Sunday, February 14, 2016

F*ck Love Valentine GIVEAWAY: Win a signed copy of F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Barnes & Noble

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

Well, she’s done it. Fisher has definitely caught me off guard with F*ck Love.

Based on the title, I guess I was expecting the literary version of angry indie chick rock, extremely well written angry indie chick rock, but an anti-love anthem of devastating proportions. I was definitely anticipating a book to tear my heart to pieces; pieces I was pretty sure Fisher would stomp all over. Twice. With heals

That wasn’t this book.

That wasn't this book in all the best ways. I entered F*ck Love with a bad case of anticipatory anxiety. I was afraid that I would be forced prompted to fall in love with something unobtainable. Forced to feel and desire something so badly, only to be denied. She would force me to want. Want something I knew I couldn't have. This is the Fisher way.

But not the F*ck Love way.

What I discovered reading F*ck Love, was an author in a completely different place in her life. It is no secret that Tarryn Fisher's words emulate real life. Her own personal experience breathes life into her characters, a catharsis of even the blackest parts of her soul. Her writing is her vulnerability, and her strength. But F*ck Love contained a glimpse of light that I've never seen in any of her other novels.

This book was emotional and intense, but I didn't feel like my heart was chained to a lead weight drowning in a chasm of anger and bitterness.

Don't get me wrong, that crushing feeling of honest and raw emotion is the very thing I love most about Tarryn Fisher novels, but this was something different all together. This was a reflection of a totally different person.

It was true. It was real. It was Fisher.
"You want to be you," he says.
"And that doesn't offend me."
I felt like she finally gave us her best version of a happy ending.

I was a little indifferent about things that transpired leading up to the end, the book taking an unforeseen turn. Specifically the addition of a secondary character which would unconventionally link this novel with others. This character was definitely intriguing, but something about it just didn't fit with this story. It was definitely creative and unexpected, but something about it lacked cohesion with what I had read up to that point. I didn't not like it, but like I said.....indifferent. I was also left with quite a few unasnwered questions, a few loose ends to be tied up, but instead I was left with a rushed sense of incompleteness.

Even though the main characters of F*ck Love reflected similarities of other characters found in previous Tarryn Fisher novels, the overall feel of this book was unique from anything the author has written before. She consistently uses her ability to weave profound feelings into actual thoughts. She is an artist.

If you are looking for something different in the world of Tarryn Fisher, this is it.
"The truth is often angry."

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Monday, February 1, 2016

NEW REVIEW: Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers Series #4) by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Burn (The Maddox Brothers, #4)Beautiful Burn by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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Fresh out of college, Ellison Edson has fallen through the cracks of rock bottom. While staying in her family’s vacation home in Colorado, her behavior has finally gained the attention of her parents—but not in the way she hoped. Cut off from the millions she’s always taken for granted, and left alone to fend for herself, Ellie spirals further out of control, making a mistake she can’t take back.

Like his twin brother Taylor, Tyler Maddox is a member of the Alpine Hotshots, fighting wildland fires on the frontline. As arrogant as he is charming, Tyler’s nomadic lifestyle makes it easy to contain his relationships to one night. When he meets Ellie at a local party during off-season, her extreme personality and dismissive attitude fascinates him at first, but as his feelings deepen, Tyler realizes that the crippling inner demons of the woman he loves might be the strongest enemy any Maddox has ever faced.

A leap of faith...

I am going to be gratingly honest when I say that after the first few chapters, I was done. Done. Ellison was not a character I wanted to read about. I had no desire to continue. However, I decided that I needed to stop and decompress before doing anything rash. So I did. I set the book aside, and after much deliberation decided that Jamie McGuire has more than earned my trust over the years. I owed her some blind faith. It was time to take a leap.

So I lept.

I lept right into Tyler Maddox.

