Thursday, June 23, 2016

Book Review: How Not to Fall (The Belhaven Series) by Emily Foster

Data, research, scientific formulae--Annabelle Coffey is completely at ease with all of them. Men, not so much. But that's all going to change after she asks Dr. Charles Douglas, the postdoctoral fellow in her lab, to have sex with her. Charles is not only beautiful, he is also adorably awkward, British, brilliant, and nice. What are the odds he'd turn her down?

Very high, as it happens. Something to do with that whole student/teacher/ethics thing. But in a few weeks, Annie will graduate. As soon as she does, the unlikely friendship that's developing between them can turn physical--just until Annie leaves for graduate school. Yet nothing could have prepared either Annie or Charles for chemistry like this, or for what happens when a simple exercise in mutual pleasure turns into something as exhilarating and infernally complicated as love.

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was pretty intrigued. I liked the idea of a "brainy romance" ... pun not intended (the characters study brainy stuff). I was looking forward to some witty banter, some British slang and one imagined (very sexy) accent. Things didn't go as planned.

To be completely honest, I was surprised with how juvenile Annie (the main lady character) sounded. I was constantly asking myself if I had read her age correctly because instead of a graduating college student, she sounded like a high school student. She just didn't have the maturity that I was expecting and it put me off of the story a little bit because it was so damn distracting. I'm not sure if the author wanted Annie to seem so very young and immature just because she's a virgin or if this was unintentional but it was a turn off. AND this chick is studying doctor-y brain mumbojumbo and she says the words "A Thing" and "The Thing" at least 37 times when talking about her attraction to Charles. That doesn't sound like a lot because out of a crap-ton of words, it only showed up about three dozen times but I'll tell you this, it felt like it was on every single page. After the first dozen, I would just cringe every time Annie said it.

Since I seem to have an axe to grind with Annie, I might as well continue with the tar and feathering ... Annie has this self doubt that is irritating. She's in a constant stage of need for affirmations about herself and that also was irritating. She's constantly begging for compliments. This happened a lot more than a few dozen times. It literally WAS constantly. She needed to be told that she was attractive and desired and doing the right thing and desired ... it mostly centered around being told that she was worthy of getting laid. Like there is such a thing. I'm telling you, this Charles dude was more patient that he should have been because if I was a dude, I would have kicked her to the curb after the first 59 times of her asking me if I wanted her. I just found it very draining to read because I was irritated about the whole damn thing and then for Charles to NOT be irritated just irritated me even more. 

There was one interesting thing was happening with Annie but it's more of a compliment to the author than the character ... Annie's inner monologues were interesting in the beginning of this book because they seemed to speak directly to the reader. I found that whole thing refreshing and I wanted more of it because it read like I was talking to a friend. But it didn't last long and when it was gone, I really missed it. 

Since I'm on the subject of characters, Charles needs to be addressed. Ugh. I wanted to love this guy. And I did ... at first. I thought that he was a charming Englishman and I really loved him. But then stuff shifted. He went from this stuffy Englishman to a dirty-mouthed, hormone crazed dude that talked with this American vernacular. That would be all fine and dandy but that is not how he was portrayed at first. It was this massive switch when he started getting some action and it wasn't just in bed ... it was all the time after that first piece of nooky. It didn't help the book flow correctly and it really took something away from the entire novel because it didn't seem authentic. Either he's a stuffy Englishman type character or he's not. Can't go both ways. Some slightly British sayings were thrown in sporadically but it wasn't enough to redeem the Charles character for me.

The rest of the novel was slow. That could be attributed to the abundance of sex scenes, I think. There were SO. MANY. After a while, I just started skimming them just so that I could move on to the rest of the story and there was one scene that was like a damn dissertation ... it was AT LEAST 785 pages long. 

By the end of the book, I was just done. I was done with the rock-climbing stuff, I was done with the medical/science stuff and I was more than a little excited for the book to just be over. It became boring from about the middle of the book and then when it ended in this horrible cliff-hanger, I was praising all things holy that I had reached the end.

Not the book for me and not the author for me, it seems. But as I've found myself so frequently lately, I'm once again in the minority. A lot of people have enjoyed this book and I'm one of the few that found issues in it. Maybe I'm too critical or maybe I just need to brush it off and move on to the next book on my list. Either way, good luck and I hope that you enjoy this one more than I did. 

