Recent Posts

Friday, April 29, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - The Rule Book by Jennifer Blackwood

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The Rule Book
Author: Jennifer Blackwood
Publication Date: May 9th, 2016
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled (Embrace)

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

Pre-Order: Amazon 

I would:
  • Befriend: Lanny
  • Go out on a date & kiss: Ryder
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Jackson
  • Travel to Vegas and let Elvis Presley marry us: Brogan

4 “Breaking all the rules” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Entangled!!

Like Lanny, the book MC, I’m seriously into office romance stories, and “The Rule Book” was a great one.

With one of the most entertaining blurbs I’ve read in a while for this genre, I knew I had to have this book when I first saw it. I have to say the days spent waiting for Entangled to approve my request were not easy ones. It was all worth it in the end.

The book gave me exactly what I was looking for: a fun, sexy office romance story with an adorably disgusting dog as a bonus!

Lanny is starting at her first real job after finishing her studies and she desperately needs to keep it because of her mother’s medical bills. Being away from her mom is hard on her, but she does it because without the money her mom won’t be able to afford the cancer treatment she needs. That’s why she puts up with her horrible coworker and tries hard (not incredibly hard, but still) not to fall for her boss. I don’t need to tell you she fails at that last one, right?

Lanny’s love and devotion to her mother made me instantly like her, and her sense of humor just sealed the deal. She’s a good person and daughter, and she’s actually great at her job. She’s also good to her friends – sometimes too good.

You know who doesn’t sound like a good person? Her boss. Brogan Starr.

When she starts at the job, Lanny is under the impression Mr. Starr is the worst boss in the world – can’t blame her after she has to suffer through a 300-page employee manual filled with the most absurd rules. But after she gets to know the guy behind the successful media company, she realizes he’s not that bad. At all. I mean, he’s actually pretty good to look at. To touch. And kiss. *clears throat* I went a bit off topic here, didn’t I?

So, yeah, Brogan is pretty hot. Rich and hot. Rich, hot and actually sweet. Damaged, too, because what kind of male hero would he be if he wasn’t a little damaged?

Though Brogan and Lanny are going through tough times (Brogan with his dad and Lanny with his mom), the truth is the story isn’t heavy on drama and angst. It’s actually quite a fun, sweet and romantic book. It was also hot, even if we didn’t get explicit sex scenes.

I said it was fun, right? And it is. These characters made me laugh and smile a lot, which is always a bonus.

If you’re looking for a fresh take on office romance stories with a touch of humor, you should definitely check this out.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release Week Blitz - The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Title: The Secrets We Keep
Author: Trisha Leaver
Publication Date: April 26th, 2016
Category/Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

THE SECRETS WE KEEP by Trisha Leaver is now out in paperback!

Twin sisters. A fatal accident. A devastating lie. Which girl survived?

"A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters."

Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When--after a heated argument--Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves Maddy dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. And everyone believes her. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options--confess her deception and risk devastating those who loved Maddy, or give up her own dreams and live her sister's life.


*"Leaver's brilliant novel is the high school version of What Happened to Janie? The compelling premise will attract readers and the strong characterization will keep them enthralled." -VOYA, STARRED REVIEW

*“Leaver's story is certainly entertaining and intriguing. VERDICT This should be a primary purchase for any library with patrons who love melodramatic mysteries and romance.” SLJ, STARRED AUDIO REVIEW

"Trisha Leaver crafts a powerful and haunting novel that will keep you up long after you read the last page. Full of twists and turns and FEELS, this book questions how far a person will go for her family . . . even if it means losing herself." - Lynne Matson, author of NIL

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound

I don’t remember her room being so cold. Even snuggled into her sweater the chill seeps in, settling into my bones like a whisper from beyond. That’s where I will sleep Maddy’s bed, surround by her scent. Mom wants to change the sheets, but I won’t let her. The hint of vanilla mingled with Alex’s dark cologne brings a little piece of my sister back to me each night.

The only thing I have left of my old life is a few sketches and a poor replica of the friendship bracelet Josh gave me. It took me days to re-create, to weave the strings into the right pattern. It’s not perfect, but it goes with me everywhere, a tiny reminder of who I once was and what Josh still means to me. The real bracelet is gone, cut off and tossed aside just like my life.

I want to make peace with my choice, but Maddy’s secret haunts me. The dark pieces of her life are hid- den in the back of her closet for no one but me to see. She’s not who I thought she was, but that doesn’t matter. Maddy was my sister, my twin sister, and I’ll do anything for her, including losing myself.

