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Friday, January 29, 2016

Make it Count by Megan Erickson

Image and blurb from Goodreads:

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.


4.5 "The Sexiest Dance Scene Ever" STARS

So, I loved this book. No, really, I did. I read almost every page with a smile. I’m silly like that.

What’s not to love, right?

Kat, girl, I think you qualify as a Brazilian. Sassy, damn sexy, emotional (sometimes too emotional, but that’s how most Brazilian girls are -- myself included), and she’s a strong girl, facing her diagnosis, not scared to be the girl with dyslexia. 

But my real love in this book was ALEC! What a nice, well-written, well-developed character. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for alpha males, but Alec was a breath of fresh air. Smart, kind, compassionate. I adored every single time Alec told Kat to stop hiding behind her sexy kitten mask. I adored when he told her not to pretend she wasn’t hurt. YES, ALEC, YOU’RE MY “NA BOYFRIEND”. I had to create this category to fit him. I've read a lot of NA romance, and while I love most of the LIs, I can't remember the last time I came across a character as deserving of that title was Alec.

And Alec and Kat are perfect together. So sexy that it burns. There's a particularly hot dancing scene that I don't think I'll ever forget. Megan, don’t you dare  break them up. I know they’ll be featured in your next book, so don’t hurt them. :-)

Thursday, January 28, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Image  and blurb from Goodreads

Title: Unhooked 
Release date:  February 2nd, 2016
Author: Lisa Maxwell
Simon Pulse

About the book:

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

My thoughts:

ARC via NetGalley- THANK YOU, Simon Pulse!

4 "Hook is way better than Pan" STARS

Pretty much everyone is familiar at some level with Peter Pan's story, right? I can't say I'm a big fan, but I have the basics figured out: Peter Pan is the good guy and Captain Hook isn't. That was the clear image in my head until I started watching a TV show called "Once Upon a Time" that added a nice twist to the story, bringing Colin O'Donoghue as a not so evil Hook -- and damn hot one. 

Don't believe me? Here:

So, yeah, I came into this book expecting something like that. Sure Colin doesn't look like a YA hero, but you get the picture.

Anyway... Unhooked tells a "Peter Pan x Captain Hook" tale where separating good from evil seems much harder for the main character, Gwen, than she expected.

Taken from her room – and the human world – alongside her best friend, Gwen is forced to face her fears in a place that up to that moment was only part of a fairy tales. And as if being stuck in Neverland isn't crazy enough, she doesn't even know whether she can believe the story she heard as a child. The fairies aren’t good beings made of light. Peter Pan may not be the good, innocent soul. And Captain Hook... Oh, he’s way too young, sexy and loves his crew way too much to be the villain of the story. I can’t even consider that a spoiler, because pretty soon the reader realizes he truly isn’t.

My only problem is that it takes Gwen forever to understand that too.

The author wrote a dark and action-packed story, twisting a classic fairy tale into something different and exciting, and for that I’m thankful. But I have to be a 100% honest here and say I wanted to slap her main character half of the time. Seriously. Gwen truly pissed me off.

In all fairness, if I analyze Gwen’s actions and reactions taking only logic into consideration, her delay in putting the pieces together made sense. She’d dealt with a paranoid mother all her life, and she didn’t want to be like her. Plus, as every other human child, she’d been introduced to the classic Peter Pan story, in which Pan was the good guy. But when I’m reading a book, I’m all emotion (and I'll never apologize for that), so it was extremely hard to see past the cloud of emotion and understand Gwen’s motive for reacting to what was happening around her the way she did.

She kept doubting herself and twisting everyone’s motivation when the truth was out there to be seen. All she had to do was open her damn eyes. She drew conclusions based on nothing but her fears or preconceptions. She trusted the wrong people even after more than one character had warned her against it. Even when faced with evidence, it took her more than long enough to see through lies.

But while Gwen’s interactions with Peter Pan were pretty painful to me as a reader, her time with Hook brought out the best version of her. Rowan, a.k.a the young and sexy Captain Hook, always managed to make Gwen a stronger character. She was more confident around him. Sharper.  Even sassier. All traits I admire and look for in leading ladies. Those were the moments that kept me hooked – pun intended.

Another positive was the world building. Lisa Maxwell knows what she’s doing. I knew that from the first paragraph. Her description of a rainy London evening was just as breathtaking as the way she used words to bring Neverland to life. *claps*

Now, as to the ending, I can’t say I approve. I won’t say much because I don’t want to spoiler it, but I felt Gwen’s decision didn’t really fit her evolution as a character. Instead of showing a selfless young girl, willing to make a sacrifice to save many lives, as the story was leading me to believe, Gwen left me with the impression that she did what she thought was best for her and one other character without considering anyone else. Although most will consider it a happy ending, I won’t be one of them.

