Monday, July 21, 2014

Review: How to Reprimand Your Rock Star by Mina Vaughn

How to Reprimand Your Rock Star
By: Mia Vaughn
Pub. Date: July 21, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Pages: 280
Source: Netgalley

In this fun and saucy romance novel, all-star college basketball player Thea dominates on the courts—and off—with a rock star who is determined to win her over.

Thea is a star basketball player at UConn on track to be Rookie of the Year. That is, if she can stay focused on the game. Lately that hasn’t been going so well, as her knee has been bothering her. But that’s not the only thing on her mind…

Ever since rock star Keaton Lowe surprised her in the girl’s locker room, Thea can’t stop thinking about him. On top of his status and enticing ways, he seems to know everything about her. But some of his actions cross the line, and Keaton needs to be punished. Will Thea keep her head in the game, or get distracted by her other favorite pastime—reprimanding her rock star?
 I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

How to Reprimand Your Rock Star was a fast, cute little read about two complete opposites who end up loving the same things in the bedroom. Straight laced basketball player Thea follows the rules. Basketball and her family are important to her. One day while she's in the locker room she meets rock star Keaton, bad boy of the rock world. Keaton likes to be dominated in the bedroom, and he wants Thea to be the one to do it. Thea never thought that would be something she would be interested it, but she feels a pull towards Keaton and wants to try it out.

I had a few issues with the two main characters, well actually, I kind of hated them. Thea was so annoying and weak. She literally knew this random guy for like a day and already was taking BDSM classes to be able to dominate him better and lying to her coach and teammates so she could spend time with him. I don't think any relationship is healthy if you start giving up what's important to you to spend time with the other person. I felt like she lost herself and I didn't like it. Keaton was an interesting guy. I haven't read many books were the guy is the one who wants to be the one tied up, and I liked that that was what he was into. I didn't like that he wanted Thea to give up parts of herself to be with him, like go on tour with him. I just felt their relationship was very quick and a little unrealistic.

Despite my issues with the characters, I still enjoyed the book. It was the perfect little book for summer.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Through to You
By: Lauren Barnholdt
Pub. Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 256
Source: Edelweiss

Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens.

It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.

Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.

Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.

Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride.
I received this galley from edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I was really looking forward to reading Through to You. Lately, I have been in the mood for contemporaries, but this one fell flat for me. I just didn't feel connected to the two main characters, Harper and Penn. Actually, I really couldn't stand either of them. What started off as a bang, ended with me feeling cheated on what could have been a fantastic book.

Harper and Penn started talking because Penn wrote her this harmless note about the sparkles in her hair. I thought Harper's reaction to it was really stupid and immature. I understand she's a teenage girl, but seriously, can we get any credit at all?!? She became lost and confused. She didn't know how to handle it, she felt happy and silly, she felt scared. OMG. So this who scenario turned me off a bit. As the book went on, I ended up feeling really bad for Harper. She tried really hard to be a good and supportive girlfriend to Penn, which he definitely didn't deserve. Penn was such a dramatic mess. I understand he recently got a sports injury, which made him lose his scholarships to college-this is a big deal, I get it. But he was so hot and cold with Harper, I just wanted to slap him. He really did come off as a jerk, even in his sometimes sweet moments.

I just didn't think this book was for me. I just couldn't get past their relationship. I know many other people have enjoyed this book though.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

(The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5)
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Pub. Date: July 1, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley

A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?
 I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is one of my favorite series, and Cole was one of my favorite characters. I was so intrigued by him! I practically squealed when I found out Stiefvater was writing a standalone novel from his point of view. I really wanted to know what happened to him after Forever. I definitely was not disappointed! Cole and Isabel's story was fantastic!

I love how much of a hot mess Cole is. Before coming to Mercy Falls he was a drug and alcohol addicted rock star, who also happens to be a genius. After saving Grace from the wolf sickness, Cole heads back to LA to make a new album and to rekindle his relationship with Isabel. Both Cole and Isabel are messed up people, but who love so fiercely and are so loyal. They really are absolutely perfect for each other.

I was glad to learn that the story was also told in the POV of Isabel. She was someone who I didn't really like at first, but through the series, I ended up loving her. She doesn't trust easily and Cole is the perfect guy to help her open up. I love how strong willed Isabel is and I loved watching Cole break down her defenses.

I've always said how talented Stiefvater is and what an incredible writer she is. The same holds true for Sinner. She just has this amazing way for words and Cole and Isabel's story was written beautifully. I couldn't put their story down and I am so happy I now know how their story ends.

While Sinner is technically a stand alone novel to The Wolves of Mercy Falls series, I recommend reading the first three books (Shiver, Linger, Forever) before diving into Sinner. I think it's more beneficial to know more of Cole and Isabel's story beforehand.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

By: Stephanie Kuehn
Pub. Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 256
Source: Netgalley

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.

Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of this gripping psychological thriller from the William C. Morris Award-winning author of Charm & Strange.
 I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Holy crap! Complicit is definitely one of those mind f**k books. I was thinking about it days later and how messed up it was. At only 256 pages, it's a quick read that will keeping you guessing until the very end, and even after. It went into a direction I completely was not expecting and I think that's why I loved it so much. I knew there was something strange going on, I just didn't think it was what it was!

Jamie is a normal kid whose had a pretty crappy life. His mother was murdered when he was a kid, but luckily him and his sister were both adopted into the same family. His sister, Cate is a bit of a crazy girl who after getting out of juvie comes back into town and starts playing mind games on Jamie. Jamie loves his sister, but he wants to move on from what she did two years ago. He just wants to be normal. But Cate is telling him that what he knows about his life is a lie and he starts digging into his past.

This is when the story really picked up and I couldn't put the book down. Jamie knows something isn't adding up about the way his mom died. I can't say anything else without giving it all away. Just take my word for it. You need to read this book, especially if you are in the mood for a thriller that will play mind games with you!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway: Until We Fly by Courtney Cole

Until We Fly
(Beautifully Broken # 4)
By: Courtney Cole
Pub. Date: July 7, 2014
Publisher: Lakehouse Press Ink.
Source: InkSlinger PR

Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good.

A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. .
The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart.

So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on. And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore.

Bad sounds so much better.

Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again. It’s not worth the pain. Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof.

But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from. A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain. Reasons he tried hard to forget.

But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again.

Why? Because home is where Nora Greene is. A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past. A beautiful, feisty thing. When Brand left, she was away at boarding school.

But she’s back now.

And she wants Brand, scars and all. 
 I received this galley from InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review.

Courtney Cole's Beautifully Broken series is one of my favorites series out there. I was so excited for Until We Fly and I have to say it is definitely my favorite one out of them! Brand and Nora were written so wonderfully and beautifully. I actually need more of them. So Ms. Cole, I'm going to need you to write another book about them. K, thanks!

Brand never wanted to go home again. There are too many painful memories there, because his parents are horrible people. But when his father suddenly dies, his mother calls and asks him to come home. Once he gets there, a truck blows up and his Army Ranger instincts kick in and he jumps into the action, injuring his already major injured leg. He is forced to stay in his hometown longer then expected. Brand saved Nora's life in the explosion, and Nora decides to take it upon herself to stay with him and take care of him.

I absolutely loved these two. Brand is definitely one of my favorite NA guys out there. He's basically the perfect man. As hard as it was, I loved watching him come to terms with everything that has happened to him in childhood. Nora's story was something I never anticipated. I actually screamed out, "holy s**t, when her story fully came together. We know her uncle is a jerk, but woah! Poor, poor Nora. I loved how these two would do anything for each other and how they refused to be their past. That is what is so great about Cole's characters. They all have dark in them, but they won't be defined by it.

Just writing this review makes me want to re-read Until We Fly. I can not wait until it releases in paperback so I can add it to my shelf with her other books. Cole is truly a talented author, and you are missing out on something special if you don't read her books! 

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Links:Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp | Pinterest
 Other books in the Beautifully Broken series:

And don’t miss the other Beautifully Broken, now available:

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine

Perfect Kind of Trouble
(Finding Fate # 2)
By: Chelsea Fine
Pub. Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . . 

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief, until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be.

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them was each other.
 I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I love Chelsea Fine. I have always loved Chelsea Fine. I will always love Chelsea Fine. She has such a talent to write the move relatable, broken, beautiful characters, and Kayla and Daren are no exception! These two had one of the best connections I have ever seen. I fell in love with these two, and their story.

Kayla is definitely going through a lot right now. Her mother recently died, she quit her waitressing job because her boss is a sleaze ball, and now her father, James, who once was the best daddy in the world, to absent father, has just passed. She goes to the funeral, expecting nothing, but it turns out her father did leave her something. The only way to get it is if she handcuffs herself to Daren and the two of them have to work together to find their inheritance. Kayla doesn't understand why she has to share anything with spoiled, rich kid Daren but she desperately needs the money so she agrees to it. Kayla was definitely a little reserved and snobby, but it was because of everything she had been through. I felt so bad for her and everything that was happening to her all at once.

Daren acts like he doesn't have a care in the world, and the two of them instantly hate each other. Kayla's father was a father figure to him and he hates that Kayla hurt him by wanting nothing to do with him (or so he thinks). He agrees to be handcuffed to her because James took his baseball cards when he was a kid to teach him a lesson and Daren wants them back. He knows they are worth a lot of money, and since Daren is basically homeless, he desperately needs the money. I loved Daren. He too is holding in so much pain but he was so light, laidback and funny. I nearly lost it when he finally became vulnerable. 