The Teasers

There was a fear behind his words, a fear that I would change my mind and reveal a secret I didn't even know.”

“I am already gone. I died that night on the side of the road with my sister.”

Trisha Leaver lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Psychological Horror and Science Fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. Her YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, was named one of the best YA novels for summer (2015) by Teen Vogue and received starred reviews from VOYA Magazine and School Library Journal (audio). For more details, check out her website at

There is a blitz-wide giveaway, courtesy of the author, for:
  • ONE (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card
***Giveaway is open to anyone 13 or older who can accept an Amazon Gift Card***

Enter in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Tour Organized by:
Rockstar Book Tours

Review - The One That Got Away (The Kingston Ale House Series, #1) by A.J. Pine

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The One That Got Away
(Kingston Ale House #1)
Author: A.J. Pine
Publication Date: April 18th, 2016
Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance

How far will one man go for the woman he's loved since high school?

Jamie Kingston has been Brynn Chandler's best friend since middle school. Only once was their friendship tested—when Brynn gave Jamie a single kiss. Since then, they've had an unspoken agreement never to cross that line again, and she’s ready to let go of the past and move on.

But Jamie has loved Brynn for as long as he can remember, and now that he's ready to tell her, she has her sights set on someone else. Knowing this is his last chance, he asks Brynn to go on a two-week road trip. But their time alone brings old hurts to the surface, and Brynn has to decide if the one that got away lies at the end of the journey or if he's been by her side all along.

Pre-Order: Amazon

I would:
  • Befriend: Holly
  • Go out on a date & kiss: Spencer
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Jamie's logic
  • Travel to Vegas and let Elvis Presley marry us: Annie (ha! what can I tell ya? She was really great!)

If I turned on the TV, I'd find Brynn, Jamie and their friends on:

  • Discovery Channel's Brew Masters

If I took them out, we'd go to a/an:

  • Bar, where we'd drink beer until we dropped, which in my case means the moment after I finish my second glass.

2.5 “Road Trip & Best Friends” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Entangled!

First things first, BEAUTIFUL COVER!!! *swoons*

Okay. Now that that is over...

Take a look at my recent reviews and you’ll know how big of a fan of the “BFF to lovers” trope I am. That was reason #1 I requested “The One that Got Away” when I saw it on NetGalley. I’m sorry to say not even one my favorite book tropes was enough to make me fall for this book.

Jamie and Brynn have been best friends for a really long time, but in high school Jamie realized he wanted more. Too bad Brynn had a huge crush on Spencer Matthews and didn’t see Jamie as anything more than a friend. That changed the night she got sick and, being the best friend a girl could ask for, Jamie took her of her. The way he treated her opened Brynn’s eyes to a new possibility: maybe Jamie was the one she was supposed to kiss after all. Spencer, who?

Perfect, right?  Except when Jamie’s dream were about to become reality, he pushed Brynn away. *presses pause* You see, that’s when my problem with the story started. He had her and he said “let’s be just friends”, and the reason behind his decision wasn’t good enough for me. *presses play*

Flash forward and we have grown up Jamie and Brynn still acting like the BFFs they were in high school, but refusing to talk about what happened the night she got sick so they friendship could stay intact. Little did they know they had already crossed a line, and there was no uncrossing it.

Brynn’s high school crush, Spencer makes a comeback as a now successful writer and Brynn is ready to give that romance another chance. Of course seeing that, Jamie decides it’s finally time to fight for the woman he loves. Hm, weird thing is everything he does after that moment is the complete opposite of fighting. When Spencer invites Brynn to visit him in L.A., the same place Jamie is going to for a business-related event, he offers her a ride. In his mind, Jamie is giving Brynn the opportunity to spend some alone time with him on the road, so she can choose him over Spencer, but he plans on making her come to that realization without letting her know that he’s broken up with his girlfriend because he’s in love with her. He wants to be her first choice, so he doesn’t want to influence her. Except she has no reason to believe he’s changed his mind since the last time she’d kissed him and he told her he needed her as a friend more than as a girlfriend.

You see how his logic makes no sense? I’m not the only one who thinks that. Brynn’s sister and their other friend, Annie (really liked her, by the way) thought the same. Even Brynn gets pretty mad at him when she realizes his intentions. I can’t blame her.

My biggest problem with this book was that the drama seemed to go for way longer than necessary. Jamie’s actions and line of thought lacked sensibility, and Brynn’s attitude wasn’t much better. The lack of communication between these people who should’ve been best friends made the whole situation a lot harder than necessary, and made me doubt they were as close as they wanted it to seem.

