“All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1) by Christina Lee – My Review

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Title: “All Of You” (The Between Breaths Series #1)

Author: Christina Lee

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: 17th September 2013

Publisher: Intermix (Penguin Group (USA) LLC)

SYNOPSIS

Avery has just met her hot upstairs neighbor. He’s irresistible. Tattooed. And a virgin.

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

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My Review

The New Adult genre might be considered “predictable” by some reviewers, but I for one wholeheartedly disagree with such sentiments. True, there are often similar themes recurring in these books, but what matters to me are the STORY, the LANGUAGE, and the FEELINGS they evoke in me. And yes, I do believe that capital letters are in order here.

This is the first full-length novel of Christina Lee that I have read, and I am so happy to end the year 2014 with a bang – yes, you may giggle all you want *wink* – and ”All Of You” was and is a book that fulfilled my hopes of finishing off the year with a great New Adult novel.

I will not go into that many details about the story line – read the synopsis, dear readers, and you will get a very clear picture of what this romance is about – but, as always, my review will be spoiler-free and reflect the thoughts and feelings I had while reading it.

One of the things that stand out in this book is the heroine, Avery: she does not do relationships because of past issues, but she is certain to make that very clear when she meets a guy her libido takes a fancy to. This makes her a very refreshing character in my eyes; she comes off as a rather cynical young woman, but anyone suffering from abuse will tell you that this is a very common character trait, and it deserves respect. She does, however, work in an environment that tugs at her heartstrings, and the more I got to know Avery, the more I saw a gentle and vulnerable side to her, and I could not help but admire this woman.

Meeting Bennett forces Avery to finally take stock of her life and issues, and I confess that I had a big, fat grin on my face when this guy reveals his hopes and wishes for the future: because here is a cute, handsome, genuine guy who does not sleep around – at all – and one who makes Avery trip over her feet because of the hot-as-sin chemistry they share.

I truly loved Bennett – no, scratch that: I adored him. He seems older beyond his years – and once you learn about his past, you fully understand why that is – and the fact that he seems hell-bent on sticking to his code, I found it incredibly sweet how his resolve wavered whenever Avery is around him. This, in my opinion, just goes to show that he is a very believable character, because – and let us be honest here – what hot-blooded male can resist a sexy woman? *wink*

Avery and Bennett are not as different as one would think, and I applaud the author for creating characters that you can relate to completely; their pasts, although different, are a part of who they are, but they strive to make their future become better from what they have known before. Moreover, they are both adamant about the fact that everything should happen on their own terms instead of letting others dictate their choices: that, to me, tells me that they are incredibly strong characters.

Miss Lee’s storytelling skills had me hooked from the very first page; the narration flows really well, and even though this, to me, feels like a very sweet love story, it is also one that left me chuckling and swooning on more than one occasion. I would say, though, that I would have loved a few chapters or an epilogue written from Bennett’s point of view, but that is not to say that the story is lacking in any way – I am just a greedy bookaholic who cannot get enough of this guy.

To sum up: if you love the NA genre, and if you have been searching for a somewhat different story for a while, but still one that will make you swoon and sigh, I would recommend “All Of You”. Avery and Bennett complement each other tremendously, and I actually miss this book couple a lot. Miss Lee, thank you for a wonderful reading experience! You have gained a new fan in this Dane. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

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“The Hook Up” (Game On #1) by Kristen Callihan – My Review

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Title: “The Hook Up” (Game On #1)

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 8th September, 2014.

SYNOPSIS

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she’s shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It’s a good thing Drew knows all about winning.

All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

***New Adult/Contemporary Romance with a HEA – Recommended for readers 17 and older.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Well, this NA romance was a really pleasant surprise to me. “The Hook Up” by Kristen Callihan has everything that I could wish for in a romance novel: swoon, sass, and – to be perfectly honest – steam. However, what makes Anna and Drew’s story feel so very special to me is due to development they both go through as their relationship progresses.

