Monthly Archives: September 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Diverted Heart by Beth Ann Stifflemire

divertedheartbanner

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Diverted Heart blog tour stop! I’m honored to be part of this blog tour. So, keep reading for my review!

Title: Diverted Heart

Author: Beth Ann Stifflemire

Published by: Waldorf Publishing

Length: 125 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult Romance

Source: Publisher via Enchanted Book Promotions (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤

 

book blurb

Texas summers are no doubt some of the hottest you’ll find. The heat encountered during this summer is not at all what Taylor bargained for. She’s at a crossroads between childhood and womanhood, rummaging through the emotions of first love versus passion. Two young men tangle a web of needs and desires in her heart. The summer before college begins, Taylor is thrust from her childhood home in Houston to an inherited family farm on the outskirts of Schulenburg, Texas. Eric, her first love, has gone states away to play college football. Low-spirited and merely trying to get through an expectantly boring summer, she is nearly run off the road by her new country neighbor, Maxwell. Ruggedly handsome, devilishly charming and everything Taylor seeks to avoid, Maxwell does something to her emotions she’s struggling desperately to interpret, as they spend the summer filled with each other. Boundaries are tested and the scales of lust tip despite hesitations. A final decision must be made. Did she ever truly love Eric? Is Maxwell simply a lustful thought, or is there more to uncover beneath the surface? One thing is for certain, this summer will change Taylor in every possible way: mind, body and soul.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The cover is what initially got my attention. It just gives the feeling that this is going to be a sweet romance, which I am ALWAYS in the mood for. Then, I read the book blurb. Some people may hate love triangles, but I actually love them. So, yeah, I HAD to read it.

WHAT I LIKED

The plot. I really like stories where a woman has to decide if she belongs with her first love or a new love. Depending on the story, it can go either way. In this one, Taylor loves her high school sweetheart, Eric, who she is currently in a long-distance relationship with, but she is also falling for her new neighbor, Max. And I very much enjoyed seeing her conflicting emotions, which were so realistic. She is growing up and moving on with her life and must decide if Eric is part of her future or if he is just part of her past. And I think we all reach that point some time in our lives. For many of us, our first loves are just that: our first loves. But, for the rest of us, our first loves end up being our one true loves. So I just loved that this felt so authentic, like it could happen to any of us…and probably has for a lot of us.

The ending. I will not give anything away. But I will say that it was PERFECT. No, I am not exaggerating. If I could imagine an amazingly flawless conclusion to this book, that would’ve been it. And I am so, so happy that it ended that way. Kudos to the author!

WHAT COULD BE BETTER

It felt rushed. My eBook copy of the book is only 125 pages, which is usually too short for a full-length novel in my opinion. But I kept an open mind. However, it did feel way too rushed for me. There were certain scenes that I just wanted more of. I wanted more detail and more dialogue. I think that would’ve helped me feel more connected to the book and the characters.

Not enough depth. This goes hand-in-hand with what I said in the previous paragraph. I just felt like I didn’t know these characters. I wanted to know them more, which would have helped me care more about them. Yes, I cared about them to a certain extent, but I like feeling so attached that I cannot put the book down, which didn’t really happen here. I think if we had more background information or just more details about their lives and more emotions, I would’ve liked it a lot more.

Max vs. Maxwell. Okay, this is a very minor complaint, but it kind of annoyed me. Taylor calls him Maxwell, but in her head, she calls him Max. I wanted it to be more consistent. Choose one or the other, chick!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I liked the book, but I just wish it was longer with more details and depth. I wanted to be pulled into this story. I wanted it to give me the feels. While the romance was sweet and realistic, I wanted more! BUT, this is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. I enjoyed the story, and I know I would enjoy other books by her. So, in conclusion, give this one a try. If for nothing else, for that ending! I want all the books I read to have a perfect ending like that. Now I’m spoiled 🙂

my favorite quotes

“…it’s not the person you can live with, it’s the person you can’t live without.”

