A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers {Review + Giveaway}

A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers {Review + Giveaway}

A Little Too Hot by Lisa Desrochers {Review + Giveaway}Title: A Little Too Hot
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #3
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse on January 21st 2014
Format: eARC, 284 pages
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
5 Stars
The sum up

Steamy, sexy and romantic, this novel has everything I’m looking for in a New Adult romance.

Summary

If you play with fire…

Tossed out of college and cut off by her parents, Samantha West is in pretty dire straits. So when her rocker best friend hooks her up with a job dancing at a gentlemen’s club, who is she to turn it down? Plus, there are rules to dancing at Benny’s: No touching, keep your clothes on at all times, and never get closer than three feet. Unfortunately for Sam, her first private client makes her want to break every single one of them.

Harrison Yates is scorching hot, but he’s got a past that involves being left at the altar not too long ago. Sam is determined to make him forget about his ex, but when she makes her move, it flings her life into a spiral of chaos she never saw coming.

Because Harrison Yates isn’t who he seems to be. And his secret will probably get her killed.

My thoughts

Sam is having a shitty month. She got kicked out of school for skipping classes, her mother kicked her out of the house and she’s no longer welcome at the friend’s house she was staying at. She turns to ex-lover and close friend Jonathan, who lets her crash on his couch and gets her a job as an exotic dancer at a club.

I can’t say a lot about this book without revealing any spoilers, so this will probably be a short review, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

I loved this book even more than the first one in the series (which I absolutely adored). The characters were wonderful and full of quirks and subtle little personality traits that made them feel real. Sam was bull-headed but also a little broken. She felt like she had almost nobody left she could trust, but she was grateful for Jonathan. She wasn’t crazy about becoming a dancer, but she knew she needed a job to get off of his couch.

I was drawn to the characters and wanted to know what their next step would be, how they would face the consequences of their actions, how they would handle each setback.

Speaking of Jonathan, I loved him to pieces. He was a total horndog, making out with everyone he could, while trying to stay faithful to his girlfriend. He was honest and sweet and you could tell he really cared about the people in his life. Harrison was definitely hiding a lot from Sam, but he was a decent guy who cared. He made mistakes, but he owned them.

The plot was predictable; I knew everything that was coming and wasn’t surprised once. But, the characters and the writing more than made up for that. I read this in one day, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I was drawn to the characters and wanted to know what their next step would be, how they would face the consequences of their actions, how they would handle each setback. And for the love of pete, I needed to keep reading so I would know when they finally did the deed! It took FOREVER. Talk about sexual tension. This book was full of it.

The sexy times were graphic, but not nearly as explicit as other books I’ve read recently. It was actually kind of a nice relief. There’s only so many times I can read different words for genitalia without rolling my eyes.

This book is part of a series, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. The characters from the previous books made an appearance, and we learned how they’re doing. It was nice to get a little update from the previous couples. Of the three books in this series, this one is my favorite, and I highly recommend it. I hope Lisa Desrochers comes out with more New Adult books soon, because she’s been added to my auto-buy author list.

About the author


Lisa Desrochers is the USA Today bestselling author of A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins, and companions, A LITTLE TOO MUCH (Nov 12, 2013), and A LITTLE TOO HOT (Jan 21, 2014). Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

She lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi {Review}

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi {Review}Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Series: Under the Never Sky #1
Publisher: HarperAudio on January 3, 2012
Format: Audiobook, 9 hrs and 39 mins
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

My thoughts

Sometime in the future, everyone lives in completely enclosed spaces called pods where everyone looks basically the same and dresses exactly alike. Everything is done by computer, including socializing. The air outside is toxic and the pods protect them from not only the aether storms, but the diseased savages who scrape by living off the land. Aria is perfectly content until the communication link with her mother, who is in a separate pod miles away, goes down. In her effort to find out what happened to her mother, and why the link isn’t getting fixed, she ends up alone outside the safety of her pod. There she meets Perry, an outsider, who agrees to help her find her mother in exchange for her help in finding someone he’s lost.