The attachment Anna forms with Drew seems perfectly simple at first: one hook up, and that is it. Obviously, nothing seems to go as Anna has planned, because this one hook up leads to the next; and, finally, she finds herself in a friends-with-benefits relationship that she definitely did not see coming. But will she find the strength within to open up her heart and allow Drew to see every part of her soul?

I was thrilled when I found out that this book is written in dual POVs, because I truly believe this particular aspect allows a reader, such as me, the opportunity to fully connect with the main characters of a book. And reading Drew’s point of view, experiencing his determination first-hand – his game plan, if you will – in winning Anna over made me chuckle as well as making my heart go all aflutter because of the romance of it all.

“Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.” (Drew)

Anna is a complex character, but that is why I fell in love with her: although appearing as this rather “tough-as-nails” young woman, she, like so many others, have some very deep scars, and the fact that she is completely unsure about her career plans makes her a very realistic character to me. Too often, I find that so many characters know exactly what they want – even though they are only in their early twenties – and that is definitely not believable to me. True, many young men and women know what they want in life, but that was not me ten years ago: I had no idea of where I was headed, work-wise I mean, and I am thrilled to see a heroine who is so much like me. And that is why I connected with her on a very deep level.

“He’s slowly carving his name into my heart. And it hurts.” (Anna)

Drew seems like this very self-assured, revered jock, and he is. But, like Anna, he was forced to grow up very quickly, and his past has defined the path he is choosing to take. In many ways, he is this really confident guy who seemed a bit unreal to me in the beginning, but, as I got to know him, I found a young man who possesses so many admirable qualities, and one who does not let that many people see below the surface of the college star that he is. His is a very sensitive soul, actually, and when I reached the final page in the book, Drew had completely won me over.

What makes Anna and Drew so perfect for one another is the fact that they learn how to lean on each other when times are hard; but, more importantly, they realise that trusting and relying on your loved one when you feel as if you cannot stand on your own two feet is more than acceptable. Yes, they definitely also have a lot of fun, but the way these two characters are so in sync was beautiful to experience. Theirs is not a sappy or over the top love story, not at all. It just is.  Anna and Drew are, plain and simple, soul mates.

‘“Why won’t you let me kiss you, Anna?”

I can’t breathe.

“Why, Anna?”

“It’s too much,” I rasp.

“Not when I want everything.” He says it so deep and strong, a staking of a claim. “And I want everything with you, Anna.”’ (Drew & Anna)

This is the first book I have read by Miss Callihan, and I admit that she had med hooked from the very beginning; her storytelling skills are very engaging, funny and honest. Moreover, she simply has her own, unique voice, one that draws you in immediately, and her secondary characters – although not the focus of the book, of course – are well-rounded and interesting as well. I have to say that I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book in the Game On Series which will feature Drew’s best friend, Gray, and Ivy.

“Life has more color, more flavor, and heat in the few hours I’m with Anna, than I’ve experienced in all the years I’ve partied… With Anna, I feel like I’ve landed right where I want to be.” (Drew)

To sum up my review: if you love the NA genre, I am absolutely certain that you will love this book. It really is a very well written, moving, feel-good romance, but there is also plenty of tears and laughter. I only wish that this book was available in print, because I would snatch up the paperback in a heartbeat! Well, one can always hope it will happen sometime in the future, because “The Hook Up” is now placed on the top of My Favourite Books shelf, and I already know that this is a book I will read again soon. ❤

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. She is a three-time RITA nominee, and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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Blog Tour: “When We Met” by A. L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King & Christina Lee – My Review, Excerpt, Teasers & Giveaway

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SYNOPSIS

Today’s premiere New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house. 

When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.

BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson 

Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.

SAVING ME by Molly McAdams 

On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?

FOULING OUT by Tiffany King 

Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.

BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee 

In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the authors through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I have to say that while I have read a few of AL Jackson’s novels, I have never read anything by the other authors – Molly McAdams, Tiffany King & Christina Lee. Well, that ends today! Because I am completely in love with these authors after having read each of their story in “When We Met”. Experiencing how these four college girls – Misha, Indy, Courtney and Chloe – find love has been very emotional, romantic, and fun at the same time.