Next to Travis, I am almost certain that Tyler has to be my favorite Maddox brother. Yes, I just went there. There was a unique softness to Tyler that I never picked up on with any of the other brothers. Yes, they all have huge hearts wrapped in tattoos, but Tyler was different. Tyler is different. He didn't need a woman to tame his wild Maddox ways. He had already grown into that man. In Tyler, being a Maddox wasn't a characteristic, it was a quality.

Ellie took a lot more time to win me over. I realize now that Jamie McGuire very much intended for me to feel all sorts of hostile disdain for Ellie in the beginning. We were suppose to see her at her worst, and it was bad. So bad, it made me not want to read anymore. Definitely a new meaning to the phrase, "rock bottom." I'm so glad I didn't give up. Her growth was amazing. However, since the book encompassed such a huge amount of time, requiring large time gaps between scenes, it was sometimes hard not to see her initial transition as rushed. I kept on having to remind myself about the passage of time.

This was a reoccurring problem for me throughout the book. The big gaps sometimes gave the essence that something was missing, and I missed it. I missed the in between.

I guess it's always a problem of wanting more.

Speaking of more. My absolute favorite part about this novel was the time Ellie spent with the Hotshots. I cherished every moment. I would have loved more, more, more of this. There was so much this book had to include, so I understand things having to be scaled down, but I would have loved more scenes of Ellie and her boys. More scenes of Ellie at the fires. Seriously, I could read a whole book about Ellie and the Hotshots. When they all stood up for her at the bar, I died. I seriously died in a gooey puddle on the floor, and I might have even clapped. I just loved everything about this, them....the whole thing. Loved!!

The end was a bit rushed for me and I seriously could have done without the whole Paige drama, but Tyler and the Hotshots made everything worth it. Tyler's unconditional heart is what made this book so special. Hell, Ellie even won me over in the end, but it was Tyler that held everything together. I'm so glad I lept.


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Saturday, December 5, 2015

New Review: Outspoken by Lora Richardson

OutspokenOutspoken by Lora Richardson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Barnes & Noble

Penny Beck is a girl who says yes when she means no. She keeps to herself, follows the rules, and does what she's told. After a disastrous experience with her boyfriend, she's determined to change from the spineless person she's always been into the strong woman she wants to become. All she needs is a little practice. On a cross-country trip to check on her grandpa, she strives to become bolder and more outspoken with the strangers she meets. Penny's plan is to practice saying and doing what she wants without worrying about what anyone else thinks. Then she meets Archer, an introspective loner to whom she finds herself drawn. She realizes she does care what he thinks, very much. Will Penny be able to stick to her plan, or will she revert back to her people-pleasing ways?


I almost fell....

Throughout the entire story, I was on the precipice of a cliff, coming dangerously close to falling in love with this book. Don't get me wrong, just because I didn't fall doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading Outspoken. In fact, it has been far too long since I've engaged in a good ole contemporary YA-romance. I definitely enjoyed the experience.

At first, the book started off a little slow, I felt like too much was being told to me. I wanted to actually be involved in the story, but once the story finally engages the reader, the momentum definitely picks up.

What was expected to be a story about a character's self discovery ended up being more about the relationship between Penny and Archer. However, I was completely and totally okay with this. I loved the slow development of their relationship. You definitely see something there from the start, but you get to experience it's growth.

There were also some great secondary characters; Penny's grandpa, George Baker (whom I lurved so much), Marissa, Mike...the list goes on. However, it was almost too much. With the addition of so many characters, I felt the author tried to tackle too much in one story. I kept wanting the focus back on Penny and Archer. With so much going on, I felt like some scenes were almost cut short. I was left thinking, "That part's over? What happened?" I can't help but feel that the shortened scenes were necessary in order to address all aspects of the story. I guess I just wished there was more focus.

Even in the end, after the last page, I was left with a bit of disappointment. "It's over?.....It can't be over." It just felt cut short. However, the author should feel proud that she created something special between Archer and Penny that had me craving more, I just wish I would have gotten it.

Definitely a unique YA-experience for those who need a fix.


