Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blog Tour: The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison








The Sweetheart Sham

Author: Danielle Ellison
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Series: Southern Charmed #1
Pages: Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 211 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: December 4th, 2017



Summary:

In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship...and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,”a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.





Review:

I loved this so much!
The Sweetheart Sham is a beautiful coming of age story about love, faith, and courage.
It's a story about moving on from past mistakes and accepting the people we love most. A story about a small southern town with all its charm and quirkiness.
Simply beautiful and heartwarming.

I am in love with the book. But actually, no that's not right. I am in love with the characters.
If we look at the storyline, it's nice. It was wonderful to read. But not something super exciting. It's paced just right, there were no big surprises. It doesn't need that, however. It was a love story alright. But the story isn't just about the love between Georgie and Beau. But it's about all kinds of different love. So the relationship dramas, while I liked the swoony parts a lot, it was secondary.

The writing style is simply on point. It's a bit soppy at times- (hello I am still me cold-hearted as ever! lol) - but just the right amount of it. It is an ode to having faith in love.
As Beau puts it:
"Something I'm learning is that love requires faith"
In a nutshell, that is what the book is about. A group of friends learning to have faith in each other and their family. Plus the super hot basketball player to swoon over

This thrives on the character-building. I want more of Culler and it's residents. soon, please? I have no idea where Ellison is going next with the series. I have some ideas.. but well, I don't even care. I just would like more of Culler.
The whole book is written from Beau and Georgie's POV, there are also back flashes thrown in. And it took the last interlude of the past to actually get why Georgie acted the way she did through half of the book. I kept thinking, she is so self-involved. And she was that and drama queen at times as well. But then who isn't at that age? In the beginning, I wasn't a huge fan of her. But she grew quickly on me. She is very loyal and honest. A strong female lead, learning to find balance and to see others situation. I love her relationship with Layla. By the way can we please get a book with Layla? She is such an interesting character (I would love to see her with Jack for some reason lol)
Beau is swoony. Like seriously. All broody, yet super sweet. He is so honest, so set to do the right thing. I could totally relate to his fears, his hurt and his insecurities. But he isn't just hot and all that. The best part is how he changes in this book, how he accepts that sometimes people make mistakes. It was heartbreaking and moving to see the change in his relationship with his dad.
The relationship between Will and Georgie is priceless. I love the trio and their bond. In fact, I liked the whole gang. I like the easy camaraderie, but more than that, their teasing and yet their support for each other.
Then there are the families... well I could go on. Let me just say, the character building is brilliant. Ellison brought interesting and intricate characters to life with her writing. I feel like I got to know Culler, it's quirky history and surroundings, but most of all its residents. And I want more!

So definitely a must read.
And when is the next book coming out?
4.5 I want so much more of this stars


Rating: 




Excerpt:

“Beau Montgomery, what on earth!” someone, I think it’s Will’s mom, says with a squeal. I can’t single it out because my heart seems to stop beating.
Everyone scoots toward the patio entrance and gathers around. Will drops my hand to move closer.

And then I see him.

He’s standing behind Mrs. M next to his dad, a big smile on his face, and he’s tall. Real tall. His dark hair is longer and nearly falling into his hazel eyes, definitely a length that Orry won’t like much. His jaw is strong, some muscles pressing under his polo. He looks nothing like the boy I remember.

And suddenly I’m a little self-conscious. What am I wearing today? I can’t even remember. I could look down but that would mean looking away from him, and thenmaybe when I look back he won’t be there. I don’t know if he even sees me, but I see him. Clearly. After more than twoyears of nothing.

“Beau, is that you, boy?” Orry calls. Beau steps around the rest of the family toward his grandpa. He’s closer now, and I can get a better look at his face. My eyes explore his features and rest on his lips, which break out into a small smile and—Dang, is it hot out here?

“Hello, Granddad.” Orry pulls him into a hug and Beau has to lean over to reach him properly. Orry looks like a kid in his arms.

Cheese and rice, even his voice is sexy. Deeper but still with a familiar feeling that it stirs up in me, and an accent with a hint of Georgia twang instead of South Carolina
cadence.
I like it. Lord help me, I like it.

