Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Review: The Distance From A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Distance From A to Z by Natalie BlittThe Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt
Published by Epic Reads on 12 January 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics, Young Adult
Pages: 316
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Merritt, New Hampshire // Montreal, Canada

First Line(s): It starts when Jed makes the final turn off I-495.

From the moment I first heard about THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z by Natalie Blitt I was curious about it. And with a pitch like this “perfect blend of Stephanie Perkins and Miranda Kenneally that proves the age-old adage: opposites attract” it made it even harder to resist. It also didn’t hurt that my friend Andi at Andi’s ABCs who is a HUGE fan of both Perkin’s and Kenneally loved DISTANCE FROM A TO Z. So I picked it up with high expectations and then found myself disappointed in the end result. I think that I wanted to love it so much that it was just hard for this story to meet those expectations.

My main problem with DISTANCE FROM A TO Z was Abby, our heroine. This girl had a chip on her should a mile wide and just as high. She was so judgmental of everyone around her and was often mean to others as well. Well, not to everyone, mostly to Zeke. THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z is billed as an opposites attract story but in reality Abby and Zeke have a lot in common. She just has this irrational hatred towards baseball that drives a wedge between her and anyone around her that happens to like the sport. A sport that she once loved as well since she grew up in a baseball fanatic sports store owning family until she had some bad experiences dating baseball players.

Distance from A to Z Quote

There is much I could say about Abby and her baseball issues but I won’t get into all of them here as there just isn’t enough space. Let’s just say that Abby often rubbed me the wrong way and leave it at that. Zeke though, Zeke was a sweetheart and I don’t get why he put up with Abby and her shenanigans but he did and that makes me love him even more. Even if he had a hard time choosing a baseball team to like. It kind of bothered me a bit that he’d wear the shirts/hats of every team and while there is kind of a reason for it, its not enough of one to satisfy me. A person usually is a fan of one team and you don’t intermingle the gear. It just isn’t done.

THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z is a fairly quick read and its one that I would have finished faster if Abby didn’t bug me as much as she did. What kept me reading was Zeke and the promise of a good story when I hit the end. While I didn’t love THE DISTANCE FROM A TO Z as much as some I still mostly enjoyed the book. If Abby had been a little less mean and judgmental then I probably would have rated this higher than I did. I also really liked Natalie Blitt’s writing and I know that she’s an author that I look forward to reading more stories from. And I think that you will like this book, as well as her future reads as well. So go on….head over to Amazon and one-click this one today.

***TO UNLOCK BONUS CONTENT ADD YOUR REVIEW TO AMAZON CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS***

irishdarkblue

IR - Distance from A to Z

Add The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Divider

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth FlynnFirsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 05 January 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Rancho Palos Verdes, California

First Line(s): Tonight, I’m doing Evan Brown’s girlfriend a favor.

FIRSTS is the debut novel of Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and is a book that doesn’t shy away from some tough topics. For one, FIRSTS talks a lot about sex. Not just talk about it but also shows characters having sex. Which isn’t an uncommon thing for teenagers to do (even if parents would like to pretend otherwise) but its not a topic that is commonly shown in YA books.

FIRSTS is a raw book with a heroine that isn’t always the most likable. She thinks that she’s doing a good thing by sleeping with other girls’s boyfriends for their first time but its really just a cover up to hide the pain of her past. That part of the story was hard for me because I really despise cheating in a book and even though Mercedes felt like she was helping she was really just helping these boys cheat. So I didn’t always like Mercedes or her choices but I did like how FIRSTS portrayed her as both smart and pretty because all too often it seems like a character, or even a person in real life, can be only one or the other.

Firsts Quote

What I liked about Mercedes was how real she was. This is a girl who wants people to think she has her act together but she’s really just struggling to hold on. She pushes the people away who want to get close to her and draws in those who only want to use her. She feels like if she controls how much people around her see then the less chance she’ll get hurt. But life doesn’t work that way its messy and complicated and sometimes you get hurt and just as you hurt those around you. And despite all her best intention Mercedes did gather a good group of friends around her, Angela and Fayer….and also Zach. Oh Zach. I adored that boy and I loved how he saw Mercedes for who she was and not who she tried to appear. It was all these secondary characters that made me fall in love with this story.

