Friday, December 15, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Behind the Bars by Brittainy Cherry


BEHIND THE BARS
by BRITTAINY CHERRY

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.

I was the awkward musician, and she was the high school queen.
The only things we had in common were our music and our loneliness.

Something in her eyes told me her smile wasn’t always the truth.
Something in her voice gave me a hope I always wished to find.
And in a flash, she was gone.

Years later, she was standing in front of me on a street in New Orleans.
She was different, but so was I. Life made us colder. Harder. Isolated.

Caged.

Even though we were different, the broken pieces of me recognized the sadness in her.
Now she was back, and I wouldn’t make the mistake of letting her go again.

When I first met Jasmine Greene, she came in as raindrops.
When we met again, I became her darkest storm.


REVIEW: 2 DRAMATIC STARS
"Music isn't everything."

There is nothing more mentally and emotionally challenging to me as a blogger than to completely disagree with the majority of reviewers out there. But, thankfully, this is an opinion based blog that I get to discuss what I love about books and what doesn't work for me. Normally, this book would have been a DNF based on how I was feeling as early on as I was feeling it, and I wouldn't have reviewed it on the blog, but since I talked it up so much on my Facebook page and provided preorder links for it, I felt that it deserved an appropriate review. While my review is NOT of a popular opinion, as many others that have read it loved it, this is my merely own opinion. This will NOT be disrespectful, and I have really enjoyed a few of the books I have read already by Brittainy Cherry, so I'm not trolling or being rude by giving my opinion. Like I said, it deeply saddens me that I just did not like this book at all.

If intense massive drama is your deal, this book will work for you. There is PLENTY of it in here.
If drama for drama's sake is ok in your book, then this book is definitely for you. It lost me somewhere along the way, but more specifically from 20% on. 

This book had such an amazing premise behind it and the potential was high, but the insane amount of drama and the unbelievable use of many clichés that surrounded the characters' actions, the overall storyline, and their words took away from my being able to enjoy it. The first 20%, I was really enjoying the buildup and the introduction to these characters; the whole 'getting to know you' stage read really very well.....and then, well, BAM. It went downhill dramatically. It was literally one blow on top of another. There was no break in said drama, providing plenty of eye roll worthy moments. But not just actions, things said to each other were just grossly used in a manner that was not endearing at all. My jaw hung many times. I will admit, in between all the crazy drama, there were some swoon-worthy moments, but alas they were severely overshadowed by the ridiculousness that it was just too hard to even recognize or enjoy them.

I lost the connection to the characters and the story at 20% but powered on, figuring it must have been a 'me' thing. By 80%, I was flipping tables (in my imagination) and throwing my iPad (on my soft couch) because the ridiculousness knew no bounds. By the time I got to the end, I was throwing papers up (figuratively) while rolling my eyes. I was honestly so tempted to DNF this one, and I felt that I had no reason to see this through. The amount of head shakes, eye rolls, and WTFs leaving my mouth were just insane. I wrote down all the issues I had, but I won't blast them in my review because it will most definitely take away from the 'element of surprise' or the possible discovery of the story if you do read it.....but I can tell you, for me it wasn't genuine at all. It was really rough and I don't even know how to break it all down without spoiling anything. Between the wishy-washy and horrid characters, the hypocrisy in their words, and the fact that I didn't feel any emotional connection towards the story, it made for a rough read.

I will stand behind my word and will give away a copy of this book since I did a review for it. I personally cannot recommend it, but I know many have loved it and raved about it and I don't want to stand in the way of someone else loving it as well. I am all about the book love, but sadly this one just did not work for me. If you would like to enter for your chance to win an ecopy of this book, please enter on the FB post below.

"Music is the only thing."







~MEET BRITTAINY CHERRY~
Brittainy Cherry has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelors Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing. She loves to take part in writing screenplays, acting, and dancing--poorly of course. Coffee, chai tea, and wine are three things that she thinks every person should partake in! Brittainy lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her family. When she's not running a million errands and crafting stories, she's probably playing with her adorable pets.

~CONNECT WITH BRITTAINY~

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Shear Heaven by Katy Regnery



From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes an all-new twist on a beloved fairytale!

