Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (94)

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!

eARCs for Review:
The Hooker and the Hermit Where Sea Meets Sky Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)
Seduced by Sunday (The Weekday Brides, #6) The Five Stages of Falling in Love 
The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Seduced by Sunday by Catherine Bybee
The Five Stages of Falling in Love by Rachel Higginson

For My Kindle:
 Kyland (A Sign of Love) Love Me Later (Second Chances, #1) Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, #1)
The Weight of Destiny (Misfits, #1) The Beauty Series Bundle: Beauty from Pain, Beauty from Surrender, Beauty from Love
Kyland by Mia Sheridan
Love Me Later by Libby Rice
Nocte by Courtney Cole
The Weight of Destiny by Nyrae Dawn
The Beauty Series by Georgia Cates


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2)
All Broke Down by Cora Carmack
(Rusk University #2)
October 28, 2014
368 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary 18+
Contains: strong language, explicit sex
Source: eARC for Honest review

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack's New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can't only fight for what you believe in... sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she's probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He's in for a different kind of fighting. And though he's arrogant and infuriating, she can't help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it's trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He's met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn't think he's broken, and he definitely doesn't need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

Silas Moore took some warming up for me. Because of the way he dealt with (or ignored) his past, he came across pretty shallow (purposefully so). While I knew there was a reason, it still didn't instantly endear me to him. Thankfully he grew on me. Sometimes we need to be humbled before we find our strength, and Silas needed some redirection and perspective on his life and his future. And who better to steer him into ambitions and hopes greater than himself than Dylan? Now Dylan I liked right away, even though I knew there was much more to her beyond the surface. Having her own set of personal and familial struggles, Dylan's took a different path than Silas, but each still are in desperate need of something else in their lives, because their current paths are just not cutting it anymore. So meeting in a jail after being arrested for different circumstances equals a totally awesome meet-cute and the start of an exciting and heart-warming love story.

I really enjoyed Silas and Dylan's story. There was a complexity about it that really drew me in as a reader, but a simple sincerity about it that made me believe it beyond the written page. Outside of Silas's shallow initial sexual thoughts, I really liked how Silas and Dylan worked together. They were so well matched, bringing out the best in each other. I liked their character growth throughout the novel and how by the end they were not just a sweet couple, but they were better individuals as well.

Now Dylan is also a bit of an activist, trying her best to make a difference in her community. I liked how Carmack integrated Dylan's philanthropic lifestyle, and how community-minded she was, pulling Silas in as well. It was just the right amount of inspiration without being preachy. And then BAM! Carmack hits me in the gut at one point in the novel. I won't give away what happens, but I didn't see it coming. But it was really well done, thought provoking, heartbreaking, and honest. I liked the risk and the courage displayed here.

Overall, this one was even better than the first book in the series. Silas grew on me and became a star and a hero. Dylan was a hero who found herself. Their love story was sweet and touching, hitting the heart and leaving us with hope.

All Lined Up (Rusk University, #1)
All Lined Up (#1)
All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2)
All Broke Down (#2)

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Release, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Art-Crossed Love by Libby Rice

Happy Release Day to Libby Rice's Art-Crossed Love!! I loved this book. I'll be posting my review during the blog tour. Fantastic!
ACL RDL Banner

Someone made a mistake in teaching you life is easy. Cole’s words had hit like well-aimed arrows, and not of the Cupid variety. At least Lissa knew which camp he fell into. The naysayers tended toward one of two options—push Lissa away or pull Lissa close. The pushers openly mocked her “illegitimate” success. The pullers beguiled her in an effort to see how much of that “luck”—or connections or money or opportunity—could rub off on them. Cole was a clear pusher, and frankly, she liked those better. At least they were honest. A hank of hair chose that moment to abandon the clip that couldn’t quite contain her pony tail. Ruler straight despite a healthy dedication to volumizing shampoo, her hair liked to slip from its confines and lay flat against her head in an antagonizing refusal to hold body. She imagined her looks mattered about as much to Cole as couponing did to Donald Trump, but hell, she had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After the disaster in the driveway, she could at least try to make herself presentable. Her trek to the spare bathroom two rooms down took her past Cole’s bedroom door across the hall. His rumpled bed sat in silence. Nothing personal hinted at the room’s inhabitant. A dresser and two night stands held a clock and a box of tissues between them. No pictures or knickknacks, not even a stray piece of clothing or a random shoe littered Cole’s studied order, dimmed by heavy shades that blocked the rising sun from cheering the space. Earthy scents of pine and sandalwood filled her nostrils. Despite his obvious efforts to disappear within the emptiness, the room bore his mark. The hard edges and sanded planks had absorbed his essence without permission.
Art-Crossed Love (Second Chances, #2)

Art-Crossed Love by Libby Rice
(Second Chances #2)
January 26, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Thrilled
Contains: strong language, sex
Source: eARC for Honest review

Can love be more than a four-letter word?
Lissa Blanc is a painter on a mission. She filters the world through a lens of color, line, and form and hides her ambition behind a delicate smirk that lets her critics believe life comes easy. To her, art isn’t what she sees. It’s what she feels. Few know that behind the glitz of a prodigious upbringing, she’s driven to emerge from the shadow of painful memories that insist she’ll never be a renowned talent in her own right.
Cole Rathlen is a photographer on the mend. A crippling grief has stifled his once-rising career and compromised his creative instincts. Knowing he can’t stagnate forever, he seeks a twisted absolution in the form of a woman whose paintings give life to the emotions he won’t let himself imagine, let alone feel.
When the two partner for a prestigious project that will pull them from the mountains of Colorado to the palaces of India, Lissa quickly realizes that more than diverging ideals hinder their search for success and salvation. Was Cole’s life upended by a tragic but unavoidable choice or something more sinister? While Lissa can’t delve into the mystery but not the man, Cole can’t resist a tenacious soul that refuses to leave him chained. As the truth closes in on a project finally sprouting wings, will Lissa sacrifice her chance at success to set Cole free? Or will Cole shrug the chains of lingering regrets to prove that those who love the most, love again.
Art-Crossed Love:
Love Me Later:
LibbyRicePhoto-WebResolutionLibby Rice: Before becoming a writer, Libby was first a mechanical engineer in the data acquisition industry (voltmeter anyone?). Preferring writing to technical design, Libby headed to law school and eventually practiced patent law for several enterprising years (patent application covering a voltmeter anyone?). Finally realizing that technology just wasn’t her bag, she traded the voltmeters for alpha heroes and the women who love them. Today, Libby writes contemporary romances from the foot of the Rocky Mountains, where she lives with her husband, a bona fide rocket scientist (he stuck with the voltmeters!). When not writing, Libby loves good food, even better wine, and traveling the world in search of the next great story. Libby loves hearing from readers!

Join the fun at, where you can sign up for Libby’s new-release e-newsletter, or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram.
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Enter Libby's giveaway!!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (31)

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:
Better when He's Bold (Welcome to the Point, #2) The Old Man and the Sea The Hooker and the Hermit
Better When He's Bold by Jay Crownover
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Hooker and the Hermit by Penny Reid

What I'm Still Listening To:
Brilliance (Brilliance Saga, #1)
Brilliance by Markus Sakey
My Reviews Last Week:
Maya And The Tough Guy (Big Girl Panties #2) Tangled (Tangled, #1)
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3) I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1)
Maya and the Tough Guy by Carter Ashby (3-3.5 Stars)
Tangled by Emma Chase (4 Stars)
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (
5 Stars)
I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre (
2 Stars)

What I'm Reading This Week:
All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2)
All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (93)

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 Outlet Purchases:
Raging Star (Dust Lands, #3) The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1) The Offering (The Pledge, #3)
The Battle For WondLa (WondLa, #3) The Rithmatist (Rithmatist, #1)
Sweet Legacy (Medusa Girls, #3) Bang (Visions, #2) Gasp (Visions, #3)
Island of Silence (Unwanteds, #2) Island of Fire  (Unwanteds, #3)
Raging Star by Moira Young
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
The Offering by Kimberly Derting
The Battle for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi
The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs
Bang by Lisa McMann
Gasp by Lisa McMann
The Unwanteds: Island of Silence by Lisa McMann
The Unwanteds: Island of Fire by Lisa McMann

Friday, January 23, 2015

Review: I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

I Want It That Way (2B Trilogy #1)
I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre
(2B Trilogy #1)
August 26, 2014
352 pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary 18+
Contains: explicit sex, language
Source: eARC for Honest review

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

I wish I could say that I liked this one, but I can't. I'm giving it two stars to represent the fact that I liked the two main characters. I also liked Sam, Ty's son, but I have to lump him with the other two. Nadia, Ty, and Sam were endearing and likable, even when they were making mistakes. If I just focus on their story, it is quite sweet. If only liking the characters would have been enough for me to like this book.

What didn't work for me, for one thing, was that this book was simply boring. It's 352 pages of walking step-by-step through what felt like each day of Nadia's life. I skimmed a lot. I didn't need to know every nuance of her daily life, and then have it repeated, and then see her hang with her roommates, and then have that repeated. By the time we got to the sex scenes, I was bored and skimming through them, too.

Which also means I didn't love the writing style of this one. It just did not grab me. There was just something about the narrative that read boring and predictable and simple. Also, I don't generally mind insta-love, but Nadia's insta-feelings without much basis made me cringe. Now I will say that I've read the first book of Aguirre's Razorland series and really liked it. So it isn't that I don't like this author. I just think perhaps her YA Dystopian style reads better for me.

Additionally, this book felt like a lot of set up for the entire trilogy. Instead of just getting a glimpse of Nadia's roommates and their potential future stories, we get a ton of info on them. There was too much time spent setting them up, when I really wanted to focus mainly on Nadia and Ty. It was disruptive to the flow of the story. It also made those other characters less appealing.

Overall, I liked the concept of this story and its main characters. Unfortunately, the execution just didn't work for me. Perhaps you'll have better luck with it than I did.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review: Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger
(Finishing School #3)
November 4, 2014
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk
Source: eARC for Honest review

Sophronia continues second year finishing school in style -- with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown. She, best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and charming Lord Felix Mersey stow away on train to return classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspects what or who would be aboard the suspiciously empty train.

I am still loving this series. It's fun, it's creative, and it's completely engaging. Picking up about a year since the last book ended, Sophronia and her friends are ensconced in finishing school until tragedy strikes Sidheag's werewolf pack. Sidheag's attachment to her pack pulls the whole crew along, and somehow Sophronia, Sidheag, Dimity, Felix, and Soap end up on a suspicious train and a find themselves uncovering a plot beyond their plans or expectations. I got a real kick out of all the situations they would find themselves in, the twists and developments, and especially the witty dialogue.

I love the thought process that goes on in this series, not just in the overall plot, but especially with Sophronia. I find her character completely engaging and fascinating. She is one of my favorite characters I've read, honestly. And I tell you, I love the journey of all these characters. I love that they have varied qualities. I love the way they work together. I love the way they communicate. I just love how the characters are written. Even walking through the bit of a love triangle with Sophronia, Felix, and Soap, was so well considered, particularly for someone like me who isn't normally a fan of love triangles. Oh for the love of Soap! And the way this novel wrapped up, with new developments, some surprises, and where we're left... woah. Loved it! I can't want to see what happens next!

I highly recommend this series to young adults and adults alike. Clean writing, fun characters, and a fascinating plot. Love it!

Have you started this series yet?
Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)
Book 1: Etiquette & Espionage

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)
Book 2: Curtsies & Conspiracies

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)
Book 3: Waistcoats & Weaponry