Cover Reveal: Tempting the Bodyguard by J. Lynn

Apr
22
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

cover

I’m so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for the newest book in the Gamble Brothers series by J. Lynn. The first two books in the series are Tempting the Best Man and Tempting the Player. If you like steamy, new adult romances, you should check out these books. And here is the cover for the third book, Tempting the Bodyguard.

 


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Tempting the Bodyguard cover

Tempting the Bodyguard (Gamble Brothers #3) by J. Lynn

New Adult Contemporary Romance
Published by Entangled Brazen on May 12, 2014
Goodreads

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don’t protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he’s caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she’s at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…

About the Author

JLA author photo

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Find Jennifer:

Twitter * Facebook * Website * Entangled website author page

 



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Book Review: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt

Apr
21
0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books
Book Review: The Chapel Wars by Lindsey LeavittThe Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Source: Gifted
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
three-half-stars
Sixteen-year-old Holly wants to remember her Grandpa forever, but she’d rather forget what he left her in his will: his wedding chapel on the Las Vegas strip. Whatever happened to gold watches, savings bonds, or some normal inheritance?     And then there's Grandpa's letter. Not only is Holly running the business with her recently divorced parents, but she needs to make some serious money—fast. Grandpa also insists Holly reach out to Dax, the grandson of her family's mortal enemy and owner of the cheesy chapel next door. No matter how cute Dax is, Holly needs to stay focused: on her group of guy friends, her disjointed family, work, school and... Dax. No wait, not Dax.   Holly’s chapel represents everything she’s ever loved in her past. Dax might be everything she could ever love in the future. But as for right now, there's a wedding chapel to save.

I was super excited to win an ARC of this and couldn’t wait for a chance to read it. I read Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt last year and adored it. I hoped The Chapel Wars would be just as cute. And it was cute. But it just didn’t have quite the same magic for me that Going Vintage did.

The Chapel Wars is about Holly, a sixteen year old girl who lives in Las Vegas and has just lost her grandpa. He owned a wedding chapel in the city and he leaves it to Holly, passing by both of her parents and his secretary that worked for him for years. He explains in a letter why he left the chapel to her and that he’s leaving it to her with quite a bit of debt. It turns out that Holly must make a lot of money quickly in order to save the chapel. But for Holly, it’s about more than saving the chapel. It’s about saving the place that feels like home and that connects her to her past and her future. In Vegas, nothing old stays but she needs the chapel to stay. So she gets to work. And part of that work is handing a letter from her grandpa to Dax Cranston, grandson of the man who owns the chapel next door and who has been in battle with her grandpa for years. So after attending the funeral and handing over the letter, Holly sets off to earn the chapel some money. She makes changes that not everyone supports and gets a little mixed up with Dax. But she really needs to focus. Because it isn’t just the chapel that’s in trouble, it’s also her family that’s falling apart and her future that she needs to figure out.

The best parts of this book are just how cute it is and the fact that it’s set in Las Vegas. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book that was set in Las Vegas that wasn’t about the strip and gambling and everything else that you might immediately think when you hear Vegas. This book shows Vegas in a different sort of light. We still see the glitzy Vegas but we also get to see the non-touristy parts. The non-chain restaurants, the quite neighborhoods, the families that grow up there. It was interesting to read about a place I thought I knew but really had no idea about. I still don’t want to live in Vegas, but I can appreciate that there is a different side to the city now. Also, if you want a cute romance that reads quickly and never gets too deep or depressing or intense, this is a perfect fit. It’s adorable and fast and touches on issues like grief and divorce and teenage drinking but it never really delves into the problems or lets them drag it down. It doesn’t really brush them off but the book doesn’t dwell on the issues either. If you want an issues book, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

This leads into one of my problems with the book. While it’s super cute, it leaves a lot of things untouched. It doesn’t ever really address the feud between the grandpas except that there is one. There are several scenes that show how badly they must have hated each other but it never explained where the feud started, how it got so bad, or even the part that Holly’s grandpa played in it. I would have liked a deeper look into the battle and to see how Holly’s grandpa might not have been only the victim like she believed. Dax mentions briefly that it wasn’t one sided, but I just wish I could have known more about why these two men hated (really hated) each other and looked at how it could have been fixed or something. I also would have liked more conclusion with her feelings regarding her parent’s divorce and her family. I feel like there are a lot of issues just briefly touched on and for me, if you’re going to bring up issues like that with characters that are important to the story, I’d like to see a little bit more of a conclusion with it.