Overall, this was an exciting fairy tale retelling that will keep the 2015 fever for the genre (and what an exceptional year for that it was) burning.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Cover Reveal + Excerpt & Giveaway - Through The Veil (The Aisling Chronicles, #1) by Colleen Halverson

Title: Through The Veil (The Aisling Chronicles #1) 
Release date:  February 22nd, 2016
Author: Colleen Halverson

About the book:

Elizabeth Tanner is no Tinkerbell, and her life is no fairy tale. Broke and drowning in student loans, the one thing she wants more than anything is a scholarship from the Trinity Foundation. But after the ancient Irish text she's studying turns out to be more than just a book, she becomes their prisoner instead. And when Trinity reveals Elizabeth is half-Fae, she finds herself at the center of a plot to save the magical races of Ireland from a brutal civil war.

As Commander of Trinity's elite warriors, Finn O'Connell isn't used to having his authority challenged. He doesn't know whether to punish or protect the infuriating young woman in his custody. When he discovers the Dark Fae want to use Elizabeth's abilities to control the source of all power in the universe, he'll risk everything to help her.

At the mercy of Trinity and enslaved to the Dark Fae, Elizabeth finds herself alone on the wrong side of an Irish myth thousands of years in the making. Refusing to be a pawn in their game, Elizabeth has to fight her way back to the man she loves, but to do so, she must wage her own war against the magic that binds her.

But you're here for the cover reveal, right? So here's the beautiful cover....


Just wait on more second....


And finally....

I love the colors here. Great job again, Entangled Team!

And this time we even get an excerpt. Yay!


            Wiping the crumbs off his jeans, Finn reached into his backpack and threw an apple at me, which I caught with a deft hand.

            “Nice catch,” he said, grinning.

            I flung the apple up into the air and caught it in my other hand. “I played third base. Little League.”

            “You mean baseball?”

            I nodded.

            “Never seen a game myself.”

            I gaped at Finn. “You mean you live in Chicago, and you’ve never been to a Cubs game?”  
            He shrugged. “Not interested.” Finn’s eyes lit up, and he shoved me playfully with his shoulder. “Now hurling. That’s a good game.”

            “Well, they’re totally different. That’s not even a fair comparison,” I said with a sniff.   
            “Fair enough,” Finn said, wistful. “Really, nothing can compare with hurling.”

            I laughed. “Moiré tried to explain the rules to me once, but she lost me after hurley stick.”

            “Oh, it’s simple, really.” Finn jumped down and rummaged around the rubble until he found a large branch. He swung it, the stick cutting through the air, slowly at first, but then with more force. Finn’s chest muscles rippled between the flaps of his leather jacket, and my blood pulsed in my ears at the sight of him, dancing from foot to foot as he practiced his swing.

            “Now the point of hurling,” Finn began, “is to use this stick, the hurley stick.” He raised the old branch in the air.

“To get a little ball called a sliotar either over or under your opponent’s goalpost.” Finn picked up a handful of small rocks and, using his “hurley,” sent a pebble whizzing over the stone wall, inches from my head.

            “Hey, watch it!”

            Finn smiled up at me. “You with me so far?”   
            I nodded.

            “Now,” Finn said. “If the ball flies under the goalpost into the net, it’s worth three points.” Finn sent another pebble skittering against the wall, right next to my boot. “But you have to get it past the keeper, and that can be a challenge.” His eyes glittered at me as he swung his stick again. He threw a rock up in the air and with a loud thwack sent it zooming over the wall. I held out my hand and caught the stone, the look on Finn’s face making up for the sting of impact.

            “And he’s out!” I cried, jumping off the wall and doing a mock victory dance. “Cubs win! Cubs win!

            Finn stalked over to me and grabbed my fist. “Will you settle down!” he said, attempting to pry the pebble from my grip. “I’m trying to teach you a three-thousand-year-old art form and you’re nattering on about the fecking Cubs.”

            I giggled, snatching his hurley stick from his hands.

            “Technical foul!” Finn barked behind me, but I sprinted away, swinging the hurley over my head as I climbed the wall.

            “Get back here, you brat!” Finn bolted after me so quickly, he lost his footing on the stone wall and tumbled to the ground. I laughed as he came to his feet, his hair loose, chasing me.

            “It’s the bottom of the ninth, bases are loaded!”

            Finn made a snatch for the stick, but I feigned to the right.

            “Tanner’s up to bat.” I climbed a set of old stairs to nowhere and tossed up the stone. I popped out my hips and, following through on the turn, sent the stone flying over the hill and down the cliffs below. I jumped down, swinging my baseball/hurley bat. “Homerun by Tanner! And the Cubs win the pennant!”