Seeing as this is meant to be a review, I feel that it is unnecessary to go into too many details about each of the story – it would also feel more like a novella instead, if I were to do this, and that really defies the purpose of a review, in my opinion. Also, you should know by now that I do not want to give you any spoilers, because I really loathe them myself. However, I hope that I will be able to convey how incredibly special this book is to me, thus making you, my readers, wanting to read it yourselves.

But before I begin, I would like to add that each novella is told from dual POVs, and that is truly one of the major reasons as to why my rating of the book as a whole is so high.

The first novella is about Misha & Darryn. Then follows Indy & Kier, Courtney & Dalton, and ending with Chloe & Blake. While each character’s voice is distinctly their own, I am in complete awe over the fact that these four authors have managed to make the overall story blend together so well. I mean to say that although you are able to distinguish each author’s storytelling, thus each novella, from each other, the flow of the story works well, and the setting and the time period as a whole is spot-on.

Furthermore, I am of the belief that these girls, and their subsequent boyfriends, are very realistic and believable characters. Each of them are battling their own fears, perhaps even demons, and each will have to find the courage and open up their hearts to another – and, in doing so, letting go of their pasts and believing in a bright and hopeful future.

These novellas are, after all, love stories, and while they all happen to give you those warm and fuzzy feelings you hope to experience as a reader of this particular genre, there are also some very serious issues being dealt with at the same time. I love how the authors also manage to incorporate some great banter, wit, and, let me not forget to add, steaminess in their stories.

The reason “When We Met” does not get a full 5 star rating from me may seem inconsequential to some readers, but I feel that it would be a disservice if I do not voice my thoughts on this. Or, rather, one thought only: because although this book is near perfect to me, I feel that each character – all of them, yes – contain so many layers and hidden depths, and that I, in some cases, did not get to the bottom of the characters I was reading about at the time. So, to me, each story could very easily be turned into full-length novels – and make no mistake, dear Miss Jackson, Miss McAdams, Miss King & Miss Lee: I would LOVE to see this happen in the future! *hint-hint* That is why I choose to give the book 4.5 stars instead, which still makes it a favourite book in 2014 to me.

In my opinion, these novellas have a very strong message to give: to never give up hope even when you feel that all is lost; to believe in yourself, even when others try to put you down; and, above all, to never let go of love once you have found your soul mate. As long as you have this special person as your love, everything will be alright: because you are not alone. Someone is there to hold, comfort, and love you no matter what life deals you with.

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 Enjoy the excerpt!

SAVING ME – MOLLY McADAMS

“I’m about to embarrass the hell out of myself, but I don’t care anymore. I feel like when I’m near you, I’m safe, and it makes no sense to me. It is the weirdest feeling to have with someone I only know three things about.”

My eyebrows rose at that and I turned to fully face her. “Three?”

“Yes. Three things. Your name is Kier, you’re extremely quiet, and you are the biggest puzzle I’ve ever tried to figure out.”

I’m the puzzle?”

“Yes!” she said in exasperation.

That had to have been the most backward statement I’d ever heard. “And why am I a puzzle?”

“Because of what I just told you. I don’t know you, you don’t even talk to anyone, and I feel safe when you’re near me! Why is that? I feel like I’m going crazy because all I’ve been able to think about for these past two weeks is you, and how every time you open your mouth it’s like déjà vu, and I just—I don’t know what’s happening.” Her green eyes were massive and she looked like she was on the edge of losing her shit.

I took a few steps toward her and lowered my voice. “Calm down, Indy. You’re fine.”

“I just don’t understand,” she said loudly, the pitch of her voice rising. “Do you believe in past lives?” she asked suddenly.

I paused, a laugh slipping past my lips. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Past lives? Like that whole stupid YOLO saying is really just bullshit, because we’re about to get another shot down the road?”

I tried to contain my smile, but she was really fucking adorable when she was like this. “What does that have to do with what you’re freaking out over?”