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Review: Dare Me by Stella Rhys

Dare MeDare Me by Stella Rhys
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Amazon: Free with kindleunlimited



Lake and I never had a chance at normal. She was drop dead gorgeous from day one - our maid's granddaughter who became my mother's spoiled living doll. I hated that girl with all my heart and at the same time, I worshipped every inch of her skin, every word that she spoke. I lived for her and the twisted game of truth or dare we created to feed our f***ed up needs for shock, shame and one-upping each other. Lake was my drug, my bad lifestyle choice.

And I'd fallen in and out of love with her a thousand times till the day she disappeared.


I know I ruined Callum Pike and going back to New York may be the worst decision I've ever made, which is saying a lot. But I'm willing to risk it. I never wanted to leave and now that I can, I'm going back - to be with the man I made, who made me. I know I screwed him up. I know he's hardened and become cold. I know the love we had is gone. But I need him now more than ever and no matter how much it hurts, no matter what kind of sick or satisfying way he decides to torment me, I'm going to fight through it.

I'm going to repent for the way I broke him and I'm going to find the Callum Pike I loved again - even if it tears me apart.


Not your typical 2 star book....

This review has been one that I have been agonizing over for weeks. There are so many pieces of this book that deserve more than just two stars, but in its entirety I was overwhelmed by other aspects that prevented me from truly loving this novel.

The prologued showed so much promise. I was truly engaged in the backstory. I spent most of the beginning wishing that I was able to experience the things I was being told about. Later, we experience some parts through flashbacks, but ultimately the past consisted of nothing more than just a brief glimpse here and there. However, I latched on to these moments and ached for more.

I found myself so caught up in the past, that it was hard for me to be present. It was the origin of Lake and Callum's relationship that had me so engaged. The love, the tension and intensity; this is the type of relationship that great stories are built upon. Their foundation was unique, twisted, full of passion and ultimately my favorite thing about this story. Unfortunately, I just didn't feel the same about the present. I felt more lust and eroticism than I did love, and the drama that transpired after Lake and Callum reunited was generic compared to the backstory.

If the author ever decides to write a prequel, a novel dedicated to the beginning. A story devoted to developing those brief glimpses into the past, I would definitely be the first one in line to read it.


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Thursday, November 12, 2015

SWEET NOTHING by Jamie McGuire & Teresa Mummert

Sweet Nothing Cover


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When you think you know what's happening, you're only half way there.

It is enough to break any man: watching what could have been my future slip away before it was ever in my grasp.  The possibility of losing someone I loved before she was even mine is something I never would have imagined -certainly nothing I'd ever wish on anyone. I went to her every day and waited.  Waited for the impossible, for a sign, for her to look at me ... hoping sinner are granted miracles, too.

Just one glimpse of him was all it took. In the next lane, at a stop light was the man I would fall in love with and marry.  People talk about love that takes time - the kind you fall in to. We were more like a crash and burn. When our lives intertwined I knew I would never be the same.  He was the man I would cherish the rest of my life, who would father my children. In an instant our life together began, and in an instant it would end.  The late nights; the excuses; the lies. And in the blink of an eye, it was like we never were.


Sweet Nothing was nothing like I expected, even while reading I found myself a little stupefied (by the end, a lot stupefied). It started off so strong, I felt a connection to the story, but also a strong involvement with the romance. The pacing of Avery and Josh's relationship was perfect, an instant connection, while still taking its time with development and just the right amount of tension. As the story progressed, it lost some momentum and began to stagnate. At the halfway mark, I felt like I had already read a complete story. This only served to pique my interest, wondering where the story could possibly be going considering it was only half way done. A big shoe was about to drop. The synopsis says it all:
"When you think you know what's happening, you're only half way there."

Even though I didn't see it coming, by the beginning of the wedding scene I had a strong sense of where this story was going. Things were about to get interesting. And they did. At first, it was a little difficult to switch gears that fast. It was such a sharp turn that I felt like I was being pulled into a completely different book. It was a little unsettling, but intriguing at the same time. As creative as I found this new twist, I felt like its development needed more time. Then it ended. It just ended. I was left feeling incomplete. Unfinished. Confused. Then I couldn't help but question my own intelligence, feeling incredibly dense because I didn't "get it." I didn't understand. So what happened? What?

So many questions.

Part of me wondered if that was possibly the intent, leave it open for interpretation, but it was hard for me not to feel like I was missing something. Did I miss something? Perhaps the whole purpose of this book was to mess with my head. And it did. My head is messed.

Very interesting read.


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Sweet Nothing Teaser_One Cent

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About the Authors

Jamie Headshot

Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1. Beautiful Redemption and Beautiful Sacrifice, books two and three of the Maddox Brothers series, respectively, have also made appearances on the New York Times bestseller list.

Novels also written by Jamie McGuire include: Red Hill, an apocalyptic thriller; the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy; Apolonia, a dark sci-fi romance; and several novellas, including A Beautiful Wedding, Among Monsters: A Red Hill Novella, and Happenstance: A Novella Series.

Jamie lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with her husband, Jeff, their three children, three dogs, three horses, and a cat named Rooster. When Jamie is not writing, you can find her hiking, running, or looking for a sweater.

Find Jamie at or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Teresa Mummert Head Shot

Teresa Mummert grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania where she began dating her husband when they were only sixteen years old. They married at eighteen and soon moved to Louisiana as her husband began his military career. They are the proud parents of four children, that they are raising in Georgia.

Teresa began writing when her husband was deployed to Afghanistan as a way to cope with him being away at war. She soon became a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her work includes, the word of mouth bestselling, White Trash Trilogy which landed here a three book publishing deal with Simon & Schuster. She has also written the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel The Note, The USA Today bestselling novel Safe Word, Perfect Life, Pretty Little Things, the Honor Series, Rellik, The Good Girls, Something Wicked, and Sweet Nothing.

Sweet Nothing Teaser_I looked up at him

Sweet Nothing Teaser_My Mouth Crashed Into Hers

Monday, November 9, 2015

NOVEMBER 9 BLOG TOUR: Enter for a chance to win one of five prize bundles!!


"November 9 is yet another breathtaking novel by Colleen Hoover that's full of blushing, gushing, and heartache. I loved every page and breathed in every beautiful word."
—Anna Todd, Author of the After series

Visit (here) for teasers, tour dates and more.

November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?


From the very first chapter, I knew this book was going to be something special. I applaud Colleen Hoover for broadening her writing talent over the years, trying new things, but as I read November 9 I was pulled back to the beginning. The very beginning. I felt this book contained the essence that has been the foundation her fantastic career has been built upon. She knows how to simplify complexities with innate attention to detail and an unrivaled ability to see the beauty in all things. I spent so much time highlighting whole passages, single lines, was inspiring. It may not be like anything she's ever written before, but it is exactly what we've come to expect from Colleen Hoover. Palpable emotions, anger, love. This book has the ability to strip the reader bare, exposing everything. Leaving everything, and staying with you for a very long time. You need to read November 9 with a clean mind. Go in blind. Go in ready. Colleen Hoover novels aren't meant to be described; they're meant to be felt, and I felt every single word. With such high praise, the only reason I couldn't rate this novel five stars was due to the dramatized plot twist. The Ben twist. As I type this, I'm still not exactly sure how I can verbalize why the new realizations effected my overall feelings of the book, I just know that it was a pivotal moment where things did change. I know I will be the minority on this, but I almost felt the book lost something with the plot twist. I think every feel, every experience that was felt up until that point would have been just as perfect without it. Perhaps my emotions just peaked too soon. Perhaps I'm just weird. Regardless, a book doesn't have to be perfect to me to be perfect for you and this book definitely has the potential to be just that. Perfect.


Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, and Confess. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.


Enter the Rafflecopter to win a prize bundle of one signed copy of NOVEMBER 9 and a pair of #November9 sunglasses! (5 prize bundles in total) Contest is open until November 30th.

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