Saturday, August 31, 2013

REVIEW: INKY BY J.B. HARTNETT (THE LEAVES #1)

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?

WARNING!! This book has a cliffhanger but don't let that stop you! Inky's story will continue with Cole in late September.



Kindle Edition
Published July 31st 2013
eARC received from author in exchange for review

Where to find Inky:

Where to find J.B. Hartnett

Our Review:

We really wanted to get our hands on this book a couple of months ago when we saw participated in the cover reveal for it. Well, got our hands on it we did (Thanks J.B. Hartnett & TRSoR so much!) and we really enjoyed..most..of it. We'll get to all that in a bit, but I must say this is also I think about the 5th book in the last 1-2 weeks that was set in California. My books agree with me that I should live in SoCal...now just to get my husband to agree!Yes, Courtney...I see a move in our future...

Inky begins with Anika aka Inky leading a pretty good life living with her new fiance and two roommates. She works weekends at a bar, but gets to spend her weekdays doing what she loves as an artist. She has always been "the other woman" with her fiance Evan, and she is thrilled that he finally picked her. I for one saw all that talk as a huge red flag that things would go south and go south they did! 

Courtney, I also was suspicious of this engagement with Evan. The fact that Inky was justifying it or making excuses about how long they'd known each other told me everything I needed to know...that this was NOT meant to last.

Things have happened to her in the past, and she struggles daily with it. Those scenes were tough to read, but her methods of coping were inspiring and I just wish that she would have shared more with some and less with others. AKA one of her roommates that has earned the award of worst friend EVER in a book from me today. (Oh, she couldn't accept because she was tripped and broke her leg on the way up? Oh well.) I am still feeling a lot of anger and hate toward Lisa because of some of the awful things she said and did to her supposed longtime best friend.

Lisa was awful awful awful. With friends like her...who needs enemies, really? Thank goodness for Aimes and Gus and...Cole (more about him in a minute). Without these good people in her life, Inky would've a very difficult existence. She's had one of the most atrocious upbringings I've read in a while...it's simply horrifying. That Inky has her art, a good head on her shoulders, and a good group of friends has saved her from self destructing, I'm fairly certain.

During all of these events, she meets a man named Cole in the bar. Cole turns about to be a surprisingly awesome character and I love me some Cole. (We seem to have some good luck with guys named Cole, huh Shel?Yes, yes we do) He comes from an uber-rich background, but is so swoon-worthy and great and has just as many demons as Inky. Their communication was also up there for me, because he just didn't let her run from him and fell for no games. I fell for Cole hardcore if you can't tell! 

Cole may be on my list of top ten book boyfriends because he is seriously amazing. (As is his mother..FINALLY an awesome mother in law!!) Yes he's rich and also damaged..but he's also kind and loving and supporting and wonderful. He and Inky seem absolutely perfect for each other. If only, ONLY we could see that perfection come to fruition. But no. Nope. 

Now. My most comment up there. So, at the beginning there is for once a warning that there will be a cliffhanger...which is appreciated....but I am still smarting from how the cliffhanger came about. It was so abrupt. I just...there are no words...but the saving grace here is that it comes out just next month! 

Yes, Courtney, exactly. This cliffhanger was particularly painful because I wanted to see these two have the ending they deserved. But oh, no...instead we are left on the edge of our seats with more questions than answers... and a bad case of kindle abuse once I realized my impatient self was going to have to wait to find out what happens next. GAH!