“In stories with soul mates they find each other no matter what in every life. And it’s like they have a weird connection they can’t explain.”

I closed the distance between us and dropped my head so I was looking directly into her eyes. “Are you saying we’re soul mates?”

“No!” she said, horror lacing her voice, her cheeks filling with heat.

“I think you were,” I teased.

“I wasn’t, I was just saying that in stories . . . I don’t know what I’m saying, okay? But I don’t get what’s going on with us!”

“So now there’s an us?”

“Oh my God,” she whispered. “I need to stop talking.”

I laughed and took a step back. “I’m teasing you, Indy. And no, I don’t believe in past lives. I think we have this one, and that’s it.”

She sighed, and her body visibly relaxed. When she spoke again, she sounded exhausted—and in a way, defeated. “I don’t, either, but I can’t figure out how to explain this feeling like I know you.”

I ground my jaw for a few seconds as her green eyes held mine. “Because maybe you do know me. You’re just not ready to remember why.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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A. L. JACKSON

A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly, Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!

Newsletter http://bit.ly/ALJacksonNewsletter

Website www.aljacksonauthor.com

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mollymcadams

MOLLY MCADAMS

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Come be my friend!

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Tiffany King

TIFFANY KING

USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

For information on any of Author Tiffany’s titles, visit her blog at www.authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Where to connect with Author Tiffany

Twitter- @AuthorTiffany

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Email– authortiffany@yahoo.com

christinalee

CHRISTINA LEE

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.  She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.  Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.  Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Peguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7060187.Christina_Lee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lee/e/B00D1W5RSE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1414001350&sr=8-2-ent

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Blog Tour: “After” (After Series #1) by Anna Todd – My Review & Preorder Links

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Title: “After” (After Series #1)

Author: Anna Todd

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 21st October, 2014.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Tour Hosted By: The Hot Bed

SYNOPSIS

Anna Todd’s After fan fiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book, now newly revised and expanded, for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER…Life will never be the same. #Hessa

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way. But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is undeniably hot! But he’s also rude – to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does – until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before. He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again.

Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper. Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her? Unless…could this be love?

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

My Review

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I have to say that I am sitting back with a rather strong urge to hit something…Please do not misunderstand me: I loved so many parts of this book! So the reason that I have this peculiar urge to commit some kind of violence has nothing to do with my enjoyment, as such. No, it is because Miss Todd has just ripped my heart to pieces! And I am feeling pretty annoyed that the second book is not out yet..*wink* Oh, well…Patience is a virtue, as one wise person once said. But the waiting of this particular sequel will be very difficult me.

If you, like me, has a soft spot for romances when “the good girl” falls in love with “the bad boy”, I am pretty confident that you will come to love Tessa and Hardin’s very emotional and turbulent story.

Tessa is going away on college with a very firm career plan in mind, and even though she is sad to leave her boyfriend, Noah, behind, she is thrilled to leave home and her rather controlling mother. She arrives at Washington brimmed with nerves and excitement, like very 18-year-old feels, and ready to commit herself completely to her studies. Her roommate, Sadie, is so far from the person she envisioned to live with, and Sadie’s friends are in a completely different league from her own. Especially Hardin, a moody, rude, and downright infuriating British student. But even though he treats her with disdain, Tessa finds herself drawn to him in some inexplicable way…

For some reason that Tessa cannot understand, Hardin seems to be just as fascinated with her as she is with him – that is, when he stops patronizing her – and, despite knowing better, Tessa allows her heart to take charge for once in her life: Hardin makes her feel alive, and that is something she has not really experienced before, not even with her boyfriend.

Tessa possess many qualities that I admire: she knows her own mind (career-wise, that is), she is not afraid to work hard in order to achieve her goals, and the fact that she finally lets herself completely live her life to the fullest made me smile huge! Yes, she did sometimes frustrate me, and I absolutely do not condone her dishonesty towards her boyfriend, but let me remind of a very significant detail: she is only 18 years old! Of course she makes mistakes! Who, in their right mind, acts like a grown-up all the time at that age? I certainly did not.