My other main issue was that while I related to Holly a little bit, she really wasn’t my favorite character from the book. This is a small thing but I always want the main character to be one of my favorites. In this case, my favorite turned out to be James, her younger brother. I really wanted to know more about him. He was troubled and hurt by his parents divorce but still fiercely loyal to his family. I felt more connected to him and cared more about him than Holly. Also, and this hurts a little to say because I liked him, I wasn’t completely sold on Dax and their relationship. I’m not even completely sure what it was, but it almost felt like the two of them were together because they were there rather than that they were really drawn to each other. I will say, and this is important and relates to all of the characters, that everyone felt real. The characters, their actions, the dialogue all felt genuine and natural. I just wasn’t completely sold on the relationship. It was cute, though, watching them getting to know each other and I liked that it wasn’t insta-love, but they just aren’t one of those couples that I’ll think about much after the book is over.

I know these issues contradict each other but my overall feelings are this: while the book felt real and honest and I was interested in seeing this different side of Las Vegas, there was just too much left untouched for me and not enough connection with the main character. With that said, this book is cute and a really good, fun read. A perfect vacation read, escape from reality read. Add in things like a cute boy in a cupid costume, a struggling family, lots of friends, and Las Vegas as a background, and this is definitely a book worth reading. I just don’t think this will be a book that ends up on 2014 favorites lists.



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Book Blitz: Meeting Mr. Wright by Cassie Cross (Excerpt and Giveaway)

Book Blitz: Meeting Mr. Wright by Cassie Cross (Excerpt and Giveaway)Meeting Mr. Wright on 2014-04-17
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, New Adult
GoodreadsAmazon
Callie Kirkpatrick promised herself she’d never fall in love again.

After catching her boyfriend Ethan cheating on her, Callie decides to retire from the dating game at the ripe old age of twenty-four. Unfortunately for Callie, she’s going to have to see Ethan at her best friend’s upcoming wedding. Stranded in the airport during a weather delay on her way to the nuptials, Callie meets Nate Wright. He’s sexy and uncomplicated, and a one-night stand is just what the doctor ordered for a girl with a broken heart. Callie thinks she’ll never see Nate again —until he shows up at the wedding.

Nate is hell-bent on making Callie forget about her ex, and he makes her question whether she was ever really in love with Ethan at all. As she begins to fall for Nate, Callie wonders if promises were meant to be broken...