Courtney: 4 Stars
Shelley: 4 Stars

COVER REVEAL + PROMO: ILLICIT AFFAIRS BY JO MATTHEWS, BEC ROSE, & NJ COLE

Written by:
Jo Matthews
Bec Rose
NJ Cole



Genre: Erotica
Expected Release Date: 9.13.2013
Reveal organized by Malfunction Erotica

Illicit Affairs
Illicit Affairs is a compilation of three erotic tales with women giving into their darkest desires and pursuing the forbidden.
Unexpected Journey by Jo Matthews
Sarah thought she met her soul mate in Mitch Chandler. High school sweethearts, they married right after graduation. Eight years later, he is a stranger to her and their marriage is on the rocks. In a halfhearted attempt to placate her, Mitch suggests a trip to Hawaii, but schedules a business meeting to write off the expense.
Aaron Johnson, Mitch’s friend and business partner, agrees to help with the presentation and plans are made for all three to go. What happens when Mitch backs out at the last minute to spend a romantic weekend with his secretary, forcing Aaron’s hand so that he has to accompany Sarah alone?
Will an innocent friendship turn into something more as Aaron’s attraction for Sarah grows? How will Sarah manage when she realizes that Aaron is awakening feelings in her that she’s never felt before? The sexual tension burns hot as these two embark on an unexpected journey that neither are prepared for.
Excerpt: 
The flight to San Diego was quick, though the one to Hawaii was considerably longer. Somewhere over the Pacific, Sarah fell asleep; the day had obviously taken a toll on her emotions and exhausted her. I wasn’t really tired myself, so I grabbed a magazine from the caddy in front of me and started flipping through it. Not ten minutes later, she shifted in her sleep and leaned over, her head resting on my shoulder.
I froze in place, unsure of what to do. Part of me was screaming to wake her up or at least move her, while the other part of me—the part that tended to take over in any man when there was a sexy goddess nearby—wanted me to savor the moment. I must have warred with myself for three minutes straight until I decided it didn’t matter. There was no harm in letting Sarah sleep on my shoulder on a plane to Hawaii. No harm at all, considering her husband was the one who put us on the flight together.
Unable to resist any longer, I turned my head into her hair and breathed in her intoxicating scent. She smelled like wildflowers and sunshine, and I couldn’t help but inhale more deeply as I closed my eyes.

About the Author:
Jo Matthews is an Arizona native, where she lives with her husband and son. A stay-at-home mom since 2007, she only recently discovered her love and passion for the written word. When she’s not writing, she’s usually knee deep in editing—an aspect she thoroughly enjoys.
As an editor she has propelled quite a few authors into the published world, and with her skills, has landed several stories on Amazon’s Top Sellers lists.

Hot Summer Nights by Bec Rose
Annie Murphy had the picture perfect life. A beautiful home, a wonderful son, and a husband who adored her. It was every woman’s dream until her husband of over twenty years came out of the closet, leaving her a forty-five year old divorcee struggling to regain her confidence. Needing a distraction, she agrees to allow her son’s friend, Jamie, to spend the summer at her house while working as an intern. When Jamie, the cute female intern she’d been expecting turns out to be Jaime, the hot male intern with abs to drool over, it kicks Annie’s fantasies into overdrive. When she realizes that her desires are not one sided, it’s more than the temperature that causes some hot summer nights.
Excerpt:
It seemed like forever before he finally made his way back downstairs, and I heard him rummaging through the fridge for something before he walked into the den carrying some homemade chocolate mousse. I moved to the main sofa, sitting down next to him so we were both within reach of the dessert.
“I hope you don’t mind, but I made this before dinner. I have a bit of a sweet tooth.” He grinned at me as he took a bite. I smiled back and dipped my spoon in, groaning at the amazing taste that exploded in my mouth when I took my first bite.
“Oh, god, Jaime, you’re going to make me fat if you cook like this all the time,” I laughed. When I heard no reply, I looked next to me, seeing Jaime staring at my lips with—if I wasn’t completely misinterpreting it—a look of lust in his eyes.
“Oh, um, I’m sorry?” He seemed confused.
“I just said that you’re going to make me fat if you keep cooking like this.”
“You don’t have to worry about that, Annie. You have an amazing figure if you don’t mind me saying.” I was surprised by his comment. It had been a long time since anyone had complimented me like that.
“Oh, well, um…thank you, Jaime,” I replied, embarrassed.
We finished off the dessert, both of us silently deciding to stay on the couch next to each other by settling back as Jaime changed the channel to watch an old movie. It was nice to sit with someone and not feel the need to fill the air with unnecessary conversation. Jaime was easy to just be with, and I was once again glad it had turned out to be a male houseguest instead of a female.
About the Author:
Bec Rose is a budding author and mother of two. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her son and daughter. Residing in Australia, she possesses a subtle charm that carries through into her writing. In her debut novella, Bec Rose not only tugs on our heartstrings but leaves us panting for more.