I know I’m the last one to the party here and I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book, but I am so glad I finally did! I think I was a bit scared of the hype and I’ll be honest, it didn’t sound like it would be all that interesting. Luckily I was wrong.

The world-building here is phenomenal.
Veronica Rossi has created a whole new world set in Earth’s future, where people are separated by giant pods. The people in the pods are instantly cured of any illness, never want for anything and spend almost all of their time in the virtual world where they can travel anywhere, look any way and feel anything. Anything. The story spent more time outside the pod than inside, but we still had a chance to get to know “both sides of the pods” pretty equally. There was just incredible detail and description throughout the book. I could picture every scene, every building and cave and character.

The world building is incredible here.Speaking of characters, I wasn’t too fond of Aria in the beginning. She was entitled, as I guess everyone in the pods was, but she was childish and so naïve. Mostly in the beginning, before she ended up outside, I knew what was going to happen and almost thought she was kind of stupid for not figuring it out. She needed to be rescued from herself more than once. But, as she spent more and more time outside with Perry, she became more mature and stronger, and I started to like her more. Perry was grumpy and tough and didn’t give Aria any slack. He really grew on me, too. I also liked the other characters, including Roar and Liv, who have their own novella in the series.

An unexpected aspect of the story was the powers that some of the characters had. Basically, one of their senses was super hyped up. Perry had the ability to taste people’s emotions, which made for an interesting character quirk. It also made it harder for people (including Aria) to hide their feelings from him.

I admit, the narrator didn’t appeal to me at first, but that’s another thing that grew on me. Bernadette Dunne Flagler’s voice was very gravelly, and bordered a bit on annoying when she tried to lower her voice even more for the male speaking parts. Luckily, by the 4th or 5th chapter, the story was enough to make me forget about the voice I didn’t much care for. I was pleasantly glad to see she is not the narrator of book 2 (which I have already purchased!).

The sum up

A fun and creative take on the dystopian genre.

About the author

Veronica Rossi is the author of post-apocalyptic fiction for young adults. Her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, is the first in a trilogy. Released in January 2012, it was deemed one of the Best Books of Year by School Library Journal. The second book in the trilogy, THROUGH THE EVER NIGHT, debuted in January on the NY Times and USA Today Best Seller Lists. The final book in the series, INTO THE STILL BLUE, is expected to release January 2014.

Foreign rights to the UNDER THE NEVER SKY trilogy have sold in over twenty-five territories to date and film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros.

She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons. When not writing, she enjoys reading, painting, and counting down the minutes until she can get back to making up stories about imaginary people.

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The Program by Suzanne Young {Review}

The Program by Suzanne Young {Review}Title: The Program
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Simon Pulse on April 30th 2013
Format: eARC, 408 pages pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars

Summary

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

My thoughts

Sloane lives sometime in the near future when science has declared teen suicide an epidemic. Luckily, science has found a cure – The Program. Kids who show signs of depression can be forcibly admitted into The Program. Once the kids come out, they’re happy and without care. But they also can’t remember things from their past, even their friends. Sloane, who has already lost her brother to suicide, spends all her time with her boyfriend James, who was her brother’s best friend. The two of them are just trying to stay “happy” until they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for The Program.

Sloane was an amazingly strong female lead character. She knew she had to remain stoic, but it was hard for her; not only was she still upset from her brother’s suicide, she was scared of being taken away. She had James to lean on, but only in private, when nobody else was around. He was also strong; not only was he carrying guilt for not having saved his best friend, but he had made it his personal mission to take care of Sloane and their small circle of friends. That’s a lot of weight on such young shoulders.

There were other characters: friends, classmates, doctors and her parents, who added their own thing to the book. There were a few special ones whom I can’t call out specifically for fear of spoilers, but I will say I enjoyed them all (except for the really bad guy). There were some sexy times, but it was not at all graphic. Boo.

