Friday, 17 April 2015

(ARC) Book Review (465): Things We Know By Heart - Jessi Kirby

Things We Know by Heart

Publication: 21st April 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all. 

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.
My Thoughts.
Things We Know By Heart was one of my most anticipated books of 2015, the synopsis sounded really good and I knew it was a must that I get my hands on a copy, receiving an arc for review had me excited beyond words.

Quinn's boyfriend Trent was killed and as a result his organs were donated, to help cope with his death Quinn writes letters to everybody who received one of his organs, they all write back except for one the recipient of Trent's heart, Quinn knows only that it was transplanted into a nineteen year old male from California, through almost obsessive thorough research she discovers his identity through a blog written about all the different phases of his journey from diagnosis to post transplant written by his sister, his name is Colton and curious just to see what he looks like she tracks him down, after an accidental meeting and against her better judgement she starts to spend a lot of time with Colton, with the secret she's hiding of why she wanted to meet him, her guilt over her growing feelings for Colton and the knowledge that she finally needs to let Trent go make for an emotionally heartbreaking yet uplifting story that had me in tears quite a few times throughout the book.

I have no doubt that Things We Know By Heart will be in my top five books of 2015, it definitely left an impression, one I'm still thinking of the next day while I'm writing this review, this was such an original idea for a YA contemporary novel, one that resonates especially knowing the amount of people on waiting lists for donor organs all around the world.

Highly recommended.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Jessi KirbyJessi Kirby was born and raised in Mammoth Lakes, CA. She earned her BA in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and went on to become a middle and high school English teacher. In addition to writing, Jessi works full time as a middle school librarian in Orange County, CA, where she lives with her husband and two children.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

(ARC) Book Review (464): 99 Days - Katie Cotugno

99 Days

Publication: 21st April 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon The Book Depository 
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
My Thoughts.
I was a big fan of Katie's previous book How To Love, so when I received a copy of 99 days to review I was over the moon.

I was drawn to the plot of this book immediately, while I'm not a fan of books that feature cheating the idea that the main protagonist Molly cheated on her boyfriend Patrick with his older brother Gabe intrigued me enough to want to pick it up and give it a go.

The one thing I really disliked about the story was the slut shaming, it's like they forgot that it takes two to tango, the amount of harassment and name calling amongst other things was enough to have Molly up and leave for boarding school while Gabe seems to get off scot free, Molly was left to endure all of the lewd and cruel comments alone.

When Molly arrives home the summer before college she counts down the 99 days until she leaves, off to begin her college years, with the relationship with her Mother who is a famous author strained after she wrote a book about the whole Molly, Patrick and Gabe situation, and through an article written about the book everybody in town discovered the secret she and Gabe had hidden, the extremely awkward encounters with Patrick and the hateful attitude directed towards her from her former best-friend and Patrick's twin sister Julia, Molly is left alone, depressed and lonely so she shuts herself away in her room, that is until Gabe arrives home from college, they tentatively begin a romantic relationship and although she finds herself developing feelings for Gabe, she can't stop her thoughts drifting towards Patrick.

But will history repeat itself, will Molly make a serious mistake again and lose the trust of the people she's just started to get to trust her again, torn between two brothers this is one decision that Molly must make once and for all.

A very thought provoking story about the double standards women are still subjected to in society today, a very enjoyable story, I still love How To Love more but I await the next book Katie releases, I really like her writing style and story ideas.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world. Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is due out from Balzer + Bray on October 1st, 2013. The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston (and in sin) with her boyfriend, Tom.

Monday, 13 April 2015

(ARC) Book Review (463): City Love - Susane Colasanti

City Love

Publication: 21st April 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon + Barnes & Noble
Three girls are about to discover the meaning of city love. From bestselling YA romance author Susane Colasanti! 

Sadie, a born and raised New Yorker, is hopeful and romantic and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. 

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources, looking for summer boy adventures. 

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC with a grand total of seventy-three cents so she can reinvent herself and forget about her past. 

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives. Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl’s life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once…in a way it will never be again.
My Thoughts.
City Love is a young adult contemporary novel about three girls the summer before college begins settling in as roommates, with all three taking turns with chapters we follow Sadie, Darcy and Rosanna as they navigate New York, living away from their parents and finding love where they least expect it.

