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Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne

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

Review: Trouble From the Start by Rachel HawthorneTrouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Published by Harper Teen on 28 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Texas

First Line(s): “You can’t stand here, Avery. You have to get out there and flaunt it.”

Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne is a companion book to The Boyfriend Project and both books are released on the same day. The two books involve two friends and Trouble From the Start deals with Avery and bad boy Fletcher. For me, Trouble From the Start started off a bit rough and I didn’t like the slut shaming aspect of the book. Avery is a good girl and she goes on one motorcycle ride with the bad boy and all of a sudden everyone is acting like she’s the biggest slut in town. It was almost enough to make me stop reading but I am glad that I didn’t because once we got through that rough patch things did get better.

There were times when the book seemed to contradict itself and Avery did get on my nerves but I adored Fletcher. I loved his POV scenes and wish there had been more of them. He is the sort of character that makes you want to reach within a books pages and give a hug to. While, with Avery, there were times in which you wanted to shake her. She was just a little too judgey at times although never near as judgmental as her BFF Kendall.

Trouble from the Start Quote

Oh my stars did Kendall really bug the ever loving crap out of me. Enough that I am wary of reading her story, The Boyfriend Project, though I do have it all pre-ordered and will most like read it eventually because I do hope for cameos from Fletcher and Avery. There is also a part of me that hopes that being inside Kendall’s head will redeem her character a bit.

As for Trouble From the Start its a cute read and I read it in just a couple of sittings. Its not overly deep but it has its moments of fun as well as ones that make the heart ache. The ending was a little cheesy but this one really shines in the middle. This was my first time reading a Rachel Hawthorne book but I know that it won’t be my last. She writes a fun story and there’s always room in a reading schedule for a fun story.

irishdarkblue

IR - Trouble from the Start

Add Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: There You Stand by Christina Lee

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: There You Stand by Christina LeeThere You Stand by Christina Lee
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: Between Breaths, Book 5
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This
Published by Intermix on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
AmazonThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Tennessee

First Line(s): I swallowed past the lump in my throat and leaned over to pat Chopper, the dog I’d inherited from Joe, my latest asshole boyfriend.

Over the last year or so I’ve noticed a bit of a trend in long term series, in that there will be at least one book featuring and LGBT couple or one involving BDSM. Christina Lee already did a light BDSM story with Promise Me This (my review) and now she’s trying her hand at an M/M romance with There You Stand. There You Stand is billed as part of Lee’s Between Breaths series but for me, this one doesn’t really connect very well to the other books in the series. There isn’t a lot of overlap between the other books and so this one is more easily able to be read as a standalone novel. The story revolves around tattoo artist Cory and a new guy in town the quiet and ofttimes shy Jude. Cory is out and proud and while he likes Jude he can’t get a good feel for him as he barely talks to those around him. The two become closer when Jude approaches Cory for a tattoo and they slowly become friends.

I liked the chemistry between Jude and Cory and thought that the romance was sweet and even a little heart achy. It contained so many elements that I love and this one was quickly working its way to becoming a favorite read. But then the narrative changed and there was this whole other crazy story element added to the story. Jude’s backstory is a bit convoluted and over the top and it just became a bit of a distraction for me. I know I rolled my eyes more than once and I just found it hard to believe. To me, this aspect of the storyline really came out of no where and didn’t add much to the story except for unnecessary drama. Its this story line that also really sets it apart from the other Between Breaths books.

There You Stand Quote

I did enjoy There You Stand and its a book that I will probably recommend to some of my friends there were just elements about it I didn’t really care for. I wish that it had stayed with a romance focus and avoid that unnecessary drama or that random motorcycle club. It was just odd and didn’t really seem to fit and all the cryptic references leading up to the big reveal just annoyed me. I’ve never been a fan of cryptic comments and foreshadowing of things to come. Well, maybe once or twice is fine been when its brought up time and again it just grates on my nerves and I find myself yelling at the characters to just spit it out already!