Second Chances by NJ Cole
Calla Moretti married her college sweetheart, Bill. Married life was great at first, but as his career had her dropping out of college and moving away from her family and friends, Calla struggled with her role as a wife and homemaker. Stress due to infertility and Bill’s affairs, had the marriage on the brink of failure. When she drives home in the middle of a thunderstorm and spots first a broken down motorcycle, then the sexy rider, she decides to take a chance and offer him assistance. Realizing fate brought her together with a man who could give her the one thing her husband couldn’t—a baby—Calla decides to take a chance. One romantic night, one big lie, will it save her marriage or fill her heart with more emptiness? Will this be the answer to her prayers? In life, are there truly second chances?
Excerpt:
Staring into my eyes, he lowered his head. I could have moved, spoken, coughed…anything, but instead I lifted my chin and allowed him to kiss me.
At first it was chaste, it really was, but when I didn’t pull away, he didn’t either. I felt his tongue poke from between his velvet lips and lick over my lower one. I gasped, and he used that opportunity to find his way into my mouth. As my body began to shake, I groaned. I had to stop this. If I didn’t, I’d end up having sex with him—a total stranger. I knew that because I was ovulating, if I did sleep with him, there was a good chance that I’d become pregnant.
I’d become pregnant.
I had stiffened up at my epiphany, causing him to pull back. “Oh, shit. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”
My mind was racing with the possibility of becoming pregnant tonight. I could go home to Bill in the morning and he and I could have sex. He’d think the baby was his, and maybe it would be, I reasoned with myself. He’d never know and our marriage would be fixed.
About the Author:
NJ Cole is a mid-western girl with a kinky side. She works by day and writes by night, all while being a mother to her wonderful boys and serving her Sir. Unlike many of today’s authors, she chooses to write in first person, allowing the readers to experience life through the eyes of the unique characters that live in her head. Her love of those characters and respect for their stories come through loud and clear in her writing. Reaching Amazon’s top 100 list in Erotica with Midnight Caller and Landslide, NJ Cole promises to entertain and excite the reader with her newest tales of love, romance, and as always, hot, steamy sex.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 30, 2013

COVER REVEAL: FINDING HOME BY LAUREN K. MCKELLAR

1013-Finding-Home_1400

Synopsis: Moody, atmospheric, and just a little bit punk, Finding Home takes contemporary YA to a new level of grit... When Amy’s mum dies, the last thing she expects is to be kicked off her dad’s music tour all the way to her Aunt Lou in a depressing hole of a seaside town. But it’s okay — Amy learned how to cope with the best, and soon finds a hard-drinking, party-loving crowd to help ease the pain. The only solace is her music class, but even there she can’t seem to keep it together, sabotaging her grade and her one chance at a meaningful relationship. It takes a hard truth from her only friend before Amy realises that she has to come to terms with her past, before she destroys her future.

Finding Home, Lauren K McKellar's debut novel, is coming October 1, 2013. 
Add it to goodreads today.


