Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Something Real by Ariadne Wayne

Title: Something Real
Author: Ariadne Wayne
Published: February 21st 2015
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Olivia Grant’s husband left her and their two children without even a backward glance. In an attempt to find herself, she turns to an old love. Writing.

Publishing erotic novels in secret, she finds a muse in her neighbour and friend, Logan. She’s not his type, but Logan makes her burn with the desire she conveys in her novels. When her secret is exposed, Logan feels betrayed and used. More than anything, Olivia needs to regain his trust and prove to him that what they have is something real.  

Features characters from the first two books in the series, but is a complete standalone.

My Thoughts:

When you pick up a book after reading the synopsis, you expect the story to stick to it for the most part. Sure, there may be some slight variations, or a twist thrown in there, but you anticipate a certain kind of story. So when you read the book and it doesn't have the conflict you expect, it kinda causes a little bit of confusion.

While Olivia does write and publish books and Logan finds out about it, that isn't the story. There is barely any "conflict" in the story... it's more like an extended love story with a couple speedbumps along the way. I don't want to be all spoilery, but I feel like I have to explain this since it's my main concern. They meet, become friends, they flirt, her secret is revealed, he's upset... then they talk and it becomes a love story. Literally the last half is their love story. There's no real complications along the way, aside from run-ins with her husband (they couldn't get divorced right away), and seeing her mom for the first time since she was kicked out after getting pregnant.

Something Real was a sweet story. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but I feel sort of thrown because the synopsis left so much out. It was nice that it wasn't full of angst or unnecessary drama. I wish that there was more build-up, not that there had to be conflict, it just felt like something was missing. Everything fell together almost too perfectly, too easily, if that makes any sense. Still a good story for those who love to read love stories with little conflict.

My Rating:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Write On Review-a-Thon! (Take Seven!) #reviewathon

Write On Review-a-Thon

Hello everybody! I found something AMAZING. It's called the Write On Review-a-thon! It's hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. You know you're probably in the same boat--behind on reviews--so you should sign up with me here and we can do a nice little review blitz this coming weekend together.

I'm going to shoot for reviewing TEN books altogether, plus format every single book review coming up because I've been slacking there, too!

* = NetGalley, Edelweiss, or review book
~ = Book that takes priority for posting next month
Italicized = Books I need to review this time around (I'll italicize later)


REVIEW LIST

(review list includes books currently reading that might be finished in time to review)
  1. Changing His Game by Justine Elvira
  2. Slade by Victoria Ashley
  3. Kiss the Sky by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  4. Hothouse Flower by Krista & Becca Ritchie
  5. Stripping the Billionaire by Noelle Adams
  6. Wild Temptation by Emma Hart
  7. Finding Cinderella (Hopeless #2.5) by Colleen Hoover *
  8. Lost and Found by Ember Casey ~
  9. Hope Burns (Hope #3) by Jaci Burton
  10. Calling California (Hunter Hill University #1) by J.P. Grider *
  11. Zack (Cold Fury Hockey #3) by Sawyer Bennett
  12. Falling for His Best Friend (Out of Uniform #2) by Katee Robert
  13. Rush by Gina Gordon
  14. Escorting the Billionaire (Escorting the Billionaire, #1) by Leigh James
  15. Clash: A Legal Affairs Story (Cal and Macy #1) by Sawyer Bennett
  16. One Night with the Best Man (One Night novellas #6) by Noelle Adams
  17. Trust The Focus (In Focus #1) by Megan Erickson
  18. Yesterday's Half Truths (Carolina Days #2) by Carey Heywood
  19. Breaking Up with Barrett (The English Brothers #1) by Katy Regnery
  20. Don't Walk Away by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
  21. The Italian’s Deal for I Do by Jennifer Hayward
  22. Triple the Fun by Maureen Child
  23. Minding Her Boss's Business by Janice Maynard
  24. Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden
  25. Their Wicked Wedding: A Cunningham Family Novel by Ember Casey
  26. Sin by Violetta Rand
  27. Three of Hearts Short Story Anthology
  28. Triple Time by Regina Kyle
  29. Discovering April by Sheena Hutchinson 
  30. Fringe Benefits by Sandy James
  31. A Cunningham Christmas by Ember Casey
  32. When Things Go Wrong by Lacey Silks
  33. Cheaters Anonymous by Lacey Silks 
  34. SEAL's Desire by Elle James
  35. Unspoken by Brenda Rothert
  36. Mending Michael by J.P. Grider
  37. Sweet the Sin by Claire Kent 
  38. Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine
  39. Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage
  40. Wait for Me / Trust in Me by Samantha Chase

 I'll work on my list of "reviews to be formatted" later. ^_^


So, are you going to join me? You totally should! Because... it's the perfect motivational tool to get the reviews done... seriously. JOIN ME TODAY...

Jessica

Review: Taste by Cambria Hebert

Title: Taste
Author: Cambria Hebert
Published: July 25th 2014
Source: Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
One taste is never enough…

Spencer Waller’s main purpose in life is to protect and serve. After spending years in the military, he gets a coveted spot on the Secret Service detail protecting the president. Spence doesn’t have time for women or all the work having a relationship with one requires. But just because he isn’t looking for a lady doesn’t mean he can’t appreciate a beautiful one when he sees her.

And he makes it a point to see one in particular every single day.

Elle Bond has literally chopped and fried her way to the top of the food chain. Earning a coveted position in the White House as the president’s personal chef, she figures her professional life can only get better. Her personal life, on the other hand, could use a little bit of an overhaul, and because of that, she tries to ignore the charm-dripping cookie thief every time he comes into her kitchen. After all, she knows better than anyone that just one taste of something good is never enough.

One night after work, Elle is assaulted, threatened, and given an ultimatum. She can’t go to the police, and she sure as hell can’t do what she was ordered.
But she has to. Or else.

Pale, shaken, and scared to death, Elle confides in Spence, and his protective instincts take over. Together, Elle and Spencer have to uncover a sinister plot and stop it before someone ends up dead.

My Thoughts:

After absolutely falling in love with Tryst, I had to keep going with every other book in the Take it Off series. The one that came out after was this one, so I pounced for it immediately because I knew it would be good. And it was so good!


Elle's life is simple--she does her job and takes care of her son, Jack, who is her life. Then one day everything changes and their lives are on the line. She isn't sure what she can do because she's now in a very dangerous situation. When she turns to the sweet, cookie loving Spence, he makes it his mission to do everything in his power to help her. He situates himself smack dab in the middle of her life to keep an eye out for any actions taken to harm her or her son. He becomes something more to Elle, and even more is at stake.



Taste is an engaging read. I found myself bonding with the characters and on the edge of my seat wondering who is really behind these threats. You want so much to just snuggle Spence because he is loyal and protective and, well, who wouldn't want to cuddle with a sweetheart like that? Not to mention this book gave me so many feels by the end of it. This Cambria Hebert series is definitely worth checking out!

My Rating:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Review: Being Neighborly: a novella by Carey Heywood

Title: Being Neighborly
Author: Carey Heywood
Published: August 27th 2014
Source: Purchased
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Beau Hamilton spends his days working the family farm, leaving him no time to worry about finding a girlfriend. He wants to settle down and start a family, but his prospects aren’t looking up. He knows what he wants; a nice country girl, who doesn’t mind living on a farm, a girl nothing like his new neighbor Bethany.

Bethany screams “city” and it’s only a matter of time before she hightails it out of farmland and back to the land of coffee shops on every street corner. She’s not the type of girl who would be happy, living on a farm for the rest of her life.

Despite all the reasons he shouldn’t be, Beau finds himself drawn to her in ways even he can’t dismiss as only being neighborly.

My Thoughts:

After I read and adored The Other Side of Someday, I was itching for another Carey Heywood fix. When I saw she had this novella, I dove for it with both hands. I love love love novellas. It wasn't long before I started reading and kept on reading until the end.

Beau and Bethany are ADORABLE together. I enjoyed the beginnings of them--the whole getting to know you as a neighbor thing, then add in the attraction, and a first kiss... It was all so beautifully done. And who doesn't love a good old-fashioned sweet country boy?

Being Neighborly was the sweetest novella. I loved the romance, I loved the story, I loved how honest and real it was from start to finish. I don't think Carey Heywood could ever disappoint when it comes to writing books, no matter how short or long they are. Keep writing and I'll keep reading!

My Rating:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Bottle Cap Charm Keychains are available for authors!


Hello everybody! I have some news... I'm now making bottle cap charm keychains!


I'm making bottle cap charms featuring book covers for authors. They're super cute, and a unique item to give away as swag! I started out making some for my own covers, plus those of the other authors on the author blog I'm on.

The photos inside the bottle cap are 1" (slightly bigger with edges), and they come on a keyring. I will make the charm featuring your book cover. The placement of picture used for charm may vary depending on your cover (some may not line up perfectly to show the whole title, etc.), but they look great!

Things you need to know about the charms:

  • The charms are not waterproof.
  • If the cover used for the charm hasn't been revealed yet, I will not share the image (original image OR bottle cap image) until after the reveal. 
  • If you want more than one image/cover to be used, I can do that!
  • The more you purchase, the better the price. If you don't see the quantity you need, please send me an email and I'll see what I can work out for you.
  • Shipping times may vary depending on quantity, availability of supplies, how many orders are ahead of you, etc. If you need the charms by a certain time, I'll do my best to accommodate that request. (Approximate time for getting charms made/shipped may run from 1-2 weeks.)
  • If shipping is outside the US, please email for a price quote.

I'm selling these on Etsy (please click here to purchase), but you can also request them from me direct by emailing me at jessasank[at]hotmail[dot]com. I will respond within 72 hours (most likely within the day, but it'll depend on my work schedule).

Quantities currently available:

  • 5 for $10.00 ($2.00 each) *
  • 10 for $19.00 ($1.90 each) *
  • 15 for $27.00 ($1.80 each) *
  • 20 for $34.00 ($1.70 each) *
  • 25 for $40.00 ($1.60 each) *
* Shipping is $3.59 for up to 25 charms (US only)

Any quantities above 25, please send me a message to work out a custom listing.


Here are some examples:



Still not sure? How about I sweeten the deal for you...


Any purchases made between now and May 31st will get this special offer: I will make a couple extra featuring your cover AND showcase them on my blog in a super sweet giveaway. That's right--every author will receive FREE promo from me in a blog post, not to mention Facebook and Twitter pages (most likely in June).




Jessica

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Kiss and Make Up by Faye Robertson

Title: Kiss and Make Up
Author: Faye Roberson
Published: March 31st 2015
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Their only rule is about to be broken…

It's been a year since makeup artist Tabby Rogers's life was turned upside-down. Now she's back on track―in a month, she'll be in the UK for the career opportunity of a lifetime. One she absolutely cannot let pass her by. Until she leaves, all she has to do is fill in on a movie shoot in New Zealand and keep out of trouble. And trouble looks a lot like a devilishly hot stuntman...

Eli Black has one rule: don't date girls on set. His only goal is to get to Hollywood and fulfill a promise he made to his dying brother. Unfortunately, Tabby sends Eli's temperature soaring through the stratosphere. Surely—just for the month—they can enjoy a hot little fling before they go their separate ways? All they have to do is not fall in love...

My Thoughts:

This Brazen obsessed girl can't help herself when it comes to these books. I discovered this one and it sounded extraordinarily unique, so you know it had to be read. Turns out, it was worth it!

Tabby and Eli meet on on a movie set when she's in charge of putting makeup on him. The way they interact at first is completely adorable--small talk, plus life talk, not to mention honest compliments. It was super sweet. When they have their first kiss, it isn't one you'd expect--you know, those passionate, mind blowing events--it's classy and realistic. I loved that. They keep seeing each other, and although their time together is short-lived, they make the most of it. Then it comes time to part ways, and neither one wants to, but neither one wants to give up their dreams either.

Kiss and Make Up was a sweetly unique and sexy story. I enjoyed watching Tabby and Eli getting to know each other and realizing what the future could hold. Also, that title is so perfect, fits the story just right. I would be interested in checking out other titles by Faye Robertson!

My Rating:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tasty Virtual Book Tour and Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne


Welcome to the Crushed Book Tour!

~*~

Title: Crushed
Author: Lauren Layne
Published: April 14th 2015
Source: Copy given by author for honest review
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Buy: Amazon ~*~ Barnes & Noble
Add to your Goodreads shelf
Caution: May contain spoilers
Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.

Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half brother, Devon.

Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

My Thoughts:

I haven't met a single book by Lauren Layne that I haven't liked. In fact, I've enjoyed all of them thoroughly. So when I saw this New Adult novel, I had to get my hands on it as quickly as possible. Once I read it, I realized how rare it is to find a good NA, because this story was exactly what the "genre" is all about.

Chloe is a heroine you can't help but love. She's not the kind of person to stand idly by--she's willing to do whatever she possibly can to make things better. And that's something I applaud her for. With Chloe and Michael, they each have their reasons for helping each other (her wanting Devon and him wanting Kristen), but in the midst of it they somehow become friends. During this whole friendship, they don't realize until later how much more than just friends they are. All it takes is one kiss...

Crushed is a new adult book that everyone should pick up. There was so much love and heart and amusement throughout that you just want to hug the book to your chest. The one thing I found hard to believe was how either of them could want to be with either Devon or Kristen (read the book and you'll completely know what I mean). But I adored Chloe and Michael together. Just... adored. All in all, an amazing read!

My Rating:


~*~




Author Info 
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance. 

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
 

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.


Excerpt

Most girls I know pull their hair back from their faces while exercising, and that’s girls who don’t have Chloe’s cloud of crazy curls. But Chloe’s hair is bouncing free in all its wild glory. 
I’d started to suggest she might want to do something with it, but I don’t bother because (a) she won’t listen; (b) it’s hair. I don’t give a fuck. 
But by the time Chloe punches the treadmill to a stop at the end of her five minutes, I realize I do care. 
That damn hair is going to be a major hindrance. 
“Water break?” she asks hopefully. 
I gesture at her head. “Ponytail.” 
She tilts her head. “Huh?” 
“Your hair. Put it in a tail.” 
Chloe snorts and gives me an incredulous look. “You know, yesterday I thought you had the whole alpha thing down pat. The glower, the big ol’ biceps, the lack of small-talk skills, but you’d better watch it . . . Throw around the word ponytail in public and these housewives will be moving on to less metro pastures.” 
I grit my teeth. 
She wants alpha? 
No problem. 
Without a word, I turn my back on her, walking past the line of treadmills, elliptical machines, and weights until I reach the front desk. 
Demi, the cute receptionist, jumps in surprise as I move behind her, opening her desk drawer and rummaging through the office supplies until I find what I’m looking for. 
“You’re welcome!” she calls after me. 
I return to the treadmills, fully expecting Chloe to be looking around nervously for me, but, of course, she’s not. This girl is just . . . I don’t even know that I can come up with a word beyond different. 
Chloe Bellamy is different. 
And I mean that in an I could strangle her way, not I’m intrigued. 
Chloe’s found her way over to one of the cable machines and is talking to a blond dude who barely looks old enough to shave, but is definitely old enough to appreciate the compliments of an older girl. 
Even if said older girl is red in the face from her warm-up and all crazy-haired. 
She lets out a long gusty laugh, and I watch as he flexes, likely at her request. By the time I make it over to them, she’s honest to God squeezing the kid’s biceps. 
“What the hell are you doing?” I ask. 
She doesn’t seem the least bit fazed by my growl, and she turns to grin up at me. “This is Caleb. Can you believe he’s only a junior in high school? I mean look at his—” 
Wrapping my fingers firmly around her arm, I tug her away. 
“What’s your deal?” she mutters, turning around to give Caleb a wave and exaggerated wink. 
“What’s my deal? You should be thanking me. That kid is sixteen. I’m saving you from statutory rape charges.” 
“Oh, come on. I was just feeling his muscles.” 
With a grunt, I put my hands on her shoulders and push her into a sitting position on one of the benches. 
“What are you—hey!” she yelps. 
I ignore her as I wrestle with her mane. 
This is a first for me. 
The only other time I’ve even really noticed a girl’s hair was when I was nineteen. There was this hot summer night in a pool house when I finally got into Melissa Gilani’s pants after a fancy party her parents had thrown. Melissa’s hair had been up in this messy bun-type thing, and she had definitely liked it when I slowly pulled the pins out and released her long blond hair, letting it fall around her shoulders. 
Of course, I’d been kissing her neck at the time. That probably helped. 
But I am most definitely not kissing Chloe Bellamy’s neck, and putting her hair up in a ponytail is a hell of a lot harder than taking Melissa’s hair down was that night.



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