Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Layers Peeled by Lacey Silks

Title: Layers Peeled
Author: Lacey Silks
Published: January 13th 2014
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
New life binds them,
Past ghosts haunt her,
Fresh secrets distract him,
...and history repeats itself.

Allie, a rookie cop hired and desired by a private investigator, is about to knock the wind out of Tristan with the biggest news of her life... ... right after the announcement that he fired her sinks in.

Tristan, the owner of Cross Enterprises, has a few surprises for Allie as well. And she won’t see them coming.

While the couple tries to deal with their predicament and growing romance, ghosts from Allie's past haunt her, slowly calculating the timing of their return.

With new assignments distracting Tristan, fate has stacked a threat against them. Can Allie and Tristan peel away their protective layers for long enough to see the danger brewing at their doorstep? If they don't work together, trusting and sharing information, it may be too late.

My Thoughts:

After really thoroughly enjoying the first book in this series, Layers Deep (check out that review here), I knew I HAD to read the second book. Especially since the first one left me hanging with a couple little minor details. It wasn't as good as the first, but I did like it a lot.

We start out at the part where the story left off, like exactly there. I was expecting the cliffhanger to be dragged out a teeny bit, you know, build some suspense before some sort of grand theatrical romantic something or other. Instead, the cliffhanger is nothing. Nothing to be worried about at all. I mean, all was revealed, Allie and Tristan are like, BAM! Hello romance again! Not that I'm complaining, because you know they won't be able to stay apart, but still, gimme SOMETHING to sit on the edge of my seat for, right?

There's a continuation of the suspense, which did keep me on the edge of my seat. And there's a continuation of the intensity of Allie and Tristan's relationship that never failed to be swoony. The culmination of everything up to the end was well done, and left me smiling.

Layers Peeled was a nice conclusion to Allie and Tristan's story. The last book in the series, Layers Off, is told from a different character's POV. I'm definitely going to read it, since Lacey Silks writes such great stories, but I was kinda sad to see that this was it for them. But! I'm glad I started to read this series because I have definitely enjoyed the ride, and it was quite a ride.

My Rating:

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Impasse by Sylvie Fox

Title: Impasse
Author: Sylvie Fox
Published: November 26th 2013
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Hot nights, huge consequences.

Divorced and done with her dry spell, Holly Prentice is ready to get back in the game. But with two conditions: her future mate can’t be married to his career, and he has to have a couch. Nick Andreis loves his job, and his only furniture is a king-size bed. He’s also single, sexy, and six years Holly’s junior. Any guy this hunky and carefree can’t be serious about the future.

After one spontaneous and explosive night, Holly decides that her search for Mr. Right can wait. Nick can be Mr. Right Now.

Nick has waited years for Holly. Now that she’s dating again, he’s determined to be the only man in her life. He wants what Holly wants: forever. Convincing her of that won’t be easy, but Nick agrees—with fingers crossed behind his back—to Holly’s idea that they can be bed buddies until someone serious comes along. His plan: use the time between their passionate nights to convince her that he is the one.

Will Holly’s unexpected pregnancy change the rules of their games? Or can they both decide to play for keeps?

My Thoughts:

I requested this one before even reading Unlikely, which was kind of a risky move on my part, not knowing if I'd even enjoy the author yet. Fortunately, it was a good move because I did enjoy this, and the first book.

Impasse takes place pretty much parallel to Unlikely, so there's a lot of tie-ins on each story. In this one, we're hearing Holly and Nick's story. Holly is highly reluctant to get involved with Nick because she thinks he's too young and not mature enough to be in a serious relationship. She doesn't even let him prove himself before coming to that conclusion. But he's determined to prove to her that he cares for her enough that it's not just a fling to him.

The L.A. Nights series is great. It keeps the love stories alive, and you're cheering for the girls to figure out what they really want. In Impasse, Holly and Nick are very sweet together, especially with the surprise pregnancy, which I had forgotten about from the synopsis. Sylvie Fox has done it again!

My Rating:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blitz: Escorted by Claire Kent


Welcome to the Escorted by Claire Kent book blitz!

I am actually super excited to be part of this. Why? Because when I saw the sign ups for this, I was so intrigued by the synopsis and HAD to get my hands on it. So, I bought myself a copy and devoured the story so fast I couldn't believe it.

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Escorted by Claire Kent
(Escorted #1)
Publication date: December 15th 2012
Genre: Romance
She hired him to take her virginity...but now she wants even more.

Lori might be a popular romance writer, but she's never been anything but a flop with sex and love in her personal life. Still a virgin at twenty-six and increasingly frustrated by her inexperience, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She hires a talented, sexy male escort to take care of her inconvenient virginity.

