, it touches upon and deals with many serious issues. This can be viewed as both positive and negative. It’s something I appreciate because I don’t want to be left feeling helpless and depressed when reading about teenagers and YA in general, but at the same time, while the plot and situations were quite hard to stomach at times I knew everything will be more or less solved in the end with a positive outcome – thus, the story was somewhat formulaic and predictable at times. Nevertheless, the book managed to be gripping, exciting and sweet.

Characters:

Beth: I wasn’t really fond if her in the first book. It was clear her background was harsh and she was in trouble and she was trouble for others as well. It took me a while to warm up to her in this book, but she managed to slip into my good graces. As soon as she started to lose the hostile and negative shell she had built around her I started to like her more and more. I’m glad she didn’t give in to Ryan too quickly, he really had to work to win her trust and after she let down her walls, she didn’t turn to mush, but stayed the tough girl she was, but with much softer edges. I also have to mention that everything would have been easier if she had talked to people about what was on her mind without always running first and then facing the consequences, but then again, trust issues are hard to overcome.

Ryan: I found him sweet and charming in a faulty and jock-y sort of way. He was a nice guy in conflict regarding where his loyalties lie and what he actually wants from his future. Even though it might have started out as a bet for him with Beth I never felt any malicious intent from him even a little.

Overall:

A worthy sequel to the first book. A quick read with heavy topics, which fortunately aren’t weighing the plot down too much. And two characters who were easy to root for. Recommend!



4 stars!

LIIS

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West - 5 Star Review!

Hi all!

This is such a lovely contemporary YA! :)




Author: Kasie West
Title: The Distance Between Us
Release date: 2nd of July 2013
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers
Imprint: HarperTeen
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 312 in Paperback format
Source: Bought from the Bookdepository

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Review:

Rating this book is the case where I give 5 stars, which otherwise would have received less, just because the heroine and hero were just on a level of their own above others and exactly what I love to see in my main couple in YA. Furthermore, this book was amazingly super mega fun, sweet and enjoyable – more so than too many such stories I’ve read lately – it completely restored my faith in contemporary YA with actual great and beyond likable characters with distinct personalities and visible progress and development in relationships.

Let’s talk about the cons first: The ending was rushed and lacked a proper and satisfying conclusion. I felt there was a lot missing and several topics I hoped would have more focus or any at all were barely mentioned or brushed aside without further explanations or outcomes. For example, I would have liked to know more about the mess with Caymen’s mom – I felt she wasn’t explored nearly enough for me to understand her decisions and reasoning.

The dialogue and one-liners were pure gold and there was some epic stuff there. I worship Caymen’s dry sarcastic humor, because it actually made me smile. Her comebacks and musings (callings things as they are) were spot on and perfectly funny. The banter with Xander was in a category of its own. They has such smooth and witty conversations, which were all supported by diverse and wacky settings (graveyard anyone?) and actions. There are too many YA books that describe without actually telling anything (too little substantial dialogue) or have the book stand on the complicated mythology, hotness of the main characters, insta love, other overused tropes to tell the story. What I loved about this book is that the characters came alive and develop through the dialogue, which was colorful, enjoyable and fun to read and told me more about the nature of the characters then any “he was the hottest guy she had ever seen” or “she was beautiful, but she herself though she was plain and no guy would find her attractive.”

I didn’t feel as if this was another Cinderella story of a rich guy and poor girl. It was much more, because it was just so effortlessly written, being cliché while totally doing its own thing.

Characters:

Caymen – where have you been all my YA book reading life? She was exactly the heroine I like to read about: quirky, sarcastic, opinionated but slightly insecure, intelligent, sweet and caring underneath all that snarkyness, fun and not afraid to explore the unknown. Of course, she has her fair share of negative traits (eg. prejudice against rich people, assuming without actual evidence, not TALKING enough or at all when needing to sort out important issues), but they just enhance the good ones or make her less “perfect” in my eyes and more real. All in all, Caymen is a wonderful heroine and I hope against hope to see more such characters. What an absolute shame that YA books are usually trilogies or have even more parts, but THIS book happens to be a standalone and I can enjoy Caymen’s smart mouth only once. Shame shame shame. Weep weep weep.

