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Posts Tagged: Authors: G – I

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published by Riverhead Books on 13 January 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Ashbury, England // Whitny, England // Train between Ashbury & London (2012, 2013)

First Line(s): There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins isn’t my typical book these days as I do lean more towards the YA but I do love a good mystery. So when I heard that THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was going to be a movie and all the love for the story I thought that I would give it a try. I was initially intrigued by the story and found it to be very readable and I thought that I was in for a really good book. Then the middle happened and the book just lost all of its steam. It started to drag and I found myself not wanting to pick it up. That coupled with how easy it was to predict turned a story that was filled with promise to one that was just meh by the end.

At first I felt sympathy for the various POV characters but that too fizzled out over the course of the book. They were all flawed and that added realism to them but there was nothing to redeem them. Rachel starts off as a character that you think you can be friends with. But then as the layers are pulled back she just becomes pathetic and so very hard to like. By the end of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN I really didn’t care what had happened to the missing girl and kind of wish that all the characters would be killed off.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a readable story but it wasn’t an enjoyable on for me. I figured it all out before the 50% mark so there were no great reveals and part of me wishes I’d just skipped to the end to verify before DNFing the story. I don’t get the hype for it and as such I am not sure if I’ll watch the movie. I like my mysteries to be engaging and filled with some sort of action but all I got from THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a static story that never really went anywhere.

 

Add Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to Goodreads.

Add In the Woods by Tana French to Goodreads.

 

three-stars
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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Fast Connection by Megan Erickson and Santino HassellFast Connection by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove, Book 2
Also in this series: Strong Signal
Published by Self-Published on 11 July 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 260
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Staten Island, New York // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): The smell of bagels permeated the entire shop.

FAST CONNECTION is the second book in Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell’s Cyberlove series and features a minor character in that book, Dominic Costigan, who I will freely admit I didn’t like all that much in STRONG SIGNAL (my review.) But I shouldn’t have doubted the Erickson/Hassell writing team because they sure did deliver on a character with a lot of heart and lovability and oh how my opinion of him changed. In fact, this time around I found myself getting annoyed with Garrett and how he treated Costigan in this story! Boy did some of those text/phone conversations just break my heart because Costigan really needed a friend and Garrett was just being an ass.

Good thing that Dominic met Luke because oh my stars did those two have chemistry!! I just loved the two of them together and it just about tore me in two when they had drama. Which then made me want to glower at Garrett some more since Dominic didn’t have someone that he could rely on. FAST CONNECTION was such a heart achy read and I had so much trouble putting it down. I loved the connection between Dominic and Luke and their story was so real and raw and just everything that I love in a romance book. And its so hard to talk about everything that I love about FAST CONNECTION because words are hard and I don’t want to spoil.

Quote from: http://meganerickson.org/

Just know that FAST CONNECTION has it all. There are likable characters, even when they do stupid stubborn shit that makes you just want to shake them. There are real storylines that make your heart hurt. There are secondary characters that flesh out this story and just add to its depths and layers. There is emotion and romance and ALL THE FEELINGS!!! So many feelings and its a book that can be read as a standalone even though its listed as part of a series. Yes, there are connections and allusions to STRONG SIGNAL but I don’t think readers will be all that lost if they haven’t read that book yet (though you should be cause its awesome) but for me FAST CONNECTION was even better because to me it just felt more real. The issues that Dominic and Luke face are ones that I can relate to more and these two don’t enable each other. Instead they tend to call each other out on their bullshit which is part of why they have drama.

