Monday, April 29, 2013

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Goodreads Blurb
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart 
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

If you are looking for a companion to The Fault in Our Stars, this is not it.  This is a bit lighter, a lot nerdier, and a whole pack of cuteness.

This story was fun and nerdy just like I expected. We follow heartbroken Colin as he takes a road trip, attempting to find something that will make him "matter". Colin and his friend and travel companion, Hassan, end up in Gutshot, Tennessee. They make friends and get a job. Hassan finds himself trying things that he's never done before while Colin struggles to create a theorem that would explain the relationship between dumper and dumpee. The two grow and discover that the things they were running from aren't that bad after all.

I absolutely loved Colin and his dorkiness because he knows he's dorky and accepts it. He can even laugh at it.   One of his ex-Katherines describes Colin as  "dork chic before dork chic was chic."  All of his random knowledge and footnotes made me giggle and enjoy the story that much more. 

Thank you John Green for providing little gems like this to help us learn to laugh at ourselves and accept the things that we cannot change.

4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Goodreads Blurb
Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn't want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can't pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn't expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn't take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia's desire to stay "just friends" becomes clear, Ian's feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?
Olivia has been on a string of rotten dates.  Unfortunately, she has a series of weddings that she has to attend and dreads the thought of going alone.  While lamenting this fact, her childhood friend, Ian, suggests that he accompany her to the weddings.

Ian has been in love with Livvy for over twenty years.  Having spent the past 7 years two hours away from her Ian has convinced himself that he has moved on. Ian now wonders if it is even possible to get over her.  After spending several weekends as Livvy's plus one, Ian finds himself in a perpetually aroused state and his heart in greater jeopardy than it's ever been.

And then, one night, Ian and Olivia give in to the sexual tension.

This is an exceptionally quick read.  Many moments between Olivia and Ian could have been expanded or explored more deeply.  It almost seems to rush ahead at times, but it is still very enjoyable.  Even though it is quick, I still felt a strong connection between the characters.

If you are looking for something quick and sexy, give Plus One a try.  Plus One is expected to be released May 6, 2013.

4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rush Me by Allison Parr

Rush Me by Allison Parr

Goodreads Blurb
When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gatecrashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.
While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school. Or her brother, who’s obliviously dating Rachael’s high school bully. Or that same high school’s upcoming reunion.  
Still, when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up co-hosting Friday night dinners for half a dozen football players.
Over pancake brunches, charity galas, and Alexander the Great Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love–even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.
This story of average girl meets famous boy has been told before, but not quite like this.  After accidentally stumbling upon Ryan Carter, quarterback extraordinaire, in an intimate moment with a fan, Rachael Hamilton makes assumptions and hurls insults that eventually come back to haunt her.  Ryan and Rachael do not have an instant connection.  As a matter of fact, they both jump to conclusions about the other and only tolerate each other for the sake of Ryan's teammates.

Rachael is adopted as a big sister by the team's rookie player, Abe, and Ryan, assuming she is a lying gold-digger, makes it a point to be present whenever Rachael and Abe get together.  As they spend more time together, Rachael and Ryan begin to see that they have many things in common and (surprise) they actually enjoy each other's company.

A series of stops and starts follows, culminating in one large, possibly unforgivable display or machismo and feminine histrionics.

The book started out stronger than it finished for me.  I loved how real and believable the beginning is.  I could really believe that Rachael stumbled into this party and also into the family of NFL players.  The way the guys befriend her and reach out to her is sweet and ... perfect, actually.

Ryan and Rachael's feelings follow a natural progression.  There was no insta-love or disproportionate feelings on one side or the other.  Their attraction grows from spending time with each other and a genuine respect for the other person.

The story begins to lose its appeal a little for me once the sex takes over.  I know its just a personal preference, but I am not fond of the way Ryan begins to treat Rachael.  He expects things from her that he isn't willing to give.  He also gets snap-ish an a little mean.  But Rachael isn't much better.  She flies off the handle and accuses and defends at all the wrong places.  She becomes unreasonable at times.

And I really want to point out that my problem is NOT with the writing here, just that this type of relationship does not appeal to me.  It was the surrounding characters and stories that propelled me forward and had me reading on to find the ending of Rachael and Ryan's story.

It's a good read and enjoyable story.  Definitely worth your time.

I give it a 3.5.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Happy Accident by Evan Tyler

A Happy Accident by Evan Tyler

Goodreads Blurb
A Story Inspired by Steven Tyler: The first book in a three-part series

It happened by accident, a lottery of events…

In 1988, a blind seven-year-old lay in a hospital room longing for her mother, unaware that eight years earlier a chance encounter occurred that would shape her life.

American musician Bobby Carter moved to Manchester, England with one objective—to become a major player in the postpunk scene of the late Seventies. His quest for stardom steers him in the direction of Kindle Hyrum, whose feistiness is only exceeded by her raw beauty. Though Bobby’s steady pursuit trumps Kindle’s cheeky resistance—sweeping them into present bliss—past secrets, new temptations, and a series of hapless and happy accidents will determine their future...and the future of a blind child.

Set to the lyrical soundtrack of the 60s and 70s, A Happy Accident is a story of love and choice that transcends the ages.

I was given a copy of this book by the author for a fair and honest review.  I actually rate it higher than 4 stars but less than 5.  

I was a little hesitant to agree to this at first simply because no one has ever asked this of me before.  I mean, I give my opinion all the time, but no one has ever requested it.  LOL.

I dove into this story feet first and knew right away that I was going to love it.  The words are rich and mature.  The characters are full and vibrant.  For a few days I was transported to Manchester England, watching this story unfold in front of my face.

Bobby Carter is the lead singer for the punk band, The Dare,  playing in England to try to jump start their music career.  Bobby sees Kindle, a waitress at the bar where the band is playing and begins following and almost awkwardly stalking her around.  Kindle said to Bobby, 
“You are amazing in a very ridiculous kind of way. Do you realize that?”  
I totally support her observation 100%.  His first efforts were so innocent and sweet that Bobby won me over immediately.  Conquering Kindle took a bit longer.

I don't wish to spoil the story, but the choices these two make in the first few days of their relationship would normally turn me away from a book. The circumstances of these arrangements, the characters themselves,and statements like this one had me reading on.
 “Well, let's agree now that I'm going to kiss you when I tell you.” He held out his hand for her to shake. “I'll be a gentleman about it. Or a sailor, if you want. Whatever you want, I'll be. Just as long as you give me your mouth for ten whole seconds.”
Kindle is a strong young woman who is working her ass off to make ends meet on her own.  She has been alone for a few years with no family and very few friends.  Having Bobby in her life both knocks her completely off kilter and provides a foundation that her life has been missing.  Her character is amazing and even though she breaks my heart, I understand and support the choices she makes in her life.

Bobby is a sheep in wolves clothing.  An innocent romantic dressed as a punk rock bad ass.  Kindle asks, 

“You’ve got such a deceitful shell, don’t you? You’re a romantic in gothic apparel. Why don’t you write soul music?” 
Bobby answers,“Punk gets the job done faster.”

Sometimes you read something that resonates so loudly that you have to share it with the world. This paragraph is perfection. 
“Bobby came to the realization that it had not been love at first sight, but his fondness for her was real and growing. He was coming to appreciate the gradual nature of love, how it came like the rising of the sun."

I want to marry this book and have cute little clever babies with it.  The HEA flew the coop on this one, but it was absolutely ok.  It takes a lot for a story to make me say that.

I loved it.  I whole-heartedly recommend it.  Go read it.  NOW!!

Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis

Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis

Goodreads Blub
Co-owner of the town's only kennel, Lilah Young has lived in Sunshine, Idaho, all her life. Pilot-for-hire Brady Miller is just passing through. But he soon has Lilah abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire.

It's Brady's nature to resist being tied down, but there's something about Lilah and her menagerie that keeps him coming back for more.