Xander – Such an amazing sweetheart! Come to think of it, he was the perfect guy: polite, humorous, generous, sensitive, interesting, attractive, rich, etc, etc, but I wasn’t bored by him or found him ridiculous to be reality. He felt like any other ordinary guy, except he, of course, wasn’t. He gave such a relaxed and smooth impression that I felt at ease with his character from the first scene with Caymen. And quite soon after that, I became totally smitten with him.

Overall:

A book with faults, but despite everything the characters, relationships, humor and dialogue took this to a class of its own. I recommend it, strongly!



5 stars!

LIIS


Complete Me by J. Kenner - Guest Post, Review and Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday!
 
 
I am very glad to be part of Complete Me by J. Kenner. The tour is organized by the publisher and by the author. My post includes a review of Complete Me, a guest post from J. Kenner, an excerpt from the book, a giveaway and information about the Stark Trilogy. Enjoy!
 


Title: Complete Me
Author: J. Kenner
Series: Stark Trilogy #3
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Bantam
Genre: Adult: Erotica, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 322 pages
Source: From the publisher in exchange of an honest review
 
Summary:
 
 
Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close.
Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss - and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both. Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the heat between us burning stronger each day.
Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.
 
 
 
 
 
My review:
 
Complete Me is the final and third installment in J. Kenner's Stark Trilogy. I have to admit, that I quickly read the first two books in the series in order to review Complete Me and I fell in love with J. Kenner's writing style. Complete Me is well written romance, where erotica is compellingly combined with mystery.
 
Plot:
 
The third book picks up right on the spot. Nikki has followed Damien in Germany for the trial. Even Damien is released from all charges, it seems, that somebody is aware of Damien's past and neither Nikki nor Damien can relax and enjoy each other's love. Someone starts to threaten Nikki and while Nikki is building up her own business, both Nikki and Damien need to find out who is behind the threats.
 
I enjoyed how skillfully J. Kenner is building up the tension and keeps it until the very end of the book. I think she brilliantly mixed different genres. Erotica can become quite one-sided reading, but the author manages to balance the suspense and mystery into the story line, so erotica is nicely balanced with the plot. It's not only about the sexual relationship, but also about how the characters deal with their demons, how their past is catching up with them and I have to say, the result is a novel which is complete - a story where one genre is not overwhelming the other. I loved that!
 
Characters:
 
I think Nikki is a fresh breeze. She is scarred, independent and she does have her own opinion and strong will. I admired that the author created a protagonist, who can be submissive in bedroom, but who definitely knows how to take charge in her personal and business life.
 
I liked Damien a lot. I mean what id there not to like about him? But what I liked even better was the relationship and dynamics in their relationship. They challenged each other and also balanced each other and I have always loved relationships where there is a win-win results in a love story. Not only emotionally, but also that both characters can stand alone as well.
 
Generally:
 
Complete Me was a very strong and fascinating finale for the Stark Series. I highly recommend it!
 
 
5 Flowers!
 
5 stars.
 
Thanks for the author and publisher for providing me with the review copy!
 
And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have Julie Kenner visiting Me and Reading. Please give a warm welcome to Julie!
 
 


I have had so much fun living in the world of Damien Stark … and I’ve been thrilled to death that readers have had fun joining me there.  Part of the fun (duh!) is the sexual tension between Nikki and Damien, not to mention the actual sex (yeah, it’s hot).