She assumes one time with Ander will be enough, but she never dreams how much pleasure he can make her feel. Once isn't nearly enough. Twice isn't enough either. Soon, she becomes one of his regular clients.

Lori knows that nothing would be as foolish as falling in love with her paid escort, but she's never been wise with her heart. And, despite his professionalism, he doesn't seem entirely immune either.

Purchase:

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About the Author:

Claire has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she's not writing, she teaches English at the university level.

She also writes contemporary romance under the penname Noelle Adams.

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THAT quote. The one RIGHT above these words. That's from my favorite scene in the book. When you read it, you'll understand why.

Escorted will be on sale for $.99 for a limited time, beginning April 14. I HIGHLY suggest you get your hands on a copy NOW. Because. It's awesome. Seriously.


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Excerpt:

Ander was silent for a minute, sitting perfectly still in his chair. Then he cleared his throat. “Did you want to proceed with our engagement tonight?”

She stared at him, wondering what had happened, why he had turned into this poised, detached stranger instead of the Ander she’d known for the last few months. He’d never been emotional or open or vulnerable, but he’d seemed real. In a way he didn’t tonight.

“Well?” he prompted, raising his eyebrows again. “I would have guessed you weren’t in the mood, but maybe my charms are simply too irresistible.”

Then he smiled at her. That smile she couldn’t stand.

“What’s wrong with you?” she snarled, nearly snapping her teeth with frustration.

Ander blinked, the smile fading abruptly. “Excuse me?”

“Why are you acting this way tonight? Totally fake.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lori. We were having a conversation. Obviously, I behave differently when I talk than I do when I provide other servic—”

“Don’t give me that crap. That’s not what I’m talking about. You’re not acting like yourself. You’re all cold and...and fake.”

“I am myself. This is me.” He met her eyes with a look that was almost a challenge.

“No, it’s not. I mean, this isn’t how you’ve been with me before. And I don’t like it.” She stuck out her chin and glared at him, wishing he’d just break down and get mad at her like a normal person.

“My apologies.” He stood up and picked up his case. “In that case, I’ll just—”

Lori stood up too with a gasp. “I didn’t say you should go. I just wanted you to act like yourself again.”

Ander shook his head and started to walk toward the door, still perfectly polite, perfectly cool. “Obviously, this isn’t what you want anymore. I think it’s best if we just call it off. I wish you the best.”

And then the bastard just walked out the door.

Lori had been expecting an argument. She’d actually kind of wanted an argument—since then at least Ander would have been genuine. She certainly hadn’t expected him to just leave.

She suddenly realized that she didn’t want him to leave. She wasn’t ready for this to end yet.

She went after him, catching him just as he stepped onto the elevator. She made it onto the elevator too before the doors slid shut.

“Why are you leaving?” she demanded, glaring at him heatedly. “You’re acting like a jerk. We were having a conversation. There’s no reason for you to walk out on me.”

He lifted the eyebrows again. “The conversation was going nowhere. I understand that you feel uncomfortable about seeing me when you were with your boyfriend Saturday night. It’s perfectly natural. And you needn’t feel any guilt about discontinuing my services.”

“He’s not my boyfriend,” she snapped, beginning with the most irrelevant of her objections. “And none of that is the point. You’re not acting like yourself. That’s all I wanted.”

“Lori, you’re presuming too much.” He wasn’t looking at her now. He’d pressed the button for the ground floor and was staring at the numbers light up as the elevator started to descend. His voice was still cool and controlled, but his jaw and shoulders had tensed. “We’ve never had a personal relationship.”

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Giveaway:

Blitz-wide giveaway
Prizes - open INTL:
-10 signed copies of Escorted

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jessica

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Unlikely by Sylvie Fox

Title: Unlikely
Author: Sylvie Fox
Published: November 26th 2013
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
There are only two things Sophie Reid doesn't do: lawyers and sex.

When sexy lawyer Ryan Becker stumbles into her life, her first two thoughts are “no,” and “definitely no.” After Sophie and Ryan rescue a dog from certain death on the Hollywood Freeway, they share one smoldering kiss. Sophie knows a potential train wreck when she sees it and leaves the dog and Ryan at the pound knowing she’ll never see either of them again.

Poor kid turned corporate attorney, Ryan vowed he’d get an education, succeed, and be welcomed in the front door of the most stately homes in Beverly Hills. Now that his career is on an upward trajectory, he is ready to settle down. Unfortunately, the women he has been meeting haven’t set his heart racing. Enter: Sophie.

A master of persuasion by profession, Ryan convinces Sophie to pursue their undeniable mutual attraction. But Ryan’s quest to be a success at the very occupation she reviles rankles her.