An absolutely enjoyable read.

Jill Shalvis is a genius romance writer.  Even though the plots aren't new or ground breaking, she writes characters in a way that cause them to become our co-workers, our neighbors, and our best friends.  I always fall in love while reading her stories.

In Animal Magnetism, we are introduced to Lila and Brady.  Lila is an orphaned young woman, struggling to make a living running an animal shelter in the town where she grew up with her grandmother.

Lila's good friends, Dell and Adam run an animal clinic.  When their friend and former foster brother, Brady, comes to town, Lila cannot deny her attraction to him.  The fact that he is only in town for a month, a temporary situation, makes Brady even more appealing in her eyes.

Brady and Lila's chemistry is combustible.  Neither has the will power to stay away from the other, disregarding warnings from both Dell and Adam.  As Brady helps out at the clinic, he and Lila share a fabulous sexual relationship that grows into something more.  Something neither of them expected or even wanted.

And I just have to say that the sex scene in the bathroom is one of the hottest things I have ever read.

5 out of 5

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ten Days of Perfect by Andrea Randall

Ten Days of Perfect by Andrea Randall

Goodreads Blurb
This is the first book in the November Blue series.

Scars from her first love and the reckless lifestyle of her parents force Ember Harris to chart a new course. She favors practicality over spontaneity and rules over a broken heart.

An encounter with a musician at a local pub forces Ember into making a decision to let go or hold on for dear life as passions are unlocked and deceptions revealed.

November Blue Harris meets Bo Cavanaugh when he performs at the bar that her friend manages.  Their meeting lights a spark that begins to burn bright and quick.

There were a few things about this story that turned me off a bit. The first being the lead character, Ember. For some reason I didn't get a clear picture of her and just couldn't connect. The second was the fact that these two meet on Friday and Monday night this girl was telling herself that she is in love?!?!?!? And lastly, I was a little surprised to see Bo jump into a relationship that could potentially cause problems for the foundation that his parents began.

I could tell by the title that this would be a whirlwind romance, but I never really expected the L-word to come into play 3 days into the relationship. That being said, the relationship is hot and heavy. Bo and Ember seem to have a lot in common, but where she was ready for fast and furious, he demanded slow and easy. Their connection on the stage is echoed and intensified in the bedroom. 

Because I really did enjoy Bo and some of the other characters as well as the author's general writing style, I probably will read the next book in the series.

3 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Loving My Local Library

After moving to a new city at the beginning of the year, I finally had a day to go and visit the local library.  To my amazement, and totally unlike the last library I frequented, the Tyler Public Library did not charge me for my library card.  The other bonus is that I have no limit to the amount of books I can check out at a time.  So more for me.  YAY.

And now for the best part of today's visit.  My ten-year old, who has never really enjoyed reading, found a book to read and he couldn't put it down.  He read it in the elevator at the library.  I had to guide him through the doors by the arm because he wouldn't stop reading.  He even whined when he noticed our car turning down our street because he didn't want to stop reading long enough to get into the house.

So today I say thank you.  Thank You public library for continuing to brighten my life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley

Music of the Heart by Katie Ashley

Goodreads Blurb
For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn't in his bed on purpose.

Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.

As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go. Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?

While I'm sure that many will love this book and series, I have decided that it is not for me.

It was at the end of chapter 2 when the thought came to me that this story was kind of a mash-up of Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire. This is the story of Abby, who accidentally ends up on the wrong tour bus and in the bed of Jake Slater. While trying to set things right and get to her brothers' tour bus, Abby gets into a verbal pissing match with Jake. He bets her that she wouldn't last a week on their tour bus and she accepts.
The writing is good and the characters are likable, which is why I didn't give just one star. But I just couldn't get away from the thought that this story had already been told. 

Many times. 

2 out of 5 Stars.

Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) by Susan Ee

Angelfall (Penryn and the End of Days #1) 

by Susan Ee

Goodreads Blurb
It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.
I listened to this on audio book so please forgive me if I spell some things wrong.