But as much as I hear from readers about the sensuality of the books, I hear equally as often about the characters and the world, and that’s incredibly gratifying, because this world is the characters.  The interactions of all of these characters, from Nikki and Damien to Blaine and Evelyn and Jamie and Ollie are the warm gooey center at the core of the book.  It’s the stuff that holds it together, the emotional connections and character depth that, I hope, make the sex scenes more than just choreography but something that makes the world pop and lets the characters grow.

And because of that, I thought I’d share a scene with Jamie that subtly illustrates how much these characters fit into each other’s lives, but also gives the reader even more information about Jamie, Nikki and Damien.  Enjoy!

 

***

Excerpt 

It’s late when we get back from the bar, the cool night air and Damien’s terraced stone patio are too enticing to resist. It looks out over a manicured lawn leading down to a private dock and the smooth surface of the lake. The sky is clear and the moon is full. It reflects off the sails and hulls of the various boats dotting the shore, adding a wash of muted color to what would otherwise be a gray tableau.

Jamie immediately flops down on the huge daybed. The waitress had suggested flavored vodka in response to Jamie’s query as to what would be fun, and now she is in a whipped cream vodka induced fog. I glance at Damien, then head into the house to get sparkling waters for all of us. When I return, Jamie’s humming Come Josephine, In My Flying Machine and staring up at the stars as Damien looks on, bemused, from where he sits on the nearby loveseat.

I meet Damien’s eyes. “She loves Titanic,” I say, by way of explanation.

“I hope this doesn’t mean you’re drowning,” he says to Jamie.

She just smiles and slowly shakes her head back and forth. “No, I’m in a happy place. This is so nice. Y’all are so nice.”  She pushes herself up on her elbows. “Maybe we should go clubbing.”

“Great idea,” Damien says, as I gape. “But I’ve got a better one. How about we stay in?”

She cocks a finger at him. “Yes. Yes.  She looks at me. “He’s so smart. And gorgeous, too,” she adds in the world’s loudest stage whisper.

“I know,” I say, half-embarrassed for my friend and half-amused by her.

She squints at Damien. “I bet I can totally whoop your ass at poker,” she says.

Damien grins at me. “Who am I to decline a challenge like that?”

“She’s good,” I warn. She and Ollie and I spent a lot of long nights playing poker. “Of course she’s better when she’s sober.”

Jamie’s grin is lopsided. “Maybe I am sober. Maybe this is all just one big bluff.”

 

***
 
About the author:
 
New York Times  and USA Today bestselling author J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) has published over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.  You can find out more about her at her website, http://www.juliekenner.com, or connect with her through social media on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/juliekenner) or Facebook as Julie Kenner (http://www.facebook.com/juliekennerbooks) or as J. Kenner (http://www.facebook.com/jkennerbooks).

And if you want more official bio-y stuff, read on! 

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K.  is also a two-time RITA finalist, the winner of Romantic Times‘ Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization’s award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers’ Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005.

She writes a range of stories including sexy and quirky romances, young adult novels, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures. Her popular dark paranormal Shadow Keepers series originally issued as author J.K. Beck has been reissued as J. Kenner titles.

The first book in her current Stark Trilogy, Release Me, was a multi-week New York Times and USA Today bestseller. Book two, Claim Me, debuted at number two on the New York Times list and remained on that list and the USA Today list for multiple weeks.  Book three, Complete Me, will be on sale July 30.  The series has sold to over a dozen countries.

Julie lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
 
 
 
 
I am glad, that Bantam is offering a giveaway!
 
There will be 1 winner, who can receive a copy of Complete Me.
Open US only.
Please leave a comment with your email contact and consider yourself entered!
Giveaway runs through 24th of July until 1st of August.
 
Good luck and happy reading!
 
 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cover Reveal - The Singing River by R.K. Ryals!

Happy Sunday!
 

I am happy to be part of the cover reveal of The Singing River by R.K. Ryals! Besides the cover, you will find an excerpt from the book and some information about the author as well.
 