FAST CONNECTION is a book that kept me up as I couldn’t put it down. I was so sucked into this story and as I’ve said in various different ways just hit all the right notes with me. There really isn’t anything that I would change in this story….well except the stupid angsty drama that tore a hole in my heart…but other than that FAST CONNECTION was a wonderful roller coaster read and one that I know I’ll be re-reading a time or two (or a dozen) in the future. I really like the Erickson/Hassell writing team and I can not wait to see what these two have in store next. Because they need to co-write more. It’ll make me a sad little blogger if they don’t they just mesh so very well together.

irishdarkblue IR - Fast Connection

 

Add Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add All Note Long by Annabeth Albert to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Audio Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Grey

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

Audio Review: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia GreyTen Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray
Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Series: Firebird, Book 2
Also in this series: A Thousand Pieces of You
Published by Harper Audio on 03 November 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Parallel World, People & Places, Road Trip, Romance, Social Issues, Suspense, War & Military, Young Adult
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: A Thousand Pieces of You

Place(s) Traveled To:
Rome, Italy (Medieval-verse)
San Francisco, California (Triad-Verse // War-Verse)
Berkeley, California (Our Universe // War-Verse)
Paris, France (Russia-Verse)
New York, New York (Mob Verse)
Unnamed (Home Office Verse)

First Line(s): The first time I traveled to another dimension, I intended to take a life. Now I’m trying to save one.

Second books in a trilogy can be a mixed bag. Sometimes they are really really good and sometimes you wonder why the series wasn’t a duology instead. THE THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU by Claudia Gray falls somewhere in the middle of these two reactions. On one hand, there is a lot of new information and a series of events that keep you on the edge of your seat. On the other it felt a little drawn out and there was no real explaination for why things started as they did. While A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU (my review) can be considered a stand alone, TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU is not. It ends in a crazy cliff hanger and while I want to know what happens I’m also on the fence about it.

Which is a shame because A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU was such a surprise that had me eagerly anticipating this book. Perhaps I was looking forward to it too much and so I fell victim to my own hype. It didn’t help that TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU was very repetitive and it even seemed to contradict itself at times. One moment they are saying that their alters don’t remember what happens when they are “possessed” (for lack of a better term) and then they next they do retain memories of the experience. You can’t have it both ways, either they remember or they don’t. Pick one and run with it.

Ten Thousand Skies Above You Quote

It also didn’t help that Marguerite was way more annoying in this book than she was in the first one. She seemed to regress a lot and I was glad for Theo as he saved many a scene. But then at the same time I was conflicted because of the events that happened in the first book and with some that happened in this one. Things came close to becoming love triangly and that just didn’t sit well with me. Fortunately though, Marguerite stays true to Paul throughout though it makes me sad that we didn’t get to see much of this character in Triad-verse self. But I do like how Marguerite learns to accept all the possibilities of Paul and to me that is a very big and important step.

Tavia Gilbert returns to narrate the story and as with A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU I was very pleased with the narration. She is great with all the various accents and her voice really helps make the story compelling. I’m glad that I continued this one via audio because I may have tossed the book across the room a time or two if it wasn’t on my phone. I do have plans to read the final book, A MILLION WORLDS WITH YOU (Goodreads) but as of now its not one that I plan on rushing out to read, even with the crazy cliffhanger. I want to know what happens buy I’m not crazy bouncy with excitement for it as I was with TEN THOUSAND SKIES ABOVE YOU. Altough I do know I’ll be buying a finished copy of book 3 as these covers are absolutely stunning!!

irishdarkblue

IR - Thousand Pieces of You

 

Add Hourglass by Myra McEntire to Goodreads.

Add Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Pairing Off by Elizabeth HarmonPairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon
Series: Red Hot Russians,
Published by Carina Press on 02 February 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 250
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Amsterdam, Netherlands // Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada // Moscow, Russia // Lake Shosha, Russia // Lake Placid, New York // Saint Petersburg, Russia // Sweetspire, Georgia

First Line(s): They spilled out of the Mellow Yellow, loud and laughing.

I always enjoy a good sports themed romance and so was excited to stumble on PAIRING OFF by Elizabeth Harmon as it involves pairs figure skating. Growing up I’d watch figure skating competitions all the time and so was eager to get a wee glimpse into this world. Add that to the Russian setting and I thought that this was a book that I’d really love. In the end though, PAIRING OFF was just a so-so read for me and it failed to live up to my expectations. I liked the main characters, Anton and Carrie, well enough but there wasn’t a ton of spark between them. Not to mention that for a good 60% of the story Anton had a girlfriend!! Then the last 40% is them faking a relationship until its no long fake and just no no no!