FIRSTS is a book that is raw and it doesn’t really hold anything back. It shows a side of growing up that many people want to ignore that teens have sex and that teens can be cruel. But it also shows how caring they can be and the struggles that they face. FIRSTS is a fast paced read that is really well written. Flynn has a gift with narration and even as I didn’t always like Mercedes I did like her voice. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is definitely on my author watch list because I can not wait to see what story she brings into the world next. And if you haven’t read FIRSTS yet then get on it. Its a hard book to describe just how great it is but it is. Take this from a girl that usually avoids books with cheating like the plague and yet with FIRSTS I couldn’t get enough of this world.

irishdarkblue

IR - Firsts

Thanks to Tiff from Mostly YA Lit for her help in choosing these read-a-likes!

Add Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang to Goodreads. (Click here for Tiff’s Review)

Add Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik to Goodreads. (Click here for Tiff’s Review)

Click here for Tiff’s review of Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn.

Divider

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Tied to Trouble by Megan EricksonTied to Trouble by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers, Book 3
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart
Published by Entangled Brazen on 04 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, GLBT, Love & Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 Reading Challenge
Pages: 175
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): Chad leaned over the candy apple-red fuel tank of his Honda Interceptor and prepared to gun the engine.

My stars where do I even begin when it comes to TIED TO TROUBLE by Megan Erickson? This is the book that was the whole reason why I started to read her Gamers books. And after meeting Chad and Owen in CHANGING HIS GAME (my review) I couldn’t wait to get to know them even better. Chad and Owen are like oil and water at times and yet they compliment each other so very well. These boys are seriously so OTP that it hurts. The push and pull between just made my heart ache and their chemistry was seriously off the charts!!

TIED TO TROUBLE is an opposites attract story and so there is much butting of heads between Chad and Owen but it works well as they really are each others yin and yang. They balance each other out even as they are driving each other crazy. Another thing that I loved about TIED TO TROUBLE was that we finally got all those cameos of Austin and Marley that I felt were missing from PLAYING FOR HER HEART (my review). I loved seeing where they were and how their continuing story was woven into the budding relationship of Chad and Owen.

Tied to Trouble Quote

As with the previous books in the Gamers series, TIED TO TROUBLE is a short book which then makes for a fast read. But despite its short length it feels longer. Erickson has a way of really building her world and her characters that more pages aren’t necessary. That isn’t to say that I don’t want more pages because I most definitely do! But TIED TO TROUBLE is a full and complete story and as a reader I don’t think that anything is missing. Well, except for those 100 or so more pages that further detail the roller coaster ride that is Chad and Owen’s relationship.

As with CHANGING HIS GAME, TIED TO TROUBLE is oh la la hot when it comes to the sexy times! These boys like to play and I swear I’ll never look at a bow tie the same way again! The story isn’t perfect there were things that I think could have been avoid if these two knuckheads just COMMUNICATED a little better but over all I loved TIED TO TROUBLE and it was so worth the read for me. This is a book I know I’ll be re-reading and also bullying others to read as well. So do yourselves a favor just go out and read it now and make me a happy little blogger.

irishdarkblue

IR - Tied to Trouble

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Baller by Vi Keeland to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Divider

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi MeadowsThe Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen, Book 0.2
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince
Published by Epic Reads on 01 September 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 58
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Skyvale, The Indigo Kingdom