The Singing River
Cover Reveal - July 21, 2013
Expected Release Date August 4, 2013
NA Contemporary
By R.K. Ryals
Cover Design By Regina Wamba of Mae I Design and Photography
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the cover of The Singing River by R.K. Ryals!





Synopsis:

In Mississippi, there's a legend about a Singing River, a tragic love story that ended with an entire Indian tribe singing a death chant as they marched stoically into the Pascagoula River to die ...

At eighteen, Haven Ambrose isn't just a high school graduate. In her head, she's an aspiring writer, a traveler, a chef, a slayer of injustice, an astronomer, an archaeologist, and the love child of a famous, rich musician. But reality is harsher. Reality is overdue bills, a crumbling trailer, an absent father, an old addiction, and a hot, crushing summer that may end in disappointment.

For twenty year-old River Brayden, life seems good, but appearances can be deceiving. The oldest son of a wealthy family, he has finished his first year at Harvard to return home for the summer only to discover his younger brother headed down an unforgiving road.

They will be drawn together by a song. For during the late summer, they say the Pascagoula death chant can still be heard near the Singing River. Its call is haunting, its chant a testament of love and sacrifice. It calls to some ... beckoning.

Add The Singing River To Your TBR List on Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18132842-the-singing-river



Excerpt:

I stepped toward her. "You have a way of making people relate to you."

She snorted. "I doubt that."

I was in front of her now, my face peering down into hers. "Really, you do. A few hours of knowing you feels like days."

"Sounds tiresome," she teased.

"It’s a gift," I countered.

There were sudden lines in her forehead, a troubled look in her eye. "Some might call it a curse," she murmured. "By the end of this trip, you’ll want me gone."

It was my turn to frown, my gaze studying her face. She had green eyes so dark they could be mistaken for brown and lashes so long they almost touched her brows. True, she was more willowy than curvy, but she was beautiful in an understated, elegant kind of way. The faint freckles on the bridge of her nose drove me crazy.

"Why do you think that?" I asked.

There was something stark and open about her eyes when she answered, "Because I am better at being abandoned than I am at keeping people."

 

 

About The Author:


R. K. Ryals is a scatterbrained mother of three whose passion is reading whatever she can get her hands on. She makes her home in Mississippi with her husband, three daughters, a Shitzsu named Tinkerbell, and a coffeepot she couldn't live without.


Stalker Links:

Website - http://rkryals.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/RKRyals
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/R.K.-Ryals
Twitter - https://twitter.com/RKRyals
Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5265741.R_K_Ryals



I really love the cover and can't wait to read The Singing River. What are your thoughts about the cover? Let me know.

Happy reading!



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: Game. Set. Match by Jennifer Iacopelli

Hi all!

Some good sports YA for all!




Title: Game. Set. Match
Series: Outer Banks Tennis Academy  #1
Release date: 1st of May 2013
Published by: Coliloquy, LLC
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 242 in Kindle e-book format
Source: Bought from Amazon.com for Kindle

Summary:

Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.

Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.

With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court
.

Review:

I don’t read many sports related books because I’m quite incompetent in anything sports wise so reading about it makes me aware of what I completely lack. But I was pleasantly surprised with this book, mostly because I wasn’t overwhelmed by sports vocabulary or constant sports activity descriptions (ok, there were several match depictions, but they weren’t overwhelming and didn’t make me feel like a fish out of water). Despite the main theme of tennis, this was pretty much a character centered story with relationships between everyone being the main focus.

I’m not a fan of multiple main characters because I tend to want to root for just one and if there are several then they all usually don’t receive as much development. This story, however, managed to divided time between and enable center stage to all three girls so that I had an understanding of what each of them were about. They also had their love life and budding relationships with their crushes explored, one more than others, but still, there was a decent amount of romance from all three fronts. Moreover, if you don’t like one main character then you have two others to pick from, so there is definitely someone to everyone’s liking. But, ultimately, it was about what they will and could accomplish in the world of tennis.