Excerpt:
‘Look, I have to go. Can we talk about this later?’ Dad was asking Mum. Joe had shut the door behind him, and it was a good thing he did too, because when Dad had finished speaking, Mum picked up an empty bottle of Grey Goose vodka and threw it at his head. She missed, missed by a mile, but that didn’t stop the bottle hitting the wall behind him and shattering into thousands of tiny pieces. ‘Jesus!’ Dad exclaimed. He turned around, surveying the damage. ‘Oh, look what I did! Can’t have clean-cut Stevie D trashing the green room. People might talk!’ Mum’s voice dripped with sarcasm. It sounded hoarse, no doubt a result of the hours she’d spent alternating between crying and screaming up until now.
‘Even if this was our bloody lounge room, I would still be furious! You can’t just throw s**t like that.’
‘I’ll throw whatever I want to throw!’ Mum yelled. ‘You’re so uptight.’ She walked up to Dad and put her hands on his shoulders, shaking them. ‘Give up this stupid dream already.’ ‘And do what? I can’t afford your habits any other way. If I don’t sing, you have to get a job.’ Dad shook his head. I inched around behind them and started to pick up the pieces of glass. They were all different sizes, and some had gotten stuck in the carpet. They required a bit of twisting to retrieve, but the others I could pick up with ease and place in my hand. ‘What do you want me to do? I don’t have any skills. And there’s clearly only one thing you think I’m good at these days,’ Mum said, leering. She pulled at her top, exposing her dĂ©colletage. I focused on the glass again. I counted each piece in my hand. Thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight. On the fortieth piece, a shard broke through my skin, spilling bright red blood. Funny. I hadn’t thought my skin would be so thin. ‘Amy, you’re hurt!’ Mum pushed past Dad and came to kneel next to me. ‘What are you doing?’ She knocked my hand with her own, and the pieces of glass flew up into the air and landed back on the floor. All my efforts — ruined. ‘Let me see,’ Dad said.
‘Get the hell away from her!’ Mum yelled, raising her voice again.
‘Do we have to do this in front of Amy?’ Dad asked. I felt them turn to look at me. Did they think I hadn’t heard? That the fights they’d been having all day in the adjacent hotel room hadn’t resonated with a hatred that travelled through walls? ‘Please don’t,’ was all I could say. But it was enough. Dad left the room, and Mum tended to my hand, spilling some vodka to cleanse it before wrapping it in a spare t-shirt. ‘I’m sorry, baby,’ Mum whispered to me. ‘I promise, things are going to get better.’ Only they didn’t. They got much, much worse.

Find Lauren McKellar:
laurenkmckellar

profilewebsite
 

REVIEW: SHOOTING SCARS BY KARINA HALLE

Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.


Published August 20th 2013 by Grand Cen­tral Publishing
eGalley provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Where to Find Shooting  Scars: 


The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup. 

Karina is represented by Scott Waxman of the Waxman Leavell Literary Agency

Where to Find Karina Halle:

Our Review:

Honestly, Courtney, I've been messing around online for an hour or so as I consider what to write for this review because my mind is still trying to digest everything. I've managed to cyberstalk Karina Halle on every one of her social media sites, tweeted her like an angsty teen, liked her FB page, and am now trying to figure out where in the hell this story is going next. 

You have no idea how happy it makes me that you have came over to the dark side with me! (AKA Team KH) And really that is a big compliment because I kinda have a girl crush on Karina Halle, and seriously can count on zero sleep when she releases a book. They are all so good and I've read them all! Okay..wait. I haven't finished Come Alive yet, but I'm working on it! Anyways, Eeeep! I have been processing emotions too, but I really loved the ending! 

From about 50% to the end of this novel, there was just one word that captured my mindset...be prepared...it's not a pretty word...and the word is: fucked. Not only are the characters fucked, the reader is too--at least if you are as emotionally entrenched in these characters as I've become. As I told two of my friends--this book is one delicious mindfuck. I enjoyed every single second of torture dished out. So what was so amazing about it? Well...each chapter was almost like a mini-cliffhanger and so I was constantly compelled to read the next chapter, doing so until my eyes refused to stay open. 

*Happy dance* Right. Our poor readers might give up on us after the Texting & Talking Tuesdays for this book, because well..it will be heavily laced with profanity. But...that one word can portray a lot of emotion between the two of us, so it really speaks for itself. That being said Wow. Just Wow. There is never a dull moment with these people and they really suck you into this world of pulling a con and the drug cartels of Mexico and how everything is so corrupt. (As of this publication, I don't see myself venturing to Mexico..ever) I never knew what was going to happen and you literally get it all unveiled to you one page at a time. Karina Halle does not write predictable folks. And it is AWESOME! 