Sadie the eternal optimist, New York born and bred who believes in soul mates meets Austin the boy of her dreams, Darcy who's family is well off is dating guys with once before never seeing them again, after her previous boyfriend callously dumped her that is until she meets Jude, Rosanna grew up poor, when she arrives in New York she has barely a dollar to her name, against her better judgement she starts to date D, a rich kid who interns on Wall Street.

With the New York scenery as the backdrop almost part of the story itself, City Love is a fun, cute romance filled contemporary that will leave you reeling in shock at the ending, and will have you anxious for the next book.

My first Susane Colasanti book and I enjoyed it, I hope to get around to her other books at some point.

I give this 3.5/5 stars.

About Susane
Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens,Take Me ThereWaiting for You,Something Like FateSo Much CloserKeep Holding OnAll I Need, and Now and Forever. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. She lives in New York City.

You can connect with Susane on her blogFacebookTwitter,YouTubeTumblr, and Instagram.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Book Review (462):The Wrong Billionaire's Bed (Billionaire Boys Club #3) - Jessica Clare

The Wrong Billionaire's Bed (Billionaire Boys Club #3)

Publication: 7th April 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon US  | Amazon UK |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  
The Billionaire Boys Club: Six men of astonishing wealth.
But there’s one thing money can’t buy…

Successful, dependable, and trustworthy—that’s Audrey Petty. She’d be the perfect girlfriend for her childhood crush, billionaire Cade Archer…except that she’s pretty sure she’s not even on his radar. When Audrey thinks she’ll be spending the next month with Cade at his remote cabin retreat, it’s a dream come true…

Until she meets her worst nightmare. Billionaire playboy Reese Durham is used to seducing women to get what he wants. Obviously Audrey’s in love with his buddy, Cade…and after his getaway is ruined by Audrey’s sudden intrusion, Reese isn’t opposed to blackmail.

Audrey may think she knows what she wants, but Reese is determined to show her what she needs. And as Reese discovers the volatile minx behind the buttoned-up exterior, he starts to think maybe she’s just what he needs, too.
My Thoughts.
I'm really enjoying the Billionaire Boys Club series, Jessica Clare is definitely an author who's books are becoming an auto-buy, steamy hot romances that will have your eyes glued to the pages as you fly through the book, unable or unwilling to put it down.

I loved the chemistry between straightlaced prim and proper Audrey and sexy playboy Reese, when Audrey arranges with childhood friend Cade to use his cabin to help her world famous singing sensation and drug addict twin sister Daphne detox, she never would have guessed that as well as helping her sister with the assistance of  Cade that she would come to realise that her longtime crush on him is nothing compared to the feelings that billionaire Reese brings out in her, sure her first impressions aren't great, when she first meets him he's making out with a woman in a hot tub at the cabin, but he is the only one capable of bringing out her fiery side which she keeps hidden.

What starts off as a lot of dares between the two which include kissing and skinny-dipping, they'll soon both come to realise that they're more suited to one another than they'll ever admit, it soon becomes awkward with Audrey's old crush Cade and new one Reese cohabiting in the same place, but fate has it's way of working things out, and with these two and their stubborness to admit their feelings they'll need it.

The interaction between this couple was not only steamy but very funny as well. I was entertained the whole way through, the storyline flowed effortlessly and ended way to soon, I enjoyed reading Audrey and Reese's story I just wanted more pages to spend more time with this couple that I really love.

Another great release from Jessica, now for the next one!

I give this 5/5 stars.

jessica clare bio
This is a pen name for Jill Myles.
Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the 'naughty parts' of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.
After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own - stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.
Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

(ARC) Book Review (461): The Duke's Disaster - Grace Burrowes

The Duke's Disaster 

Publication: 7th April 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon + Barnes & Noble
Noah Winters, Earl of Anselm, spent months sorting and courting the year's crop of debutantes in search of an ideal bride. When the sweet, biddable young thing he selected accepts another's proposal, Noah decides to court her companion instead.

Thea Collins, though, is anything but biddable. She has learned the hard way that men are not to be trusted, especially the handsome ones. When she reluctantly accepts, Noah rushes Thea to the altar before she can reveal her deepest secret. Can she finally move on from her past, or will it come back to haunt her?
My Thoughts.
Grace Burrowes has released another page turner, there is nothing she writes that I don't love, from contemporary to historical romances she's a master of both, I always know that picking up a book of hers will transport me to whenever, wherever the story is set and have me absorbed in no time at all.

Lady Thea, the daughter of an Earl has spent her last few years as a ladies companion, a lowly job of someone of her station, but after the death of her Father and Mother she had her younger brother and sister to raise, when her charge Lady Marliss who was to be betrothed to Noah the Duke of Anselm instead becomes engaged to another no one is more shocked than Thea when Noah then proposes marriage to her, knowing that her brother is doing a poor job of taking on his new title and neglecting their younger sister she accepts with the idea that her sister will come to live with her and Noah.

But starting from their wedding night things don't go so well, a tragic secret that Thea has hidden makes itself known and Noah is none too pleased with the deceit he believes he was tricked into by Thea not disclosing information which she had actually tried to inform him of, when Thea on her walk to familiarise herself with her new home discovers two secrets Noah had kept hidden away she begins to feel the way that Noah is feeling towards her, with both secrets each other are hiding nothing more than misunderstandings which they'd realise if they'd only sit down and discuss it and tell the truth, it may be a while before they fully trust one another, when they both start to develop feelings for one another the truth will eventually need to come out, especially when the secret from Thea's past comes a knocking in the form of rumors that will destroy her reputation.

I loved the storyline in this book, the cast of characters are well written and enjoyably entertaining, a quick read you won't want to put down until you get to the very end.

I give this 4/5 stars.

***About Grace Burrowes***

Author Grace BurrowesNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes’ bestsellers include The HeirThe SoldierLady Maggie’s Secret ScandalLady Sophie’s Christmas Wish, and Lady Eve’s IndiscretionThe Heirwas a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldierwas a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was aPW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
Find Grace Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Blog Tour, Excerpt & (ARC) Book Review (460): The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1) - Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1)

Publication: 31st March 2015
Publisher: HQN Books
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.
My Thoughts.
I have long been a fan of Gena's and her writing, of course we all know how fantastic her paranormal romance novels are, I adore her Lords Of The Underworld series, so when I got the chance to join up to the blog tour for The Closer You Come to read and write a review I jumped at the chance. I was extremely intrigued to see how well she could pull of writing a contemporary romance and let me just say she aced it!

I made sure to read the prequel novella first The One You Want which helped to familiarise myself with the couple Kenna and Dane who appeared in this book a few times, Kenna was Brooke Lynn's best-friend and I really enjoyed their story, Jase also appeared towards the end of the novella so I had already been introduced to his character and because of this I was really interested to discover why he'd spent the last nine years in prison.

I picked up The Closer You Come with a sense of excitement and anticipation for the story, characters and the wonder that is Gena's writing, I knew I was going to enjoy this, she has a way of writing in any genre it seems and just nailing it, the story of Brooke Lynn and Jase's romance made for an intense and thrilling read, the devastating history of Jase's childhood and incarceration was so sad and heartbreaking, knowing that because of all he'd been through he thought that he wasn't worthy of anything good in his life, not even the chance to find happiness and someone to love and have them love him in return, believing that no one would ever be able to see beyond the fact that he was an ex-con, that was before Brooke Lynn entered his life, as much as he tried to fight it Jace found himself falling for her hard, and she for him.

But of course their way to a happily ever after was never going to be smooth sailing, with misunderstandings, disagreements and self preservation aplenty throughout, Jace and Brooke Lynn sure do have their work cut out for them, add in a cast of fun and interesting supporting characters and you have yourself a delightfully, entertaining read that will leave you wanting more.

I'm anxiously awaiting the next couple of books which will focus on Jase's two best-friends West and Brent and also Brooke Lynn's sister Jessie Kay, I'm pretty sure their stories will be as captivating as this one was.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes their contemporary romances hot and steamy, hard to put down and with a plot that will be sure to keep you on your toes.

I give this 5/5 stars.


“Pay attention, honey,” Jase said to Brook Lynn. “This isn’t a lesson you’ll want to learn twice. You throw a tantrum in my room, you get wet.” Jase tossed the little wildcat into the deep end, hoping to calm her down.
Jessie Kay beat at his arm, screeching, “Idiot! Her implants aren’t supposed to be waterlogged. She’s supposed to cover them with a special adhesive.”
Please. “Implants are always better wet.” He should know. He’d handled his fair share.
“They aren’t in her boobs, you moron. They’re in her ears!”
Well, hell. I’m on silent, she’d said, the words suddenly making sense. “Way to bury the lead,” he muttered.
Brook Lynn came up sputtering. She swam to the edge of the pool and climbed out with her sister’s help, then arranged her hair over her ears before glaring up at him, reminding him of an avenging angel.
He’d hoped the impromptu dunk would lessen her appeal.
He’d hoped in vain.
Water droplets trickled down flawless skin the color of melted honey. The plain white button-up and black slacks she wore clung to her body, revealing a breathtakingly erotic frame, legs that were somehow a mile long, breasts that were a perfect handful…and nipples that were hard.
Those traits, in themselves, would have been dangerous for any man’s peace of mind. But when you paired that miracle body with that angel face—huge baby blues and heart-shaped lips no emissary from heaven should ever be allowed to have—it was almost overkill.
Damn, I picked the wrong sister.
Well, what was done was done. Another piece of broken glass in his conscience. Another memory to leave a sticky film on his soul, like a spider determined to catch flies.
“I’m sorry about your hearing aids, or whatever they are,” he said, “but catfights aren’t allowed in my room. You should save all disputes for the next JELL-O Fight Night.”
She watched his lips. Her eyes narrowed, an indication she’d understood him.
Without looking away from him, she said, “Jessie Kay, get in the car. If I have to start counting again, you’ll regret it.”
For the first time that evening, her sister heeded her command and took off as though her feet were on fire.
West and Beck arrived a second later and scoped out the scene: a gorgeous woman who was soaking wet, probably chilled, stood as still as a statue, her hands fisted at her sides, while Jase couldn’t seem to look away from her.
“What the hell happened?” Beck demanded, running a hand through his hair.
“This is between him and me.” Brook Lynn pointed to Jase. “You guys go inside.”
“Your hand is bleeding.” West frowned and reached for her.
“I’m not your concern.” She stepped away, avoiding contact, and would have toppled back into the pool if Jase hadn’t caught her arm.
With her sex kitten curves, he was surprised by the slenderness of her bones. Even more shocked by the soft silk of her skin, the warmer than melted honey temperature. She wasn’t chilled, after all, and the longer he held on, the more electric the contact proved to be, somehow cracking through the armor he’d spent years erecting around his emotions, until he practically vibrated with the desire to touch all of her…to hold her…
To devour.
What the hell?
He released her with a jolt and widened the distance between them. His inner armor wasn’t something he maintained just for grins and giggles. It was for survival. As a boy abandoned by his parents and sometimes mistreated by fosters, he’d learned emotions were a weakness that could be used against him. To feel something for a person or object meant he’d placed value on it—whether for good or ill.
Feel nothing. Want nothing. Need nothing. For the most part, the motto had served him well. There had been times the armor vanished, the darkest of emotions consuming him…pushing him to do things he shouldn’t. Trouble had always followed.

About Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.

Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.

Website + Facebook + Twitter + Goodreads

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Book Review (459): One Wish (Thunder Point #7) - Robyn Carr

One Wish (Thunder Point #7)

Amazon        B&N       iBooks        Indie Bound       Book Depository
What I really love about the Thunder Point series is that I know that when I pick one of these books up I know I'm guaranteed to have a  good time, they are quick, easy reads that are addictive and extremely hard to put down.

With a cast of characters that are both engaging and loveable, it's always a pleasure to re-immerse myself back into the small town of Thunder Point and it's residents.

Ex-Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Izzy Banks, now known as Grace Dillon and Thunder Point's florist, and local high school history teacher Troy Headly are both lonely, that's how they both find themselves spending New Year's Eve together, what started out as friends spending time together becomes something more, with Troy wanting nothing serious (or so he tells himself) and Grace hiding her world famous identity can these two get their act together and finally find their well deserved happily ever afters together.

With appearances from various characters throughout the series in this book including some subplots that worked into the story nicely, I eagerly await book eight and Ginger's book which I'm pretty sure will bring on the waterworks.

A great series that only gets better with each and every new release.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Robyn Carr is the RITA award-winning author of over 40 books. Set in small towns, her Virgin River, Grace Valley and Thunder Point series blend romance and women’s fiction, and often deal sensitively with issues including war-related injuries, PTSD, alcoholism, bullying, rape, and single parenthood. In 2010, she won RT’s Career Achievement Best Author Award for Contemporary Romance.