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Posts Tagged: America: Oregon

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Epidemic by Suzanne YoungThe Epidemic by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy
Published by Simon Pulse on 29 April 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Death & Dying, Diseases, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Remedy

Place(s) Traveled To: Portland, Oregon / Roseburg, Oregon / Eugene, Oregon / Myrtle Creek , Oregon/ Grants Pass, Oregon / Weed, California

First Line(s): My entire life is a lie.

When I finished THE REMEDY by Suzanne Young I wanted to immediately jump into its sequel, THE EPIDEMIC because whoa Nelly that was one crazy way to end a book!! Thankfully, this was just a duology so I knew that Young couldn’t toy with my emotions TOO much but it was still a wild and crazy ride from the start of THE EPIDEMIC all the way until the end. I firmly believe that Suzanne Young is an evil mastermind as its pure genius how she connects all her books in this series together. I admit, there were times where I gasped allowed at a reveal and was taken by surprise by some of the twists and turns in the story. In the end, about the only real coherent thing I could say for THE EPIDEMIC is that it was mind blowingly good.

Blew My Mind

I still didn’t like, or trust, Deacon for much of the book but I did eventually come around to that ship. But who I shipped most was Quinn and all the things that she went through throughout THE EPIDEMIC. She had such an amazing story ARC that I am so very very sad to see it all come to an end. Although its good for Quinn because after what she went through I don’t think she’d survive any more of what Young could cook up for her. (Have I mentioned that Young is an evil author? Because if not she is.)

lots of feelings

THE EPIDEMIC is a book that kept me on the very edge of my seat from start to finish and one that I couldn’t put down once I started. I pretty much read THE EPIDEMIC in a single sitting and barely paused to eat or do anything because I was so invested in what would happen next. THE EPIDEMIC was so creepily delicious and by the end I was an emotional wreck of a reader who just wanted to cry in a corner and then maybe re-read THE PROGRAM because I think that book will be even more creepily good now that I know what I know about you know what.

the more you know

 

I have so much that I want to say about THE EPIDEMIC but its hard to do so without spoiling anything in the series. This is definitely one of those books where its best to go in fairly blind because then everything just feels a little bit more raw and the discoveries are that much more exciting. I also have real trouble finding words to fully express my feelings and thoughts about THE EPIDEMIC but I can show you what I was thinking as I read it via my Goodreads updates:

epidemic reactions

This world that Young has created in her Program series is nothing short of fantastic and all too scarily real. As you read this series you can see how these progression of events could happen and that just makes it all the more terrifying. Young is also a super talented writer and just has this way with words and language that really set a scene and pulls out real and raw emotions from a reader. I always become so invested in her stories and when each one ends I am left pining for the next one. If you haven’t experienced the crazy emotional roller coaster ride that is then what are you waiting for? Its totally worth it…and I’ll be waiting for you over on twitter with hugs and cookies if you need them.

shock - still processing

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

 

Add The Remedy by Suzanne Young to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne Young

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Remedy by Suzanne YoungThe Remedy by Suzanne Young
Narrator: Rebekkah Ross
Series: The Program,
Also in this series: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Program, The Treatment, The Epidemic

Place(s) Traveled To: Corvallis, Oregon // Eugene, Oregon // Portland, Oregon // Lake Oswego, Oregon

First Line(s): It’s time to say good-bye.

When it came to Suzanne Young’s book THE PROGRAM (my review) I fell hard and I was sad when the series was over as I just loved this world that she created. When I heard that Young was writing a prequel duology I was both excited and scared and sad. I was excited because I wanted more of this world and I was scared because I wasn’t sure if THE REMEDY would live up to its predecessor and I was sad because our old friends wouldn’t be in this one. I should not have worried though as Young totally knocked things out of the park with this creepy origin story to how The Program came to be. THE REMEDY is told from the POV of Quinlan McKey who is a Closer. That is she is a girl that pretends to be girls who died in order to help grieving families move on.

