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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer Albin

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

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer Albin

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer AlbinTeaching Roman by Gennifer Albin
Series: , Book 2
Published by Self-Published on 26 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, People & Places, People of Color
Pages: 195
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Catching Liam

Place(s) Traveled To: Olympic Falls, Washington // Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

First Line(s): If your girlfriend doesn’t melt into you or burst into a waterfall of tears when your propose, its a bad sign.

Teaching Roman is the long awaited second book in Gennifer Albin’s new adult series Good Girls Don’t and follows Jessica Stone who we first met as Jillian’s roommate in Catching Liam. I liked Jessica when I first ‘met’ her and so was looking forward to reading her story and even thought the wait for it was long, Teaching Roman was worth it. I really liked Jessica’s story and how this one progressed. I enjoyed her friendship with Cassie though I would have liked to have seen more of it as it seemed like Jessica forgot about Cassie once she and Roman started to hook up. I also felt that the synopsis was a little bit misleading as both Jessica and Roman were all flirty-flirty from the time they first see each other in the airport until things get more serious. In fact, the conflict of the story seemed a bit forced and for me bogged down the story a bit.

Then there was that whole bit with that douche bag, Brett, who I would have gladly throttled if, you know, he was a real character. I really don’t remember much about Brett from Catching Liam but he didn’t seem like the jackoff that he turned out to be and Jessica was way better off without him in her life. I really liked how she was with Roman and vice versa and Teaching Roman gave me lots of those heart-achy feels that I love. I only wish that this one was longer so there there could have been more time developing each of the characters and also allowed for more interactions with the secondary characters. As I said already Cassie was very underutilized and Jillian and Liam weren’t featured much either. Which in a way is fine as this makes Teaching Roman just a little more easy to read as a standalone instead of being a dependent book in a series but I just wanted more. (Readers….we’re never satisfied!!)

What stops this one from being rated higher is that there were several continuity errors that just ripped me out of the story, like one moment Roman was described as wearing linen pants and then just a few paragraphs later, in the same scene, he was in jeans. For a finished book I expect a more polished story and this one could have done with another round of editing or two. The ending also felt a bit rushed and there were parts of the story that just seemed forced. I am never a fan of conflict just for the sake of conflict and that is part of what seemed to happen here.

But despite the things that annoyed me I did enjoy Teaching Roman. I found it to be a fast paced story and when I was reading it I was mostly sucked into it, with the exceptions of those few times when I was yanked back to reality. I enjoy these characters and I hope that Albin decides to write more in this world as I would liked to see Cassie get a story and would love to see the characters of Teaching Roman and Catching Liam again. Overall this was a fun read that is perfect for when you are sitting on the beach or by the pool. Its mostly lightweight so you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the story that is being told. Its not a perfectly written story but sometimes you can enjoy the read even with the flaws. Teaching Roman is one that I would recommend to all who like contemporary romance or for those looking to give the genre a shot. There isn’t a lot of angst or any broken characters…its a simple story with heart.

 

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BOOK SUMMARY:

Jessica Stone has her life in perfect order until her perfectly boring boyfriend Brett puts things in perspective. So when she receives a call to action from her heartbroken best friend Cassie, she ditches her plans for Winter Break in gloomy Olympic Falls and sets off to Mexico for some fun in the sun.

Determined to use her oceanview to prep for her MCATS, she doesn’t plan to run into anyone from Olympic State, least of all the cute communications prof she’s been crushing on for a year. When he unexpectedly saves the day, the two are thrown together in a distinctly extracurricular activity.

Roman Markson doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows from Olympic Falls while visiting his family in Puerto Vallarta, especially not a former student. Although Jess Stone has a way of catching men’s attention, a relationship with her is strictly off-limits. However, the rules feel less strict in Mexico, so they agree to a plan: one week in paradise and nothing more.

But avoiding each other back on campus is harder than they anticipated, especially when they can’t stay away from one another. Neither is sure what they have to learn—and lose—before life teaches them a lesson they’ll never forget.