It's the end of the world.  To escape the street gangs that terrorize the cities, Penryn Young, her younger, wheelchair bound sister Paige, and their mother flee their abandoned apartment building to make their way into the mountains.  On their way out of town, Penryn witnesses the horrific mutilation of an angel by others of his kind.  Unable to stand by and watch, Penryn aids the broken angel, provoking the other angels steal her sister in retribution.  

Penryn bandages and protects the injured angel, Raffe, until he is somewhat healed.  She then threatens him and finally makes a deal to have him lead her to the Ari, the place where Raffe believes the angels have taken her sister.

En route to the Ari, Penryn and Raffe battle a street gang, a fanatical group calling themselves The Resistance, and small creatures that Penryn and Raffe dub "low demons".  Penryn observes and asks questions of Raffe, attempting to learn all that she can about angels in order to stack the cards in her favor when she does find Paige.  Raffe attempts to remain indifferent and reserved as he gets to know the amazing "daughter of man" called Penryn.

Penryn finds herself increasingly attracted to Raffe, a creature she views as one of the enemies of her world.  They do end up sharing a kiss.
It is not the gentle kiss of a couple on a first date, nor is it the kiss of a man driven by simple lust. He kisses me with the desperation of a dying man who believes the magic of eternal life is in this kiss.
By masquerading as a woman seeking the company of the angels, Penryn is able to sneak herself and Raffe into the Ari.  Paige is found, but there is still a question about whether or not she can be saved.  Raffe runs into some old enemies leaving him with a whole new set of problems.

I have read many (many, many) books about angels.  To me this one was definitely the best.  At the beginning, Raffe took off his boots and had blisters on his feet.  It took Penryn a moment to realize that as an angel, Raffe is not used to traveling on foot.  This author really thought things through and brought a certain real-ness that so many other stories have lacked.

The characters that this author creates are so rich and complete.  Penryn is so full of fire.  She never backs down even after watching Raffe fight against 5 angels at one time.
"You've got to be kidding me." 
"I never kid about my warrior demigod status.”   
"Oh. My. God." I lower my voice, having forgotten to whisper.  "You are nothing but a bird with an attitude."
The end of the world is described is such beautiful detail that it feels like I could find it right outside my front door.  

I have read reviews stating that they enjoyed the story up until the end when things get a little weird.  Yes, I agree that things get weird.   I'm talking sci-fi weird.  Like Frankenstein weird.  But it doesn't change my opinion of the story.  The ending only enhances my excitement for the next in the series.  I especially loved how even though the ending isn't wrapped up neatly and it left open for the next book, I did not feel like we were left hanging.  

I gave this one a 4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout

Apollyon by Jennifer L Armentrout

Goodreads Blurb
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

Uummmm... I'm not even sure what to say here.  

I was so excited for this book.  This is definitely one of my favorite series by Armentrout.  One of my favorite series ever.  But for some reason this book just fell flat for me.

The covenant series is a story about the Olympian Gods.  They have mixed their blood with humans and created new races called Pures and Half-bloods.  The aether that flows through the gods still exists in diluted forms in the Pures and Half-Bloods.

In previous books, we meet Alex Andros, who has spent her life training to be a Guardian.  As a Half-Blood it is her duty to either protect or serve the Pures.  Instead, Alex went and fell in love with a Pure, Aiden St. Delphi. 

Earlier we met Seth, the Apollyon, who was created to provide a sort of check and balance system for the gods.  Seth is somehow being controlled by Lucian, Alex's not-so-nice step-father.  It is also discovered that there is a god helping Seth and Lucian and their insane plans to start a war against the Council and the gods.  

In each generation, only one Apollyon is allowed to existence.  Since the existence of two Apollyons creates possibility of a transfer of power that would provide a way for The First Apollyon to become The God Killer, the gods do all they can to prevent or destroy a second Apollyon.

Alex discovers that she is the second Apollyon and when she "awakens" on her eighteenth birthday, she connects to Seth in a way that eliminates all that she is, including her love for Aiden.  Aiden hides Ales away so that neither Seth nor the gods can find her.

