Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Meet Liv and Danny...

Liv loves Danny. She knows she loves him more than he loves her, so she lets him go without a fight when his parents make him move back to America. She knows she will never love anyone like she loved him, but she has to move on.

Danny loves Liv. He knows he loves her more than she loves him, because she does nothing to get him to stay, so he goes quietly when his parents leave the UK. He knows he will never love anyone like he loved her, but he has to move on.

Twelve years on, they have made a good job of pretending, they may have almost forgotten. But when they get in touch via Facebook, it seems that it is all still there. 

They quickly find that they are intensely compatible in ways they hadn’t even begun to explore before they were forced apart. 

Can they put aside their fears and give it a go? Or will deep rooted doubts and insecurities tear them apart?

Where to Find the book: 

Our Review: 
Long lost childhood love stories are among my favorite tropes, and Just Human gives us that in spades. Danny and Olivia were best friends from the age of 6, that turned into something more until he had to leave England for California to go to college. Neither wanted to ask the other to make sacrifices so they parted ways, without ever any sort of resolution. Our story begins 12 years later with a facebook message...dun. dun. dun. Yes, Courtney, it was a sweet back story and such a rarity these have a love from childhood that lasts until adulthood.

Danny is by far my favorite character in this book, followed closely by Max. He is protective of his heart, but still really puts himself on the line over and over again. Agreed! Danny needed a little push but then he threw himself wholeheartedly into the relationship without many reservations. I appreciated that he took a risk and saw it through. He seemed completely smitten by Olivia. It was Olivia I was a little bit put off by. She is not as put together inside as she projects to everyone outside, which causes her to be a little hardened at times....or her words don't always match her actions in my mind. Yes, Olivia was so worried about being hurt that she had a really hard time allowing herself to fully trust Danny which is funny since she seemed to measure every man that came after Danny to Danny...including Danny. I was happy to see her finally allow herself to believe that he could be trusted; it was nice to see her relax and enjoy their time together.

There are a couple of parts that have Danny's POV throughout that take us back in time to the beginning of a scene, and I would have liked for those to be more together with Olivia's scene instead of separate blocks. I mention this because it might be a problem for people who have trouble with multiple points of view anyway. On the other hand, it was good + majorly helpful to have what was going on with him that Olivia didn't know....which makes the ending so much harder.

Forewarning, there is not a resolution to the end and a second book is expected. I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger per se, because you can see what is coming from a mile away...but it doesn't make it suck any less! I definitely want to see more of their story...and I hope they get their happily-ever-after....pretty please Kerry! Yes, we need that 2nd book. I was so ticked off at the ending because I knew it was coming and I just hoped against hope that before someone made a rash decision, Olivia or Danny would take a deep breath and talk it out. Guess we'll have to wait for book 2 to see if they get that chance.

Courtney: 3 Stars
Shelley: 3 1/2 Stars

About the Author: 
Terrible wife
Mediocre mother
Appalling housewife
Fashion graduate
Wedding coordinator
Sex toy salesperson
Shop manager
Font collector
Romance addict
Fancier of nice men
Ok, fancier of almost all men
Awesome cupcake baker
Incessant singer
Film buff

Where to Find Kerry Heavens:  
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Y'all, this series is a must read. I could NOT put it down and a week later I am still talking about. Warning: there are vulgar words (we have potty mouths...really bad potty mouths) and SPOILERS below...

This starts after I finished reading Reason to Breathe and was completely entrenched in Barely Breathing..