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

Available: June 28th, 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: In Your Dreams (Falling #4) by Ginger Scott

Casey Coffield has a growing list of personal flaws he keeps locked away in his head:
He’s never on time.
His list of IOUs to his best friend is endless.
Money is always short.
Goals are never in reach.

Oh, and he’s decided to add college drop-out to that list, too. He doesn’t really think that last one’s such a bad thing, but his family insists it is, so it stays on the list.

On paper, he’s a zero. But in person, when he’s mixing tracks for a sea of bodies at the hottest clubs and parties, he’s downright irresistible. Just-right stubble on his chin, body of a boxer and a smirk that stimulates all the right nerves—women have never been a problem. They flock to his swagger and fall for his charm…fast.

All except for this one.

Purple hair, gray eyes, a raspy voice and sass, Murphy Sullivan is a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll. And her and Casey? They have history. He can’t remember it, but she wrote a song about him—and it’s not exactly a love song. But it is good. Damn good. And uncovering her inspiration just might be the key to solving a few of his shortcomings—not to mention open doors to his own big break in the music industry.

But sometimes dreams get messy when they collide. Sometimes life changes patterns. A past paints the wrong picture and futures get cloudy. The only question that remains is who will you choose when the dust settles—you? Or the girl of your dreams?

** This book is a Falling Series spin-off. It can be read as a standalone. **

This is the second book by Ginger Scott that I've read ... the first one was actually the first book in this series. I really adored This is Falling but things didn't go that smoothly for me with this one. I actually told myself that I must not have read this author before and I need to put her on my 'No, Thank You' list for the future. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that I had in fact really enjoyed another book by her. 

Diving right in ... I get a few books each day to review. They pile up pretty quickly sometimes ... I add them to a schedule and then pretty much move on until it's time for that next book in line. I read the blurb when I get the book and then not again until I'm finished reading. It can be months in between those two ... I like doing it this way because I go into a book knowing absolutely nothing and everything is a surprise. When I picked this one up and started reading, I would have bet the life of my first-born that the book was in a woman's POV in the beginning. It had a feminine feel to it for me or something. I just assumed that it was a chick. Negative. It's totally not. Casey is a dude. I had no clue. I was only a few pages in, but I had to start the book all over again because I just couldn't get the female stuff out of my head. 

I liked the characters ... for the most part ... in the blurb is says that Casey has women just flocking to him because they can't resist his swagger and charm. I know nothing of this swagger. Or charm, for that matter. I didn't think that he had the confidence that I associate with said swagger. He seemed very unsure of himself and everything around him. I also didn't think that he was charming. I just thought that he was a dude ... but that was it. I didn't pick up on any redeeming qualities or any memorable qualities either. I didn't connect with the dude. But then again, I didn't connect with Murphy either. I didn't understand the motivation behind creating a character like her. And once again ... no memorable qualities. They were just taking up space on the pages, is what it felt like. Honestly, I couldn't even tell you what the characters look like if you offered me a million bucks. That's unfortunate.

The pacing of the book was different. There was a lot of inner dialogue which really dragged the book down. It felt awfully weighty and then when you add in how the plot seems to move smoothly and then it gets caught on something and it totally slows down. Here ... it was like mowing your grass ... you've got your headphones in, you're jamming out to your favorite song and just walking along and then all of the sudden, you don't realize that you've stepped in dog doo but it's so hot outside that you don't want to stop mowing, so you just keep mowing but with each step you drag your foot in the grass, trying to get the doo off your shoe. Whew. Long explanation to tell you that the book slows down but hey, I wanted you to experience it with me!

This wasn't the book for me but hundreds (no joke) of people really enjoy this one. I don't think that I'll give up on Ginger Scott but I will probably hesitate a little bit before I pick up another book by her if it's anytime in the near future. 

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

Available Now

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Book Review: Only You (Bachelor Brotherhood #1) by Denise Grover Swank

Never say never . . .

Romance isn't an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . .

Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world's craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor.

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn't play by the rules . . .


After I finished Only You, I had one question ... why have I not read this author before?!? Apparently, it's because I'm a bumbling idiot. Denise Grover Swank is now on my list of 'Always Read' authors that I've been working on for the last decade. 

