Saturday, December 13, 2014

NEW REVIEW: For the Record by K.A. Linde

For the Record by K.A. Linde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

With Congressman Brady Maxwell up for reelection and journalist Liz Dougherty about to graduate into a promising career, the ambitious couple’s future is brighter than ever. They share a passion for their work…and for each other. But when Brady holds a press conference to officially introduce Liz as his girlfriend, reporters hungry for a scandal bombard her. Now, her every move is under a vicious magnifying glass, and her life feels like it’s falling apart.

On the road to reelection, the passionate bond between the congressman and the journalist gets tested at every stop. Threatened by shameless media sensationalism and jealous exes, Brady and Liz now have to learn to trust each other despite what they read in the papers.

In the finale to USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s sexy Recordtrilogy, Liz and Brady may be setting off fireworks along the campaign trail, but can their love transcend politics as usual?



My Review
My fingers are stuck…

Sometime reviews are hard, but at the same time the whole concept is pretty damn easy. You type how you feel about a book. Simple, right? Wrong. This is one of those time where I'm a little stuck.

I enjoyed this series. Truly. Off the Record left me begging for more, but I would be remiss in saying that I loved the final installment or that it ended as strong as it started. For the Record moved a little too slowly for me. Throughout the story, I thought something was building, subtle hints of drama to come, the big drama climax, but the issues all seemed to just wrap up. Nothing really exploded or came to head; it was a little anticlimactic.

I did love the conclusion, the epilogue and how the entire series wrapped up, but the plot in this particular installment just left me a bit wanting.

Overall, there is something that I truly loved about this series, something that makes me insanely glad that I had the pleasure of reading it. The politics. Wait….what? I don't really do politics, but K.A. Linde commanded this subject and she did it in a way that was fascinating and entertaining. It was great to read something so different for a change and something that the author is obviously very knowledgable about. It was great to step out and find something completely outside of the box. It brought a realism to the story and enhanced the romance. It made me glad I read it.

This particular book may not have been "the one" for me, but K.A. Linde is a helluva writer and I can't wait to see what she tackles next.

READ ON!

View all my reviews

The Record Series reading order:
Off the Record (The Record #1)
On the Record (The Record, #2)
For the Record (The Record, #3)

Monday, December 8, 2014

NEW REVIEW: You Were Mine by Abbi Glines

Gossip is the ultimate currency in Rosemary Beach, but Bethy and Tripp have managed to keep one big secret to themselves.

Eight years ago, Tripp Newark was dating a rich girl he didn’t like and was on his way to Yale—and a future he didn’t want. The only way he could escape his predictable life would be to give up the money and power that came with his family’s name. And that’s exactly what he planned to do. At the end of the summer, he was going to ride off on his Harley and never look back.

That was before he met Beth Lowry.

It was only supposed to be a summer fling. She was a sixteen-year-old trailer-park girl who served drinks to his friends at Kerrington Country Club. They didn’t run in the same social circles. No one even knew they were friends, let alone lovers. Yet, for one summer, Bethy became his entire world.

But he couldn’t give up on his plan. He needed to leave Rosemary Beach, but he vowed he would come back for her.

Problem was, by the time he came back—years later than promised—it was too late. His cousin, Jace, had already claimed the woman he loved. . . .

~~~~~~

Dear Abbi,

It’s me…again. Guess WHAT!?!!! I just finished You Were Mine, and I have thoughts, lots of thoughts. Good thoughts. Bad thoughts. Conflicting thoughts. Reflective thoughts….THOUGHTS!

Your ability to create a world of intricately interwoven characters developed in such a way that people continue to come back for more…and more…and more, is astounding. The longevity of most of your series is a direct testament to your skill as a writer.  A testament to your ability to “spike” your books with something so intangibly addictive that readers can’t help but fuel a need for more. For that, I salute you.

Some of your books are totally me. Some aren’t. Some I love. Some I like. Some…not so much. Despite my personal feelings, I always find something, and I always go in with an open mind. 

That’s exactly how You Were Mine initially took me by storm. My expectations were cautious and hopeful.

At first I was overwhelmed by how much I liked it. The first half was griping, compelling, and for lack of a better word…really, really good. I was caught up in the past as much as I was anticipating the future. There was something so heartbreaking and intense about Beth and Tripp’s relationship. Their story. But more specifically his devotion and unfailing need to protect Beth. His support was unconditional.

Beth kept him at a distance, pushed him away even, but Tripp let her. He gave her what she needed.  Space. Well, the illusion of space. He was happy being on the sidelines, being there just in case she fell, just in case she broke. His actions were nothing short of selfless. I loved everything about their story. If I am just looking at the first half, it may be my favorite book in the series, but things got a little off after that.

The second half slowed down a bit and I found myself getting bored, almost like I was stuck on a plateau. I can’t really put my finger on exactly what happened but the pacing slowed way down and then the ending sped way up. Then...it ended. It ended way too fast. It just ended. I don’t think I was ready. I felt like time was wasted on those slower parts and then we ran out of time.

It didn’t ruin the book for me, and I am convinced fans of this series are going to love Beth and Tripp’s story. Hell, I loved their story. It somehow set itself apart from the others. I love me some Rush and Blaire, but this was just so emotionally raw. I just wish it would have been executed consistently from beginning to end. I felt like all the heart was in the first half, but the conclusion, the closure was rushed. 

The content was there though, and that alone gets five stars.

Abbi, it’s obvious you have more talent in the cuticle of your pinky finger than most people have in their entire body. I know exactly what I’m going to get out of a Abbi Glines book, and that’s good, but at the same time it almost feels like I’m sometimes reading the same story (great stories), but with different characters. 

I'm a fan, and for you I have the utmost respect. I also remain hopeful. Hopeful of reading that book I don’t see coming. That book that’s a game changer.  That book that’s different from anything you’ve ever done before. That book that doesn’t just step outside your box, but blows the whole damn thing up. Because if anyone can do it, it’s you.

Sincerely,

Your reader
~~~~~~

About the Author
Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted booklover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.



You Were Mine by Abbi Glines
Paperback: Atria Books | ISBN 9781476776071 | December 2, 2014 | $15.00
eBook: Atria Books | ISBN 9781476776088| December 2, 2014 | $7.99


eBook  Links

Paperback Links

Find Abbi Online
Twitter: @AbbiGlines
Instagram: @AbbiGlines
Rosemary Beach Club Buzzroom: www.bit.ly/RosemaryBeachClub (will be updated with YWM and holiday content by 12/1)

 Rosemary Beach series reading order:
1) Fallen Too Far (RUSH)  Review     Rush Too Far (Fallen Too Far, Rush's POV)
2) Never Too Far (RUSH)  Review
3) Twisted Perfection (WOODS)
4) Forever Too Far (RUSH)
5) Simple Perfection (WOODS)
6) Take a Chance (GRANT) Review
7) One More Chance (GRANT)
8) You Were Mine (TRIPP) Review


Monday, September 1, 2014

That Boy: New Covers, A giveaway, & an exclusive sneak peek at That Baby by Jillian Dodd


My entire body is shaking with excitement as I type this post. One of my favorite series of ALL TIME has gotten new covers. Beautiful covers. Covers that take me all the way back to February of 2012 when I discovered That Boy and by default, Jillian Dodd. THANK GOD FOR THAT. I have been waiting years, years I say, for this amazing story to continue. Now I can see it, almost touch it. IT'S COMING SPRING 2015!! That Baby not only has a cover, but an exclusive excerpt for me to share!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!! Check out these amazing new covers and don't forget to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of That Boy and That Wedding. If you haven't read this amazing series. Do it. DO IT NOW!

READ ON!!

That Boy (That Boy #1) by Jillian Dodd
My Review

Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo








That Wedding (That Boy #2) by Jillian Dodd
My Review

Links:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo






That Baby (That Boy #3) by Jillian Dodd
Release Date: Spring 2015

Excerpt
I wake up stilling feeling kinda crappy, but I don’t puke! I’m thinking, Thank you, God, but, still, where is Mother Nature when you need her?
Still no period, and I’m starting to believe that maybe I am pregnant. Phillip says that since I am still sick or whatever, that he will unpack, while I watch and tell him where I want stuff.
So we do that.
And I can’t help it. The thought actually crosses my mind that it might be cool if I were pregnant. I know the timing is not right at all, but Phillip is so amazing, so sweet, so good to me. It seems kind of selfish of me to want to hog all that love and keep it for myself. He’s going to be a great dad and a wonderful husband, of that I have no doubt.
And this afternoon, when he drives twenty-two miles to get me what Danny dubs as the best chicken noodle soup in Kansas City, I almost want to cry because I feel so lucky and loved.
We sit at our new kitchen table and eat warm, soft dinner rolls, and the amazing chicken soup together.
I know I look like shit. I haven’t showered or brushed my hair in two days, but Phillip doesn’t seem to care. He still looks at me like I’m the most beautiful girl in the world.
I’m so seriously lucky.
I also seriously have to pee.
It is at this point in my life that I realize Mother Nature has a very warped sense of humor.
My period has arrived.
And I should be relieved. I should be jumping with joy happy.
I should go out screaming, Phillip, it’s okay!!  My period is here!! Lets celebrate!
But that’s not how I’m feeling.
I feel, well, I’m still trying to wrap my head around how I’m feeling. Because the way I’m feeling is a shock even to myself. I’m feeling, um, well, I’m feeling quite sad actually.
I’m feeling let down.
And I have no idea why.
I walk back out to the living room and tell Phillip quietly, “I just got my period.”
He looks kinda crushed, and I just start bawling.
I know most of us women get a little weepy feeling when our hormones are doing whatever it is that they do when we get our periods. I always tend to feel fat, ugly, and sorry for myself. When I went on the pill in college, that seemed to help those symptoms lessen, and I’m lucky that I rarely even get cramps anymore.
But this is more than hormones, this is sadness.
I can’t believe I’m thinking this, but I think I might be sad I’m not pregnant.
And I can see disappointment written all over Phillip’s face. He really looks like he could cry.
I start blubbering to Phillip, “I’m sorry, Phillip, I’m sorry I let you down, I know you wanted me to be, and I wasn’t sure, and now I’m like so sad that I’m not, and I love you, and blabber, blabber, blabber.” I don't even know what I’m saying.
Phillip holds me tight and just listens. When I’m done blathering on, he says, “It’s okay. I’m not mad, but I will admit I got a little excited about the possibility. Maybe we learned something?”
“Like what?” I sob.
“That maybe we don’t need to wait? Like maybe you are ready, we’re ready?”
“Yeah, maybe we are."




a Rafflecopter giveaway

NEW REVIEW: One More Chance (Rosemary Beach #7) by Abbi Glines

One More Chance by Abbi Glines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


BUY LINKS:

After fighting his way into Harlow Manning’s heart—and revealing a side of himself no one had ever seen before—Grant Carter destroyed his own heart by giving in to his greatest fears and doubts. Months later, he’s stuck in a miserable routine. Work relentlessly. Beg his best friend Rush for news about Harlow. Avoid all other friends. Leave nightly voicemails for Harlow, pleading with her to come back to Rosemary Beach. Fall asleep alone. Repeat.

Miles away, on her brother’s Texas ranch, Harlow can’t bring herself to listen to Grant’s voicemails. Though she wants to be with him, and knows he regrets letting her go, she doesn’t know if she can trust him. When he discovered the truth behind her sheltered upbringing, it shattered their relationship, but the secret she carries now has far greater consequences. Can she risk giving Grant one more chance, or will the gamble ultimately destroy her?

Dear Abbi,

So here we are…again. Corresponding after the completion of one of your books….again. A book for which I have but one very important thing to say.

I. WAS. RIGHT!

Damn that feels good!! Right, right, right. I guess what I'm really trying to say is…I WAS RIGHT!!

If you remember, I made a few bold predictions in my review of Take a Chance. Predictions blanketed with my faith in you Abbi, and the direction you'd hopefully take us (i.e. Grant) in One More Chance. I wanted to go there. You took us there. And for the naysayers with their Grant hating nay saying, you will definitely be silenced after reading One More Chance. It's time to give Grant one more chance. This entire book encompasses the idea--One. More. Chance.

Prediction #1

"I personally love the disappointment I felt towards Grant because it left an incredible amount of room for growth, and I can't wait to experience the evolution of his character."

I can now say, without a doubt, that you brought this evolution to fruition in One More Chance. His growth was the ultimate experience and I couldn't be prouder.

Prediction #2

"I know he's capable of so much more. I want to experience the more. I have no doubt that you'll deliver the more."

You delivered the more. Grant was more. The relationship and emotion between him and Harlow was more. The heartfelt and emotional style in which you wrote this book was more. Everything was more.

Prediction #3

"I think the problem here was that I just needed more time with the characters and their story, more time to become involved."

I started One More Chance involved, and I stayed involved. I loved how you didn't drag out the drama between Grant and Harlow. No ad nauseam back and forth. No ridiculous love triangle. It was a story about second chances. You gave Harlow and Grant their second chance.

"I am very much looking forward to what's to come, and I have much faith that those things I felt were missing early on in this series are definitely coming. They're coming!"

They came.

Even though I didn't know, I knew. You did this Abbi. I can honestly say, I am satisfied. Satisfaction you provided. And for that, I thank you! You continue to addict me, and I can't wait for the next ride.

Sincerely,

Your Reader

Rosemary Beach series reading order:
1) Fallen Too Far (RUSH)  Review     Rush Too Far (Fallen Too Far, Rush's POV)
2) Never Too Far (RUSH)  Review
3) Twisted Perfection (WOODS)
4) Forever Too Far (RUSH)
5) Simple Perfection (WOODS)
6) Take a Chance (GRANT) Review
7) One More Chance (GRANT)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABBI GLINES is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of theRosemary Beach, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted booklover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found on Facebook and at AbbiGlines.com. 

"Only Abbi Glines can pull off a heart-wrenching love story like this."
– Tammara WebberNew York Times bestselling author

Another Abbi Glines Favorite








View all my reviews

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NEW REVIEW: Bright Side by Kim Holden

Bright Side by Kim Holden
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

"Dude, I can't even…"


Secrets. 
Everyone has one. 
Some are bigger than others. 
And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you ... 
And some will end you. 

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks. 

They both feel it. 
But they each have a reason to fight it. 
They each have a secret. 

And when secrets are revealed, 
Some will heal you … 
And some will end you. 


My Review

It has been days. Days!! I just can't, but I gotta. But I can't. I must.

Numbness. Feels. Overload.

It's impossible.

Here I go.

I'm going.

Okay.

So.

Maybe it would be best if I started at the beginning.

It all started as a goodreads recommendation….from Donna. Donna. The person I want to hug. Punch in the face. Hug. Punch. Damn you! You owe me valium…and ice cream. After the recommendation, I read the synopsis. Intriguing. I also loved the fact that it only had three reviews. I absolutely love new unknowns. It's like a secret. My secret. I decided to give it a go.

I went.

There's no going back.

These feelings can't be unfelt.

I feel.

Kate Sedgwick may be one of my favorite female characters of all time. Let's face it, female characters usually have the tendency to be….well, they sometimes suck. They're annoying. I usually prefer the male characters. I don't play well with others.

Wait!

Before you revoke my woman card or force me to burn my bra and roar, it's kind of a common occurrence with female heroines. They frustrate. They annoy.

I'm sure the nations leading psychologists might theorize that my "issues" with female characters probably stem from a place of jealousy. Damn straight. They never deserve the guy. My guy. I tolerate them because without them, there'd be no story.

Not Kate. I more than tolerated Kate. I adored Kate. I loved Kate. I was tied to everything she felt, experienced. Her character is unforgettable. This story is unforgettable.

I feel.

Then there's Gus (who I hear is getting his own book), and Keller, and Clayton, and Stella, and pretty much every character in this book.

I. Can't. Even.

The love between Gus and Bright Side. The love between her and Keller. I felt everything. The love was intoxicating. Suffocating. It hurt. It healed.

Sure the plot was predictable, but nothing. Nothing, prepared me for the emotions. I started crying during the last half, sobbed my way through the final chapters, but somehow I ended the book with a smile.

The hurt and emotions didn't cause me to break. I endured. I survived. Each emotion was coupled with humor, wit, an amazing story, and unforgettable characters. Laugh. Cry. Heal.

Embark on this incredible journey.

DO EPIC!

Links:
Amazon
Goodreads

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Review: On the Record (Record, #2) by K.A. Linde

On the Record by K.A. Linde
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Buy link: Amazon

For political reporter Liz Dougherty, election day—a day of looking toward the future and saying goodbye to the past—seems like a fitting time to start a new relationship. But feelings for her former flame still linger...

The sexy second book in bestselling author K.A. Linde’s Record series decides whether it’s better to pick up the pieces and move on...or to pick up right where you left off.


Sometimes I confuse myself….and it's confusing!

Sometimes. I. Just. Don't. Know.

But here is what I do know.

I really enjoyed Off the Record (Record, #1). It gave me a taste of something I didn't even know I craved. It was original. It was well written. It was love discovered on the foundation of lust. It was growth. It was evolution. It was sacrifice. It was….Brady.

It just was.

On the Record was good. It was tantalizingly frustrating. It left me in anticipation for the next installment, but it also left me confused. Confused because I didn't quite enjoy it as much as I did book one. Something was a bit off. Something that didn't altogether leave me feeling the same high I felt with Off the Record.

I'll start by saying that I loved the beginning. It built anticipation. I loved the internal struggles over Hayden, and I loved how I never once felt like there was a love triangle. Not one bit. I know what you're saying, "That's four balls, two penises, a pair of breasts and one really indecisive vagina. I'm pretty sure that makes up the exact ingredients for a love triangle." But it just didn't feel like that. It felt more like two relationships running parallel to each other, but never quite being aloud to cross. Liz compartmentalized them into two opposite sides of her heart. I never felt her vacillating as much as she was trying to move on. It didn't have the annoyance of a love triangle. It was sort of perfect like that.

In the beginning, the pace was perfect, but something about the progression of Brady's character into the story felt off, the flow and development awkward. Brady's whole attitude and feelings seemed to change so abruptly from one interaction to the next. Yet if you really consider the vast amount of time this installment actually covers, it really isn't that abrupt. But it was something I, as a reader, really didn't get to experience. Brady had his own struggles and issues to work through, but it being from Liz's POV we don't get to see much of that progression. His progression.

I also didn't like the whole situation with Clay, especially Liz's abrupt mid-coitus turnaround. First she was. Then she wasn't. Then I was. Then he was. Then the phone was. True, it added for some good angsty drama later and provided elements to move along the plot, but like I mentioned earlier, it just threw things kind of…off.

I'm also still totally confused about what happened with Hayden and Liz in the bedroom. I've read that scene from front to back about thirty times, and I'm totally at a loss. A loss about what's discussed between Liz and Brady later. What she allows Brady to think. How she feels about it in that moment. Does she think that Hayden….? I kept thinking I had somehow misread the scene, or definitely missed something. But I am so confused. It left me wondering if the bedroom scene had been tamed down or edited down, and that would explain…well, it would just explain.

Maybe I'm dense.

Either way. Despite my confusion, in true K.A. Linde fashion, I found myself completely submerged under the weight of my unsureness, angst, and anticipation for hours after I had done reading it. Maybe I didn't like it as much as the first one, but I enjoyed the journey and am excitingly anticipating the next book in the trilogy.

READ ON!

For the Record (Record, #3) by K.A. Linde
Release Date: November 18th, 2014

Pre-Order: Amazon


With Congressman Brady Maxwell up for reelection and journalist Liz Dougherty about to graduate into a promising career, the ambitious couple’s future is brighter than ever. They share a passion for their work…and for each other. But when Brady holds a press conference to officially introduce Liz as his girlfriend, reporters hungry for a scandal bombard her. Now, her every move is under a vicious magnifying glass, and her life feels like it’s falling apart.
On the road to reelection, the passionate bond between the congressman and the journalist gets tested at every stop. Threatened by shameless media sensationalism and jealous exes, Brady and Liz now have to learn to trust each other despite what they read in the papers.



Off the Record (Record, #1) by K.A. Linde

Links:
Amazon

Liz Dougherty has no idea that a single question is about to change her life.

Her first big reporting assignment for her North Carolina college newspaper has her covering a state senator’s impromptu press conference. Brady Maxwell may have everything it takes to be a politician—a winning pedigree, devastating good looks, a body made to wear suits—but his politics rub Liz the wrong way. When Liz’s hard-hitting question catches the upstart senator off-guard, it impresses Hayden Lane, Liz’s editor who feels she’s headed for a promising career as a reporter.

But Liz is also headed into a secret romance with Brady that could destroy both their ambitions. Though he’s a bachelor, potential voters might frown on Brady cozying up to a reporter. And Liz isn’t sure sneaking around is enough for her—especially when things between her and Hayden might be less platonic than she thought.


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