When a Hollywood union strikes, Ryan and Sophie find themselves on opposite sides of the bargaining table. Can their sparks in the bedroom overcome their standoff in the boardroom?

My Thoughts:

I love finding hidden gems in the enormous pile of new adult and contemporary romance. I was a little iffy on this one at first, but I pressed on and discovered a very sweet story. It's nice to get a pleasant surprise like that.

Sophie and Ryan get along well enough, but Sophie isn't a fan of lawyers, which causes her to keep Ryan at a distance. When their paths cross again, there's a chance she might be swayed, maybe. I found it to be a very realistic romance, where it wasn't all roses from the beginning. It took awhile for them to appear and they came together more naturally that way.

Unlikely was an unexpected but enjoyable read. I read the second book in this series around the same time as this one, and the tie-in of each story with the other made it all the more enjoyable. I'm very interested in seeing what else Sylvie Fox has in store, maybe more in this series? Even if not, still interested!

My Rating:

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Writing Process

Thank you Molli for inviting me to do this awesome post on "My Writing Process" blog tour! <3 I love to talk about writing, but don't really get many opportunities to, so this is great. ^_^

Molli is a Southern writer who doesn't consider her day complete if she hasn't written. She loves coffee and talking fast, things she attributes to being raised by Gilmore Girls. She's a romantic at heart, and brings that to her books. When not reading or blogging, she can be found obsessing over Doctor Who, cuddling her various pets, or spending time with friends, family, or her girlfriend.

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1). What am I working on now?

Right now I'm finishing up Not Until Tonight, a New Adult novella. It has been taking me much longer than I thought it would. I originally planned on releasing it in February, but life got in the way a few times. So now I'm aiming to publish in May. Not Until Tonight will be the first in series of NA novellas with a similar theme (stories that take place in 48 hours or less). I *finally* picked a series title this last week: This Night. So that's exciting! Once I finish Not Until Tonight, I'm going to start on the next novella in the series, Our Chances Are. And after that one is complete, I'll work on the third novella, Any Second Now. I never really thought I would write a series, but since it's not exactly like most series (it's not even a companion story series) I think it works well for me.

I'm still strongly considering writing a second full-length Young Adult novel this year. It's called Before We Knew. I started writing it the summer before I first wrote If Only We. I was 10,000 words in and really wanted continue with it but decided to finish IOW first. I've been getting little inspirations for it, and I even pulled that document up to see if I would be able to salvage what I started (OMG, my writing back then was atrocious). We'll see what I really start next!

2). How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

It's more along the lines of ordinary life--people spending time with friends and family, discovering who they are, and having a good time. Some of the NA I've read have characters that have these larger than life jobs or unrealistic lives. It's nice to write about a woman with a normal life who is an extraordinary person, because those are the people I know personally: wonderful twenty-somethings making their way through life the best they can. Not to say I won't delve into a different kind of character in the future, because I do have ideas. For now, I like writing about someone I can relate to.

3). Why do I write what I do?

When I first decided to actually write with the intent to publish, I thought I would always write in the Young Adult genre. That's where most of my earlier ideas stemmed from. Then I got older. Now that I'm in my late 20s, it just feels right to step into writing New Adult, because that's where I am. I really (REALLY) enjoy reading NA books right now and I find myself more in tune with their feelings and emotions and struggles than teenagers. I'll still write YA books too (I have plenty of ideas I can't let go of from years ago) but for now I'm going to spend some time in NA.

4). How does your writing process work?

Oh, that's all over the place, to be honest. Some days I'm all, "Let's do ALL THE WRITING!" and other days I just can't focus. More often than not, I come up with scene ideas and dialogue while I'm in the middle of other things and can't stop to type it up. What I do instead is write notes in my phone and then later before I go to bed I'll type it up. While I'm typing it into the document on my laptop, I'll start to add in little details, like emotions and inner dialogue. Sometimes that little note of 100-300 words will generate 800-1000 words in a single writing session because it starts to flow.

For Not Until Tonight, most of it has been written in little snippets from the notes in my phone. I've got the basic plot set in mind, but then scene ideas come to me that occur throughout the story and I write them down. Currently, I have about 6-8 different dialogue sections written out that take place in the last 2-3 chapters of the novella. All I have to do is find a way to connect it all together.

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So, there you have it! I'd pick another author to pass this on to, but, I don't know who. Sooo... hey! If you want to post one of these and link back to me, that would be awesome! I love to hear about other authors and their writing process, and get sneak peeks into their upcoming stories. ^_^

If you don't feel like posting one of your own, feel free to comment below about YOUR writing process. Like I said, I'd love to read about it!


Jessica

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #24: March Edition



Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week (or in my case, each month), sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!