In this "Rapunzel" retelling, Bella Capelli, a hair stylist who works on the 32nd floor of the New York Metro Tower Hotel, meets His Serene Highness Prince Nico De'Medici, in town for the wedding of his twin sister, Valentina. Though the two come from vastly different worlds, and Nico is promised to another, the handsome prince can't seem to stay away from sweet Bella. After a whirlwind week of romance, will they manage to find their happily-ever-after?

SHEAR HEAVEN is a 30,000 word standalone novella based on "Rapunzel." Intended for readers 18+ due to scenes of graphic intimacy.



REVIEW: 4.5 Stars
"Let's not ask for eternity when we have now."

I am at the point that whenever I see Katy has a new fairytale out, I clear my calendar. I have to. Next to her It's You series, this is my FAVORITE series from her and I LOVE every.single.one of the retellings she has done so far. I cannot explain the ease in which she tells a story. The love in which she describes a feeling. The perception in which she makes you fall in love. I love Katy's fairytales. Love. Them. I never roll my eyes at the innocence or the situations, but I read with wonder in my heart. There is such a purity behind her words, a depth mixed with reality, that I don't often encounter and I love it. She just transports me to another world full of innocence, happiness, and love.

This one? It's beautiful, it's simply....magical. I know 'magical' sounds cliché but it's true in this case!! This story was Rapunzel's story, and it was a young at heart, perfectly described version of LOVE, all while maintaining the backstory originally laid out, but completely modernized. Katy is one of those rare authors that can articulate so well in her writing. I think one of my favorite things about her writing is that she is so descriptive in such a way that I can't help but 'watch' it play out. She just makes you remember the giddiness of falling in love. The reason for true love. It's all right here....in her words. Seriously, she breaks it down just like that. I love that she manages to add some heat and swooniness to a fairytale, but it's fitting and so real. There is actual depth to her stories and I love that she can do all that with a fairytale. I promise you will smile!! 

My thoughts: Nico is trying to come to terms with duty vs reality, want vs need, and love vs station, and when Bella catches his eye, it's a beautiful love to witness blooming. Bella struck a chord with him. She made him see colors in a dull world. She brought to life his very breath he needed to exist and I felt so caught up in their whirlwind romance that I was smiling the entire time I read it. I loved the urgency in their feelings, the stolen moments, the secret dates. The need to be around each other and just feel content. It was so sigh-worthy.

"Falling for someone isn't safe. It's...exhilarating and wonderful. And yes, I'd rather have it than not. But you must allow me these moments of sadness. Of knowing that what I have now is so perfect yet so finite."

If you haven't read any of her fairytales, you are truly missing out. If you liked fairytales when you were younger,  you will most definitely like these ones as an adult. Katy adds reality and heat to her stories, while still maintaining the purity of the fairytale atmosphere; something that just makes me smile. I literally wanted to queue the birds, the fluttery hearts, and dance in twirls with my hands placed upon my heart. And all the Italian in this book? I giggle thinking about it, but I read every word with an accent. HAHAHA! I loved this one!! 

While this is a novella, it clearly redefined the term because Katy told a complete story chock full of emotion and wonder. I never felt it was too short (well, I could have kept reading their story!), and I never felt the length took away from the depth of the story. 

All in all, Katy's words feel beautiful and her stories feel otherworldly....as in a fantastical fairytale world. Innocence abounds, love is pure, and the heart is vulnerable. I don't like a lot of innocence in my books, but I love Katy's magical fairytales. I love how she transports me and makes me remember the magic of the truth in love. 

"He tasted those lips, and it had only whetted his appetite further."
~BEE


PURCHASE




~ABOUT KATY REGNERY~
Katy Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy. 

Now exclusively self-published, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled Blueberry Lane Series which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story and Ambler families of Philadelphia, the four-book, bestselling a modern fairytale series, the standalone novel, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and a standalone novella, Frosted. 

Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015, and four of her books: The Vixen and the Vet (a modern fairytale), Never Let You Go (a modern fairytale), Falling for Fitz(The English Brothers #2) and By Proxy (Heart of Montana #1) have been #1 genre bestsellers on Amazon. 

Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

~CONNECT WITH KATY~

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Book Review for Undeniably You by Jewel E Ann

UNDENIABLY YOU
by JEWEL E ANN

One crazy dog—one awkward vet—one naked pool guy—and one life-changing month in California to make friends, fall in love, and twist fate.