            Finn smacked into me, and I collapsed to the ground, his wide body over mine as he grasped for the stick.

            “Dammit, O’Connell!” I gasped beneath Finn, his whole weight crushing my chest. “Now I know for a fact hurling is not a contact sport!” I laughed as I squirmed to get away, holding out the stick just beyond his reach.

            “Neither is baseball!”

            With a devilish grin, Finn tickled my armpit, and I curled up in a fit of giggles. He made a grab for my wrist, pinning me to the ground, and his gray eyes danced as he looked down at me. My laughter faded, and running my other hand through his hair, I pulled his face to mine. He kissed me, a low moan rumbling deep in his throat.

            Finn nipped my bottom lip with his teeth, and my back arched as our hips melded together, my better judgment forgotten. He slid his arm beneath my shoulders and pulled me close against him, kissing me long and hard, and I gasped, gulping for air as he lowered his mouth to my neck.

About the author:

As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshman. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children.

Author Links:


Do you want a chance to win $25.00 Amazon Gift Card? Here it is:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Cover Reveal Organized by:
Love Between the Sheets
Between the Sheets Promotions

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Releases & Excerpt - Energy Reborn (Energy Series #4) by Lynn Vroman

Title: Energy Reborn (Energy Series  #4) 
Release date:  January 26th, 2016
Author: Lynn Vroman
Untold Press

Since this is book 4 in the Energy series, how about we start with the first three, huh?

Here's a link to Goodreads where you'll learn more about the book and a link to Amazon so you can buy it:

Tainted Energy - Book #1 - Goodreads -  Amazon

Guess who has this beauty and will start reading it soon? Yep! I can't wait.

Lost Energy - Book #2 - Goodreads - Amazon

Fractured Energy - Book #3 - Goodreads - Amazon 

Now that you know about the others, it's time to learn more about the final book in the series:

Energy Reborn - The final book of The Energy Series
After the trauma from their final battle with Exemplar, Tarek is certain Lena is better off without him. She deserves a life without the baggage he carries. She deserves someone…real. As he fights alongside Oren in Exemplar, one thought keeps him sane: He didn’t let Lena go. He gave her an out.

Lena has spent the last eight months trying to move forward. She can’t think about Tarek; she has to raise fifteen-year-old Peter, who suffers from the same ghosts as her love. All she wants is to make Peter happy. But then Peter runs away to fight in Exemplar—again.
This time is different. This time, Peter doesn’t come back.

Desperate, Lena reaches out to the one person able to help her, the person who needs saved, too.


For Lena, the only answer to saving those she loves is to finish what they started—end the Synod’s reign over Exemplar for good.  She’ll not let Tarek or Peter hide behind a war anymore, even if it kills her.

And all other Amazon stores. Free Kindle Unlimited!

Here's what you can expect to find inside (a.k.a all the beautiful words):