“I love him. Or do I love the memory of him?”

“Love can be a tricky beast. There isn’t always a clear black and white, but in the end, the heart guides you where you need to be.”

three hearts

3 out of 5 Hearts!


about the author

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Beth Ann is a wife, mother, blogger and book lover from Texas. Her passion is writing stories that draw a reader into a world where they can become the characters and experience a gamut of emotions. When she’s not writing, she loves to be home with my family and two yellow labs. In addition she’s a sucker for super sappy romance movies, loves trying out Texas wines, is an avid hot tea drinker and enjoys checking items off of her ever-growing bucket list.

 

 

Links

http://www.bethannstifflemire.com

http://www.divertedheart.com

http://waldorfpublishing.com/diverted-heart/

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin

BAD ROMANCETitle: Bad Romance: A Stepbrother Novel

Author: Jen McLaughlin

Published by: Loveswept on September 15th, 2015

Length: 202 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Tasty Book Tours

My Rating: ❤❤

 

 

synopsis

In this explosive novel from bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

 Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m not even gonna try to lie. The guy on the cover is HOT. Like leave-my-husband hot. I’m kidding, but you know what I mean. He is pretty much the only reason I took a second look at this book. Plus, I’ve been drawn to the step-brother romance books for awhile, and I thought I would give this one a try. And I really, really tried to like it, but there were just too many things that bugged the crap out of me! However, I will start with the positives.

WHAT I LIKED

Jackson. Yes, I fell in love with him based on appearances first, but getting to know him throughout the book just made him oh-so-delicious. He has that perfect book boyfriend quality about him, at least MY perfect book boyfriend. Military bad boy with tattoos, shuts the world out and doesn’t let anyone in, protective of his love interest, but also just needs to feel worthy and loved. Plus, Jackson is just a super sexy name.

The suspense. I liked the anticipation of wondering if their parents would catch them or not and how it would happen. I won’t give anything away, but when we reach toward the end of the book, I was on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t stop reading until I knew the outcome.

The sex scenes. Yeah, I said it. It was sexy and fun and definitely exciting. I have no complaints in that department.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Lilly. Okay, among the many issues I had with this book, the main one was this damn girl. She annoyed me and irritated me and frustrated me pretty much from the very beginning. At first, I couldn’t say much because she was a teenager with a crush. We’ve all been there. But, then it’s seven years later, and it’s like she is still pining away for him. Come on! You didn’t move on, find anyone else, or get a life IN SEVEN YEARS?! Then, there’s the whole doing whatever Daddy wants her to do. I wanted to slap her…several times. Are you 11 years old? It’s your life! Do what you want! And of course there’s the whole playing the martyr thing. She makes it sound like she has no choice but to marry someone she doesn’t even like because she just HAS to protect all of her father’s employees from losing their jobs. Really? That’s not heroic and brave. That’s stupid.

The “taboo” relationship. Okay, yes, they were technically step-siblings, but they only lived under the same roof when they were teenagers for a few months. It’s not like they grew up together. If they did, that would be a little more taboo and forbidden. But, they just made it seem like what they were feeling and doing was so, so bad, but it wasn’t…in my opinion.

The repetitiveness. For almost the first half of the book, the constant references to them being siblings was getting irritating. I get it. No need to constantly repeat it. And all the issues keeping them apart were just drilled into my head because they COULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. Yes, I know she’s supposed to marry someone else. Yes, I know you guys are step-siblings. Yes, I know there are employees counting on you and you’re making a “huge” sacrifice. I heard you the first 57 times.