The story moves quickly and doesn’t enable you to get bored with the daily lives of these elite boarding school trainees, there is enough drama to go around and keep the characters and the reader occupied. I also liked that the book follows the journey of not only the girls, but other characters as well; there is development, conflict and solutions abound.

My main con was that while tennis was a crucial and huge part of the girls’ lives, I felt they were too much about tennis only. They ate and breathed tennis and for someone not really passionate to that unimaginable degree about any hobby I felt they slightly lacked something that would make me relate to them on a more personal level. A quirk, a distinct habit, a different view on life, an additional embarrassing hobby, a weird best friend, a weakness for fluffy dresses – something/anything girly or more normal human-like (other than parent and boyfriend issues – that’s boring). Also, it ended slightly abruptly, at one point it was over and I was confused, an epilogue or something would have been nice.

Characters:

Penny: Was the talented new sweetheart of the tennis world. She was a nice, determined and hardworking girl with a supportive family (mainly two hot brothers) and at first glance a dysfunctional like/don’t like relationship with the British tennis hottie Alex. She was, however, also the one that felt the most less “normal” and thus, even though, she was immensely likable she remained distant to me.

Indy: She was the newcomer and underdog and, naturally, I always relate to and root for such a character, because who doesn’t love to see someone at the bottom come out on top. She was also a very likable girl so I guess Indy was my favorite from the bunch. Her crush on Jack was cute.

Jasmine: The initial mean-girl type character, who came across as a spoiled princess, needing to work out several issues. Also, she was the character mostly likely to be disliked, but, despite this, I found her strangely sympathetic and vulnerable. She was someone on top who had her position threatened and then trying to deal.

Overall:

A great introduction to sports YA. I never thought I’d enjoy tennis, but enjoy it I did. I recommend!



4 stars!

LIIS



Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Hi all! 

A review of book nr 1 in an older/ended series. 




Title: Unearthly 
Series: Unearthly #1 
Release date: 4th of January 2011 
Published by: HarperCollins Publishers 
Imprint: HarperTeen 
Reading level: FICTION – JUVENILE: Contemporary, Paranormal 
Pages: 435 in Paperback format 
Source: Bought from a local bookstore 

Summary: 

When Clara Gardner learns she’s part angel, her entire life changes. She now has a purpose, a specific task she was put on this earth to accomplish, except she doesn’t know what it is. Her visions of a raging forest fire and a mysterious boy lead her to a new high school in a new town but provide no clear instruction. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between the boy in her vision and the boy in her life, between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. . . . When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? 

Review: 

This book theoretically did everything right in my opinion: 
An interesting take on angel mythology without being too technical and deep while still remaining intriguing and original. 
The story was completely character driven, no overwhelming plot and mega grand scheme of things (at least not yet). The people where the focus, the plot complimented their decisions and on goings. 
A YA mom that actually exists and participates in the life of her teenage daughter. 
A sweet slow building romance and no insta love. 
It’s not an immature book led by immature people who make rash and immature decisions. Everything had a purpose and reasons, nothing major that had me going “uh? where did that come from” or “why of why! Think before you act!” 
Very important: a love triangle that didn’t take over and wasn’t as unbearable as I dreaded. Still, quite annoying though, but I’m quite intolerant towards them anyway. 
And most importantly, creating two incredibly likable main characters/couple. A girl and guy I can actually respect and who, despite reality and everything going on, came across as normal and “healthy- minded” teenagers. No excessive angst, unreasonable teenage tantrums or the nobody-understands-me-and-I secretly-don’t-even-want-them-to-because-it’s-so-great-to-mope-and-whine-and-be-emo-etc-etc symptoms. 