S Just you wait! This f*cking book is torture in a completely different way than the other one
C Really?! That sounds scary 
S: Hurry up and get to bk 2 so we can be in pain together
S: I swear if I had a heart monitor it'd be going nuts!
C: !!! You've got too (TBR) many on my list!
S: Racing pulse and constant nervous butterflies
C: Lol
S: My newest attempt to get thru this book is emotional detachment. 
C: How's that working out
S: It's really not working because she writes too well . Dammit
S: F*cking Evan's dad! Douche lord 
C: Douche lord!!!!!
S: If he had a c*nt, I'd call him had one of those too
C: Hahahaha you can junk punch him tho instead of c*nt punt, that is another fav saying I have
S: Lol
S: Maybe cut off his balls and choke him with them?
C: Very nowhere to run style, I like your thinking 
S: Lol
S: He's (Evan's dad) pissing me off and I have a feeling he's not done yet
S: F*****ck
S: This book
S: Sh*t
C: What!!
S: She just found out some stuff about her dad
S: Emma needs to quit bottling sh*t up and keeping sh*t to herself
C: Yeah, what do we always say about communication 
S: Bloody hell
S: I feel like I'm watching a train wreck about to happen and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it
And things are starting to fall apart . Shocker
C: What %
S: 74
C: Too early!
S: Yeah right! This has been the entire book! It's just building to be awful and gut punching at the end
Let's just say that in this book she did not save the drama till the end.  

S: On to bk 3
S: So now reading book 3 and I am going to try to just f*cking enjoy it and not hyperventilate over every f*cking thing. Maybe. (I started this at 2-ish o'clock in the morning)
S: I'm going to effing kill Emma
S: Dumb dumb girl
C: What!!! That is not good!
S: Poor choices
C:  :(
S: Have to take a break before I throttle her! Taking the girls for a walk!

Meanwhile...Courtney begins book 2

C: Ok in bb (Barely Breathing), Jonathan is bad news bears huh
S: Ummmm
C: Shel....
C: & Sara is being a huge b*tch

S: Get an alcoholic beverage ready. You might need it
C: Shel!!!!
S: Just remember that bk 3 is not as evil as bk 1 or 2...
C: Uhhhhhhh
S: Hang in there! I feel your pain
C: I get the "Emma is an idiot" now
S: Yep. Wait until ending. 
C:  noooooo 
C: 92....I'm dyinnnggggggg
C: ....why!!!! 

S: Finished?
C: Yes! 
S: Heartbroken?
S: Well settle in for book 3 and enjoy the ride
C: Too much time has passed, wtf!
S: Yeah!
C: Nooooooo
C: I can't take this....they make these horrible dramatic choices then get mad when these guys move on!!
C: Oh f*ck will Evan be at this party! Ommmmggggg my nerves are shot & nothing has happened yet
C: You said this one wasn't as bad!!!!!!!!!!! It so is!
S: But it gets better! I love Evan in this one. He's so steady
C: I don't know how he could take her back.....f*ck 
S: I know, right?!!?
C: Does Jonathan go to jail
S: Ummmm
S: Lol
C: Gah!
C: Emma Evan & Cole all in the same car...awkward 

S: Little bit! 
C: 64% things mmiiggghhhtttt be starting to smooth out a bit...right 
S: Riiiiight
C: Well they're sort of communicating...& she decided not to kill herself so......
C: Done!!!! Whew....a beautiful ending thank f*ck

S: Hahaha!!!
C: I was up til 230! I'm you! (Bc I am notorious for staying up until all hours of the night) Wtf am I awake for 
S: Go back to sleep

As you can see these books elicited a very strong reaction from us both...READ them...what an awesome series!!!


Title: A Perfect Mess (A Perfect Secret, #1)
Author: Zoe Dawson
Expected release: June 17, 2013
Genre: Mystery
Age Group: New Adult/Adult
Cover designed by: Okay Creations

I know what you did last summer.

Aubree Walker, the perfect girl most likely to succeed, is sure there’s only one person who knows what she did. Booker Outlaw, one of the three Outlaw brothers—all identical, all gorgeous, all from the wrong side of the tracks, and all pure bad boys. He was always the unpredictable one, the one who would be brash enough to make it big self-publishing horror novels on the internet. He promised never to tell, but everyone knows you can never trust an Outlaw. Then a year later, in the middle of the night, she receives a phone call at Tulane. Her aunt, who took her in after her mother’s death, has passed away under suspicious circumstances. Now she has to face that one person who knows all about what she did that summer—sexy Booker. Returning to Hope Parish to lay her beloved aunt to rest, stirs up all those ugly memories. When Aubree starts getting threats, she can’t help but wonder if what she did last summer was tied to her aunt’s death. Afraid, she turns to the only person who knows the truth and Booker doesn’t hesitate to offer his broad shoulder for her to lean on. But Booker has a secret of his own that could crush their fledgling relationship. As the hot, sultry summer days move on, she finds that even a perfectly smart girl can lose her heart to a perfectly bad boy. What is she going to do when someone starts asking questions Aubree doesn’t want to answer? She’s knee deep into a terribly dangerous, wholly life changing, who-can-she-really-depend-on perfect mess.

