Book Review: Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan

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I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Maybe This Christmas by Sarah MorganMaybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan
Series: O'Neil Brothers #3
Published by Harlequin on 2014-11-01
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
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"Uplifting, sexy and warm, Sarah Morgan's O'Neil Brothers series is perfection."—Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author 

This winter, ex-skiing champion, reformed heartbreaker and single dad Tyler O'Neil has only one mission—making sure his daughter, Jess, has the best Christmas ever. The fact that his best friend, Brenna, is also temporarily moving into his chalet at the overbooked Snow Crystal resort is a delicious distraction he's simply going to have to ignore. Theirs is the one relationship he's never ruined, and he's not about to start now. 

Ski pro Brenna Daniels knows all about the perils of unrequited love—she's been in love with Tyler for years. But living with him is absolute torture…how can she concentrate on being his friend when he's sleeping in the room next door? Then when Tyler kisses Brenna, suddenly the relationship she's always dreamed of feels so close she could almost touch it. Could this be the Christmas her dreams of a happy-ever-after finally come true?

I have been seriously enjoying the O’Neil Brother series and was so excited when I was approved for this last book on NetGalley. The third book in the series is all about Tyler, the youngest of the three O’Neil brothers. As well as being the youngest, he is also an adrenaline junkie who was one of the best skiers until he fell and injured his knee. Since being out of competitive skiing, he has come home to Snow Crystal as a ski instructor and to spend time with his family helping out the business. Customers pay big money to have Tyler lead them on the runs but Tyler just wants to ski.

Brenna is also a big part of Maybe This Christmas. We met her in the first book and got to know her much better in the second. This is finally her book and I liked her a lot. She’s been around the O’Neil family since she was a kid, growing up with the O’Neil brothers and was welcomed into their family when hers was less than warm.  She wanted nothing more than to live at Snow Crystal and be a part of the family. And she wanted it with Tyler. Ever since she was young she’s had a crush on him. But the brothers just saw her as one of them, someone to ski with and hang out with, not someone to date. Eventually it became too painful to be around him when she knew he didn’t feel the same. So she went away for a while to work with Jackson, the oldest brother, in Europe. But when he returned to help the resort, she did too. And she still has feelings for Tyler.

The best parts of this book are, for me, with the whole O’Neil family. Not only do we get to see Tyler’s brothers and their fiancees, we get to see Jess, Tyler’s daughter, and his grandparents and his mom. I absolutely love the warmness of all of the O’Neils. And their honesty. I love how close they are and that they just want everyone to be happy. They aren’t perfect, but they try and they love each other and I always love reading books with big, loud, loving families.

I’ll be honest here and tell you that while I did really enjoy this book, it was not my favorite of the series. My favorite still belongs to Sleigh Bells in the Snow, Jackson’s story, and the first in the series. Tyler’s story was good and after seeing him in the other books, I’m glad we finally had the chance to get his story. But the romance between him and Brenna just wasn’t great. It took too long for them to get together, the back and forth and the inability for either of them to make a move got very frustrating, and then the end wrapped up much too quickly for me. I don’t want 300 pages of “I love him but he doesn’t like me so I’m just going to sit over here and watch him” and “I think I like her but I don’t want to ruin our friendship” and then 50 pages of them together and a happily ever after. It’s just not my favorite way for a romance to play out. But, like I said earlier, I did enjoy the book. I liked the individual characters as well as the O’Neil family but also all of the other relationships that we get to see. The ones from the two previous books and the females friendships that have developed and Tyler and Jess’ relationship. This isn’t just a romance, it’s also a family book. Without those things, I don’t think I would have liked this book.

If you’re looking for a romance series, I highly recommend these books. The O’Neil brothers make great male love interests, their female main characters are all interesting and very different, and the O’Neil family is really just the best. The books read very quickly and if you haven’t started the series, it’s only three books so you don’t have to make a huge commitment. While the books don’t need to be read in order, it is easier to understand the family’s and Snow Crystal’s history if you start at the beginning. Also, you won’t get to see the relationships develop in the right order if you skip ahead! I definitely recommend these books for fans of the romance genre and reading them in order, if you can. So go pick them up (they’re all out already!) and get ready for some fun dialogue, hot characters, and steamy romances!