Nevertheless, despite all positive features, and I do feel immensely guilty, but I couldn’t help but be bored thought the majority of the book. Again, I stress, it’s a good story, but it didn’t entirely work for me and thus I wasn’t excited when reading it. It had some great moments and the end definitely picked up the pace, but is it just enough to say that this story didn’t quite reach me for reasons I can’t completely figure out myself? I really can’t explain or defend my opinion adequately this time. Moreover, slightly negative, the plot twist at the end was surprising and out of the blue, but I didn’t really understand it’s purpose – it seemed as such a simple solution to the issue, unexpected but still an easy way out, will that be explored in future books? Hopefully. 

So, overall, I repeat, I think this book is great, it doesn’t fall to the same traps as many other YA books concerning various plot devices, characters stereotypes, pace, etc, and due to that it’s not filled to the brim with clichés (of course there are, it wouldn’t be YA if it didn’t have its fair share of clichés). The story does its own thing. But, ultimately, it’s a matter of taste and I just wasn’t into it as much as I hoped. But as much as I’ve gathered, almost everyone who has taken up this book loves it so who am I to judge. 

Characters: 

Clara: A heroine I could relate to and sympathize with. She was a nice girl, someone easy to like and root for. At the same time she wasn’t too bland or indecisive, I admired most of her choices because they were hers completely. 

Tucker: A charming and sincere cowboy gentleman with a little rough on his edges. Extremely lovable and sweet. The perfect boyfriend material and I have to admit all the hype regarding him wasn’t off the mark, I can see why so many readers find him as an exemplary YA hero to swoon over. 

Christian: He wasn’t explored as much and I felt we didn’t really know the real him or what he thought or felt. A nice guy definitely, but at the moment slightly two dimensional and distant. 

Overall: 

A theoretically perfect story, but not really for me. I definitely recommend to all who love angel YA, because despite my whining this is a great book.


3 stars!

LIIS

Cover Reveal of Sophie's Encore by Nicky Wells! Excerpt and Giveaway!

Happy Monday!

I am so happy to feature the cover reveal and giveaway of Sophie's Encore by Nicky Wells!


Hooray! Nicky Wells is here today to celebrate the cover reveal for her third book, Sophie’s Encore.
 
Read on for:

The BLURB
The COVER
The EXCERPT
The GIVEAWAY

Here’s your chance to win an advance review copy of Sophie’s Encore or Rock Star Romance SWAG!


Sophie’s Encore
 
Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?
It’s all change for Sophie Jonesonly this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

 



Cover design: Nicky Wells and Chad Lichtenhan
Cover image: Singer in the darkness © Dmytro Konstantynov | Dreamstime.com

 

Whoa! What do you make of this?

And to intrigue you further, Nicky has shared this excerpt of Sophie’s Encore:

Sophie’s Encore: Excerpt


My bedroom door opened slowly and Dan crept in. All thought of sleep forgotten, I flicked the light back on and was met by an astonishing sight. There was Dan, the rock star, legend for his antics on and off stage, clad in a demure pair of checked pajamas with a button-up top and a mismatched, stripy dressing gown. His feet were stuffed into fluffy slippers, and he clutched a bottle and two glasses in his hands.

"Come on," he whispered. "Dinner is served."

I giggled and left my bed, grabbing my own stripy dressing gown and a pair of thick socks.

"What are you doing?" I breathed into his ear, but he simply took my hand and pulled me down the dark corridor toward the open-plan lounge.

"Have a seat," he invited me and gestured at the dining table, which was once again laid, although only for two, complete with candles and napkins.

He set down the bottle and glasses and scurried off to shut the lounge door. While he busied himself in the kitchen, I basked in the heat from the fire which Dan had re-stoked, and observed my rock star with some degree of amusement.

Within a few minutes, he brought a dish of smoked salmon bites to the table, followed by olive bread, a cheese board, various cold meats, olives, pickled anchovies, and prawns with some sort of aioli dip. He popped the cork on the bottle of champagne, poured two glasses, and sat down, satisfied at last.

"Now we can eat," he announced. "Tapas. What do you think?"

I raised my glass. "Cheers," I giggled. "So that’s what you meant earlier. I think it’s amazing. It’s like a midnight feast. I’m just waiting for matron to discover us and give us detention. Why all the secrecy?"

Dan speared a prawn and pointed it at me. "Well, for one, as you say, matron will certainly come and give us detention. Peter is very strict on my sleep regimen, you see." He dipped the prawn into the aioli before popping it into his mouth. The beatific look on his face and his scrunched up eyes suggested he was enjoying this humble treat far more than was warranted.

He swallowed and cleared his throat. "And for another, I’m on a strict diet. Every last bit of cheese gets weighed, the carbohydrates counted, the sugar added up. It’s really tedious." He grimaced.

I helped myself to some bread and salmon. "Tedious indeed, I can see that. But why? I thought you were supposed to eat lots and get better." I chewed greedily, my tummy having given an impressive rumble.

Dan speared another prawn and added a mountain of cheese and bread to his place. "Bliss," he murmured before explaining further. "I’m supposed to eat healthy, not lots. So Peter has taken it upon himself to reform the bad eating habits of a lifetime. Bless him, it’s what he’s paid to do. I’ve been going along with it, and I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty good. But…"

He grinned his school-boy grin, took a big mouthful of food, washed it down with a large gulp of champagne, and finished his thought. "Well, it gets boring. And I wanted to do something special with you. On my own."

I burst out laughing, but quieted down when I saw the alarm on Dan’s face.

"Sorry," I whispered.

"Peter’s bedroom is right next door there," Dan whispered back. "And he’s a light sleeper." He pointed his finger, and we sat in silence for a minute, straining to hear.

"I think we’re okay," Dan finally concluded and resumed eating.

I giggled softly. "Naughty, naughty, us."

"Ha, we’re not naughty yet," Dan shot back, speaking softly as well. "I was working up to that part."
He winked, and my heart skipped and jumped. He didn’t meanhe couldnt mean what I thought he meant?


"What do you mean?" I bumbled, hoping for clarification, but Dan was enjoying himself.

"All in good time," he teased. "Let’s finish our meal first."

 
-----------

Awesome! I have read the first 2 books in the series and reading Sophie's Encore at the moment. Love it and can't wait to share my review with you!




 

Nicky wants to share her excitement about this cover reveal and upcoming release with you! She’s offering a giveaway Enter for your chance to win:



One of TWO Sophie’s ENCORE Advance Review e-Copies
or
 One Sophie’s RUN Mug
or
One Rock Star Romance Trilogy SWAG Pack featuring postcards and bookmarks
 
 
 
ENTER HERE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



GIVEAWAY CLOSES 15 AUGUST AT MIDNIGHT BST.

The small print! Entrants must be aged 18 or over. Giveaway is open internationally. Winners will be drawn via Rafflecopter.


GOOD LUCK!

 
****STOP PRESS: Nicky's just told me that her first two books, Sophie's Turn and Sophie's Run, are now available for only $0.99 (or equivalent) each to celebrate the cover reveal! Hurry ~ limited time only!! Book details below!!!***** 

SOPHIE’S ENCORE: coming your way in e-book and paperback editions on 5 SEPTEMBER 2013!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


About Nicky Wells


Nicky Wells is your ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, Nicky writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. Nicky’s books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill!


Like Sophie, her leading lady, Nicky loves listening to rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, she’s a wife, mother, occasional knitter, and regular contributor to The Midweek Drive show on Lincoln’s Siren 107.3 FM. Rock on!


Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Loveahappyending.com Lifestyle | Romantic Novelists’ Association | Sapphire Star Publishing | Amazon | Goodreads


 



Find Nicky’s Rock Star Romance Trilogy here:


Part 1~Sophie’s Turn: So the rock star wants to marry her, but she’s already engaged…




Part 2~Sophie’s Run: Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour…


Thanks for coming by and keep your eyes open for my review on the August 26th!

Happy reading!



 
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