Of the two leads, I liked Anton better than Carrie though he stayed in his relationship far longer than her should have since he was attracted to Carrie and didn’t seem to care for his GF all that much. Carrie on the other hand was a bit spineless and often annoying. She never defended herself when the scandal happened and just seemed to let people walk all over her. Granted when you learn of her terrible parents you can kind of understand why and she does go through some character growth just not enough.

Pairing Off Quote

I also think that these too spent too much time thinking about an event that happened seven years previously and not enough time actually talking about the now. And as I mentioned above there wasn’t a ton of chemistry between them. There wasn’t anything about their story that had me longing for them to get together. In fact, I spent much of book yelling at Carrie to grow a backbone and for Anton to break up with his toxic girlfriend. I think I only managed to finish this one because it was so short a read and I did like the ice skating part of it.

Overall though, PAIRING OFF was just a meh read for me and I am not sure if I’ll read the others in the series. Especially since the premise of book 2 seems like its the heros job to break the heroine and her fiance up…on reality tv. Um….no thank you! So while this series may not be for me I did like Harmon’s writing and do think that I’ll keep an eye on her to see what she write next. I just hope she moves away from these cheating story lines and just sticks with two characters falling in love and not have anyone potentially get hurt in the process.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Pairing Off

 

Add Playing It Close by Kat Latham to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Saving Maverick by Debra Elisa to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

three-stars
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Strong Signal by Megan Erickson and Santino HassellStrong Signal by Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove,
Also in this series: Fast Connection
Published by Self-Published on 15 Feb 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 235
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Make it Count, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Afghanistan // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania // Rickston, Pennsylvania // Peoria, Illinois

First Line(s): There’s only one thief in the Army, and everyone else is just trying to get their shit back.

Recently I’ve been on a contemporary romance kick, especially contemporary MM romance, and also blitzing through most of Megan Erickson’s catalog of works. So I was very excited to see that she co-wrote STRONG SIGNAL an MM romance with Santino Hassell. I pre-ordered this baby as soon as I was able and began to read it the moment it was available. I had initially intended to alternate between STRONG SIGNAL and other read but once I started this book I couldn’t put it down and was up late as I couldn’t stop reading. I just loved the story of Kai and Garrett and thought that they had some amazing chemistry. I loved how their story developed and how they really got to know each other by talking on line. I adored their meet cute and well just everything about them!

I liked how accepting that Kai and Garrett were of each other and of their issues. On one hand, I do think that Garrett enabled Kai a bit too much but on the other it was really nice to see that Garrett never tried to cure Kai of his agoraphobia. Garrett accepted him for who he was and would have made things work as he knew that any changes made had to come from Kai in order for their to be any success. I loved how these two characters really supported one another and how they both became better people for the meeting. And oh how they both made my heart ache!!!

Strong Signal Quote

I loved how Kai and Garrett really talked to each other and oh how their separation slayed me!! No pointless breakups here just the realities of life that are sometimes hard to overcome. STRONG SIGNAL is as real as it gets for a book that still remains on the page. I know there are times when I don’t like too much reality in my books, especially the romances, but it worked so well in STRONG SIGNAL and I really wouldn’t change much at all about this story. Well, other than the need for the two leads to have to separate in the first place but that is all part of the romance formula so its needed. Plus, its sometimes takes a parting for characters to really know just how much the other person means to them.

STRONG SIGNAL was well plotted and well written and I am looking forward to the next book in the series, FAST CONNECTION (Goodreads), which will be out later this year. FAST CONNECTION will involve, Dominic Costigan, who we meet here in STRONG SIGNAL and its his character that may have annoyed me the most in this book. He was just mentioned and used way too much. While I’m curious on his story, Costigan was just too much of a distraction in STRONG SIGNAL and wish he’d been edited down a bit more. But other than that I did adore STRONG SIGNAL. Its a fresh, fun, heart achy story that I think will appeal to many a romance reader. Just be warned…you may needed a lot of coffee the day after starting this one as it really is hard to put down.

irishdarkblue

IR - Strong Signal

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

Add Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan to Goodreads. (Review Coming Soon.)

four-stars
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

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

Review: Finding Perfect by Kendra C. HighleyFinding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley
Published by Entangled Crush on 14 Sept 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 199
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Alderwood, Texas // Dallas, Texas

First Line(s): “All in all,” Mr Granger said, ” the scores on the midterm were pretty good, so I didn’t feel the need to grade on a curve.”

Sometimes when you pick up a book its not the right time and so you may not like it as much and others its that perfect moment to read the book so just leaves with all those happy heart achy feels. Such was the case with me and FINDING PERFECT by Kendra C. Highley. If I’d read this in a different time and place I may not enjoyed it as much as I did but as it was I was totally swept away in the story and feel head over heals for it. Granted, there were things that I epicaly despised like Paige’s mother who was super duper awful. I hated the pressure that Paige’s parents put on her and how they told her that there would be time for fun later and now was the time to work work work! So much pressure that she’d freak out over a grade that was anything less than an A and even an A wasn’t acceptable as it wasn’t an A+.

While I agree that teens should have a focus on school and grades, I don’t think that it should take up all of their time. Balance is needed in order to live a rich and full life. Especially when you are 17. There is plenty of time to work and be serious and the longer you put off having a life the less likely you are to actually have one. Its so much harder to be free when you have a job and a house and bills to worry about. To put so much pressure on a girl at 17 is just a recipe for said girl to self destruct and burn out long before she’s an adult.

Finding Perfect Quote

But what I did love was the relationship between Paige and Ben. Oh there were times I wanted to shake them both because a big part of the plot centered around a failure to communicate (and we all know how that trope annoys me) but I loved them when they were together. They had great chemistry and banter and complemented each other so well. I liked the people that they were when then were around each other and its Paige and Ben that totally made FINDING PERFECT for me. I also adored the character of Zoey, Paige’s BFF, because she was a true BFF. She was there to support Paige when she needed it and tell her the truth when she needed that as well. No frenemy here.

The best way for me to describe the plot of FINDING PERFECT is to relate it to a 90s rom-com. The plot is a little hokey at times and the ending was super cutesy and too neatly tied up. But it was everything that you’d expect from a 90s romantic comedy. FINDING PERFECT has its ups and downs and its far from a perfect book but it made my heart ache and it hit all the right note with me. So because of that I really fell for this story. I hated to hit the last page and to leave this world and its characters. I’m hoping that Highley decides to write some companion stories so that we can see more of Paige and Ben and see where they end up after The End. For me, FINDING PERFECT was a story that I got lost in. It was a quick read and exactly what I needed. If you are a lover of 90s rom-coms and contemporary YA then you should totally give FINDING PERFECT a shot.

irishdarkblue

IR - Finding Perfect

 

Add The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

Blog Tour Review + Excerpt: The Natural History of Us by Rachel HarrisThe Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris
Series: The Fine Art of Pretending
Also in this series: The Fine Art of Pretending
Published by Spencer Hill on 05 April 2016
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Diseases, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 297
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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, You're Still the One

Rachel Harris’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US is already getting swoons from readers everywhere! We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it. Known for her sweet romances, Rachel’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US, is no different! Check out everything we have for you on this amazing title and then go grab your copy today. Justin and Peyton’s story is sure to put a smile on your face and keep you turning pages long into the night!

Review

Place(s) Traveled To: Fairwood City, Texas

First Line(s): They say once rodeo gets into your blood, you’re never the same.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US by Rachel Harris is a companion story to THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING (my review) which I read and enjoyed last year. In FINE ART the main character Aly wants to date her long time crush, Justin, and uses her BFF Brandon to help her out. Things don’t work out the way Aly plans and while she finds her HEA Justin does not. I liked Justin’s character in FINE ART so was really curious to see who Harris would pair him with in THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US. In this book we meet Peyton who is a smart, quiet girl who just happens to share a past with Justin. We learn of their history via flashbacks as they reconnect in the present when they are forced to work together on a school assignment. Which Justin sees as an opportunity to win her back and Peyton sees as the worst punishment ever.

While THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US is told in classic Harris style there was just something missing in it for me to love it completely. For me, the flashbacks just took away from the story as they were overly long and the lead ins to them were a bit too cliched. Learning the history of Justin and Peyton is important but I think it was just too drawn out and I wanted more of them in the now. There was just so much potential for their story and in the various class assignments that the two of them had that just weren’t really explored. But the think that bothered me more about THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US was how Peyton had a boyfriend for a good 75% of the book. I do not like love triangles and while this wasn’t as angsty as they tend to be it still could have been a cleaner story without the added complication of a boyfriend.

What I did like was how Justin and Peyton interacted together. They were cute together and their personalities fit well. I do think that Peyton was a little too forgiving but I also liked how Justin worked to prove himself to her. I liked how his character changed for the player to the committed boyfriend and I would have liked to see this story continue on for a few more chapters just to see them as a couple. Justin’s backstory hurt my heart at times as well and I thought that he was a boy who really needed a hug and I liked that Peyton saw beyond the facade and saw the real him.

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US isn’t a perfect book but it is a quick read and is out just in time for beach season. This is a great book to read on the beach or by the pool as its just not overly complicated. Its a fun coming of age story with some more serious undertones as Justin and Peyton are both working through some life issues that they are both too young to deal with. I adored Peyton’s family and her BFF Faith and really wish that they’d had more on page time. In the end, I liked THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US but it I just wanted sometimes more from this story so I didn’t love it. But I do think that it will appeal to many of my readers….after all….I do tend to be harder on books than all of you. If you liked THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING then you will most likely like this one.

 

irishdarkblue

 

 

Excerpt

“Hold out your hand.” At the expression on his face, I rolled my eyes. “Just do it.” Cautiously, as if I was going to put out a cobra or something, he uncurled his fingers and lifted his palm. I dropped a small silver coin in the center. “For luck.”

Wonder warred with confusion in his gorgeous brown eyes and my heart melted.

“On this side there’s a horseshoe,” I said, my cheeks warming with a blush. “You know, the universal symbol for luck… and a small reminder of me.”

I bit my lip, hoping he didn’t think that was too corny—or that it revealed too much.

I flipped the coin over, exposing the other side, and my fingers slid across his rough skin. My breath caught. When I lifted my eyes, I found him watching me with so much intensity, so much heat, that an actual shiver rolled through me. Just like in my favorite books.

Huh. So that was what smoldering looked like. Good to know.

I swallowed hard and noticed him do the same, and nothing could hold back my smile. Justin glanced down and laughed. “Kick some ass!” he read, skimming his fingernail over my initials.

“I figured…” I cleared my throat. “I thought you could hide it in your sock or something,” I said, unable to tell if he liked the gift or not. He just kept staring at it. “If it’s dumb, you don’t have to—”

“No.”

He’d said it so quietly I almost wasn’t sure he’d spoken at all. But then he closed his hand around the coin and raised his head. Time ceased to exist as Justin’s eyes trailed across my face. I held my breath waiting and a sweet smile crossed his face.

“Damn.” He shook his head softly. “You’ve done it now.”

“What?” I asked, hoping whatever it was that it was a good thing. “What did I do?”

Justin merely shook his head again and smiled. “Wait for me after the game.” Shifting his gaze to the old concession stand, he took a step back and said, “Over there, okay?”

When I nodded, excitement lodging in my throat, making it impossible to speak, he winked and then took off to join his teammates. As I watched his cute butt in those uniform pants run across the field, a giddy grin found my lips.

 

 

 

TNHoU - Signed Books

You can order a signed and/or personalized copy of THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US now through April 8th HERE!

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 1

 

About THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US:

One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who’s forever owned his heart.

Justin Carter has a secret. He’s not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy…and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she’d ever forgive him.

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she’s done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she’ll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate’s given him a shot at redemption, he’s determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton…well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

Order THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US Today!

Amazon **Barnes and Noble ** Kobo ** IndieBound

Add to your Goodreads

 

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 ** Newsletter Signup ** Goodreads

 

 

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 3

 

Tour Stops

Rachel Harris’s THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US– Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

March 28th

For the Love of Books & Alcohol – Excerpt

A Leisure Moment – Review

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Home.Love.Books. – Review

My Nook, Books & More – Excerpt

Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Excerpt

JOJO THE BOOKAHOLIC – Excerpt

March 29th

A Crave For Books – Review

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Angel Reads – Review

Girl with a Pen and a Dream – Excerpt

Lovin’ Los Libros – Review & Excerpt

I Read Indie – Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

March 30th

Bookish Things & More – Review & Excerpt

Stuck In Books – Review & Excerpt

Reading Adventurously – Review & Excerpt

Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

March 31st

Dazzled by Books – Review & Excerpt

Kindle and Me – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt

Book Groupies – Excerpt

We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review & Excerpt

The Bibliophile Confessions – Review & Excerpt

Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

April 1st

Bookaholics Reading Haven – Review & Excerpt

Books Eater – Review & Excerpt

SprinkleofBooks – Excerpt

Melena’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review & Excerpt

Gaga Over Books – Review & Excerpt

My fictional escape – Review & Excerpt

April 2nd

Collector of book boyfriends – Excerpt

Caitlin Audet – Excerpt

Andi’s ABCs – Review

My Slanted Bookish Ramblings – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – Excerpt

Defiantly Deviant – Review

Book Briefs – Review

April 3rd

The Romance Reviews – Review

Cheyanne Young – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Review

Short and Sassy Book Blurbs – Review & Excerpt

Ashleyz Wonderland – Excerpt

Blogging For The Love Of Authors And Their Books – Review & Excerpt

April 4th

The bookworms obsession blog – Review

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Addicted to Books – Review & Excerpt

Bookish Escapes – Review & Excerpt

Adventures of a Book Junkie – Review & Excerpt

The Bookish Thought – Review

Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

April 5th

Book it – Review & Excerpt

Julie Antonovich Reece – Excerpt

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

YA Book Madness – Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

A Full Bookshelf – Review

April 6th

Books and Boys Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Reading Is My Bliss – Review

Behind Closed Covers – Review & Excerpt

Jackie’s Book World – Review

The Procrastinator’s Corner – Review & Excerpt

KatyaRath – Review

The book slayer77 – Review

April 7th

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

The Lovely Books – Review

thebookdragon – Review & Excerpt

Aira Reads – Review

Reviews from the Heart – Review & Excerpt

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

Love & Life & Learning – Review & Excerpt

April 8th

Alpha Book Club – Excerpt

Crawling Over the Pages – Review

Three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

Reviews By Rah – Review & Excerpt

All For Love of the Word – Excerpt

Library of a Book Witch – Review & Excerpt

The Bookmark Blog – Review & Excerpt

 

TNHoU - Tour Teaser 2 Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t miss Rachel Harris’s

The-Fine-Art-of-Pretending
THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING!

 

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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

 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: When the Stars Align by Jeanette Grey

Posted by Irish in 2.5 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: When the Stars Align by Jeanette GreyWhen the Stars Align by Jeanette Grey
Published by Forever on 01 September 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Arecibo, Puerto Rico // Baltimore, Maryland // Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

First Line(s): You don’t ask, you don’t get.

I’ll admit it. I have double standards. We all do when you think about it and WHEN THE STARS ALIGN hits on one of mine. The heroine of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN, Jo, is one that really got on my nerves as she had a huge chip on her shoulder. And while I can sometimes put up with this more when its the hero it just tends to grate me the wrong way when its the female of the story. I don’t know why it just is. Perhaps because a male hero with a chip on his shoulder often comes across as more broody while female characters express this in more judgmental behaviors. And boy did Jo judge those around her throughout most of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN.