There You Stand is a quick read and I read it in a day. I was engaged enough with Jude and Cory’s romance that I kept turning the pages looking to see how they’d reach their happily ever after. I loved the early moments between these two when they were both learning how to open up and trust the other. And I loved their game of Truth. It was just a simple and yet often emotional way to get across so much information without having to say too much. Seriously, without that motorcycle club aspect I probably would have ended up rating this one much higher and if I ever do decide on a re-read then I’ll probably just skim through reading those bits that I loved best and trying to ignore some of the other aspects of the story that I found distracting or just so-so. All in all though, if you are a fan of Christina Lee then you should give this one a shot as she does know how to write a good love story.

irishdarkblue

IR - There You Stand

Add Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

Add Breakable by Tammara Webber to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blog Tour Excerpt: Asa by Jay Crownover

Posted by Irish in Excerpt0 Comments

Blog Tour Excerpt: Asa by Jay Crownover

Asa

 

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

 

 Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo ** IndieBound ** Other

And don’t miss the previous books in The Marked Men Series!

RULE ** JET ** ROME ** NASH ** ROWDY

Sexy muscular man

 

Excerpt

 

She puffed out a breath and her bangs fluttered over her winged brows. “He’s a survivor for sure, but there is a difference between merely getting by and living the life you’re supposed to live. I had no idea how love was supposed to look or feel until I met Jet. I wasn’t living a full life until he gave me the strength to let go of everything else.”

Her eyes flared hot, gold just like Asa’s did when he was excited about something. I was a tiny bit jealous that just saying her man’s name had that effect on her.

“I want Asa to do more than survive, Royal. I want him to finally be happy for once in his life. I want him to do more than just get by. I want him to have something that is his and his alone that he doesn’t ever feel like he has to fight for.”

I gulped a little bit as emotion started to clog my throat. I set my almost empty beer down on the table in front of me and twisted my fingers together. “He has all of that within his grasp, but his hands are too busy holding on to the past and reaching for the future to grab on to it.”

She opened her mouth and then snapped it closed as she leaned back in her chair. She crossed her arms over her chest, covering up the Valkyrie straddling a flaming guitar and the word enmity as she did so. The shirt with the ripped-off sleeves that showed the sides of her black bra seemed out of place with her pointy red cowboy boots, but it was Ayden, so she rocked it and looked perfect doing so.

She shook her dark head. “I know he is. I was hoping that since he can’t stop staring at you, and keeps looking at me like he wants to drop-kick me across the bar, maybe you had convinced him to let some of that go. We can’t go back in time and we can’t predict the future. He’s living in suspended animation.”

I shifted again as the jukebox switched to an old Christina Aguilera song, which had several middle-aged ladies climbing up from the table they were sharing and doing some serious booty shaking. It made me grin even though the topic of conversation wasn’t exactly cheerful.

“Every once in a while he puts it all away, and every now and again I feel like he’s reaching for a lifeline to stop himself from sinking. It gives me enough hope that I’m willing to stick around and see how it all plays out.”

She ran her finger around the rim of her shot glass and licked the salt off. “What are you going to do if you ever have to lock him up again? He’s a trouble magnet. Even when he’s trying to keep his nose clean.”

I sighed and shoved my hands through the front of my hair. “I keep telling myself I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.” I leaned closer to her when the dancing women moved a little closer and their laughter got loud enough that I had to talk over it. “Did you know he was willing to do time, to sit in jail for a crime he didn’t even commit because he’s so twisted up on the inside about everything that happened before? How can someone even function with that kind of guilt filling them up?”

My voice caught and I let out a shuddering breath. I started a little when Ayden’s hand reached out and landed on top of the fists I hadn’t even been aware I was making. I mean I knew about guilt and the way it could affect a person’s thinking. My own guilt had kept me away from Dom when he needed me most, but I let it go when I realized it was poisoning everything in my life. I would always feel bad for what happened that night in the alley and I would never get over seeing Dom fall, but it couldn’t be the only moment that defined my life or my career. I needed Asa to realize everything he was missing by refusing to let go.

Ayden’s fingers squeezed mine, and I had to squeeze back because she was the only other person alive that could understand how hard caring for a man like Asa could be.

“That’s why I worry. All he’s done since I brought him to Denver is function. Nothing more and nothing less. That’s no way to live. But now he watches you like you matter, like he’s worried I’m going to scare you off with all the stories of his past misdeeds. So I have hope, a thin, tiny thread of hope that there is finally something out there in the world that he’s going to realize he has to wake up and live for.”

