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.


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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Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}

Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}

Knowing Jack by Rachel Curtis {Review + Giveaway}Title: Knowing Jack
Author: Rachel Curtis
Publisher: Self Published on January 17th 2014
Format: eBook, 165 pages
Source: AToMR Tours
3 Stars

The sum up

Despite my issue with the book, I found this a fun and sexy way to pass the time.


I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.

I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.

I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.

This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.

And I’m stuck with Jack.

He calls me “Princess,” but I’m not a princess either.

My thoughts

Chloe made a decision she’s still paying for. She doesn’t regret that decision (after all, they were both adults and technically, he wasn’t even her teacher at the time they began seeing each other), but she’s hating the backlash. She’s trying to stay strong and not let it get her down, but really, how much negativity can one person take?

Chloe was an interesting character for me. She was strong, in standing up to the bullies and staying at the school even though everyone hated her, but she was also basically a weakling when it came to Jack. She was on a break from men, but the second she had the chance, she was ready to chuck it all just to have sex with him. Jack was your typical strong and silent type. You knew he had a dark secret he was hiding, but it only made him more attractive.

The point of view switched every once in a while, but it never stayed with Jack very long, maybe a page or two. Just long enough for us to know how much he loved Chloe and wanted her hot bod, but also that he couldn’t be with her because it would disappoint his dad.

Chloe was a bit frustrating in that she wasn’t able to stand up for herself in a lot of ways until Jack and his magic penis somehow taught her to let go and own it. In fact, it was amazing the things his penis could do. It made her fall in love with him (and vice versa), it made her let go of her self-righteous determination to prove something and made him stop trying to please his dad in order to live his own life. It was miraculous, that penis.

So, as you may have noticed, I had a slight problem with the believability in this novel. BUT, other than that, I really enjoyed it. If you can set aside your disbelief in the magic of the sex, it’s kind of a fun story. It’s fast-paced, a little bit mysterious and a whole lot sexy.

About the author

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

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Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn {Review}

Title: Another Little Piece
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen on June 11th, 2013
Format: eARC, 419 pages
Source: Publisher


The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn’s haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.

My thoughts

Annaliese was recently found after having disappeared over a year ago. She can’t remember anything from her past, including the year she was gone. She doesn’t recognize anyone from school, her house, or even her parents. And though everyone insists she’s Anneliese, she’s positive she isn’t. When she starts remembering things that have happened to other girls, she knows something’s wrong. And she doesn’t know why, but she can feel a deadline approaching fast. Now she needs to find out what happens when it arrives.

I want to be one of those people who appreciates this novel for its quirkiness and unexpected twists and turns, for it’s simple prose and elegant story telling, but I am not going to be one of them. It is quirky and has a ton of twists and turns, and it does have simple and elegant prose, but in the end, all I can think is: This story is flipping weird.

As the reader, we knew nothing of Anneliese other than what she was told. We experienced the memories and confusion just as she did, which allowed us to really appreciate how scary and disorienting it was to not know anything about yourself. She seemed very detached, which was totally understandable, but it also made it hard to like her. I felt so sorry for her parents, who were torn between wanting to never let her out of their sight and allowing her to go at her own pace.

The boy who seemed to know more about Annaliese than she did was creepy, as hem was supposed to be. And the boy who was kind-of-dating Annaliese was someone I just felt sorry for, more and more as the story progressed. And that’s all I can tell you about the characters without spoiling anything.

But really, even if I wanted to spoil you, I don’t think I could. Because, to be entirely honest, I’m not really sure what the hell was going on about 80% of the time. There were a ton of flashbacks and none of them had any context or explanation. The book isn’t described as science fiction, but that’s a huge element in it, but even that isn’t described completely. Seriously, this was me during most of the book:

I was left with an unclear story and too many questions, and I don’t enjoy that in a book.

The sum up

While I thought Another Little Piece was okay, it just wasn’t my thing. I’m not sure I would read anything else from this author.

About the author

Kate Karyus QuinnKate Karyus Quinn is an avid reader and menthol chapstick addict. She has lived in California and Tennessee, but recently made the move back to her hometown of Buffalo, New York, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would… build character. Another Little Piece is her first novel.

