Monthly Archives:: April 2015

Apr 30

Review * Wild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart

Reviews 1 ★★★

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

Review * Wild Hearts by Jessica BurkhartWild Hearts by Jessica Burkhart
Series: If Only...#4
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Not in the Script, Everything But the Truth
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Brie Carter's father's land development business has taken her family all over the world, but as soon as they arrive at their new home in Lost Spring, Wyoming, the town turns out to protest. They don't want a new hotel if the resident mustang population will be displaced or hurt as part of the deal. Then Brie meets Logan, a gorgeous local who has a special connection to the mustangs, and she is immediately drawn to him . . . and the horses. However, with Logan's father leading the protests and Brie's father refusing to budge, it's clear that their parents are heading towards an all-out war. Can Brie and Logan find a way to save the mustangs and be together? Or is their love doomed from the start?

What I Thought…

• Cowboys! Horses! Conflict! What’s not to love?

• I don’t read too many books set in the west with cowboys and this one has me thinking I should make more of a point to do so. I loved the setting of Lost Spring, Wyoming, and all it’s small town glory and togetherness.

• The center of the plot revolves around a group of wild horses being displaced as Brie’s dad works on building a new hotel that will bring in money for the town. It’s a catch-22 for the town of course because the money it will bring in is great, they love their wild horses.

• Brie and Logan are drawn together and are cute, though things happened super fast between them and it’s not as Romeo and Juliet as it seems. Their dads are fighting against each other, but are not completely unreasonable. The relationship drama is minimal.

• I love that Brie and Logan come up with a plan on how to save the horses and work on it to show their fathers that there is a solution. The plan had one downside that made me sad though. View Spoiler »

Overall I enjoyed Wild Hearts.

Kimberly


Apr 29

Waiting on Wednesday * May Releases

Waiting on Wednesday 1

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine to highlight upcoming releases.

Today I’m waiting on some May releases.

Nowhere But HereSeventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she’s curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn’t mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They’re the good guys. They protect people. They’re…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club’s most respected member—is in town, he’s gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it’s his shot at his dream. What he doesn’t count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.


PS I Still Love YouLara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.


Under the LightsChase Sanders’s life has taken a lot of crazy turns lately. But returning to his hometown to help his old coach keep his high school football team afloat might be the craziest thing to happen to him yet. That is, until he starts falling for the last person he should—Coach’s gorgeous daughter…

Kelly McDonnell learned the hard way that cocky, charming men are nothing but trouble, so she knows Chase is bad news. Still, she can’t resist his smile—or the rest of him. But when his loyalty to her father conflicts with their growing attraction, any hope for a relationship might be blocked before it can even begin…

Kimberly


Apr 27

Review * Wild Heat by Lucy Monroe

Reviews 1 ★★★★

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

Review * Wild Heat by Lucy MonroeWild Heat by Lucy Monroe
Series: Northern Fire #1
Published by Forever on April 28, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Sometimes old flames are the hottest of all . . .

In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it's impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit—and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there's a pain in Kitty's gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core, and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again—even if it means taking on her demons as his own.

After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming—more everything—he's impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they're reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn't come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can't help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .

What I Thought…

• I love a good small town romance, and it’s an extra bonus that it’s a rekindled romance as well. Wild Heat has everything I look for in small towns, a few quirky residents, everyone knows everyone’s business and they are protective of their own.

•Kitty is returning to Cailkirn, Alaska after a long absence, fresh from a divorce from her abusive husband and battling problems of her own. Wild Heat is as much about her and Tack coming together as it is Kitty finding Kitty again. Her ex-husband was physically and emotionally abusive, to the point where her already precarious eating habits turned into an eating disorder.

• I was happy to see that Wild Heat focused more on Kitty dealing with her eating disorder and less about her ex-husband. He does make a brief appearance (which to be honest could have been left out) but other than that he is only referenced in terms of what Kitty is dealing with.

• Kitty’s eating disorder was front and center and we not only got to see how Kitty was getting better but also how her aunts, Tack and other loved ones reacted to her eating habits. There hearts were in the right place, but you can’t just force someone to eat (in fact that can be quite dangerous). I thought it was wonderful how Kitty worked through her issues with eating and how to handle her loved ones so they understood how best to help her.

• Tack was absolutely delicious. He struggled to separate and deal with his old feelings for Kitty with his new feelings for her, but always had her best interest at heart, even if that meant it wasn’t him that she needed/wanted. He was hilarious at times and I loved watching him with his brother and friends and their banter back and forth.

• It goes without saying that Kitty and Tack make a good couple, and you can tell right from the beginning when Tack doesn’t press her to talk about her eating disorder but rather lets her talk about it in pieces.

• Wild Heat was all sorts of steamy!

Overall if you like small town steamy romances, Wild Heat is for you!