First Line(s): James was down there fighting. I was not. And this was what jealousy felt like.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is the second prequel novella in Jodi Meadow’s Orphan Queen universe. It is the continuring adventures of Tobiah and James as Tobiah becomes the Black Knife. I loved this early look at James and Tobiah and I totally ship the bromance that is between them. I also love how James and Meredith interact and I would love to see a romance between them but alas fates and kings have different plans for those two. In THE GLOWING KNIGHT we also get a little glimpse at the start of the glowmen and of Wil and her Ospreys. It was a fun look at how things were before the paths of all these characters started to cross years later.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is a fast read and includes some more preview chapters of THE MIRROR KING (Goodreads), which are totally killer! Its a great little snippet to help tide one over after the crazy ending of THE ORPHAN QUEEN (my review) although its still not enough. It is never enough. I love this world that Meadows has created and I hate it each and every time when I have to say goodbye. This world is so rich and detailed that it almost leaps off the page. I also love these characters and I like these little glimpses into their lives. I love to see the world through Tobiah’s eyes and reading these makes me wish that the main books were dual POV stories as I’d love to know more about his thinking.

 

irishdarkblue

Glowing Knight Quote
Divider

Monday, February 1, 2016

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 1 Star, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Audio Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. MaasHeir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 3
Also in this series: The Assassin's Blade, Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight
Published by Bloomsbury on 02 September 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Narrator: Elizabeth Evans
Length: 20 hrs and 18 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
one-star

Place(s) Traveled To: Mistward, Wendlyn // Rifthold, Adarlan // Ferian Gap, White Fang Mountains (World: Erilea)

First Line(s): Gods, it was boiling in this useless excuse for a kingdom.

Dear Reader,

A very important lesson for you to learn don’t drink beers with Andi from AndiABCs. Oh sure you’ll have fun discussing books and other things but if you’ve both had more than just a pint or two then you may just find yourself making a drunken book deal. Such is the case that got me to read HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J Maas because, if you are a regular visitor then you know, I am not really a fan of the Throne of Glass series. Now, this isn’t the first drunken bargain that Andi and I have engaged in and it probably won’t be the last but it is definitely one that I regret.

This time around I decided to give the audiobook a try in the hopes of maybe liking the story better alas I found that it only highlighted the issues that I had with the story. HEIR OF FIRE is a long ass book and it is so damn repetitive it isn’t funny. There were times when the same info was given several times in a single chapter! It was too much and that coupled with the overly flowery prose had my eye twitching! Elizabeth Evans also made for a terrible narrator. She paused overly long in the oddest of places but when it came to scene/POV transitions she’d just barrel right in. It was enough to give a listener whiplash at times and made it hard to follow along. Though it doesn’t help that the whole story is a bit convoluted and could have done with better editing. Evans was also pretty bad with the male voices. They were pretty much indistinguishable from one another and I think that the audiobook would have been better with a male narrator for the male POVs.

For me, I really think this series would be better without Celaena. I swear that girl is way too stupid to live much of the time. She is constantly finding herself in near death situations and having to be rescued. But at the same token its really really hard to believe that she’s in mortal peril when there are still a dozen or so books (yes I am exaggerating) left in the series. Its also hard to believe that she’s capable of bad assery when she does something super dumb one moment and then in the next she’s pretty much killing everything in sight even though she was literally almost killed just be looking at the one bad guy.

The only character I really liked this time around was Rowan because he was the only one who called Celaena out on her bratty behaviour. He’d try to teach her the ways of the fae (badly but whatevs) and she’d just pout and say no. Though it didn’t help that you had pages upon pages of Rowan shouting at Celaena to change and Celaena shouting back no. But alas, even dear Rowan failed me in the end by falling under the nit-wits spell just like every other male character that breaths in her presence. I think even the gay fae fell for her though not romantically.

I just….I just don’t get the appeal of this series. For me its terribly written, horribly plotted, and the world building is barely held together with duct tape. I tired….I really did…I know people think that I didn’t but I did. I gave this series 4 books of my life and I just can’t do it anymore. I am done. So so done and no amount of beer induced bargaining shall get me to read any more books in this series. Especially since the page count on QUEEN OF SHADOWS blows this one away so I can only imagine just how angsty and repetitive that one is! To the fans of this series I’m sorry its just not for me please don’t hate me! I did try.