Not enough depth. While I really enjoyed the sex scenes, I wanted more emotions and more depth in their relationship. There was a little toward the end, but throughout the book, it just felt like it was all lust, and no love. There needs to be an equal amount of both. My favorite fictional relationships have desire and passion but also have romance and lovey-dovey stuff. And there were tears in the book, but I didn’t feel it at all.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I really, really tried to like this book. I wanted so bad to like it. I kept giving myself excuses to like it and ignore the issues I had, but then something else would come up that made me want to tear my hair out. This is my first step-brother romance and my first Jen McLaughlin book, but I won’t let my dislike for this one prevent me from reading more. And hey, these are just my opinions. Read it for yourself. You might like it. I mean, doesn’t that cover just make you want to get to know the amazing Jackson a little more?

my favorite quotes

“I don’t do regrets. Life’s too short and way too much of a bitch.”

“Letting down your walls didn’t make you weaker. It made you stronger.”

“This was what life was. Opening your heart up. Taking risks. Not closing yourself off. That wasn’t living. That was just staying alive.”

two hearts

2 out of 5 Hearts!


 

buy links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo


about the author

Jen_McLaughlin

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin and Random House. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is also an USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

author links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway – Bad Romance by Jen McLaughlin

bad-romance-mclaughlin-virtual-romance

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s tour stop for the Bad Romance blog tour, hosted by Tasty Book Tours. I am here to present an excerpt from this book, written by New York Times bestselling author, Jen McLaughlin. Enjoy 🙂

BAD ROMANCETitle: Bad Romance: A Stepbrother Novel

Author: Jen McLaughlin

Published by: Loveswept on September 15th, 2015

Length: 202 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Tasty Book Tours

 

 

synopsis

In this explosive novel from bestselling author Jen McLaughlin, a good girl falls for the ultimate bad boy: her stepbrother. Perfect for fans of Sabrina Paige, Caitlin Daire, and Krista Lakes, Bad Romance proves that passion can be so wrong it’s right.

 Seven years in the army will change a guy. But after a shoulder wound ends his career as a sniper, Jackson Worthington finds himself back home, fighting a battle that’s all too familiar: keeping his hands off Lily Hastings. She’s still her rich daddy’s little angel, innocent, impossibly lovely, as squeaky-clean as Jackson is dirty. And she’s still his stepsister—forbidden but not forgotten, not after the soul-melting kiss that got him kicked out of the house at eighteen. He couldn’t resist her then. How the hell can he resist her now?

Lily is about to marry a man she doesn’t love, and commit to a high-stress job she hates, all to please the father who controls every waking moment of her life. On top of everything, her teenage crush is back, with a sleek, chiseled body and a trace of the rebellious boy whose lips sealed her fate. Jackson’s timing couldn’t be worse . . . or better. Because Lily’s all grown up, too. She’s aching for another taste. And for the first time, she’s ready to be a bad girl.

excerpt

“It feels nice,” I said, trying to smile. Her thin legs flexed as she moved her feet in the water, brushing her toes against mine. It wasn’t something we hadn’t done before. Soft touches like that. But tonight . . . it made me suck in a breath. I cleared my throat and tried to think of something, anything, to say. “I’m not even going to get to swim in it. Even if your dad refuses to admit it, I’m out of here for the army soon.”

“I know.” She sipped on her Coke, her gaze off in the distance. She looked . . . sad. Which inexplicably made me sad, like our emotions were tied together or some shit like that. Her small, delicate features looked flawless in the late-afternoon sun. For some reason, I couldn’t stop staring. I was going to miss her when I was gone, but that wouldn’t stop me from going. Nothing would. “I’m sorry he’s such a jerk to you. You deserve better.”

And that was why I liked Lilly; she was always on my side. She was the only one in this ridiculous family that cared about me. I lifted my own Coke and shrugged. “Whatever. I don’t care.”

“Yeah. You do.” She rested her hand on my thigh, and I tensed. I had board shorts on, so she didn’t touch skin, but still. It felt . . . intimate. And good. “I can see it in your eyes.”

No eighteen-year-old guy liked to hear his feelings showed in his eyes. So I scoffed. “Yeah, sure. Whatever.”

“It’s true,” she said a bit defensively.

No. It. Wasn’t.

