Friday, December 19, 2014

Persuaded by Misty Dawn Pulsipher

What's worse than never getting over your first love?
How about watching him fall for someone else...

Hanna Elliot had worn the ring faithfully at first. Some part of her still clung to the hope that all was not lost. As the days turned into weeks, she finally took it off and set it atop her dresser. When weeks gave way to months, the ring finally went back into its box, where it gathered dust until it was moved to Hanna’s unmentionables drawer. For the first few years, she had taken it out on the anniversary of the day she’d received it, allowing herself to wallow in what might have been. 

She had been all but stamped out of Derick Wentworth’s mind. 
Sure, he thought about her occasionally, especially on cloudless nights when he lay on the bow of the Laconia looking up at the stars. But as time went on, Derick began to feel grateful that it hadn’t worked out, for one thing was certain: if he ever did settle down, it would be with someone who knew her own mind. Someone who went after the thing she wanted without hesitation. Someone who would never allow herself to be persuaded otherwise. 

Persuaded, a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Persuasion.

 * Amazon * Goodreads *

Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen books and I love the movie adaptations as well.  It's such a good story.  Modern adaptations of these old books are fun to read, I think, especially when they are well done and I think think this one is.  In fact, it might be my favorite version.  I really enjoyed it.

The beginning started off slowly for me but I was intrigued by the flashbacks from Hanna.  That's what kept me pressing forward until the book picked up speed a bit.  I like Hanna a lot.  She has so many good attributes that I admire in other people and wish I had more of myself.  I especially loved the moments when Hanna shows some outward strength and voices her opinion firmly.  Hanna always exudes quiet strength and compassion but I loved when she stood up for herself.  She always did it kindly but firmly.

I loved how the book didn't stray too far from the base concept of the original book.  I could feel the familiarity in the story but it still felt fresh and new to me.  That deserves a "good job" pat on the back to the author.  :)

This book is clean and one I'm happy to pass off to my teenage daughter.  She has never read the classic version of Persuasion but maybe after this one she will want to.  Oh, and isn't the cover pretty?  I love it.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Me Tarzan, You Jane by Camelia Miron Skiba

Moving on doesn’t always have to mean goodbye.

Widowed makeup artist Jane Sullivan is more comfortable keeping her husband's memory alive than dating a pool full of sharks. Ella, her 4 year-old daughter, is her whole world.

When Jane meets Lucas Oliver, famous cover model, it’s hate at first sight. His playboy persona rubs her the wrong way.

Accustomed to every woman fawning over him, Lucas is drawn to the shy, uncompromising single mom and completely melts at the sight of Ella. He is determined to convince Jane that sometimes a second chance can mend a broken heart.

It took me a little while to get into this book.  It started off shaky with a whole bunch of stuff that I don't really love in my "clean" books.  I almost put it down but decided to give it another chapter or two to see if things settled down or kept up.

When Jane and Lucas finally become more isolated as characters in the book and we start to get to know them more individually, I enjoyed the book a lot more.  The growing friendship and romance was good.  I think the book is well written and it kept my attention.  

I wouldn't classify this book as "clean" though.  Even though there are no descriptive sex scenes, there is plenty of sexual talk, innuendo, and sex behind closed doors.  Alcohol and drinking are prominent in this book, and in most situations lead to unhealthy places (not knowing who you slept with, ER, etc.).  There is also swearing and profanity.  So, this book crossed the "clean" line for me.  If those things don't bother you, you will probably really enjoy this book.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pierced by Love by Laura L. Walker

Noelle Jensen doesn’t want to like Pierce Logan. After her boyfriend breaks up with her for her sister, Noelle is done with love. Plus Pierce Logan has commitment issues because of his parents’ divorce and a strained relationship with his dad. But as Pierce and Noelle inadvertently help each other to open up their hearts, they also rediscover the importance of family and love.


I'm lucky to have been reading a lot of really good, clean romance books lately.  Some of my favorite authors have new books out and I love reading.  This author is a new one on the LDS book scene.  At least, she is new to me.  This is the first book I've read by her.

Because I have been reading so many awesome books lately, I think it may have hurt my review of this book.  It's really hard not to compare.  This book wasn't nearly as good as so many I've been reading.  It was okay, I just didn't love it.  It was really slow moving and I felt like it went on and on.  There was a lot of family drama for both main characters.  The bones of the story are there and the plot has potential but I just didn't connect with the characters and I didn't feel compelled in any way.  For me, this book was just okay.

This is an LDS fiction book.  It is rooted in religious themes specific to the LDS faith.  

Content:  Clean (no swearing or sexual situations)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson + a $25 Giveaway

Rough Around the Edges
For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.  

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon.com

add to goodreads new 
  
  It feels like I've been waiting forever to read this book.  Maybe it really hasn't been that long but it sure felt like it.  Maybe that's because I just love Rachael Anderson's books.  She has a style that really suits me and I can't help but love and devour every single book that comes into my hands.

This book was exactly what I wanted.  It's like Rachael writes for just me.  Sorry for the rest of you but hopefully you like the books Rachel writes for me as much as I do.  :)

You cannot help but love Noah.  Noah makes his debut in Prejudice Meets Pride and I'm so glad he got his own story here.  He is a fantastic, down to earth, hard working man.  He is solid and knows how to make a girl feel safe.  That's my kind of man.  Plus, any man who buys bags of ice cream just so a girl can find her true favorite by taste testing is a man meant for keeping.  Right?!

This is a clean romance.  It's so well written with characters who I can connect to.  It was a happy distraction from reality and gave my romantic heart the boost it needed.  I loved it.

Enjoy the following excerpt!

Carpet samples were way too small. How was Cassie supposed to know what an entire room would look like from a small little swatch? There were too many choices. Nylon or polyester? Plush, frieze, textured, or cut? Not to mention all the color options. And then there was the tile for the bathroom and the complicated dance flooring, with its subfloor and all of its choices.
She felt a headache coming on.
“How will I ever make up my mind?” Cassie whispered to Noah.
“It’s called trusting your instincts.”
“Instincts? I’m supposed to have an instinct about carpet samples?”
“Doesn’t everyone?” Noah grinned. “Isn’t one calling out to you? Telling you that it’s the one you’ll be able to coexist with for the next ten to fifteen years?”
Ten to fifteen years? Noah wasn’t helping at all. Cassie frowned at the samples, willing one to shake or glow or whatever carpet samples did to call out to a person.
“Which one would you choose?” she finally said.
“Uh-uh. This is your house, your carpet, your choice. I’m just here as a friend, remember?”
A friend who was sitting way too close for comfort, Cassie thought as the touch of his shoulder sent a bunch of tingles down her arm. “Friends are allowed to give opinions.”
“No. Only dates are allowed to do that,” said Noah. “If you really want my opinion, you know what you have to do.”
Despite her distress about all the decisions facing her, Cassie couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, fine. It’s a date. Now if you were me, what would you choose?”
Noah blinked as he shook his head. “Wow, that was easy. I should have gone for more. Like a kiss or boyfriend status or—”
She nudged him. “Stop it. I need you to help me, not tease me.”

“I wasn’t teasing,” he murmured, pulling the samples toward him. 

  Rachael
USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.


25_Amazon_Paypal

$25 Blog Tour Giveaway Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by readinglight.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rough Around the Edges

Saturday, December 13, 2014

In the Spotlight: Begin Again by Brittney Mulliner + an excerpt and a $25 Giveaway

Begin Again Book Cover 
Escaping her past, Aubrey Tate moves to Southern California for a fresh start with her older brother, Brandon. Starting over at a new school seems easy with her cousin, Mckayla, and her two best friends at her side, but handling the new guys is another matter. Aubrey ends up in the middle of three rivals that each want her to themselves. Mike claims her first and declare himself her friend and protector. Luke is the school heartthrob that stops Aubrey in her tracks, speechless. Gage is the mysterious, dark outsider that Aubrey can be herself around. How will she navigate her new life while she's still haunted by her past?


add to goodreads new    

"I don't have a boyfriend. At least not anymore…We had an incident at my family's Christmas party and I have sworn off men."
"Now that's not fair, new girl! Don't let some dirt bag ruin all of our chances. A girl like you shouldn't be allowed to swear off the rest of us."
I didn’t have the nerve to ask him what he meant by ‘a girl like me’ so I ignored it. "You find me a good guy, Mike, someone honest and loyal and I will consider changing my mind."
"Done. You and I are going out on Friday."
I laughed despite his straight face. "Mighty sure of yourself. Are you positive you are the best choice as the representative for all men?"
"Trust me Aubrey, I'm a true gentleman. And this doesn't have to mean anything. I just want to show you how a girl like you deserves to be treated. Any loser who has a chance with you and ruins it should be committed."

  Begin Again

  Brittney
Author Brittney Mulliner Brittney had been an avid reader since she can remember. Her parents' form of punishment for her growing up was taking away her books and making her go outside to play. She was born and raised in Southern California, with a brief hiatus in Arizona. She loves the beach, exercising, sleeping in, and cookies. She is an obsessive dog lover, although her affection currently has no outlet. Something that she is planning on remedying soon. She currently lives in Utah while she and her husband finish college.


  25_Amazon_Paypal 

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/29/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hotwire by Cindy M. Hogan + a $25 Giveaway

Hotwire

Division spy Christy Hadden can't wait for her latest assignment posing as a student at a prestigious New York City academy and car thief extraordinaire. The best part of the mission is her attractive handler, Jeremy, and her new team. The worst part? The sociopath masquerading as the academy's most popular guy. But soon she realizes the car thieves are much more than they seem. Her simple spying mission becomes more dangerous than anyone imagined. If the organization discovers her true identity, they won't hesitate to kill her, and if she fails, others will suffer the same fate. Young Adults, teens and adults will love this exciting suspenseful adventure with a dash of romance. You won't want to put it down.


It's true.  What the blurb says above?  You won't want to put this book down.  I sure didn't want to but I expected that going in.  I looked at my day when I started this book and thought it was going to be tough putting the book down when I had to do so many other things that day as well.  If you've read anything by Cindy Hogan, you know that she writes suspense and tension really well.  All of her books, for me, have been fast paced, full of action with killer tension.

I first got to know Christy in the Watched trilogy and now she has developed into a young woman and a first class spy.  It's also true what the blurb above says about the romance.  There is only a dash, much to my frustration.  Christy has her eye on Jeremy but not much happens on that front.  Just a bit of teasing by the writer that makes you want to beg for more.  haha.  The bad guys in this book will give you shivers (not the good kind either).  There are a lot of bad guys!

This book was good fun to read.  I loved the pull the book had and the constant forward movement.  I'll definitely be coming back for the next book when it comes out.  I hope it's soon!

Content:  Some graphic, intense violence, kissing

Enjoy the following excerpt!

"It took me a second to realize it, but Kozlov was speaking in Russian. I flipped my head to Jericho. He clenched his jaw, and a vein pulsed on his temple. He had definitely understood Kozlov’s words. Did that mean that Jericho knew Russian? Did he have a Russian heritage? Were his parents Russian? Or had he been working for Alexander for a while and had taken Russian classes in order to fit in better? That made more sense to me. Besides, it seemed obvious, now that I knew him better, that he was involved with the bratva for the status, the power of it.
The fire in his eyes told me he would find a way to make me pay. Of that, I was sure

I thought Kozlov would leave now that he had laid down the law, but he didn’t. He stood there, waiting to watch Jericho succeed or fail.

I watched, despondent, as the kids we’d come to save were led away with the same hopeless acceptance they’d shown when we’d taken them out of the container in the first place. It broke my heart.

With military-like precision, Jericho ordered the rest of the guards to take up positions along the path to some container that would be our home for two weeks. I glanced at Jeremy. What was going to happen to us? Would Halluis and Ace be able to send someone? And even if they did, how would we be able to get to our would-be rescuers?"

   Cindy Hogan
Cindy M. Hogan graduated with a BA in education and is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. More than anything she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she's not reading or writing, you'll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a great movie or planning their next party. Most of all, she loves to laugh. She is the bestselling and award winning author of the Watched trilogy, a YA suspense series with a dash of romance. She has since branched off to write a mystery, Gravediggers, that won Best YA novel of 2013, a contemporary romance, Confessions of a 16-Year-Old Virgin Lips, and two in a spy series, Adrenaline Rush and Hotwire.


Hotwire

25_Amazon_Paypal

Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/26/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 11, 2014

See Me (Zombie Love #1) by Susan Hatler

Amy Love, a high school junior, plays a Ouija board with friends one night and unintentionally connects with someone whose, well, not visible to the naked eye. When her body’s taken over and her soul is stuck watching helplessly—she’s terrified. When the zombie guzzles bologna that she will have to work off at the gym—she’s angry. And, when her zombied body pulls up a news article on her laptop about a boy named Jonathan Miller who was recently in a car crash—she’s . . . intrigued. 

When the zombie chooses another host, Amy learns that the zombie is actually teen Jonathan Miller, son of the famous Maisy's Meow comic creator Jacob Miller. Jonathan tells Amy he doesn’t know whether he’s dead or alive, only that when he’s not in a body, she is the only one who seems to know he exists. 

Amy decides to help Jonathan discover what happened to him and, when they can’t find his body, they try to find a substitute—preferably one that isn’t occupied. On the journey, Jonathan leads Amy into all kinds of danger. To her surprise, he also leads her heart to somewhere unexpected. She’s always heard of love at first sight, not love at first fright, but how can Amy be falling for a boy she’s never even seen?


I have to be honest here.  When Susan Hatler sent me this book to review, I was all kinds of worried.  I'm not really a zombie lover.  I don't like books that scare me and zombies really aren't my thing.  And Ouija boards?  No, not at all.  So yeah.  I was worried I wouldn't like this book and I wasn't even sure if I wanted to read it.  Then I was worried about telling the author that I didn't like it because I really like her writing and her other books.  I decided to settle in and check it out though because I know Susan writes so well and I've always loved whatever she sends me.  I trust her.  So much worry.  And for NOTHING because I really liked this book!  :)  Phew!!

If I were classifying this book though, it wouldn't really be as a zombie book but more of a ghost book.  If you have seen Ghost, it was kinda like that scene where Patrick Swayze goes into the body of Whoopi Goldberg to communicate.

Amy Love.  (what an awesome name!)  Amy struggles with finding her place in a reorganized family.  She feels invisible, like nobody at home or school cares to see the real her.  One day at school she is "zombied" or taken over by Jonathan, a spirit who can't find his own body.  Amy is kicked out of her own body.  She can "feel"  Jonathan when he is a spirit and the two of them make a connection.

I love how the title of the book "See Me" directly relates to the whole theme of the book.  It includes both main characters and runs on surface level but also delves deeper.

This book wasn't scary at all.  It wasn't creepy or anything.  It was a new twist on an old idea and it was really fun to read.  There was no swearing or sexual content which of course makes me very happy.  I love clean YA books!  And I love Susan Hatler.  I'm going to add this book to my daughter's "OK" reading list because I think she will enjoy it too.