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Posts Tagged: America: Tennessee

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

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

Review: Defending Taylor by Miranda KenneallyDefending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks,
Also in this series: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl
Published by Sourcebooks on 05 July 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Jesse's Girl

Place(s) Traveled To: Franklin, Tennessee // Murfreesboro, Tennessee // Brentwood, Tenneessee

First Line(s): When I was a little girl, Dad installed a gumball machine in our house.

It’s taken me awhile to come up with the right words to fully express my thoughts on DEFENDING TAYLOR by Miranda Kenneally and even these words don’t seem completely right. DEFENDING TAYLOR is everything that you would expect from a book by Miranda Kenneally but its also so much more. All off Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks books have some sort of theme to them, and not just the various sportsing that is mentioned either. For me, the main theme in DEFENDING TAYLOR is one of second chances. Its about making mistakes and learning to live with the consequences no matter what they are. Its about standing your ground when you think you are right even when telling one simple truth can change everything.

Taylor isn’t always the easiest character to like or even to understand at times but by the end of the book you can’t help but to sympathize with her and the tough choices she makes. What she did might be hard for some to understand but its something that happens all the time. Sometimes you make a tough choice thinking that the consequence won’t be that bad and if they are then you have to live them. I think that Taylor is very brave for what she did because her choice wasn’t an easy one and her family certainly didn’t make it any easier. Even though they could have done so. I really wasn’t a fan of Taylor’s family in this book so was really glad when she reconnected with Ezra as she needed a friendly face around.

Defending Taylor Quote

While at its heart DEFENDING TAYLOR is about making choices it also contains two of my favorite book tropes: second chance at love and friend of a sibling. Ezra is the BFF of Taylor’s brother and once upon a time they almost got together. When you learn their backstory it just makes your heart ache for what could have been. And while things could have been cleared up if the two just talked to each other there was pride and hurt feelings that got in the way. Plus, the timing then may not have been right as both of these characters needed to go through some things  before they were ready for their HEA.

DEFENDING TAYLOR is a book that I found hard to put down once I started it. I may not have always agreed with Taylor and her life choices but I did understand them. In the end, the thing I wanted most from DEFENDING TAYLOR was more. I wanted more story, more Taylor, more Ezra and just more of everything. Keanneally has a gift for writing feel good, heart achy stories and if you are a fan of her words then you don’t want to miss this one. If you haven’t read anything by Keanneally before then DEFENDING TAYLOR might be a good place to start. Its definitely a book that you want on your shelf this summer.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Defending Taylor

 

Add Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review, Click here for Andi’s review)

Add Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen to Goodreads. (Click here for Andi’s review)

four-stars
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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyUs by Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen
Series: Him, Book 2
Also in this series: Him
Published by Self-Published on 08 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, The Score, The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To:  Toronto, Ontario, Canada // Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada // Quebec City, Quebec, Canada // Chicago, Illinois // Nashville, Tennessee // Saint Paul, Minnesota // Dallas, Texas //  San Rafael, California

First Line(s): Vancouver is a beautiful city, but I can’t wait to leave it.

When it came to reading US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy I was torn. On one hand, I wanted more story for Wes and Jaime after the end of HIM (my review) and on the other I have a severe dislike for direct sequel romances. I really really really don’t like when my happily ever afters are toyed with and so often in a direct sequel there is just unnecessary angst, drama, and pointless breakups. I just don’t see the need to have a story told in 600 pages and two books when authors can always show the beloved couple in cameos in companions if (s)he decides to stay within a certain world for other books. In the end though, my love of Jaime and Wes was bigger than my dislike of sequels so I picked up US and devoured it in quick succession.

US picks up not long after HIM ends and follows Wes and Jaime as they live a mostly closeted life during Wes’s first year playing professional hockey. As you can imagine, this isn’t an easy arrangement for either of them as it makes it difficult to form friendships when you are keeping such big secrets from other people. Where HIM had this magical falling in love quality there was just a little bit too much reality in US. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and relationships can be hard, especially when there is so much strain to keep secret. So you can imagine that there is a lot of angst and drama within the pages of US and while its all very realistic it really hurt my heart at times. And not in the happy gooey way that I love its the sad and depressed sort of heartache and I didn’t want any of that for my boys.