A Perfect Secret Series: Three perfect girls, three perfect secrets, one unholy trinity.

 photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg 

About the Author

Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic comedy/mystery, new adult, and urban fantasy. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.    

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Guarded JD Rivera Cover

Vanessa Smith has her heart guarded. She’s been married to a man that sleeps around and has made her think she’s ugly and undeserving. Everything changes when she is knocked down by the famous basketball player, Jackson Berrios. A friendship ensues and everything she thought she knew about men turns out to be wrong. Jackson Berrios was out for a run in a new city when he made contact with the beautiful Vanessa Smith. He instantly knew she was different from most girls but can he make her see that he’s different from her cheating husband? **novella length**

Cover designed by EM Tippetts Book Designs

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JD Profile
 J.D. Rivera lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two boys. Her life consists of school projects, homework, cartoon shows, and little league sports. She loves Diet Mountain Dew, the OKC Thunder, costume jewelry, the beach, and reading.

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Monday, July 29, 2013




Teasers are for mature audience only + not easily offendable people. You've been warned! 

Anika “Inky” Redding is passionate about two things; her love of painting and her fiancĂ© Evan. While working as a bartender to pay her bills, she meets Cole, a sexy divorcee. She denies their mutual attraction and tries to put him out of her mind.

When an abusive person from her childhood makes an unexpected visit, Inky’s world is turned upside down. Secrets are revealed and truths are exposed leaving Inky devastated and questioning what she thought was love. As she picks up the pieces and tries to move on, she finds her path crosses with Cole once again and this time, she cannot deny the passion between them.

Once she opens her heart again, will she be able to move forward or will her past find a way to stop her?

Teaser One: 
“Please…” I begged. The way he spoke and the words he used, I wanted him more than ever. I felt him move to my feet, straddling the end of the chaise. He was stroking his cock harder and hissing between his teeth. “Come for me. Come for me so I can put my cock in you and fuck you hard and finally make you scream, Anika. Come for me.” His words were like fire igniting my flesh. I came at his urging and as soon as the first shudders of my orgasm began, he thrust himself into me, hard and deep. “Ah, Cole, yes…please, please.” I felt the second wave begin as he rammed against me, his sweat dripping onto my face as we came together. He cried out my name, almost a roar and I’d never heard anything more erotic and sexy in my life. I wasn’t sure if I did indeed scream but it was beyond amazing. He collapsed against me, panting and breathless. “God, what you to do me. How did you know I’d like that?” “Lucky guess?” I replied trying to catch my breath.

Teaser Two:
“It’s even more beautiful than I remember it.” I was not alone. His voice flowed over my exposed back to the nape of my neck and climbed to my ears. I felt my skin ignite with his rich smooth tone. Maybe this was the effect of the Cognac and champagne combined with the emotion of the painting. I was afraid to turn around. So many things could happen now. I could turn into a pillar of salt, unlikely. I could blush or say something inappropriate, more likely. But the most likely outcome would be that the tears that were just sitting there, holding on for dear life, would break free and expose me completely. I chose to look ahead. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to acknowledge him. I didn’t want to break the spell. His hand rested at the small of my back and he spoke gently to me, “It’s magnificent. You captured it perfectly… Anika.”

About the Author
Julie is a Southern California native, a fan of a really good story (preferably romance with a happily ever after), really good pie (preferably pumpkin) and copious amounts of coffee (preferably Folgers).
She has always enjoyed writing and at one time thought she could be a singer songwriter...the 'writer' part is the one that stuck.
Julie is obsessed with pi...the equation (and the food). She's allergic to cats and cantaloupe and hates if you ever want to give her a gift, those are out for sure. She currently lives with her own romance hero husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.

Giveaway (7/29/2013 10 AM EST to 7/31/2013)
5 Ebooks
See the Bedazzler HERE

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Even the best-laid plans can go awry.

Single-mom Kiersten Worth knows a bottle of champagne and night of hot, no-strings-attached sex is the perfect solution to her jilted bride blues…and Garrett Kelly, long-time friend and her teenaged son’s sexy basketball coach, is just the stud for the job.

Garrett wants more from the elusive temptress than a casual affair, but he never expects it to come in the form of an unexpected pregnancy. When he proposes an unorthodox solution—move in and raise their baby together—Kiersten has to decide whether to let down her guard and open her heart to the man who secretly loved her for years, or risk losing his tender embrace for good.

Purchase from Amazon: here
Purchase from Barnes & Noble: here

Extended Excerpt:
Three months, two weeks, one day, and nineteen hours.
That’s how long it had been since Garrett walked away from Kiersten. She barely even spoke to him anymore, other than a soft hello as they passed on the court after practices. It was probably better that way. Anything more than a brief encounter hurt too much. He’d spent most of his life pretending not to care about her. Pretending he was fine without her. But now that he’d had one night in her arms, he knew he wasn’t.
And he wanted her more than he could ever possibly describe.
Oh well. Tough shit. He wasn’t going to get her on his terms. And he wouldn’t accept hers. 
He needed a drink. Or three.
He unlocked the door to his apartment and froze. Pots clanged in the kitchen. Dropping his gym bag to the carpet, he walked around the corner. Only his buddy Mike had a copy of his key, and that was just in case of an emergency or if he somehow lost his own set. But why would Mike let himself in and then cook? To the best of his knowledge, Mike didn’t even know how to cook.
“Mike?” he called out.
“Uh, no,” Kiersten replied. “It’s me.”
He tensed and walked slowly into his kitchen, his heart beating rapidly in his ears. “How did you get in here?”
She flushed. “I asked Mike for the key. Told him I needed something for Chris to practice at home.” She waved a hand. “He didn’t question me, thank God. My story was weak.”
He studied her. “Why are you here? You could have just knocked.”
“I was worried you wouldn’t let me in,” she said softly, averting her eyes. “So I took matters into my own hands.”
“And the dinner?”
“A way to try to make up for what I did. It’s pathetic and not big enough, I know, but I had to do something.”
He raised his brows. “You could give me space, like I asked. Why cook for me? What do you want?”
She looked at him. “I thought you might like to eat some food. Last time I checked, you were human.”
“It’s been over three months since we talked or hung out.” He crossed his arms over his chest, not sure what her sudden reemergence in his life meant. What game did she play? “And last time I checked, we weren’t really on speaking terms. Yet here you are. Cooking me dinner.”
“Yep.” She set down the spoon she was stirring the sauce with, shoulders tight as she leaned on the counter. “Pretty much.”
He looked away from her and swallowed hard. Did she realize how much it hurt him just to see her face or to hear her voice? Probably not, since he’d been the only idiot who had wanted more. Every woman paled in comparison to her. No matter how hard he tried to move on, to be attracted to another woman, there was only one person on his mind. Kiersten. But if she was here…
He shoved his hands into his pockets. “Have you changed your mind about us?”
She paled and he cursed himself for jumping to foolish, optimistic conclusions. “I—no, not yet. But—”
“Then you need to leave,” he said. He raised his head and met her eyes, unwilling to back down. “I haven’t changed my mind, either. I need space.”
“It’s been three months. Isn’t that enough space?”
“No.” He drew in a ragged breath. “It’s not. Now please leave.”
She bit her lip. “No.”
“Yes.” He stalked toward her, picked her up, tossed her over his shoulder, and headed for the door. He tired not to remember that the last time he’d carried her like this, they’d been going up to her bedroom. “If you won’t walk out on your own, then I’ll carry you out.”
She punched his back and squirmed. “Let me down. We need to talk.”
“The time for talking is over. I need distance right now. Eventually we can be friends again. But for now?” He opened the door, set her in the hallway, and closed the door in her face. “Please go home.”
He turned away and stomped into the kitchen. Damn it, he wasn’t doing this anymore. He may have played the part of the lovesick friend for months—hell, years—now, but he was done with being a benchwarmer she pulled out when it suited her mood.
From now on, it needed to be a starting position for him…or nothing at all.
Shutting off the stove, he picked up the pot and peeked inside. She’d made his favorite meal. Cheese ravioli. Vodka sauce bubbled away in a different pot and he could smell the garlic bread in the oven.
“Listen, Garrett, we need to talk,” Kiersten said.
Garrett jumped and faced her with a glare. “What are you doing in here—again?”
“I have a key.” She waved a gold key under his nose, her nose tilted up in the air stubbornly. “And I know how to open a door on my own. I’ve been doing it since I was three.”
“Congratulations.” He snatched the key out of her hand and reached for her, determined to put her right back where he had left her. “But you need to go. I’m serious.”
She jumped out of his reach and sprinted behind the relative safety of his favorite chair. “Not until you listen to me. Sit down and shut up for a second, will you?”
He pursued her, ready to stick her back out in the hallway, sans key this time. “All I asked for was a break. Can’t you respect that?”
He bolted around the chair, reaching for her arm. Her eyes widened and she darted to the side when he feinted left and ran right, hoping to fool her into his arms. “I can’t leave until we talk,” she replied.
“Why not?” he asked in exasperation, holding his hands up. “What could possibly be so damn important?”
 She blinked at him, wringing her hands. “I’m pregnant.”