The story was incredibly suspenseful. The tension was just amped up over and over until I didn’t think I could take it anymore. The kids were afraid to show any emotion at all, and you know keeping it inside wasn’t any good for them at all. They couldn’t have a bad day or get in a simple argument without fear. Every time they saw a handler from The Program, they were scared to death that they were next. And since they knew what would happen, some felt suicide was the better option.

Several times, I found myself holding my breath, wondering if it was the end of Sloane, or someone else we’d gotten to know.
Several times, I found myself holding my breath, wondering if it was the end of Sloane, or someone else we’d gotten to know. The people from The Program were always lurking around the school, waiting for someone to look sad so they could scoop them away and erase their memories. And there’s no running away, The Program would just track them down and drag them back. It’s no surprise that some chose suicide as their only option.

In the beginning, I wondered why parents would voluntarily send their kids away to a place like that, I just knew that Sloane’s parents were going to be there for her and let her be unhappy, at least in the home. But no, they were pro-Program. And after a while, I could almost see it. If you had already lost 1 child to suicide, wouldn’t you do basically anything to keep from losing the other one, even if it made them unhappy?

I just went from reviewing the book to discussing the ethics of The Program, so let me get back to the former.

I can’t imagine how it would feel to be in the situation these kids were in, but thanks to Suzanne Young, I absolutely felt the terror and fear Sloane, James and their friends did. Young created a not-too-distant place where a government-mandated non-voluntary treatment for suicide prevention was totally believable. I was caught up in the story and lost myself in it many times. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the sign of an excellent writer.

I was left with a few unanswered questions, and though I think this was originally going to be a standalone, I was very pleased to find out that a sequel is due next year.

The sum up

Believably realistic and surprisingly romantic, this is an excellent entry in the dystopian genre. I can’t wait to see what happens in the follow up.

About the author


Originally from New York, Suzanne Young moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She currently resides in Tempe, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration.

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Endless by Jessica Shirvington {Review}

Endless by Jessica Shirvington {Review}Title: Endless
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #4
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire on October 1st 2013
Format: eARC, 480 pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars
Summary

LOVE WILL KILL US ALL

Violet Eden thought she was getting things under control. Then all hell breaks loose—literally. In the war between angels and exiles, she’s about to face the biggest baddie of all time. Except she’s not nearly ready.

The dark exile Phoenix is still messing with her head—not to mention her heart. And her undeniable attraction to Lincoln has gotten downright dangerous. When Hell unleashes its worst, Violet must embrace every facet of her angel self to save the people she cares about and the world as she knows it. But death is not the worst thing she will face…

My thoughts * Beware of spoilers for the previous books *

Endless picks up shortly after the conclusion of Emblaze, with Violet’s mother back from the dead, her dad unconscious (from a punch to the face by her mother!) and Lincoln having finally admitted he cares for her. Of course, it’s not all chocolate and roses now. The bad guys have just resurrected the baddest of them all for an as-yet-unknown evil plan, Phoenix still has a mental hold over Violet and The Academy has taken a strong interest in Violet and her fellow Grigori.

I really loved all the characters in this book. Violet was even stronger this go-round. Not only could she kick ass and take names, but she could handle disappointments and just generally rise above the petty stuff that would have upset her in the past. Lincoln was finally over the whole secretive crap and totally upfront about his feelings, which was a nice change of pace. We learned a lot more about Phoenix and got to see his personality, emotions and the reasons behind his behaviors. And dare I say, I actually felt sorry for him by the time all was said and done.

We got to know Violet’s dad and mom, plus witness their interactions with each other. (Remember, until now, he thought she was dead.) Unfortunately, they didn’t have a lot of time to get to rehash the past and do some explaining; a Grigori’s work is never done. Violet’s bestie, Steph, was back and again playing a part in the story. Onyx was still there, causing trouble wherever he could, and Dapper, trying hard to avoid it. There were a lot of new characters involved, especially as Violet and the gang spent an extended period of time in the Grigori Academy. Speaking of the Academy, Violet took some classes about the history of the Grigori, but sadly we weren’t privy to what she learned. I would have liked to know more.