I didn’t care about Walter, or his wife, or anyone but myself . . . and Lilly. She was the one exception. And I’d show her that, right here. Right now. Her hand was still on my thigh, so I covered it with mine. “The only person whose opinion matters to me in this house is sitting right next to me, and I mean it.”

She licked her lips and shifted closer. “I care about you very much, Jackson.”

“Yeah.” My heart sped up, and I smiled. “I know.”

A laugh escaped her, and she bumped me with her shoulder, her gaze focused on my lips. “Cocky much?”

“Yep.” The way she looked at me, as if she wanted nothing more than to see what it would feel like if I kissed her . . . well, there was only so much a guy like me could ignore. And I was leaving, and I wouldn’t see her again, and man, I wanted to find out what she tasted like so damn badly. Just one small, tiny, innocent kiss. That was all I wanted. No one would ever know. Not even Walt. “Know what I see in your eyes?”

She parted those soft pink lips and stared at me as if I was some sort of god or something. It made me feel a little bit ill, but also as though I could rule the world, if I had her by my side. “What?”

“You want me to kiss you,” I said, some unknown, greedy man taking over my actions. I trailed my hand up her bare arm, leaving goosebumps in my wake. “To be your first kiss. The one you remember for the rest of your life. To touch you.”

She trembled and licked her lips. “How did you . . . ?”

Curling my hand over her chin, I grinned. “Go ahead. If you’re brave enough to do it, to take what you want, kiss me. No one will ever know you kissed your stepbrother but us. It’ll be our little secret . . .”

I knew she wasn’t going to, no matter how much I might wish otherwise. It was why I left it up to her. I didn’t have qualms about it. Didn’t think it was wrong, or dirty, because she wasn’t my damn sister. But there was no way she had it in her to—

“You know what?” Crawling into my lap, facing me, straddling my thighs, she cupped my face and stared into my eyes. I got lost in hers, and some sinking suspicion told me that I was staring at the person I was meant to live the rest of my life with—which was crazy. “I know you think I’m too young, or too good, or too scared to do it . . . so I’ll prove you wrong. And guess what? You’re going to like it.”

And then she did it. She kissed me.

And she was right. I did like it.

Her soft, sweet lips closed over mine, and she tightened her grip on my cheeks. And, God help me, I finally found out what she tasted like. She smelled like vanilla, sunshine, and innocence, and she tasted like heaven. . . .

And bubblegum.

Moaning, I took over the kiss, pressing her perky, soft breasts against my chest and skimming my hands down her sides. When I gripped her ass and arched my erection up against her, she gasped, giving me access to her mouth. I took it. . . .

And then I took some more.

My tongue found hers, and she gripped my shoulders, digging her nails in as she pressed down against me, obviously wanting to feel my dick up against her core again.

And for the first time . . .

I thought I’d finally found a home.

Burying a hand in her hair, leaving the other on her sweet ass, I deepened the kiss, taking it to the next level. Warning bells went off in my head—this was getting too hot, too fast—but I ignored them, because she just felt way too fucking good. What had started off as a lighthearted flirtation backfired, because she was kissing me, and I didn’t want to stop. Having her in my arms made me feel as if I wasn’t alone.

As if we were meant to—

“Son of a bitch,” Walter growled from behind me.

I stiffened and broke off the kiss, my hand still on his daughter’s ass, and knew I’d fucked up. I’d forgotten to listen for anyone coming. “Shit.”

“Daddy, I—” Lilly started to say, scrambling to climb off me.

“Don’t talk to me. Go to your room immediately.”

Lilly gave me one long, panicked look, but did as told.

She always did.

“And you?” Walter grabbed me by the arms and yanked me to my feet. “How dare you defile my baby girl? Get out of this house, and don’t come back. You’re cut off. Not welcome here. Out of this family.”

I forced a careless grin, even though watching Lilly run from me was like watching my own heart leap out of my chest and sprint for the door. “It’s about damn time. I never wanted to be in it, anyway.”

Yanking free, I walked past the man I hated more than my own father. Walked right past my mother, and didn’t even look at Lilly, who stood paralyzed halfway up the stairs. If I looked at her, I’d waver. I’d want to stay, for her. And I couldn’t afford to do that. Not anymore. So I walked right out the door. . . .

And I didn’t look back.

Not even once.

buy links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

Kobo

about the author

Jen_McLaughlin

Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin and Random House. Under her pen name Diane Alberts, she is also an USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, released September 6 2013, and hit the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

author links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TastyBookTours

Calculate: How long will it take you to finish your TBR pile?

So I found this neat little calculator on Facebook awhile back. Penguin Random House posted it last month via Read It Forward. Being the curious bookworm that I am, I had to check it out. And if you’re anything like me, you will want to too!

^Click on the above image to go to the website. ^

Once you get to the website, you’ll see a calculator that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.33.22 PM

Those are default answers, so all you need to do is enter your information, like I did:

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.37.46 PM

I went on my Goodreads TBR list and saw that I have a ridiculous 171 books on there. And last year, my goal was to read 100 books, but I only read 69. Life gets in the way! So, here are my results:

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 6.40.48 PM

Hey, this makes me feel a lot better! I thought I’d be a LOT older than 31 before I got to the end of that list!

Now, the only problem is I need to stop adding more books to this list!

Go calculate yours! How long will it take you to finish your TBR list?

That’s What HE Said Thursday #6 – Ghetto

Thursday meme

Hosted by: Chapter Break

That’s What HE Said Thursday is about posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies (whom we so wish we were!!!!!!)

I have kind of been on a roll with book boyfriends lately. Here is another one, who may just top the others for now. Sin is definitely a tough guy who shows no feelings and doesn’t let anyone in. He is the rebel leader and isolates himself. But, Sunny begins to change him a little…

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“If things were different, I could love you for the rest of my life.”

– Sin to Sunny

(Ghetto by M.L. Sparrow)

 

 

Oh Sin. I seriously fell in love with this guy. He is a man of few words, and when he does talk, it is DEFINITELY NOT about his feelings, so this particular quote was a HUGE deal, and I literally had to set the book down for a minute just to take that in. I love that Sunny brings out this other side of him. Sin is at the top of my book boyfriend list right now, and I think he’ll be staying there for awhile.

What do you guys think of Sin? And feel free to share your link so I can visit your blog 🙂

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #6 – Ghetto

unConventionalBookViews_Meme-ThirstyThursdayHungryHearts-1-450x200

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read.

ghetto12hq-2

This week’s quote comes from Ghetto by M.L. Sparrow. In the faraway future, the president’s daughter, Sunny, is kidnapped by rebels, but she soon begins to sympathize with the people living in what is known as the Ghetto and feels a connection with one of her captors.

I’m going to try to describe this scene without giving anything about the plot away. In this scene, Sunny and Sin are somewhere where they shouldn’t be, and someone who is helping them brings them some food. Neither of them have eaten a good meal in awhile, so they definitely enjoy it.

 

My Hungry Hearts Quote

“I don’t know where he got it from in the middle of the night, but the meal is sublime; the chicken moist and tender, potatoes crisp on the outside and fluffy inside, the gravy thick. I’m sorely tempted to lick the plate clean once I’m finished, but instead I push it away and lean back to watch Sin mopping up his gravy with a Yorkshire pudding.

Picking up a napkin, I hand it to him when he’s done, saying, ‘You appear to have missed your mouth.'”

This seriously got me so hungry! The crispy-on-the-outside-yet-fluffy-on-the-inside potatoes sound delicious! And I’ve never had Yorkshire pudding, so I had to Google it. I think I know what I’m going to try to get my husband to make me in the near future since he’s more of the cook in the family 🙂

What did you guys think? Feeling hungry? Feel free to share a link to yours below so I can visit your blog 🙂

Review: Ghetto by M.L. Sparrow

ghetto12hq-2Title: Ghetto

Author: M.L. Sparrow

Will Be Published: September 15th, 2015

Length: 324 pages (eBook)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Source: Author (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

 

synopsis

(From Goodreads)

My name’s Sunny Grace Beaumont. Branded SGB/2/6895/03.12.93. Only child, self-taught computer geek and cancer survivor. Oh, and did I mention my dad’s the President? As you can imagine that’s sometimes a little problematic, especially when I want to sneak out. But it never got me into quite as much trouble as the night I ventured into the Ghetto – don’t ask me why I was there in the first place… it was stupid. Everyone knows that the Ghetto is where hardened criminals are sent to live out the remainder of their lives. At first the men that kidnap me are just as I’d imagine, mean and thoughtless, but slowly I begin to have doubts.

I meet a guy. His name’s Sin, he has no Brand – a crime punishable by death – and he’s the rebel leader. I should hate him… but I don’t. Instead he opens my eyes to a whole other side of the Ghetto, where people are innocent of the crimes they’re accused of and helpless children suffer dreadful poverty. Is it possible that I’ve been lied to my entire life… that the governments been deceiving everyone? And how can I challenge the law my own dad is adamant to uphold?

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover because it doesn’t really give you a good idea of what the book is about. It’s kind of generic. However, I read the synopsis, and I was immediately hooked. I liked the idea of the president’s daughter falling for one of her captors. Plus, I really liked M.L. Sparrow’s first book, The Demon Inside, so I knew I would like this one. I just wasn’t expecting to like it MORE than her debut novel…

WHAT I LIKED

Sin. Oh, Sin, Sin, Sin. He is my favorite type of book boyfriend. He’s got this really tough exterior, and he doesn’t let anyone in. He tries to be this fierce leader and have everyone scared of him. He comes off as cold, but you can’t really blame the guy. He has had a tough life! And you can see this other side to him. I love that he risks so much to help other people. He does everything he can to make sure that people in these poor living conditions have food, water, and whatever else he can manage. Plus, when Sunny comes into the picture, his walls begin to come down, even if it’s just a little. She makes him actually feel things, even if he can’t admit it to himself. I absolutely love a story about a damaged guy whose heart softens because of his love for a woman. Now this is one “Sin” I wouldn’t mind committing, especially if he was calling me “darlin’” all the time like he does with Sunny 🙂

Sunny. She is such a dynamic character. She starts off as almost this spoiled brat who has had it fairly easy her whole life. I mean, she has a stylist and a robot. But when she enters the ghetto and sees how these people are living, she begins to realize that life isn’t exactly what she thought it was. She changes drastically, and I really enjoyed witnessing that change. She becomes this brave young woman who begins to stand up for what she believes in, which I really admire.

The romance. Yes, I know. I’m like a broken record in this category. But this one REALLY did it for me. It was perfect. Everything about it was perfect. The pace was just right. I tend to have complaints about a relationship moving too fast or too slow, but this one was seriously flawless, in my opinion. I loved that it wasn’t “insta-love” and that it gradually grew into something more. Also, I love that they brought out the best in each other. They both come from very different worlds, and they each have their own ideas about how life is, but they teach each other that maybe not everything is as it seems. And another thing that I have noticed in both of Sparrow’s books is that even though the characters’ worlds are caving in around them, the romance of the story has a way of making you forget about their dire situations. And I think the author does a brilliant job of doing that.

The setting and the plot. I loved that there was this futuristic world with advanced technology, but there was also the Ghetto, which gave you more of a dystopian feel. It’s really not far off from reality. We may live in a world where technology rules our lives in a way, but we also have third-world countries where things are very different. And the plot was so enjoyable. I loved the idea of the president’s daughter being kidnapped by rebels but then feeling connected with her captors. The whole thing kind of reminded me of one of my favorite movies, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Sunny reminded me of Lady Marian because she comes from this wealthy, royal family, but she sympathizes with the people in the Ghetto and begins to help in any way that she can. And Sin reminds me of Robin because he’s looked at as a rebel and a criminal, but he does things to help others. I was reminded of the “stealing from the rich and giving to the poor” mentality, which I loved!

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

I honestly cannot think of anything I didn’t like. It was THAT good.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

M.L. Sparrow has done it again. Actually, she has topped herself with this book. I really liked The Demon Inside, but I LOVED Ghetto. I was so disappointed when it ended. I wanted more Sin and Sunny! This is one of those books that might leave me in a bit of a book hangover; I am not going to want to move on to another book. I’m still too attached to this world that this amazing author has created. So, if you haven’t heard of M.L. Sparrow and her books, do yourself a favor and check them out! They are so good! I will seriously read anything by her now. Now I will be impatiently waiting for her next incredible book.

five hearts

5 out of 5 Hearts!

Buy it on Amazon!


about the author

I’m not really sure what to say about myself – my real life is defiantly not as exciting as my imaginary one! I’m currently working in childcare and writing in my spare time. All my life I’ve dreamed of becoming an author, except when I was little and wanted to be a farmer!
Besides writing, and obviously reading anything I can get my hands on, my other passion is travel. After finishing college I took a break from education to travel, visiting Mexico, Sri Lanka and, my personal favourite, Japan. One day I hope to be able to combine the two and travel while writing professionally. (From Goodreads)

author links

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That’s What HE Said Thursday #5 – The Reaper’s Kiss

Thursday meme

Hosted by: Chapter Break

That’s What HE Said Thursday is about posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies (whom we so wish we were!!!!!!)

Welcome to my favorite weekly meme! I had to share this guy with you today. Brent is a Reaper, but the sexy, southern, lumberjack-looking kind, and I couldn’t get enough of him. So, here are a few quotes that show different sides of him:

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“‘I don’t date men without tattoos.’

‘Does that mean you want to see the dolphin on my left butt cheek? I assure you, it’s remarkable.’ His hands went for his ZZ Top belt buckle.”


“‘What in the world does that mean?’

‘Means it’s serious enough to talk about inside your apartment with the door locked and voices hush-hushed. Possibly in bed, under the sheets, naked while I make it up to you. I at least owe you that.'”


“‘I will go to hell and back for you,’ he whispered into my neck.

– Ollie and Brent

(The Reaper’s Kiss by Abigail Baker)

Oh Brent. I love this guy. He’s got such a cocky side, but it’s so damn sexy. Then, he has this sweet, protective side, which I also love. He’s at the top of my book boyfriend list right now.

What do you guys think of Brent? And feel free to share your link so I can visit your blog 🙂

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts #5 – Bleed

unConventionalBookViews_Meme-ThirstyThursdayHungryHearts-1-450x200

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme hosted by (un)Conventional Bookviews. The idea is to share a quote with food or drinks that showed up in a recent read, as well as if it’s something you think you’d like or not. Please share the title of the book it happened in, as well as the character who ate or drank the special little something you discovered between the pages of a good read.

Varley_Bleed

This week’s quote comes from Bleed by Dax Varley. A bleeder, a psychic, a sin-eater, a healer, and a speaker of all languages come together in this paranormal mystery.

In this scene, Xyan is reminded of when she saw the new girl, Miranda, bleeding profusely at school.

My Hungry Hearts Quote

“Xyan snapped a Pop Tart in half and brought it toward her mouth. Raspberry. She was usually all for raspberry Pop Tarts, but today it reminded her of that new girl at school. The one who’d spewed blood all over the restroom. O-kay. There went her dearly departed appetite. She tucked the pastry back into the foil.”

I’m more of a S’mores Pop Tart girl myself, but I would probably lose my appetite with any red foods after witnessing what Xyan did 🙂

Feel free to share a link to yours below so I can visit your blog 🙂

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Bleed by Dax Varley

bleed

Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Bleed blog tour stop! Again, I apologize for another post being late! I am catching up with my blog stuff after dealing with a lot of personal issues! Pretty soon, there will be no more delays. Anyway, I am so excited to be part of this blog tour. This book is definitely one you will want to check out, so keep reading!

Varley_Bleed

Title: Bleed

Author: Dax Varley

Published by: Garden Gate Press on September 1st, 2015

Length: 225 pages (eBook)

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Source: Publisher via The Fantastic Flying Book Club (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

synopsis

LIFE IS A NIGHTMARE FOR Miranda Murphy. Without knowing when or why, blood oozes from her palms—an anomaly that makes her feel like a freak. But her abnormality is now the least of her worries. She’s just enrolled at “Suicide High.” Three deaths in three months—one occurring just days before her arrival.

When she bumps into a cute boy named Jake, things don’t appear so glum. Especially since Jake’s a psychic who can predict the immediate future. But his gift of sight can’t prepare her for the horrors that await.

Through Jake, Miranda meets three other extraordinary students:

Topher – who can heal by touch.

Sam – who eats the sins of the dead.

And Xyan – who speaks and understands all languages.

It’s then that Miranda learns the secret behind why she bleeds.

When it becomes evident that supernatural forces are at play, the five determined friends team up. Now it’s up to them to destroy the evil that’s infecting their school.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

To be honest, I had mixed feelings about the cover. While it definitely caught my attention, it kind of looked a little too sexual than I think was intended. However, the synopsis had me hooked right away. All the suicides occurring and the five students with unique gifts just sounded like something I had to read.

WHAT I LIKED

The writing. I have never read anything by Dax Varley, but based on this book, she is clearly very talented. The vivid descriptions gave me very clear images in my head, which I appreciated so much! Plus, there was surprisingly a good amount of humor. The out-of-nowhere one-liners and clever metaphors just had me laughing unexpectedly, so that was awesome!

The characters and their abilities. I really liked each of the five main characters. They were all so unique! There have been many books that I have read where the characters are just too similar, so I had a hard time distinguishing who was who at times, but I did not have that problem here. They each had very different personalities, which I absolutely loved. And their abilities were awesome! A bleeder, a psychic, a sin eater, a healer, and a speaker of all languages. Come on. That’s awesome. And I enjoyed seeing the significance of each ability play out. Very entertaining!

The creepy/graphic/violent factor. Okay, this may sound horrible, but I really enjoyed the suicide attempts and other violent scenes. The way that these people tried to kill themselves was horrifying, but it kept me on the edge of my seat. It was like a car crash that you can’t look away from. And this goes hand in hand with the author’s ability to create such vivid, realistic scenes. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The multiple points of view. While I really liked all five characters, I kind of wish it was just from Miranda’s and Jake’s points of view. Switching between the five different ones was a little confusing and frustrating at times.

The romance. Yeah, I know. The romance is usually my favorite part in all books, but this one just seemed kind of rushed. I like the idea of Miranda and Jake as a couple, but I just didn’t feel a connection. It could have been developed a little more.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Great book! I can’t get over how brilliant the writing is! Dax Varley is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. I can’t wait to read her other books. Not only will the suspense and mystery keep you engaged the entire time, but you will also find yourself suddenly smiling and laughing. Plus, the plot is so unique that you won’t be able to put the book down because you just have to know how it turns out.

four hearts

4 out of 5 Hearts!

 

Buy Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Kobo


about the author

Dax Varley writes the kind of young adult novels she wishes were around when she was a teen. She’s a lover of humor, horror and all things paranormal.

When Dax isn’t writing, she’s collecting odd photos online, reading recaps of her favorite shows or kicked back with a good book. She lives in Richmond, Texas with her husband, a shelf full of action figures and about a dozen imaginary friends.

 

author links

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Goodreads

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giveaway

First Prize: Win (1) of (2) Bookish Necklaces (see picture) [INT]
Win (1) of (3) downloads of the SLEEPY HOLLOW by Dax Varley Audiobook [INT]

 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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