Quin’s life is never fully her own due to the work that she does and its something that her father has had her do for the past 11 years. Which is far far longer than the recommended time to be a closer. In THE REMEDY she’s sent out on a long term assignment not long after coming off a job and as a result she begins to lose herself a little. Quin has never lived a normal life but in this role she gets to experiment with what may have been if her life was different and she likes it. Quin also begins to uncover some shocking facts and learns that all may not be what it seems with the company that she works for and with the world in general. There seems to be an epidemic starting and if she isn’t careful she might get sucked in.

The Remedy Quote

I didn’t think that I would like a character more than Sloane from THE PROGRAM but Quin totally wins the reader over with her actions. She’s smart and vulnerable and as a reader you just want her to find peace and happiness. You want to shake her father for making her do this work and you want to slap Deacon for some of the things that he does. I was totally invested in THE REMEDY and found myself coming up with reasons to drive around town just to listen to more of this story. Its twisty and turny and there are just some things you can’t see coming until after they’ve happened. Rebekkah Ross is a fantastic narrator and her voice just totally sucks you into this story and won’t let you go. Ross *is* Quin and you can’t ask for any more than that when it comes to a books narrator.

THE REMEDY was a total emotional roller-coaster ride for me and just when I thought I had things all figured out Young would toss in some new fact or detail to totally surprise me. THE REMEDY left me in awe an amazement and I just don’t understand when everyone isn’t totally buzzing about this story. Its realistic and stunningly written and I love trying to find all the connections between THE REMEDY and THE PROGRAM. Its a book that can be read independently of the other series but I think it just becomes all the richer for reading in the order that it was written in. THE REMEDY is one of the best books that I’ve read so far this year and I can not wait to see where Young goes with this series next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Remedy

Add Altered by Jennifer Rush to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

five-stars
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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Beta Test by Annabeth Alberts

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

Review: Beta Test by Annabeth AlbertsBeta Test by Annabeth Albert
Series: Gaymers, Book 2
Also in this series: Status Update
Published by Carina Press on 30 May 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People of Color, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 178
Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Treble Maker, Status Update, Love Me Tenor, Off Base (Out of Uniform, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Santa Monica, California // Los Angeles, California // Seattle, Washington // Weed, California // Eugene, Oregon // Glendale, California // Pasadena, California // Unknown, New Jersey

First Line(s): Tristan read the manual.

In BETA TEST, the newest book in Annabeth Alberts Gaymers series, Ravi and Tristan are co-workers and the total opposite of the other. Where Ravi is bold and fearless surrounded by chaos and people Tristan is muted and more focus on his lists and spreadsheets than the world around him. But despite how different they are Ravi and Tristan are drawn to each other time and time again. While there are times that their differences cause conflict, especially as they wage an inner war trying to deny the attraction, they compliment each other. They just need to find some common ground and stop letting their differences get in the way of all that makes these two perfect for each other.

The conflict between Ravi and Tristan in BETA TEST is such an epic journey (both literal and internal) that its sure to delight many a reader. For BETA TEST includes one of my favorite tropes….a road trip. Oh how real people become when they find themselves trapped in such close quarters for days on end. You can’t hid and you can’t just walk away (at least not easily) and at the end you’ll either be really close to the person in the car with you or never want to speak to them again. Luckily for us, Tristan and Ravi, find their way to each other. They learn to admire the difference they see in the other, to compliment it, and are just so tender with each other at times they just make your heart melt.

Beta Test Quote

There is definite conflict between the two men and as with 99.9% of romances, Ravi and Tristan go through a separation as real world difficulties throw some stumbling blocks on the path to their happily ever after. But all the pain of that is worth it for that super delightful ending. And, as a reader, you just know that Ravi and Tristan come out stronger for those road bumps which help build the foundation of their forever love. BETA TEST is a slow build romance and I just loved reading how these two came together. I do love a slow build as those sort of romances seem to burn brighter by the time the last page is turned.