About Diane Alberts:

Diane Alberts has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn't until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author.  Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she's not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another.
She is a multi-published, bestselling author with Entangled Publishing, Swoon Romance, and Decadent Publishing. ON ONE CONDITION hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble Bestseller List, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. CAPTIVATED BY YOU hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list.  Her goal is to write so many fantastic books that even a non-romance book fan will know her name. She also writes New Adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. Diane is represented by Louise Fury from the L. Perkins Agency.


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MUSIC MONDAY (4): Maroon 5 + Coldplay

Music Monday is a weekly feature we love to read by Jessica @ Lovin' Los Libros and since I have music playing at all times of the day, no matter what is going on (even to read) I talked Shel into spreading our music love with you! 

Court's Pick this Week: 
Maroon 5: Hands All Over
Maroon 5 is my pick this week, not only because I love their music...but because I finally get to join the cool crowd and see them live on Thursday night in the good ole STL (aka, St Louis, in case you were wondering). I enjoy their latest album, but Hands All Over is by far my front runner favorite. I love every single song on this album...and that is what I am always looking for in a solid band. The worst thing ever for me is to only like 1 or 2 songs on a CD. Luckily iTunes prevents me from committing that crime these days! Oh yeah, even though Adam Levine has officially broken both Shelley & I's hearts by getting engaged...we still love him! My favorite tracks if I had to pick something: How & Runaway

Shelley's Pick this Week:
Coldplay: X & Y

I chose Coldplay this week not only because I enjoy their sound, but also because "Fix Me" completely fits the tone of The Breathing series by Rebecca Donovan. I am currently in the fetal position on my couch because of that series and if Coldplay could either fix those characters or fix me...I'd really appreciate it.  Seriously. Okay...well. Coldplay is one of those bands...their music just seems so huge that my ears can't possibly hear it all and my soul may not feel it all but I love every ounce of it that I hear and feel. I'd love to go see them live; I bet watching them perform and listening to them play would be mesmerizing and an experience I'd never forget. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


Danika hasn’t had an easy life. Being insanely attracted to bad boys has never helped make it easier. 

One look at Tristan, and every brain cell she possessed went up in smoke. This man was trouble with a capital T. It was a given.
She knew better. Bad boys were bad. Especially for her. Considering her history, it was crazy to think otherwise. So why did crazy have to feel so damn fine?

For as long as she could remember, Danika had been focused on the future with single-minded purpose. Tristan came along and taught her everything there was to know about letting go, and living in the present. She fell, hard and deep. Of course, that only made her impact with the ground that much more devastating.

Bad Things is about Tristan and Danika, and their train wreck of a love story. This series can be read as a standalone, or with the Up in the Air series.

Bad Things is a full length novel, at roughly 105,000 words.
This book is intended for ages 18 and up.
Source: Purchased from Amazon

Published June 11th 2013 by R.K. Lilley

Where to Find the Book:

Where to Find the Author:

This novel was a stand alone novel that delves more into characters introduced in the In Flight series. This new series focuses on the background of Tristan and Danika.

There was lots of sexual tension--lawd have mercy. Holy was so frustrating! Just do it already! They were so attracted to each other that they made rules about how to continue their friendship so that sex would not be allowed to other words they were doomed.  I'd say within days of making those rules, they had their first sexual encounter...but not sex. These...ahem....encounters were steamy, steamy. I'm not really sure how those two were able to abstain from sex for as long as they did. Moving on...I appreciated that the writer took the time to develop their rapport and that we saw the good, the bad, and the ugly of their growing relationship. Spending the time to build in that background was worth the time and effort because I was invested in their story. There was obviously growing pains and obstacles in their relationship--his distaste for relationships and her eagerness to have one (even as she was fighting it) were gonna throw a wrench into things but somehow, someway they end up working around their issues.

I do recall saying to you that I was so incredibly happy that they worked so hard at being friends first. His desire to help her with her job as the nanny to Ivan and Mat and resident dog-walker was so cute. They are both so very attracted to one another but are truly 100% best friends before all of the rest is you know it will be somehow, you just don't know how. So get ready for some Travis Maddox style passion and fighting and f*cking. That's what it reminded me of anyways, and I enjoyed the ride. Tristan is a little cocky and drool worthy and a lot protective and sexy. I wasn't sure what I was going to get with him...but I loved his character a lot, even when he was acting before thinking! 

Knowing what I knew about Tristan and Danika from the previous series I knew that things were going to end poorly and yet by the end of this one...the huge event (whatever it is that messes them up) had yet to occur. So...that has me thinking and worried for these two because the tragedy they overcame at the end seems like it would bind them together what the EFF happens, then? Now. What the heck! I have to read the Up in the Air series, like yesterday, huh....that statement makes me super nervous! Not happy!!!! #$^%&@ 

Also, I'm hoping in the second book R.K. Lilley goes into their pasts a little more--Danika's mom and sister, Tristan's dad what are their stories???? And, how does she meet and live with Bev and how in the heck does she end up in the gallery I think it mentions this a bit in Bad Things (this was in the In Flight series)...and his magic show...all things I'm hopeful we'll find out more about...also Frankie--how does she know them? Her story is so interesting. I liked the exploration of Frankie and an James Cavendish from a different POV. It helped me understand some things from the previous series. Frankie is hilarious and a partier and also a voice of reason when things get out of control. I liked that by the end, wasn't wanting to murder someone because it was left all cliffhangery. It was left with a true ending but a desire for more--more that I hope we'll get sooner rather than later.

I'll stop cursing you now. Okay...I am a mature adult, right? ;) I love when characters I love cross over in to other series' so these little teases are going to be seriously bad for me I can already tell. There is a lot more to know about these too, even though it seems like in the few short months that they knew each other that they went through a lot. I was incredibly grateful that the crazy event that took place at the end of Bad Things didn't push him away from her, but pulled them together even closer than before. I am still really, really sad....but don't let that scare you off of this book, because it really had a lot of fun and steamy moments. Steamy. Steamy. Steamy. Moments.

Danika annoyed me, slightly, because she knew she was clingy and forsaking herself and yet she didn't stop. Tristan sometimes annoyed me because he allowed her to be that way. It seems like they're codependent and could be a recipe for disaster..but I hope by the end of the series I'm seeing a HEA for these two.

Ya know....they did indeed do some really angsty things, didn't they. They fought so hard to just be friends, but neither wanted the other other to date or hook up with anyone else....I also loved the secondary characters that were good...Like Jared and Frankie and Cory. There were some people *ahem* Dean and Tristan's mother, that leave a bit to be desired...but we can't win 'em all! 

Even the preview for the next book didn't leave me wanting to strangle anyone...but now I am genuinely worried...there are so many ways and things that things can go wrong now...I hope the next installment comes out very soon.