Some spoilers below...

In Apollyon, Book 4, we see Alex and Aiden battle to reach to true Alex beneath the bond to Seth.  It is Alex alone who is able to sever the connection to Seth and then renews her relationship with Aiden.  (Thank the gods)  We get some beautiful and loving moments with Aiden and Alex and they are so completely worth the build-up of the previous four books.  

Aiden and Alex begin searching for a way to stop Seth and Lucian.  Alex is convinced that there is still hope for Seth and that there is a way to save him.  A trip to the underworld reveals a way to save Seth that may destroy all that Aiden and Alex have been building.

A large battle outside The University, more loss, and an epic ass-whooping from the god behind it all leaves Alex in the fight of her life.

And... that's where the book ends.  We don't know what happened to Aiden or any of the others who traveled to The University with Alex.  Things are left very much up in the air.  The result of this ending is that yes, I will definitely be reading Book 5, but I'm gonna have a pissy attitude about it until it comes out.  In my opinion I think there could have been a better place to end the book that would have allowed for some closure.

Probably 3.5 stars

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

Breathless by Brigid Kemmerer

Goodreads Blurb
Nick Merrick is supposed to be the level-headed one. The peacemaker. Since it’s just him and his three hotheaded brothers against the world, that’s a survival tactic.

But now he’s got problems even his brothers can’t help him survive.

His so-called girlfriend, Quinn, is going quick as mercury from daring to crazy. Meanwhile, Quinn’s dancer friend Adam is throwing Nick off balance, forcing him to recognize a truth he’d rather shove back into the dark.

He can feel it—-the atmosphere is sizzling. Danger is on the way. But whatever happens next, Nick is starting to find out that sometimes nothing you do can keep the peace.
Swoony boys playing with the elements and falling in love?  Yes, please.

The writing is super. The emotions run high. My only complaint is that it  just isn't enough. It has definitely whetted my appetite for Siege.

I was so happy to see Nick struggle.  No I'm not a masochist, but all throughout the series so far, Nick has been the calm one.  The voice of reason.  The perfect friend, brother, boyfriend, whatever was required of him.  

In Breathless, we see more of Nick's perfect behavior.  That is, until the simple question, "So can I get your number then?" shakes Nick's foundation.  

Nick and his twin brother Gabriel are viewed as two of the hottest guys in their high school and never lack for female interest, but when Nick is confronted with the attention of a certain male dancer, he begins to question his life, his choices, even his brothers.  Could he really be gay?  Could his family still love him if he is?  And what is he supposed to do about Quinn, his girlfriend?

This short novella will have you panting for more of Nick's story.

5 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Goodreads Blurb
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
I have been a fan of this series from the beginning.  The story of the Merrick brothers is exciting, stimulating, and often very sad.  This book about Hunter, to me, seems to be even more emotional than the first two.  Get your tissues ready.

Hunter Garrity has learned the hard way that trusting people will only get you hurt, a lesson driven home by his own father.  Hunter is a Fifth in touch with the element of Spirit. Spirit is the fifth point on the elemental star alongside Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  As a Fifth, Hunter has been taught that it is his job to become a Guide like his father and seek out and destroy full Elementals, people who can wield the power of the elements.  The problem is that since the death of his father, Hunter has no one to guide him and he is struggling to trust even his own heart.

After being kicked out of his grandparents home, with his mother watching, Hunter is once again rescued by the Merrick brothers, the family of Elementals that Mr. Garrity was sent to kill.  Hunter can't decide if they are just being nice or if they are following the old adage of "keep your friends close and your enemies closer."  

Adding to his confusion is the beautiful and frustrating Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school who seems to have more knowledge than she should.  She flirts, she confronts, and she kicks Hunter's ass.  She's also hiding secrets of her own, and Hunter is determined to uncover the truth.

Attempting to outsmart a relentless Guide while concealing his actions from the Merricks is made that much more difficult with the threats from a new group of amateur Elementals.  Is it possible for Hunter to find a way to stop them all without losing his life, or worse, his heart?