 

Click here to check out other stops on the tour

 

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three-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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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Until We Fly by Courtney Cole

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, Contest, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Until We Fly by Courtney Cole

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Blog Tour Review: Until We Fly by Courtney ColeUntil We Fly by Courtney Cole
Series: Beautifully Broken,
Also in this series: If You Leave, Until We Burn, Before We Fall
Published by Lakehouse Press on 07 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues
Pages: 227
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: If You Leave, Until We Burn

Place(s) Traveled To: Angel Bay, Illinois

First Line(s): I’m dreaming of bullets and blood. Like always.

Until We Fly by Courtney Cole is the latest book in her Beautifully Broken series and involves Brand, BFF to Gabe and Jacey’s punching bag, and Nora who has always admired him from afar. When Brand is called back to his hometown after his father’s death the two become reacquainted when he rescues Nora from a terrible accident during which he’s hurt. She then defies her controlling father in order to look after him during his recovery. Now I’ve read some horribly parents in books but Nora’s really take the cake, not so much her mother who just lets her husband walk all over her, but her father. Her father is a vile human being and creepily controlling of every move his children make. That Nora is strong enough to defy his dictates in taking care of Brand is nothing short of a miracle. Though I do admire that she does she does break very easily where he is concerned. Especially when uber-creepy William is also involved. Man just thinking of him makes me physically shiver!

In some ways, Until We Fly is Cole’s darkest novel to date and while the two main characters aren’t as damaged as previous books Cole enters a whole new territory of WTF-ery in this book. When certain things were revealed I may have gasped and done a double take at where Cole took the story and was then a little disappointed when she pulled back from it. When Cole did was a complete sucker punch to the gut and then she then neatened it up and made it a little less than what it was and placed a bow on top of it. Yes, it was still traumatic for the character based on what was thought to be true at the time but for me I almost wish that Cole had left things as initially written because its something that some people have to deal with as horrific as it is to think about.

Other than that moment though I did mostly enjoy Until We Fly there are standard romance story tropes that are tossed in with no new spin to it so they felt a little stale. But overall, I thought that Brand and Nora had some real chemistry and I liked them together. I think that Nora benefited from Brand’s strength and Brand benefited from her love. Brand had a horrible childhood and where he could have let it affect him more than he did and acted more like a Pax or a Dominic (ie been a total asshole) he didn’t. Brand was a good man and Nora was a good woman and together they made each other better. They both had issues from the past to deal with but they did’t let their past control their present.

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UNTIL WE FLY Synopsis:

Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good. A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart. So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on.  And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore.Bad sounds so much better. Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again.  It’s not worth the pain.  Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof.But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from.  A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain.  Reasons he tried hard to forget. But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again. Why?  Because home is where Nora Greene is. A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past.  A beautiful, feisty thing.  When Brand left, she was away at boarding school. But she’s back now. And she wants Brand, scars and all.

UNTIL WE FLY on Goodreads

And don’t miss the other Beautifully Broken, now available:
IF YOU STAY
IF YOU LEAVE
BEFORE WE FALL

Praise for the Beautifully Broken Series:

“I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love.” – Andrea, The Bookish Babe

“Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book…reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had.” –Amanda, Globug and Hootie Need a Book

“In If You Leave, we continue the wild ride Courtney Cole started us on in If You Stay. This raw story of heartbreak and hope solidifies Cole’s standing as a rising star in hot contemporary romance.” — New York Times Bestselling author of Down to You, M. Leighton

“Another raw, gritty masterpiece with a sexy-as-hell Army Ranger to swoon over.” — K.A. Tucker, author of Ten Tiny Breaths

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ABOUT COURTNEY COLE:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter SignUpPinterest

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

July 8

Live Read and Breathe-Review Only
Smut Book Club-Playlist and Review
Love Between the Sheets-Review Only
Tome Tender-Review Only
Wolfel’s World of Books-Review Only

July 9

The Geekery Book Review-Facebook Chat
Ramblings From This Chick-Review Only
Reviews from Tammy & Kim-Review Only
Krista’s Dust Jacket-Review Only
The Book Hookup-Review Only
Novel Seduction-Review Only
Anna’s Book Blog-Review Only

July 10

Three Chicks and Their Books-Excerpt and Review
Lovin Los Libros-Review Only
Carver’s Book Cravings-Review Only
Reading in Black & White-Author Interview & Review
2 Bookaholics-Review Only
A Life Bound by Books-Review Only

July 11

Readers Live A 1000 Lives-Review Only
Red Hot + Blue-Excerpt & Review
Book Addict Mumma-Book Trailer And Review
Prisoners of Print-Review Only
Red Cheeks Reads-Review Only
BookAngel Booktopia-Review Only

July 12

Little Read Riding Hood-Review Only
Made For You Book Reviews-Review Only
Book Club Sisters-Guest Post
Aria Kane-Excerpt
Jodie’s W.I.N.E. List-Review Only
Imagine A World-Review Only

July 13

Stuck in YA Books-Review Only
Book Bitches Blog-Excerpt & Review
A Nook for Books-Review Only
Bibliobelles-Review Only
Zili in the Sky-Excerpt
Southern Belle Book Blog-Review Only

July 14

Madison Says-Author Interview & Review
Steamy Guys After Dark-Review Only
Ever After Romance-Review Only
Literati Book Reviews-Excerpt & Review
Books over Boys-Guest Post
Mustreadbooksordie-Review Only

July 15

Starbucks N Books Obsession-Review Only
Nose Stuck in a Book-Guest Post & Review
Always YA at Heart-Character Interview (Nora) and Review
I Read Indie-Review Only
Dirty Girl Romance-Review Only
Book Freak-Review Only

July 16

Ticket to Anywhere-Review Only
Stuck in Books-Character Interview (Brand) & Review
Read That-Review Only
Tyhada Reads-Review Only
Schmexy Girl Book Blog-Excerpt and Review
Summer’s Book Blog-Review Only

July 17

The Unofficial Book Fan Club-Dreamcast & Review
I Love Lady Porn-Review Only
Bestsellers & Beststellars-Guest Post and Review
Holly’s Red Hot Reviews-Review Only
Books, Booze and Beyond-Review Only
City of Books-Review Only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

three-stars
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Before We Fall by Courtney Cole

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Before We Fall by Courtney ColeBefore We Fall by Courntey Cole
Series: Beautifully Broken,
Also in this series: If You Leave, Until We Burn, Until We Fly
Published by Forever on 03 December 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Chicago, Illinois // Los Angeles, California

First Line(s): The slap can be heard all the way down the beach.

After reading the novella, Until We Burn, I wasn’t sure that I would like Before We Fall by Courtney Cole as I really didn’t like the “hero” Dominic Kincade. But I am a sucker for reading a series in order and since I wanted to read Until We Fly I had to get through this one first. Before We Fall opens up with a completely pointless prologue and then continues into one of the most eye-rolly stories I’ve read in awhile. First their is the personality change in Jacey who is now insisting that Brand is, and always has been, like a brother to her which contradicts some of her behavior in If You Leave. If anything Brand was the one with sibling-like thoughts but here he’s a love sick puppy that Jacey uses for validation. Then there is Dominic who is even more of a douche in this book than he was in Until We Burn although at least this one is more cohesive in its writing.

Dominic was an ass but he made no secret of it. Jacey on the other hand would act like a girl proud of her sexuality but then blush like a virgin at the littlest hint of a sexual comment or if anyone looked at her. She’d change in her room, with the door open, and then get mad and self-rightous when Dominic watched. If you don’t want someone to watch you change….CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR! Jacey finacial struggles also seemed a bit off since her brother and seemingly everyone else around her was well off but then if she didn’t struggle with money should wouldn’t need Brand to rescue her at every turn. Oh how I wanted to slap her silly with how she knowingly used that man’s feelings for her to get what she wanted. She was manipulative and selfish and just a whole different character from how see seemed to ne in If You Leave.

The plot was also a bit ridiculous and the cryptic mytery of Dominic’s past almost made my eyes roll out of their sockets. The fact that he was so traumatised by it at 18 that he turned crazy sexual deviant? Um….really?!? I’m not buying it. Not to mention that this story was filled with the same coversations, over and over and over again. I’m pretty sure the story could have been half the length that it was if those repetitive moments. If this one wasn’t on my ereader you can be sure that it would have been sent across the room on more than one occassion. And yet, I did keep reading it. I am not sure why I was able to read this disaster of a book until the end but once I got to that epilogue I really wish I hadn’t. Because really?!?! Are you freaking killing me with putting in this paranormal-eske bullshit into a contemporary series where none existed before?!? I…just…can’t.

For me, Until We Fall, was a train wreck of a book and one that I wish I had skipped. The Beautifully Broken series is written in such a way that they can be read independantly of each other and I really regret wasting my time on this one. If you like your sanity, and your book tastes are similar to mine then you might want to avoid this one.

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People who liked this book better than me

Vilma’s Book Blog: “The story culminates in an emotionally charged series of events as truths are revealed and life-changing choices must be made. I really felt the emotions the story evoked, and especially for Dominic, I really wanted him to find his path to healing.”

Schmexy Girl Book Blog: “Honestly, this book is such an emotional read. There are tears, lots of them. And aching hearts, and tightness in the chest. You feel all of that. These characters are so well written. You instantly feel their connection, their bond, their emotions, their pain, their suffering. And just when you thought the tears are done and they couldn’t get more damaged, there are more tears.”

Prisoner’s of Print: “The powerful emotions that run off each page had my heart and head all twisted up and kept me completely invested in Jacey and Dominic’s story. I couldn’t put this book down.”

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two-stars
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Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarry

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

Review: Red at Night by Katie McGarryRed at Night by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen on 01 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 84
Format: eBook
Source: Free Download
Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Crossing the Line, Crash Into You

Place(s) Traveled To: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line(s): I like cemeteries.

Red at Night by Katie McGarry is a novella that set in the same world as her Pushing the Limits series but doesn’t involve characters from those books. This short little novella is told from the POVs of Stella (social outcast) and Jonah (popular jock). Stella comes from the poor side of town and has never had the best clothes and often worried where her next meal would come from. In grade school, because kids can be cruel, rumors where started and as a result she’s become the butt of many a joke and so has spent the majority of her school experience alone. Prior to the start of Red at Night she’s taken to hanging out in cemeteries, visiting the dead, because its quiet and the risk of running into anyone she knows is low. That is until Jonah starts to visit a grave a few stones away from Stella and eventually the two begin to talk without the pressures of high school weighing them down.

I loved this novella and was fully invested in the story of Stella and Jonah both of who were really complex characters and both dealling with some heavy issues. Red at Night gave me so many feels and I really wish that it had been a full length story. This is the writing and the character development that I fell in love with in Pushing the Limits and something that has been drifting out of her other novels. I still love McGarry’s work but after Crash Into You left me feeling a bit meh I don’t have much desire to read Take Me On as I hated West so much in Crash. There is just so much story in Red at Night that its bursting at the seems and even though its only 84 pages there is just so much that happens.

Red at Night gave me all of those heart-achy feels that I love and restored my faith in McGarry’s writing and storytelling. Stella and Jonah have so much chemistry and how they help each other with their different problems adds a lot of growth to their characters. My heart broke from them as high school pressures got in the way of their friendship and budding romance and I feared on how this one would end. I admired Stella’s strength and Jonah’s kind heart and I did like seeing a certain guidance counscelor make an appearance. Overall, this was a great novella and its one that I highly recommend for all fans of Katie McGarry.

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four-stars
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