Violet and Lincoln had amazing chemistry, made all the more poignant by the fact that they were soul mates who couldn’t be together. If they were to truly be together (i.e. get it on), it would have joined their souls forever. Then, if one were to die, the other’s soul would literally shatter. So in order to protect the other, they both agreed to hold off on the sexy times. You can imagine all the lip biting sexual tension that might ensue.

The dialogue was just as ironic as the previous books. Violet had a tendency to get a little snarky when the mood struck her. And Lincoln was getting better at responding in kind. Phoenix still liked to say exactly what he knew would rile someone up. All of it added up to highly entertaining conversations.

Jessica Shirvington creates wonderful fantasy worlds that exist within our own world. The mythology, language, even the buildings people visit, were vividly described and I could picture it all. The fights were exciting, the sexy times were very sexy (though not too graphic), the sarcasm was funny and the sad parts made me tear up.

The end of the book finished with not quite a cliffhnager, but not quite a resolution. Somewhere in between. I am anxious to pick up the final book [DON'T click that link unless you've already read books 1-4.] and see how everything shakes out.

The sum up

This is my favorite book of the series and I don’t see how the final one can top it. But I’ll be first in line to find out!

About the author

Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES, and stand alone novel, BETWEEN THE LIVES. An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for FOXTEL and Sky News. Married for twelve years with two beautiful daughters, Sienna and Winter, Jessica knows her early age romance and its longevity has definitely contributed to how she tackles relationships in her YA novels.

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The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay {Review + Giveaway}

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay {Review + Giveaway}Title: The Sea of Tranquility
Author: Katja Millay
Publisher: Atria Books on June 4th, 2013
Format: Paperback, 448 pages
Source: Purchased
5 Stars
Summary

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

My thoughts

You guys. You guys. This book. I just… I don’t think I have the words to express how much I loved it. Nothing I can say could possibly convey the amazingness that is this book. And the feels. My god, the feels!

Nastya is the new girl at school, and everyone wants to know all about her. But nobody knows a thing because not only does she dress like a prostitute, she doesn’t speak. Ever. What they don’t know is that something traumatic happened to her a few years ago, and her silence and provocative dress are her way of dealing with things and taking control of her life. On the other hand, everyone knows everything about Josh. Everyone in his family has died, one by one, until he’s all alone. Between those who are afraid his “bad luck” will be contagious, and those who just don’t know what to say to him, he has no friends, except for Drew, the slutty but honest guy he’s known forever.

From the very first chapter, I was completely invested in what was going on in these characters’ lives.

The point of view switched between Nastya and Josh, which I loved. We learned what happened to Nastya before Josh did, and I enjoyed seeing things from his point of view, as he struggled to understand what made her tick. I also liked seeing her point of view, as she let herself relax around him, and learned to face her past.

I really liked Drew, Josh’s friend, who also became Nastya’s friend. He was a manwhore, but he never lied about it to the ladies. He was always up front about his interests, and of course, there was more to him than met the eye.

The way the characters spoke to each other was so honest, nothing flowery or unreal. They always said what was on their mind, even if it didn’t make sense, or paint themselves in the most flattering light. But they were honest, and they respected each other for it. Drew was definitely the comic relief; he had a great sense of humor and knew how to make the other two take a break from their inner turmoil.

Katja Millay has a gift for writing honest and real emotions, and for making me care about the characters. From the very first chapter, I was completely invested in what was going on in their lives. And I wanted them to work out, I wanted them to heal and be there for each other. I wanted them to have a happily ever after. It mattered to me what happened to them.

Not since reading Where the Red Fern Grows as a child have I cried so much for characters in a book. I’m not talking getting a little teary-eyed, either. I’m talking full on ugly sobbing.

It’s a long one, at over 400 pages, but believe me, you won’t notice. In fact, as I neared the end, I started to slow down my reading because I just didn’t want the story to end. I am absolutely blown away that this is Katja’s debut novel, I never would have guessed that. She was born to write and I will, without doubt, read anything else she puts out.

The sum up

Heart-wrenchingly sad, but also hopeful and funny. It broke my heart, stomped on the pieces, then put it all back together again. Truly a book that everyone must read.