 

Tour Schedule

 

April 13

Book Angel Booktopia-Excerpt & Review
Love Between the Sheets-Review
Read This Hear That-Review
Resch Reads and Reviews-Review

April 14

Starbucks & Books Obsession-Review
Desert Divas Book Addiction-Review
Red Hot + Blue Reads-Excerpt & Review
Three Chicks & Their Books-Excerpt & Review

April 15

BCS Reviews-Review
Lustful Literature-Review
Sassy Divas Book Blog-Excerpt & Review
Lulo Fangirl-Excerpt

April 16

A Bookish Escape-Review
Works of Fiction-Review
Fiction Fangirls-Review
No BS Book Reviews-Excerpt & Review
Ramblings From This Chick-Review

April 17

A Literary Perusal-Review
Literati Literature Lovers-Excerpt & Review
Typical Distractions-Review
Becca the Bibliophile-Excerpt & Review

April 18

Made For You Book Reviews-Review
Ticket To Anywhere-Excerpt & Review
Belle of the Literati-Excerpt & Review

April 19

Holly’s Hot Reads-Review
Kimberlyfaye Reads-Excerpt & Review
Books, Chocolate & Lipgloss-Review

April 20

Novels on the Run-Review
FicWishes-Excerpt & Review
Give Me Books-Review
Stuck in Books-Excerpt & Review

April 21

Book Bitches Blog-Excerpt & Review
Prisoners of Print-Review
Krista’s Dust Jacket-Excerpt & Review
Waves of Fiction-Review

April 22

Book Starlets-Excerpt & Review
Red Cheeks Reads-Excerpt & Review
Vi3tabe-Review
Romance Addict Book Blog-Review

April 23

Jen in Bookland-Review
Stuck in YA Books-Excerpt & Review
Cocktails and Books-Excerpt & Review

April 24

Bestsellers & Beststellars-Review
Reading Between the Wines-Review
The Book Enthusiast-Excerpt & Review

April 25

Cruising Susan Book Reviews-Review
Nose Stuck in a Book-Excerpt & Review
The Book Lovers Codex-Review

April 26

Naughty and Nice Book Blog-Excerpt & Review
Once Upon A Twilight-Review
Grown Up Book Reviews-Excerpt

 

Composite image of close up rear view of romantic couple

CLICK HERE TO READ MY REVIEW + ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF ASA

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Asa by Jay Crownover

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Asa by Jay Crownover

Blog Tour Review + Contest: Asa by Jay CrownoverAsa by Jay Crownover
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Marked Men, Book 6
Also in this series: Rule, Jet, Rome, Nash, Rowdy
Published by William Morrow on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, New Adult
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Denver, Colorado // Louisville, Kentucky

First Line(s): Not too long ago when I watched a girl purposely get as drunk as this pretty one did, I would’ve moved in for the kill.

With the release of Asa, Jay Crownover’s Marked Men comes to a close and it was with mixed feelings that I started this book as I wasn’t ready to leave this world or these characters. (Even with all their crazy, cooky, totally out there names.) We first meet Asa in Jet (my review) as he is Ayden’s older brother and a bit of an ass, if I’m honest. But over the course of the series you see Asa start to change and become more redeamable as he leaves his criminal ways behind him to try and make a better life. Along the way he also meets Royal, Saint’s (Nash Review) neighbor and friend and they are often tossed together as they have the same group of friends. Asa, thinking he’s not good enough for Royal since he’s a reforming criminal and she’s a cop. Royal, on the other hand, has other ideas.

Overall, I did enjoy Asa and Royal’s story but its not my favorite in the series. There was just a lot of back and forth going over the same issues again and again that it got old. Then there was their big dramatic, lets break up moment that was just so eye-roll inducing that it wasn’t funny. It was all another case that things would have been fine if they just talked about it and got it out into the open but instead its this long drawn out thing. Not to mention how crazy unrealistic the whole resolution of that matter was because there is no way that little seed won’t grate over time.

Asa Quote

Speaking of seeds, Asa is also filled with lots of seeds for other stories so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Crownover has a spin off series in the works, currently titled The Saints of Denver. That will bring in some of the side characters that we’ve met over the course of the Marked Men books. Right now I have a pretty good idea of who most of the stories will be about so it will be interesting to see how right I am on that. I also think that Asa’s story may have been a better fit to kick off that series since this book never even visited the tattoo shop that played such a role in all the previous stories. Even the characters from the previous books weren’t as present in this one as the previous ones.

If you’ve enjoyed the Marked Men books then you will most like enjoy Asa as well. Its the sort of story and plot that I’ve come to expect from Crownover with a little random, over the top action thrown in for fun. There were definitely elements of this story I could have done without as I don’t think they added value to Asa and Royal’s story ARC but they don’t distract from it either so it could have been worse. The names still drive me nuts and I don’t think that will ever change. But despite that I will check out the spin off series and continue to read Jay Crownover’s books as they are like crack and I can’t get enough.

CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT FROM ASA!!!!

irishdarkblue

IR - Asa

 

Add The Shamless Hour by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads.

Add All Played Out by Cora Carmack to Goodreads. (Review on 04 May)

Tour Schedule

April 13

Book Angel Booktopia-Excerpt & Review
Love Between the Sheets-Review
Read This Hear That-Review
Resch Reads and Reviews-Review

April 14

Starbucks & Books Obsession-Review
Desert Divas Book Addiction-Review
Red Hot + Blue Reads-Excerpt & Review
Three Chicks & Their Books-Excerpt & Review

April 15

BCS Reviews-Review
Lustful Literature-Review
Sassy Divas Book Blog-Excerpt & Review
Lulo Fangirl-Excerpt

April 16

A Bookish Escape-Review
Works of Fiction-Review
Fiction Fangirls-Review
No BS Book Reviews-Excerpt & Review
Ramblings From This Chick-Review

April 17

A Literary Perusal-Review
Literati Literature Lovers-Excerpt & Review
Typical Distractions-Review
Becca the Bibliophile-Excerpt & Review

April 18

Made For You Book Reviews-Review
Ticket To Anywhere-Excerpt & Review
Belle of the Literati-Excerpt & Review

April 19

Holly’s Hot Reads-Review
Kimberlyfaye Reads-Excerpt & Review
Books, Chocolate & Lipgloss-Review

April 20

Novels on the Run-Review
FicWishes-Excerpt & Review
Give Me Books-Review
Stuck in Books-Excerpt & Review

April 21

Book Bitches Blog-Excerpt & Review
Prisoners of Print-Review
Krista’s Dust Jacket-Excerpt & Review
Waves of Fiction-Review

April 22

Book Starlets-Excerpt & Review
Red Cheeks Reads-Excerpt & Review
Vi3tabe-Review
Romance Addict Book Blog-Review

April 23

Jen in Bookland-Review
Stuck in YA Books-Excerpt & Review
Cocktails and Books-Excerpt & Review

April 24

Bestsellers & Beststellars-Review
Reading Between the Wines-Review
The Book Enthusiast-Excerpt & Review

April 25

Cruising Susan Book Reviews-Review
Nose Stuck in a Book-Excerpt & Review
The Book Lovers Codex-Review

April 26

Naughty and Nice Book Blog-Excerpt & Review
Once Upon A Twilight-Review
Grown Up Book Reviews-Excerpt

Contest

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Virginia by Laura Simcox

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Virginia by Laura SimcoxVirginia by Laura Simcox
Series: Various States of Undress, Book 2
Also in this series: Carolina
Published by Avon on 11 November 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance
Reading Challenges: 2015 Reading Challenge
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York

First Line(s): When Virginia Fulton lifted her Jackie O sunglasses, she realized that, although she’d had a lot of weird days in her life, this one was the winner of a chicken dinner.

Virginia by Laura Simcox is the second book in her Various States of Undress series and is told from the middle Fulton sister, Virginia. Much like her sister, Carolina (my review), Virginia is at a crossroads in her life. She’s the daughter of the President and is constantly stalked by the paparazzi in New York City. She’s got a reputation of being a party girl but that’s not all that she wants to be known for and so she seeks out CEO Dexter Cameron to make a business proposition.  Only the Dexter she meets isn’t the one she was expecting to and the business deal that she becomes involved in leads her in an unexpected direction. Virginia and Dex find themselves both with something to prove and together they work to bring back to life the flagship store that began the Cameron family empire.

As with CarolinaVirginia is a quick read and while overall the story flowed a little better there were still lots of awkward dialogue moments. There also seemed to be some continuity issues and a few other things that just didn’t seem to mesh up. Like a trailer that was described as windowless only to have a paparazzi take pictures from outside and selling them to the press. Which then gets Virginia labeled as a drama queen when that couldn’t have been farther from the truth. And as with most contemporary romances, Virginia, suffered from some drama but there was no pointless breakup….so yay win!! And I’m so glad that the drama didn’t revolve around lack of communication but it did suffer from a lack of logic so it was just a step up.

Virginia Quote

Virginia is a good brain candy read and I did enjoy this story a lot more than Carolina’s. I found Virginia to be much more genuine and the story as a whole to be more realistic. This whole story just flowed better and I liked the secondary characters as well. Or at least, I liked most of them. I could have done without Dex’s sister and his grandfather wasn’t the best either. But I did really enjoy Dex and Virginia’s story. I liked their chemistry and I was invested in their happily ever after.

One thing missing from this serious is a lack of connection to the other books or at least there wasn’t much overlap with Carolina and this book. The main characters are all sisters but they all lead separate lives and so each of the books can easily be read independently of the others. Its an enjoyable series but not one that I’d rush out to read though I am looking forward to reading Georiga’s story in the near future.

irishdarkblue IR - Virginia

Add Fight with Me by Kristen Proby to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Love the One You’re With by Lauren Layne to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses, Book 1
Published by Bloomsbury on 05 May 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Love & Romance, Royalty, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Young Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Prythian – Unnamed Village // Spring Court // Under the Mountain

First Line(s): The forest had become a labyrinth of snow and ice.

Its not a huge secret that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Throne of Glass (my review) but I gave it the old college try and read 3 of the books before calling it quits. And just because I didn’t like one series doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll give up on an author entirely so when I heard that Sarah J. Maas’s newest series was going to be based off of a fairy tale I was intrigued. I do love a good fairy retelling after all. At first I was a little disappointed that A Court of Thorns and Roses was using Beauty and the Beast as its primary base as that is one of the most over done fairy tales in print and on screen. But A Court of Thorns and Roses wasn’t just a Beauty and the Beast retelling it also contained elements of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and Cinderella.

 A Court of Thorns and Roses started off a bit slow for me and I really disliked Feyre’s sisters. To me its not all that realistic for the youngest sibling to take care of the older ones but its a common enough trope and does help add to the Cinderella aspect of the story. I did start to enjoy this one once Feyre moved into the faere world and I enjoyed getting to know Tamlin and Lucian. Lucian is one of my favorite characters in this whole story and I really hope that we get more of him as the series moves forward. I also believed in the friendship and growing chemistry between Feyre and Tamlin and this one totally made my heart ache at times.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Quote

While I did mostly like A Court of Thorns and Roses Feyre did annoy me a lot of the times and I also don’t like the use of the pointless breakup. Seriously, the whole second half of the story could have been avoided if Feyre and Tamlin just talked to each other and were honest. But that would be too easy and you wouldn’t have ‘drama’ so while I wish that things had occurred in a different way I do know that they could have been worse. Overall, I liked the second half of the book but did find that things got a bit repetative at times and am not a fan at the potential brewing of a love triangle to this story. I hate love triangles with a fiery passion and if that happens I will not be a happy reader.

As endings go, this one is relatively mild. I have a pretty good idea on where the next two books in this series will go (assuming that its a trilogy) though only time will tell on if my thoughts are correct or not. I am interested to seeing where things will go but I’m not dying for it as I am with some series that I’ve read. I like the concept of A Court of Thorns and Roses and like most of the characters. If you are like me and you didn’t enjoy Throne of Glass then you might want to consider trying out this book. It has a different tone to it and Feyre, while annoying at times, is a lot stronger and more likable (at least for me) than Celaena.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Court of Thorns and Roses

Add Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads.

Add Cruel Beauty by Rosamond Hodge to Goodreads.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspiring Quotes

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday2 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about our favorite inspirational quotes. If there’s one thing that I love more than books its quotes. I adore quotes and am always jotting them down in a notebook, an email, in my phone, or via goodreads. I stumble on random scraps of paper all the time with a quote that I read, overheard or saw somewhere all the time. I have notebooks filled with them and if you’ve been paying attention to my instagram and my recent reviews then you’ll see quotes there too. I’ve even started to use quote graphics with my Top Ten Tuesday posts…so to have a whole TTT post dedicated to quotes I was ecstatic and then I went into panic mode, how can I choose just 10??? That’s impossible. To help narrow things down a smiggin I’ve decided not to use any preexisting quote graphics that I’ve made.  This still left a lot of options but here are the first ten that jumped out at me from all those random storage places I mentioned above.