 Excerpt

“He really did a number on you, didn’t he?” Nate says, not even trying to hide his anger. “You’re still torn up over it.” And the way the words come out, they’re a statement of fact. I have to set the record straight.
“I’m not torn up over it,” I tell him, looking him right in the eyes. And that’s the truth. I mean, it’s part of the truth, but things aren’t that simple.
“Callie-”
“I’m not. See, the thing is that I thought this would be us, you know? Me and Ethan getting married. Having a wedding, spending the rest of our lives together. I thought that’s where we were headed. I let myself believe I had forever with him, and then I came home and found him in bed with another woman. In our bed. And I just…I couldn’t believe it.”
“Cheating isn’t usually about the sex,” he says, like that matters at all.
“That doesn’t make it any better, Nate. That makes it worse.”
He nods, looking down, and I’m not sure if he doesn’t say anything because he wants me to keep going or because he just doesn’t know what else to say. There’s a part of me that’s ready to say this, to admit it out loud, and I want to admit it to him.
“Six months later, it’s not the sex that bothers me. Well, not really. It’s that I never thought he could do something like that to me. I didn’t think he was even capable of it. I was supposed to be the person who knew him better than anyone else, and I wonder how deep would I have gotten before I found out? Would we have gotten married? Would we have had children? How long would it have taken me to figure out that I didn’t know him at all? That’s what scares the hell out of me. So it’s not about him, you know? It’s about me. I don’t trust myself to know who it’s safe to give my heart to.”
Nate takes a deep breath, and his face is so full of understanding that I could cry. He reaches up and pushes a strand of hair behind my ear, and his expression is so tender that I can’t help but press my cheek into the palm of his hand and close my eyes. He makes me feel safe, and I don’t know if it’s right, but I want to allow myself the comfort that he offers, even though that’s so dangerous. It would be so easy for me to let myself fall in love with him. So easy to let him in. So easy for him to break my heart.
Nate’s hand slides down the side of my neck, and he traces the strap of my swimsuit with his fingertip. I can feel the trail of heat his touch leaves all the way down in my toes. “You won’t ever know who it’s safe to give your heart to. Falling in love is a risk.”
I laugh bitterly. “I think it’s well documented that I’m not much of a risk taker.”
He smiles, putting his hand back on the edge of the pool. “Not every guy is like Ethan.”
I know he’s dying to tell me that he isn’t like Ethan, but he doesn’t do that. I don’t know why his silence makes me believe him more than his words ever could, but everything in my brain is just a big swirl of confusion right now.
“But some guys are, Nate. How will I know the difference?”
He waits for me to look into his eyes before he speaks. “You’ll feel it.”

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April Celebration Giveaway #3!!

Apr
18
7 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

I’m having so much fun with these giveaways. I hope you guys have found a book or two to be excited about. If not, this might be the giveaway for you. It’s a set of YA contemporary romance books and features some of my favorite authors! This is another US Only giveaway but my April New Release Giveaway is International, so if you aren’t local, definitely check that out. If you are in the US, don’t miss the YA Sci-Fi Giveaway (ends at midnight on 4/18) and the YA Fantasy Giveaway (ends at midnight on 4/25)!

Now for this week’s prize! I’m giving away an ARC of Crash Into You by Katie McGarry, a paperpack of Crash by Nicole Williams, and a paperback of The Distance Between Us by Kasie West. Seriously, if you like YA romance, you need to read these books. All three will go to one winner. Be sure to read the rules for the giveaway and enter to win using the Rafflecopter. Good luck!

giveaway3

Rules for the giveaway:

  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
  • The contest is open to US addresses only.
  • There will be one winner who will receive the three books shown above.
  • I will contact the winner via email and they must respond within 48 hours or I will have to choose another winner.
  • I’m not responsible for items that may get lost or damaged during delivery.
  • I will delete entries that don’t follow the instructions. So read carefully and please don’t cheat.

The Rafflecopter: 
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Mini Reviews: Audiobook Edition

Apr
16
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

I love audiobooks but I only really got into them in this last year. I just really like the idea of being able to “read” while doing something else like cleaning or driving. I like that they help me stay caught up on books and make me feel like I’m being entertained when the narrator is really good. Unfortunately, I also seem to skip reviewing them more than other books. Somehow, they just tend to slip through the cracks. Today, I’m going back to some of the audiobooks I’ve listened to and have forgotten to review. If you enjoy audiobooks too, I’d love any recommendations you have in the comments section!