I really just loved every single little thing about this book. I thought that Kevin and Holly were beautifully created. I found myself immediately enamored with both of them and I don't know if I could say which was my favorite because they are pretty much tied. Holly was just the right amount of sweet and innocent and spunky while Kevin was proud and devoted and had just the right amount of mommy-issues to make him perfect. 

There were some absolutely adorable exchanges between Kevin and Holly that were sweet and funny. I was grinning like a fool in some spots. From the very first page until the last, I found myself completely swept up in this story. I was able to lose myself within the pages for a few hours as I was sitting by the pool. 

The plot and character development were completely on point for me. The story chugs along at a nice pace, I never found myself praying for it to just be over and instead, I was hoping that it would never end. I could say more but really, it will just be about how much I love everything about this book, so I'll save you a couple of very long paragraphs and just tell you that you should read this one. If you like semi-awkward girls who become flustered around handsome guys, then this book is for you. If you like handsome dudes who get put into awkward situations that make you laugh, then this book is for you. And if you enjoy a charming romance novel that you can fall in love with, then this book is definitely for you. 

Great job, Swank and I'll be checking out more of your stuff sometime very soon. Thanks for the getaway. 

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

Available Now

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Review: Her Best Friend's Lover by Shiloh Walker

Dale Stoner loved women, and women seemed to love him right back. He danced around the line that led to seriousness, but any time one woman got too close, he two-stepped back, quick and pretty as you please. He’s fallen in love before and he doesn’t want to go that route again. No woman was ever going to get close to him again.

The only exception is his best friend, Lauren. She’s the only one who really matters. But she’s his friend…and guys don’t sleep with their best friends, do they?

Lauren wasn’t the kind of woman to believe in love at first sight, but then she met Dale. He’s everything she shouldn’t want—a flirt, a woman chaser…and he’s also in love with somebody else.

But one hot, steamy night changes everything…


Before I delve into the review on this one, it needs to be said that I adore Shiloh Walker. I've read a couple of books by her and then force-fed the titles to my friends until they would read them because I enjoyed them so very much. You know how you can just grab a book by your favorite author at store, not even taking the time to read the back of the book before you buy it and you are completely confident that it will be amazing, sight unseen? Well, picking this book up, I just assumed that it would be as amazing as the other two and I was in for a nice bookish getaway. That's not entirely how my experience actually played out. Not at all.

This book is completely unlike the other books I've read by Walker. The tone is different, the writing style is VERY different, the editing is horrible and the characters are weirdly put together. It was very strange. At first, I thought that maybe I had started reading a different book than this one because it was so off. It was almost surreal. I was convinced I had picked up the wrong book. But I hadn't. This book was a derailment from what I had come to know as Walker's writing. It wasn't a crash and burn but there was some serious damage done. It was just so unlike the Walker writing I loved. 

Now more in depth about the book ... not only does it always switch POV rather abruptly but these random, non-important characters get paragraphs of inner dialogue. Out of no where! It's very strange. Like, you're reading about the main character and then BOOM! her dog's uncle's grandma's best-friend's poodle's owner gives a 5 page dissertation on the art of underwater basket-weaving with a llama's toe hair. Fine. Maybe that's taking it a little to the extreme but I hope I correctly conveyed my WTF thoughts as this book played out. And it wasn't just once that this happened, it was a different dissertation topic but it was still just as random and WTF-ish. 

And THEN the leading hero is an a-hole. Dale talks about Lauren like she's an irritating pest. He says and thinks these super derogatory things about her quite a bit. I'm not entirely sure if he even likes her as a human being. If my husband was saying stuff like that about me, I would karate-chop his Adam's apple and then knee him in the kiwis. 

I don't know ... the book was just weird. I assumed it would be good. You know what they say about assuming ... you get punished by having to read an inner monologue about braiding your grandpa's ear hairs. So strange. Not the book for me but I'm not giving up on Walker. This book was written eon's ago and I know that her writing style has changed. FOR THE BETTER. I will say that it's interesting to see an author's growth, though. I just wish that I didn't have to learn it this way. 

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

Available Now

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Book Review: Of Demons & Stones (A Tri-Stone Trilogy #1) by Anne L. Parks

Kylie Tate is highly successful and focused on her future. No one sees the fear that consumes her, ravaged by demons from a past that left her distrustful of love.