BETA TEST is a quick read and its so easy to get lost within its pages. Its not perfect, the ending seemed a little rushed and I would have liked a few more pages to really round things out a bit. But overall, BETA TEST hit all the right notes for me. It made my heart ache and made me sigh with happiness as Ravi and Tristan worked through all their issues in order to find love and happiness in each other. Its a sweet romance and I think that if your reading tastes in any way align with mine that I think you’ll like this one.

irishdarkblue

IR - Beta Test

 

Add Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Love Lessons by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: Listen to Me by Kristen Proby

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Contest, Review6 Comments

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: Listen to Me by Kristen Proby

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: Listen to Me by Kristen ProbyListen to Me by Kristen Proby
Series: Fusion,
Published by William Morrow on 12 April 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Performing Arts
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Rock with Me, Fight with Me, Safe with Me, Tied with Me, Breathe with Me

Place(s) Traveled To: Portland, Oregon // Hillsboro, Oregon

First Line(s): “In summary,” Cami, one of my very best friends, and a business partner, reads from the Portland Tribune, “Seduction is a restaurant unlike any other I’ve experienced.”

Kristen Proby is known for writing heartfelt characters with deep connections and sizzling passion. This April, she will seduce readers’ senses with a brand new series, Fusion, from William Morrow Paperbacks, in which five best friends open a hot new restaurant together. Today, we are thrilled to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for LISTEN TO ME, the first book in the Fusion Series releasing April 12, 2016. LISTEN TO ME finds a hot former rock star looking for a steady gig at the restaurant, but he’ll have to convince the prickly front-of-house manager to take a chance on him—with her business and her heart.

 Review

LISTEN TO ME is the first book in Kristen Proby’s newest series called Fusion which will revolve around five really good friends who own a restaurant together. LISTEN TO ME is Addie’s story, she’s the manager and she is looking for some musical talent to work the weekends and add to the ambiance. At an open mic night she sees Jake Keller, former lead singer of the hit band Hard Knox but doesn’t approach him, because HELLO ROCK STAR! They can’t afford that. Only, Jake’s BFF Christina sees the music act wanted sign and convinces Jack to apply. Since you don’t say no when a retired rock star offers to sing in your restaurant he gets hired and immediately starts to get his flirt on with Addie. Its cute and adorable and I just loved Jake. Addie has been burned by musicians before and just recently broke up with one so she’s wary at first but the sparks can’t be denied and soon they are on the path to happiness.

There were times when I found Addie to be a bit harsh but when you learn her history you do understand why she is the way she is. Which then only makes my heart break for her all the more later on in the book. Although I do think she strongly overreacted on one thing and blew it all out of proportion. Which then lead to their first fight, Jake then jumped to conclusions based on something he saw and his demons popped up and then before you know it the pointless breakup of all pointless breakups happens. Its over in 2 seconds and a heartbeat latter Jake regrets his actions and then for the last 40% of the book he is trying to make it up to Addie, a girl with abandonment issues so I understand why she’s reluctant to take him back. Especially since all his attempts are all him saying “I miss you” and none that take ownership of what he did.

This killed the book for me. Up until that pointless breakup I was loving this book. I adored the chemistry between Addie and Jake and loved loved loved their banter!! They got along so well and talked about so much but when it came to the one conversation that mattered they didn’t talk at all. Which made me just want to shake them so hard. There was no reason for this break up and it was drawn out way to long and its only point seemed to be cause its the formula to have a breakup and it didn’t seem like Proby knew of a good way to do it since Addie and Jake just worked so well.

I also wasn’t a fan of the epilogue. Readers, you know my thoughts on those and epilogues at the end of the first book in a series just hit a nerve more than any other epilogue. Especially since this one ends with a cliff hanger that will lead into the next book, CLOSE TO YOU (Goodreads), which isn’t out until August. My romance books shouldn’t come with a cliff hanger ending when they aren’t in the romantic suspense genre. So this and the pointless break up are what dropped this one from a 4.5 star read to a 3 star one in fast order. But I know those aren’t things that bother other people, I’m super terrible picky sometimes so know that up until those two things LISTEN TO ME was an excellent read.

LISTEN TO ME was a quick read once I was able to settle into the story. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as I loved watching Addie and Jake come together. I adored all of the secondary characters and how they all fit and fleshed out the story. There were times that I laughed out loud at some of the banter especially scenes that involved Jake and his male BFF. There were times that this book made my heart ache and I was mostly happy with the ending I just wish that there some things that had been done a little differently. But that’s on me. You dear reader, for I know you well, you won’t mind those things near as much and so if you need a book to bring with you to the beach or pool then look no further than LISTEN TO ME. Just know you may get looks when you start to giggle from time to time.

irishdarkblue

Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo

Excerpt

 

“It is a shame,” Chris says.

                “Don’t start, C.” I toss the bacon on my plate and push it away.

                “All I’m saying is –“

                “The same thing you’ve been saying for years. I don’t want to live a public life anymore. It just fucks thinks up.”

                “You don’t have to live a public life to play music.” She shakes her head, cutting me off when I would speak. “Just listen. Kevin took me to a new restaurant the other night. It’s awesome.” She leans in, her brown eyes shining with excitement. “It’s sexy.”

                “The restaurant is sexy?”

                “Yes, and it’s amazing. So, these women have opened this place in downtown Portland called Seduction. There are aphrodisiacs on the menu, sexy music and atmosphere, amazing wine cellar. Did you know that asparagus is an aphrodisiac?”

                “I had no idea.”

                “Me either! Until we went there. It’s so great for couples, and it looks like it’s making quite a name for itself.”

                “What the fuck does it have to do with me?” I ask mildly and sip more coffee.

                “There was a sign in the window advertising for a weekend musician.”

                I stare at her, blinking.

                “So?”

                “So you should go apply!”

                She slaps her hand on the table and leans back with a satisfied smile, proud of herself.

                “Fuck no.”

                “Why not?”

                “Jake Knox doesn’t perform anymore.”

                “Jake Keller could.”

                I tilt my head, suddenly intrigued.

                “You don’t have to go in there and be a rock star, you know. You could just go in with your guitar and play music. You don’t have to do the old Hard Knox stuff, unless you want to try some acoustic arrangements. You could just do covers, if that’s what you wanted. Or new stuff you’re writing.”

                Suddenly the yearning in my gut is so intense I can barely breathe. I love producing and writing music. Hell, I spent a month up in Seattle last fall cowriting and producing with Leo Nash, an old friend of mine, for his band’s new album. It’s fulfilling.

                But fuck me, how I miss performing. And it’s really not about the screaming women, the lights, the louder-than-fuck music.

                It’s just the music itself. Performing and watching the crowd sing along.

                There’s just nothing like it. And the other night, when I sat on that stage and sang, it was like visiting an old friend.

                But I gave it up on a rainy night five years ago when Christina was almost killed and lost her leg, all because of me.

                I shake my head and clench my jaw. “No.”

Preorder LISTEN TO ME, fill out this form,

and receive an Exclusive Sneak Peek of

Kristen Proby’s EASY FOR KEEPS!

 

About LISTEN TO ME:

 

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart.

Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

 

 

ListenToMe_ProbyQuote_Tour

 

Author Pic - Kristen ProbyAbout Kristen Proby:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Kristen Proby is the author of the bestselling With Me In Seattle and Love Under the Big Sky series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong, humorous characters with a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type; fiercely protective and a bit bossy, and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen lives in Montana, where she enjoys coffee, chocolate and sunshine. And naps.

 

 

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter** Newsletter Sign Up

LISTEN TO ME Goodreads ** Kristen Proby Goodreads

 

 

ListenToMe_Tour_Teaser1

 

Tour Stops

Kristen Proby’s LISTEN TO ME – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

April 4th

The Cantu Sisters Book Reviews – Excerpt

2 Girls & Their Kindles – Review & Excerpt

Book Sniffers Anonymous – Review

Queenzany – Review

She Hearts Books – Review

April 5th

Melissa’s Book Obsessiom – Review

BBBf-sizzlereads-bestbookboyfriends – Review

Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

EscapeNBooks – Review & Excerpt

April 6th

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

MEReadALOT – Review

Hike2Forty and beyond – Review & Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Excerpt

April 7th

Romance Addict Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Fiction Fangirls – Review & Excerpt

Between Books – Review & Excerpt

The Suburban Eclectic Review – Review

Princess Reads – Review & Excerpt

April 8th

Two Unruly Girls With A Romance Book Buzz – Review & Excerpt

Literati Literature Lovers – Review

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Random Book Muses – Review

An Asian Chick & Her Cat Walk into a Book Blog – Review

April 9th

Novel Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Soul – Review

BooksPieAndCoffee – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

April 10th

Emmbooks – Review

The Book Hoarders – Review

Bridget’s Book Bungalow – Review & Excerpt

The Book Avenue – Excerpt

Smart & Savvy with Stephanie – Review

April 11th

Once Upon An Alpha – Review & Excerpt

A Sky Full of Stars Blog – Excerpt

Rosemarie McKenzie – Review & Excerpt

Alleskelle Blogs But Mostly Reads – Review

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

ListenToMe_Tour_Teaser2

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Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

three-stars
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest Cline

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Armada by Ernest ClineArmada by Ernest Cline
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Published by Crown on 14 July 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Dystopian, Friendship, Sci-Fi, Survival Stories, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Beverton, Oregon // Unknown, Nebraska // Moon Base Alpha

First Line(s): I was staring out of the classroom window daydreaming of adventure when I spotted the flying saucer.

When I went to BEA last spring there were only a couple of books that I needed to get and one of those was ARMADA by Ernest Cline. I loved his first book, READY PLAYER ONE (my review) and was so excited to see what he came up with next. But then I became torn because it was announced that Wil Wheaton would be narrating just as he did with READY PLAYER ONE and I decided to wait until I could get my hands on the audiobook.

The wait for the audio was a great decision because, as always, Wil Wheaton was most excellent in his narration. I just love Wheaton’s reading style and the energy and life that he brings to a story. It especially helped with ARMADA because I found the actually story to be a bit slow and hard to get into. There was a lot of repetition to the story and the story was a little bit too similar to READY PLAYER ONE mixed with ENDER’S GAME mixed with WARGAMES.

Armada Quote

There were no surprises in ARMADA and each big “twist” was just anti-climatic and predictable. The build up was overly drawn out which left very little time for the big climatic battle. Which left the ending something to be desired. If I’d been reading this one in print than I may have DNF’d this one or just ended up skimming to the end to see how it all turned out. The only reason why I didn’t was because of Wil Wheaton.

I’m still a fan of Ernest Cline and I am looking forward to his next book but sadly ARMADA just wasn’t the book for me. The writing was ok it was just the plotting and the pacing and even some of the characters that really didn’t mesh with me.

irishdarkblue

IR - Armada

Add Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer to Goodreads.

Add The End of All Things by John Scalzi to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: Deep by Kylie Scott

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

Review: Deep by Kylie ScottDeep by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive,
Also in this series: Lick, Play, Lead
on 31 March 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Road Trip, Social Issues
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Lick, Play, Lead, Dirty

Place(s) Traveled To: Albuquerque, New Mexico // Portland, Oregon // Saint Louis, Missouri // Las Vegas, Nevada // Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia // New York, New York

First Line(s): Positive. I reread the instructions, doing my best to flatten out the creases in the piece of paper one-handed.

Deep by Kylie Scott is the fourth and final book in her Stage Dive series which see the various members of the band of the same name fall head over heels in love. Walking into Deep I knew that it was a story that I was looking forward to but its also one that I dreaded a bit because Lead (my review) was going to be a really hard book to follow. Lead was my favorite of the series and a part of me just knew that Ben’s story wouldn’t be able to hold up to Jimmy’s. And I was right. Though that doesn’t mean I didn’t like Ben and Lizzy’s story I just didn’t love it.

I just felt that Ben was a total dick throughout much of the book and I just shook my head every time Lizzy forgave his brutish behavior with very little meaningful apology from him. Not that Ben couldn’t been sweet because he could and I did adore the text messages that the two exchanged but when push came to shove Ben just wasn’t there for Lizzy. It takes two to make a baby after all and both need to face the consequences of that one night stand. Either stand up or just walk away. The push and pull half measures were just frustrating and Lizzy deserved better. Though I did love the moment between Ben and Jimmy when Jimmy gave Ben a piece of his mind. That has got to be one of my favorite scenes in the entire book. But as you might guess I’m a bit biased by all things Jimmy.  I also wasn’t a fan of how Anne kept treating Lizzy as if she was a child. Lizzy was an adult and about to have a baby its time that Anne realizes that and starts treating her accordingly. Lizzy also needed a bit more of a backbone she was a bit too passive for my tastes throughout most of the story.

Deep Quote

I liked Deep and thought that it was a good ending to the series. I liked how all the guys found their girls and they all found a happily ever after. I could have done without the crazy baby name but they are celebrities and if the real world has taught me nothing its that celebrities do like their crazy unusual names. I also found Deep to be a quick read and I finished it in just over a day. I loved this world and these characters so even with my issues with Ben’s actions throughout the book I still couldn’t stop turning the pages. While the characters did sometimes frustrate me they also made my heart ache and at times I wanted to shake them both. But I was invested in their story and being invested is always a good thing.

The Stage Dive series was a really enjoyable one for me and I am going to miss this world now that its over. I know that I will be re-reading Jimmy’s story often and re-reading the others for all those glimpses of my favorite character. Seriously, if you trust my opinion at all then you need to meet Jimmy and with him his bandmates. These books are worth the read and I am really looking forward to seeing what Kylie Scott comes up with next.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Deep

Add Tyler & Stella by Heidi Joy Trethway to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

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

Review: Trust the Focus by Megan EricksonTrust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Series: In Focus,
Also in this series: Focus On Me, Out of Frame
Published by Intermix on 17 March 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 219
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Redding, California // Pike’s Peak, Colorado // Unnamed, Idaho // Chicago, Illinois // Nashville, Indiana // Lewis, Kansas // Cape Elizabeth, Maine // Jefferson City, Missouri // Unnamed, New Hampshire // Unnamed, Oregon // Unnamed, Pennsylvania // Toutle, Washington // Buffalo County, Wisconsin // Moorcroft, Wyoming

First Line(s): More than a thousand graduation caps flew into the air behind me, but I was already walking down the aisle between the concrete bleachers.

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Megan Erikson’s Trust the Focus when I requested the title for review but I did know that it included two of my favorite book tropes: the road trip and a friends to lovers romance. Trust the Focus starts off with Justin and Landon graduating college and embarking on a cross country road trip taken in memory of Justin’s dad who had passed away. They plan to visit some of the places that Justin’s dad photographed and re-rake the pictures with the his ashes in them. Along the way Justin has decided to confront the feelings that he’s always had for his best friend, the openly gay Landry.

There are many ups and downs throughout this story and it made my heart ache on numerous occasions. There were also times when I wanted to reach into the pages and shake these characters as they weren’t doing the things that I wanted them to do when I wanted. In other words, I was invested in this story from the start all the way until the end. I cared what happened to Justin and Landry and really wanted them to find their happily ever after. Where this book would lose me was when it got a bit preachy with other characters coming onto the page seemingly just to validate Justin and Landry as a couple. It was almost always the same phrasing and just made me sigh a bit as it just seemed a bit much.

 

Trust the Focus Quote

 

Trust the Focus isn’t a deep story but it was a fun, quick read and just what I needed at the time. Its a book that would make a great pallet cleanser between heavy reads as you just just lose yourself in the story without having to think too much. Landry and Justin are realistic characters and readers will cheer for them to find their happily ever after. Best of all there is no pointless breakup. Yes there is conflict and tension because no romance is without that but its all realistic in its execution and it will make your heart ache.

While there were parts of Trust the Focus that frustrated me I did enjoy it and I couldn’t stop reading when I started. In fact, this was a book that I didn’t mean to read at all. I’d accidentally deleted my current read off my kindle and then accidentally opened this one when I was trying to move another book into a folder. Then before I fully realized what was happening I was staying up way past my bed time hurriedly flipping through the pages as I raced to the end of the story. Thrust the Focus was my first book by Megan Erikson but it won’t be my last as I enjoyed her writing and the characters that she created.

irishdarkblue

IR - Trust the Focus

 

Add There You Stand by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Review to come.)

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

three-stars
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie BrannaghRushing Amy by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football, Book 2
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 11 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Cannon Beach, Oregon

First Line(s): The wedding was over, and Amy Hamilton stood amongst the wreckage.

Rushing Amy is the follow up to Julie Brannagh’s Blitzing Emily and involves Emily’s younger sister, Amy. Amy runs a flowshop and its through her buisness that Emily meets her one true love Brandon. In Rushing Amy, Emily returns the favor (so to speak) by being the catalyst for Amy to meet her love interest, Matt. Matt is a former teammate and a friend of Brandon’s and he and Amy meet at the wedding of Emily and Brandon. Its a bit of a cliched meeting place but it works for this story. While the overall story of Rushing Amy was a cute, quick read there were things that bothered me with it.

My biggest issue was with how everyone seemed so overly concerened with Amy’s ovaries. A conversation about how old she was getting and how she needed to have babies soon or never seemed to pop up in almost every chapter. She would think it and others would comment on it and it just added this weird, creepy vibe to the whole story. One example of this is when Matt’s daughter tells Amy that she can’t break up with her dad because she wants siblings…um…seriously?? Ugh! This is 2014 not 1814 a woman’s main purpose in life and the source of all her happiness isn’t in having babies. I liked how Amy was focused on setting up her business and making it work but that strength of hers, her smarts and business sense was always overshadowed with talk of her baby making capabilites.

Matt also annoyed me a bit in how he wanted to take care of Amy buy tossing money at her and all of her problems. I get that he wanted to help but he never listened to what she wanted he just bulldozed in with what he wanted and her feelings be damned. Most of the time he was sweet and I liked that he was such a giving soul but listening is such an attactive skill and so few people seem to possess it. Amy and Matt could have avoided the whole pointless breakup if Matt just listened to her issues, provided advice when asked and then let her handle things how she wanted to handle them.

I enjoyed Rushing Amy but I didn’t think that it was as cute as Blitzing Emily. The issues mentioned above just took me out of the story and made me want to shake all the characters involved. I wanted them to find their HEA but at the same time they annoyed me enough that there were times when I didn’t care if they reached that point or not. There also wasn’t enough Brandon and Emily in this story and when they were there they didn’t seem like the same characters from the first book. I will continue to read this series but as of this posting I don’t think that Rushing Amy will be a book that I ever re-read.

irishdarkblue

Rushing Amy Quote

three-stars
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Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca SerleFamous in Love by Rebecca Serle
Series: Famous in Love,
Published by Poppy on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Places Traveled To: Portland, Oregon // Maui, Hawaii

First Line(s): “You’re famous, Patrick.” Jake winks at me, I roll my eyes.

In Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, Paige Thompson is living the dream. She’s a regular girl like you and me who has a love of acting and she somehow manages to get chosen as the lead role in a book to movie series adaptation (think Twilight-style series). She’s over the moon at this and then also realizes that she should probably read the books because while her BFF is crazy obsessed with them she has always had better things to do than read.  Cut from her normal homelife to moving to Hawaii to start filming and there she meets her co-star, Rainer, a Hollywood heart-throb who is just a couple of years older than her and who befriends her and falls for her all in short order. All while she thinks he can’t possible fall for a girl like her as she’s awkward and young and keeps messing up her big chance. Then just as she starts to tell herself that she likes Rainer too, Jordan Wilder comes to set. The bad boy of Hollywood and someone who antagonizes Paige and sets her on edge. Queue to one of my least favorite tropes, the love triangle.

Though calling what happens in Famous in Love a love triangle is a bit of a stretch because even though the story is told in a first-person stream of conscious way the story stays very much on the surface of things. Its very superficial and you never really get to know who Paige is or why she makes the choices she does. I also firmly believe that one person can’t be in romantic love with two different people at the same time and also found it really hard to buy into Paige’s feelings for Jordan as she barely spent any time with him. And what time she did spend was usually with him being a condescending ass and them getting into an argument. I also don’t buy that ending and feel that it was very unfair to all the characters involved….again its just so superficial and blah.

For me, it seemed like there were a lot of things glossed over in Famous in Love and it never really gave me the heart-achey feels that I love. I never felt any tension between Paige and her love interests, Rainer and Jordan. I just don’t see what it was about her that they fell for. Its as if the idea of her, this fresh-faced unknown was more of a draw to them than who she was. Because Paige never came across as a real 3D person, she was very superficial and often clueless to the things going on around her. As a friend she kind of failed and I don’t blame her BFF for getting all mad at her. I know that I wanted to shake her several times during my read of this book.