Who gets paid to walk a dog and recline by the pool all day? Sydney Montgomery, aspiring museum curator and professional house-sitter, that’s who.

When her aunt and uncle need a house and dog sitter for thirty days in Palo Alto, Sydney can’t turn down the chance to be closer to her sister in L.A. Within twenty-four hours of her arrival, Sydney’s cleaning up runny dog poo, taking an uncooperative pooch to a handsome yet awkward vet, and being rescued from the bottom of the pool by a naked “pool guy.”

Lautner, “pool guy,” has a hot body and a cool persona. With eyes of iridescent blue oceans, he is mesmerizing, sexy, and addictive. What he is not—the pool guy.

Dr. Lautner Sullivan is a college wide receiver turned pediatric resident. He knows how to woo a woman with flowers, pastries, and sweet tea. Lautner is every girl’s dream, but Sydney is not every girl. She’s immune to rainbows, fairytales, pixy dust, and the “L” word.

The attraction is immediate, the friendship is earned, and the love is undeniable. Thirty days is their forever, but forever is not long enough.



REVIEW: 4 Gut Twisting STARS

The power of What If. The validity of FATE
This book had it in spades. 

This review feels very ADHD to me because I had SO many thoughts and so many comments on my kindle, and I just threw them in here. I am going to try to make some sense of my jumbled thoughts because I loved this book. I loved the journey; oh man, did I ever love it!! I loved the characters, flaws and all. And let me tell you, the heroine in this book was flawed in her thinking and in her personal mentality. That's always hard to read, but for once, I was able to connect with her because of her insecurities and flaws and I hope that YOU will be able to as well. There is just something about Jewel E Ann.....her words evoke emotions, her stories move you and your thoughts, and her characters are so worthy of your time. The depth in which she tells a story does not go unnoticed by me at all. She is easily becoming one of my favorites....a 'dessert' of sorts. You know how you save the best for last so you can savor it? I am savoring my reads that I have left of hers, but I am equally excited to jump into her back catalog.

Let us discuss this book, but let me tell you about the chemistry first. It was INsane. Absolutely insane. Like, top notch, grab your honey, INSANE. And hot? Yes, very hot. But you know what I giggled at?? It was all by chance/fate/happenstance! I am a firm believer in fate, and this entire story was based off chance/fate/happenstance and so it made my little heart swoon. Whatever you want to call it, just listen to it, and when divine intervention stands in front of you and pushes you somewhere.....just listen. fall. go with the flow. After reading this story, I couldn't sigh enough. I loved it. I really did.

Sydney, I feel, had a very good head on her shoulders. She made wise decisions. She had goals she was going to attain. She had direction in her life and didn't let anyone or anything stand in her way. In other words, she was stubborn beyond belief, hard-headed, and quite driven. Unfortunately, with these.....ahem, attributes, she sort of got hung up on some 'issues'.  From the outside looking in, we can easily get mad at her decisions. We can pass judgement and we can turn up our noses. It's easy. But her insecurities and flaws are what made me be able to connect with her better. Seriously, if I thought about it....she was able to mentally rationalize it all in her own little warped mind as to why she was doing/not doing something and so I was along for the ride. I needed to see this one through because the powers that be had other things in store for her.

Lautner, ooohmygosh. I am pretty sure I have a new book boyfriend to be listed in my favorites. I sought out his every thought, his every word, his every action and reaction to anything Sydney said and did. Painful, or not, their emotions were real. He knew. He knew and he fought and he tried and he went through hell and back. The trials and tribulations he went through in this book broke my little tiny heart. (I hear it's two sizes too small) I love when a man is a man, but knows how to fight for his woman, but he's also flawed. He also has his breakdowns and needs to own up and fix them. I mean it when I say these characters had depth and vulnerability down.

I am completely smitten with her wordsmithing. I love the way she weaves a story together and takes me on a journey; one that I am not going to forget anytime soon.

This book was very memorable. It left me raw and heartbroken at 61% and I wasn't too sure I was going to be able to continue on, but that seems to be a theme with Miss Jewel, because she has done this to me a number of times now. And maybe, that being her MO, is what is constantly pulling me back. I know that she can jack me up, but then put me back together again, fully and wholly.

I loved this book. I loved how jacked up it made me feel. I loved the angst. I loved how easily I connected with Sydney, but also how mad she made me!!! The one thing I have to say first and foremost is that we did NOT get a perfect heroine. She was truly YOUNG and FLAWED, she made irrational decisions, she was stubborn.....yet so.very.relatable.

I love a book that renders me useless...one that completely captivates me and makes me push everything aside so that I can just be consumed by the characters and the storyline, the feelings and the emotions.

Oh my gosh....the emotions in her words. The angst in her story. The love in her pool boy. OMG. Be still my heart. I felt every single emotion you could possibly feel with this one and I am so in love. I have read three books by Jewel now, and I have to say she is a win for me every time. I have read her recent ones, and this one is one of her oldest, and while there are very obvious differences in her ability to tell a story, the angst she throws out in every story I have read, it's amazing. I know I am a seeker of angst, I am sure it's written somewhere. She set this....tone, this setting, that was just fluid in the story. I know that things weren't always easy, but she set this tone that had me clenching my stomach and biting my nails nonstop.

Right after I finished this one, I couldn't form rational sentences because the 'what if's' were aplenty and when an author makes me think so much about a book after I've finished it, that tells me something. Like I said, I have read Jewel's newest newest books, so going back to her first ones and reading them, I can see she has always had a knack for amazing men, deep characters, and angsty storylines, but she has obviously had a good foundation to start from. I truly enjoy her words and the stories she gifts us with. I can't wait to read more by her.

~BEE

PURCHASE: 
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2kpg6ap


~MEET JEWEL E ANN~
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree a a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course . . .heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

~CONNECT WITH JEWEL~

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Book Review and Giveaway for Etern1ty by Erin Noelle

ETERN1TY
by ERIN NOELLE

Numbers.
They complete me.
Nothing makes sense without them, the building blocks of logic.
A math teacher by day, a statistics doctorate student at night, my obsession to solve problems is constantly fed.
I'm exactly where I want to be in life, no unknown variables or unsolved formulas.
Until I meet her.
Lyra.
The woman beyond the numbers.
How can I stay away, when everything about her draws me in?
But how can I fall in love, when she won't promise me eternity?



REVIEW: 4.5 STARS
"Clarity is often easiest found in the chaos."

This series is the very reason I know I need to expand my reading palette. I only went into this one because of the synopsis and the knowledge that it was Erin Noelle. But since I had previously enjoyed her writing in the other two books I read, I knew I could trust her with my hesitant mind. Erin's smooth with her words, and her storylines flow. She's an easy read, guaranteed. However, this time with the subject matter being 'other worldly', I knew that it was going to stretch my imagination beyond it's comfort levels. I am so thankful to her for that, and I am glad I read this one. Tavian and Lyra's love is not one soon to be forgotten.

These characters had their own quirks, their own lives, their own problems they lived with. When they were thrown together by fate, the world started to make more sense and you could feel that instant calming of their world around them. The total arresting charisma that Tavian had, he was just magical to me. He embodied the perfect man: gentleman, alpha, dirty talker, protector. He was strength personified, and that made me fall even harder for him. He had a certain confidence in his love for her that was so sexy to read, you can't help but swoon while taking this journey with them. And the way he protected her and loved her? He loved her with every part of him. E V E R Y part of him. And Lyra, for all that she went through as a young girl, to everything she tried to deal with as an adult, she was a tough one living the only life she knew how....and that wasn't living. 

"The instinct I feel to protect her is rivaled only by my overwhelming desire to corrupt her."

There was a lighter feel to this book. The tone was definitely lighter, but the need and desire between Lyra and Tavian did not go unnoticed. Between her innocence and his dirty mouth, I was smitten with these two. With all the drama of book one, book two was a nice smooth transition into life with a newfound knowledge of what it meant to love with your whole heart, and to live life with that love by your side, guiding you every step of the way. I loved how she wrote this one, and the progression of their story was easily followed given the way she wrote and titled each chapter. This book had a sigh-worthy love that literally made me swoon. 

I just.....gosh, I don't know what to say. She arrested my mind and hijacked my heart. I was bound to these two and their journey, and I didn't want it to end. It read so quickly and so smoothly; I looked up and I was already halfway done. I was shocked, but the story just sucked me in as I devoured it. This one was so unique, and with these two facing such turmoil and uncertainty, the calm and the chaos in their life was calmed by each other's love. You could feel that in Erin's words. This was the perfect ending to their story and I really loved it. 

"Your love is my anchor. Your trust is my strength. And I will give you all of me from now until the end of eternity."
~BEE


PURCHASE EXP1RE:
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2zh4KL3

My review for Exp1re: http://bit.ly/2hEOOZo
PURCHASE ETERN1TY:


◆     ◆     ◆     ◆     ◆     

~MEET ERIN NOELLE~
Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. In 2013, she published the Book Boyfriend Series, which included books Metamorphosis, Ambrosia, and Euphoria. Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and/ or the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

~CONNECT WITH ERIN~

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Check out Erin's books HERE.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway for Darkness Matters by Jay McLean


DARKNESS MATTERS
by JAY MCLEAN

It’s the same old story, really.
Good versus evil.
Heroes versus villains.
Light versus dark.
For two years, college freshman Noah Morgan lived his life somewhere in the middle, fighting darkness and light, always searching for answers to a single question:
Why, Noah, why?
The same three words keep him up at night, struggling for air while gripping a plastic cylinder containing white pills to match the white label with his name printed in ink as deep and dark as his memories—memories that turned him into a recluse.
A shut-in.
An introvert.
Luckily for him, that’s not how the girl next door sees him.



REVIEW: 5 STARS
"I learned that sometimes, there is no reason, and there are no answers. There just is."

Quirky isn't the right word for this author's style of writing, but while I search for the perfect one I'm needing to describe it and the amazingness that is this story, lemme tell you my thoughts. First of all, I felt like I was in a dark room, sitting on a lone chair, with a swinging bulb, illuminating me as it swung by. That was my vision because while she gave us tidbits of information, I felt like I was sitting in the dark waiting for that light to swing back my way, in turn, shedding some proverbial 'light' on this mystery I was reading. This book, this story....it snuck up on me. It quietly kidnapped my mind. Quietly. Effortlessly. This was a one-sitting read, and I was blown away. You guys: Blown. Away. This book was fanfuckingtastic.

IF this wasn't Jay McLean
And IF I hadn't read her before
And IF I wasn't anticipating some epic twist, I don't know that I would have kept reading this one.

Not that it was a bad story; not even a little bit.
Not that it was poorly written; on the contrary.

It would have been because I don't honestly know many authors that would have been able to hold my mind captive for that long, keeping me turning the pages, with very little to go on throughout the entire story. It was just one massive mystery that pulled at me, but I couldn't stop reading it if I tried. I was really intrigued. I was super curious. I wanted to know, but I wasn't sure how long it was going to take to decipher the story I was reading. I almost felt strung along, but I was going willingly. I will be honest, this book is best gone in completely BLIND. Avoid the spoilers, look past the naysayers, enjoy this book for everything magical that Jay's words can bring you. This one was a well told story that was so in-depth, yet it continually piqued my curiosity the more I read.

That ending? I am still on the fence about it, but I feel sated. This is also where I take the opportunity to see where McLean was trying to take this book. And for that very reason alone, it makes me love her writing that much more, especially since I am fairly new to her. I don't necessarily need a buttoned up, following the ABCs, bullet-pointed HEA. I can go with non-traditional, forward thinking, thought provoking ones because sometimes the idea of being able to ponder what happens is sometimes a very fun thing to do. This was one of the slowest burning stories I have read in a long while and it consumed me. I want to talk about this one...discuss it.....debate it. I want to seek more answers. I want to hear more of their story. I want to love on Noah and Andie so much more. My gosh. I feel like I am reeling right now.

One of my favorite things about this book was an unexpected, soul crushing, eye-opening moment that tore me up. Damn you, Jay, that got me good right in my little heart. 95% in, and I gasped. I may have welled up a little even. I am completely speechless.

This title has a profound meaning. I think my heart has been forever altered.

Brilliant. That's the word I was looking for to describe her writing.....brilliant.

"Say something beautiful."
~BEE


PURCHASE:


~MEET JAY McLEAN~
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

~CONNECT WITH JAY~

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