Alex Stone is rarely denied. Not by business associates, and certainly not the women he dates and forgets. Romance is never an option. That is until beautiful, sexy, too damned independent Kylie comes into his life and frustrates the hell out of him. She sparks a desire in him to protect her from the one demon that haunts her - and threatens to destroy them both.

Pushed to her limit and unwilling to be a victim any longer, Kylie takes control of her life.

But a madman’s quest for revenge not only threatens to destroy the love she has finally found – but also her life.


I'm not going to waste any time getting down to business on this one. Let's get down to it. I absolutely adored this book. At first. And by at first, I mean the first couple of chapters. I really enjoyed both main characters, Kylie and Alex, and I thought that the story had this fun, spunky feel to it. I thought that the story had this effortless feel to it ... I didn't have to force myself to get lost within the story or fight to stay focused ... I just really was enjoying reading this book. 

But then it happened ... the kiss of death for a romance novel: an unrealistic relationship. Ugh. I just didn't get it. The progression of Kylie and Alex's relationship was just ridiculous. It was just so fast. Alex was all possessive and it wasn't in the cute way ... it's not cute when you know someone for 4 days and then you're forcing them to stay in your house. That's called kidnapping. That shit is against the law and in no way attractive. Then you get to the sex scenes. These also felt unrealistic. They were stiff (not in the good way) and forced. The dialogue was also awkward. It didn't seem like something that would actually happen because they both sounded like broken records because they just said the same stuff over and over. For the love of everything fluffy ... spice it up, people!

And then there's Kylie's ex. If you don't want spoilers, you'll want to turn away immediately. Because while I'm not saying anything super-big, it is still a spoiler. Anyhow ... Kylie took this big step to get away from her abusive boyfriend (making him an ex) and she cut most ties but then she doesn't go to the police ... because of her job ... dude. That's having your priorities straight. Your job is definitely more important than getting killed by this sadistic freak because after he finally kills you, you'll at least have a place to work, right?

And THEN ... you know how when you're watching a horror film and this chick is getting terrorized by some psycho? You know the deal ... she gets a call from said nut-job and he says that he's in the house and then the dumb chick decides to go upstairs and grab her bobby-pins or some stupid shit and then you're left screaming at the screen that she needs to leave the damn house because he's right behind her ... yeah. That happened in this book. Numerous times. I wanted to just toss my Kindle out the window and call it a day. 

Basically, by the time I was about 75% through with the book, I had checked out. It felt like I had been reading Of Demons & Stones for a couple of decades. I just wanted it to end. 

Once again, I find myself in the minority with my feelings about a book. There are a ton of people who really enjoyed this novel. Don't take my word for it, check it out and let me know what you think!

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

Available Now

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Book Review: Kiss Me That Way: (Cottonbloom Novels #1) by Laura Trentham

A river divides Cottonbloom in two: the upscale enclave on the Mississippi side and the rundown, rough and tumble side in Louisiana. They’re worlds apart—but nothing can build a bridge like love…
Cade Fournette never had it easy Cottonbloom. He stuck around long enough to raise his orphaned siblings and then hightailed it out West—and never looked back. Even though he’s made a success of himself in Seattle, Cade never lost the toughness and the angry edge that helped him survive down South. His only weak spot: the girl he left behind…

Monroe Kirby came from the wealthy side of town, but that didn’t protect her from her mother’s drinking—or her mother’s boyfriend. It was Cade who did that, on a long-ago hot September night, before he disappeared…along with a piece of her heart. Now Monroe is a physical therapist who can fight for herself, and it’s Cade who could use some conditioning when he makes an unexpected return back home. Will he and Monroe pick up where they left off and finally explore their mutual passion—or will the scars and secrets of the past divide them once more?

This is the first book in Laura Trentham's new series about Cottonbloom, Louisiana/Mississippi. This is the first book that I've read by Trentham and I'm a bit on the fence as to whether I'd pick up another novel by her in the future. 

There seems to be a new trend going around these days with romance novels. The leading ladies all seem to have some sort of sexual abuse in their past. And this sexual abuse all seems to happen when they are children. I just can't stomach this shit. I know that it's a horrific thing that happens probably more than I want to acknowledge because there seem to be more and more sickos out there but it is possible to create a character that has not been sexually abused. Every once in a while when you pick up a book, it's not too bad but when it seems to be every single book that you read, it gets tiring. It's like the dystopian thing in the young adult genre ... one comes out that's successful and everyone else has to do it. Anyhow ... I almost put the book down because of the child molestation. 