Us Quote

US also introduces the reader to many new secondary characters all of which had a good presence when they were on the page. The biggest of all was Blake who I absolutely did not like at the start of the book. But as he’ll mention to Wes and Jaime, he grows on folks, and its so true because by the end I adored him and hoped that he and Jess (Jaime’s sister) would get a book. Because my of my did those two have some sparks!! I was also glad of Blake by the end because he added in some much needed light and laughter into the story that was a little to real and depressing. US is a good story and I like how it tackled some serious issues in regards to loneliness and depression but it was just a little too real for me to love as much as I did HIM.

While I didn’t love US I was glad that the angst and drama, while a bit much at times, all stemmed from real issues and wasn’t over something silly like most new adult reads. There was no easy fix here, like one character keeping a secret that wouldn’t amount to much if they just talked to their partner. There were real issues and it all worked and fit with the story. I also liked how there was no pointless breakup. Yes, Jaime and Wes hit a rough patch but they work through it and move on until they find their joy once again. Both in life and in each other. Its nice to see a book that shows that couples can survive troubles and come out stronger on the other side. Though my original statement still stands, I hate when my happily ever afters are messed with so while I loved parts of US I would have been happy with cameos in companion reads over a full on story.

irishdarkblue IR - Him

 

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

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

Add Come Back to Me by Mila Gray to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Review: Loving Dallas by Casey Quinn

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

Review: Loving Dallas by Casey QuinnLoving Dallas by Casey Quinn
Series: Neon Dreams, Book 2
Also in this series: Leaving Amarillo, Missing Dixie
Published by William Morrow on 16 June 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 296
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Leaving Amarillo, Missing Dixie

Place(s) Traveled To: Omaha, Nebraska // Atlanta, Georgia // Denver, Colorado // Kansas City, Kansas // Los Angeles, California // Greenville, North Carolina // Charlotte, North Carolina // New Orleans, Louisiana // Dallas, Texas // Nashville, Tennessee // Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

First Line(s): Thirty-six cities blurred by me so quickly I felt like I’d been on a six-week drinking binge.

If I could describe LOVING DALLAS by Casey Quinn in one word I’d say it was predictable. If I had two then it would be predictable and frustrating for LOVING DALLAS was filled with ALL THE CLICHES!!! And they just made my head hurt. On its surface LOVING DALLAS seems like it had everything I’d love in a book for it was a rock star romance and it was also a second chance at love story. But, oh my stars, were these two leads so super frustrating! I knew Dallas was going to be a chore going in just based on how he was in LEAVING AMARILLO (my review) and while I liked him better in this book I still didn’t fall head over heels for him. I also was way way more annoyed with Robyn so any flaws he had kind of paled in comparison.

Where LOVING DALLAS excels over LEAVING AMARILLO is in how it is a dual POV story. I don’t think I would have finished this one if it had been told entirely from Robyn’s POV. She was so quick to make judgement and assumptions and was often the one causing all the drama between her and Dallas. She based a lot of what she did on his high school self as well on what she thought he would do. Even though nothing in his current persona indicated that he would act as she thought. In fact, more often than not how Robyn thought Dallas would react was the exact opposite of how he did react. And I just loved when Dallas finally called Robyn out on all of her crap.

Loving Dallas Quote

I also didn’t agree with many of Robyn’s choices in this book. Not that Dallas was perfect or gets a free pass as he had his douchy moments too. But he wasn’t working under all the same facts as Robyn had as she didn’t show him her full hand. Where Dallas often annoyed me was in his belief that he could only have part of his dream. Like he could date Robyn or be a musician. There was no shades of grey with him it was all black and white and like Robyn he made assumptions on the choices she might make and he often assumed wrong. I hated how these two didn’t seem to know the word compromise and that there was a way for them both to live their dreams and still be together.

As you can imagine, LOVING DALLAS had a lot of unnecessary drama and even a WTF moment (or two) but overall I did like it better than its predecessor. As much as the story and characters annoyed me at times it was still a highly readable book and I read it in about a day. Granted I was also vacationing in Greece at the time so that definitely aided in the amount of free time I had to read. LOVING DALLAS will never be a favorite book of mine but I don’t feel as though my time was wasted for the read of it. And I can see how it will appeal to many who aren’t as tough on books as I am and who don’t mind all that angst. Because there was a lot of angst. Though there could have been more so there is that. At the end of the day only you can decide if LOVING DALLAS is right for you or not and I think that you should give it a go if you have a few hours to give to this story.

irishdarkblue

IR - Loving Dallas

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

Add Rowdy by Jay Crownover to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: You’re Still the One by Rachel Harris

Posted by Irish in Adult, Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Review0 Comments

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: You’re Still the One by Rachel Harris

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: You’re Still the One by Rachel HarrisYou're Still the One by Rachel Harris
Series: Country Blues,
Published by Entangled Bliss on 15 February 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 254
Format: eBook
Source: Inkslinger PR
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance, Accidently Married on Purpose, The Fine Art of Pretending, The Natural History of Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Nashville, Tennessee // New Orleans, Louisiana // Magnolia Springs, Louisiana

First Line(s): “He’s not gonna know what hit him.”