Hardin is such a contradiction: Hot, then cold. Sweet, then horrible. Passionate, then withdrawn. Tessa does not know what to make of him at all, and her feelings of hurt and confusion are depicted very well by Miss Todd. I found myself so immersed with the drama, the angst, and the romance that I completely let the real world slip away – that does not happen often, by the way – and even though Hardin’s “cat-playing-with-the-mouse” game, and Tessa’s inability to keep to many of her decisions, frustrated me a great deal more than once, I just could not stop reading! I am, in some ways, a bit surprised about this fact, actually, but this tells me that I have read a book by an author who has a true gift with words.

As for the ending of this book…wow! My heart and soul hurt as I read the final pages, and even though I had a strong urge to drop my Kindle – because the more I read, the more outraged and hurt did I become – I just had to know what happened. Obviously, I cannot tell you what takes place, but suffice it to say that this ending is why I feel pretty angry – and I love it! Even if the characters of the book I am reading does not come as cross as completely like-able, or even if I have trouble with connecting fully with them, I love it when an author has the ability to evoke such powerful emotions in me. I feel pain, anger, betrayal, and I have already mentioned the bad condition of my heart.

So why not give this book my highest rating, then? Well, there are a couple of reasons for this, and you may already have guessed them, but I will elaborate further:

Although I enjoyed most of Tessa and Hardin’s very passionate and turbulent outbursts, I sometimes felt as if they were going around in circles a bit. And it just made me feel as if the story was prolonged unnecessarily: as if certain scenes were repetitive, or close to it.

I also found Hardin’s mood swings a bit over-the-top sometimes, but that may have to do with the fact that each time I thought I had him pegged, his behavior shifted, and I wanted to knock some sense into him!

As always, reading is subjective, and other readers will definitely disagree with me, but I am just being honest here, explaining my own thoughts and feelings.

Despite the above mentioned reasons for not giving this book five stars, I still truly enjoyed “After”: there is a great deal of irony, wit and banter thrown between Tessa and Hardin, and I found myself reading many passages twice because they were just such great scenes! And whenever Hardin let his guard down, opening himself up to Tessa, I could not help but fall a bit more in love with him. The chemistry between these characters is fantastic, and there is definitely pleanty of steamy scenes that even made me blush sometimes…

Like I stated in the beginning of my review, I am very anxiously awaiting the sequel to “After”, and I honestly believe that Miss Todd will make me experience a wide range of emotions again – I cannot wait to found out what happens next!

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Foyles

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Todd is a first-time writer spending her days in the Austin area with her husband, with whom she beat half the statistics by getting married one month after graduating high school. Between her husband’s three deployments to Iraq, she worked odd jobs from a makeup counter to the IRS processing counter. Anna was always an avid reader and boy band and romance lover, so now that she’s found a way to combine the three she’s enjoying living a real-life dream come true.

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“Fury” (Fierce #1.5) by Clarissa Wild – My Review

Sexy handsome man posing.

Title: “Fury” (Fierce #1.5)

Author: Clarissa Wild

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

Release Date: 17th March, 2014

Synopsis

Would you risk everything for love?

Life has held nothing but hardships for Hunter Bane. Growing up with a learning disability wasn’t easy, especially when you’re poor. With only his brother to support him, Hunter clings to the short moments of happiness in life. Like when he meets Autumn Blakewood.

Autumn Blakewood is a geek at heart. Reading is her passion, and she can’t spend one day without her books. She’s always locked up in her room studying, trying to avoid trouble. Until Hunter comes into her life.

Hunter can’t resist the temptation to get closer to Autumn. She is his complete opposite, and yet he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. But when his brother is caught dealing drugs and sent to prison, Hunter’s world shatters.
To save his brother, Hunter has to join the gang he’s feared his entire life. Now he’s forced to choose between his family and the one girl he loves. Fighting for both, his fury is all he needs.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review

Before I begin my actual review of this book, I have to tell you that it is the companion novel to “Fierce” and that means that this is the same exact story but told from the viewpoint of Hunter, our hero.

As with the first book in the series, I was not completely taken in by this one – I do, however, think that it is slightly better and that many of the issues I had before were almost, if not completely, resolved.

It was very fascinating to me getting inside Hunter’s mind and experiencing what he struggles with every single day of his life: his mental disability – or whatever we should call it – is a constant thorn in his side, and I really think that the author managed to let his frustrations and insecurities come out, allowing the reader the opportunity to empathize with Hunter.

And how frustrating it must be, meeting a girl you are attracted to and not really being able to remember her name unless you write it down. Or even being able to remember exactly how you met her! So yes, I really felt for Hunter when I read this part of the book.

Furthermore, it was great getting to see how close Hunter is to his brother, Jessie, and how he is adamant in figuring out a way for him to get Jessie out of prison. His feelings of helplessness and anger over his brother’s destiny was very moving, and even though I could not understand all Hunter’s reasons for doing the things he do, my heart hurt a lot while reading about his struggles.

I am sorry to have to do this again, but I still have some concerns which make me unable to give this book more stars than I have.

First of all, I completely understand that the author intends to show us how much Hunter struggles with his attraction towards Autumn when he should be concentrating about his brother…but I still cannot grasp why Hunter keeps changing his mind about pursuing Autumn or not. I mean, in my opinion, Hunter’s reasons do not seem that valid, so I am still left a bit in the dark about them. I had hoped that by reading the same story from Hunter’s POV would have shed some light on this matter, but I am not feeling satisfied.

Secondly, I believe that Hunter’s story needs some more editing – not in terms of grammar or anything like that – because I caught myself noticing that there were a lot of repetitions in the book. On more than one occasion, I felt that what I had just read had been mentioned previously and that made me a bit annoyed.

Lastly, I had hoped that there would be an epilogue in this installment of the series in order to pick up any loose ends, but sadly, that is not the case.

I am well aware of the fact that a lot of readers will not agree with my issues, and I honestly do not expect them to. This is my opinion only, so I do encourage you to pick up the novel and make up your own mind about it. Reading is subjective, as it should be, and I still think that Miss Wild is great at showing us how passionately she feels about her characters – I will definitely read more books from her in the future.

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PURCHASE LINKS

AmazonBarnes&NobleKoboiTunesGoogle PlaySmashwordsAll Romance

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clarissa Wild is the Amazon Bestselling Romance author of FIERCE, a top 200 and top 15 New Adult Romance novel. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

“Fierce” (Fierce #1) by Clarissa Wild – My Review

Handsome young man posing.

Title: “Fierce” (Fierce #1)

Author: Clarissa Wild

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

Release Date: 24th January, 2014

Synopsis

Fight for your dreams. Fight for your life. Fight for love.

Nerdy girl Autumn Blakewood is the prime example of a goody two-shoes. She studies every night, is never late for class, and always follows the rules. She has never felt the need to step out of her comfort zone. That is, until she meets Hunter.

Hunter Bane is a cocky, confident bad-boy, who’s nothing but trouble. He’s a dangerous distraction to everyone around him. Sexy and strong, Hunter enjoys the swooning effect he has on women. Especially those who aren’t used to attention, like Autumn.

Autumn finds it hard not to give into Hunter’s advances, even though it all seems like a game to him. Trying to understand him is impossible, because he shrouds himself in mystery.
What she doesn’t know is that Hunter has more baggage than anyone should have to carry. When she discovers he’s in an illegal frat club to save the one person that matters to him, Autumn realizes this could mean the end of her undeniable connection to him. Even their lives are at risk.
But it’s too late to turn back now.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review

This is one of those times when I am finding it hard to put my thoughts into complete sentences, because I must admit that I had quite a few problems with this book. At the same time, I do not want to give you any spoilers – as I have said before: no two people read the same book, meaning that just because I did not become fully invested in it, who is to say that the same will happen to you? I will do my best to voice my concerns without ruining it for you.

But first of all, I want to say that there is no real point in me giving you a long and lengthy synopsis of the book as it is already very explicit, and I feel that it is rather pointless of me to repeat any of the actual storyline to you. I will, however, tell you that the story is told solely from Autumn’s point of view.

So let me begin listing the parts of the story I enjoyed:

For a while – until the 30% mark – I liked getting to know Autumn; her shyness felt rather endearing, and her sadness over losing Brody seemed realistic and understandable – he has, after all, been a great friend to her in the past. Furthermore, I could understand her getting frustrated about Hunter constantly changing his mind about her. I also feel that her relationship with Evie turning complicated was portrayed really well by the author.

And Hunter? Well, at first he is a very interesting character – he keeps his thoughts hidden, and the fact that Autumn keeps getting butterflies in her stomach was rather funny to read about. I liked the air of mystery surrounding him, and I was fully invested in uncovering his secrets, but, again, only until 30% into the book – and that is when things started to frustrate me.

I would also like to stress that I could absolutely feel the strong attraction between Autumn and Hunter – it is scorching hot! So I really think that the author did a good job with letting us see that, no question about that.

First of all, I have to say that although I liked Autumn in the beginning of the book, her innocence started to grate on my nerves. She almost seems to be too innocent, too naïve, considering she is supposed to be starting college. To put it bluntly: to me, Autumn was acting more like a girl in high school instead of a freshman at college. Furthermore, I am saddened by the fact that we do not get that much information about her background aside from the fact that her family is poor; and I would have liked to learn more.

The part about Hunter that did not work for me was him changing his mind all…the…time. Granted, when you read about his learning disability, you understand his actions, but only up until a certain point. To be perfectly honest, his mood swings were giving me whiplash, and I am sorry to say that I even wanted to quit reading the book and move on from time to time…However, I very seldom do that, and I am actually glad that I persevered.

Apart from my issues with these characters, I also had some problems with the suspense part of the story: in some ways, I think it was a good theme to write about – and I am sure that a lot of drugs circulate at colleges all the time – but I find it hard to believe that dealing with drugs can be done so much out in the open. But maybe that is just my ignorance voicing itself here as it is a world completely foreign to me.

The main reason I am not giving this book a higher rating – aside from the issues mentioned above – is that I feel that the ending was rushed unnecessarily. I would have liked the book much more if the author had slowed down a bit and given us some more details, or even an epilogue, in order for the story to come full circle.

This review may seem a bit harsh…and you may be right. However, I have always said that I would be completely honest in my reviews, without disrespecting the authors, of course, and I hope that you do not feel that I am being too judgmental. I really think that you can feel that Miss Wild writes with great passion for her characters, that she cares for them deeply; I am just sorry to say that, to me,  the promise of Autumn and Hunter’s journey seemed better than it actually was.

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PURCHASE LINKS

AmazonBarnes&NobleKoboiTunesGoogle PlaySmashwordsAll Romance

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clarissa Wild is the Amazon Bestselling Romance author of FIERCE, a top 200 and top 15 New Adult Romance novel. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, the Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

SOCIAL LINKS

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

“Broken Fairytale” by Nikola Jensen – My Review & Giveaway

BrokenFairytale

Blurb

Following a family tragedy, Izobel Jerome has lived the past eighteen months in an emotional wilderness, losing herself in meaningless relationships and barely existing.

But no more, Izzy is tired of running. At twenty-two, she decides life is for living and that’s exactly what she intends to do. She will heal her heart and open it to love. A chance meeting at University…call it fate, will have her sharing a flat with three gorgeous men, all different and all offering her the safety and security Izzy desperately needs and craves.

In Aiden and Max she will find the family she never had. In Declan she will find a kindred spirit.

