Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review: Off the Ice by Julie Cross


Off the Ice


Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled: TEEN
Series: Juniper Falls #1
Pages: Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: February 28th 2017



Summary:

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.




Review:

Off the Ice has been on my TBR since I heard the about it. I planned on reading it as soon as it was released last February.
In fact, if you would have asked me last week, I would have told you, I am pretty sure I read it. Yet somehow I didn't. Don't ask me why. But let me tell you, if you interested, go read it. It's well worth your time.

There isn't much that I didn't like about Off the Ice, except that the first quarter was bit slow? It's a bit long wound at times.
In the end, however, it doesn't really matter.

This is well written, with insight and subtlety. The writing style is beautiful. There are loads of descriptions that touched me. I love the hockey scenes.
The storyline is sweet, to say the least. But it is full of depth, there are some real issues tackled during the novel, while the love story is swoony, it feels tangible and very realistic. I think I like that best.
Actually, I love the character building even more.

It's done immaculately. I mean there are characters that are mostly negative. But all in all each and every character has depth, different sides and I feel like I gotten to know the entire group of friends. And while we talking about the group? I hope there will be a book about all of the guys?
The two MCs are strong, stubborn and work through some heavy stuff. They are both likable and loyal. Both unique, but can I just say Tate.. swoooon. The sketch? Just one of the things I adore about him.

A wonderful start to the series. Must read for lovers of the genre.

Rating: 



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Review: The Rogue Is Back in Town by Anna Bennett


The Rogue Is Back in Town


Author: Anna Bennett
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Series: English
SeriesThe Wayward Wallflowers #3
Pages: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: January 2nd 2018



Summary:

Hide your daughters and your maiden aunts…Lord Samuel Travis is back.
―The London Hearsay, special society edition

Equal parts scoundrel and seducer, he’s returned to London determined to mend the rift with his older brother. All Sam must do is take possession of a tumbledown town house. A seemingly simple task, except the house is occupied—by an infuriating, whip-smart beauty who refuses to do his bidding.

Miss Juliette Lacey’s wallflower days are over. She has a plan to turn her eccentric family into the toast of the ton—but the devilishly handsome rake trying to oust them from their home thwarts her at every turn. How can one man be so vexing and make her simmer with desire?

As her attraction to Sam deepens, Julie’s problems grow—she may have, once upon a time, secretly shared a kiss with his honorable older brother. Suddenly, Julie’s caught between a rogue and a marquess, between passion and respectability. Torn between two brothers, what’s a girl to do?




Review:

I am a bit sad, that this didn't work for me.
Look this is okay. It's not terrible or horrible or anything. It's just kinda too fluffy for me.
I honestly didn't expect anything else. It's in line with the series.
So I am not sure if it is just me. You know, after reading two romances with some heavy subjects, maybe I wasn't in the frame of mind for a lighthearted historical romp?
But then there is also the fact that I couldn't connect to either MC. I didn't get their chemistry or attraction for most of the book. I found some of the drama a bit annoying but mostly very predictable.
This though it is quite well put together, not badly written and all, just didn't gel with me.
Might be a case of me not feeling it right now or maybe ever.
I think, if you looking for a light-hearted historical romance and don't mind a wee bit of cliche, give it a go.

Rating: 



Monday, January 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross



Breaking the Ice


Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Series: Juniper Falls #2
Pages: Paperback, 300 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: December 26th 2017



Summary:
The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.
Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.
Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.
But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.






About the Autor:

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, Chasing Truth, Off the Ice and many more to come! Julie Cross was a longtime resident of central Illinois but has recently moved her entire family across the country to continue her academic studies at Stanford University.









Review:

Breaking the Ice is another wonderful installment of the Juniper Falls Series.
Let's just say this. I am obsessed with this series. Seriously. obsessed.

However, for some odd reason, I ended up liking it a little less than Off the Ice.
I mean don't get me wrong this is good. It's really good. But I was left with a few questions and the end kinda felt a bit rushed. (a tiny bit)
I found that I didn't have enough closure after this one. Not sure if that means we will get more in the next one, but since these could work as standalone books I think probably not.
Oh! And then there is the big question if there are more books. Please tell me there are? And while we are at it, will we get a Jamie book? And what about Mike? Will we ever hear his story? Jack? Last but not least, Cole?
You might see a pattern here, yep I love the hockey boys. They are really rather a wonderful (not to forget handsome) bunch after all.
Just like in the previous one, I love the camaraderie between them. It was even more highlighted by Jamie "adopting" Fletcher.
The character building is really flawless. I mean, we get to revisit the crew. And they are just as awesome as before. But we get to see them from a different POV, which adds to each personality.
Then we got Fletch and his crowd. I totally love the man cave. Their supportive, manly way is very endearing.

The writing style is on point. I mean Cross can write chemistry. By the way, while the last installment had some quite explicit smut, this doesn't. And I have to say, I was kinda disappointed. LOL.
Yeah, right. I did just say that. I wanted more smut. Take a picture and frame it. We all know I might never say that again. But in Off The Ice Cross did such an amazing job at the love scenes, I kinda expected some in here as well. There aren't really any. Well, there are steamy scenes, just no smut. *pouts*
Moving on.

The storyline is fun, cute and kinda different.
However, there are also my issues. There are several things that we don't get answers for. While I had the same suspicions about Haley as Fletch. I am a bit baffled, that none of the teaching and counseling staff asked for an expert to see her. It seems a bit, unprofessional.
Then we never get the story about Fletch's mother. I wanted to know.
The end, was kinda open when it comes to the hockey thing. I would have liked more closure.
I am knit-picking people. I need to re-iterate this.
It's a really good series, a really good installment. I adore this book. But because of it, I am also way more involved that I would have been in a book I kinda just liked.

So basically. This is so swoony and awesome 4stars.
I want more! I have a whole list of books and stories I would like to be written by Cross. Starting with Jamie... ending with Mike.
And then there is the biggest question, will there be another installment and when?

My advice: go read this ASAP. It's awesome sauce.
I'll just wait over here obsessing over it some more.


Rating: 



Excerpt:

“I’ll give you two choices…one, you can tell me the truth about that little job of yours and I’ll leave you
alone with your hangover. Or two, you can clean yourself up and get your head together and do some
work with me, and I’ll forget about the panties and the money and the lipstick…”
I doubt she’ll forget anything, but I have to hold out hope at least. I glance warily at her. “Option
two. Definitely two.”
The smirk on Haley’s face is gonna be forever etched into my memory. She knew I’d pick option
two.



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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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