Orry holds him out at arm’s length and examines him before giving him a pat on the shoulder. “You look more like your daddy than I expected. How tall are you?”

“Six one, sir,” Beau says.

“You look good, grandson, real good. Atlanta treating you well?”

“Yes, sir, it is.”

I want to move, but I can’t. My feet are stuck to the ground, not that I should move anyway. I don’t reckon I trust myself around him. Especially not right now when I’m not sure if I want to hug him or kick him somewhere that would hurt. I’d do a good job of it too and make darn sure my kick was as painful as him not showing up that night.

“When’s your momma coming?” Mrs. M asks him.

“Not until closer to the wedding,” he says.

I watch as Will hugs him. They’re both smiling, and it reminds me of before when he was here. They were inseparable—we were—and now I’m just standing here like an idiot. Which I am. Will looks in my direction, and then Beau’s eyes are on me, too. It’s even worse when he’s looking at me, especially now with a hidden glimmer in them. It’s not how he said hello to the others; it’s almost like his eyes hadn’t seen me before, and now he’s hyperaware. Just like I’ve been since his dad yelled his name.


He takes a step toward me.



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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Blog Tour: Heartbreak Cure by Amanda Ashby





The Heartbreak Cure


Author:  Amanda Ashby
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Pages: Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: December 4th 2017



Summary:

How to get over a heartbreak:

Step one: Eat your body weight in brownies.

Step two: Throw yourself into your dreams of becoming a famous writer.

Step three: Beg your (hottie) ex-neighbor to act as your fake boyfriend.

Step four: Skip step three unless you’re ready for some serious fallout.

After being dumped and humiliated over the summer, Cat Turner does what any sane girl would do. She asks bad boy Alex Locke to be her fake boyfriend and show the world (and her editor at the school newspaper) that she's fine. Problem is, the more time she spends with Alex, the more she risks getting her heart broken. For real this time.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a swoony bad boy who will melt your heart, brownies, and witty banter. One, two, or all three might prove addictive...






About the Author:

Amanda Ashby was born in Australia but now lives in New Zealand where she writes romance, young adult and middle grade books. She also works in a library, owns far too many vintage tablecloths and likes to delight her family by constantly rearranging the furniture. She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award, and her first young adult book was listed by the New York Public Library╩╝s Stuff for the Teen Age.  Because she’s mysterious she also writes middle grade books under the name, Catherine Holt and hopes that all this writing won’t interfere with her Netflix schedule.






Review:

The Heartbreak Cure started off with what looked your classic bestie to pretend lovers to the real thing storyline. Your classic cute and fluffy it seemed.
I was quite content with that. If you would have asked me around halfway in, what I thought, I would have told you very swoony cute & fluffy, very predictable and really enjoyable.
And then it took a turn. So suddenly this is more than a cute & fluffy. And I still love it.
But while The Heartbreak Cure did somehow manage to breach the cliff from cute & fluffy and thoughtful & heartbreaking, it seems like it can't decide what it is. Funny that I should fault that, but somehow, it felt unfulfilled.
Well, not the storyline mind you, it's cute, at times predictable and yet very enjoyable.
But the actual novel, the feel of it. I mean I liked the fluff for the first 70something percent and I liked the fluff ending as well. I really enjoyed the more serious parts. I loved how Alex and Cat, both come to the conclusion that not all is what it seems. I like that they are both somewhat mopey teens with a strong backbone. But somehow the fluff ending didn't make me feel all swoony because my heart was just dragged through the trenches and the issues Ashby highlighted weren't so simple to let go of. It was too sweet in the end, too fluffy. Somehow I feel there could have been more here. I was given a hint of more and then it was just brushed away.

The writing style is my least favorite part of the novel. It's okay, but at times it felt a bit wooden. Some phrases are just a bit too much of the usual usual. I am being very critical here, as always when it comes to writing style. While the style might not have been my favorite, it didn't detract from how much I liked the book.. clearly.