Declan, a man as equally damaged as Izzy who will become her salvation as they both discover the other half of their damaged hearts.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

Paperback copy received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I must say that I was pretty much sucked into the story very quickly after having read the powerful prologue. This is a story that deals with both mental and physical abuse so it is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

The story begins with Izobel (Izzy) beginning at university – we very quickly learn how she longs to leave her home, and the reasons behind it, but she is not certain if she has the courage to do so. Izzy knows, however, that she has to set herself free, otherwise she fears that she will become a shadow of herself, never being able to let the past go – and never really live her life to the fullest.

“I know I want to revert to who I was before, bring it back to the surface. I refuse to be who I am now, a result of consequence.” (Izzy)

Izzy meets a gorgeous guy (Declan) at the bus stop and she is drawn to him immediately – she is no innocent virgin, mind you, and understands the physical attraction she feels towards him, but she has also promised herself that she needs to stop with the random sexual encounters (and there have been quite a few) and focus on her studies.

She also meets Aiden on her first day, a charming man who she feels an instant connection with because he reminds her of her late brother, Zack, who died a horrific death 18 months earlier.

By a twist of fate, Izzy ends up living with Declan, Aiden and Max, and they all show her, little by little, how you can choose your own family, and that it may not be the one you were born into. These three men all contribute to teaching Izzy about letting go of her past, and especially Declan who is no stranger to abuse, just like Izzy.

“I knew you the minute I looked into those big eyes; beautiful but very sad eyes.” (Declan)

Now, it is very much on purpose that I am being so vague about the specific storyline. You just have to read the book yourself, because I refuse to give you any spoilers.

I like the voice of Izzy very much: she has suffered a great deal but is prepared to fight to get back on her feet, and you have to admire that kind of tenacity. And what I really like is that even though she does not seek professional help, she does not shy away from it when it is offered to her freely. That takes a lot of courage, and the way Miss Jensen portrays Izzy and her struggles in letting go of her grief in order to move on was very moving – it even brought me to tears once or twice, and you ought to know by now that that is some of the highest praise I can give a book.

And Declan is quite the man candy (*wink*) – as I stated above, he is no stranger to violence so he sees a kindred spirit in Izzy; due to his own past (which I will not elaborate too much upon here) he is not interested in a proper relationship. You cannot really falter him for it, even though he makes some mistakes that made me cringe a bit, and part of the reason why I get his reasons is the few chapters the author has chosen to give us from his POV. They really made me connect with him, so that is a major plus in my world and part of the high ranking I am giving the book.

“Please don’t let me run,” I whisper in fear. “I always do the running…and you…please don’t you run anywhere either, please stay. Please make me stay.” (Izzy)

“I’m not running anywhere Izzy and I promise you I will not let you run either, never. Not now I’ve got you.” (Declan)

The supporting characters are all very important to the story – I would have liked to get to know Max better, though, as I feel he stands out a bit – and Izzy’s best friend, Sofia, made me laugh so much! She is definitely a feisty and quirky character. I really hope that she will get her own story (hint-hint, Miss Jensen!) because I feel that she has so much to say.

Overall, I believe that this is a really good debut novel; the story and characters feel believable, the journey both Izzy and Declan go through is easy to relate to, and even though the book could have benefited from being edited a bit, I enjoyed it immensely and I cannot wait to see what this author writes next. Oh, and the fact that the story takes place in the UK does not bother me one bit! In fact, I find it very refreshing. So if you are unsure of what to read next, I definitely think that you should pick up “Broken Fairytale”.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nikola Jensen has always enjoyed reading and creating stories in her head. She finally decided to take the plunge and put her first story down on paper and is independently publishing Broken Fairytale which is book #1 in a series of stand-alone’s.

Nikola is an avid music lover and when not reading or talking to the characters in her head, she can be found dancing around her lounge room to her favourite band, with iPod in hand.

Nikola would love to hear from readers and can be contacted through her Facebook page or email. You can also find her on Goodreads

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook

Goodreads Author Profile

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

And now to the GIVEAWAY, ladies!

The author is kindly offering not only one, but TWO ebook copies of “Broken Fairytale” – isn’t it awesome?

Enter below – you have one week.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

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