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Book Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

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I received this book for free from Comic Con in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lailah by Nikki KellyLailah by Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Published by Macmillan on 2014-10-07
Genres: fantasy, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Comic Con
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The girl knows she’s different. She doesn't age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

I was very cautious when starting this book because I had heard about a love triangle and it’s gotten to the point where I can’t hear about a love triangle without rolling my eyes. There are books with well done triangles, but mostly they’re just annoying and allow the main character to be wishy-washy and flaky and indecisive and get way too much attention. Very rarely do I feel like the MC is truly in love with both characters or believe that both are equally good for her. Usually she’s in love with one but not willing to let the other go. So, because I’ve become so fed up with love triangles at this point, I was cautious. And it turned out I was right to be. The love triangle was just too much for me. I couldn’t get behind it this time and that is unfortunate because it really affected how I felt about the book overall. Although it was definitely not the only thing I disliked about the book.

I’m going to say this, and I almost never say this, but I thought it so many times while I was reading this book that I have to say it. This book felt a lot like Twilight to me. A lot. I know they are two different books and I could spend all day pointing out differences between the two but, for me, there were plenty of similarities as well as just the way the book read. I’m not saying this just because of the love triangle, though the way it’s set up and plays out didn’t help. I’m saying it just because the book felt like Twilight to me. That’s not necessarily a negative thing. Lots of people love Twilight. I haven’t forgotten how quickly I devoured the entire Twilight series. And I know nobody’s forgotten the whole Team Edward/Team Jacob thing. I’ve already seen Team Gabriel/Team Jonah hashtags. So I’m not saying this to keep you away from the book, I’m just saying that, for me, Lailah read and felt very similar to Twilight. So if you aren’t a fan of Twilight, I’m not sure you’ll like this one either.

Another problem I had with the book was the fact that the MC, a paranormal teenage girl, was so passive it was infuriating. She’s abnormally strong and whenever she dies she comes back to life, but whenever a problem comes at her, she faints and needs rescuing. It drove me crazy. Also, at one point, Jonah crosses a line that he should not have crossed and she actually makes him leave. Finally. She stood up for herself. But then she goes on and on about how bad she feels for making him feel bad. And that made me mad and I wondered why Lailah didn’t care at all that she was making me mad. And then other guy stepped in and was the hero. And then she went back and spent time with the other guy to make him feel better. And everyone was feeling things for everyone and the past was important but not important enough to share with Lailah and guys, I am just not a fan of this book or the characters.

I could go on for a lot longer and include every reason why this book wasn’t for me, but I won’t. There’s really no need to. I didn’t like this book but there are people out there enjoying it. Give it a try if you’re interested, steer clear if you don’t like love triangles or passive MCs or girls that need rescuing or any of the other YA tropes that show up here. If you want a book about angels and demons but want to skip this one, I highly recommend the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. It’s similar in theme but beautifully written with great characters, fantastic world building, fun dialogue, and a well thought out and executed plot. Go check it out if you haven’t yet. And if you still want to check out Lailah, I recommend you go into it with low expectations.

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Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released. This week I’ve chosen:
Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
on 2015-05-05
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Retelling, Young Adult
Pages: 432
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When 19-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it ... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.



I don’t even think I need to explain this one. I’m beyond excited for it. I love Sarah’s Throne of Glass series and this one sounds like it’s going to be just as amazing. An added bonus is that it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling!! Sarah says it’s geared towards an older YA audience (the MC is 19) and includes some sexy times. And the cover is gorgeous! I mean, how much more awesome can you fit in one book? I really can’t wait to read this. I’d be afraid of getting my expectations up too high but after reading four other books by her, I’m pretty okay with where my expectations sit on this one. I hope May gets here soon!


What are you waiting on this week?


November 2014 YA New Releases

3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

It’s almost November! So how’d you guys do with your October reading? Were you able to keep up with all of those amazing releases? I wasn’t. There are still so many that I want to read! But looking forward to November and it seems that book releases really slows down after the first half of the month. So if you need some time to get caught up on October and September books (like I do), November might be a good time to do that!

Even though there aren’t nearly as many books coming out this month as there were last month, doesn’t mean I’m not looking forward to a bunch of them! Did you guys see? It’s finally time for the third Mara Dyer book!!! Also coming out this month is the third Finishing School book, Waistcoats & Weaponry. If you haven’t started this series by Gail Carriger, I definitely recommend it. It’s fun, steampunky, and has great characters. Also, The Walled City comes out. I’ve already read this and it’s fantastic. So intriguing. Remember when you’re reading this that it’s not a dystopian, it’s more historical fiction. The city where these characters live was an actual place. Google it, it’s fascinating. And lastly, I’m super excited for A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray. This book might have my favorite cover from the entire year. I also hope that what’s in the book is good as well.

Go ahead and take a look at the books I found for November. If I missed something, please let me know!

November 4

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3) Crashland (Twinmaker #2) The Walled City The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3) The Map to Everywhere (The Map to Everywhere, #1)

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1) Empire of Shadows (Bhinian Empire, #2) Forbidden Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin, #3)

Dangerous Deceptions (Palace of Spies, #2) Visitors (Pathfinder, #3) Killer Instinct (The Naturals, #2) The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)

November 8



November 11

The Bane Chronicles (The Bane Chronicles) Revolution (Replica, #3) Stranger (The Change, #1) The Name of the Blade Renegade (Elemental, #3)

The Halcyon Bird In Real Life The Griever's Mark (Book 1) One Wish Away


November 18

Stolen (Heart of Dread, #2)


November 25

On the Edge Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2) Girl Online Anomaly (Schrodinger's Consortium, #1) The Shape of My Heart  (2B Trilogy #3)


That’s all I have for this month. So tell me, what books are you most excited for?

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Book Review: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

0 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Books

I received this book for free from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Come Back to Me by Mila GrayCome Back To Me by Mila Gray
Published by Macmillan, PAN on 2014-10
Genres: Contemporary, Military, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher via NetGalley
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Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend's sister, Jessa - the one girl he can't have.

But Kit's not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa's falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer's over and it's time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa's finally following her dreams and Kit's discovered there's someone he'd sacrifice everything for.

Jessa's prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they're forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book because I haven’t read any of Sarah Alderson’s books but the synopsis sounded compelling so I went with it. And I  have to say, it was impossible not to get completely caught up in the emotions of this book. I feel like New Adult romances can be very hit or miss for me but this one was definitely a win. Very well done. The characters weren’t always my favorite but I was cheering for them the whole time and really wanted a happy ending for them.

The book starts out with a huge moment. We don’t really know the characters or their stories yet but we know this moment going to bring out lots of emotions towards the end of the book and because we sort of know what’s coming now, it changes the way the book reads. Instead of not knowing what’s going to happen and reading freely and hoping for all good things, we are a bit more cautious. I found myself feeling things and hoping things for Kit and Jessa and other characters and then reminding myself that this scene is coming and thinking maybe there was a way to avoid it, to save the characters (and myself) from the heartache that was coming. But I couldn’t. Kit and Jessa made it impossible for me to not want them to be together. And when you’re reading a romance, even when you think you know what’s coming, you want to want the characters to be together. And those feelings coupled with the feelings from earlier in the book created very layered emotions for me. I definitely liked how it was done.

Another one of my favorite part of the book was the chemistry between the two characters. But there were a couple of things I wasn’t a huge fan of. In the beginning, we know that Jessa has had a crush on Kit for a long time. We also know that Kit has a history of being a bit of a player. The two have been friends for a long time because Kit is Jessa’s brother’s best friend. But her father does not like him at all and blames Kit for anything bad her brother has ever done, whether he was responsible for it or not. But the thing I didn’t really like was that Kit and Jessa get together rather quickly. They’re drawn together and that’s fine, there just wasn’t a lot of build up or much to make me believe that what they were feeling was more than just crushes. And then they decide they need to keep it all a secret so they sneak around for quite a while. I never understand why characters think this is the way to go. But it’s what happened and it was fine, just not my favorite part.

I loved Kit’s dad and liked learning about Jessa’s family. It was interesting to hear about their pasts and while I don’t want to give anything away, I will say that it became fairly obvious what had happened in the past and I wish it could have just been left out so the younger generation could figure out their stuff in their own way without the past influencing them in that way and making other’s feel bad. It’s hard to explain without giving it away but it just seemed to take away more from the characters than it gave.

Overall, I really liked this book. I read it very quickly and with the big, emotional scene at the very beginning of the book, I was hooked. I had to know what was leading up to that moment and what the outcome of it was going to be. I also really liked the characters, though not all of their choices, and couldn’t help but get swept up in their romance. The emotions are very high in this book and run the range from extremely happy and content and deeply in love, to pain and anger and hurt and depressed. So be prepared when you start this. You will get hooked and you will feel things. I definitely recommend this book to fans of NA Romances.

I do want to say when I was approved for this book for review,I thought it was going to be released in the US in October. Now I’ve seen that it’s not out until much later here. But the book has been published in the UK so if you would like it now, you can order it from The Book Depository.

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