See my Goodreads reactions here.

irishdarkblue

 

People who liked this more than me:

Pretty much everyone. No really….just look at Goodreads.

heiroffire-1280x720

Image found via google, created by Icey Books

Divider

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blog Tour Excerpt + Contest: Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt1 Comment

Blog Tour Excerpt + Contest: Hard Ever After by Laura Kaye

 We are over the moon excited to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Laura Kaye’s HARD EVER AFTER, a novella in Laura’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Hard Ink Series releasing February 2, 2016! Grab your copy of the amazing final book in the Hard Ink Series today!

Excerpt

Holy hell, had Nick ever been this nervous in his life? He’d faced down warlords, captured terrorists, survived IED explosions, and been shot on multiple occasions. Yet he’d never felt the kind of queasy, can’t-quite-manage-a-deep-breath nerves he felt just then.

He retrieved the little black box from the drawer where he’d hidden it, fisted it in his palm, and came to stand in front of Becca. He gave her a hand to stand up, then slowly sank to one knee.

“What are you—” Becca gasped. “Nick?”

“Becca.” Looking up at her beautiful face, he grasped her left hand. “When you walked through my door, you changed my whole life. You gave me purpose when I had none. You brought my family back together when I was so alone. You believed in me when no one else did, including myself. You fought for me and loved me and made me a better man.” Glassy, bright blue eyes stared down at him with so much love. “You shined light on places inside me I thought would never emerge from the dark, and you helped me reclaim my integrity, my honor, and my life.” A knot lodged in Nick’s throat. “You saved me from becoming someone I didn’t recognize, and because of you I have a life worth living. But only if you’ll walk it with me.”

“Nick,” she rasped, her voice thick with unshed tears.

He flipped open the box and pulled out the diamond and platinum round-cut ring. A halo of smaller stones surrounded the center stone, creating what to him looked like a sun. More accent stones lined the band, giving it a classic, vintage look. He’d known it was the right ring as soon as he’d seen it.

Slowly, he slid the diamond onto Becca’s ring finger. “I love you with everything that I am, and everything I want to be. Please do me the greatest honor of my life and say you’ll be my wife, my partner, my best friend, my companion. Becca Merritt, will you marry me?”

Hard Ever After - cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

Tour Stops

Laura Kaye’s HARD EVER AFTER – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 25th

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt

New Chicks On The Blog – Excerpt

Provocative Pages – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review

January 26th

Reads All the Books – Review

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Biblio Belles – Excerpt

bookworms obsession blog – Review

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

January 27th

NightWolf Book Blog – Excerpt

Obsessed with Myshelf – Review

Barbara Book Blog – Excerpt

Romancing the Readers – Review

2 Girls & Their Kindles – Excerpt

January 28th

She Hearts Books – Review

JordansBookReviews – Excerpt

Love Affair with an e-Reader – Review

Write for Your Life! – Review & Excerpt

Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt

January 29th

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review

Smut Matters – Review & Excerpt

January 30th

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News – Excerpt

mignon mykel : reviews – Review & Excerpt

Only One More Page – Review & Excerpt

Bookalicious book babes – Review & Excerpt

January 31st

Extreme Bookaholic’s – Excerpt

It’s About the Book – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Excerpt

Kelsey’s Corner Time – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

February 1st

Read-Love-Blog – Review & Excerpt

Bambi Unbridled – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

First Dream of Books – Review & Excerpt

Carol Kittie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

February 2nd

The Book Hammock – Review

I A-M a Bookaholic – Excerpt

About That Story – Review

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

FMR Book Grind – Review

February 3rd

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review

Books Need TLC – Review

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

February 4th

Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt

Book Lovers 4Ever – Review & Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Ripe For Reader – Review

Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt

February 5th

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

Wickedcoolflight – Review & Excerpt

The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review

JB’s Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

February 6th

Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

She’s a Lip Biter – Review & Excerpt

Book Nook Nuts – Review & Excerpt

I’m A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt

Shelf_Life – Review & Excerpt

 

HEA Teaser 3

 

About Hard Ever After:

Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited.