The character building, on the other hand, was my favorite. I adore Alex. Cat in all her sometimes drama queen teen glory is super sweet. I could relate to her and identify with her. The two MC's feel real, their fears and worries realistic. I could relate and I feel like I know them, more importantly, I felt with them. Their chemistry is tangible. Very cute couple indeed.
The support cast was interesting as well. Some of the characters were are first glance a bit of the usual typecast, but as we get to know them they do get more unique. I like that Ashby took a set of given ideas and characters and made them her own.

Very enjoyable, at times surprising and very sweet cute & fluffy with a pinch of depth thrown in for good measure. A must-read for lovers of the genre.


Rating: 





Excerpt:


“Please don’t tell my mom that one. She doesn’t need any more bad puns to put on her cards,” Cat said as Alex’s cell phone buzzed. He read the text message before looking up.
“You could tell her yourself—or not tell her, as the case might be. She wants you to call her.”
“What?” Cat said in surprise before dragging out her own phone and staring at the dead screen. She’d obviously played one too many games on it during math. “How did she even get your number?”
He shrugged. “I guess Joe gave it to her.”
“Oh.” It seemed Cat wasn’t the only forgetting Alex wasn’t her real boyfriend.
The darkening afternoon sky was a spectrum of blues as he held up his cell. “You can use mine.”
“Thanks.” She took the handset. The screen was cracked, and there was a fine coat of grease on the keys. She grinned at his screen saver, which was of Snoopy dressed up as the Red Baron. “Frozen and now Snoopy? I always knew you had a marshmallow heart.”
“Yeah. I’m a total softie,” his voice was light, but his knuckles whitened. Cat winced. Franklin had tarred and feathered him with the same brush they’d used for his parents. The worst thing was he seemed to believe it, too. Frustration gnawed at her chest.
How I am the only one who can see how amazing he really is?
Her mom answered on the second ring and explained she’d been held up in a sales meeting and it was going to run for another two hours, which meant she couldn’t pick Cat from school.
“It’s fine. I’ll hitch a ride with Nikki,” Cat said, promising to charge up her cell phone, eat some vegetables with her dinner, and on no account throw a house party.
“You’ll never guess what just happened.” Nikki came running outside, her eyes glowing and her cheeks bright.
“Mackenzie fell into a vat of glitter?” Cat suggested. “Or glue?” Alex added.
“Wrong. Parker just asked me if I wanted to grab a burger with him. Well, he said you guys could come, but I told him you were busy. Right. Right?” Nikki narrowed her gaze so there could be no misunderstandings.
“Right,” she agreed with a smile before recalling her transport predicament. “Go, have fun, and don’t tell him about the time you beat your brothers up. It will only scare him.”
“Duh.” Nikki grinned and went racing over to Parker, who was nervously chewing his lip.
“I can give you a lift,” Alex said once they were alone.
“Are you sure? I feel like every day I impose on you more,” she said, achingly aware of how close they were standing.
“What kind of fake boyfriend would leave his girl stranded?” He shrugged.
His girl.
His. Girl.

She tested out the words like a new flavor. Her body trembled in response and she nodded. “Okay, great.”




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Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt


Once Upon a Christmas Eve


Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher: Forever Yours
Series: Maiden Lane #12.6
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: December 5th 2017



Summary:

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap




Review:

A nice little novella that fits well into the series. It does also work as a standalone, though I personally probably enjoyed this more because I read the series.
It's the perfect cute and fluffy to get some historical holiday cheer with some smut. It's rather short, too short for my taste. Which while we at it is my biggest issue with this.
I liked this a lot. But then it was over.
Way too fast.
Literally just got into the characters, queue smut scene and boom! HEA.
I was left wanting more. Lots more.
What we got, however, is a lovely little novella featuring Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, who made an appearance in the series before this, getting his HEA.
I am not complaining about what's there rather what is not there.
While there is some interesting character building, which is a feat considering how short this is, the plot feels rushed, especially at the end.
The moment when Adam has his epiphany (which could have been a bit stalkerish creepy as well btw) was a bit... well... too sudden.
So loved the storyline, but it was too rushed. Enjoyed the characters, but was left wanting more.
Cute little novella, which leaves me hoping that Hoyt is going to write another novel for the series.


Rating: 



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review: The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody


The Chaos of Standing Still


Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: by Simon Pulse
Pages: Hardcover, 320 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: November 28th 2017



Summary:

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way




Review:

The Chaos of Standing Still is definitely interesting and worth giving a go.

I like Brody's writing style. I like the fact, that she does tackle some interesting subjects. The Chaos of Standing Still she explores survivors guilt.
There is much more going on, however. It is a fun little adventure set on an airport, during a snow blizzard. I have never been to Denver, but I have spent plenty of hours on airports and Brody gets the moods and the feeling just right. Her snarky, witty and fun outlook on the world resonates with me.

I really like the idea of this. A lot. I love all the little side themes, the adventures and little weird anecdotes (like passenger lotto) In the beginning I liked the back flashes as well, but as the book progressed they felt disruptive. There were simply too many of them for me.

The character building is done well. I feel like I got to know Ryn, Xander and Lottie fairly well. Really liked Xander. He is sweet and fun. My favorite in the bunch. Lottie, let me just say this, is a right out b*tch. I couldn't understand why Ryn was friends with her? Their relationship sounded toxic to me. Lottie is beyond self-involved and manipulative. I just didn't get their connection. However, I have seen friendships like that and know that they are possible. So while I don't approve, it doesn't negate the way Ryn feels.
Ryn had me divided. Because at first, I adored her. She is all negative snark and obsessions, so can relate. But then I found her more and more annoying. She was throwing this huge continuous tantrum refusing to even listen to someone else's story. I didn't like how she dealt with Xander, when he talked about his issues with his parents, for example. I mean, I get she doesn't feel understood by her parents, that she feels lost and that she doesn't really want to deal with the past, hence resents her therapist first and foremost. But her passive aggressive behavior has no bounds and I at least wanted some kind of sympathy towards Xander.

So while I love the context and the storyline, I didn't like some of the styles the story was told in. And though I do think the character building, I was not a fan of most of the characters. Both of these things diminished my liking- ergo the rating of the book. While I think the idea is fabulous, the execution is only good. So 3 I-wish-it-was-more Stars from me.

Rating: 



Monday, November 27, 2017

ARC Review: It's Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale



It's Hard Out Here for a Duke


Author: Maya Rodale
Publisher: Avon
Series: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #4
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: November 28th 2017



Summary:

In the fourth novel of Maya Rodale’s tantalizing series, a newly minted duke spends one night with his perfect woman...but can he win her for a lifetime

Some Mistakes…

When American-born James Cavendish arrives in London tomorrow, he’ll become the Duke of Durham. Some might be ecstatic at the opportunity. Not James. He’s a simple man, fond of simple pleasures. And right now, nothing could be more pleasurable than spending his last night of freedom with a beautiful stranger.

Are Far Too Good…

One wild night, Meredith Green, companion to the dowager Duchess of Durham, said yes to a man she thought she’d never see again. Suddenly, they’re living under the same roof, where Meredith is expected to teach James how to be a duke—while trying not to surrender to temptation a second time.

To Be Forgotten

For a duke and a commoner, marriage would be pure scandal. Yet nothing has ever felt as right as having Meredith in his arms…and in his bed. Soon he must choose—between a duty he never desired, and a woman he longs for, body and soul…



Review:

Sooooo, I kinda wish I liked this better. Because this is well written.
I liked Rodale's writing style, a lot. It's Hard out here for a Duke has her hallmark wit, some cute banter and yet, it lacked something.
The plot was a bit slow for me. The romance had too much hot and cold going on as well.
I considered to DNF several times. But then I kept hoping that it will get better.
And it did, a little.

The thing is I was totally underwhelmed by the MCs. I found James okay, mostly. He was a bit whiny in the beginning. Meredith was exasperating, pushing him away, then reeling him back in... But the thing is I didn't get their chemistry. I mean I liked James growing feelings, except I kinda didn't get why or when he got them. It made not much sense to me because I didn't feel their chemistry at all.
And there lies my problem with this book. It misses the spark, at least for me.

However, I also have to say, that this could easily be chalked down to an its-me-not-the-book case and lovers of the author and the genre should give this a try.

Rating: 


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