Ellie is forced to deal with Javier and his constant manipulation of her feelings towards him, Camden, and Travis. She never quite knows what to feel or believe and so she winds up very twisted up --trying to think her way through things but constantly questioning, in doubt, or mistrustful of Javier...as she SHOULD be. He's such an asshat. The thing I hate for Ellie is that she questions herself and her innate goodness. She's so turned around that she finds herself questioning if she can ever be good. I hate her parents and Travis and Javier for that. I really do.

After reading On Every Street, I really felt like I had this insider knowledge to the relationship with Ellie and Javier. Yet, this time around he is just as unpredictable as ever. I do like your assessments of him up there...but I knew that something was going to happen! Ugh....We found out so, so, so, so, much...but still there is so much more to find out in the final book! Ellie has been learning to be a con since she was a tiny girl, and for her to trust people is really, really hard. I want Camden to be that person. So. Much. 

Camden. Poor Camden. He gets royally screwed in this entire situation. Between his dickhead dad, his horrible ex-wife and in-laws, and the Ellie situation, it's a wonder that he hasn't exploded into a ball of uncontrollable rage. I want to rage for him. When Ellie leaves and all hell breaks loose with his ex, he takes off on his mission to find and save Ellie. The path to her is paved with bullets, betrayal, blood, and (I cannot find another b word! ruins my alliterative effect!) pain. My heart was racing from fear and heartache and anger and sadness. 

Badass?? Does that work? Camden is seriously badass. I shall also state for the record here that I am still 100% Team Camden. I totally get it if you are Team Javier or you've jumped the fence...but I am a loyalist and I usually stick with the person I pick from the beginning...(ask my friends, I may be the only Team Stefan hold out left in the world..sorry TV show..bitter)...Camden has gotten the short end of the stick pretty much his entire life so when he unleashes his rage monster I am totally rooting him on. 

In the background of all of this we have the beaches and jungles and cartels of Mexico--such a beautiful setting for the deceptions taking place. In this novel, we also see a return appearance of Travis, Raul, and Gus--all have interesting and integral parts to play in the way this story progresses. Beautiful or not, still not going there. Nope. Not gonna do it! -- But really...the few times that humanity can be seen in Javier is when he is talking about his home town, culture, old life that he remembers with childlike ideation...I think that is the reason people jump ship to him...

As we leave the end of book two, there are lots of questions to be answered. Can Ellie see that she's good? Can Cameron stave off his murderous rage or will he embrace it? Will Javier help them? Hurt them? Murder them? Who will Ellie walk away with? Will anyone walk away? So.Many. Questions. And I'm loving every second of it! And to the powers that be...if we could have this as a movie, that would be awesome. Wouldn't that be incredible! I'm for that. 

Perfect Shel, truly. I don't have anything better to add to that. Except that I honestly did not see that ending coming...at all...I cannot wait until October to see how the rest of this plays out! 

Shelley: 5 shooting stars
Courtney: Ditto! 5 Stars




COVER REVEAL: NIGHTMARES FROM WITHIN BY JESSICA PRINCE



Book Tittle: Nightmares from Within
Author: Jessica Prince
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Release Date: October 8, 2013


Blurb

I can see how a person is going to die.
I don't know when and I don't always know who but it's a curse I've had since childhood.
There are people who call what I see a gift but I disagree. After years of trying to ignore the visions that haunt me I'm being told I have to embrace this "gift".
If I refuse the punishment will be catastrophic.
Embracing the nightmares within my own mind is the only way I can save myself... and HIM.
The only man I've ever let close.
The only man I've ever loved.
Can I let go of the fear I've carried around my whole life in order to save him?
I just don't know.

About The Author

I'm a wife, mother, wino, coffee addict and avid a lover of all types of books, but romances are my main favs. My husband likes to say reading is my obsession but I just say it's my passion... there's a difference.

I've been writing since I was a little kid and I finally decided to take the leap and actually publish when Picking up the Pieces came to me. Now that I've been bitten by the writing bug I just can't seem to stop. 