About the author

Katja Millay grew up in Florida and graduated with a degree in film & television production from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has worked as a television producer and a film studies and screenwriting teacher. The Sea of Tranquility is her first book.

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On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves {Review}

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves {Review}Title: On the Island
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Publisher: Penguin on August 16th 2012
Format: Paperback, 347 pages
Source: Giveaway
5 Stars

Summary

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter.

Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

My thoughts

I absolutely adored this book. When I went in, I had some misgivings: would this be one of those creepy things where the older chick likes the way younger dude? Would there be a bunch of naked sexy times on the beach? Would it be horribly depressing, them being stuck there for so long? How interesting can years on a beach be? Luckily, every one of my fears with misguided.

The characters were wonderful. Anna was dealing with a relationship whose direction she wasn’t sure of. She was strong and confident in herself. When the pilot started having trouble, she was the one who stepped up and tried to help. She remained strong after the crash and helped keep them safe. T.J. was your average kid who just wanted to hang out with his friends instead of spend the summer with his family and a tutor. He was understandably scared after the crash, and tried to be strong, but needed to lean on Anna a lot.

One of the most interesting things about the book was watching as their roles changed, as T.J. became stronger and Anna learned to rely on him more and more. It was subtle, real and so sweet.

The plane crash, their fight to survive and their hope for rescue were all heart-wrenching. Tracey Garvis Graves can write suspense, action and romance like nobody’s business. And there’s more than just their need for food and water; there’s bad weather, illnesses, bathing and much more. I was worried that it would be boring, with nothing but the island to read about, but Graves managed to make everything interesting. There was more than 1 occasion that involved me rushing through to see what happened next.

I really liked that the point of view switched from Anna’s to T.J.’s, I could get inside their heads as they matured and fell for each other. The romance was sweet and factually graphic. The actual romance didn’t start until after T.J. came of age, so need to worry about that aspect.

There were a few “Well, that was convenient.” moments that were a bit annoying, but I just rolled with them. The survival part of the story was taken over about halfway through by the romance part. While this might bother some, I enjoyed it.

The sum up

This is a survival story perfect for the romance fan.

About the author

Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood.

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Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker {Review}

Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker {Review}Title: Ten Tiny Breaths
Author: K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Publisher: Papoti Books on December 11th 2012
Format: eARC, 262 pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars
Summary

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

My thoughts

Kacey is just barely surviving after the accident that left both of her parents, her best friend and her boyfriend dead. She’s just biding her time until she can whisk her little sister away from their crazy aunt and uncle. When their uncle gets a little too close to young Livie, Kacey packs them up and runs. With the little money they have, she finds them a cheap apartment and they start over.

Kacey was the definition of dysfunctional. She hadn’t dealt with any of her issues following the accident and instead used violence to cope with things. She tried hard to keep it together for her little sister, but was having a hard time. Besides violence, her way of dealing was to keep everyone from getting too close. She enjoyed a good time in the bedroom, but was not a fan of emotions.

Trent and Kacey had great chemistry, and their relationship was a nice, slow burn.
Kacey’s little sister, Livie, was such a sweetie, and way too mature for her age. Several times, she was the one with the calm head who had to reason with Kacey. In her grief, I think Kacey sometimes forgot that her sister had also lost a lot in that accident. Livie is the focus of the next book in the series and I look forward to reading her story.

I loved the stripper next door with a heart of gold and her darling little girl. I would love to have a friend like Storm! The grumpy landlord was clearly a sweetheart in disguise who looked after his tenants. And of course, Trent. Overall, I was a fan of his, though I had issues with the way he went about doing things. He had a slight stalkerish tendency, though that led to some sweet scenes of him rescuing Kacey. And he had a manipulative way about him. I really liked the way the neighbors became a family unit.

Trent and Kacey had great chemistry, and their relationship was a nice, slow burn. He seemed more intent on “fixing her” than bedding her. He was pretty much trying for boyfriend of the year, encouraging her to seek counseling for her PTSD and saying all the right things.