After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending.

As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found.

Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.

 

HEA Teaser 1

 

 

 

Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

 

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up | HARD EVER AFTER on Goodreads

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Divider

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in Cover Reveal0 Comments

Cover Reveal

 

Readers!

I am so excited to help be part of the cover reveal for US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Last year I became a big fan of both authors separately and adored HIM (my review), the book they wrote together. Oh the feels that HIM made me feel and one thing I wanted when I hit the final page was more. More words of Wes and Jamie and more of those heart achy feels. I wasn’t the only one either and now here it is….MORE! Below find the synopsis for US as well as the cover in all its sexy glory!

Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves–Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they? When Wes’s noisiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

US IS AVAILABLE on 08 MARCH 2016

FIND US ON GOODREADS HERE 

Profile portrait of businessman working on laptop  in black suit at studio

Him Quote

Divider

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Playing for Her Heart by Megan EricksonPlaying for Her Heart by Megan Erickson
Series: Gamers, Book 2
Also in this series: Changing His Game, Tied to Trouble
Published by Entangled Brazen on 11 Aug 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 186
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Willow Park, Pennsylvania // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

First Line(s): He was the perfect Beck.

 

PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the second book in Megan Erickson’s Gamers series and picks up almost exactly where CHANGING HIS GAME (my review) leaves off. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is the story of Grant and Chloe. Grant we met in CHANGING HIS GAME as Austin’s BFF and business partner and Chloe is a new introduction but she’s connected to the group through Ethan, who is a friend of Grants. I loved Grant in CHANGING HIS GAME so was happy to read his story but it took me a bit to warm up to Chloe. Chloe just ran a bit too hot and cold for me and she just seemed to be a walking contradiction. On one hand she was very shy and almost reclusive but then on the other she was bold and experimental when she was engaging in various role plays. She never really seemed to mesh the two sides of herself either.

Grant was a sweetheart and everything that I expected he’d be from CHANGING HIS GAME and then some. I also loved getting to know Sydney more and seeing their interactions and that is saying a lot from me because kids are so hard to capture realistically in books. I’m usually not a fan of child characters but in this case it worked and that says a lot of Erickson’s writing and characterization. But what I was disappointed in with PLAYING FOR HER HEART was the lack of scenes with Austin. It seemed like his parts were given over to Ethan and while I get that Grant and Ethan are good friends they aren’t best friends like Grant and Austin. There were just moments that it seemed would have worked better if they’d played out with Austin instead of Ethan.

Playing for Her Heart Quote

Even though I didn’t think that Ethan was always the right person for a scene I loved him as a character. I loved his relationship with his sister, Chloe and oh how he made my heart ache! For me, Ethan was a distraction in PLAYING FOR HER HEART because he stole every scene that he was in. He and Sydney tended to steal the lime light from the two main characters, Grant and Chloe so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t like PLAYING FOR HER HEART as much as CHANGING HIS GAME. Chloe was just too inconsistent a character and her love story was overshadowed by secondary characters which is never a good thing.

But like CHANGING HIS GAME, PLAYING FOR HER HEART is a quick read. It makes for a great escape for an afternoon is an enjoyable story but not one that wows me. I think that might be in part because I’m not really into the whole role play aspect of the sex scenes between Grant and Chloe. I get the escapism of it all and even the appeal to become someone else but I am more or a realist and so that’s why CHANGING HIS GAME is my favorite of the two Gamers books that I’ve reviewed. PLAYING FOR HER HEART is worth reading and its an important book in the series, mostly because we learn more about Ethan, but its not going to be my favorite.

irishdarkblue

IR - Playing for Her Heart

Add Call on Me by Roni Loren to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Seven Day Fiance by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Divider

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: Fairest by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 3.5
Also in this series: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Published by Macmillian Audio on 27 Feb 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Family, Friends to Lovers, Futuristic Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Royalty, Sci-Fi, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2016 Reading Challenge
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Luna

First Line(s): She was lying on a burning pyre, hot coals beneath her back.