  
Author Links:

COVER REVEAL: CONNECTIVITY BY AVEN ELLIS


Connectivity—Available October 23, 2013
Overachiever Mary-Kate Grant (who is indeed named after an Olsen Twin) has followed every rule to the letter to pursue her dream of working in TV programming.  Ripping a page from the “hard work pays off” playbook, she takes an assistant level job at a Chicago sports network to break into the industry.
MK has no time or desire for a relationship right now—she is totally focused on her career and being independent, unlike the other women in her family.
But MK’s plans are run through the shredder when she finds herself working for William Cumberland, a British media mogul who made his fortune with Connectivity, a social media site. William blows into Chicago just like the winds off Lake Michigan and purchases the group of networks MK works for—and makes her his personal assistant in the process.
Suddenly MK finds her career plans in jeopardy. William makes her question everything she has ever thought and has the uncanny ability to see right through her. And for the first time in her life, MK finds herself not only questioning what she wants for her career but for her personal life as well…
How to Find Aven Ellis:

Facebook:

 Twitter:

Website:

Pinterest:


BLOG TOUR: TIES BY LIZ REINHARDT & STEPH CAMPBELL




TIES by Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell:

Ties is a companion book in the Lengths series NOT a sequel. It was written as a stand-alone title. The other books do not need to be read prior to Ties in order to follow the story.

When a shiny new convertible arrives for her twenty-first birthday, Hattie Beckett has had enough of her absent dad trying to buy a place in her life. It’s time for him to face her--or get out of her life forever. 

She tosses some clothes in a bag, looks up her father’s last known address, and sets her GPS for Silver Stand, California.

When she arrives at a beach-bum paradise that’s totally foreign to her New England upbringing and finds nothing but an empty lot where her dad maybe once lived, her immediate instinct is to pack up her car and head right back to Connecticut.

But she also finds... Deo. The half-brother she never knew she had. He and his hippy-dippy mom insist that Hattie stick around—at least for the summer. And with all of her friends spending the summer abroad, what else does she have to do? 

Her ideas about family are blown wide open as Deo and Marigold pull her in with their charm and love. But there’s still a huge question mark where her dad is concerned, and that question mark definitely looms over her ideas about love and relationships. 

When Hattie meets Ryan, the college dropout turned competitive sailor, her perspective flips with her heart. Like it or not, Hattie is falling fast and hard for Ryan... even if it’s the last thing that she expected - and the last thing her newly found brother wants for her.





Our Review:
I thought this novel moved very swiftly, so if you are looking for a quick read with dual pov's, this might be a good book for you! It starts with an introduction to our protagonist, Hattie Beckett, and all of her quirky ways. I'm not sure if 'uptight' is quite descriptive enough to describe how tightly wound this woman is. She is so focused on everything going as planned that she's completely lost sight of how to cut loose and relax a little. You can imagine, then, how surprised everyone is when she decides to leave the East Coast to hunt down her father in California. You see, she's supremely pissed off with him and his extravagant gifts and his less than zero interest in actually knowing her. So she takes a summer road trip to confront him and what she gets in return is a summer full of family and love.

Yes, Hattie is a very difficult girl to get to know and like. Really, really difficult. I still am not 110% sure how I feel about her, but I loved the premise of the story. She is twenty one years old and has never met her father. I thought it was very brave of her to drive cross-country to meet him and confront him for trying to basically buy her love...and obviously things don't work out quite like she planned. And boy, does she love her plans.

When she arrives in California she is quickly enveloped into her brother's family and soon discovers what belonging to a family means. She's invited and expected to attend lots of family functions and gatherings and Deo (her brother) and all of his friends immediately take her in as one of them. It's on one particular outing with a new friend that she meets Ryan Bryne. 

