Saturday, February 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (98)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
Book Purchase:
Ensnared (Splintered, #3)
Ensnared by AG Howard

For My Kindle:
Pluto (Wonder #1.6) Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
Pluto by RJ Palacio
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

 Used Book Find:
Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2)
Fire With Fire by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: The Game Changer by J Sterling

The Game Changer (The Perfect Game, #2)
The Game Changer by J. Sterling
(The Perfect Game #2)
June 25, 2013
322 pages
Genre: New Adult Romance 18+
Contains: sex and strong language
Source: Personal purchase

Jack appeared at my door last night after six months of no communication wearing a Mets jersey and holding a dozen red roses. He told me he was sorry, that he loved me, and that he would earn my trust again. It took everything in me to not fall apart at the mere sight of him. I wanted to take him back into my life, but I needed to know that this time it would be forever…

In J. Sterling’s highly anticipated follow-up to her USA Today bestselling novel The Perfect Game, Jack and Cassie quickly realize that their new lifestyle can often be cruel and unforgiving. Their happiness is put to the test as the past is never truly far behind.

How do you stay together when the world's trying to tear you apart?

I'm so glad I finally got back to Jack and Cassie. (It's been almost two years since I read their first book.) Not one to generally read stories with cheating in them (because cheating is a deal-breaker for me), let alone like them, I really liked 'The Perfect Game' and how Sterling brought Jack and Cassie's relationship back together. And in the end, I didn't feel like anything was missing from their story (except, of course, wanting to simply read more about them in general). But I was wrong. 'The Game Changer' really did fill in all the missing pieces and then gave me more to Jack and Cassie than I imagined. So happy I read this!

First, we get the backstory to what Jack was up to all those months he was out of touch with Cassie after she moved to New York. Reliving their reunion and the way Sterling balanced present and past was worth the read in itself. It gave that touch more perspective I think anyone who loved Jack and Cassie, yet hurt for the mess Jack made, needed to read. I was ready to root for their future all over again.

Then, we get into Cassie's transition to being the girlfriend of a famous baseball player. This was a huge wake up call for Cassie, and for Jack when Cassie was open about her feelings. With this transition, we feel all the hard work that goes into this type of celebrity relationship. At one point, when Cassie was in the stadium and the fans were none-too-kind to her, I could feel everything she was feeling and just wanted to cry my frustrations for her. It was like I was there with her, and boy did that hurt, but it brought her situation to life all the same. Now, the drama here is not quite as intense as in 'The Perfect Game,' but Jack and Cassie still have things to deal with and work through to prove to themselves and each other that this relationship is the utmost priority to them. Thank goodness, true love shines through!

Overall, I was so happy to get this piece of Jack and Cassie's story. I felt like Sterling really conveyed the intensity of new celebrity and relationship. Yet she also portrayed how love can conquer all when two hearts are willing to put in the work, the faith, and the commitment. This is a wonderful read for fans of Jack and Cassie!

The Perfect Game (The Perfect Game, #1)
The Perfect Game #1
The Game Changer (The Perfect Game, #2)
The Game Changer #2
The Sweetest Game (The Perfect Game, #3)
The Sweetest Game #3

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Novella Review: Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves

Uncharted (On the Island, #1.5)
Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves
(On The Island #1.5)
July 2, 2013
160 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Tracey Garvis Graves - and Anna and T.J. - return in this companion novella to the New York Times bestseller On the Island.

When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.

Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind.

But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.

And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.

I'm so glad I finally read this novella. I loved 'On The Island' when it first came out. I was captivated and moved by TJ and Anna's story and fell in love with them. This novella should be read after 'On The Island,' so if you haven't read it yet, you should. It's that good. But there was a little mystery left over regarding who previously resided on the island and whose bones those were. Well, this little story answers all those questions and then some.

Owen's story is captivating in an entirely different manner than TJ and Anna's. Though their circumstances are significantly different, my interest in Owen's tale did not wane. If anything, when it seemed things were going too well, my gut told me things were gonna go down. And they did. This author sure can weave a story and pull your heart along with it. I was completely tied into this story and the different layers that were revealed.  

Through Owen's tale, I was able to learn so much about him, his life, his heart, and his strength to face the past and push for his future and his love. Additionally, I got to see TJ and Anna again and their adorable family. I forgot how very much I liked them. I also loved that we get some chapters from their perspective. That was the cherry on top. I'm so glad this story brought closure to many areas and perspective in others. And the final chapters and epilogue were exactly what I needed.

 Have you read ON THE ISLAND yet?
On the Island (On the Island, #1)
Amazon ~ Goodreads

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday (50): Hearts of Fire by LH Cosway

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just share two "teaser" sentences from your current read (please, no spoilers).

Hearts of Fire
by LH Cosway
Expected Publication date: March 9, 2015

*LH Cosway continues to blow me away with her writing and amazing characters. This is another fabulous read from her. 

Hearts of Fire (Six of Hearts, #2)
The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker. My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.

Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.

Weekly ARC Giveaway
Pre-Order Links:
Amazon UK 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway

Six of Hearts
Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway
July 26, 2014
358 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
Contains: strong language, explicit sex
Source: Personal purchase

Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.

I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.

I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.

Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.

But most of all, I put on a good show.

The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.

Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her.
I want it for all six of us.

She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this – if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.

So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.

You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.

I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.

So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

Jay and Matilda's story is simply magical. Or maybe not so simply. Actually, it is a complex, twisted, crazy turn of one event after another. It's mystery and illusion, truth and mirrors, revenge and redemption, friendship and love. This story really had it all.

Without giving away too much, in the beginning we are introduced to Matilda, dutiful daughter, a bit socially awkward, unlucky with men, but kind and witty and the kind of soul you want to get to know. Enter in Jay, master of illusions, charismatic, and downright sexy, wanting legal representation from Matilda's lawyer father to pursue a defamation suit. This seemingly innocuous introduction brings Jay full fledged into Matilda's life and she better just hold on for the ride. These two had a chemistry and a kindred spirit between them right off the bat. While Jay is quite mysterious and gives more illusion than straight answers, there is no denying how great their camaraderie is and how very much I liked them together.

Add to that a boatload of sexual tension, and this story at times is a big old tease-fest. But that's also what I liked about the writing. Because you get the feeling and the foreboding that there is so much more to this story than meets the eye, and you hope everything will come very clear before these two burst of sexual frustration. Truly, I loved Jay and Matilda. I completely believed in their love story, completely bought into the magic, and was completely mesmerized by the unraveling of events. The whole thing was brilliant. Now there was a small side storyline following a couple of characters that I found distracting and too much for me on a personal level, but this will likely not be an issue for most.

Cosway is a brilliant writer who brings such amazing, unique, and fascinating characters to light. I love the way she sees all the nuances of people and brings them to life on the page. Then the addition of complex, creative, and addicting storylines makes her stories true page-turners, and 'Six of Hearts' is no exception. To be honest, I am not a fan of illusionists and magicians. I find them suspicious and creepy. But Jay Fields is in a class of his own, and if he were real, I might actually change my mind about illusionists. Now that's good writing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (35)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

What I Read Last Week:
Hearts of Fire (Six of Hearts, #2) Uncharted (On the Island, #1.5) 
Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway
Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves
What I'm Listening To:
Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City, #1)
Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid (my 5 star review)
My Reviews Last Week:
The Hooker and the Hermit Brilliance (Brilliance Saga, #1) Beg (Songs of Submission, #1)
The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid (my 4.25 star review)
Brilliance by Marcus Sakey (my 5 star review)
Songs of Submission series by CD Reiss (my 4-5 star review)
What I'm Currently Reading:
 The Game Changer (The Perfect Game, #2) After Dark (Night Owl, #3)
The Game Changer by J Sterling
After Dark by M. Pierce

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (97)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I attended the 'Love and Fifty Author Event' in Sacramento, CA last weekend and had a blast, meeting lots of great authors and hanging out with new friends. I especially had the pleasure of spending quality time with some other fans of Penny Reid and having brunch with her in the morning. Such a great time!

Signed Book Purchases:
The Hooker and the Hermit Scenes from the City (Knitting in the City, #4.5) Heartless Box Set (Episodes 1-3)
A Hidden Fire (Elemental Mysteries, #1) The Scribe (Irin Chronicles, #1)Tyler & Stella (Tattoo Thief, #2)
Tempting Fate (Immortal Descendants, #2) Changing Nature (Immortal Descendants, #3) Ace's Wild
The Hooker and the Hermit by LH Cosway & Penny Reid (my review)
Scenes From the City by Penny Reid (my review)
Heartless by J Sterling
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
The Scribe by Elizabeth Hunter
Tyler & Stella by Heidi Joy Tretheway (my review)
Tempting Fate by April  White
Changing Nature by April White
Ace's Wild by Erika Van Eck (gifted from author)

eARCs for Review:
Hearts of Fire Deep (Stage Dive, #4)
Undertow After Dark (Night Owl, #3) 
Hearts of Fire by LH Cosway
Deep by Kylie Scott
Undertow by Michael Buckley
After Dark by M Pierce