FAIREST is a novella in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series that was published between CRESS (my review) and WINTER but chronologically comes before CINDER (my review). FAIREST tells the background of Levana from her days as a teenager in her sisters court until not long after she becomes queen of Luna. Its a prequel story and can act almost as a standalone and for me its a book that I wish I had skipped. In the Lunar Chronicles books Levana is the big bag, the character that is the most feared and the ultimate evil that Cinder and her merry band of misfits has to beat. But in FAIREST Levana comes across as a paranoid, obsessed, and not quite on her rocker. She’s more pathetic than terrifying and as such she looses something in my eyes as a result.

What was interesting about FAIREST was the background it gives of events that happen before Cinder and company are born. Its interesting to see Luna’s side of the conflict with Earth and the origins of the idea behind Letimosis. There are seeds in this story that turn into story lines in the main series books and its also interesting to see some of the characters before they were teenagers. As a whole though I don’t really see the point of FAIREST in the series and if you aren’t totally in love with the Lunar Chronicles then you might want to skip it as I wish I had done.

The narrator for FAIREST is the same as in the other books, Rebecca Soler, and I almost wish that they had chosen a different voice for Levana as a way to separate her from the rest of the characters. FAIREST is the darkest of the Lunar Chronicles books and Soler’s voice is almost too light for the story. Though as a whole I do always enjoy what Soler brings to this series and its part of why I keep returning to the audio versions of the book. Especially since I tried and failed many times to get into the print version of FAIREST.

irishdarkblue Fairest Quote
Divider

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Status Update by Annabeth Albert

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Status Update by Annabeth AlbertStatus Update by Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers, Book 1
Published by Carina Press on 07 Dec 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, New Adult, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 189
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Torrey, Utah // Denver, Colorado // Santa Monica, California // Landview, Texas // Grand Junction, Colorado // Moab, Utah

First Line(s): Noah knew the dog was trouble as soon as he and Ulysses entered the campground’s off-leash dog area.

STATUS UPDATE by Annabeth Albert was the first book of hers that I read after hearing about it from my friend Memory on Instagram. She and I often have similar tastes in books so when she says a story ‘blew her away’ then I know its something that I have to read. Like Albert’s TREMBLE MAKER (my review), STATUS UPDATE involves a hero who is conflicted in showing his sexuality. Like Lucas, Noah lives in a very conservative town and he teaches at a conservative school and he feels guilt about acting on the feelings he has for other men. Good thing for him a tornado by the name of Adrian crosses his path and shakes up all that he thought he knew.

Adrian is like an atom and is this little bundle of energy but more importantly he’s out, open, and very interested in shy Noah. He and Noah meet at a campground when Adrian’s fling of the month abandons him and takes off in the RV they rented. Noah being the sweetheart he is takes Noah in and then offers to drive him to his destination. Sparks fly almost immediately and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how things would play out between these two.

Status Update Quote

I loved the chemistry that Noah and Adrian shared and I loved how they built up a friendship even as they were falling for each other. These boys made my heart ache over the course of their journey to their happily ever after but y’all know how much I love those moments! As with TREBLE MAKER, the ending of STATUS UPDATE is a little cutesy but I wouldn’t trade that journey for anything. STATUS UPDATE is a short book, weighing in at only 189 pages, but it feels longer.

Albert has a gift at writing a tight story that makes it easy to get lost in. Its because of STATUS UPDATE that I went looking for more books by her and found TREBLE MAKER and its sequel LOVE ME TENOR (review coming soon) and I look forward to reading her other back list titles as well. Albert writes a good romance with great main characters and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for her Gaymers series.

irishdarkblue

IR - Status Update

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Focus on Me by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Divider