There were some good moments during the road trip that made me cheer for them and want to see them together. Some were super hot, like the tasting beer thing. *fans self*

But some of those moments were swallowed by the character’s habit of twisting each other’s actions and words with the sole purpose of creating more drama, which wasn’t a compelling aspect. And... SPOILER: the cheating!!! ugh! It was unecessary and showed me a side of the characters I didn't really like. Why Jamie would let Brynn sleep with him while she thought he had a grielfriend and not tell her the truth is beyond me.

The writing was okay, but I thought it could’ve used another round of revision. I had to say that surprised me, since most of the Entangled titles I’ve read this year were in pretty great shape. I also think this book could’ve benefited from a first person narrative, instead of third, or even a single POV.

So, while the “BFF to lovers” aspect of the story made me want to read it, the execution unfortunately fell flat. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a bad book, but I didn’t connect with the characters or the narrative enough to enjoy it the way I expected.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release with Guest Post & Giveaway - Gifted (The Hayven #1) by J.A. George

Title: Gifted
(The Hayven #1)
Author: J.A. George
Publication Date: April 13th, 2016
Category: Young Adult

There is no chosen one in this story.

She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to make a decision that altered her future forever. It happens to all of us every day.

Avery Gray is a size twelve university student with a penchant for dry humour, and she’s as normal as they come. Up until now, the biggest choice she’s had to make was glasses or contacts? At the moment, it’s stay and save, or leave and be saved.

Allow me to explain. One rainy afternoon, Avery had to make a choice: go through the alleyway or around it. Two possible options. One would have had her future continue on as planned, the other would ensure that her future never remained the same again. She unknowingly went with the latter.

But change is not always bad. Avery meets Theodore-James Connors, an enigmatic young man who takes her to Hayven, a city separated from the rest of the world, where only gifters – ordinary people with extra-ordinary gifts – can go. She soon finds herself in a close-knit group of friends she’d never have imagined herself in; friends who are diverse in every possible way, from their ethnic backgrounds, to their personalities, from their gifts, to their life stories. Friends who make her laugh, who make her cry, who make her think and who make her…her.

However, change is not always good. The beautiful, golden city of Hayven has its dark side - Cliders. Gifters turned rogue, aka, Cliders are determined to aid fallen Clider, Madrina, return to rule Hayven. They will stop at nothing to make that happen, including harming those Ava has grown to love. Again, Ava is faced with a choice: spend her days finding a way to inhibit Madrina’s return, or walk away. After all, she isn’t the chosen one. Yet, there exists a third option - rig the future itself and make it work for her. 

Buy Link: Amazon


My name is J.A. George and I’m the author of Gifted – The Hayven Series. I thought I’d take this guest post opportunity to talk about how I formed my characters and what better way to do that than to introduce you to three of my seven main characters.

Before I begin, I know what you’re thinking! Seven main characters? Seems a bit much, don’t you think? Well, if you can keep up with the cast of Game of Thrones, you can keep up with this! If you don’t watch Game of Thrones…you should, it’s really good!

Avery Charlotte Gray

  • Preferred name/nickname? Pretty much everyone calls me Ava. Lucas calls me Avs. One girl thought it would be cool to call me Ava-ReeRee…in public. We don’t speak anymore.
  • Age? 19.
  • Hobbies? I like to read, draw, and hang out with friends.
  • Favourite food? Pizza.
  • Weak spot? For some reason, chocolate fingers. No idea why.
  • Interesting fact? I really like the taste of lemons.
  • If you could invite anybody to dinner? Roald Dahl, no question. He’s an imaginative genius.
  • Thoughts in the shower? My plans for the day or whatever embarrassing thing happened to me the day before.
  • How do friends describe you? Loyal, funny, sarcastic and patient.
  • Pet peeve? Negative opinions.
  • Biggest fear? Losing loved ones.
  • Gift? Telepathy and pre-cognition. Uncontrollable pre-cognition, I might add.
  • Perfect day? Browsing an arts supplies store.
  • Favourite quote? Normal is boring and nobody is good at it.
  • First thing you say in GIFTED? “Someone is watching me.”

Ava was by far the hardest character to build. You see, in the first edition of Gifted, Ava was completely different, so much so, she’s unrecognisable now. When I first created her, I was trying to please every reader with one character and it took me over an entire year to realise that that was impossible. So instead of trying to create a character I assumed readers would want, I created a character I wanted to read and know more about. Ava is normal, and that’s what I like the most about her. She isn’t passive, but she also isn’t one of those characters who know the world is about to end and accepts she has to change it all under three minutes. She’s real. And pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

Lucas Elliot Aiden

  • Preferred name/nickname? The obvious answer would be ‘Luke’ right? I don’t really have a nickname, but prefer it that way.
  • Age? 21.
  • Hobbies? Girls. I know that’s not the best answer I could give, but if you’re going to read the book, I might as well be honest. You’ll find out eventually.
  • Favourite food? Chips. Or fries, as Americans call it.
  • Weak spot? Chocolate buttons. I always carry a small packet around.
  • Interesting fact? I’m great at juggling and my millionaire’s shortbread is unbeatable. It should be; it took a lot of practice.
  • Dinner guest choice? Dmitri Mendeleev.
  • Thoughts in shower? Guess.
  • How do friends describe you? Funny, big-hearted, lothario.
  • Pet peeve? People who assume they know me because of what they’ve heard.
  • Biggest fear? Pinpointing a fear.
  • Gift? Firider – I can produce fire with my hands.
  • Perfect day? Friends during the day and a girl for the night… I’ll admit, I’m not looking so great right now.
  • Favourite quote? Life is better when you’re laughing.
  • First thing you said in GIFTED? The first thing I said was a name and that isn’t too exciting, so how about the second thing I said? “No worries. You were obviously preoccupied…Who’s the pretty lady?”

Lucas is one of my favourites and one of the most complicated characters I’ve drawn up. I love that how in the bio above, you’d think he’s pretty one dimensional, but when you read more about him and find that it’s all a façade, it shakes you up a bit. The cocky, handsome, loveable young man with a secret he hides so well that it’s actually destroying him slowly makes him one of the most interesting characters I will probably ever write.

Peyton-Jane Levi

  • Preferred name/nickname? Peyton. My mum calls me PJ which has led to Eliza-Poppy, my youngest sister, calling me Peanut Butter and Jelly. I don’t mind it at all because her favourite thing to eat is Peanut Butter and Jelly.
  • Age? 20.
  • Hobbies? Meditation, yoga and some might say daydreaming.
  • Favourite food? Gazpacho.
  • Weak spot? Boiled sweets. I have a soft spot for things that a last a long time.
  • Interesting fact? I have a tattoo on my back of a dreamcatcher.
  • Dinner guest choice? Wildlife film maker, Gordon Buchanan.
  • Thoughts in shower? Whatever my daydreams choose. It varies every day. This morning I simply thought of polka-dots and zig-zags.
  • How friends describe you? Kind, ditzy, free-spirit, patient, soothing.
  • Pet peeve? Animal cruelty.
  • Biggest fear? Losing my mum or sisters. I hate to even imagine it.
  • Gift? Earth manipulation.
  • Perfect day? Spent exploring the amazon rainforest.
  • Favourite quote? Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
  • First thing you said in GIFTED? “So, Ava, are you planning on attending Fulton next year?”

Peyton’s my dream friend. My real friends are the best and irreplaceable, but an addition like Peyton wouldn’t go amiss. To the outside world she’s the ditzy, loveable hippy with her head constantly in the clouds, but to people who know her well enough, she’s as grounded as anything. She understands the way the world works and that despite her giving off the impression that she thinks the world is full of marshmallows, pink balloons and sticky candyfloss, she knows the real world can be the exact opposite.

Ava, Lucas and Peyton are three of my seven main characters and I can’t wait until the third book in the series where I write from all their points of view!

Download a sample of GIFTED from Amazon here.

J.A. George is the author of the four-part series, GIFTED: THE HAYVEN SERIES. Jessica spent years of her life reading book after book before sitting on her bed one morning, opening her laptop and typing Chapter One into her word document. Now, not only does she read book after book, she now writes book after book too. When she's not writing, she's trying to break her record of finishing a tub of Oreo ice cream in less than forty-five minutes.

J.A. George
Twitter: @JGeorgie_

  • 2 e-copies of Gifted.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - The Debt by Tyler King

Image and blurb from Goodreads

Title: The Debt
Author: Tyler King
Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Yours

Hadley saved my life . . . and I ruined hers

Hadley's my best friend. We share a house, our friends, a life. She knows all my secrets . . . except one. My desperate need for her is inked on my body, it's the best I can do. But Hadley needs to hear the words . . . 

Growing up as foster kids, Hadley made me feel whole-sane. And what did I do? I destroyed our chance to be together. I ran out on Hadley when I should have stayed, and something broke between us. Now I'll do anything to fix it. 

I'll never leave her again. I won't ever let her feel afraid again. But the more I try to protect her from my pain, the more I just make things worse. I'm terrified that if I tell her everything, she'll never forgive me. I'm even more terrified that it may be too late to make her mine. I have to try to give her what she needs . . . it's a debt I'm determined to repay.

Pre-Order: Amazon 

I would:
  • Befriend: Asha
  • Go out on a date & kiss: Trey
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Scott
  • Travel to Vegas and let Elvis Presley marry us: Josh

If I took them out, we'd go to a/an:
  • Bar where we'd listen to some music and drink, because Hadley would coook for us when we got home.

4.5 “OMG this male POV” STARS

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, Forever Yours!

Is getting inside a man’s head your fantasy? Oh, well, “The Debt” might help you fulfill it.

A NA contemporary romance, “The Debt” is heavy on angst and tension and deals with tough topics such as abuse, anxiety and OCD, but those weren’t the elements that made this book stand out. These topics alone would’ve made it a good book among other good books in the same genre. This was special because of the incredibly strong voice and the awesome side characters.

Told from Josh’s POV, the story follows this college student suffering from severe anxiety because of a history of abandonment and abuse when he was a child. He spent some time in the foster system where he met Hadley (his BFF and love of his life) and was adopted by a lovely couple who taught him all about love and pursuing dreams. (So much love for his adoptive parents!!! *hugs*).

With his mom’s help, Josh turned into a piano prodigy and toured the world when he was younger, but soon tragedy (and the trauma from his childhood) took the things he loved most away from him. He almost lost Hadley, too, and though she’s still present in his life, they aren’t on the best terms.

You know how it goes from here, right? Lots of angst and heartbreak and denying himself what he wants most because he either can’t have it or thinks he can’t have it.

Like I said, it sounds like many stories I’ve read from the same genre, but it’s told in a way that makes it fresh and extra compelling because we’re not inside the head of the girl who comes into the guy’s life to make it better. Nope. We’re right there with the guy himself. From the first page to the last, we’re treated to a lot of Josh and nothing hurts.

What. A damn. Voice.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but gimme a strong male POV and I’m done. *swoons* Gimme a strong, well-written, real male POV and I’m… what’s more than done? Dead? Whatever. *dies* This is what this book did to me.

I loved Josh from the first couple of pages because he didn’t give me much of a choice. He made me love him. Damaged. Hot. Sexy. Damaged (again). Funny. Do I need to go on or do you get what I’m saying? Tatooed. Pierced. Sexy (again)…. The list goes on.

Reading the sex scenes from Josh’s POV? Ovaries >> explode.

Getting inside his head while he thinks/dreams/obsesses over his love for Hadley? Goosies (Yep, I went all J.Lo here). And I didn’t even care for Hadley that much. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with her. She’s a cool girl just as damaged as Josh is, so they make the perfect couple. Oh, she’s pretty funny, too. And Josh loves her so much, you can’t help but feel something. But I was too absorbed by the male characters in this novel to form a deep connection with her. I also felt like her character could’ve been a little lighter to counterbalance Josh’s heaviness, especially since I didn’t entirely agree with the way her situation was handled.

Before I talk about the rest of the boys, let me just say that I really liked Asha. She was a minor character but she got the story moving and she was interesting. Everyone needs a friend like her at least once in life – someone who isn’t afraid to tell you how it is and leave you to deal with it. Life is tough.

The boys… dude, the boys. I loved the bromance between Trey, Corey and Josh. Those three together made my day. The way they stuck together through everything, having each other’s back, dealing with Josh’s not-so-friendly attitude, taking care of Hadley, talking about love, life and sex, and making fun of each other? My heart could barely take it.

These guys gave me my new favorite sentence: “Shit or get off the pot”, and they made me laugh with the whole kiss and “He’s a bottom” thing.

When do I get books about Trey and Corey?? Soon, right?

The only thing I didn’t care much for was the *SPOILERS* brain tumor plotline. Didn’t think it was necessary and it showed its lack of importance when it was resolved faster than it’d started. Plus the characters didn’t show me the emotion I needed from them to care for the outcome. *SPOILERS*

Tyler King is a debut author who impressed me and I don’t know what she’ll write next, but please, oh please, let it be another male POV so I can devour the book just as fast I did “The Debt”.