Seventh Gate Quote

(Image Source)

I paraphrased this one in my high school yearbook quote. The full text is below:

We each have within ourselves the ability to shape our own destinies. That much we understand. But, more important, each of us has an equal ability to shape the destiny of the universe. Ah, that you find more difficult to believe. But I tell you it is so. You do not have to be the leader of the Council. You do not have to be king or monarch or the head of a clan to have a significant impact on the world around you.

In the vastness of the ocean, is any drop of water greater than another?

No, you answer, and neither has a single drop the ability to cause a tidal wave.

But, I argue, if a single drop falls into the ocean, it creates ripples. And these ripples spread. And perhaps – who knows – these ripples may grow and swell and eventually break foaming upon the shore.

Like a drop in the vast ocean, each of us causes ripples as we move through our lives. The effects of whatever we do – insignificant as it may seem – spread out beyond us. We may never know what far-reaching impact even the simplest action might have on our fellow mortals. Thus we need to be conscious, all of the time, of our place in the ocean, of our place in the world, of our place among our fellow creatures.

For if enough of us join forces, we can swell the tide of events – for good or for evil.

~ Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, The Seventh Gate (Goodreads)

Demon Lord of Karanda Quote

The Belgariad/Mallorean series by David Eddings are some of my favorite books. This quote is from of of my favorite characters in the series called Silk, who is often quoted as saying “Trust me” which sends fear into the hearts of those that know him. Oh Silk, such a fun character.

 

quote-twenty-years-from-now-you-will-be-more-disappointed-by-the-things-that-you-didn-t-do-h-jackson-brown-34-40-73

Do yourself a favor and google quotes from H. Jackson Brown Jr. he has some truly inspiring words that it was hard to choose just one to list here.

quote-no-one-can-make-you-feel-inferior-without-your-consent-eleanor-roosevelt-157896

Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the most amazing people that I’ve never had the privilege to know. I’ve read a lot about here and she never ceases to amaze.

friendship-is-born-at-that-moment-when-one-man-says-to-another-what-you-too-i-thought-that-no-one_600x315_55015 Some Girls Are Quote

(Image Source)

Quotation-J-K-Rowling-good-Meetville-Quotes-53012

 

God Shaped Hole Quote

(image source)

daughter of smoke and bone quote

(image source)

 

breathe annie breathe quote
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Review: Carolina by Laura Simcox

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Carolina by Laura SimcoxCarolina by Laura Simcox
Series: Various States of Undress. Book 1
Also in this series: Virginia
Published by Avon on 03 June 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 294
Format: eBook
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Washington DC // Jackson Hole, Wyoming

First Line(s): A year ago, Carolina Fulton didn’t think much about fame.

I became aware of the Various States of Undress series when I received a copy of Georgia, the third book, for review. Since I prefer to read my series in order when I can I decided to go back to the beginning of this on and requested a copy of Carolina from my library’s digital catalog even though these books are more of a companion series than a direct sequel series. Various States of Undress follows the three Fulton sisters, Carolina, Virginia and Georgia as they deal with new found fame when their father is elected the President of the United States. For Carolina, she thinks she has it all until she catches her fiance cheating on her and then decides to spend some time healing in her family’s cabin in Wyoming.

Carolina Quote

While there sparks start to really to fly with her secret service detail, Jake. Especially when a series of snowstorms traps them along in the remote cabin. For the most part I enjoyed Carolina and Jake’s story but there was a lot of awkward dialogue that made it hard to get fully invested in the story. And then there was the pointless break up and the rushed ending and by the end this one was just an ok sort of read.

I liked the forbidden love aspect of Carolina but the formulaic cliches just took me out of the story. Also, not only was the ending rushed but it was also awkward and unrealistic and didn’t make my heart ache with happiness. I was glad that Jake and Carolina were able to overcome their obstacles but I just wish that the ending had been written a little bit different so that it was more believable. Overall though, a quick brain candy sort of read and I am looking forward to reading more about the Fulton sisters in the other books of the series.

 irishdarkblue

IR - Carolina

Add Playing it Close to Kat Latham to Goodreads (Click here for my review)

Add Catching Cameron by Julie Brannagh to Goodreads (Click here for my review)

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blog Tour + Contest: This Song Will Save Your Life

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post12 Comments

Blog Tour + Contest: This Song Will Save Your Life

Hello Internet!!

I’m very excited to be a part of the This Song Will Save Your Life paperback blog tour. I enjoyed this book by Leila Sales (my review) and I just love the new cover for the paperback release. This edition will be available in stores on 14 April 2015. As part of this tour, Leila is here to talk about one of the songs that saved her life and you can see her answer below.

This Song Paperback Cover

 

Elise Dembowski is not afraid of a little hard work. In fact, she embraces it. All her life, she’s taken on big, all-encompassing projects. When she’s fifteen, she embarks on the biggest, and most important, project of them all: becoming cool. Except she fails. Miserably. And everything falls to pieces.

Now, if possible, Elise’s social life is even worse than it was before. Until she stumbles into an underground dance club and opens the door to a world she never knew existed. An inside-out world where, seemingly overnight, a previously uncool high school sophomore can become the hottest new DJ sensation. Elise finally has what she’s always wanted: acceptance, friendship, maybe even love. Until the real world threatens to steal it all away.

 

Guest Post

 

 

“Rave On,” by Buddy Holly

The first time I remember ever having a favorite musical artist, it was Buddy Holly. I was four years old, and my favorite color was purple, and my favorite animal was a horse, and my favorite band was Buddy Holly and the Crickets, and that was that.

My love for Buddy Holly has waxed and waned since then, but it has never gone away. When I was in college, I wrote a YA novel about a girl who traveled back in time to 1958 and met Buddy Holly. This was my own personal fantasy, and fantasies are always a good place to find story ideas.

This manuscript never got published—which is for the best, since I think I’ve become a stronger writer since then—but it did win one of my college’s writing prizes. A cash prize, which was a very big deal since at the time all my other spending money came from occasional seven dollar-an-hour babysitting gigs.

It was one of the first times I thought, “Maybe I could actually make a living writing about things that I love.” And now that’s exactly what I do!

 

•             Learn more about This Song Will Save Your Life

•             Learn more about Tonight The Streets Are Ours

•             Tell Us About Songs That Saved Your Life on Social Media with #SongsThatSavedMe

•             Add Tonight the Streets Are Ours to your to-read list on Goodreads.

•             Visit Leila’s website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Tour Schedule

http://www.paperiot.com/                                                        April 2, 2015

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com/                                     April 3, 2015

http://www.rainydayramblings.com                                       April 4, 2015

http://lilisreflections.blogspot.com/                                       April 5, 2015

http://www.thecompulsivereader.com/                              April 6, 2015

http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/                                April 7, 2015

http://www.thebookcellarx.com/                                           April 8, 2015

http://www.greatimaginations.blogspot.com/                 April 9, 2015

http://thebevybibliotheque.net/                                             April 10, 2015

http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/                                 April 11, 2015

http://www.tickettoanywhere.net/                                       April 12, 2015

http://www.bookaddictsguide.com                                        April 13, 2015

http://macteenbooks.com                                                          April 14, 2015

http://www.perpetualpageturner.com                                 April 15, 2015

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

irishdarkblue

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mini Reviews: Forged & Betrayed by Jennifer Rush

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Forged

 

Forged by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 03 December 2013
Series: Altered, Book 0.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Michigan

First Line(s): The bed beneath me was thin as paper, though not as thin as the cotton gown still tied around my naked body.

I really enjoyed the Altered series by Jennifer Rush so when I saw that my library had digital editions of the two novellas in the series I knew that I had to check them out. The first novella, Forged, takes place before the start of Altered (my review) and is the origin story of one character, Dani, and gives a little background to another. I was initially excited for this one but just didn’t care for it. It felt like a different tone than the rest of the series and I just didn’t care for any of the characters. Despite this on weighing in at just 32 pages it was a bit of a struggle to read. To me, this one didn’t really add much of anything to the overall story ARC of the series.

Betrayed + Forged Quote

Betrayed

 

Betrayed by Jennifer Rush 
Published by Little Brown on 26 August 2014
Series: Altered, Book 1.5
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
Source: Library

Place(s) Traveled To: Sarasota, Wisconsin

First Line(s): Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

While I didn’t really enjoyed Forged I did really enjoy reading Betrayed! I just loved reading Trev’s story and devoured this short little novella quickly. For a short story this one had a lot to it and my only real complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I still have hopes that one day Trev and Cal will get full length books as I really want to know more about them both. Though Betrayed does do a good job in filling in some of the gaps of Trev’s story. This one I think adds value to the overall story and one that I think is worth the read. Though at 99cents and only 32 pages you may want to check to see if your library has it in its digital catalog.

irishdarkblue

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