Furthermore (Free Sampler), by Tahereh Mafi

16 Jan

31376685Format: e-ARC, free sampler, 63 pages

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published: August 30, 2016

ISBN: 9781101994788

Genre: Middle Grade, Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: The bestselling author of the Shatter Me series takes readers beyond the limits of their imagination in this captivating new middle grade adventure where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

My review: As a 63-page taster of this middle-grade fantasy, this was intriguing enough to make me want to seek out the full novel. Mafi is a genius with prose, and even in this short sample you get a clear sense of the strange world she has built. Interesting and unusual.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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The Hating Game, by Sally Thorne

14 Jan

Format: e-ARC, 363 pages

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: August 9, 2016

ISBN: 9780349414256

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: NEMESIS (n)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman
Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work – except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything – especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn’t hate him. And just maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

My review: The Hating Game is one of those books from which you resent real life taking you away. Many times I had to put it down to go and do RL stuff, only to find myself muttering “Joshua Templeman…” I loved the snarky banter, and the swoons were many. Nothing came as a surprise, as I was paying attention and could see where things were going, but I loved it all nonetheless. I think Sally Thorne is about to become my latest auto-buy author. When I started this I was unaware she was someone who had been recommended to me often by friends in an online writing community, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that it was fantastic. I highly recommend, and will be keeping a keen eye out for Thorne’s next project.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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Cover Reveal: Mastering Her Senses (Blasphemy #2), by Laura Kaye

17 Nov

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

Releasing February 21, 2017, MASTERING HER SENSES is the second full-length novel in Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy Series. Check out the amazing cover created by Kim Killion from The Killion Group below!

 

A Note from Laura Kaye:

Friends! I’m so excited to share the cover for Mastering Her Senses, the second book in my new erotic Blasphemy series! I’ve been dying to write Master Quinton since he first appeared on the page, and now he is coming your way this February. I’m also excited because the heroine, Cassia Locke, is the sister of one of the Raven Riders (Jagger Locke), so there will be some fun series crossover happening in this book, too! So, so much to love! I hope you’ll check it out and the other books in the series, too!

xo, Laura

12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

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Books in Series:

Hard to Serve #.5

Bound to Submit #1

Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17

Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17

 

Laura Kaye - author picAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

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1,342 QI Facts To Leave You Flabbergasted, by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson and James Harkin

16 Nov

32813555Format: e-ARC, 368 pages

Publisher: Faber and Faber

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN: 9780571332465

Genre: Entertainment, Nonfiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: The sock-blasting, jaw-dropping, side-swiping phenomenon that is QI serves up a sparkling new selection of 1,342 facts to leave you flabbergasted.

My review: I love the TV show QI, so this book was a must-have when it popped up on Netgalley. Not surprisingly, I think I bookmarked every page because every fact is an absolute gem. Each one segues into the next along a similar vein, and all are backed up with the source and additional facts available at the book’s website: qi.com/1342. Some of the facts I knew already, being an avid fan of the show and trivia in general, but there were hundreds more I felt compelled to read out to anyone who would listen. Lots of fun and very educational. Now I’ve identified myself as a scurryfunge, and my whole family knows that Neanderthals are shown as slouching because the first one to be reconstructed happened to have arthritis. It came as no surprise that Stormtroopers from Star Wars Lego sets outnumber Earth’s real soldiers by 50 to one, but did you know 12 percent of Americans think USB is a country in Europe? Now that’s quite interesting (and worrying)!

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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Rock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4), by Nalini Singh

10 Nov

30832928Format: e-ARC, 248 pages

Publisher: TKA Distribution

Published: July 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781942356370

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love…even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

My review: This book should be called Rock Weddings because there are several in this book, making it a nice way to see out the members of Schoolboy Choir. Abe and his ex-wife, Sarah, are perfect for each other and their story is perhaps one of the better ones of the series. I didn’t think I’d like Abe, given his drug history and the way he is depicted at the start of this book, but he really made an effort to turn his life around. I have to admit I waited a long time for the other shoe to drop, but there was no sudden twist, and that’s probably why I can’t give this another cupcake. However, it was great to see all the other couples and know they all got their HEAs. I believe Nalini Singh plans to write some spinoffs about Gabriel’s brothers, so I look forward to that.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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The Sun Is Also A Star, by Nicola Yoon

8 Nov

29863451Format: e-ARC, 348 pages

Publisher: Corgi Children’s

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN: 9780552574242

Genre: Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

My review: The cover of this book is string art which strikingly and beautifully spells out the title. It is also a great metaphor for the story, in which the protagonists – Natasha, a Jamaican-born American girl about to be deported, and Daniel, a Korean boy on his way to get a haircut for the Yale interview he doesn’t want – are just two of the lives affected by their chance meeting. Interspersed with their POVs are snippets of some of the lives they touch during the course of their day together, from the suicidal security guard, to a grieving motorist, to the cheating lawyer and his mistress. Although Natasha and Daniel don’t know it, they profoundly change all these people just from their brief encounters, showing that like the string art, we are all connected to each other and decisions we make affect other people we may not even know.

Of course, this book is about an instant connection, which may sound like instalove but really isn’t that bad. It’s more like Daniel, a poet, is infatuated with Natasha and he wins over her scientific, sceptical mind during the course of the day as he tries to convince her to love him back. Even though they separate to attend appointments, they still manage to find each other in crowded New York when coincidences draw them back together. It may sound far-fetched, but the story rang so true to me, and would be another book by this author that I could see as a feature film. I liked Daniel a lot more than Natasha, mainly because he’s so sweet and swoony, and she’s a bit prickly and doesn’t even tell her parents when there’s a possibility they may not be deported that night. But my main hatred is saved for Fitzgerald. I could have throttled him.

The prose is beautiful and the feels are many. Nicola Yoon has done it again. Fantastic.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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Midnight Untamed (Midnight Breed #14.5), by Lara Adrian

14 Oct

 

midnight-untamed-cover

Format: e-ARC, 120 pages

Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Inc.

Published: October 11, 2016

ASIN: B0197OZW7A

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Back cover blurb: The mission was supposed to be simple. Infiltrate an enemy’s stronghold outside Rome and eliminate its leader. For a Breed warrior as lethal as Ettore Selvaggio, AKA “Savage”, stealth assassinations are only one of his many cold-hearted specialties. But the last thing Savage expects to find behind enemy lines—in his target’s bed—is a woman he once adored.

It’s been years since Savage last saw beautiful Arabella Genova. Years he’s strived to banish to his past, along with the fierce desire he once felt toward Bella . . . and the irresistible calling of her blood that stirs in him even now, despite the fact that she belongs to another male.

But when fate throws Savage and Bella together again in a race for their lives, will his long-lost love prove to be the one woman he can’t live without, or the perfect weapon to destroy him?

My review: Lara Adrian’s latest contribution to the 1001 Dark Nights series continues the Midnight Breed stories set in Italy, this time with Order warrior Savage. I loved him in the previous novellas, and here he finds himself in the middle of an assassination job when he sees the love of his life, Arabella, a Breedmate whose family forced him to leave her 10 years earlier. Saving her risks his mission but, as we know with these warriors, they place a priority on rescuing women and children, and he ends up doing both before the night is over.

Adrian always writes a great, hot romance, and there are plenty of thrilling moments with the ongoing battle against the Red Dragon drug. I was also intrigued by Scythe and hope we see more of him and Trygge in the books to come.

This novella can be read as a standalone or out of order in the series – as I have read it – as long as you are aware of a bit of the Breed history and know about the 20-year time jump between books 10 and 11. I really must catch up on the ones I own but haven’t read yet. This series is fabulous and it just keeps getting better!

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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I’m thrilled to be part of the Review & Excerpt Tour for MIDNIGHT UNTAMED by Lara Adrian, a novella in her Midnight Breed Series brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

Book trailer: https://s3.amazonaws.com/embed.animoto.com/play.html?w=swf/production/vp1&e=1475604408&f=8l51MQrU143hd56W0kagqw&d=0&m=p&r=360p+720p&volume=100&start_res=720p&i=m&asset_domain=s3-p.animoto.com&animoto_domain=animoto.com&options=
Direct Link: https://video214.com/play/8l51MQrU143hd56W0kagqw/s/dark

 

lara-adrian-headshotAbout Lara Adrian:

Lara Adrian is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author ofthe Midnight Breed vampire romance series and seven award-winning, historical romances, previously released under the pen name Tina St. John.

Lara’s Midnight Breed series is available in hardcover, mass market paperback and e-book through Random House, and in limited edition through Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club, Book of The Month, and the Science Fiction Book Club. Unabridged audio editions are available through Tantor Media, Random House Audio, Amazon, iTunes, etc. Lara’s new releases regularly appear on all of the key bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. There are more than 2 million copies of the Midnight Breed novels in print in the United States.

 

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Lara Adrian’s MIDNIGHT UNTAMED – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

October 12th

Hart’s Romance Pulse – Excerpt

2OCC Reviews – Review

A Fortress of Books – Review

Coffee Books Life – Review & Excerpt

Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt

Nice Ladies, Naughty Books – Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Excerpt

October 13th

Adria’s Romance Reviews – Review

Books That Hook – Review & Excerpt

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

That’s What I’m Talking About – Review

Straight Shootin’ Book Reviews – Review

Hannah’s Words – Review & Excerpt

October 14th

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Majorly Delicious – Review

Tome Tender – Excerpt

Books, Baking and Other Objects of Beauty – Review

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

K&J Book Promotions – Excerpt

October 15th

Lucky 13 – Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

Diane’s Book Blog – Review

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt

October 16th

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Dirty & Flirty – Review

Sofia Loves Books – Review

October 17th

Literary Misfit – Review & Excerpt

Rantings of a Reading Addict – Review & Excerpt

SnoopDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

Rock Out With Sweet Reads – Excerpt

October 18th

Booknista – Review & Excerpt

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Feeling Fictional – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Babes Blog Reviews – Review

GraveTells – Excerpt

October 19th

Becky on Books – Excerpt

The Romance Reviews – Review

Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Excerpt

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Review & Excerpt

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

October 20th

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

KatyaRath – Review & Excerpt

Knotty Girl Reviews – Review

Romance Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Bookgatherer – Excerpt

October 21st

Romancing the Readers – Review

EskieMama Reads – Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

Shelf Life – Review

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Fire and Rain (Rising Storm Season 2, Episode 5), by R.K. Lilley

10 Oct

31681620Format: e-ARC, 79 pages

Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Inc

Published: September 27, 2016

ASIN: B01KGGHV4A

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

As Celeste Salt continues to unravel in the wake of Jacob’s death, Travis grows closer with Kristin. Lacey realizes the error of her ways but is afraid it’s too late for reconciliation with her friends. Marcus and Brittany struggle with the continued fallout of Hector’s return, while Chase and Anna Mae face some hard truths about their past…   

My review: This is the raunchiest episode so far this season. Marcus and Brittany finally get some alone time, and I’m certainly rooting for them to have a HEA. Things look pretty bleak at the Alvarez house, but at least Joanne is having moments where she stands up for herself. There’s hope there, and also with the possible thawing of relations between Mallory and Lacey, and with Dakota finally questioning her father’s behaviour. I’m not a fan of the Travis/Kristen storyline, but something’s going to have to be done to snap Celeste out of her grief.

R.K. Lilley is new to the series and a new author for me. Her writing fitted into the series seamlessly. Keen to get on to the next installment.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

 

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Lightning Strikes (Rising Storm Season 2, Episode 4), by Lexi Blake

6 Oct

31681626Format: e-ARC, 81 pages

Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Inc

Published: September 27, 2016

ASIN: B01KGGHT92

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

As Ian Briggs begins to fall for Marisol, Joanne and Dillon also grow closer. Joanne’s new confidence spreads to Dakota but Hector’s return upends everything. A public confrontation between Marcus and Hector endangers his relationship with Brittany, and Dakota reverts to form. Meanwhile, the Senator threatens Ginny and the baby…  

My review: The lightning of the title is Hector Alvarez, and he certainly times his strike well as he returns to Storm to create havoc. Dakota was almost becoming bearable, and Joanne and Dillon were just starting to get somewhere, not to mention how well Marcus’ life was improving, but now Hector is back Joanne has returned to her subservient role and Dakota is immediately back in brat mode. This is a great episode from Lexi Blake, and I’m eagerly going straight in to the next one.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

 

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Brave the Storm (Rising Storm Season 2, Episode 3), by Lisa Mondello

30 Sep

31681623Format: e-ARC, 92 pages

Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Inc

Published: September 27, 2016

ASIN: B01KGGHWSU

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: Secrets, Sex and Scandals …

Welcome to Storm, Texas, where passion runs hot, desire runs deep, and secrets have the power to destroy… Get ready. The storm is coming.

As Senator Rush’s poll numbers free fall, Marylee tries to drive a wedge between Brittany and Marcus. Across town, Anna Mae and Chase dance toward reconciliation. Ginny longs for Logan, while he fights against Sebastian’s maneuvering. And Hector, newly freed from prison, heads back to Storm…   

My review: A bit of a filler episode, mostly focusing on Chase and Anna Mae. Although the pacing of this one was slower, I quite enjoyed their storyline even though it was easily predicted. The addition of Patsy was very cute! Elsewhere in Storm, things are plodding along. I think I can see where Max, Jacob’s old roommate, and his friend Scott are going to fit in. I did miss Ian in this episode, but the ending was a doozy.  

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via InkSlinger PR in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

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