This was a solid 5 out of 5 stars for me.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

Goodreads Blurb

Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular - and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile - and a total player. And also Elle's best friend's older brother... When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer - this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak. But will Elle get her happily ever after?

As much as I hated to do it, I had to flounce. Within the first 1% of the book, the author referred to a computer as an Apple Mac. Maybe that sounds petty of me, but she does it twice. On the same page. It's total overkill. On the very next page she says, "Our moms both knew each other from college..." Once again, overkill. There were many other things going on here, but you get the idea.

While this may have been a success on Wattpad, it is my opinion that it needed more work before being published.  On the plus side, the cover is great and many people will buy and read it based on the cover alone.

1 out of 5 stars.

Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park

Flat-Out Matt by Jessica Park

Good reads Blurb

Matt is a junior at MIT. He’s geeky, he's witty, he's brilliant.
And he’s also very, very stupid.
When beautiful, cool, insightful Julie moves in with Matt’s family, why (oh why!) does he pretend to be his absent brother Finn for her alleged benefit? 
It seems harmless enough until her short-term stay becomes permanent. And until it snowballs into heart-squeezing insanity. And until he falls in love with Julie, and Julie falls in love with Finn. 
But … Matt is the right one for her. If only he can make Julie see it. Without telling her the truth, without shattering them all. Particularly his fragile sister Celeste, who may need Julie the most.
You saw Matt through Julie’s eyes in FLAT-OUT LOVE. Now go deeper into Matt’s world in this FLAT-OUT MATT novella. Live his side of the story, break when his heart breaks, and fall for the unlikely hero all over again.
Take an emotional skydive for two prequel chapters and seven Flat-Out Love chapters retold from his perspective, and then land with a brand-new steamy finale chapter from Julie.

I loved this re-telling from Matt's point of view.  

Flat-Out Matt is a companion novella to Jessica Park's "Flat-Out Love".  I fell in love with Finn, Matt, and Julie during Flat-Out Love and I was very excited to get Matt's point of view on seven different chapters from the original story. Park also gave us two prequel chapters allowing us to see exactly when Flat Finn joined the Watkins family.  We even get a new chapter from Julie telling us how things get hot and heavy after the jump from the plane.

Knowing what we know now about Flat Finn, certain scenes from the book are so much more heart-breaking.  Matt feels like a second-rate stand in for the brother that everyone seems to want more than they want him.  This includes his new housemate, Julie, with whom he finds himself falling deeper and deeper in love.  This novella offers special insight into Matty's heart and his struggle between protecting the family that he loves and telling the truth to the girl of his dreams.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Title: A Song for Julia
Author: Charles Sheehan - Miles
Publisher: Cincinnatus Press
Publication Date: 12/5/2012

Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy. 

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.
Charles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive, and is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America's Future. Charles and his partner Andrea Randall live and write together in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Find out more at

I became a fan of Charles Sheehan-Miles after I read "Just Remember to Breathe".  The emotions that this man is able to pull from me within the first few pages of the book astounds me.  This is the second book about the Thompson sisters, but they can be read in any order.

Julia is the oldest Thompson daughter, a buttoned-up prim and proper Harvard student, and organizer of an anti-war rally in Washington D. C.  Crank Wilson is the lead singer of Morbid Obesity, one of the bands playing at this same rally.  In Julia, Crank sees something he can't resist.  With Crank, Julia senses the freedom she has been longing for.

Julia's father is a retired U. S. Ambassador and she has lived in many countries and speaks several languages.  Crank's father is a Boston policeman separated from Crank's mom who left when Crank was 16 years old.  They couldn't be more different, but somehow they fill in all of the cracks in each other.

Crank and Julia tease, torment, and terrify each other, but they keep coming back for more.  They have one of the most real relationships that I've read in a long time.  They have ups and downs that make sense.  They push and stretch each other and it's not always comfortable, but it's always right.

5 out of 5 stars