Read more »

Kimberly


Apr 23

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne

Reviews 2 ★★★★

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

Review * Trouble From the Start by Rachel HawthorneTrouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Published by HarperTeen on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti, Trouble from the Start is a sweet and romantic read about a good girl who falls for a bad boy.

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can't seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn't bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?

A companion novel to Rachel Hawthorne's paperback original The Boyfriend Project, this title is perfect for fans of summer beach reads and sweet treats.

What I Thought…

• I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. Avery is your typical good girl and Fletcher your more than meets the eye bad boy.

• Avery is ambitious and strives to do well in school and do the right thing. Even though this makes her sound like a goody two shoes, she’s not. She is overly afraid of disappointing her parents and not always very good at standing up for herself.

• Fletcher is seen as a bad boy by the school but isn’t as bad as he seems. He has a lot of home issues, which is how he comes to live in the apartment over the garage of Avery’s house. Despite all his issues he is very easy to like. I really like that he’s had some issues in school, he is already a year behind and still might not graduate this year. Hawthorne handles these issues fairly well and shows that there are people who are willing to help you graduate, even after you dug yourself a pretty big hole.

• I absolutely LOVED Avery’s parents. They around, they were involved (but not too involved) and they weren’t crazy. They were just your typical run of the mill parents, which is why I loved them so much.

• Avery and Fletcher were cute together, even when they were fighting it. I wish Fletcher had given up his “I’m not good enough for you” thoughts a bit sooner, but no big deal.

• The only thing that was off for me is at the very end Avery and Fletcher are of course together and all of a sudden there are I Love You’s everywhere. I teach at a high school and I know that they do tend to overuse/misuse I Love You, but it just didn’t fit for Avery or Fletcher.

• I’m very curious about Kendall and Jeremy. We don’t really get to know them too much in Trouble From the Start (other than the fact that they are all over each other) and I am waiting to see what happens with them in The Boyfriend Project.

Overall I really enjoyed Trouble From the Start. It’s a cute summery romance that won’t let you down.

Kimberly


Apr 21

Top Ten Tuesday * Favorite Authors

Top Ten Tuesday 6

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Favorite Authors

This topic choice is just CRUEL. But I’m sticking it out anyway because I haven’t done one in awhile and this should be a fun topic. My criteria for favorite authors is going to be who I like at this moment in time, rather than all time.  In no particular order…

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.34 PM

1. Jill Shalvis

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.47.47 PM

2. Molly Harper

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.24 PM

3. Kasie West

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.03 PM

4. Rainbow Rowell

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.15 PM

5. Katie McGarry

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.08 PM

6. Richelle Mead

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.44.29 PM

7. Michelle Smith

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.45.14 PM

8. Jennifer L Armentrout

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.43.51 PM

9. Kristan Higgins

Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 4.43.56 PM

10. Emery Lord

Kimberly


Apr 20

Review * The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Reviews 1 ★★★★★

Review * The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie WestThe Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Published by HarperTeen on May 5, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

What I Thought…

• The Fill-In Boyfriend is my new favorite Kasie West book. Might even be my favorite book of the year (it’s only April so it’s a little too early to say for sure).

• I love the pretend boyfriend/girlfriend plot line. It never gets old and it’s always fun.

• Gia does so much growing throughout the book, and that’s what makes this my favorite West book. At the beginning Gia is pretty superficial, she’s too embarrassed to tell her friends that her long distance boyfriend Bradley bailed on her (they don’t all believe she had a boyfriend) and that’s why she gets a stand in.

• I adored Gia’s Fill-In Hayden. He’s a nice guy (obviously, since he did the fake boyfriend thing) but also funny and not quite perfect. He has a complicated ex-girlfriend/ex-best friend thing going on.

• Hayden’s sister Bec was awesome (and I seriously hope that West decides that she needs a book). Her and Gia start to become friends and I enjoyed watching them do it as they are so different.

• Gia’s other friends suck. She feels that she can’t even tell them that Bradley dumped her before prom so obviously they aren’t true friends. This was one of my favorite aspects of the book, watching Gia and her friends as their friendship changes. The way West handled their friendship was absolutely perfect, which made the book even better.

Overall this is my FAVORITE Kasie West book to date and one I have definite plans on rereading!

Kimberly


Apr 16

Review * Hold Me by Susan Mallery

Reviews 1 ★★★

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

Review * Hold Me by Susan MalleryHold Me by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #16
Published by HQN on April 28, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Also in this series: Until We Touch, Kiss Me, Thrill Me
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that's calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn't. Her temporary assignment with the Fool's Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what'll happen if she does.

Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker's cool facade is a woman who needs more than he's ever given. With her, he's ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.

What I Thought…

• I love this little small town and watching characters I’ve already come to know while learning the stories of new ones. Fool’s Gold is a great place to come back to and I’m glad I came back for Kipling and Destiny.

• Destiny moves around a lot for her job and has recently come to Fool’s Gold, accompanied by her half sister Starr, whom she is now in charge of. Destiny and Starr’s father isn’t apart of their lives, hence Destiny being responsible for Starr.

• I liked Kipling a lot. He was easy going, and even though he couldn’t run the ski slopes anymore he didn’t overly mope about it. Destiny was a little harder to click with as she spent a lot of time working on being not attached to anything.

• Starr was one of my favorite characters in Hold Me. She had a fair amount of angst, but what else is to be expected when no one seems to want you. Her and Destiny have some struggles but I loved how they worked them out with some guidance from Kipling.

• The biggest reason why this isn’t a 4 or 5 star read is this: View Spoiler »

• The other reason is other than the subplot with Starr, I didn’t really care about the other ones. The putting together of the search and rescue program didn’t interest me nor did the issues with Kipling’s bar.

Overall Hold Me is a cute story, and worth a read, so long as you can set aside some of the unrealisticness of Destiny’s thoughts. (If that makes any sense).

Kimberly


Apr 13

Review * Play On by Michelle Smith

Reviews 0 ★★★★★

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

Review * Play On by Michelle SmithPlay On by Michelle Smith
Published by Spencer Hill Press on April 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 296
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
five-stars
In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek--he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything--maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.

What I Thought…

• Play On almost broke me. When I first requested Play On I thought it would be a cute sports romance, but it turned out to be so much more. So many feels!

• I wasn’t sure if I would like Austin at first, he’s a bit cocky about his baseball playing abilities, but he has enough positive qualities to outshine that fault of his (plus faults make him more real).

• Marissa on the other hand was easy to like. She was cute and funny and generally easy going.

• Play On was narrated by Austin, which is a nice change from the typically female narrated or dual narrated contemporaries.

• Play On deals with mental illness, which I didn’t know going in, but made the book much better than the cute romance I thought it was going to be. I wish there were more books like this that addressed mental illness in some capacity, they are badly needed in the world.

• Everything that Marissa is going through made me ache for her and want to help her wish her problems away. Seeing Austin and her parents struggle as well absolutely broke my heart. There was a lot of heartbreaking going on.

Overall everyone should read Play On. It tackles a serious issue while still having humor and fun.

Kimberly


Apr 12

Sundays in Bed With… the End of Spring Break and Books!

In Bed With... 1

SIB

Sundays in Bed With… is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed!

Today marks the final day of spring break and that makes me both sad and happy. Sad that my week off work is over, but happy as it means that the end of the school year is only a eight weeks away! I had a great spring break though, so no complaints. My dad came to visit and do a few home projects, though of course, more popped up! We also went to DC to see the Cherry Blossoms and Arlington Cemetery, both of which were fantastic in there different ways.

Paper or Plastic False MemoryToday I will be spending time with Paper or Plastic and False Memory. I should be able to finish Paper or Plastic. I had a hard time getting into it at first, but it’s really picking up and I think if I wouldn’t have had company this week I would have finished. Started False Memory, but I’m only 1 chapter in so I don’t really have any opinions of the book right now.

What are you reading today?

Kimberly


Apr 09

Review * Broken Open by Lauren Dane

Reviews 0 ★★★

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

Review * Broken Open by Lauren DaneBroken Open by Lauren Dane
Series: The Hurley Boys #2
Published by HQN on November 25, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add to: Goodreads
three-stars
Beyond passion. And beyond their control…

Five years ago, Tuesday Eastwood's life collapsed and left her devastated. After an empty, nomadic existence, she's finally pieced her life back together in the small Oregon town of Hood River. Now Tuesday has everything sorted out. Just so long as men are kept for sex, and only sex…

Then she met him.

Musician and rancher Ezra Hurley isn't the man of Tuesday's dreams. He's a verboten fantasy—a man tortured by past addictions, whose dark charisma and long, lean body promise delicious carnality. But this craving goes far beyond chemistry. It's primal. It's insatiable. And it won't be satisfied until they're both consumed, body and soul…

What I Thought…

• I have a weakness for contemporary romances featuring families. I love the family elements and seeing my favorite characters grow and change as each book comes out. Broken Open is the second book in The Hurley Boys series and I couldn’t love this family more.

• This was a bit of a different read for me, I don’t do a lot of rock star romances, but this one was really good.

• I loved Ezra and Tuesday. They were a good match for each other and could help each other work through the pain that they had. In Tuesday’s case it was her late husband and his crazy family, in Ezra’s case his former addiction.

• I can’t remember if I’ve read a book where a character was a recovering drug addict (so I suppose it’s safe to say I haven’t) and I though Dane handled it really well. Ezra still thought about his former addictions, but wasn’t even close to relapsing. His story about how he finally got into rehab broke my heart.

• As an interracial couple Tuesday and Ezra have more to deal with than the average couple. I liked how Dane worked that into the story without it overwhelming the story. Also it sucks that people are asshats.

Overall I enjoyed Ezra and Tuesday’s story, but I am super excited to read Back to You which is about Vaughan and Kelly rekindling their relationship.

Kimberly