Monday, February 18, 2013

Instant Attraction (Wilder #1) by Jill Shalvis

Instant Attraction (Wilder #1) by Jill Shalvis

Goodreads Blurb

Accountant Katie Kramer is a quintessential good girl; working hard, recycling diligently, all the while trying to ignore the feeling that she doesn't fit in anywhere. That's all she wants. Well, that; and amazing sex, and the kind of daredevil escapade she can look back on when she's crunching numbers in a dusty cubicle. Which explains why she just took a job in Wishful, California, working for Wilder Adventures and Expeditions. Waking up to find a magnificently built stranger towering over her bed; that part defies explanation...

After wandering the planet for months following a life-changing accident, Cameron Wilder has come back to the only home he knows. Under other circumstances, he might be thrilled to find a gorgeous woman sleeping in his cabin, but now, while he'll risk his body taking clients on adrenaline-drenched excursions, his heart is off limits. Still, Katie's killer smile triggers something deep in his gut...among other places. Showing her how exhilarating it can be to stop balancing her life as if it was a checkbook is the biggest rush he's ever felt, and an adventure Katie's wishing would never end...

Just a little hint as to the many reasons I completely enjoyed this book.

"Katie."  His voice was low, thrillingly rough as he lifted a hand and ran his thumb over her lower lip.  It tingled for another kiss and she closed her eyes...

He gently pulled off her glasses, then not so gently kissed her, long and deep.  Her bones went all soft and gushy, but nothing on him felt soft and gushy, especially not what was pressing into her stomach.

"One more," he said, his mouth moving down her neck.

"Two would be okay..."

After a near death experience, Katie packs up her car and heads off into her great adventure.  She lands in Wishful, CA doing temporary work for Wilder Adventures, and outdoor adventure company.  Katie begins working for Stone Wilder who owns Wilder Adventures with his brothers T.J., who is currently out leading a long excursion away from the lodge, and Cam, who ran away from his home and family a year ago after his own brush with death and hasn't been heard from since.  

The story begins with Katie waking up to find that Cam, who has returned home, is in her bedroom.  The two personalities spark and clash.  While wildly attracted to each other, Katie and Cam try avoiding each other, knowing that it wouldn't be a good idea to get involved.

Unable to avoid each other for long, Cam begins helping Katie "live life balls out" which has become her mantra since leaving L.A.  Everyone around Cam notices the changes in his life since his first meeting with Katie.  She pushes him and stretches him in ways he never thought possible, but when he tries to return the favor and help her face her nightmares, Katie retreats.

Cam is under the impression that while Katie wants him, she does not need him, and the exact opposite was true for him.  What would it take to make Katie realize that she not only needs Cam, but that in the Wilder family, she has finally found a place to belong?

5 out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Vain by Fisher Amelie

Vain by Fisher Amelie

(Goodreads Blurb)
If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I'm a huge fan of Fisher Amelie and this book.

Vain started as the story of a rich young Sophie Price who had one too many encounters with the law, thus embarrassing her father. Sophie was sentenced by the court to do an unusual six month community service sort of project.  (I do not wish to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that.)

While on this project, Sophie, once ruler among her peers, is now looked upon with disdain and even contempt from her co-laborers.  More precisely, one co-laborer, Ian. The area Sophie is working in has required a complete wardrobe change and a lack of electricity eliminated the need for curling irons and hair straighteners and many other beauty aids behind which Sophie has always hidden.

Even as Sophie and Ian are learning to work together and even tolerate each other, Sophie is forced to face her deepest fears and even worse, she's forced to confront herself. Sophie learns to care about things beyond herself and finds that there are things in life worth dying for. 

Ian Aberdeen is one of the most swooniest book boyfriends I've ever had.  He has the imposing presence that being raised with wealth and power can lend a person, but his heart is bigger than all of Africa.  (And did I mention the accent?  No? Well...) Here is an example of His Royal Swooniness.

“Sophie Price, you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met,” he stated before turning my direction and staring me dead in the eyes. “You are so gosh damn beautiful in here,” he said, tapping my chest, “that what’s here,” he spoke, running the side of his hand down my face, “is magnified tenfold and that is a sight to behold.”

My mouth gaped open. I was at a complete loss for words, all rational thought had left, so I did the only thing I could think to do. I leaped across the seat and pulled the collar of his shirt toward me.”
Well, let's just say if she hadn't responded as she did, I wouldn't be writing this review in quite the same way.  Even though the author follows a certain "fade to black" pattern that we are are familiar with, the conservative nature of the environment lends itself to subtle steamy touches and incredible tension.

After losing someone close, and with the threat of blackmail, Sophie is forced to make to most selfless decision she's ever made. The only question is, will Ian ever forgive her betrayal.

I will say that this book is nothing like a thought it would be, and that's not a bad thing, just different. I must point out, however, that the author's tendency to toss current song titles and artists names into the story is sometimes jarring and is completely unnecessary. That being said, I enjoyed this immensely, and I look forward to more in this series to see who else will be "breaking the cycle"

4.5 Stars

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

(Goodreads Blurb)
It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?
In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.

Perry struggles to lead his people as food becomes scarce and Aether storms become more frequent.  Aria struggles to find her place.  She is no longer a Dweller, but will the Tides accept her as one of their own?

This is a situation where no amount of words could ever convey my love for this book. The writing is beautiful. The characters are flawed and amazing and absolutely full of life. Ms. Rossi gives her descriptions in such a way that there is never a question about how someone should look or how the Aether moves through the skies. She combines technology with the primitive and creates a clear picture of the world that Perry and Aria live in. 

The only words that I can say are these; please go out and start reading this series right away. You will not be sorry.

5 out of 5 stars

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

(Goodreads Blurb)
A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.
Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).
Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.
The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Elizabeth Eulberg takes us on a journey with Lexi as she transforms from "the girl with a great personality" to one of the Beautiful People.  After spending many years in the shadow of her younger sister, the tot pageant princess, Lexi, with a push and a shove from her friends, has decided to make some changes.  Gone are the sweatpants and over-sized shirts.  The ponytail and make-up free face get a makeover too.  In their place you will find cute dresses, shiny hair, and smokey eyes.  Gone too are the days when Lexi is the girl everyone overlooks.  She soon gets a date, just not with the boy of her dreams.  Lexi's family life goes through some changes also as her younger sister shows signs of jealousy over the attention that Lexi is now getting.  Lexi's relationship with her mother teeters on the edge and Lexi has to make some big decisions regarding her future.  After spending a few weeks getting to know the popular crowd and even ending up on a date with Logan, whom she has dreamed about forever, Lexi finally gets fed up with being something she's not and figures out how to meet in the middle.  How to find a Lexi that cares how she looks, but doesn't need fake eyelashes to make the look happen.  She even finds a way to have a relationship with her younger sister that she never thought was possible.

While the book was fun, I did not enjoy it as much as I did The Lonely Hearts club.  It was a bit heavier and I felt that the author was pushing me to feel or believe certain things, whether I wanted to or not.

3 out of 5 stars from me.