I have to say, that while the story with Ryan is really really forefront and important the things I loved about this book the most are the secondary characters of Deo, Grandpa, Whit, Gen, Deo's mother, and Ryan's mom and brother. (His brother is seriously funny, over the top and fantastic..I really liked a lot of his advice no matter how flawed.) The families in this book were tight knit and together all of the time (a lot like my own) and for someone like Hattie that was hard to adjust to since it had always just been mostly her and her mom. 

Ryan is this super sweet, reformed manwhore who is determined to do what he loves (in this case sailing). He has a free and loving spirit and couldn't be more different than Hattie if he tried. So of course, the sparks and clothes start flying very soon after they meet. Haha! The more he tries to foster a deeper connection with her, the more she tries to push him away because he doesn't fit the plan she has in mind for her future. (So frustrating to him..and me!) To his credit, he keeps trying and trying to be a 'good' guy and to show her that it's okay to deviate from plans and rules. He had the patience of a saint; he had to because she was so obstinate about her plan and rules.

Ryan. Just simply poor Ryan. I admire his persistence but sometimes wanted to tell him to move on from this one. Hattie reserved all of her poisonous words for him and I didn't get why she was so awful to him. 

Ryan was my favorite in this book. I had a hard time connecting with Hattie, even though by the end I had a better understanding of why she was so cruel to Ryan, I just didn't like her. She seemed so judgmental and inflexible even when everything and everyone was telling her to give this thing with Ryan a chance. I think she redeemed herself at the end but it was a long time coming. I definitely have to credit the writers for creating a female character that evoked such a strong reaction from me because she definitely got under my skin.

Yes! As things go on it becomes more clear why she is the way she is, but it was almost too late when this information was revealed to us. Almost. I usually try my damndest to withhold true judgement on characters until the very end and try to connect with them (because for us, they become like friends...and I don't want to not like them). It was a success, and especially satisfying when Ryan starts standing up for himself. 

The epilogue finished things off nicely but I can see that there is room for these two to develop into another book, if the authors were so inclined. Yep. Although, if these two appeared in a continuation of a story featuring Ryan's brother I wouldn't be opposed to that as well! 

Shelley: 3 Stars
Courtney: 3 Stars


Author Bios:
Steph Campbell grew up in Southern California, but now calls Southwest Louisiana home. She has one husband, four children and a serious nail polish obsession.

Steph's works include Delicate, Grounding Quinn and Beautiful Things Never Last; My Heart for Yours and My Fate for Yours (with Jolene Perry); A Toast to the Good Times (with Liz Reinhardt) and the bestselling new adult LENGTHS series with Liz Reinhardt: Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties & Riptides.

--
Liz Reinhardt was born and raised in the idyllic beauty of northwest NJ. A move to the subtropics of coastal Georgia with her daughter and husband left her with a newly realized taste for the beach and a bloated sunscreen budget. Right alongside these new loves is her old, steadfast affection and longing for bagels and the fast-talking foul mouths of her youth.

She loves Raisinettes, even if they aren't really candy, the Oxford comma, movies that are hilarious or feature zombies, any and all books, but especially romance (the smarter and hotter, the better), the sound of her daughter's incessantly wise and entertaining chatter, and watching her husband work on cars in the driveway.

She is the author of the Brenna Blixen series (Double Clutch, Junk Miles, Slow Twitch), the Youngblood series (Fall Guy, Perfectly Unmatched), and co-writes with the awesome Steph Campbell in the Lengths series (Lengths, Depths, Limits, Ties, Riptides).

Blog | Facebook | Twitter 

Links

Thursday, August 29, 2013

RUNNING FROM ROMEO BY DIANE MANNINO REVIEW+BLOG TOUR


Title: Running From Romeo 
Author: Diane Mannino 
Release date: June 1st, 2013 
Genre: Young Adult 
Tour: Irresistible Reads Book Tours

Book Description:
Emilia King is entering her senior year at Santa Barbara University. For the past three years, she lived in the library – doing what she knows best – focusing on her studies and forgetting her past…a past that has forever changed her life. But this year marks a new beginning…

Logan Prescott is not only the hottest guy on campus, he’s heir to a billionaire hotel fortune. Emilia knows he’s trouble and should stay clear of him. But his notorious good looks and piercing blue eyes make him simply irresistible – especially when he’s quoting her favorite literary works.