OMG! I loved these two. They were written so amazingly. I hated that they were both keeping secrets from each other. I couldn't wait for them to open up to the other. Both of their stories were so sad. My heart broke for Kayla especially.

I can't wait for the next book in the Finding Fate series!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: Dollhouse by Anya Allyn

(Dollhouse # 1)
By: Anya Allyn
Pub. Date: September 30, 2012
Publisher: Self
Pages: 373
Source: Netgalley

A dark, Gothic, Young Adult Horror.

Four teenagers chance across a mysterious, crumbling mansion in the depths of the mountains....
- One of them is about to vanish.
- One of them is lying about what he or she knows.
- None of them will escape the fate awaiting them in the terrifying Dollhouse beneath the old mansion--a place of nightmarish horrors and insanity.

A slow-burn nightmare, a world of supernatural darkness and strange secrets.

Six months ago, fifteen-year-old Cassie Claiborne reluctantly moved from her home in Florida with her social worker mom. In her new home--a remote, mountainous Australian town, Cassie meets new friends--Aisha Dumaj, Ethan McAllister and Lacey Dougherty.

For the first time, Cassie falls in love. The only problem is that the boy she falls for is her friend, Ethan--and he and Aisha are already an item. When Cassie goes on a school hike to Devils Hole with her new friends, she tries desperately to keep her feelings for Ethan secret.

Aisha disappears on the hike without a trace--with the police believing she was murdered.

When Cassie, Ethan and Lacey return to the mountains to search for Aisha--Cassie begins to realize she never really knew any of her friends. Everyone has their own secrets. She discovers the stranger lurking inside everyone she thought she knew.

The darkest secret of all waits beneath the old mansion in the mountains--a secret from which there is no escape....
I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One word: creepy. Dolls are creepy, extremely creepy. But human dolls? Even worse. Cassie and her friends stumble upon a mansion in the middle of the woods where they find kidnapped girls who are forced to dress and act like dolls. I almost didn't finish this book. Not because I wasn't enjoying it, but because of how disturbed I was. Dollhouse is a fast read and if you like scary, thriller type books, then I definitely recommend this one for you.

As much as I loved the story, I wasn't a huge fan of the characters. I didn't feel connected to any of them, especially Cassie, the main character. I actually couldn't stand Cassie. She was basically a bitch. Despite this, I still felt their emotions. I felt Cassie's fear like it was my own, making this story even more scarier for me.

The setting was described fantastically. I felt like I was right there in the forest and in the "dollhouse" with them.

I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Review: Cracks in the Armor by Helena Hunting

Cracks in the Armor
(Clipped Wings # 2.5)
By: Helena Hunting
Pub. Date: June 23, 2014
Publisher: Pocket Star
Source: Netgalley

Chris, a sexy tattoo artist, tries to win the heart of Sarah, a grad student with little interest in him, in this second e-short and follow-up to Helena Hunting’s gripping love story, Clipped Wings.

Part owner of the Chicago tattoo shop Inked Armor, Chris Zelter is a talented artist who decorates skin with gorgeous designs. He might look the part of the typical jacked-up, inked-up bad-boy, but underneath is a fiercely loyal, complicated man. Kicked out at sixteen, Chris has had to fend for himself for the last twelve years, making his Inked Armor crew as much family as they are business partners. For him, it’s enough—until he meets Sarah Adamson.

A grad student waitressing at the local strip club, Sarah is used to propositions and crude comments. The job is a means to an end—finish her MBA, pay off the tuition loans, and get a good job. Then she won’t have to rely on anyone to take care of her. So when brawny, tatted up Chris begins hanging out at the club, she rebuffs his advances. At first. But Chris isn’t like her usual clientele: despite his hard exterior, he’s almost…sweet.

Sometimes, the people with the roughest edges have the biggest hearts.
 I received this galley from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited when I first heard about this novella because it was going to be about Chris and Sarah. I didn't really have any feelings on Sarah at this point, but I loved Chris and wanted to know more about him and his life. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with his story because it was more about Hayden and Tenley. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love these two and it was nice to see them happy, but we already were given two books about them. It would have been one thing if they were just in the story as background characters, but I felt they were the main focus point and Chris and Sarah were the background characters. If it was marketed like that, I probably wouldn't have cared, but I really wanted Chris' story, not Chris describing Hayden's story.

The novella did give me a little insight into their wants and their pasts so I am still looking forward to their story. Chris is such a special character. I have so much respect for him, especially for the way he still loves his family and will do anything for them, even though they treat him horribly.

I might have given this story three stars, but that cover deserves a million stars! I am obsessed with tattoos and can not stop staring at it!

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