Every reader knows that there are some books that they read where the secondary characters really stand out and this was true for me with Charlie from Rachel Harris’s ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED ON PURPOSE (my review.) So I was really excited to learn that Harris was writing a spin off series and the first book, YOU’RE STILL THE ONE, would feature Charlie. I was bouncy with excitement and I think that I fell victim to my own hype as I didn’t love this book as much I wanted to. It was cute and charming and everything that one would expect in a Rachel Harris book but for me it was just missing the heat.

YOU’RE STILL THE ONE is a slow burn novel and for me it was almost too slow of a build up between Arabella and Charlie. While I did like how the two really got to know each other and build a relationship built on friendship it just lacked chemistry. I wasn’t racing to the end to see how their story would end because I never really became invested in their story. I also found the set up of this one to be really choppy and wish that the scene transitions and other aspects of the story had been smoother.

You're Still the One -  Teaser (1)

I also wish that some more time had been spent developing the secondary characters. I have no idea who the next story will be about and familiar characters, like Tyler and Sherry, were notably absent throughout much of the book. I didn’t dislike YOU’RE STILL THE ONE I just think that I expected something more since I loved ACCIDENTALLY MARRIED ON PURPOSE so much. Perhaps is there was more romance to it I would have liked it more but its hard when characters don’t even kiss until the book is almost over. So while I think that Charlie and Arabella make great friends I’m just not entirely sure that I buy them as a couple.

For me, YOU’RE STILL THE ONE was a book of missed opportunities. I wanted to love it but it just fell a little flat for me. But I do still love the world that Rachel Harris has created. I’ll still read the other books in this series and hope that we see more cameos in the future of old friends. This is a book that I know that I’ll recommend to some friends of mine because the things that didn’t really work for me I know will really work for them. YOU’RE STILL THE ONE isn’t a perfect read but its a quick read and worth considering for when you are looking for a slow burn escapist read.

 

irishdarkblue

Excerpt

Yup, this was a recipe for unmitigated disaster. With the hot sting of jealousy currently roiling in his gut, demanding he lay claim to what was his, the smart thing for Charlie to do would be to turn tail and run before they breached the point of no return.

Don’t push too far, Tucker. Remember, she’s not for you.  

Even his conscience knew better than to suggest bailing. Completely walking away wasn’t an option anymore. The attraction was too strong. The oppressive Louisiana heat boiled his blood just enough to make dangerous ideas seem possible.

“It’s a beautiful night.” Arabella was a low whispered voice behind him, and when Charlie turned it was in time to watch her cover-up fall to the ground.

Sweet Jesus. The dress she’d worn all day had been typical Arabella, classy and feminine. She’d looked beautiful as always, so much so that it hadn’t been a shocker to find another guy hanging on her with drool on his chin. But the swimsuit hidden beneath the simple dress almost dropped Charlie to his knees.

The two-piece was emerald green, a spectacular color set against her olive skin that made those doe eyes pop. It was vintage in style, like everything she owned, and the bottom consisted of more fabric than half the women’s shorts today, but it cupped her hips and thighs in a way that his hands itched to replicate. And the swimsuit’s top… Charlie swallowed thickly. Arabella’s small, high breasts were lifted in a mouthwatering display of cleavage that was a feast for the eyes.

She looked seductive and innocent and, good Godshe was trying to kill him.

Charlie was moving before he even realized it, walking in a lust-filled daze toward her. But then, his feelings were more complicated than simple lust…and that was the problem.

“You take my breath away.” The line was cliché, like a lyric from some lame power ballad, but for the first time in his life, Charlie understood the meaning. Arabella’s eyes latched onto his, and her chest rose and fell as her pink lips parted in an exhale and, for a moment, he legitimately forgot his own name.

Arabella made his chest ache with want. She made him forget everything in the world other than how it felt to hold her in his arms. How their bodies aligned, her height allowing her to rest her head on his shoulder if she wanted to. Or stare into his eyes if and when he kissed her.

Right now, he wasn’t thinking about the many reasons why he shouldn’t want that, why he didn’t deserve her or why it would be so wrong to reach out and slide his hand along the gentle curve of her waist. No, Charlie forgot all those things, so when his palm grazed across her petal-soft skin, and Arabella’s gasp hit his ears, he also forgot why it was wrong, so very wrong, to act on his needs.

Lowering his head, he breathed in her floral fragrance and closed his eyes.

“Baby girl, you destroy me,” he whispered against her lips. “You have to tell me if you don’t want this, because I’m holding on by a thread.”

“Then let go.”

Tour Stops

Rachel Harris’ YOU’RE STILL THE ONE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

February 16th

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

Alpha Book Club – Review

I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Book Starlets – Review & Excerpt

FMR Book Grind – Review

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

February 17th

Lovin’ Los Libros – Review & Excerpt

Angel Reads – Review

SassyCat’s Books Review – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt

First Dream of Books – Excerpt

February 18th

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Tsk Tsk What to Read – Review & Excerpt

Oh the Book Feels – Excerpt

Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

E-Reading After Midnight – Review & Excerpt

February 19th

thebookdragon – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Reviews With Rah – Review & Excerpt

Cyn’s Reviews AndPromotionals – Review & Excerpt

Extreme Bookaholic’s – Excerpt

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

February 20th

The Lovely Books – Review & Excerpt

Miss Riki – Excerpt

Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review & Excerpt

Literary misfit – Excerpt

We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review & Excerpt

Liz’s Reading Life – Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

February 21st

Four Chicks Flipping Pages – Review & Excerpt

The Bibliophile Confessions – Review

Jen’s Reading Obsession – Review & Excerpt

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Debbie’s World of Books – Excerpt

February 22nd

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Crazy Cajun Book Addicts – Review & Excerpt

Vi3tbabe – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

Worth Reading It? – Review

My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt

February 23rd

Bridget’s Book Bungalow – Review & Excerpt

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Excerpt

Bound By Books Books Book Review – Review & Excerpt

All For Love of the Word – Excerpt

February 24th

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt

Alphas Do It Better Book Blog – Excerpt

Library of a Book Witch – Review & Excerpt

Book reviews by lexi – Review

My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt

February 25th

Jax’s Book Magic – Review & Excerpt

Lazy Book Lovers – Review

Romantic Reads and Such – Review & Excerpt

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Books Eater – Review & Excerpt

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Review

Karen McCoy Books Presents: The Writer Librarian – Excerpt

February 26th

Ramblings From This Chick – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

phishbowl’s bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

Beneath The Covers Blog – Excerpt

The Power of Three Readers – Review & Excerpt

Becky’s Book Bytes – Excerpt

Pandora’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Girl with a Pen and a Dream – Excerpt

 

 

You're Still the One - Review & Excerpt Tour Teaser

 

 

About YOU’RE STILL THE ONE:

Love is one dare neither of them can take…
Arabella Stone, Nashville’s darling, is eager to shuck her prim-and-proper rep, and a few wild months spent checking items off her ” summer bucket list” is the way to do it. First up: kiss the man she’s crushed on since she wore a training bra, the bad boy of country himself, Blue bassist Charlie Tucker.

For Charlie, a beautiful woman flirting with him isn’t out of the norm–but a beautiful woman bolting after the hottest kiss of his life sure is. And when he finds out his kiss-and-run Cinderella is none other than Arabella Stone, daughter of his label’s CEO, he knows he’s in trouble. Because not only is she a Stone, she’s also his employee for the next few months at the recording studio he just bought.

Over the course of one thrilling summer, Arabella and Charlie chip away at her bucket list and fight the simmering attraction between them…knowing that once it’s all over, so is their time together.

 

 

 

Rachel Harris - Author photoAbout Rachel Harris:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!

 

 

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Rachel Harris Goodreads | Newsletter Sign Up

 

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

three-stars
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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Review + Excerpt: The Darkest Flame by Christina Lee

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

Review + Excerpt: The Darkest Flame by Christina LeeThe Darkest Flame by Chrstina Lee
Series: Roadmap to Your Heart
Published by Self-Published on 17 August 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Pages: 265
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee

First Line(s): “Bottoms up.” I poured tequila in the three shot glasses in front of me. “Extra limes if you need ’em.”