Intrigued by Emilia’s innocence and resistance to his charm, Logan discovers she’s a challenge he simply can’t resist. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but running from him may be impossible.

Find it here on Goodreads.


Our Review:

I'm going to start with the setting, unusual maybe?, but it seemed like one of the main characters...so why not? Diane Mannino set this novel in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. I've never been to Santa Barbara but the descriptions in this novel have me considering it as a future vacation destination. It seemed so lush and balmy and beautiful...and the perfect setting for her characters, Emilia and Logan.

I thought too that the setting of California was like a character in that it was part of the essence of their lives if that makes any sense. The descriptions and the ocean and the surfing all painted a picture of who these people are, and it made me also hope for a West Coast vacay in the near future...I love it there! 

This story begins at the beginning of Emilia and Logan's senior year in college. They meet when she interviews him for a college TV broadcast and BANG! this romance starts. Emilia is beautiful, and studious, and haunted by her past. She's also notorious for being a hardcore student and her best friend Bryn is using this year to draw her out and get her to have some fun. Bryn does get her out of her self-imposed shell and out to have some fun, but she was a hard girl to like...in the beginning. I will say that she grew on me as things went on and she got more wrapped up in her own relationship and stopped mother-henning Emilia to death so that was so nice! 

Logan is heir to a fortune, a professed hedonist, and surprisingly kind and studious as well. After his first meeting with Emilia he in hot pursuit of her time and attention. When she isn't as eager to return his attention, he uses his power of persuasion and clever wit to get her to give him a chance. 

As the semester progresses, so does their romance. Neither of them are familiar with the idea of dating and so they have a few hiccups along the way-- a little jealousy, issues with trust, and Emilia often withholds her thoughts in favor of silently over-analyzing or jumping to conclusions. These problems aside, they agree to take their relationship slowly and it is apparent that they are falling in love. He is very tender, patient, and sweet with her and she is very supportive and encouraging of him. Of course we'd be fools to think that all of this lovey dovey sweetness would remain, right? 

Logan made this book for me. We really don't know a lot about him aside from when he is with Emilia because we are always in her point of view, but it is apparent that he has a lot of internal conflict going on in his poor tortured soul. When I would have a lot of trouble with the dialogue with Emilia and Bryn, a scene with Logan would come up and he would be sweet and encouraging with Emilia and would get me back on track. He really has to struggle to keep this girl from falling through his fingertips because she is genuinely bound and determined to punish him for how he used to be. He really doesn't give her any indication that he isn't fully invested so I needed her to chill out! 

As I neared the last 10% and things were going fairly smoothly, I just KNEW two things: 1) something bad was going to happen and 2) we'd be left standing on the cliff waiting for our next book. My predictions were correct. GAH!!!!! Just when I was holding out hope that I was going to get my happily ever after...NOOOO! I haven't seen a release date for book 2 but I know I'm very interested in seeing how these two are going to work this out (please tell me they work it out!)

The end! Definite shocker there...and it made me sad....and mad....and just WHY! I was Team Logan the entire way and he has to screw it all up!!! Gah! 

There were a few issues for me, mostly with the dialogue, but it was a really sweet story. The quotes from whatever literature she happened to be studying at the time were amazing and made Logan all the more likeable. The Surf shop owners who are practically Emilia's surrogate parents away from home were a great addition to the story as well. The secondary characters were mostly enjoyable, aside from Sebastian. I wish we could have gotten a little bit more about why Logan and Sebastian were the way they were and why Sebastian disliked Emilia so dang much!!! Frustrating boys!!! 


Find the tour here


About the Author:

DIANE MANNINO graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English Literature. She is a former writer for Museum and Arts Washington and Star Magazine as well as several television shows, including, Inside Edition, American Journal, and E! News Daily. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two beautiful daughters. Running from Romeo is her first novel and she is currently working on the sequel.





Tour Giveaway: