Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Breaking Down by Calista Smith

Raquel, "Rocky" as her friends call her, is an introverted girl, on the brink of turning eighteen. Having already been dealt a bad hand recently, her life gets even more complicated when her parent's divorce forces her to relocate with her mom to the city of Rancho Cucamonga, California. She will be facing her senior year in a new high school. Fortunately Natalia, her best friend since birth, will be there. It's the one thing keeping Rocky from completely going off the deep end.

She plans to stay focused on her future, which includes trying to join the Peace Corps. Then in walks Dante. He's cocky, handsome, well-built, popular and so not her type. She is determined to keep her distance. The last thing she needs is someone prying into her past. Dante loves a challenge though, and when his relentless pursuit captures her attention, she just can't stop herself from falling for him. They soon realize that things aren't always what they seem and find themselves forging an intense bond. But when life continues to hand them obstacle after obstacle, can their new found love help save her or will she finally find herself Breaking Down?

Amidst a terrible scandal, Raquel's parents get divorced and she has to switch schools. Switching schools your senior year is not something anyone wants to go through but luckily, Raquel has one of her closest friends by her side. Raquel has plan after plan all lined up for her after she graduates but little did she know that everything in her life would be thrown off track by a handsome man named Dante.

Breaking Down follows Raquel though her tumultuous senior year of high school. That this book occurs during high school is an important thing to remember because I think that some book reviewers have lost sight of that little point. High school is full of drama, especially with teenage girls (especially) because they are fickle, moody creatures that no one understands, not even themselves. And I bet that a lot of girls (and women) can relate to this book ... the immaturity, the rash decision making, the drama (oh, the drama) over things that seem so minute and miniscule now were life changing issues at the time. That being said ... the conversations were a little immature at times, even for these teenagers. There is one saying that occurred quite frequently in the book and while I understand WHY it was being said, it still grated on my nerves each time I saw it ... it was "swear to bears". Raquel and her best friend said this all the time because they didn't like saying "swear to God". I personally don't like saying that either but the repetitiousness with which it showed up was a little much. But then again these are teenage girls saying this and that makes it understandable. Let's move on ... I've run this topic into the ground.

I found Raquel's love interest ... interesting. It took me a long time to really warm up to Dante. But the conversations between these two ... well ... we've all had that one guy in high school that makes us girls nervous and excited and flustered. I really loved the realism put into their relationship. It took me back a little bit to those carefree days of young love. It was interesting to watch their love ebb and flow on the pages. 

This was a pretty good book. But. You knew there was going to be one, there always seems to be with my reviews. There was A LOT going on. A. Lot. This one book could easily have been multiple books if the issues were fleshed out a bit more. The story also jumped around a little bit and that made it feel jerky and stilted in places when I think that it could have flowed a little smoother. I would probably read something else by this author, I believe that this is her first book and it would be cool to see how her writing has changed and evolved. 

Oh, one last thing ... no girl, woman, or child should EVER say this about a guy/man ... "This guy has no idea how scrumptious he is." That is never okay. No self-respecting man would ever take that as a compliment and no one uses the word scrumptious unless they are talking about their grandma's oatmeal cookies. 

* I received this book from Ms. Calista Smith in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy

After an erotic one-week fling with a musician she meets in a bar, Thea Cunning never expects to see Levi Black again. Then Monday morning comes around, and she discovers that her former lover is not only her professor, but he’s also one of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Massachusetts.

With everyone in class vying to be one of the twelve disciples—a group of twelve students that Professor Black takes under his wing—tensions run high. Thea considers dropping his class, given their passionate week together and their undeniable chemistry. After all, there are other (less infuriatingly sexy) law professors on campus.

But to accomplish her goal and get her father out of prison, Thea knows she needs to learn under the best of the best—and that’s Levi Black.

But can she learn under the best, without being under the best?

Thea doesn't let people in. Ever. So a week long fling with a sexy man named Levi and it's without strings attached? That sounded perfect to Thea. But that blissful week ended and Thea can't seem to get Levi out of her mind and she can't call him or see him again. They had an agreement. So Thea goes on with her life. The last thing that she ever expected was to see her temporary lover standing at the front of her law class. Can Thea pass this class without caving and can the rule-abiding Levi keep his distance?
I've read a few teacher/student love affair books and to be honest, I've only enjoyed one of them. When I saw Black Rainbow, I was wondering if I would enjoy it because the probabilities were not in its favor. But I was surprised. VERY surprised. I didn't expect the book to be about so much more than just a taboo affair. 

You know, I'm a bit hard on flawed characters. But that's only because I really love a flawed character. I don't find it amusing to read about people who are perfect because no one is. I'm as screwed up as the next person and I want to read about someone digging themselves out of an impossibly deep hole, in the dark, with snakes raining down on them. I want the struggle and the drama and most of all, I want a character that will fight for what they want. So. Thea is that perfectly flawed character. She wasn't screwed up enough to make me think that things would never be better, she had these things wrong in her life and she knew how to fix them but she also knew that the road to that change wouldn't be easy or even possible. It is neat watching that caterpillar to butterfly type of transformation. And Thea wasn't the only one who went through that, there were a couple of other characters that had the same type of change and that was interesting as well to read about. And Levi ... while he wasn't as screwed up as I would have hoped, he was a strong male lead that I really enjoyed getting to know within these pages. 

I was really chugging along with this book. I read it pretty quickly because it just kept me interested. It kept me wanting more, which is what the definition of an amazing book is ... IMHO. Anyway ... so I'm scooting through these pages and I'm almost done and then BOOM! I was totally blindsided by something that happened. It happened to close to the end that I really had to go back and reread to make sure that I had actually experienced what I thought that I did. Man. I've never read anything by McAvoy before but I will now. She is a really talented author that everyone should be reading. Black Rainbow was just so good. 

 * I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Available: May 15th, 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing the cover for
Last Siege Of Haven (The Undertakers #4) by Ty Drago
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


 While away on an undercover mission, Undertaker Will Ritter has made an unthinkable alliance…with a Corpse! But though Robert Dillin (aka ‘The Zombie Prince’) is indeed one of those alien invaders who animate and possess the bodies of the dead — unlike the rest of his kind, Dillin isn’t evil. In fact, he wants to help. And Will needs that help, because the Queen of the Dead has learned the location of Haven, the Undertakers’ secret HQ, and is planning a massive and deadly assault.

With the last day of the Corpse War finally upon them, Will and his friends find themselves in a desperate race to close the Rift between worlds and forever kill the Corpses. But can they do before Haven is overrun?

For that matter, can they do it at all?
add to goodreads
Last Siege of Haven (The Undertakers #4)
by Ty Drago
Publication Date: May 11, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Available for Pre-order:
Ty Drago
Ty Drago does his writing just across the river from Philadelphia, where the Undertakers novels take place. In addition to The Undertakers: Rise of the Corpses,The Undertakers: Queen of the Dead, and The Undertakers: Secret of the Corpse Eater, he is the author of The Franklin Affair and Phobos, as well as short stories and articles that have appeared in numerous publications, including Writer’s Digest. He currently lives in southern New Jersey with his wife and best friend, the real Helene Drago née Boettcher.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
Title will be sent upon its release.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Since Drew by J. Nathan

Little Miss Bookmark is proud to be partnered with Xpresso Book Tours for a new release blitz today! Take a moment to learn about Since Drew (an amazingly awesome book) and definitely order this one, you won't be disappointed! 

Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the page!

Before I show you more about the book, I wanted to introduce you to the author, J. Nathan. Ms. Nathan quickly became one of my favorite authors just because of this book. She's such a sweet lady and super talented!

I'm a total romance junkie! Add an alpha male who's unlikable in the beginning...even better. Happy endings are a must. Don’t leave me with an unexpected cliffhanger or someone dying in the end. I’ll be depressed for days. Love triangles and negative people are the bane of my existence. My family, friends, sangria, and watermelon margaritas are the light…

I love hearing from readers, so feel free to get in touch with me at:  Facebook | Website | Goodreads

All Andi Parker has ever wanted, all she’s ever dreamed of, is a spot on the Olympic track team. But when a near-fatal accident leaves her hospitalized with serious injuries and shattered dreams, she’s not only uncertain what her future holds but also completely alone.

Drew Slater is a wanted man. Professional football teams want him for his arm. Women want him for his good looks and magnetic personality. But the well-crafted disguise he wears, the one that helps him score on and off the field, hides secrets. Conceals lies. Threatens the happiness of everyone around him.

One chance encounter brings Andi and Drew together, changing their worlds in ways they never thought possible. Unfortunately, what they thought they knew about themselves—and each other—might just be the biggest lie of all.

    He approached the chair beside my bed and dropped down into it, keeping his eyes trained onmine.
    A devious smirk tipped his lips as he placed the bag on the floor and lowered my tray table in the space between us. He reached inside the crinkly bag, letting his hand linger. I’d give him props. He definitely knew how to pique my curiosity. His hand slid out grasping a shot glass. His eyes stayed on mine as he placed it on the empty tray table in front of him. Then he reached back in and pulled out a second glass.
    A slow sexy smile skated across his lips as he slid the glass across the table in front of me. But he wasn’t done. He reached back in the bag and pulled out a full bottle of vodka.
    “Seriously?” I laughed.
    He nodded. “You scared?”
    “Scared I’m gonna drink you under the table.”
    He threw back his head and let loose a shoulder shaking laugh. So carefree. So comfortable. So unbelievably breathtaking.
    But once it continued much longer than necessary, I crossed my arms over the UNC printed on my powder-blue T-shirt. “Are we playing a game or just trying to get sloppy drunk?”
    His laughter subsided as he dug into his pocket and pulled out a quarter, holding it up so the fluorescent lights in my room reflected off it.
    “So, we’re wagering?”
    He nodded. “And with the pain meds getting the liquor to your head quicker, you being drunk off your ass is just an added bonus.”
    I swallowed down. Hard.
    “Now if I win…” He twisted his lips like he really needed to consider the stakes. “I get to give you a sponge bath.”
    He said it so matter-of-factly, it threw me for a loop. Then again, it seemed like a win-win for me.
    “If you win,” he continued. “You give me a sponge bath.”
    “Who said I’d want to give you a sponge bath?” I totally did.
    “Seriously? Have you seen me?”
    I almost choked on the arrogance floating around the room. But in all honesty, I liked it. Too much. A guy who knew who he was and what he wanted turned me on. It’s what I was drawn to. What I normally sought out. I nodded toward the vodka. “Where’d you get it?”
    “My buddy Avery smuggled it in.”
    “All in an effort to get me drunk?”
    His smile spread wide. “All in an effort to get you drunk and give you a sponge bath.”
    “Ever think of just asking?”

Take a moment to check out my (raving) review for this one!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Rock & Release (Rock & Release #1-3) by Riley Edgewood

Formerly released as a three-act serial, Rock & Release is now one complete novel.

She wants something easy. What she needs might be something else.

Cassidy Evans is looking for an escape over her college summer break. And when one night with a few too many martinis leads her to sexy guitarist, Gage Logan, she may have found exactly that.

He's hot and he's sweet, and in the bedroom he's enough to make Cassidy forget her own name. Multiple times. But as her heart opens to Gage, feelings she's been trying to avoid slip through, too. Regret over her rocky relationship with her parents. Pain from her brother's recent death. Guilt over a fallout with her best friend... As much as she craves Gage, she can't unlock her heart the way he deserves.

Enter Luca James, international rock star and lead singer for Gold Rush Standard. Cassidy can't stand his music. She can't stand his arrogance. And, when he sets his sights on more than the drinks she serves him, she especially can't stand how she's drawn to his no-strings-attached flirting.

Soon Cassidy will have to make a choice: ignore her heart and go after the carefree life she covets, or stand strong to face a bittersweet reality.

Either way, she risks losing everything she truly wants.

Cassidy's summer break has finally arrived and while her dad has plans for her to start a summer internship at his company, Cassidy decides that she has different plans. She desperately needs to escape her life, her responsibilities and her brother's recent death. A strange turn of events lands Cassidy in a precarious situation with her best friend, her family, a handsy manager at a bar and a sexy musician. Cassidy's idea of a carefree summer quickly morphs into something else that she isn't quite ready for. 

I am not a big fan of novellas. I don't understand this new craze that seems to be spreading like wildfire in the writing world. Why would you want to write a full length book just to decide to break it into three different sections. I'm not an author, so maybe you have to be in that club to understand the motivations behind that kind of decision. Anyhow ... When I found out that Edgewood's three novellas were being put into one book, I was all for it. I was really interested in the summary and I thought that it would be something fun to read. 

I'm glad that I did pick this one up and while I found it a little eye-roll worthy at times, it was a good book that I enjoyed. I don't know that I would read it again, but I enjoyed it this time. I found the characters to be pretty endearing, mostly Gage ... I thought that he was perfect and behaved exactly how I would expect a guy in his situation to act. My heart broke for him a little bit at the end and that made me love him even more. Riley Edgewood can construct some pretty amazing characters. Funnily enough, I didn't like the main character as much as I liked Gage and that doesn't happen very often. Cassidy just felt shallow and fake to me throughout most of the book and it wasn't interesting to read. Her interactions with the other characters was interesting enough to keep me hooked though. 

All of the twists and turns within these pages was nice. I didn't expect a lot of the things that ended up happening, which is refreshing. But some of the scenes were a little ... much. Now, I'm not friends with someone in a massive band and I have no clue what goes on back stage but ... damn. Some of the stuff with the band just seemed so far fetched. But what the hell do I know. Anyhow.

I probably won't read this one again but I might pick something up by this author again. For the most part, I liked her writing style and a lot of her characters. 

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review *

Available now!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: That Thing You Do (Whispering Bay Romance #1) by Maria Geraci

Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.

When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.

With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?


Allie Grant is a writer for the popular Florida! magazine. She's sent to her hometown when her editor receives a curious email about a ghost residing in an old senior center. Little does Allie know that she'll come face to face with Tom, her high school sweetheart and the one that got away. Tom is seemingly inserting himself into her investigation and Allie can't decide whether that is a good thing or a bad thing because her ex is too tempting to just ignore and she doesn't have time to be distracted.

That Thing You Do is a book by an author I haven't had the opportunity to hear of before and I was pleasantly surprised. Geraci writes a great sassy main character and the male counterpart was great as well with his quick comebacks. Speaking of these two characters, I think one of the things I liked the most was the relationship development between the them. As a reader, it's always difficult to be dropped into an existing relationship in a book because sometimes the author has all of this background info in their head and it never really translates onto the page. But that wasn't the case with this one. I didn't find that I was wondering about anything with these two and their past. The great thing is that it wasn't thrown at you all at once, you're given just tidbits at a time and that helps the anticipation mount. All of that makes for a great read.

Since you're back in Allie's hometown, there are quite a few characters to contend with but I didn't have any difficulty in keeping everything straight. It was actually interesting to learn about everyone and I'm hoping that their sub-plot stories will continue in the next installments of this series. There were quite a few endearing moments and I found myself smiling at some of the things Allie and Tom went through. This was a really good book and I'm definitely keeping my eyes open for the next one.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 28th, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: Changing His Game (Gamers) by Megan Erickson

He controls the game, but she’s rewriting all the rules…

Marley Lake is no stranger to awkwardness, but getting caught watching a dirty GIF by the company’s hot new IT guy exceeds even her standards. That is, until she realizes he's as turned on by it as she is. But with a big promotion on the line, she refuses to let her current dry spell be her downfall. Maybe.

Austin Rivers has no business lusting after the irresistible editor of Gamers Magazine. He's a secret partner in the business—and technically Marley’s boss. One look at that GIF, though, and he’s ready to install a whole lot more than just software…as long as she never finds out who he really is.

But reality’s not as virtual as it seems, and when Austin’s identity jeopardizes Marley’s promotion, he has to change his game or risk losing the only woman with the cheat code to his heart.

Marley is the editor of the popular Gamers Magazine. She works constantly, has hardly any social life to speak of and keeps a risque blog that has a few edgy gifs on it. And by edgy, I mean verging on indecent. A deadline is looming at work and Marley decides to take a little break to check out her blog and then the unthinkable happens ... her computer totally freezes. Marley is forced to call for help and the guy that comes to help her is this amazingly handsome god-like man named Austin. And Austin doesn't mind one bit what he finds on Marley's computer. 

Changing His Game is the first novel that I've had the opportunity to read by Megan Erickson and it turned out okay for me. I wish that I could say that I just loved it, but that isn't how it worked out this time. The storyline was interesting ... I really liked the idea of Marley having something naughty that the IT guy found and was intrigued by. I was hoping that the novel would have a bit of cat and mouse after Marley's first encounter with Austin and it did but not as much as I would have hoped. I really enjoy "watching" the chase happen. I think the pursuit is half of the fun in one of these novels. 

I found some of the phrasing to be cheesy and over-used ... I know ... what phrase these days isn't over-used but it made Marley sound juvenile instead of like the woman she was made out to be at the beginning. I wasn't expecting that immaturity, I guess and it took the book down a few notches for me. 

And then there were the sex scenes. Tons of them. These days, the romance novels seem to have kicked it up a notch with the sex. It could be because we are becoming desensitized as a society or it could be that everyone is a horndog. I'm banking on the latter. In any case, this book's genre is contemporary romance but I think it could have easily slid into the erotica genre. I don't mind the sex scenes but it was a little too much for me at times. Not enough to hurt the rating that I was giving it because it was necessary to the story, I believe. 

All in all, it was an okay novel. I would be interested in seeing what Erickson's other novels are like and if they are all on that cusp of erotica because she's a really good writer. Next time, I would just prefer a little more meat to the story and not as much IN the story.

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available: April 28th, 2015