Unfortunately, the book is just really slow. There was quite a bit going on but there were just stretches of pages where nothing was happening and it slowed the book down tremendously. I felt like I was trudging through a swampy marsh during the last part of the book. I wanted to crack a whip and get the plot moving again.

That being said ... I did like the characters. I thought that Cade and Monroe were interesting separately and then together, it was a perfect fit. I instantly just adored Cade and throughout the entire novel, I couldn't get enough of him. I would get irritated when he wasn't involved in a scene and then super excited when he was. Monroe was okay ... she was a bit boring to me as a character, even given her past. Monroe read like wallpaper ... you didn't really notice her until someone directed your attention there. But like I said, the Cade and Monroe characters really complemented each other, so maybe Monroe's boring-ness was intentional to get that balance. 

The author did an exquisite job of setting up the next novel. You're told quite a bit about the supporting characters and it amps up the excitement for their own story. This book was okay ... definitely not close to being the worst that I've read. A lot of my friends liked this one, I'm (once again) in the minority.

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

Available Now

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Book Review: Beneath the Lake by Casi McLean

Reeling from her boyfriend’s indiscretions at a party, Lacey Montgomery escapes into the throes of a torrential storm. Her car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of an icy, black lake. She awakens in the arms of a handsome stranger, in a place she’s never heard of—thirty-four years before she was born.

Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes. Learning the truth about her origin does nothing to stop the passion taking root in his heart and leaves him torn between finding a way to return Lacey to her time and convincing her stay with him.

Will the couple be able to discover the key to a mysterious portal before time rips them apart? Or will their spirits wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake?


This is the first book that I've read by Casi McLean and I believe the first that I've read about time-travel. I'm thinking that I'm wrong about that though ... 

Before sitting down to write this review, I really scoured other reviews to make sure that I wouldn't leak a secret that would really ruin the book for someone. This was not a fun task ... I absolutely hate reading what someone else thinks of a book right before I write my review, I don't want their thoughts to sway what I think, you know? Anyhow ... I ended up writing down my thoughts and then taking out spoilers. Worked out pretty well, I think. 

Okay ... it's no secret that this book is about time-travel. It's all over Goodreads and it's not something that everyone is keeping quiet. I'm a-okay with the idea of time-travel. Buuuutttt ... when the story jumps from 2011 to 2012 to 1949 ... it's a bit much. I almost got whiplash just trying to keep up with the times. The switching was so confusing at the beginning of the book that I almost put the book down a few times. It just really stole something from the book. I wasn't able to completely immerse myself into the story because I never felt like I was on steady ground because of the disorienting time changes. 

The meat of the story was good but then again, there was just so much going on that I couldn't fully enjoy the crux of the whole book. For it to read as slow as it did, you wouldn't think that there would be too many things going on. There was a lot of inner dialogue and explanations that were a little too lengthy for my taste. 

When you mash the POV flip-flops, the time changes, the slowness and the amount of plots and sub-plots going on ... it just didn't end up well for me. I wanted to like it and I did at some points of the story but those times weren't frequent enough to redeem the entire book for me. 

Also, at the end, there were quite a few typos. They came out of nowhere! There weren't any at the beginning of the book and then I'm on my last few pages and BAM! Typos. It was so weird and almost as if someone was editing and then chunked a deuce, said f-it and walked away ten pages from the end. Very strange. 

Not the book for me but it's a sweet story. Quite a few people have enjoyed it ... apparently, I'm the mutant at table 9 on this one. 

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

Available Now

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Print Party & Giveaway: The Ceruleans by Megan Tayte

Today is the first day of Ms. Megan Tayte's print party! Not only can you can now get this amazing series in print at Amazon but there's an awesome giveaway to win the whole series with her revamped covers in paperback!

This is a beautifully written, young adult fantasy novel. I've never read anything like it and I doubt that I ever will. Make sure you pick it up today and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul ¬– recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in the village of Standish, Greater Manchester. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she’s not writing, you’ll find Megan walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

Find Megan Online At: