Monday, 4 May 2015

Review: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

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Title: Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

Author: Danielle Younge-Ullman

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Publication date: May 5th 2015

Format: Kindle | 304 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary 

Goodreads


 

Lola Carlyle is lonely, out of sorts, and in for a boring summer. So when her best friend, Sydney, calls to rave about her stay at a posh Malibu rehab and reveals that the love of Lola’s life, Wade Miller, is being admitted, she knows what she has to do.Never mind that her worst addiction is decaf cappuccino; Lola is going to rehab.

Lola arrives at Sunrise Rehab intent solely on finding Wade, saving him from himself, and—naturally—making him fall in love with her…only to discover she’s actually expected to be an addict. And get treatment. And talk about her issues with her parents, and with herself. Plus she has insane roommates, and an irritatingly attractive mentor, Adam, who’s determined to thwart her at every turn. 

Oh, and Sydney? She’s gone.

Turns out, once her pride, her defenses, and her best friend are stripped away, Lola realizes she’s actually got a lot to overcome…if she can open her heart long enough to let it happen.



My thoughts:


Well this definitely was a pleasant surprise.


When I read the summary of this book I just had to read it. Faking an addiction to get into rehab? Sounds like a disaster in the making - meaning it had potential to make a great read.


I'm not an avid fan of the contemporary genres. I mean I read plenty when I'm in the mood, but it's not my go to genre. So I can honestly say I've never read anything to do with rehab or addiction. It really made this read a breath of fresh air since it was so new to me. I never would have thought you could mix so serious of a topic with such a quirky character and a goofy romance thrown into the mix. I was surprised I still managed to take it so seriously.


I will say that Lola was not a likeable character at first. She did so many terrible things throughout the read and had such a bitchy attitude that she had a whole lot to make up for by the end of the book. I have a feeling a lot of people will stop reading because of it - she doesn't seem to be capable of both forgiveness or patience. All I can say is, you have to stick with it to get the full picture. She really does make up for it, I promise.


Not that I found this read to be perfect, I didn't. It had so many flaws that I almost stopped reading myself, but the ending really made up for it in my opinion.


I found Lola to be pretty dense. It was made more annoying by the fact that it seemed to be only because she took so long to figure things out. I do prefer characters to make sense of things over time throughout the read, not in one single epiphany where they make things right with some huge speech. It just makes things more realistic and relatable somehow. It became such a big part of the read, Lola acting out all over the place, that it took so much out of me to stay rooting for her. It all worked out in the end though and I did grow to love her again.


The love aspect of the read was incredibly predictable but no less enjoyable. Sometimes, I'm a sucker for a goofy romance, predictable or no. I loved Adam. So sexy - especially considering he was out of bounds and so smart…yummy. Wade not so much...


All in all this read was enjoyable for me. The main character does make up for her behaviour and I couldn't help but love her again. There were some great messages involved and some lovely characters that made me smile and feel for them.


My rating: 7/10


Danielle Younge-Ullman:

Goodreads | Facebook

Monday, 27 April 2015

Review: Dragons Are People, Too by Sarah Nicolas

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Title: Dragons Are People, Too

Author: Sarah Nicolas

Series: N/A

Publisher: Entangled

Publication date: April 28th 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley | 255 pages

Genre: YA | Paranormal

Goodreads



Never judge a dragon
by her human cover...

Sixteen-year-old Kitty Lung has everyone convinced she’s a normal teen—not a secret government operative, not the one charged with protecting the president’s son, and certainly not a were-dragon. The only one she trusts with the truth is her best friend—and secret crush—the über-hot Bulisani Mathe.

Then a junior operative breaks Rule Number One by changing into his dragon form in public—on Kitty’s watch—and suddenly, the world knows. About dragons. About the Draconic Intelligence Command (DIC) Kitty works for. About Kitty herself.

Now the government is hunting down and incarcerating dragons to stop a public panic, and a new shape-shifting enemy has kidnapped the president’s son. Kitty and Bulisani are the last free dragons, wanted by both their allies and their enemies. If they can’t rescue the president’s son and liberate their fellow dragons before getting caught themselves, dragons might never live free again.

 

 

My thoughts:


I don't know what's going on, but the books I've been reading lately have been really hard to review. It's not that they're bad exactly, it's just that they don't seem to arouse any sort of genuine, heartfelt response to the story - it all seems to be just…meh.


Unfortunately this was another one of those reads. My biggest problem was that the characters felt extremely flat. Kitty was supposed to be one of those young, genius girls who can kick your butt into next week. She's a soldier who works for this dragon community of spies. But in no way did she behave like it. She still behaved too much like a high school student who can't stop thinking about their crush. It got really annoying.


What I loved but also hated at the same time, was the potential in the read. Sani has a really great backstory that's not explored in the slightest and Kitty has a lot of elements to her that could have made such a difference. Her parents for one and their story, but also, her spy level upbringing - I mean, she could have been that character that everyone loves to read about in YA, but instead she came across as too dependent.


At the same time, this book isn't exactly a 'bad' read. There's plenty to keep you interested. I liked all the action and how fast paced everything was. In some ways, that was the problem - it was too fast. There were so many missed opportunities for characters to be explored. But there was enough there for me to stay curious and keep reading.


My rating: 5/10


Sarah Nicolas:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Monday, 13 April 2015

Review: The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman

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Title: The Truth About Jack

Author: Jody Gehrman

Series: N/A

Publisher: Entangled: Crush

Publication date: April 14, 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley | 192 pages

Genre: YA | Contemporary Romance

Goodreads



Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back. 

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.



My thoughts:


What a cute story!


I've fallen in love with Jack. It's official. Where can I get me one of those?


Seriously I thought this book was adorable on so many different levels. Dakota was a lovely character who was really relatable to readers her age or otherwise. She was struggling with what she wants to do with her life - does she really want to go straight to college or to get some travelling done? We've all been there in some way right? 


I loved how artistic Dakota and Jack were. They really complimented each other and it made their relationship so real and easy going. Nothing was forced so it was something any reader would root for in the end. I couldn't wait for them to get together.


What I loved more than anything though, was the idea that friendship comes first. I hate the idea of the 'friend-zone'. So many people talk about how at the root of every relationship is some kind of friendship. I mean who would hate the idea of loving your best friend? Jack and Dakota were friends first and in the best way possible. They shared a connection - they were both artists, Dakota with her sculptures and Jack with his gorgeous pianist fingers. They understood each other, and that's why they worked so much better than most YA couples.


The only problem I had with this read was that I wanted more. And I don't mean that in the good way. At times I thought the read was a little rushed and I wanted to get to know the characters a lot more than the read allowed for. I wanted a little more of a fight and a little more of a resolved ending where the past is mentioned and there's some kind of closure. Especially for Jack. Especially between Jack and Miles, that was intense.


All in all I really enjoyed this read. It's super quick and it'll leave you wanting more for sure. Go check it out.


My rating: 8/10


Jody Gehrman:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Review: Just Pru by Anne Pfeffer


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Title: Just Pru

Author: Anne Pfeffer

Series: N/A

Publisher: Anne Pfeffer

Publication date: March 2nd 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley | 232 pages

Genre: New Adult | Contemporary

Goodreads



"My mother once joked that my dad had wanted to name me Obedience. As if Prudence wasn't bad enough. I was not a Prudence and I never would be."

When twenty-five-year-old Pru Anderson—braless, pajama-clad, and clutching her cat, Chuck—is rescued from her burning Los Angeles apartment, the thing that scares her most is meeting the neighbors. New people make her hide in the bathroom, counting by sevens, but when her home is destroyed, she must turn strangers into friends … or crawl back to the controlling parents she only recently escaped. 

What would her idol, Pepper Hathaway, do? That’s a no brainer: the detective-slash-supermodel heroine from Pru's favorite TV series would take no prisoners while looking fierce in a tankini and stilettos. So when the chance comes to live with her upstairs neighbor, Ellen, a playwright, Pru goes for it.

Thus begin the adventures of Pru, who's never had a job, a friend, or a first kiss. Swept into Ellen's whirlwind life, Pru begins to build her own, as director's assistant for a new play, muse to brooding actor Blake, and possible love interest to adorably neurotic neighbor, Adam. 

Only one thing can derail Pru's exhilarating ride. Well, actually, it's two things—and they're in a car headed straight for LA to torpedo her life. When the past that nearly destroyed her comes calling, who will she be: a Prudence or a Pepper?

 


My thoughts:


What a cute read!


I fell in love with Pru right away, I really did. She's too endearing not too. I just wanted to give her a big hug, pat her on the back and be all 'there,there'. Pru is the character who constantly messes up but has this running commentary that makes it so much more hilarious than it would be otherwise. I was chuckling to myself from the very beginning and mentally urging her on in the tougher situations like with her obsessive parents.


I also loved how both Pru and Adam were so obviously imperfect. Adam was in no way naive like Pru is but he was just as, if not more so neurotic. The mental health side of the read didn't really go into too much detail which was disappointing, but Pru suffers from depression and anxiety while Adam has OCD. They understood each other to the extent of Adam being able to calm Pru down and Pru finding Adam's horror towards any sort of bacteria 'cute'. 


This was a really quick, light and fluffy read that can get you through a bad day.


What I didn't like though, was how predictable it was. You sort of expect it with reads like this - where the book is more focused on humour and a light hearted sort of tone to the read. It's not going to be all roses and sweet things and then the ending is a real downer…it doesn't make sense right? But, more often than not, it means what is going to happen is evident from just a few chapters in. I mean, it was clear to me from the beginning - who was going to end up with who, what was going to happen with Pru's parents and a few other things. It's just a question of details, and the details are where you can actually enjoy the read. Obviously I would rather have just a small doubt in my mind as to what will eventually happen, but it doesn't happen much with reads like this and that annoys me. What's the point in reading if you already know what's going to happen?


Aside from that I still liked this read. To be honest, it was over too quickly for me to get really frustrated with any problems I had. I think it was a nice story to pick up just to waste a couple of hours and distract you from cleaning the house or something equally tedious. 


My rating: 6/10


Anne Pfeffer:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Review: The Virgin Romance Novelist

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Title: The Virgin Romance Novelist

Author: Meghan Quinn

Series: N/A

Publisher: Hot-Lanta Publishing

Publication date: April 2nd 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley | 292 pages

Genre: Contemporary | Humour | New Adult 

Goodreads



Her bosom heaved at an alarming rate as his rough hand found its way down to her soft, yet wiry briar patch... 

Can you say briar patch in a romance novel? What about meat sword? That’s what it is…a meat sword, right, all meaty and sword like, slaying through the inner dungeons of a woman’s dark desires. What about breasts? Do bosoms really heave? 

God, I have no idea what happens when private parts touch. 

I’m a virgin trying to write a romance novel and can’t seem to write past a sex scene thanks to my lack of experience. 

My two best friends encourage me to drop the pen for a while and gain some real life practice through multiple dating facets such as blind dates, online profiles, and random hookups. 

But losing my virginity is proving to be tougher than expected…

 

 

My thoughts:


This is another one of those reads that you have to be in the right mood for. I really wanted something that would just constantly make me laugh - something light hearted and full of quirky characters that get up to all sorts. This was definitely that book to get me out of a bad mood.


I think the only way to enjoy this read is to take it as it's meant to be. It is pretty ridiculous with the things that go on - throwing up, running away from gangs of cats and general hilarious conversations are pretty much what this book is made up of. It was a blast.


I really liked these characters. Rosie made me laugh but she was also really relatable - to a certain extent at least, hopefully no one has to go through what she did! She was an ordinary young woman who wanted to get out there and experience life - she was unsure about her job, where she stood with her friends and most of all, she thought her love life was a disaster. But she took it on the chin for the most part and tried her best to figure things out. 


Even though this was supposed to be a fun read, I did think it needed more substance. Rosie went through potential dates like nobody's business and it just didn't pace well since around 4 happened in the span of one week, each with different guys. I also really wanted to hear more about the other important things in her life - she didn't spend a lot of time with her best friend (aside from Henry) and nothing else was mentioned about the work aspect of the story. I mean, the whole idea was Rosie trying to get experience in order to write a romance novel…but what happened to the actual novel after the experience part was done? I would have liked more.

 

Overall if you want a light, fluffy read that will make you laugh I would recommend this one. 

 

My rating: 6/10

 

Meghan Quinn:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Review: Exaltation by Jamie Magee

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Title: Exaltation

Author: Jamie Magee

Publisher: Alvashia 

Publication date: February 10th 2015

Format: Kindle | Netgalley 

Genre: YA | Paranormal 

Goodreads



Fate is a twisted b*$#@, at least his was.

Was one soul worth the lives of millions? The quandary was one that Rydell King had no choice but to face. No matter the answer, the truth remained—innocence was created to destroy him. She was beautiful…extinguishing her to save his people seemed impossible, and maybe it was. As an immortal, his focus was to destroy the curse upon his people, as he devoured the emotion that bore him—exaltation, no matter the cost. She made him question everything. 

Mercy had never been crueler.

 

 

My thoughts:


Well safe to say I'm really annoyed with myself. I think it would have helped greatly if I'd have read other books by this author to better understand what on earth was going on. Talk about being thrown in the deep end. As it was, I had no clue that this was part of a series, even if it could technically be read as a standalone.


I've never been so confused reading a book. There was so much going on already that I had a hard time grasping all the terms and names of places that were being thrown around. I did start to get the hang of it towards the end but for most of the read I was drawing a blank on a lot of technicalities of the plot.


I have to say though, for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised with this read. Forgetting the fact that I knew nothing about what was going on and it took so much time to get used to the world that this book is set in, I couldn't read it fast enough.


Rydell, I found, was a pretty complicated character and I liked that. He has a past and it comes through occasionally even though he's not aware of it. Others see it though and it makes for some pretty interesting interactions. I thought he worked really well with Raven - his seriousness and experience with her fun loving, quirky personality. They balanced each other out, which, from what I understand so far, is essential to the story.

 

What really blew it for me though, was the hint of a love triangle. I hate love triangles. They just don't work 99% of the time, either because there's too much of a clear choice or the author cops out and kills one of them off or something. I can't stand them. Seeing as I've had a whole book full of Rydell and no one else, I don't like the idea of someone else coming into the picture - I already don't like him. How could I? He's interfering and ruining a good thing. I really hope that's not the case.

 

All in all I enjoyed this book. I would recommend it, but please don't do what I did and start out of nowhere. I wouldn't mind checking out the series from the beginning myself.

 

My rating: 7/10

 

Jamie Magee:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Frenchman - Book Tour & Giveaway

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Hi guys! Welcome to my tour stop of The Frenchman by Lesley Young. Make sure to check out this book on GoodReads and Amazon, enjoy the excerpt and go enter the awesome giveaway.
 
 


Fleur Smithers rarely veers off the straight and (excruciatingly) narrow. So moving to the seaport town of Toulon to live with her newfound biological mother—an inspector with the French National Police—for one year is a pretty major detour.

Son of France’s crime royalty family and international rugby star, Louis Messette, is devoted to his sport, famille and nothing else. But the saucy American he meets one night changes everything. She sparks a desire in him like no other. Possession takes root. She will do as he commands.

Bit by bit Fleur slips into the Frenchman’s realm of wanton pleasure agreeing to his one condition: that she keep their affair secret. She serves up her heart without reservation in the hub of the glittering Côte d’Azur, and the along the soulful Seine in Paris, unaware of the danger she is in. For her new lover’s “family business” will pit her against her mother, the police woman sworn to bring down the Messettes. And by then, far more than Fleur’s heart will be on the line.


Book Excerpt:


 After a moment, when I steeled my resolve, the door opened. 

 Not Louis.

 A man with salt and pepper hair, a nasty scar above his lip and astute eyes, scanned me. “Oui?” he asked rudely.

 I hesitated, but then thought, I’m all in.

 Je suis venue pour voir Louis.

 He scanned me much more carefully, and his dark eyes stopped at the cash in my hand. After his eyebrows rose, ever so slightly, his face relaxed and a side hitched up. He shrugged and opened the door wider.

 I stepped into another foyer, encased in a marble, circular partition. With one last wave of jacked-up energy, I barreled around the wall, quickly scanning the, holy massive, space, hesitating only to admire the incredible view provided from floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere. Gorgeous kitchen, too. I sucked in a waft of cooked chicken. God I missed meat. Pausing to get my bearings—this was an extremely large suite—I followed the faint sound of the television sports game. There was the living room. I spotted a giant flat screen against a wall, blinds tugged down around it.

 My heart was going a mile a minute, my hands shaking. I couldn’t turn back now. I stepped down the two stairs, powered across the empty dining room area, into the living room space, aiming straight for the middle, where . . . my eyes scanned quickly . . . there were others present, two, I think, standing behind one sectional. 

 Ah-ha! 

 There sat Louis, legs wide apart, on a giant leather sofa, a remote in one hand and an empty plate of chicken bones beside him. He was in a pair of track pants and nothing else. To say he was shocked, when he realized the girl standing in front of him was not a cute American announcer suddenly on his TV screen, was an understatement.

 “Fleur,” he exclaimed sitting forward, absolutely no fat bunching at the waist.

 “What the hell is this?!” I shouted at him, waving the cash.

 I watched red sprout in his cheeks as he glanced around at the chilled room, and back on me. His eyes took in the money, and my other hand on my hip. He stood up to his full, mighty height, extra slow, his eyes steady on me. 

 But I wasn’t intimidated. Not in the least. He was way out of line.

 “You know what? In America, you pay—” I shook the wad of cash at him “—after you’ve finished the transaction.” I threw the money at him but it didn’t get very far. It kind of fluttered to the floor. 

 Holy cow. Did I really just say that? That is not what I had meant to say. It just came out.

 Waves of regret rippled through me as he pulled his head back, and his lips bunched up, contemptuous. Disgust spread on his face like ink.

 And who could blame him? There I was, standing in his living room, lamenting the fact he had not bopped me. Oh sweet mercy.


About Lesley Young:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


LesleyYoung

Lesley Young is an award-winning Canadian journalist by day, and obsessive novelist by night. Her debut novel, Sky’s End (Soulmate Publishing, 2013) hit #9 on Amazon’s sci-fi romance paid best-seller list in its first three months of release. 

Not too long after that, she started dreaming up quirky heroines who lose their hearts to extremely powerful, flawed heroes, only to find out what love really is while on a dangerous adventure abroad. She called it the Crime Royalty Romance series, and landed herself a pretty big agent at Spencerhill Associates. Never one to take the obvious path, Lesley ultimately decided to self-publish. She’s never sure who or what will pop up in her imagination next. The Irishman? The Spaniard? The Hawaiian? Anything’s possible, and she loves suggestions (or recommendations of really hot, er, talented, actors to work as a muses).

Stay in touch with her and feel free to forward on decent options at Facebook.com/LesleyYoungBooks and @LesleyYoungBks (note: Charlie Hunnam’s already taken the lead role of The American—#3 Crime Royalty Romance...coming soon!).


Giveaway info:

Lesley has provided a fantastic giveaway, including a $25 Amazon gift card and 20 ebook copies of The Frenchman! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form.




Tour schedule:

 


Check out more at the Tour Page below:



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