Crying didn't bother him anymore.
Muffled sobs used to feel like weevils burrowing into his brain. He had wanted the cries to disappear, find a way to silence them so he'd have peace while killing. He hated it, yet understood where the despair came from. He didn't take the truth that well either.
This world, his world, was full of people who weren't real people.
That revelation caused a collective shock to infiltrate every home, every secret corner. Memories of families were manufactured lies. Parents had never existed for most. Childhood thoughts were a farce before the age of six, the median age for bodies the Creation Lab produced before implanting energy pilfered from other worlds. Most would never be able to have children. They were all biobots, synthetic carriers for strong souls.
Tarek learned how to tune out the grief a while ago, and the truth. Issues he only dwelled on when alone–when killing didn't save him from his mind.
He adjusted his scope.
Yes, he could ignore the crying now. A perfect shot had that power.
Tarek lay on his stomach. Rooftop debris–broken syringes and jagged edges of crushed alcohol containers–dug through his sweatshirt. Sweat dribbled off his forehead to sting his eyes.
He ignored his discomfort as easily as the crying and flipped off the safety. Lights, never-ending strobes, bounced off buildings. Staring too long at the changing colors coming from billboard holograms and storefronts threatened a headache, but he managed to keep the jackasses in his sights.
Synod authority harassed a group of men on the street, demanding signed pardons most wouldn't have. The elders considered everyone a traitor.
They were right.
People in this sector were guilty of blowing up the capital building and crashing the satellite feeds. Heterodox citizens fought when Oren asked eight months ago, with a promise of truth. Truth, most had come to realize, wasn't such a great prize. Ignorance really was a gift.
Tarek had warned Oren not to tell them, not to reveal the true nature of how most citizens came to be. No Exemplian he had ever met wanted to find out their whole existence was a lie. But Oren believed differently. The man's belief cost them an army. Stupid to tell a mass of people who already dreaded life–beaten down by having too many lives–that what they struggled with wasn't even real.
Get it together.
None of that mattered. What mattered was getting a clear shot between the eyes. His finger hovered over the trigger, the sniper rifle firm in his grip. Zander's rifle. His aim wasn't as precise as Zander's, but he did all right. Tarek had adopted the gun seven months ago when the Guide decided to go back to Earth.
No, don't go there.
He couldn't handle that part of his life–the part who went to Earth with Zander.
He peered into the scope.
The second an authority Protector pulled out his gallium cuffs, about to cinch them around the wrists of a man begging on his knees, Tarek shot. Before the other Protector could pull out his weapon, Tarek took him out too.
The deaths didn't create a frenzy, not even when two energy orbs released from the Protectors' bodies and sailed to the sky, ultimately finding their way into the apartment building where Tarek hid. The would-be victims dragged the useless bodies into the shadows, to the garbage incinerators hidden there. Exemplians in this sector had their turmoil to deal with, and what was left of the Synod against them. They weren't cowards, though.
They refused to fight outright since the initial attack on the Creation Lab. But no one had ever complained when a mysterious bullet punctured the skull of an authority Protector. His shots seemed to wake up some of the citizens from a stupor, bringing them to action for a few minutes to get rid of the bodies. Tarek would take that; it'd be enough.
He refused to move from his spot. Where there were two, there were ten more. He searched the crowd through his scope, sweat turning his hoodie to soggy cotton against his back. There, right below the blank screens, were three more Protectors picking through the crowd to inspect the source of the commotion. They plowed through braver citizens willing to stand in their path, tasing them. People dropped to the dirty pavement, their bodies spasming from the high voltages.
Tarek remained steady.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
The crowd swallowed up the bodies as the Protectors' energies raced into the building. For once, the noise quieted. All that echoed up to his spot was the distant hum of the incinerators, gobbling up bone and blood and flesh. Tarek squinted into his scope, his even breathing rhythmic, relaxing. No other authority assholes rushed the crowd.
A minute passed by.
Fifteen more followed.
No more targets were willing to meet his bullets.
Five dead authority Protectors wasn't even a dent in the grand scheme of things. Plus side, those he'd killed wouldn't be coming back for another go at life. Their little army made sure of it eight months ago.
Tarek gave one more cursory search of the crowd in case any Protectors stepped from the shadows to scout the rooftops.
As he lowered his gun, a familiar dark blond mop coming toward this building caught his eye. He looked through his scope one more time.
Not again.
Groaning, so he wouldn't give in and shoot the boy in the leg for being a pain in the ass, Tarek pushed to his feet and stalked to the rusted metal door. Eight flights of stairs separated him from the boy who refused to keep his scrawny butt on Earth, where it was safe.
Peter. Dumb boy.

Dumb, brave, anger-filled boy.

Meet the amazing author who wrote this book:

Born in Pennsylvania, Lynn spent most of her childhood, especially during math class, daydreaming. The main result that came from honing her imagination skills was brilliantly failing algebra. Today, she still spends an obscene amount of time in her head, only now she writes down all the cool stuff.

With a degree in English Literature, Lynn used college as an excuse to read for four years straight. She lives in the Pocono Mountains with her husband, raising the four most incredible human beings on the planet. She writes young adult novels, both fantasy and contemporary.

Author Links:

Untold Press is having a giveaway, and the prize is 20$ Amazon Gift Card!!! What are you waiting for? Here's where you have to go:

*Grabby Hands* Cover Reveal - Love Me, Love Me Not by Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Love Me, Love Me Not 
Release date:  February 22nd, 2016
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Entangled Teen Crave

About the book:

Dating isn’t easy when you’re in the middle of a blood feud.

Anastasia Vila’s family can turn into swans, but just once she’d like them to turn into responsible adults.

After hundreds of years, they still cling to the blood feud with the Renard family. No one remembers how it started in the first place—but foxes and swans just don’t get along.

Vilas can only transform into their swan shape after they have fallen in love for the first time, but between balancing schoolwork, family obligations, and the escalating blood feud, Ana’s got no time for love. The only thing keeping her sane is her best friend, Pierce Kent.

But when Pierce kisses Ana, everything changes.

Is what Pierce feels for her real, or a byproduct of her magic? Can she risk everything for her best friend? And when the family feud spirals out of control, Ana must stop the fight before it takes away everything she loves.

Including, maybe...Pierce.

This Entangled Teen Crave book contains language, violence, and lots of kissing. Warning: it might induce strong feelings of undeniable attraction for your best friend.

But you're here for the cover reveal, right? So here's the beautiful cover....


Just wait on more second....


And finally....

The amazing author who wrote this book:

Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream. Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with her husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.

Author Links:

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