Chistina Lee is one of those authors where I find it hard to resist reading when she has a new book out and so when a copy of THE DARKEST FLAME landed in my inbox it wasn’t long before I was cracking it open and settling in to read. THE DARKEST FLAME could be considered a companion to THERE YOU STAND (my review) as you first meet Smoke and Vaughn in that story and Jude and Cory do make a small cameo here. But you don’t really need to know what happened in THERE YOU STAND in order to enjoy THE DARKEST FLAME. Though it does help with some background information to be familiar with THERE YOU STAND, Lee does do a decent job of recap the important need to know events so a new reader won’t be totally lost.

There was tension in DARKEST FLAME right from the start between Vaughn and Smoke and I loved watching their journey towards each other. Living in the world that they do of motorcycle clubs and manly men its hard to admit to liking guys when you aren’t sure how this rough and tumble crowd will react. So Vaughn and Smoke just stare and torment each other as they hook up with women and long for the other guy. In many M/M romances its usually one guy is out and out gay and the other is bi/questioning in DARKEST FLAME both men are bi-sexual and wish that they could more openly act on their feelings. The chemistry between Smoke and Vaughn literally sizzles off the page and it doesn’t help either of them that events keep pushing them together into closer and closer quarters.

Darkest Flame Quote

I really enjoyed Vaughn and Smokes story but I did feel that it was a little choppy at times and some things just didn’t make sense to the story at hand. Though I did read an ARC so some of those things may have been corrected in the finished version so I won’t mention them here. The dialogue at times also didn’t seem like it was guys talking but I also don’t live in a man’s head so maybe it is more realistic than I know. I also felt that things were a little repetitive at times and that the ending was a bit rushed. While I do so love a happily ever after there was just something that felt a bit off and inconclusive about the one in DARKEST FLAME.

DARKEST FLAME is a fast paced story and I’m growing to like this world that Lee is creating with her motorcycle club. I’ve never been big on MC books but I am growing to like these characters that Lee has created and I am curious to know more about them. So you can be sure that I will be reading the next book in this new series of hers the moment I am able to get my hands on it. These are just fun stories with a hint of darker things to them and very different from her earlier books in the Between Breaths series.

irishdarkblue

IR - Darkest Minds

 

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

Add Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

 

 

Excerpt

I grabbed my hold of keys and tried not to slam my way out the door. I didn’t know why the hell I was so rattled by Vaughn tonight. I mean, I had been every night, but something about the idea of him being with somebody else right in front of my eyes, made me crazy with need. Need that it felt like only he could fulfill.

As soon as I got to my bike I realized I’d left my cut in the break room. I stood outside attempting to rein in my uneven pulse. I didn’t know what the fuck had come over me. Breathing more steadily, I stepped back through the door only to find the bar empty. I’d just grab my leather vest and leave him in peace.

“I forgot my…” I stopped in my tracks because Vaughn stood motionless in the middle of the floor, veins bulging in his neck, as if he’d implode at the slightest touch. He was always moving and talking with a restless energy in this bar so his stillness was a bit startling.

“Hey.” I gingerly placed my hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry if I—”

There was instant recoil, as if he were attempting to contain the vortex of tension between us by vacuuming it in through his skin.

He twisted toward me, his eyes latching onto mine, right before I was slammed against the door.

The wind was practically knocked out of me as Vaughn sank his weight against my smaller frame. We were groin to groin, heartbeat to heartbeat.

“Fuck, Vaughn, you’re—” Heaving breaths surged through my nostrils. “I was going to suggest a truce.”

“Yeah?” he mumbled, his gaze fastening on my mouth. “What sort of truce?”

TDFteaser
three-stars
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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

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

Review: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda KenneallyJesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks,
Also in this series: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Defending Taylor
Published by Sourcebooks on 07 July 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Music & Musicians, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Breathe, Annie, Breathe, Defending Taylor

Place(s) Traveled To: Nashville, Tennessee // Franklin, Tennessee //Bristol, Tennessee // New York, New York // unknown, Viginia // Hoboken, New Jersey

First Line: Backstage, there’s so much security, you’d think it was the White House.

Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally may only be the second book of hers that I’ve read but I think that it will be my favorite. I really love the whole rock star trope so this one will always have a special place in my heart. Just as Maya and Jesse will as well. I just loved these two characters and I loved how their chemistry just sizzled off the page. Things weren’t always the easiest between them as Jesse is already so jaded for one so young but I loved watching as Maya broke through his walls and they built a strong and solid relationship. They had their ups and downs but overall Jesse’s Girl was a cute and fluffy read and I just flew through the pages.

Not only did I love Jesse and Maya but I adored all the secondary characters. Well, with the exception of that one guy who was such a douchebag!! Oh my stars did I want to reach within the pages and just smack him! But while I hated what he did to Maya in the end it really was one of the best things that could have happened to her. Its a cliche, but when once door closes a new one opens and that is exactly what this moment and what meeting Jesse was for Maya.

 

Jesse's Girl Quote

 

Jesse’s Girl was a fun story. It made me laugh and it hurt my heart and I hated for it to end. I just loved these characters and this world that Kenneally created. Kenneally’s books just scream reality and its so easy to lose yourself within their pages and to become the main character of her stories. You feel all the ups and downs that Maya goes through over the course of the story and while I’d like to think I’d act differently than she did at some points her actions fit her as well as the story.

I know that Jesse’s Girl is a book that I will find myself reading again and again. And with all the multitude of books that I have to read this is a very big deal as it can be so hard to find the time to revisit a story. But from the first moment that I started Jesse’s Girl I knew that these characters and this story would become old friends. This is a story that I’ll pick up when I’m sick or feeling distracted and know that I can easily loose myself within its pages for a few hours. Jesse’s Girl is a book that makes you happy sigh even as you are turning the last page and then sitting there for a few moments debating on if you should go back and start it over again from the beginning. So if this one isn’t on your bookshelf then you’ll want to fix that, like now.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Jesse's Girl

 

Add Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler to Goodreads.

Add The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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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
Series: Between Breaths,
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
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, Promise Me This

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.

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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.)

three-stars
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

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

Review: Promise Me This by Christina LeePromise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 07 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand

First Line(s): I backed the brunette against the wall, my lips at her neck.

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee // Bridgeway, Tennessee

Promise Me This is the latest installment in Christina Lee’s Between Breaths seies and involves Nate and Jessie two characters that we’ve seen in previous books. Nate is a bit of a playboy and Jessie is a girl who acts tougher than she is. Nate is also playing a role as he is afraid of letting people get too close. He’s afraid of following his desires and ending up a man like his father. But as you read the book you see that Nate is just a big old mashmellow with daddy issues. For, his dad is physically abusive to his mom and when he was younger to him and his brother. Nate thinks he might turn out like him as he likes things a bit rougher in the bedroom and he’s afraid of going too far. Luckily for him he meets Jessie and she helps him work through his issues just as he helps her deal with hers.

Nate and Jessie are a good match for each and throughout Promise Me This I was cheering for them to get together. Although I did roll my eyes a bit at the BDSM aspects of the story as it was very light and just seemed to be tossed in as an after thought. Its a trend that I’ve been seeing crop in series these days where at least one book involves characters who engage in the life style, which is fine, but it doesn’t always fit with the story or the characters. These BDSM books are what I call BDSM light as they are shadows in comparison to other BDSM books I’ve read and just seem to be in the story because its part of a trend. This of course is just my opinion and could be a good intro for those who want to read more erotica but aren’t ready for Tiffany Reiz, Sylvia Day or similar authors.

Promise Me This was a quick read and once I settled down into it I read it in just a few hours. Its filled with all the usual cliches but it wasn’t a bad story just a tad bit unoriginal. I enjoyed Nate and Jessie’s romantic journey and there were parts of the story I could have done without but I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books and I do look forward to any other books in this series that Christina Lee might write. Its not a heart achy book but Promise Me This is a great in between type read for when you are transitioning between genres or coming off a really good read.

 

irishdarkblue

 

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three-stars
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel HarrisAccidently Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris
Series: Love and Games,
Also in this series: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance
Published by Entangled Bliss on 14 July 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians
Pages: 266
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Taste the Heat, Seven Day Fiance, The Fine Art of Pretending, You're Still the One, The Natural History of Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Las Vegas, Nevada / / Magnolia Springs, LOuisiana // Nashville, Tennessee // Opelousas, Louisiana

First Line(s): Sad eyes tracked Sherry’s movements as she said good-bye to the man in her life.

Accidentally Married on Purpose is the third and final book in Rachel Harris’s Love and Games series and deals with Sherry Robicheaux, sister to Cane and Colby. Sherry is a little more innocent and wild than her older siblings as she has been sheltered from the troubles that plauged their parents marriage. As such she is more carefree and despite being an adult there is a distinct vibe in Cane and Colby treating her like a child still. So when the opportunity comes up for Sherry to travel to Las Vegas to oversea a catering gig for Colby’s restaurant she jumps at the chance. Wanting in part to have a fun time in Vegas and also to show her family she’s not quite the flake they often think she is. Enter in one of my favorite romance novel tropes…nay…make that TWO of my favorite tropes….the quicky wedding AND a rock star story. *swoon*

While I enjoyed Taste the Heat and Seven Day Fiancethe previous books in the series, I wasn’t head over heels in love with them. There was just something about the main characters that I just never connected with. But the moment I saw the synopsis for Accidentally Married on Purpose I knew that this was the Love and Games book for me. And it was. I just loved Tyler and Sherry and thought that they worked really well together even with their unconventional start. They complemented each other personality wise and their chemistry just sizzled off the page. Though I will admit there were times in which I wanted to smack them both upside the head when they were being all stubborn and such. I swear these two were perfect for each other, fell hard for the other and then worried abour rejection so failed to communicate. And as a result….they almost lost a good thing.

Once I started reading Accidentally Married I couldn’t put it down. I just kept turning the pages because I needed to see how it all ended and then I was left with this void because it was over. This book gave me all those happy heart achy feels that I love and it is my favorite in the series. I just adored Tyler and Sherry and really hope to see a spin off series with a character that we meet in this book because then we’d get more Tyler and Sherry. Or at least I hope that we’d get more Tyler and Sherry as I am going to miss these characters now that their story is over. Accidentally Married on Purpose is definately a book that I would recommend to all who love a good romance story. The conflict isn’t as annoying as in Seven Day Fiance and I understand where both Sherry and Tyler were coming from. This is one that I will most likely read again and be sad that I can’t read it again for the first time.

*happy sighs*

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four-stars
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Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally

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

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breath by Miranda KenneallyBreathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks,
Also in this series: Jesse's Girl, Defending Taylor
Published by Sourcebooks on 15 July 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 306
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: Jesse's Girl, Defending Taylor

Place(s) Traveled To: Thousand Oaks, Tennessee

First Line(s): As a kid, I had the worst mile time ever.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally is the first book of hers that I’ve read and I almost didn’t read this one as I didn’t realize that it was part of her Thousand Oak series. But after consulting with Twitter I was told that you didn’t need to read the others in order to read and understand this one so I decided to give it a shot. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a quick read but I did find it hard to get into at first as I just couldn’t connect with with the main character. She was just all over the place with her emotions and seemed to transfer them onto others as well. I get that she was dealing with grief but she seemed to take it to the extreme. I know that everyone experiences grief differently but it just seemed over the top and took me out of the story. And if the grief was real then I really wish that she was in counseling for it as she wasn’t coping very well and as a result made some poor life choices.

I also didn’t really connect with Jeremiah either because he was such an ass in the beginning. He and Annie randomly hook up at the very beginning of the book and then he ignores her and doesn’t treat her very well. She then mopes about until he has a change of heart and then she is on the way to repeating her behavior with her dead boyfriend. In that, she wants to wrap her entire life up, in, and around his to the exclusion of all others. So for the first half of this book I really just wanted to smack these two characters up the head sideways. But then, they both seem to have this epiphany and the whole tone of the book changed for me. All of a sudden I began to like both Annie and Jere more and became invested in their story.

I experienced those heart achy moments that I so love experiencing in books and it just made me happy. So for me, the ending is what made this book and I was glad that I had stuck with it. As I said it was a quick read and there were moments of it that I liked. I liked how Annie grew over the course of the book because I don’t think I would have been able to finish it if she hadn’t. I admired her drive to want to do something for her deceased boyfriend even though I didn’t really agree with her reasons for it. I also liked how over time it because less what he would have wanted and more about what she wanted to do for herself. And while I didn’t always like Jere I do think that he and Annie compliment each other.

I enjoyed Kenneally’s writing and the world that she has built so I will probably read the previous books in the series. I think it will be interesting to see how they all connect with one another. Breathe, Annie, Breathe will never be a favorite book of mine but in the end I don’t think that my time was wasted in visiting Thousand Oaks.

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three-stars
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