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)

Etiquette & Espionage and Curtsies  & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

Finishing School #1 and #2
YA Paranormal Steampunk
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

I’m including only the synopsis for the first book because I don’t want to post any spoilers. I went into these books not really knowing anything about them but hoping they were good. I really like the covers and the titles suggested an interesting mix of historical fiction and spy novel. I really lucked out because that’s exactly what the book was but it also had big helping of fun mixed in. That was my favorite part of both of these books, by far, was just how fun they were. They never took themselves too seriously and that is really what kept me reading (listening to) these stories. I definitely enjoyed the steampunk parts of the book and want my very own mechanimal. The characters are great, especially the smart tomboyish main character Sophronia, and the mysteries are done well enough but it really was the humor and dialogue that I enjoyed the most. I will say that these books seem to be geared more toward the younger crowd. The main character is only fourteen and the action and language never gets very intense. I’d say anyone over ten or eleven could read and enjoy these. But if you prefer your mysteries on the more detailed, violent side or don’t enjoy a certain amount of silliness, you will not enjoy these books. If you decide to go the audiobook route with these, I would definitely support you. Moira Quirk was fantastic. Her voices and accents were amazing. I hope to find more audiobooks read by her. Or maybe she could just come live with me and read all of my books out loud to me from now on. I would be just fine with that. I gave both of these books 4 stars.

The Sea of Tranquility

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Published by Atria Books

I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

This book is serious. And while there are some funny moments, this book is very intense and very emotional. I’m not sure I was entirely prepared for everything this book threw at me while listening to it. I had seen lots of amazing reviews for it and knew a lot of people loved it, but I wasn’t ready for so many emotions. The writing is beautiful and knew just exactly the right thing to say to really take my breath away and revealed just the right amount of information at the right times to keep me interested and wanting more. The two main characters, Nastya and Josh, were both very well developed and had great voices. Because we get to hear from both of them, we get two sides of the story, two different kinds of grief, and two different stories of healing. Both are painful but moving. The characters come together and become an escape for each from their painful pasts but eventually they must face reality. It’s been months since I read this book but I still get tears in my eyes when I think about these characters. They will stick with you and you will remember their stories. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who read YA contemporary. I will say that I liked the audio of this but I wasn’t a huge fan of either narrators. Next time I read this, and I hope to reread it soon, I will read the book version. I gave this book 5 stars.

The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil, #1)The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil #1
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Published by HarperCollins

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

The School for Good & Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

I have conflicting feelings on this one. And that definitely makes me feel like the black sheep because so many people love this one. I’ll start with what I liked. I really liked how unique this story felt. I liked that the main two characters are different from most of the characters I’ve seen before. And I was really intrigued by the whole premise of the book and the idea behind the School for Good and Evil. It’s all very unique and very interesting and I enjoyed learning about it and how it all sets up the characters for futures in fairy tales. Unfortunately, I wasn’t completely sold on the execution. I’m going to be honest here (otherwise what good would this be?) and say that I thought at almost 500 pages, this book was too long. I know that size shouldn’t matter, but I felt that the pacing of this book was off and the middle of the book lacked focus. I think that had the book been pared down a bit, it wouldn’t have wandered so much and not taken so long to finally decide where the story was going. I felt like I waited so long to see where the book was finally going that I didn’t care anymore that it was unpredictable and just wanted it to end. And I didn’t want to feel like that at all. I was really disappointed. With such a great premise and so many positive reviews, I really wanted to love it. Also, because of how the story starts and the twist of each girl going to the school they didn’t believe they fit into, I thought there would be some lesson on stereotyping or some deeper meaning to the story or ultimate moral about who we really are underneath the outside or something, but nothing like that really came through in the end. And so my overall complaint for this book was just that I didn’t feel like the author really knew where he was going with the story or how to get there. Because my feelings on this book are so different from so many others’, I’m worried that maybe I lost some of the story in listening to it rather than reading it. But I also know I won’t ever pick up this book again, so I’m not sure I’ll ever really know if it did or not. I would not recommend this for younger middle-grade readers because there are some intense moments but for older readers who are really into fairy tales and fantasy, I’d let them give it a chance. I hope anyone else who reads it will enjoy it more than I did. The narrator was okay, not my favorite but definitely not bad either. It was 13+ hours, though, so it’s quite an investment! I gave this book 2.5 stars.



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Harry Potter by J.K. RowlingUnder the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
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