I also found Famous in Love to be pretty inconsistent, there were some continuity errors (though these might have been corrected from ARC to final) and just all over the place most of the time. Its a quick read and once I managed to really focus on it one that I read it in a day but its one that just doesn’t do much for me. I also have no clue how Serle can make this into a trilogy. I know that the book/movie series that Paige is staring in is a trilogy and so this series may follow that but if the entire series is going to be Paige flip flopping between Rainer and Jordan than count me out. I don’t have it in me to deal with a love triangle over three books. I just don’t. Especially one that ends as crazily and unfairly as the one in this story. I just don’t buy the ending, not at all. And really don’t see how it works for any of the parties involved. For me, Famous in Love was just an ok read but its definitely not one that I’d recommend anyone rush out to read.

irishdarkblue

Famous in Love Quote

three-stars
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: Lead by Kylie Scott

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

Review: Lead by Kylie ScottLead by Kylie Scott
Series: Stage Dive,
Also in this series: Lick, Play, Deep
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 29 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Social Issues
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Lick, Play, Deep, Dirty

Place(s) Traveled To: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho // Portland, Oregon

First Line(s): The man’s mouth kept moving but I’d long since tuned out.

When I first started reading Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series I was least looking forward to Jimmy’s book. In Lick, he was a complete and utter asshole and I seriously wanted to punch him in the face. In Play, he was less of an ass but still not a character that I cared for very much but I knew that Ben’s story was coming and to get there I needed to go through Jimmy’s. I didn’t dread reading Lead but I wasn’t chomping at the bit for it as I honestly didn’t think that it was one that I’d like. So imagine my surprise when Jimmy’s story became my favorite. Words can not tell you how many feels that I had throughout this book or how much I hated for it to end.

I LOVED beyond LOVED Lena and Jimmy. Lena is sassy and fierce and doesn’t take any crap from Jimmy. Their banter throughout the entire story is a thing of beauty. There is so much push and pull that your heart is torn in a hundred different directions. But at no time do you ever wish that these two wouldn’t get together. From the first page until the last you are sitting on the sidelines begging them to let go of all their baggage and just live their happily ever after. Lena and Jimmy are what I’d call true soul mates, neither is perfect and they each have flaws but they make each other better.

There were a few scenes in the book that were a bit random and there was that one sex scene that just seemed so cold and clinical and it didn’t seem to fit. And yet, as you read on in the story the coldness of it all makes perfect sense and when I read this book for the second time (yes, I’ve already read this one more than once) it worked so much better. The rest of the plot was near perfection as Lena and Jimmy’s story progress. There was laughter and there was the desire to shake these two stubborn characters for being so darn stupid. The story ARC was done so well and it broke my heart on more than one occassion. I liked that throughout it all Lena and Jimmy always talked to each other about what they were feeling. Their conflict doesn’t result from a misunderstanding because they refused to communicate and that was so very refreshing.

Jimmy is a complex character and I am so glad that I read his story. Lena is smart and funny and I loved her POV scenes. I liked the cameos of David, Ev, Anne and Mal. The Mal in this book is the Mal that I was longing for in Play. I also liked that we got to see more of Ben as he was another band member that I wasn’t entirely sure about his story. Ben isn’t a jerk, he seems like a genuinely nice guy but in the previous books he kind of faded into the backround. But in Lead he takes a more central role and I am curious to see if my theories for his story, Deep, come to fruition and I hate that I won’t be able to get my hands on it until January 2015!! That is seriously way too long to wait for a girl with no paitence. But I guess until then I can just re-read Lead a few more times because it truly is my favorite in the story. I just love when I book surprises you so very much and I am so glad that I read this one.

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Shortley after reading Lead I was listening to my iPod and the song Perfect came up. The moment I heard it I immediately thought of Jimmy and Lena and its something that I think he might write for her, you know if he wasn’t fictional and it hadn’t already been written by Miggs.

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irishdarkblue

 

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Lead2
four-stars
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