Shelley : 4 1/2 stars

Courtney: 5 stars

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Ashley Lockett has always followed the rules. She's always done the right thing and played it safe until her ideal life is shattered when her dad dies suddenly.

Fueled by anger and grief, she vows to do everything opposite of how she lived before. Then she meets Jordan. He has big dreams, he's had a crush on Ashley for years, and he's a great kisser. But he's also safe. 

Enter Colt. He is not safe, and he's more than willing to help Ashley fulfill her vow.

ebook276 pages
Published February 21st 2013 by All Night Reads
eGalley received from publisher via NetGalley for honest review

Where to find the book: 

Where to find the author: 

Courtney and I have read quite a few books focusing on a variation of tragedy, loss, and sadness in the last few weeks so I was a little nervous about reading this; I wasn't sure if I could take another sad read. I'm happy to report that while this story does have some sad moments, I ended up feeling more at peace with the entirety of the novel rather than suicidal. 

Hahaha, yes....we've had a few talks bringing us back from the ledge lately. I was worried too, since it was for sure the first young adult title we have read in a while and I didn't want to not connect with this girl and her relationships. I'm glad we took the plunge though! I had read The Truth About Faking so I was familiar with Leigh's amazing ability to make a story about a love triangle become so much more in the sense of a young girl finding herself more than finding love.

Ashley is grappling with the death of her father and rather than plunge herself into the pain and emotion of it all, she tries to bury it in the kisses of Jordan and Colt. Both of these guys make her feel something--something that rids the lung squeezing pain of grief--and so she spends much of her time trying to figure out which of these two can best give her what she needs. Here's the problem: she doesn't know what she needs. All she knows is that she's in a lot of pain and her mom and brother don't seem to feel it the way she wants them to, she's sick of the sympathy of strangers and the looks of pity, and these two guys are able to make her forget one kiss at a time. Obviously this could present some problems.

She feels a lot for both boys, but definitely uses them each for completely different things. She gets sparks and conversation and peace with Jordan...but gets upset with him when their current life choices do not match up. I thought this was an amazing plot line, because they reached a "where do we go from here" point and realized one would have to make significant sacrifices for the other. At almost 18, that is a heady thing to have to realize.  Colt on the other hand...he was a firecracker. I love a great bad boy, but he weirded me out a bit there in the middle...almost too watch out for him. He redeems himself by the end, so don't quit on his account! 

Just as she is conflicted about her interactions with Jordan and Colt, she's also trying to figure out who she is and how her friend Mandy and her new, sort of friend, Charlotte fit in to the picture. Mandy has been her best friend for years and they've cultivated a reputation for being shallow, rich, bitches. Mandy is a great friend to Ashley but horrible to anyone she doesn't like . Charlotte is a new friend who consoles Ashley in quick little meet ups at a nearby creek. She's also cynical about their improbable friendship and is as equally bitchy as Mandy is when Ashley tries to be friendly to her in public. Poor Ashley, she's flailing about and it feels like she doesn't have anyone or anything to help her through it.

These scenes I liked because those were the parts where these girls are really finding themselves. We see this through Ashley's eyes but I liked that she realizes the way she used to be and what is important to her now that she has experienced something tragic. Mandy and Charlotte both were really irritating but in the end were necessary to Ashley's growth and realizing the parts of the old Ashley that the new Ashley wanted to keep. 

Ashley fights her grief by making poor choices and internalizing much of her pain. After one particularly bad episode, Ashley finally quits fighting everything and starts dealing with results of her actions (or inactions).  I think this is why I didn't feel as sad as I might have. Ashley begins working through her grief and is willing to be honest about where she is in her life. Even though the ending doesn't tell us exactly where she ends up or how she gets there, there is a definite feeling of hope and resolution.

She grew a conscience! No, really I totally get why she acted out and in some ways she went too far, but I was glad of the ways that she didn't... (ahem, Colt). She was really close to her Dad and being young and confused and unprepared to deal with things was very hard on her. I loved the resolution to this story, and the casual mentions of the characters from the first book (and I mean casual! No series worry here). I want to find time to read Leigh's other titles now!!! 

Shelley: 3 1/2 Stars

Courtney: 4 Stars
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