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

Title: A Little Too Much
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #2
Publisher: William Morrow Impulse on November 12, 2013
Format: eBook, 416 pages
Source: Mundie Moms Blog Tours
4 Stars


In the follow-up to Lisa Desrochers’ explosive New Adult novel A Little too Far, Alessandro Moretti must face the life he escaped and the girl he loved and left behind.

Twenty-two year old Hilary McIntyre would like nothing more than to forget her past. As a teenager abandoned to the system, she faced some pretty dark times. But now that’s all behind her. Hilary has her life on track, and there’s no way she’ll head back down that road again.

Until Alessandro Moretti—the one person who can make her remember—shows up on her doorstep. He’s even more devastatingly gorgeous than before, and he’s much too close for comfort. Worse, he sees right through the walls she’s built over these last eight years, right into her heart and the secrets she’s guarding.

As Hilary finds herself falling back into love with the man who, as a boy both saved and destroyed her, she must decide. Past or future? Truth or lies?

My thoughts

Alessandro is the character I fell in love with in A Little Too Far. I was not happy that Lexie chose her stepbrother over the obvious awesomeness that was Alessandro. Big mistake, Lexie. However, thanks to her stupidity, Hilary gets a chance with the one who got away. Hilary and Alessandro (and his brother Lorenzo) spent time together at a group home many years ago. They connected, but circumstances tore them apart and they lost touch. Now that Alessandro realizes entering the priesthood isn’t the way to atone for his past, he goes to New York to find Hilary and make things right. But she’s not the same girl she was when he last saw her. She’s got big dreams and an even bigger wall around her heart.

As you may have guessed from the above summary, I loved Alessandro. He was pretty much perfect in every way, and I was glad to get a chance to read more about him. He had his troubled past, which only served to make him sexily tortured, and he was kind and gentle and so sweet. He had a great sense of humor and was always willing to try something new or go outside his comfort zone for someone else. And, as an added bonus, he looked amazing. Hilary was an arm girl (as am I) and she admired and described his sexy cut arms many times, which was quite nice.

He was able to look past Hilary’s flaws and appreciate her for who she was. And he never sugar coated that he had been in love with someone else recently (the stupid Lexie). I thought that was nice, how he didn’t try to shy away from the facts. He always told the truth, but in a nice way.

On the other hand, I didn’t like Hilary as a character as much as I did Lexie from A Little Too Far. There was no logical reason, I just didn’t click with her. She was nice enough with her friends, but not overly friendly with others. She was in a relationship of convenience, without emotional attachment, and while I think that works fine for some people, that’s just not my thing.

One thing I had to wonder about was why Hilary refused to see how perfect for her Alessandro was. We find out later why (more on that in a minute), but still, she resisted much longer than I would expect anyone to. It was kind of frustrating, I kept thinking “Just kiss him, already!” and “Why are you still denying how great he is?” I didn’t understand the reluctance.

Hilary’s bestie, Jess, was super cute. She was also an actress and we didn’t spend a lot of time with her, but she was genuinely nice, which I always like to see. The boyfriend was fairly likable, considering he was only with Hilary for the sex. They lived together, though, and he was faithful to her, plus he did what he could to help her career. Of course, he turned out not to be quite so charming in the end.

Hilary had a dirty mouth and the f-word was slung around a lot. And there was a fair amount of graphic sex. The build up before the big moment with Hilary and Alessandro was nice; lots of heavy breathing and lip biting. But it still wasn’t as romantically sexy as it was for Alessandro and Lexie. Maybe I’m always going to compare those two couples…

One of the themes in the book was discovering the New York that nobody else knew about and that was fun. We learned a bit about different New York “attractions” that are under-appreciated by the everyday people who live there. In fact, one or two of them sound interesting enough that I might check them out if I ever go back to the city.

There was a big twist about 2/3 of the way through the book, however, I knew it was coming. I’m not sure if it was a lucky guess, but after reading the preview bit at the end of A Little Too Far, I immediately knew what the big event was going to be, and I was right. It’s a big one, but it’s not easy to figure it out as you read. I’m not sure if I would have felt any differently about the story if I hadn’t known what was going on. I think it would have been a big surprise, and I might have been less frustrated with Hilary’s actions.

At any rate, I enjoyed the book and will definitely be reading the next book in the series.

The sum up

Steamy and dramatic with lots of angst, this is an older “new adult” book perfect for romance and drama fans.

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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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


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

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


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}

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

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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