Bought/Free:


Private Practice by Samanthe Beck (-Goodreads-)
Drive Me Crazy (Shaken Dirty #2) by Tracy Wolff (-Goodreads-)
I Married a Billionaire (I Married a Billionaire #1) by Melanie Marchande (-Goodreads-)
An Arranged Marriage (Company of Rogues #1) by Jo Beverley (-Goodreads-)



Escorted (Escorted #1) by Claire Kent (-Goodreads-)
Breaking (Escorted #1.5) by Claire Kent (-Goodreads-)
 Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie (-Goodreads-)
Kiss the Sky (Calloway Sisters #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie (-Goodreads-)


 
The Fixed Trilogy: Fixed on You, Found in You, Forever with You (Fixed #1-3) by Laurelin Paige (-Goodreads-)
Engaging the Boss (Heirs of Damon #3) by Noelle Adams (-Goodreads-)

For Review:


 A Night with the Bride (By Invitation Only #3) by Kate McKinley (-Goodreads-)
Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (-Goodreads-)
Improper Proposals (Improper #3) by Juliana Ross (-Goodreads-)
One Night with an Earl (House of Trent #2.5) by Jennifer Haymore (-Goodreads-)


Never Entice an Earl (One Scandalous Season #2) by Lily Dalton (-Goodreads-)
After the Scandal (The Reckless Brides #4) by Elizabeth Essex (-Goodreads-)
The Trouble With Honor (The Cabot Sisters #1) by Julia London (-Goodreads-)
Star-Crossed by Luna Lacour (-Goodreads-)

Won:


High-heeled Wonder (A Killer Style Novel) by Avery Flynn (-Goodreads-)
(Thank you so much Avery!!)


Shadowlands (Shadowlands #1) by Kate Brian (-Goodreads-)
Hereafter (Shadowlands #2) by Kate Brian (-Goodreads-)
(Thank you Jen @ YA Romantics)
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It's just, never ending, isn't it? *sigh* At least I'll always have something new to read!! <3

That was my awesome month of bookish goodness. How about you? Did you get anything good this week/month?

Jessica

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: After the Storm by Marie Landry

Title: After the Storm
Author: Marie Landry
Published: April 9th 2014
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
For most people, starting senior year at a new high school would be a nightmare, but for Ella O’Dell it’s the new beginning she desperately needs. Two months after her mother’s death, she’s ready to leave behind the rebellious, unhappy person she became when she found out her mom was dying.

When Ella meets River Maracle and Sadie Fitzgerald, she begins to learn it’s okay to be herself, even if that means being different. River and Sadie aren’t ashamed of their misfit status—River grew up on a reservation, and his mother is the school counselor; Sadie stands out with her funky homemade clothes, and is a master at ignoring the whispered rumors that have plagued her since the beginning of high school.

Ella finds a kindred spirit in Sadie, and something more in River. After almost a year of pretending to be someone she’s not, she finally embraces life and allows herself to have fun without constant guilt. But despite her budding happiness, something is off with her new life. She doesn’t want to dwell on the past, but Angel Island is a small place, and she soon realizes her demons are harder to outrun than she thought…

After the Storm is a standalone companion novel to Waiting for the Storm

My Thoughts:

Welcome to awesome. I mean, hey! You guys! It's time to talk about After the Storm. This is the... *counts* ...5th book (full-length and novella) that I've read by Marie. And like a good bottle of wine, her writing continues to get better as times goes on. ATS is the second book in the Angel Island series, and follows Waiting for the Storm. WFTS is Charlotte's story, but in ATS we get to see things from Ella's POV.

Going in, I already knew I was going to need a tissue (or two or three). Ella has been through a lot, and her eyes have seen a lot. She's learning how to be a better person again after spending so much time being terrible to everyone she came in contact with. It's still a struggle to refrain from turning into that person she was, but she's fighting it. Seeing Ella go through this, thinking back on the past and wishing for something different, I could feel her pain and frustration.

We meet some new people in ATS: some great, some not-so-great. I'm going to focus on the great. Ella's new best friends, Sadie and River, are wonderful. I loved seeing Ella become friends with Sadie--it was genuine and a true friendship, unlike Ella's previous friends over the years. And Ella and River, that was truly amazing. My favorite part of this budding romance was that it was realistic and honest, not just thrown together because they were in the same vicinity or met through friends. They had a true connection, a friendship that developed into something much deeper.

After the Storm takes you on a journey through the spectrum of emotion. You feel the loss, the regret, the hope, the pain, the love. And you can't help but connect to Ella. Marie Landry is a superb writer who knows how to create fictional characters that feel like real people. I don't think it will be possible, ever, to not love a story written by her. This one is another must read.

My Rating: