Beyond the Stars is a new adult contemporary romance from Entagled Embr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Beyond the Stars is a new adult contemporary romance from Entagled Embrace and debut author Stacy Wise. I think Embrace might be my very favorite imprint line from Entangled. All of their books just make me feel all the warm and fuzzies. Beyond the Stars was such a wonderful book. I really really loved it. It was the kind of book that not only made you lose track of time, but also being away from it makes you kind of jittery and distracted. (True story example: I had been reading Beyond the Stars for about 3 hours straight, and I was about 75% done with the book. My boyfriend called to chat and say goodnight, and I couldn't even concentrate on anything he was saying. I was more than a little rude when I rushed him off the phone because I wanted to get back to reading. I felt like I was going through Beyond the Stars withdrawal for the 10-15 minutes I spent on the phone with him! That is crazy. But that is how much I adored this book.)
Beyond the Stars is told entirely from Jessica's point of view, with the exception of the epilogue being Jack's POV. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Jessica's narrative, I would have loved to get some peeks into Jack's head throughout. I am a suck for a dual narrative in romances. I don't read a ton of celebrity/Hollywood type romances, but I am starting to think that needs to change because I enjoyed this one so much. I think what I loved most about this story was that it was a very slow burn romance. It gave us tons of time to get to know each of the characters and for them to get to know each other, without rushing into anything. It was perfection.
Even though the romance took place late in the book, the chemistry between Jessica and Jack was present throughout the entire story. It jumped off the pages. I want to read more about these two. I just love them to pieces. Jessica is spunky and a totally capable woman and Jack is so guarded and secretly vulnerable that you can't help but fall for him. The two of them together gave me all the feels. I cannot believe that this was author Stacy Wise's first book. I will be reading more from her. Of that, I am certain. I can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.
Bottom line: Beyond the Stars has everything I love about contemporary romances: a realistic, slow burn romance, great characters, even better chemistry and dialogue, hints of jealousy and a satisfying romance that is sure to put you in a better mood than when you started the book. Beyond the Stars is a blockbuster hit in my book! Go read it now.
Ignited is the first book in the young adult fantasy and mythology seri**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Ignited is the first book in the young adult fantasy and mythology series of the same name by Desni Dantone. This book was written in 2013 and there are 4 books out in the series so far. Actually, the fourth book comes out next month (March 2016) so now is the perfect time to read the first three and get ready. I don't often get a chance to go back and start a series this late in the game, unless it is one that has been on my radar for a very long time. I just found out about the Ignited series this year, and because I love mythology so much, I couldn't pass it up. And now I am obsessed with it. I am so freakin' happy that there are 3 more books already out that I can read because I really want to keep reading. There is a bit of a love triangle, but I am shipping one side of hard and I really, really want to see if it is going to work out for them or not. (it better work out!)
It is hard to explain the plot of Ignited without giving too much away, because the summary on goodreads is very cryptic. I wouldn't have even known it was mythology if I didn't see that so many people had shelved it as that. (but if you would like to spoil it for yourself, books 3 and 4 have spoilers as to what exactly the mythological elements are, so read at your own risk.) I don't want to spoil it for too many people, but you do know that there is some paranormal or magical element at play in the story, and you do know that there are the "good side" and the "bad side". Being the astute readers that you are, I also know that you know one side of the love triangle falls on the good side and one falls on the bad side. But both of the guys are great. I just happen to like Nathan a lot more than Alec. I may change my mind later on, but I doubt it at this point. (though it has been known to happen) Team Nathan all the way!
Ignited was action packed and the overall story was extremely well done. This book will suck you in and hold you captive for the entire time. I really like Desni Dantone's writing, and I really like her mixture of adventure and romance. I hope there is more of that to come in the future books.
Bottom line: If you love action adventure fantasy books, and you are a sucker for a good mythology romance like I am, the Ignited series is the perfect read for you. Grab book one. I dare you not to get sucked in and immediately want to read books 2, 3, and 4. I know I am itching to get my hands on them.
Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a new adult time travel roma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** My Thoughts
Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a new adult time travel romance by Katie Hamstead. Even though the book is marked as new adult, I feel like it read more like a young adult novel. The main character is 18 years old, so she is borderline between the two genres but the maturity level of the characters pushed it, in my opinion anyway, towards the younger young adult side of the spectrum. Speaking of immature characters, I almost put this book down (DNF) three times within the first 30%. One time at only 6%, which would make it the quickest I had ever put a book down and didn't pick it up again. But I decided to give it another chance, and then I decided to give it another chance. And the third time I stuck with it. And while Dancing in the Athenian Rain was no where close to my favorite book ever, it did make an impressive recovery in my opinion. Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book that gets so, so much better as it goes on. The second half of the book is very good, so good that it made up for the less than impressive beginning. What I am trying to say is, if you are like me, and you find yourself not enjoying the first part of the book (and I will tell you my problem with the beginning) push through it if the premise interests you, because once Donna gets to Greece, the book completely changes. In a great way.
I love the idea behind Dancing in the Athenian Rain. A girl that is not understood in her time, goes back to ancient Greece and she is able to come into her true self. Watching Donna gain confidence and start to love herself was my favorite part of the story. She starts the book out with no self appreciation at all. It was sad really. The people around her were so unbelievably awful (no, really, they were unbelievable) that they had convinced her that she was totally worthless. Part of the problem was herself. She shouldn't have allowed them to influence her opinion of herself that drastically, but it has to be hard with such negativity around you all the time. She should have ditched them one page one. Her so called best friend and boyfriend were so awful. They were the reason that I wanted to DNF. They didn't even seem like plausible real people to me because they were so beyond horrible. Why on earth was she friends with those people? But that is besides the point, because they are not in a majority of the book. (which is why I encourage you to continue on with the story if they are what annoys you.)
Once Donna gets to Greece the whole mood and tempo of the story changes. Even the writing seemed to change. There was a sophistication and maturity in Donna in Greece that was not present in the modern day Donna. I liked her a whole lot more. She did take a while to grow on me, but my fondest for her got there as the book went on. I loved author Katie Hamstead's depiction of Ancient Greece. She wove bits of history throughout the story and they worked well. There were lots of twists up her sleeve too that took me by surprise. Some were more surprising than others, that's for sure.
Bottom line: if you are a fan of time young adult travel romances and of stories of ancient Greece, Dancing in the Athenian Rain is a book you should consider checking out. I had some major problems with the beginning, but once I pushed through them and the setting changed to Ancient Greece, I liked the story a whole lot more. Donna has some truly awful friends, but if you are able to push past them and write them off as terrible people, you will enjoy the story a lot more.
Happily Ever Ninja is the fifth book in the Knitting in the City series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Happily Ever Ninja is the fifth book in the Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid, but it can be read as a standalone. I myself have not read any of the other books in the Knitting in the City series, but my love for Penny Reid runs so deep that I couldn't pass up any of her books. I also wanted to read Happily Ever Ninja for another reason- it is a book about a married couple. I hardly ever read a book where the couple starts out married. And I knew that if I was going to start with one, it was going to be by Penny Reid. She just has a way with romance and with humor. I have loved every single one of the books I have read by her, and this one is no different.
While I just told you that this book works as a standalone from the other books in the Knitting in the City series, I would recommend that you read the free prequel to the story, Ninja At First Sight (click here to get it for FREE) but in the ebook that I read, Penny had very nicely put the prequel story right before the start of Happily ever Ninja, which I think is a really great idea for ebooks. I loved having both the prequel/origin story in the same place as the full length book.
Greg and Fiona were college sweethearts (read Ninja at First sight to see how they met in college) and Happily Ever Ninja takes place after they have been married for several years. But if you are thinking this is about to be your average contemporary romance, you would be completely and totally 100% wrong. Let me set the stage. Greg is overseas for work when he gets taken and Fiona has to come rescue him. She is a total bada**. Seriously. I didn't read the previous books, but if you did you would know more about Fiona and her past in the CIA, but her she completly kicks some major butt to get Greg. I loved her so much.
And the only thing I loved more than Fiona herself was her and Greg's bantering back and forth. It worked perfectly in with Penny's witty writing style that I love so much. Happily ever Ninja was an awesome read. I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this. I don't know how she does it, but Penny Reid continually surprises me. In the best ways.
Bottom line: Read this book. That is all.
P.S. This book also has another super cute touch. Before each chapter Penny Reid posted excerpts of letters from real life married couples (and some to their future spouses.) They were all different, but all a real treat to read. It was a very cool idea.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Forbidden is the first in a new, new adult serial romance. Set at Cambr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Forbidden is the first in a new, new adult serial romance. Set at Cambridge university, I was first drawn to this series, before I even knew the name of the series. I am normally not one for future brother/stepsister trope books, but the main character completely won me over. So when I realized the series was called Her British Stepbrother, I was already knee deep in the story and totally engrossed. No way was I backing out. And boy am I ever glad that I didn't. I really enjoyed this story, and cannot wait to continue on with the serial.
Forbidden, and I presuming the entire series, is told in dual narrative between our two main characters, Kat and Tristan. Kat stole the show for me. I loved her personality. Forbidden is a decadent story, but through it all Kat shone through. Even though this was completely out of her normal persona, Author Lauren Smith did an excellent job placing Kat in this new situation and both making her seem completely like herself, and not out of place at all. That is not something easily accomplished. And then there is Tristan. What, oh what should I do with you Tristan? I had to respect his driven in his pursuit of Kat. He was certainly single minded, but he was also extremely thoughtful. He actually surprised me how much thought he put into wooing Kat in a way that she would appreciate. (That is always a big thumbs up from me.)
I probably will wait until the next two parts comes out so I can read them back to back, as that is my preferred method with serials, but I am really glad that I read this first book now because I am not sure that I would have picked up the series once they were all released and I saw that this was a new brother/stepbrother trope. And that would have been a shame, because I would have been missing out on a well written, and deliciously fun read.
Bottom line: if you love new adult romances set in college with smart characters and great writing, this is a good serial for you to check out. And if you are fans of hot British men, you will not be able to resist Tristan. Forbidden is a great read.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski is a really cute young adult**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski is a really cute young adult standalone that will take you by surprise. When I first started reading, I thought this was going to be a catfish type story. (You know, that show on MTV where people "meet" people online, that end up not being who they said they were. Shocker...) But it totally is not that kind of story at all. I loved the way Jodie Andrefski morphed The Girlfriend Request multiple times. She blew my preconceived notions out of the water. And she kept me on my toes. More than once, I thought I knew what was going to happen next only to be wrong. Almost every time! That made reading this story a whole lotta fun.
The Girlfriend Request centers on the theme of Friends-to-more. It is the story of Emma and Eli. Emma has a had a crush on her best friend Eli for as long as she can remember, and she has a plan (though totally convoluted!) that she is sure will finally make him see her in a whole new light. Sounds pretty predictable, right? Well, that is where the predictability ends. This book was super cute, and a really fun ride.
I loved Emma. Even though she sometimes did some stupid things, she was still adorable and a really kind person. And Eli is a sweetheart as well. Both of them totally melted my heart.What I liked most about them, is that they have such a friend friendship. Eli can read Emma like a book. He gets her 100% And he likes her 100% for who she is. It was really adorable to read the scenes where they were hanging out.
Bottom line: If you love young adult romantic comedies, and you are looking for an afternoon of light, fun reading, The Girlfriend Request is a great book for you to pick up. It fits in wonderfully with Entangled's Crush line.
Touch by Natalia Jaster is a standalone young adult novel which feature**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Touch by Natalia Jaster is a standalone young adult novel which features a different take on Eros. In touch, Eros is a girl and is a class of goddesses called the archers. Here all of the emotions have a representative god or goddess and they all wield arrows to help maintain the balance of their emotion in the world. In Touch, Eros is sent to balance out the love in a small town. I liked the idea that other gods and goddesses also used arrows to maintain order, and the arrows themselves were more complicated than I have seen in other stories. It added an interesting element to the story of cupid.
Love is such a lonely girl. (or I should say Goddess) she is unable to touch any human, and she longs for that kind of contact and companionship more than anything. I loved, loved loved that the human that grabs her attention is one that is so overlooked by his peers. He has a leg injury and is often the the prime target for bullies, but he has a heart of gold and he doesn't put up with any of Love's annoyingly superior tendencies. (Don't get me wrong- she is nice, but she is also vain. I mean, come on- she is the goddess of love.) Watching Love and Andrew, it was impossible not to root for them. Although there was just something about Anger that almost made me wish it would turn out a different way! (it was never really explored in the story, so it was mostly just my wishful thinking)
Though there were a few aspects of the story that I found a little hinky- the author did explain them, so I can't really fault anyone for it, they just didn't sit 100% with me. Like the fact that Love was essentially living in this one small town in the middle of nowhere matching people. But she is the only love goddess, so what about the billions of other people. The gods and goddesses rotate their location, but it seemed weird to me for them to stay in any one location for such an extended period of time. (like I said, it was explained in the story as to why. Author Natalia Jaster left no stone unturned with explanations of the arrows, gods and goddesses and their whole world.)
Bottom Line- if you are a fanatic about mythology books like I am, you will enjoy this different take on a cupid tale. I really enjoyed it, and the love story and character growth is really great. An all around fun read.
The Prophecy of Shadows is the first book in the young adult fantasy/my**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Prophecy of Shadows is the first book in the young adult fantasy/mythology series, called the Elementals by Michelle Madow. This series says it is aimed for fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle, and I think they are right on point with The Secret Circle. What I liked most about The Prophecy of Shadows is the blend of witches and elemental magic with mythology. I thought that was a cool take on a mythology story that I have not seen done before. I have read contemporaries, fantasies, and romances from author Michelle Madow and she really has a talent for being an author that can write diverse genres of books well. I always know that I will enjoy her story telling. And I did with The Prophecy of Shadows.
The Prophecy of Shadows follows new girl Nicole. When she shows up to her new school, she is placed in a mysterious honors class, which happens to be a code word for the classes for students with magic powers. From there, she is swept up in a whirl wind adventure that must have seemed like something out of a dream for her. Not only did she have powers, but strange things started happening to her and some of her class mates. Strange, even for kids with powers. I really liked how fast paced The Prophecy of Shadows was. You don't really have too much time to do anything but keep reading and try to keep up with Nicole and her classmates because they are off on a prophecy journey pretty quickly in the story. I loved deciphering the clues, and I cannot wait to see what is going to be in store for them next.
The Prophecy of Shadows does a good job of laying the groundwork to their world. I know we will see more of white, grey, and black energy magic. (as well as all the colors.) And with some of the creatures that we got a glimpse of in The Prophecy of Shadows, I know there is bound to be lots more adventure for the gang. I can't wait to see what happens next plot wise. It is going to be a wild ride, and I am super excited about it.
I loved Nicole. I thought she was a strong character, and I admired her conviction and morals when it came to her choices throughout The Prophecy of Shadows. (especially when it came to Blake.) In fact, my only hold up with the story is Blake. I just can't seem to get on board with him. He does nothing for me, and the fact that he wanted to keep everything with Nicole a secret gave me icky vibes. I didn't feel their kind of budding romance at all. I really hope he proves me wrong in the next book, but as of right now, I am hoping for a new character to come into play as a love interest for Nicole.
Bottom line: If you are a fan of witch stories and of mythology this is a mash up of the two that you should check out! Book one is fast paced, and does a lot of world building and setting ground work. Michelle Madow has set up the Elementals series to be an action filled, fun ride and I can't wait for more!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Right Kind of Mistake is a flirty, sweet and fun new adult contemporary**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Right Kind of Mistake is a flirty, sweet and fun new adult contemporary romance that centers around hockey players. I loved Cam and Haylie's story, even though it did feel a little short to me. I would love to see a full length novel about them. If you like novella length stories that are not part of a serial (they feel complete on their own) then Right Kind of Mistake is exactly the book for you.
I loved the characters and the romance. Haylie is a college student that has been burned by her hockey player ex- boyfriend and Cam is his teammate that has had eyes for Haylie for as long as he can remember. I loved how sweet and pure Cam felt towards Haylie. It made me like him almost instantly. Even though it took Haylie much longer to warm up to him, it was fun watching Can try and win her over.
My only qualm with Right Kind of Mistake was the length. I thought it was very well written, and the characters and plot were very engaging but I wanted to see Cam and Haylie's story fleshed out a lot more. The book was about 110 pages and I wanted it to be three times that length. I thought everything moved a bit too fast for me. Goodreads and amazon do say that this is book one, but I am not sure if the second book will feature a new couple or if it will be a continuation of Cam and Haylie. I, for one, hope that it is a much longer continuation of Cam and Haylie's story. Like I said, I think they have a ton of potential and would make a wonderful full length new adult novel. I would read three more books about them if they were at the 300 page mark or so. If the second book is going to feature a new couple, I would enjoy that too, but would prefer that to be more around the 300 page mark as well. Author Rebecca Thomas' writing is solidly good and she does a wonderful job of making the characters likable.
Bottom Line: Great characters, great romance, tons of potential, and I definitely want to see more of these characters and this couple, but it was too short of a read for it to be an all time favorite. If you are looking for a quick- get right to the nitty gritty, sweet romance, check out Right Kind of Mistake. I think you will love it!
Burn For You is the third book in The Protector Series, an adult contem**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Burn For You is the third book in The Protector Series, an adult contemporary romance series centered around Chicago Firefighters and Police. I didn't not read either of the first two books in the series, and in fact this is the first I have ever heard of author Stephanie Reid, and I am like a kid in a candy store having discovered her now. I want MORE! I cannot wait to read the first two books in the series, but you don't need to read them in order, they really do stand alone great on their own. I don't love the cover. It kind of feels like a 90s soap opera romance to me, but that is the only thing I didn't love about this book. I love that this book centered around an arson investigator. I am now on the hunt for more arson centric books.
You know when you start reading a book and a giddy excitement builds up inside of you somewhere along the first couple of chapters? And you think, "YES! This is going to be a GREAT book." That was how I felt when I started reading Burn For You. I just knew that this book was going to be a hit with me. It is told in dual narrative between Vic (toria) and Jason, and I knew from reading the first of each of their respective chapters that I loved both of them. Vic is a girl that has had a crush on her brothers best friend for years, and she tries do hard just to get him to notice her at all. Jason was a little bit harder to get to know. Right away it is clear as day that he is such a great guy- really genuine and he honestly cares about doing right by people, but past that- he is locked up tighter than a vault.
I loved watching Vic, or Toria, as Jason calls her worm her way into the puzzle that is Jason. Burn for You is the kind of book that you can't stop reading, but at the same time you just want to slow down to draw the book out more. I loved their story so freakin' much. It just felt like magic coming off the pages. It has been a good month or two that I have felt this kind of raw love from a book. I am addicted to Burn for You. It is easily one of my top picks for 2015 favorites. If Stephanie Reid is an author that you have not read yet- you need to fix that ASAP. Whether you start with Talk to Me (book 1) or Burn for You, it doesn't matter. Burn for You is on my must read list for contemporary romances.
Game Changer is the first book in the adult contemporary romance series**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Game Changer is the first book in the adult contemporary romance series, called Playing Games. I thought that Game Changer has crossover appeal to fans of new adult as well as adult. The characters are in their 20s and they, or at least one of them, has a career that is pretty college adjacent. I really liked reading Game Changer. Don't let the title fool you, it isn't so much about playing games with each other, well maybe a little bit, but not as much as I expected. I found Maci and Liam to be very genuine with one another and that was refreshing. Sure, there were secrets but they didn't feel like they were playing games. I found most of their games to be centered around actual games (of the video variety).
There were many things I liked about Game Changer. I liked how smitten Liam seemed with Maci. he was just so adorable in his pursuit. It didn't seem contrived or cocky in any way. In fact, Liam had an innocence about him with his feelings and interactions with Maci and I could not get enough of his adorableness. I also really liked the setting in Tampa, Florida. I am familiar with the city, so everything was very easy to picture for me.I thought the plot was well done and the romance was great, and felt very natural.
I loved the chemistry and romance between Maci and Liam, but as the book went on, the more I wanted it to be a standalone. I wanted their story to wrap up, not because I don't want to see more of them- I do! But I just felt like we could have gotten to a good spot with them in one, slightly longer, book. (am I the only one that thinks this about some books?) I am interested to see all of what is going to happen in the next story. I know that book 2 is already out so at least I don't have to wait to see what is going to happen. If you like contemporary romances with a nerd flair, check out the playing games series.
Tyed is the first book in the new adult California Love Series by**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Tyed is the first book in the new adult California Love Series by author L. J. Shen. I don't have the opportunity to read very many fighting books. It isn't that I dislike them, but normally I don't feel the appeal in the summary. But when I read the description of Tyed, I felt drawn to the book and the characters, which is always an excellent start. The idea that Blaire was the less successful and somehow not as pretty twin of a supermodel seemed like such an intriguing idea to me. Where was that going to go? And could it really be true? I wanted to find out. Plus reviews were saying great things about Ty, and I love a strong alpha male character.
Ty and Blaire were a treat to read. I could not put Tyed down. Sure there was alpha dominance and strength with huge fights, as well as insecurity issues with Blaire. Those were the things that I expected- they were the obvious aspects of the story, and don't get me wrong- they were very well done and worked out well in the overall plot line, but the real star for me in Tyed was the unexpected softness to Ty. I just loved him so, so much. I thought I would like Blaire more at the start of the story because she is a really great girl and she has no problem sticking to her ideals, but Ty stole the show for me. He won my heart and then some. I actually sided with Ty time and time again!
I am not really sure if the next story is going to be able Ty and Blaire again. I would love it to, but I think it might be about Blaire's sister, or perhaps someone else at the gym. Tyed is a story that fans of new adult fighting romances will love. It will be a great addition to their collection of favorites. And I think people that don't read too many fighting themed new adult romances, should start with Tyed and the California Love series. It is a great entry into the genre.
Here They Lie by D'Ann Burrow is a new adult southern gothic roman**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Here They Lie by D'Ann Burrow is a new adult southern gothic romance. I love these kinds of reads during this time of year. I have a confession to make. Normally I am not a seasonal reader. I will read a "beach read" romance every single day of the year, and same goes for sci fi, fantasy and paranormal. But for some reason, the exception to this is during fall, and more particularly during the month of October. October brings out a desire in me to read creepy, horror books. But my favorite of all are southern Gothic paranormal/magic romances. I want to light a candle and curl up in a warm sweater (with cool weather, please!) and read books just like Here They Lie. The cover practically screams fall/Halloween to me. And the story was great too.
The description of Here They Lie initially reminded me of the Heirs of Watson Island series, with the mention of the three families and a secret that bound them together, plus the whole southern Gothic things, but it is really nothing like that series at all. I loved getting to know Aunt Kate through Reese's eyes, and I was really into the budding romance between Reese and Colton. I can't speak too much about the whole secrets aspect because, while we did find out a little bit about it, it was not nearly enough for my liking and it was kind of all crammed into the end of the book. I will have to wait until the next book to dive into that part of the story.
Here They Lie was a really good book to set the stage and meet the characters. It read more like a romance to me, which I really enjoyed. I would have also liked a little more time spent on the family secrets, and why some people in the families seemed to know about them and why others did not. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I am thinking there will be more clarity on that question and dozens of other questions I have surrounding the families. I will definitely be continuing this series because it has been ages since I have found a good pure magic story, without a paranormal element. So even though I do wish we got some more answers throughout the story, the basis of the plot is more than enough to keep me interested. I really like Reese and the plot is intriguing.
Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein is a young ad**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein is a young adult book that made me so happy because it totally surprised me. It is the first book in an unnamed series, and I am so crazy happy that there are going to be more of these books especially because of the direction that Jen Klein took Jillian Cade in. Jillian is the daughter of a paranormal expert, whom she lovingly (not really) refers to as a con artist. That should tell you all you need to know on Jillian's stance on the paranormal.
I felt so bad for Jillian. I mean, her mom passed away, her dad is always off traveling so you can guess that there is a bit of a strain on their relationship because of that. Not to mention Jillian is kind of bitter about the whole paranormal thing because her father has basically abandoned her to tour the world, leaving her alone and without money to even pay the power bill at her house. Talk about child neglect. To keep things going Jillian heads up her dad's paranormal investigation private eye business. I loved that she made her clients jump through password hoops to protect her identity from them. She is a savvy one, which is one of the things that I immediately liked about her. She is a fighter. A sassy fighter.
Jillian and her cousin help people rid ghosts from their house, or help out with curses, and the like, even though Jillian doesn't believe in any of it. (think Psych or monk or the mentalist.) But when a new guy shows up in town, and is a big groupie of her dad he basically forces her to come along on her next assignment. Saving the popular girl at school's boyfriend from a curse. And that is about all I am going to tell you about the plotline from the book because this book is just so darn good, I don't want to spoil a thing. Whether you are going into Jillian Cade expecting a contemporary or more of a paranormal, it doesn't matter, because I guarantee you will be surprised and pleasantly so while reading. (and nope, I am not going to tell you which one of those I expected. I've even included both contemporary and paranormal in my genres as a kind of pathetic attempt to throw you off. It's not actually both. winkwink)
If you love spunky characters, a riveting plotline, some romance to boot, and not to mention the set up for what looks like it is going to be a great series, then you have the right book. Jillian Cade exceeded all of my expectations. And then some.
Coercion is a serial series that makes up books 1-3 in the Montana Drag**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Coercion is a serial series that makes up books 1-3 in the Montana Dragons series by Chloe Cole, who is the alter ego to NY Times best selling author, Christine Bell. The Montana Drags series is a paranormal romance series that follows two different dragons. (Where do they live, I wonder? Could it be Montana??) Books 1-3 are Drake's story and books 4-6 are Etienne's story. I liked that this serial romance was split into two sub parts like that. I grabbed Coercion book 1 because it was free on amazon. (Still is! Grab it HERE) And when I finished reading that I immediately bought the complete Coercion set. (it was only 99 cents!! Such a deal!)
Willa is a wolf shifter that was jilted by the Alpha in her pack. That whole story has an entire spin off series, in case you are interested. But You don't need to read it to enjoy and understand this series. Willa's parents leave the pack and are looking for allies to get revenge on behalf of their daughter. In the process of their plan they sign a marriage contract with a dragon shifter. Only problem is Willa had no idea. Willa's parents totally handled this situation badly. They don't tell Willa what is going on, they pull up to an abandoned road and basically strand her there. Talk about messed up and scary.
But that is only the start of the story, because then we meet Drake. Willa and Drake clash and butt heads the whole time. That was what I loved about them. They are both so strong willed and stubborn that it is an interesting match. Their story was great for a quick read that felt new and fresh. I have been really interested in Dragon shifters lately and to see one paired with a wolf shifter was not something I expected. Coercion is a great 3-part serial for fans of shifter romances. i would recommend you check it out! I want to read more Willa and Drake.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My Thoughts A Sweet Possibility is the second book in the new adult/adu**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My Thoughts A Sweet Possibility is the second book in the new adult/adult contemporary romance Archer Cove by Natalie Charles. I had no idea that this was the second book in the series at all, and it read a like a complete standalone. This line from the summary totally sold me on the book, "All baker Jessica Mallory wants is a modest thigh gap. And her own chocolate shop." I have no idea why but I love the modest thigh gap and chocolate addict conundrum. It is totally adorable and cute, just like Jessica. I also loved Nate. Pretty hard. So I think it is safe to say that A Sweet Possibility was a really sweet book. Definitely.
Jessica is quirky and funny. Kind of like a smidgen of Bridget Jones mixed in with spunk and something that is uniquely her own. And Nate is just pure adorable-ness. I could not get enough of him. I loved how infatuated he was with Jessica. Those kind of sweet crushes get me every time. Jessica gets dumped and decides to make some changes in her life to get herself together and to open her own chocolate shop. (She does it for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless the reader knows what is going to happen.)
Nate steps in to help Jessica and watching the two of them together just made me smile. A Sweet Possibility is a bit of a predictable read, but it is predictable in all the ways you want it to be. I can't wait to read the first book in the Archer Cove series, because I am sure that it is just as fell good as this one. My only holdback with this book was something that I only noticed after I had finished reading. I know that might seem a little strange, but I was just loving every page of this story that this point didn't even cross my mind until I was done. Click to see what it was. (view spoiler)[I wanted more Jessica and Nate together. By the time the really good together stuff was happening it was the end. (hide spoiler)]
Bottom Line: A sweet Possibility is a really sweet friends to more contemporary romance. I would totally check it out, when you ate looking to satisfy your romance sweet tooth.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Before we were Strangers is an adult contemporary romance set up over a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Before we were Strangers is an adult contemporary romance set up over a course of almost two decades. I thought this book was going to be a new adult book when I bought it, and arguably the beginning of it is, because the characters start off in college, but this book was overall an adult book with the characters aging through a lot of their life. That was surprising to me, but overall this was still a really good read. I absolutely LOVE love love the premise of the book. Max and Grace had something going on in college and then for reasons unknown they went separate ways. They meet up again through a craigslist missed connection ad. I just love that idea. I think that was flat out brilliant on Renee Carlino's part. It was the perfect blending of romance and technology in the online world we live in now.
The book is told both in dual narrative, as well as shifting between present day and various points in Grace and Matt's past. I know that might sound a bit confusing but for the most part it worked really well. The past and present and the person were each identified really well, so you always knew who and where you were reading. For the most part, the book starts off in the middle of the story in Matt's point of view and then it flashes back all the way to 15 years before when Matt was in college. From there it shifts between grace and Matt in large blocks of chapters each (not every other chapter switching) and tells the story in chronological order, taking it past the "initial" starting point when the book started. Have I confused you yet? Don't worry, it actually works out well and is pretty easy to follow.
Before We Were Strangers took me on a total rollercoaster of emotions. It was happy, it was romantic, it was sad, it was poignant, it was bittersweet and a million other things that I have not hit on. This book was the very real journey with all the ups and downs of life thrown in to keep these two on their toes. I genuinely had no idea how their story was going to turn out until the very last page, and a happily ever after was never guaranteed. That made reading Before We Were Strangers a different kind of romance reading experience to me. All at once I loved and was very nervous and on edge that I didn't know was going to happen. Not to mention that I really didn't know if I was going to like Matt. I have never read a book before where I went from really liking a characters, to hating a character in the middle of the book and then liking him again. Normally, once I form an opinion about someone, it is really hard to sway me from my view of them. Not the case at all here. Renee Carlino really understands people. She has this way of crawling inside their heads and making them feel so utterly realistic that they could be anyone in your life. The good and the bad. This was the perfect, realistic modern day love story.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Tangled Up in Blue is the first book in the new adult contemporary roma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Tangled Up in Blue is the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Ikana College by author J.D. Brick. I really liked that Tangled Up in Blue was told in dual narrative, and I really did like the two main characters- Blue and Keegan. But the story fell a little flat for me. On one hand, the romance was interesting and the story was solidly good. Fans of new adult will enjoy the romance and the college setting. But people who are getting burnt out on new adult, or who dislike new adult that is all the same, this may not be the book for you.
For the record, let me say, that I am not burnt out on New Adult. New Adult contemporary romance is my favorite age group for contemporary romance. But Tangled up in Blue felt very generic as far as new adult romances went. It was good, but it wasn't anything different to make it stand out in my mind. But now, let's talk about what I did like in Tangled up in Blue. I liked the set up. I liked that Keegan was thrown into this big party house, which was totally not her scene. It made for lots of built in roommates (characters) for the story. I liked the way J.D. Brick used dramatic elements in this story. She didn't just keep throwing drama in your face, but it was kind of there in the background, in the form of a kind of sort of ex, Blue's mysterious past and Keegan's stalker of course.
The stalker storyline, by the way...totally creeped me out! I would have flipped if that happened to me. Keegan way handling it too calmly in my opinion. So why wasn't this story a bigger hit with me? Something about Blue's connection with Keegan felt off. Cheesy maybe? I'm not exactly sure. I liked it, and it has all the ingredients that would make this a new adult hit with me. And while the end result was something that I enjoyed, it didn't become the home run I was hoping for. The story felt long in parts.
Bottom Line: This is a good, but kind of generic new adult contemporary romance. If you can't get enough of the new adult genre and like your romances a little on the cheesy side, Tangled up in Blue would be a great pick for you. If you are a little worn out on New Adult, I would say pass on this one. Will I be continuing on in the series? Maybe. I am interested in what is going to happen next, so we will see.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Awake is a young adult thriller. I absolutely love the cover of Awake w**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Awake is a young adult thriller. I absolutely love the cover of Awake with the rose and the barbed wire, and the concept of a cult, because I don't read too many books with cults in them. I was in the mood for something creepy, and I had heard amazing things about Natasha's last book, the Cellar. Alas, Awake didn't work out quite the way I wanted it too. I liked it alright, but it certainly wasn't my favorite. Most of the reason that I didn't flat out hate this book was because the concept was intriguing to me, and I genuinely wanted to see where the author was going to go with it. Which to me means that Natasha's Preston's writing was not the issue for me. Awake was a technically solid book, as far as writing goes.
First, and this is a minor point, but the summary says that Scarlett couldn't remember anything before the age of 5, but the story has the age at 4. I know that is a little point, but honestly 5 in the story would have been better. Because I can't remember anything before the age of 4! (or 5 for that matter) The things that I do remember, I am pretty sure are not my own memories, but rather memories of stories that other people have told me. But fine, if Scarlett is freaked out because her lack of memories feels scary or weird to her, I could get on board with that. It is everyone else's reactions that had me pulling me hair. They were flat out shocked whenever they found out that she couldn't remember. Like it was the weirdest thing they had ever heard. And that was where the author started to lose me. It felt like a disconnect with the summary and with the story. I know that sounds weird so let me try and explain that means. (I have seen different versions of the summary floating around as I format this post, but the issues with the story remain the same. These things still bugged me even though the summary cleared it up. I am glad that the summary was modified though, I think that will help with other readers checking out Awake.)
My other main issue was with Summary Noah and Noah in the story. In the summary, it makes Noah seem like he is going to be protecting Scarlett from the cult, but then when I was reading the book, it really did not seem to be that way. You do get more answers as the story progresses but I couldn't connect with either of the characters because they just seemed so out there to me. Noah is creepy beyond belief and Scarlett just fell flat for me. I found Awake to be confusing and too many things just didn't jive and add up in my mind to make this story work. Fans of creepy stories and cults and darker versions of people (think really messed up) might get the appeal of Awake. I wanted this book to work out for me, but it just didn't. I didn't hate it, but I really didn't love it either.
I loved Like Candy! I have read Debra Doxer's other books, and I really**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I loved Like Candy! I have read Debra Doxer's other books, and I really enjoyed them as well, so I expected to read a solidly good book with Like Candy. But revenge is normally not an instant love plot point for me, so I was unsure how much I was going to love this book. I know you are thinking, then why did you read it Michelle? Well, I will tell you. Debra's writing is really great, and her last books were so powerful and wonderful that I just couldn't pass this one up. And boy oh boy am I glad that I didn't miss it. Because I think Like Candy is one of my top picks of 2015 so far! I loved that it was age appropriate for the young adult genre in the romance department, and I loved Candy and Jonah. That end though! Debra is clearly trying to kill me.
The summary for Like Candy makes revenge out to be a central theme of the story, but I didn't really think it was. And that was totally fine with me. I thought when Candy moved back to her high school that she was going to have some grand scheme to get revenge on everyone (or certain people) but the story didn't unfold that way at all. And I was really happy about that. Sure, there were revenge pranks pulled and one was even pretty serious, but they were sprinkled far apart in the story. The really focus was on Candy and Jonah. And what a focus they were. I loved that Jonah seemed to instantly see beyond the image that Candy was projecting for the world.
I need the second book so desperately because there are so many unanswered questions that I have now. And honestly for the first 3/4ths of the book, I didn't even think I was going to have unanswered questions. Everything was progressing great, but then I started to see hints of another layer, and bam the end of the book happened (really the last 1/4th of the book) and I was left with my mouth agape. Those last few chapters put so much into question for me, and I was left going back through the story, trying to gather more hints. But all it did was bring up for unknowns. I need the next book, because I cannot wait to see where this story is going to go next.
Debra Doxer write really great characters, and really great stories that draw the reader in and doesn't let go. I just love losing myself in her books. And the romance is wonderful in Like Candy too. If you have not read any of Debra's books, you really should!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Secret Fire is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Th**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** The Secret Fire is the first book in the young adult fantasy series, The Alchemist Chronicles. The Alchemist Chronicles is the collaborative efforts of french author Carina Rozenfeld and young adult author C.J. Daugherty. This was my first book by either of these authors and I have to say it was so well done. I loved the idea that these two teens, in two different countries could be brought together through the strange, magical and completely different things happening to each of them. The Magic Fire is a whirlwind adventure, that spreads generations and countries. I love the mixture of history, the beautiful settings and the fatastical and magical secrets that surround the characters in the Secret Fire.
The Secret fire is told in dual narrative between Sacha and Taylor, two teens that each have something crazy happening in their own lives. Taylor is only just learning that something strange is happening to her throughout the story. We get to experience all she is going through for the first time with her, while Sacha has known for as long as he can remember what is up with him. He can't die until he is 18. It is a strange concept to have short term invincibility, but I loved the twist on the family curse idea.
There are so many questions still lingering by the end of this book. I can't wait to get the next book in the The Alchemist Chronicles, because it feels like there is still so much more to come. We did get a lot of answers to the mystery surrounding the two teens, but holy cow there is so much more! Not to mention, I think the romance is building for the next installment, and I cannot wait! Fans of fantasy, mystery and history will freakin' love the Secret Fire. This is going to be a great series.
As soon as I read Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid, and I was intr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
As soon as I read Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid, and I was introduced to the 6 Winston Brothers, I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to read their stories. And of course Penny answered. Penny Reid is incredible at listening to her fans and giving them exactly what they want. I love that about her. And what I love even more is her writing. No one writes romance like Penny Reid. Her books are always witty, gripping and so, so, much fun to read.
Truth or Beard is the first book in the Winston Brothers series. It features Duane, one of the two twins. I could not get enough of Duane and Jessica. I loved their back and forth bickering, almost as much as they seemed to love it. I really really want to see more of them, because as much as I absolutely loved this story, it didn't seem finished to me. I felt like the last 1/4th of the book was more focused on the other huge thing going down in the plotline (which, don't get me wrong, was pretty darn important) but I wanted to see more cabin scenes with Duane and Jess. I felt like there was all this build up with them, and I want more dammit! That was literally the only critical thing I can say about Truth or Beard- that I want more. And that is pretty awesome.
I loved Jessica and I loved Duane even more. I thought it was hilarious that Jessica had a crush on Duane's twin brother for her whole life. But I love that this was not a back and forth love triangle book at all. Penny Reid did a fantastic job with that. Once the book got going it was all Duane for Jess. I can't wait to see who is going to be the girl for Beau, but Jess and Duane were made for each other. Or as Duane would say, they are suited.
Penny Reid has a winning formula on her hands with this family. Each of the Winston boys has such a big personality. That paired with Penny's talent for blending kick ass romance with spot on humor and comedic timing is pure gold. I get excited when I see that one of Penny Reid books is coming up on my TBR pile because I just know that it is going to be something great. And she has not let me down yet. Penny, give me more Duane and then give me more Cletus because he is freakin' hilarious. He is so quite, but whenever he opens his mouth, he has me cracking up. I could not stop laughing during the sausage grilling scene at their family dinner.
If you have not yet experienced the magic that is a Penny Reid romance, this is the series you need to start with. You will fall head over heels for the Winston Boys! I will take a hot look from any of them.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5 Confessions of a Queen B* is the first book in the young adult Que**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5 Confessions of a Queen B* is the first book in the young adult Queen B* series by Crista McHugh. I loved this book so much!I found it to be a breath of fresh air. The mean girl cliche has seemed overdone and tired to me lately, but Crista McHugh breathes new life and heart into this story of self professed Queen B* blogger, Alexis. Her blog is like a mixture of gossip girl and Harriet the Spy. And what I loved was that each chapter started off with a mini excerpt from her blog, the Eastline Spy. (Eastline is the high school name by the way.)
While the blog and Alexis' status as Queen B* of the high school is a central theme of the story, it almost felt secondary to the wonderful friendship that was forming between Lexie (as he calls her) and Brent. Brent is uber popular, and is paired up with Lexie for a very high tech baby project. Together they are responsible for raising a baby. (which I am beyond happy they did not have when I was in high school, because that would have been a nightmare for me.) Brent is so great. I loved how grounded and stable he is. He is just an all around great guy.And he actually took the time to tell Lexie that he wasn't buying her mean girl act, listen to her and actually get to know her. It melted my heart.
And Confessions of a Queen B*, while being a really sweet budding relationship between the two of them with flirting and cutesy banter, it was so innocent and developed at what I thought was a wonderful and appropriate pace. There is a hint of more to come but I kind of love Crista McHugh for setting up the series the way she did. She didn't rush into romance just for the sake of having romance. When I finished the book I flipped out and immediately checked goodreads to make sure that this was part of a series. But never fear, dear readers, it is. There will be more in store for Lexie and Brent. Crista I hope you have something great in store for them in the next book, because I really really like them together. They are probably in my top 5/10 book couples of 2015.
Fans of Young Adult high school setting books that are craving something fresh and so, so well done. Check out Confessions of a Queen B*. I think you will love it just as much as I did.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Playing the Player is a young adult contemporary romance that totally m**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Playing the Player is a young adult contemporary romance that totally made me smile. I think it is safe to say that I am a huge fan of new adult contemporary romances, but young adult contemporaries are tougher for me to fall in love with. I feel like they have realistic and age appropriate for them to be well done, and for some reason I think that is harder in the young adult arena. I think Lisa Brown Roberts did a fantastic job keeping these high schoolers true to themselves and true to actual high school students in Playing the Player. That does not mean that they were perfect. Not by a long shot, but they were just like so many high schoolers that I knew growing up.
Playing the Player takes an age old concept- the good girl reforming the player, and breathes new life into it. It is not that Lisa Brown Roberts did something totally different with the cliche, but she executed the story so so well. And I have said time and time again, cliches are not a bad thing. They are proven concepts for a reason. They work- if they are well done. And this one was so well done. I absolutely loved the slow burn romance between Trina and Slade. No insta love here.
Trina is type A and organized to a fault. It actually hinders her in her every day life. (some of her little quirks did irk me momentarily. Like her hang up on people "ditching" her. I'm sorry, she was not ditched at any point in the story.) Slade mellows her out. And Trina helps Slade in all the best ways too. Slade gets to be vulnerable and himself around Trina. Not all at first, but it creeps up on him. Day after day working together and they each get a little bit closer, a little more crush worthy to the other. It was just so darn cute. I can't even take it. (I am smiling just thinking about this book, as I write my review.)
If you like young adult contemporary romances, Playing the Player is one you will not want to miss. I can't wait to read more books by Lisa Brown Roberts because she tells a story so well. This book brought me back to my summers as a camp counselor. It is totally easy to see Trina and Slade fall for each other because I watched it happen every summer. It is inevitable. But are they just for right now, or something more. Who is truely playing the player? Read the book to find out.
If You Dare is a really fun, really cute feel good romance. Lily and Ma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
If You Dare is a really fun, really cute feel good romance. Lily and Marcus have the most hilarious competitive relationship going on. I loved that the book was told in their dual narrative, so we could really get inside both of their heads. And I loved that once the main "dare" was over, they kept the dare theme going all the way to the very end of the story. Some of the things they dared the other to do were too funny. This book made me laugh, which was just what I wanted.
Lily is a competitive one, that is for sure. Because I can tell you one thing, if I were dared to spend the night is a super creepy abandoned mansion, no way would I do it. But I admired he way Lily hunkered down, and when I saw everything that she brought with her, I knew I would like her. That girl did not pack light. Haha! If I were Marcus I would have tried to sabotage the night too. And speaking of the night, some pretty freaky stuff went down. And I do not mean sexy times. That night in the house would have scarred me for life, and it was left up in the air. I loved that! It was so much creepier that way.
As for the rest of the story, it was a really cute romance. I loved the back and forth between Lily And Marcus. They were all over the place and try as she might, Lily was just not able to stay away from Marcus. But they also just could not help themselves to keep trying to one up the other one. That was my favorite aspect of their relationship. It help things interesting between the two of them. I didn't realize until after I finished If You Dare, but this book was once a novella. The Author expanded it into a full length novel just this year. I think it works great as a full length story, and I never would have guessed that it was just a novella. Although, now that I know, I would bet that the novella was just the night in the mansion.
If you are looking for a light, fun and hilarious contemporary romance, I dare you to read If you Dare. It will put a smile on your face.
Racing the Sun is the second book in the Where Sea Meets Sky series, bu**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Racing the Sun is the second book in the Where Sea Meets Sky series, but it is a complete standalone. I didn't read the first book, but I did read the summary and those characters did not show up in Racing the Sun. Not to mention it takes place in a totally different area of the world. Racing the Sun takes place on the island of Capri, and I have to say that Karina Halle has made me bump Capri up on my list of places that I need to visit ASAP. It sounds absolutely gorgeous! Maybe a country is more gorgeous with a sexy budding love story though, who knows.
Racing the Sun is told entirely from Amber's point of view. Amber takes a tutoring position with a broken family in Capri after spending all of her money on her jaunt through Europe, leaving her with no money for a plane ticket home. I thought that was hilarious. I have no idea why, but I for some strange reason, I absolutely loved that she has been traveling so long and she just up and got a job in a foreign country to make more money to get home. (I know, I sound like a crazy person, but that is so far out of my comfort zone, that I just loved she was brave enough to do all of it.)
I loved Racing the Sun. The romance, the writing, the setting, all of it was a homerun. Karina Halle was inside my head with Amber. Even though she is way more impulsive and brave in a much different way than I am, I feel like our feelings and thought process were so similar. I felt like I was in capri tutoring those kids. At any given point in the story, I could take a situation that Amber was in and think "oh man, this is what I would do." or "uh uh, that would not stand with me." and then lo and behold, not more than a few pages later, Amber was doing just what I would do! Get out of my head Karina Halle. (or rather, stay but make me a Derio ::winkwink::) And I loved that while this was a heartwarming romance, it was a complete romance- with all of the ups and very realistic downs.
And the romance in Racing the Sun was great. I lurveed Derio. A lot. He only did one thing to annoy me in the whole story (and it certainly annoyed Amber too...of course) But watching Amber peel Derio back layer by layer until they each admitted their feelings was a beautiful thing to witness. Racing the Sun is the perfect book for summer. You will be instantly transported to Capri. Karina Halle's writing is pure magic. Grab a copy, lay out by the pool or on the beach (or under covers if its' raining) and enjoy.
Right from the first page, you can tell that Nothing Left to Burn**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Right from the first page, you can tell that Nothing Left to Burn is going to be an emotionally raw and powerful story. It is told in dual narrative between Amanda and Reece. Nothing Left to Burn really got to me. I loved that the book starts out featuring the male protagonist, Reece. Reece really touched me. I felt for him so badly. If anyone needs a hug, it is Reece. Luckily, I was also able to tell right away that he has a kick ass friend in Alex.
Nothing Left to Burn is a great young adult emotional contemporary. Reece's older brother Matt died a year prior to the start of the story, and Reece is still reeling from the loss. That and the fact that everyone around him (except for Alex) seems to be blaming him in varying degrees for his brother's death. (which, side note, kind of bugged me for the whole story.) In order to honor a promise he made to his brother, Reece joins the local junior firefighter program to get close to his dad. (since said dad was being a major jerkface.) And at this program Reece meets Amanda. I bet you can guess what happens next.
Yep, emotional romance. I liked the romance in nothing left to burn, but for me it came secondary for Reece's journey. Amanda has her own issues, but they didn't really measure up to Reece's. I don't mean that they weren't as important as his. She hasn't really had a place to call home, other than the firehouse, but her emotions didn't bleed out of the pages quite like Reece's did for me. Still, it was nice to see Amanda and Reece impacting the other one. Amanda has to deal with all sorts of crazy with her current foster family, so there were plenty of roadblocks in store for our young friends.
Nothing Left to Burn is a great young adult book for readers that like their romance with a heavy side of emotional and deeper issues. This is not a lighthearted, beach read. But it is a worthwhile read. I had a few minor annoyances throughout the story, but it didn't take away from author Patty Blount's powerfull-ness to her prose. She has a very strong book on her hands with Nothing Left to Burn.
When an Omega Snaps is the third book in the adult shifter series, call**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
When an Omega Snaps is the third book in the adult shifter series, called A Lion's Pride. I have not read any of the other books in this series, but when I saw the premise for this one, I was just so darn excited for it that I knew I had to read it. From what I can tell each book is on the shorter side, and features a different member of this pride. I wanted to start with Leo's story because I loved the idea 1) of the pride omega. I had no idea, but omega's are the peacemakers of the group. Leo is known for being calm and clear headed. I like that because it is such a contrast to how you typically hear shifters described in stories. I thought Eve did an awesome job at painting Leo out to be this levelheaded guy.
And then I love the idea of such a calm force becoming jealous and a bit crazy. I think we all know by now I like my book boyfriends with a touch of possessiveness or a wee bit of a jealous streak. And they extra points if this is out of character for them typically. Because I also love my book boyfriends to be sweet, or at least to have a gooey marshmallow center. With Leo I got the best of both of these worlds. I loved seeing him so out of sorts with Meena.
And Meena was a force all on her own. Oh wow is she forceful and in your face. She was a bit too forward for my liking, but I respected that she went after what she wanted. And she is the complete opposite of Leo, which was fun to watch how they mixed, meshed and even clashed sometimes. When an Omega Snaps is a fun and quick read . People that dislike in your face loud women, might have an issue with Meena, but I thought her big personality worked well in the story. I would love to read more books about Omega's, and I am interested to see if this is always their role in the pride (or pack) or if this was a new take on Eve's part.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**No Kissing Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**No Kissing Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West. I have read a couple of Melissa's other books and I have to say this one was not my favorite. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. But I just didn't love it. No Kissing Allowed is a fun, quick and flirty new adult romance. And I liked it for that purpose. But I had some snags with some of the characters. But much like the book overall, I didn't dislike any of the characters per se, I just didn't love the main character Cameron as much as I wanted to.
Cameron is a driven, impulsive and incredibly stubborn young lady. I loved how driven she was and that she went after what she wanted at work, but her impulsiveness led to foot in mouth disorder so many times throughout the story. I get it. She wants to be able to say whatever she wants to say, whenever she wants to say it. No one should oppress her or make her bite her tongue. #AmIRight? But maybe the line should be drawn just before you are talking back to your boss in the middle of a meeting on your first day at work. Moments like those just had Cameron grating on my nerves just a little bit. She struck me as the kind of person where while sweet, and compassionate (and she was! I loved her sweet and caring side)she was also the type of person that held their ideals on their sleeve. And that doesn't bother me, but when they feign to be open minded but really think everyone who disagrees with them is wrong...that kind of does. I know, you must think I hate Cameron by this point...and I really don't. I liked her and I really enjoyed the very bumpy but always fun romance between her and Aiden. It was just these little details in Cameron's personality held me back from falling in love with the story.
But what saved No Kissing Allowed for me was Melissa West's writing. I love her easy and conversational style. It made reading this book feel good. I loved Aiden, and I loved the friendship between Cameron and her friends. I would love to see their stories next. I feel like I would like Lauren a lot more than I liked Cameron. Now let's talk romance! The romance between Aiden and Cameron is of the forbidden variety and while this doesn't always work for me, it did this time because there wasn't a huge age difference between Cameron and Aiden. I loved the romance. It was fun and sexy and downright addicting. But for a book whose title is No Kissing Allowed, there certainly is a lot of kissing going on. I didn't really get the title because it didn't tie into any of the rules that Aiden and Cameron laid out. But I get that it was a theme thing, so it didn't bug me, I was just surprised to find out there wasn't a no kissing rule when I started reading the book. If you are looking a quick and fun read, and you like forbidden romances, this might be a great one for you. And like I said, I do hope that Melissa West makes stories for Cameron's friends.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more