I had high hopes for WHEN THE STARS ALIGN because this was supposed to be a book about physics and romance. There was to be SCIENCE! Which if you know me is right up my alley as I am a scientist by training. So the lack of any real science was sad making. It also grated that this was a physics based internship at the Arecibo Observatory and there were people in the program that had nothing to do with physics or astronomy that just wouldn’t happen in the real world at least not at such a prestigious internship where so many capable applicants apply.

When the Stars Align Quote

The world building of WHEN THE STARS ALIGN could have also been better. Here we are in this beautiful location and we don’t really get a chance to see or experience it. The most we learn is that its hot. Well, there is that one scene where they go swimming but that scene bothered me in that Jo, a girl who can’t swim, managed to dive and do all these things while in a life preserver that just aren’t realistically possible.

For me, this book was slow and overly drawn out. I didn’t really buy the relationship between Jo and Adam. Adam was a genuinely nice guy, though a little bit of a doormat at times, and Jo was just mean and hostile. It was hard for me to get into the story and I only finished it because I was co-reading it with some friends. But the frustration levels were high and I thought of DNFing this one several times. In the end WHERE THE STARS ALIGN was not a book for me but it has good ratings on Goodreads so don’t take my word on it. =)

irishdarkblue IR - When the Stars Align

Add Catching Liam by Gennifer Albin to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The One & Only by Viv Daniels to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Audio Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

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

Audio Review: None of the Above by I.W. GregorioNone of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
Narrator: Caitlin Davies
Published by Harper Audio on 07 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours 20 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com, Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Utica, NY

First Line(s): Dawn is my favorite time of day.

NONE OF THE ABOVE by I.W. Gregorio is a book that I wanted to love and I think that I may have gone into it with too high expectations. In the end, I ended up being disappointed in NONE OF THE ABOVE but I do think that its a important book to exist in the world. NONE OF THE ABOVE is about a girl, Kristin, who learns that she’s intersex or a person who has both male and female chromosomes. Outwardly she looks like a girl and has been raised as a girl and its not until she’s 17 that she learns that she has male chromosomes. This is shocking news to her and her father as they never suspected and while much of the first part of this book is Kristin dealing with her diagnosis I felt that this book often stayed on the surface of emotions. At first, Kristin was freaked out and in denial and this was all normal reactions. But then in a blink she was ok with things and it just didn’t seem real.

Then there was the whole side story line with the faux BFFs, Vee and Faith, and I think that this annoyed me more than anything else in this book. Why is it so hard to depict real and genuine friendships in a book? Instead we always have these cases where the MC will confess a secret and then the friend is turning on her and in this case, someone told the entire school something that Kristin wasn’t ready to divulge. And maybe its just my poor memory as its been a bit since I listened to this book but I don’t think we ever learn who was behind the leak. Just that Kristin was outed before she was ready and then had to deal with her diagnosis as well as the cruelty that humans so love to inflict on other humans.

None of the Above Quote

Throughout it all I’m glad that Kristin was able to find people who were truly her friend and saw her for who she really was. Which is why part of the ending had me wanting to through my iPod out my car window because of the WTF-ery of it all. I liked the romance in the book and wish that there could have been more of it. I think that if there was more of these positive moments that I may have liked the book a little more. But even with my issues with some dislikable characters I do think that NONE OF THE ABOVE is an important story to have in the world. There are real teen going through what Kristin did and while there is some ugly in this book there is a HEA and that is an important thing to have when going through something so emotional.

I hope that NONE OF THE ABOVE is the first of many of its subject matter. The more books that are made available the more people can see that there is nothing freakish about Kristin being intersex and maybe the bullying she faced in school won’t happen to a non-fictional person. This may not have been a book I loved but that was more for the faux BFFs than for anything else. I listened to NONE OF THE ABOVE on audio and I enjoyed the narrator, Caitlin Davies. She did a great job bringing Kristin and this world of Gregorio’s to life. Davies is a new to me narrator but I liked her style and her pacing and I’ll definitely listen to a book read by her in the future.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - None of the Above

Add Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman to Goodreads.

Add Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin to Goodreads.

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