I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.

There was a surprise twist near the end, though I saw it coming. Because it was really the only option that made sense. That did not, however, take away from the emotion of it all.

The dialogue was straight forward, and Kacey had a tendency to say anything that popped in her head, which made for some amusing scenes. The sex scenes were graphic and steamy. Loved them!

The sum up

The story is sexy, sweet and sad, but the flawed characters really make it special.

About the author


Born in small-town Ontario, Kathleen published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons.

She is a voracious reader and the farthest thing from a genre-snob, loving everything from High Fantasy to Chick Lit.

Kathleen currently resides in a quaint small town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.

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Purchase

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Other opinions

A Reader of Fictions | Corrie, the Book Crazed Girl | Unconventional Book Reviews

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The Liberator by Victoria Scott {Review + Giveaway}

The Liberator by Victoria Scott {Review + Giveaway}Title: The Liberator
Author: Victoria Scott
Series: The Collector #2
Publisher: Entangled Teen on August 27th 2013
Format: eARC, 350 pages
Source: Publisher
5 Stars
Summary

Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.

When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.

With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

My thoughts

Oh, Dante. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You’re a badass, you’re an undercover softy, you’re crazy protective of your friends, girlfriend and even her friends and family, you’re sexy and you know it, you know how to party, you dress to impress, you appreciate the finer things in life, you’re a sarcastic smartass, you have a secretly tortured soul, you’re head over heels in love with a good girl. Oh, and you’re a totes hottie.

I absolutely LOVED Dante in The Collector, and he made me fall for him even more in this one. He was still the same guy, just in love. And while the sappiness was a little overwhelming at times (find your balls already, Dante), he still had the same basic attitude about him. Even with the cuff that meant he had to save souls instead of stealing them, he still felt like the demon he used to be. That created serious conflicts of interest for him, which was where the tension between he and Charlie mostly came from.

Charlie was back and just as good as ever. She’d grown up a bit and was more mature, which I liked. She had much more on her shoulders, what with being the one who will bring 100 years of peace to the world and all. Annabelle was back and just as sassy as before. She had more of a presence in this story, though it was mostly comic relief and to rein in Charlie when needed.

Aspen, truly the focus of the novel, had some serious issues, and she had a helluva wall up, preventing anyone from getting too close. It was so nice to see Dante get close to Aspen and become her friend. What Aspen needed was a true friend, and Dante was that for her. (For those of you worried about a love triangle with the new female, don’t be. Victoria herself announced that wasn’t where they were headed. I was glad to hear that. I like a good triangle, but Dante belongs with Charlie.) All of the same supporting characters were back, and a few new faces popped up.

There was a lot of action in this one, both actual fighting and in the training room. There were a ton of tense moments and once or twice I just knew it was going to end badly.

One of my favorite things in The Liberator was finally seeing hell.
One of my favorite things in The Liberator was finally seeing hell. We got a pretty complete tour, starting with where it was and how to get inside. Incredibly detailed and so creepy.

There was some lovin’ going on, but it was romantic and sweet without anything graphic. It might have been nice, though, to have some sexy time details with Dante… Just sayin’.

There were unanswered questions, which was frustrating, but Victoria Scott writes crazy fast, so hopefully it won’t be too long before we find out the answers. The ending was a quasi-cliffhanger; enough to make you worried, but not enough to drive you crazy. A nice compromise.

I can be specific and continue to point out all the great and wonderful things about Dante and this book, but I’m going to stop here and just say this: READ THE BOOKS.

The sum up

Sexy bad boy tries to mend his ways. Good times ensue.

About the author

Victoria Scott is a teen fiction writer represented by Sara Crowe. She’s the author of THE COLLECTOR trilogy (Entangled Teen) and the FIRE & FLOOD series (Scholastic). Victoria lives in Dallas with her husband and hearts cotton candy something fierce.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads

Purchase

The Book Depository | IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Other opinions

A Life Bound By Books | Lost In Literature | Book Briefs

Giveaway

The giveaway has ended.

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