Friday, April 26, 2013

SALE ALERT: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Right now this book is almost 50% off at most retailers.

If you have not read it, GO READ IT!  It is fantastic.  I love dystopian novels and this one was by far one of the best series I have ever read.  If you liked Hunger Games or The Uglies series you need to read this book. 

The third book in this series is set to come out 10.22.13 and I CANNOT WAIT!

Here's the link to get the book at Barnes and Noble.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.
Veronica Roth is the New York Times bestselling author of Divergent, the first in a trilogy of dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This Girl by Colleen Hoover releases April 30th

The new and improved covers for the Slammed series are out!

Colleen Hoover's latest book in the slammed series will be available starting April 30th.  And I will be waiting with my finger hovering over the buy-now button!

If you haven't read Slammed or Point of Retreat, and you are a Colleen Hoover fan, I suggest you go get them right now!

If you want to pre-order a copy, here is a link to for This Girl.

There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.
Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache. Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.
In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Author: Nicholas Sparks
ISBN-13: 9781455523559
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 12/18/2012

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

I have been a fan of Nicholas Sparks since I first read the Notebook in high school.  I haven't read all of his books.  I've probably seen more of his movies.  But I've read a few.  This book along with his others seem to have a slow easy pace.  They have action and romance, but it's slow and easy.
I liked this book.  It wasn't a book I couldn't put down.  A few times I found myself skimming some of the internal monologue because it was repetitive.  It was repetitive on purpose I know, because we were in the mind of a guy that was having a breakdown. 
I found myself more interested in what the movie would be like than enraptured by the book. 
That being said, it was a good fast read and I would recommend it for a day when you want to lay around and have nothing real exciting on the to-read list.
Good news, now I can go watch a couple hours of Josh Duhamel:)  Here's something for your viewing pleasure.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review - Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Colleen Hoover 12/18/2012

BN ID: 2940016106731

Goodread's Synopsis:
Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

I really liked Colleen's first two books Slammed and Point of Retreat.  So I was very excited when this book came out. 
This author does an amazing job of making the reader feel what the characters are feeling.  I found myself hanging on every single word she wrote.
And, she uses feelings and phrases that make me think 'Yes! That's exactly how that feels.'  In one of the first physical scenes in this book, she describes how Sky, the female main character, feels when she is touched by Holder, the male main character.  It was such clever and precise wording, I had to read that sentence more than once.
This authors makes you want to be in the story with her characters.  You want to know them. 
And, her plot twists and turns were compelling.  She knows how to hook a reader to keep reading.

That being said, I am not into teenage sex scenes at all.  This book is for over 17 readers.  But it was definitely targeted to the YA crowd. 

I thought a lot of the sexual content was unnecessary and it actually slowed the story down instead of boosting the emotional connection with the reader.  And every time I read, he kissed her on the head, I wanted to roll my eyes.

All in all, I really liked this book.  The author grabs your emotions and takes you for a ride. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: The Last Victim by Karen Robards

Author: Karen Robards
ISBN-13: 9780345535818
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 8/7/2012

A sought-after expert in criminal pathology, Dr. Charlotte Stone regularly sits face-to-face with madmen. At the age of sixteen, she herself survived a serial killer’s bloodbath. Because of the information she gave police, the Boardwalk Killer went underground, but Charlie kept her postmortem visions of the victims to herself. Years later, to protect her credibility as a psychological expert, she tells no one about these apparitions. Now a teenage girl is missing, her family slaughtered. The Boardwalk Killer—or a sick copycat with his M.O.—is back. This is the one case Charlie knows she shouldn’t go near. But she also knows that she may be the one person in the world who can stop this vicious killer, especially when she receives help from an unexpected source: The fiery spirit of a seductive bad boy who refuses to be ignored.

So yesterday I'm wandering through the library, searching the shelves with my head at that awkward angle so that I can read the titles and names of the authors on the books.

I browse the romance aisle, glancing around cautiously, secretly hoping no one around me realizes I'm in the romance aisle.  I hope that they think I'm looking at the mystery books that line the left side of the aisle instead of the steamy novels that line the right side.

At the same time, I give myself a mental kick because I want to write romance novels, so I shouldn't be embarrassed that I read them.  Then I look at the cover of a small paperback that shows a practically naked man and woman in a compromising position and the embarrassment returns.  I don't want to write that kind of romance precisely. 

After searching the shelves for authors that are my usual "go to's", I realize I've read everything published by all those authors and I need to look for something new.  Well, new to me, I am in a library, not Barnes and Noble.

I look over to the mystery side of the aisle and think I did want to read more suspense books anyway.  I like romantic suspense very much.  I just wish I recognized a few of the authors names so that I could be sure that I wasn't picking up a thriller like I did the other day.  That book I had to stop reading because it scared the crap out of me.  I wish libraries would sort books like does.  I click romance, then whittle it down to contemporary romantic suspense, and I know what I'm getting. 

Anyway, I picked up a book called The Last Victim by Karen Robards.  Hmmm, could be interesting. 

I read the book in a few hours.  Seriously I am now officially a Karen Robards fan.  I have no idea what her other books are like, but this one was fantastic.  The story concept was so unique!  I don't want to give away anything that happened in the book because you should all go buy it, or check it out, right now.  But the suspense was good, the romance better and the cliffhanger at the end made me want to cry.  I had no idea this was a series book and when I realized this was a relatively new book and the next one in the series doesn't come out till September???? I didn't cry but I shouted. 

"What?!  I can't wait till SEPTEMBER!"

Since I'm in the process of writing a romantic suspense that is a two book series, I am enthralled with the way Karen finished this book.  I can only hope that at the end of my first novel, whoever is reading it stands up and shouts, "What??  I can't wait till the next book comes out!"

Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: The Best Man by Kristan Higgins


Author: Kristan Higgins
ISBN-13: 9780373777921
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 2/26/2013
Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…
Faith Holland left her hometown after being jilted at the altar. Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there….
Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle.
This book was very cute.  Higgin's wrote a sweet story that had a definite twist to the usual romantic plot.  The characters were well developed and I liked learning about them and reading their love story.  I liked the hero quite a bit more than I liked the heroine though.  While she was nice and had moments of humor, she had a tendency to go a little dorky.  And I got a little tired of hearing about her support garments. 
The Best Man was fun to read because it was light and friendly.  While the outcome was predictable (and in most romance novels it is), it was an entertaining read.  I wouldn't go to Kristan for high stakes suspense or for steamy love scenes, because that's not what she writes.  But if you're looking for a sweet story where the characters have great chemistry and a little humor, then I definitely recommend The Best Man.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Book Review - Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Author: Marissa Meyer
ISBN-13: 9780312642969
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 2/5/2013

Goodread's Synopsis:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I loved this book!  I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Cinder, as well.  The whole idea behind the story is unique and familiar at the same time.  Marissa uses the familiar storybook characters we all know to tell a brand new story that is exciting and unpredictable.
The main female character, Scarlet is a strong young woman forced into a horrible situation.  Throughout her journey, you meet interesting characters and see how their lives intertwine with characters from the previous book. 
The romance between the two main characters is full of tension.  While this isn't a sexy book, the sexual tension adds a lot of interest.  Wolf, the main male character, is mysterious and protective and extremely alpha male.
Meyer adds another new character, Captain Thorne to the cast.  He is very funny and adds just the right amount of light heartedness to this intense action packed plot.
Overall, my favorite thing about Meyer's books is her ability to make the world she writes play out in real color in my mind.  I feel like am watching all of this happen instead of just reading about it.  She plays a movie in your mind without using so much description that it slows down the story.
If you haven't read these books, go get them!  Cinder and Scarlet are out now, unfortunately we will have to wait till next year for the next book.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Love Irresitibly by Julie James

Author: Julie James
ISBN-13: 9780425251195
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date: 4/2/2013

Summary from Jame's Website:

He’s used to getting what he wants

A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.
and what he wants is her.
A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love . . .

There are a few authors that when I see there name on a book cover, I know without a doubt that I will enjoy that book.  Julie James is one of those authors.  I have never been disappointed by anything she has written and Love Irresistibly is no exception.
If you haven't purchased this book, go do it now!  It is everything you could want in a romance novel.  The thing I love most about Julie's books is her dialogue.  Her characters are smart, sassy and hilarious.  I laughed out loud at least 3 times while reading this book.
There are moments of laughter, but it's balanced with a very steamy romance and touching family drama.  It's cliché, but I laughed, I cried....
This is probably one of this authors steamiest books.  The love scenes were pretty graphic and intense.  I don't have to have that in order to like romance novels, but for those of you who enjoy that, this is a good one.
To sum up my thoughts, GO BUY THIS BOOK!  Happy Reading.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review - Did you miss me? by Karen Rose

Author: Karen Rose
Title: Did you miss me?
Publisher: Signet 2/5/2013
ISBN-13: 9780451414090

Goodread's synopsis:
Baltimore prosecutor Daphne Montgomery pulled herself out of a damaged past to build a solid life for herself and her son. But after she helps to convict a killer, her confidence is shattered once again by the news that her son has been kidnapped.

Daphne believes it’s connected to the recent high-profile trial, and at first FBI special agent Joseph Carter agrees. But together they find the reality to be even more troubling, and it runs deeper than Daphne fears. With her son’s life in jeopardy, she must unlock a dreadful secret about her past—and confront a truth that will change everything for those closest to her. And, if she survives, threaten the lives of everyone she loves.
This was my first Karen Rose book, and I will definitely be reading a few more from this author.  I picked this book because I wanted to try out a few romantic suspense books and this was a new release with a cool looking cover.  

1.  Karen Rose weaves suspense and romance in a very believable way.  This book is heavier on suspense than romance, but it fits.  Too many sex scenes would have weighed this book down.  It gets steamy, but it isn't overly done.
2.  The plot twisted and turned and had so much going on that I never lost interest in what was happening. 
3.  I didn't have a clue how the 'bad guy' and the heroine were connected until well into the middle of the book.  And it was one small sentence that led me to think I was on the right track.  Karen does a great job of hooking you with each chapter.
4.  The emotion of this book felt real.  I found myself wondering what I would feel if my child, however old, had been taken.  What would I do?  This heroine's actions make total sense based on her history.   
5.  There were so many characters in this book, it took a lot of concentration to keep them all straight in my mind.  The characters were well developed, so this helped to identify them, but I could have done without a few of them.  Since I haven't read any of the books leading up to this new release, I can't say whether this is typical, or if the author is just inserting characters from past and future books.  I know this happens a lot in series romance.  As an avid series romance reader, I enjoy the insertion of past characters.  But since this author's books are meant to stand on their own, I think a few of the insignificant characters could have been left out.
6.  The main female character has a physical characteristic that defines a lot about her personality.  The way the author described this attribute was harsh at times.  It made the character very real, but also left me feeling that she wasn't attractive.  In the end, we realize that it's not as bad as it seems to her, especially to the hero.  But (and I might sound totally shallow) I want the heroine to be beautiful.  I don't want to picture my main romantic characters with large physical flaws.  That might not be how everyone feels, but that's what I want.  Again, in the end, we see this attribute from the hero's perspective and he sees her beauty, but by that point, I had weird images of her in my mind.

Overall, I loved the book and will be reading more of Karen Roses' romantic suspense novels.  I am very intrigued by all of her characters and can't wait to find out where the other love plots take us!