Category Archives: New Adult

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – My Heart is Yours by Amanda Leigh

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s My Heart is Yours blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

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Title: My Heart is Yours

Author: Amanda Leigh

Published: June 10th, 2015

Length: 137 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Source: Xpresso Book Tours (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤

book blurb

(from Goodreads)

Samantha Marie Ramsden has three brothers. Craig, John and Matt. When tragedy strikes their family, Craig takes on the task of becoming his siblings legal guardian. It’s hard enough being someone’s guardian, but when you’ve only recently entered adulthood yourself it’s almost impossible to know where to draw the line between sibling and ‘parent’.

This is made even harder on him when Sam starts to get close to a long time friend, Jason. It looks like their friendship could turn into something more. An idea that Craig has never been too happy with. Spanning six years, My Heart is Yours explores family, friendship, love and much more. As well as asking the question: Would you defy family for love?

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I knew I had to read this book right when I saw it. I absolutely loved the cover. And I loved the idea of a brother struggling with being both a sibling and a parent. So I was excited about reading this one. And when I started reading it, I’ll admit that I was a little confused because it seemed to be Sam’s story, not Craig’s, like the synopsis implied. But I was definitely intrigued, so I kept reading.

WHAT I LIKED

The prologue. Wow. Now that is how you draw readers in and make them want to keep reading. That was INTENSE. My jaw dropped and stayed there until the next chapter. Very good first impression. I knew I picked a good book.

The plot. The book definitely kept me interested the whole way through. I wanted to know what happened every step of the way. There were just so many different aspects to the story. Family, romance, love, friendship, loss. It had it all. Plus, there were a couple moments where I thought, “WTF?” So, it had a little suspense too.

The family dynamics. I love that Sam has these older brothers who are very protective of her and would do anything for her. It’s so sweet how highly they think of her too. They know she’s going to do great things, even if she has doubts. She may have been adopted, but you completely forget all about that. They’re a family, blood or not.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The pace. It was just way too fast for me. A LOT happened in only 130 pages or so. This would’ve been an amazing full-length novel because everything could have been expanded on and described in more detail. It was just a lot to take in, and things moved along too quickly, in my opinion.

The sometimes-awkward dialogue. The dialogue bugged me every now and then. At times, it seemed unrealistic and just not the way people talk to each other. For example, people’s first names were used quite often. If you’re talking to someone one-on-one, how often do you use his/her first name? But again, it wasn’t the whole book. This just got to me a few times.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

This would’ve been a solid 4-heart or even 5-heart book if it was longer. I guess the length and the pace just affected my overall enjoyment of the book. That being said, I would still recommend it because it is a pretty good story. That prologue! Ahh! Loved it. It’ll hook you right from the beginning. And it is a cute love story.

three hearts

3 out of 5 Hearts!


buy links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks


about the author

Amanda Leigh graduated with a BA in English and Communications and a double minor in Psychology and Creative Writing. During college, she worked on the literary magazine and loved every minute of it. She adores cats and has one named Sawyer – named after one of her favorite characters in Lost. Amanda enjoys reading, writing avidly in a journal, writing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, cooking, listening to music, singing, swimming and art – particularly photography. Amanda is a bit of a chocoholic and is slightly obsessed with office supplies. She has many ideas for stories so keep an eye out for more work from her.

author links

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter


giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway
  • A signed paperback of My Heart is Yours + signed swag + a paperback of selected Emily Dickinson poetry (that’s the MC’s favorite poet) (US only)
  • An e-book copy of My Heart is yours (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the rest of the tour here!


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Reading Challenges Met:

Bookish Bingo: Spring 2016

Chapter Break Bookish Bingo

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge

Literary Pickers Challenge

The Mad Reviewer Reading Challenge

Review: Blossoming Flower by Vivian Winslow

Title: Blossoming Flower (Wildflowers #1)

Author: Vivian Winslow

Published: October 19th, 2015

Length: 252 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Source: Author (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤

book blurb

In the wake of the collapse of her father’s business empire, Flor, the gorgeous twenty-one year-old daughter of disgraced former Brazillionaire Gustavo de Lima, is forced to forge her own path in life. Flor decides that none of it—the private jets, the vacation homes and the luxury cars—were real. Or at least they really didn’t matter. The only thing that’s real for Flor is her love of horses and her desire to go to veterinary school. Heading into her final year of college, Flor seeks out the help of an unlikely benefactor to secure a summer internship working with horses. Arriving at the secluded Belo Horizonte ranch, Flor is awed not only by the majestic beauty of the place, but also by handsome cowboy and skilled horse trainer, Collin Taylor. Yet nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. When the hidden past is revealed, will love end up blossoming for Flor?

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I really liked the cover! That is what initially got my attention. It has this girl-next-door/nature feel that just makes you want to dive into the story. And then I see that this girl meets a cute horse trainer. Yes, please!

WHAT I LIKED

The plot. I don’t want to give too much away here, but I LOVED the secrets and everyone’s hidden pasts. I loved finding out about how people and things were connected. It was written and done so well!

The characters. Flor, who is used to a lavish lifestyle because of her father’s wealth, decides to make her own path in life and chooses to go to school and start an internship at a horse ranch. And she meets Collin. They both have secrets in their pasts that they are afraid to let out because they may be looked at differently. I liked Flor’s independence and determination. And Collin has this sweet, admirable, gentleman-like quality about him that makes him oh-so-likable. The two of them made the story for me.

The romance. I really liked that both Flor and Collin were cautious and wanted to take things slow. There was obviously a connection and an attraction, but for different reasons, they didn’t want to rush into things. And the gradual growth of their relationship was so sweet and heartwarming. I loved it.

WHAT COULD’VE BEEN BETTER

The multiple viewpoints. This bugged me. On the same page, you would see the thoughts of one character, and in the next paragraph, it would be from the point of view of another character. It was confusing and distracting at times. In my opinion, if there are going to be multiple viewpoints, then it should be completely separated, such as different chapters or something like that. I think it works better that way.

The connection to the story and characters. Honestly, I just didn’t feel too connected to the story or characters. Yes, I liked them, but I didn’t get attached and feel like I just had to finish the book to see what happens to them. I was kind of in the middle. I was curious, but it wasn’t like my life depended on it, like I feel with other books. It may have been because of the confusing viewpoints or maybe there just wasn’t enough details or dialogue. I’m not sure. I just didn’t feel a connection as a reader.

The end. It just ended abruptly! Not a fan. I wanted some kind of conclusion. Maybe an epilogue. Something that gave me closure.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Another tough one for me. I liked it. But I didn’t love it. So, I’m going to give it 3 hearts. This author is new to me, and I liked this book enough to definitely check out more from her. I may just have to get used to the different points of view.

“Romance is fantasy, you do know that, right?…It’s how you feel in the presence of your lover that matters the most. Your feelings won’t betray you, only your mind can do that. You have to know the difference.”

“My dear, fearing heartbreak is what keeps us from experiencing true love. We calculate too much, assessing risks and rewards. It may sound cliche, but being clear about who you are and allowing the feelings to follow suit will never set you up for failure, even if the one who loves you doesn’t love you back. You see, it isn’t about that.”

three hearts

3 out of 5 Hearts!


Links

Amazon


about the author

(from Goodreads)

 

Vivian Winslow was born and raised in Southern California. Before becoming a writer, she made a career out of moving around the world every couple of years thanks to her husband’s job and her incurable wanderlust. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two elementary school age children, and is grateful to finally have a place to call home for more than two years.
New York is the perfect city to indulge her love of fashion, the arts and especially food. If she’s not at home writing or running around the city with her kids, you’ll most likely find her eating at the newest restaurant in her beloved Lower East Side or having a cocktail at her favorite bar in Alphabet City. That said, she’s still a California girl at heart and would gladly trade in her heels for a pair of flip-flops to catch a sunset on the beach.

author links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads


Reading Challenges:

Bookish Bingo: Holiday 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Scrubs by Brooke Harris

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Scrubs blog tour stop! This tour is hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Scrubs

Title: Scrubs

Author: Brooke Harris

Published: December 4, 2015

Length: 109 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Source: Author via Xpresso Book Tours (for honest review)

Reading Challenge: Bookish Bingo: Holiday 2015

My Rating: ❤❤❤

 

book blurb

I like fast cars, beautiful women and great sex.
I hate drugs. I can’t stand the idiots who take them and I loathe the bastards who supply them. Drugs cost me my whole world.
I wear many faces; right now I’m Doctor Lucas Callaghan and I’ll be him until I get my revenge.
My real name will be the last words to ever pass their lips.

I hate my name, Aoife Brennan, as soon as people hear it they treat me differently because of my father.
Medical school isn’t my dream, it’s his. But, it’s the least I owe him after everything I’ve done. I’m trying to be a good girl, but even good girls make mistakes.

He’s lying about who he is, she’s kidding herself about who she can be. They’re polar opposites with one very big secret in common.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This probably doesn’t need an explanation. I mean, look at that cover. Hot doctor…with a gun. What does a doctor need with a gun? I was definitely intrigued. And the synopsis really got me. I just had to know Lucas’ story and what has him needing revenge. I had to read this one. It sounded SO good.

WHAT I LIKED

The beginning. Wow. Now that is how you introduce a story. The prologue and first chapter had me in tears and on the edge of my seat at the same time. It’s not easy to make me cry within 3 pages. So, kudos to the author for that! Plus, there was no way that I was NOT going to read this after reading the prologue. I was committed and had to know what happened after that.

Lucas/Sean. I really liked him. I felt for him, and I wanted him to get his revenge so bad. He does a complete 180 after this tragedy that happens to him, and he turns into this angry, aggressive, cocky man with only one goal in mind: make them pay. But you get this glimpse of the real him sometimes. It’s sad! I got attached to this guy. He has obviously been suffering for so long. I just wanted him to be happy! And I wanted to give him a hug!

WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

Aoife’s name. This may sound like a minor issue, but it irritated me every time I had to read it. I had absolutely no idea how to pronounce it. Eventually, about halfway in, I just had to Google it. I was so far off from the real pronunciation. And even after I knew how to say it, I would hesitate every time her name came up. It actually distracted me from enjoying the story.

Connection felt rushed/forced. I really didn’t feel the connection between Lucas and Aoife. Maybe it was because the book was only about 100 pages. Usually, 100 pages in is when the characters are just falling for each other. So, for me, it happened way too fast, and it wasn’t believable.

The end. Yes, I know it’s just the first part of a series and there is a clear warning at the opening of the book, but the end just came out of nowhere. There was zero closure. I’m a fan of cliffhangers, but this one just didn’t work for me.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

This is a tough one for me. I liked it. I loved the main character. A lot of it just felt rushed. I would’ve liked more in-depth stuff. More details. More background information. Just more! So, I’m kind of caught in the middle, which is why I gave it 3 hearts. But I’m curious as to where the story goes, so I will check out the next part.

three hearts

3 out of 5 Hearts!


buy links

Amazon


about the author

USA Today bestselling author Brooke Harris is a self diagnosed romance addict. Realising at the age of seven that being a real person and not a cartoon character may prove a hindrance when applying for a role as a Disney Princess, she decided to create her own stories. As a grown up Brooke tried swapping the heels and tiaras in her stories for sex and revenge and published her first book, Rules of Harte in 2014. The Harte Series went on to become a #1 international bestseller.

Brooke lives in Kildare, Ireland with her young family. She daydreams about a climate where it doesn’t rain every day, but secretly she loves the green fields and heritage of Ireland.

Brooke also writes Psych-thriller under the pseudonym Janelle Harris.

author links

Blog

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter


giveaway

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
$20 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Review: Loving Lucas by Violetta Rand

I read this book for a blog tour, which I just ended up posting an excerpt for because I didn’t exactly like the book. So I am now finally posting the review…

23602247Title: Loving Lucas (Lies & Leather #1)

Author: Violetta Rand

Published by: Loveswept on October 20th, 2015

Length: 201 pages (eBook)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Source: Publisher via NetGalley and Tasty Book Tours

My Rating: ❤❤

 

book blurb

Perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Monica Murphy, Violetta Rand’s explosive new Lies & Leather series kicks off with a red-hot motorcycle racer who rides hard and plays for keeps.

Twenty-one-year-old Karlie Augustine is a survivor. She’s smart and tough, but she’s in too deep with a bad boyfriend who isn’t above breaking her spirit—or her body. Luckily, help arrives in the form of a leather-clad, motorcycle-riding hunk on the right side of the law. Lucas Lafontaine is pure muscle, a Corpus Christi cop who ignites something primal deep within Karlie. And when he offers her room and board in exchange for housekeeping, she finally starts to feel safe again.

As their arrangement turns deliciously decadent, Lucas gets hooked on Karlie’s killer body and fighting spirit. He wants to heal the pain he sees behind her eyes, but to protect her he needs to keep her close, especially now that her psycho ex won’t take a hint. Even as Lucas fights his own battle for custody of his young son, he knows that what he’s found with Karlie is real—and that he’d do anything to protect the woman he wants to take to the finish line.

my review

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I was excited about this one. I saw it available for a blog tour, and I jumped at the chance to read it. First of all, the cover is hot! Second of all, I have a thing for guys saving women from horrible relationships with bad guys. And this time, it’s Lucas, a cop on a motorcycle. Yes, please!

WHAT I LIKED

The IDEA of the story. A girl who grew up in foster care ends up in an abusive relationship and can’t get herself to leave. Then, there’s a guy who was married and has a son who has been unhappy without his family. And they somehow find each other. It’s a nice idea, and it sounds like it could be really romantic, but…

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

LUCAS! Omg, he was the most irritating lead male character ever! At first, he was okay. He came in to save the day and protected Karlie, but then he turned out to be just as controlling as her abusive boyfriend, minus the violence. She is obviously suffering emotionally from everything, and then he puts all this pressure on her to move on with him, and it has literally been like two days. Really?! It just felt like he pushed and pushed, which seemed completely inappropriate and unrealistic. I would have run for the hills if I were her. Way too much way too fast.

The plot. Boy saves girl from crazy boyfriend. Girl moves in with boy next day. Girl and boy get together following day. Ridiculous. And it just got even more ridiculous after that.

Lucas and Karlie’s relationship. I didn’t feel a connection at all. There was lust. That’s about it. And even that wasn’t believable.

The emphasis on Karlie’s appearance. Yeah, I get it. She’s got double-Ds and a tiny waist. You don’t have to tell me 87 times! So annoying…

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Not for me. I almost stopped reading several times, but that is kind of a rule of mine. Finish no matter what. I really liked the idea behind the story, which is the only reason this book didn’t get one heart, but it could have been executed so much better! In a book like this, I need to fall in love with the guy right along with the heroine, but I pretty much hated him. So that was a huge negative factor for me. I’ve heard good things about this author, so I will give another one of her books a chance, but this definitely wasn’t a good first impression…

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

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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: Catching Cassidy by Melissa Foster

25166996Title: Catching Cassidy (Harborside Nights #1)

Author: Melissa Foster

Published by: World Literary Press on April 28th, 2015

Length: 266 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Source: InkSlinger PR (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

 

(from Goodreads)

If you enjoy the Love in Bloom series by Melissa Foster, you’ll love Harborside Nights.

Harborside Nights is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real New Adult Romance series that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting–most of the time. Although Catching Cassidy is a heterosexual romance, this series will include heterosexual, gay, and lesbian themes, written in the loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.

In Catching Cassidy…
Wyatt Armstrong never imagined that instead of celebrating his college graduation, he and his twin sister would be dealing with the death of their parents. Then again, Wyatt had never been one to think past tomorrow. He heads to their summer home in Harborside, Massachusetts, with his best friend Cassidy Lowell in tow, to spread his parents’ ashes and to try to figure out his next step.

Six foot two, infuriatingly handsome, and flirtatious, Wyatt Armstrong has always been there for Cassidy, helping her pass her classes and fend off unwanted advances, while driving her insane with his one-night stands–but that’s what best friends are for, isn’t it? Having each other’s backs. There was never any doubt that she would accompany him to his family’s summer home–even if her jealous boyfriend is giving her hell for it. But he doesn’t have anything to be jealous of…or does he?

It’s impossible to ignore the sizzling heat between them as Wyatt and Cassidy get even closer, but Cassidy knows Wyatt’s past, and she has a real job to begin in the fall. Wyatt may be a sure thing for the summer, but Cassidy needs more. For the first time in his life, Wyatt is forced to look toward the future if he doesn’t want to lose the one woman who’s shared his past and owns his heart.

Coming in 2015 the full Harborside Nights series:
Catching Cassidy (Het)
Discovering Delilah (F/F)
Tempting Tristan (M/M)
Chasing Charley (Het)
Breaking Brandon (M/M)
Embracing Evan (Het)
Reaching Rusty (Het)
Loving Livi (Het)

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I’m doing a review for Melissa Foster’s Discovering Delilah blog tour tomorrow. Even though this could be read as a stand-alone, I never read a series out of order. Yes, I have many rules for myself when it comes to reading. I’m weird. So, naturally, I had to read Catching Cassidy first. And I’m so glad I did! First of all, look at that cover! I know I talk about covers a lot, but they really do have a huge impact on whether or not I read something. And the covers of this entire series are awesome! Then, I read the synopsis, and I was hooked. I’m a huge sucker for the best-friends-turning-into-more storyline. So I absolutely had to read this one.

WHAT I LIKED

Cassidy and Wyatt’s relationship. I so loved that they have always been close. I love that they have never crossed that line and they have always just been best friends. I love how protective he is of her, especially when it comes to guys, who will never be good enough for her in his eyes. I love that they are there for each other no matter what. I love that they are both so hesitant about turning their friendship into something more because they don’t want to risk losing what they have. Yes, I have a lot of love going on around here. I just couldn’t get enough of them. And Wyatt. O.M.G. He is pretty much my perfect book boyfriend. He’s got that bad boy, alpha male thing going for him, but Cassidy brings out this other side of him, and I love it.

The awesome group of friends. Cassidy and Wyatt have this group of friends that makes me super jealous because I wish they were real and they were MY friends. They are all there for each other in different ways. And I thought the author did such a great job of introducing all these secondary characters in a way that we still care about them so much that we will continue reading the series to get to their individual stories.

The importance of family. Cassidy doesn’t have the most loving parents. They were barely around when she was growing up, and they still aren’t. Wyatt grew up with strict parents, but they were always there for him, so he doesn’t know how to deal with them being taken from him in an instant. What I think is important in this book is that parents have a huge impact on their kids. Even though Cassidy’s parents weren’t ever around, she desperately wants their attention and their approval. On the other hand, while Wyatt didn’t always like how strict his parents were, their deaths put a lot of things into perspective for him. Not only do parents have a strong impact, but the friends you choose to be in your life who turn into family are the ones will always be there for you, and that is so clear in this book.

I could go on and on about the things I liked about this book. That’s how good it was. Just read it. Trust me. You’ll like it.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Nothing! I really tried to think of something I didn’t like, but honestly, nothing came to mind. Kudos to Melissa Foster for writing such an awesome book!

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I loved this book so much! I’m not gonna lie. Wyatt was a big reason that I adored it as much as I did. A good book boyfriend gets me every time. BUT, the whole story was amazing. I mean, I clearly had nothing to complain about, which doesn’t happen often. I’m so happy I got the chance to read this one. I would definitely buy a paperback, and I have a feeling that I’ll love all of the books in this series. I see a lot of Melissa Foster in my future! Great, great book! On to the next one!

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that boyfriends come and go, but real friends, friends who will beat up the assholes and not let anyone see your boobs when you’re too drunk to know? Those friends are rare.”

“We all feel like sluts sometimes…We’re supposed to feel like sluts. God gave us lust, right? Well, we’re only human, so we take that word and we mix up the letters.”

“I stay because hearts aren’t as smart as heads.”

“That’s what growing up is all about. Turning mistakes into lessons.”

“I’d like to believe that I don’t need rescuing, but I think there are times in all of our lives when we do need to be rescued.”

“Any notion you had of being in charge of your relationship…you might as well toss it overboard right now. If you’re smart, what your woman wants, she gets.” 

five hearts

5 out of 5 Hearts!

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Back To Us by Teresa Roman

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Back To Us blog tour stop! I already had so many books I needed to review, but when I saw this one, I just HAD to participate in this blog tour and review the book. And I’m so glad I did!

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Title: Back To Us

Author: Teresa Roman

Published: August 6th, 2015

Length: 175 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Source: Enchanted Book Promotions (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

 

Synopsis:

Abandoned by her parents at fourteen, Jessica knows what it means to struggle. She’s vowed that getting her degree is the only thing she has time for, until a summer internship brings Justin into her life.

But Justin has scars of his own. A tour of duty in Afghanistan has left him with wounds. A medical discharge from the Navy leaves Justin struggling to make sense of his new reality. Then he meets Jessica; but can the two of them leave their pain in the past and make a future together?

Excerpt:

I turned to leave. There were a million things I wanted to say to Justin, but without a guarantee that he’d respond the way I wanted him too, I was too afraid.

“Jess.”

“Yes?” I was almost at the door.

Justin hopped up on the table behind him and rested his feet on a chair. I waited for him to talk. “I’m scared,” he finally said.

“Scared of what?”

“That you’ll break me.”

I walked over to Justin slowly and stood in front of him. “You don’t believe I care about you?”

“I do. But feelings change, people change.”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to be saying right now. I was the one who asked you out. I was the one who told you I was interested, but you turned me down, twice.”

“Because I’m an idiot.”

“Justin…”

“Just hear me out, okay?”

“Ok.” I took a step closer to him and he reached for my hand.

My Review:

INITIAL THOUGHTS

The title and the cover intrigued me from the start. And after I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. I’m a sucker for two damaged people with their own haunted pasts who come together, fall in love, and make each other’s lives better.

WHAT I LIKED

Oh where do I start? I loved everything about this book. It was one of those feel-good books that you just can’t put down because you just HAVE to know what happens to these characters you grow so attached to. I read it in almost one sitting. If I didn’t have a job and a toddler to take care of, I would have devoured it in one day. But, let me get to the specifics…

The romance. Let’s just jump right into it. The romance was the heart of the story. Pretty much instantly, you feel for both Jessica and Justin. Jessica had a horrible childhood and is still affected by her poor excuses for parents. Justin, on the other hand, had a great childhood, but is still suffering from what he went through during a tour in Afghanistan. I just wanted to reach in the book and hug them both. But that was the best part about this relationship. They not only had to learn to love each other, but they had to learn to love themselves. They taught each other that they are good enough just the way they are and they’re worthy of having that type of love that neither of them thought was possible. And that makes this a beautiful story.

The different family dynamics. I loved the different relationships in this book. Jessica and her brother are close, and I see them as this team that has faced a lot of bad times together, but they were there for each other and will always be. The mother-son relationship between Justin and his mom is unique as well. While she loves him and only wants what is best, she may approach things in a hurtful way. And those are just two examples. I really liked that family was such a focal point of this story, and the many different types of relationships was explored, which was so realistic.

The writing. The writing was so good! This is definitely an author I will keep my eye on. The pace was perfect. Jessica and Justin gradually got to know one another, and the time it took for them to fall for each other was believable. I’m so glad it wasn’t one of those instant-soulmate-let’s-get-married relationships. And the characters were just so real to me. I always tell myself that when I care about the characters enough to lose sleep over because I just have to know what happens to them, then I know I’m reading a book written by a brilliant author, and that is exactly what happened here.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

Okay, this wasn’t a huge, huge deal, but I kind of wanted a bit more depth, maybe some more raw emotions from the two lead characters. Don’t get me wrong. This book definitely gave me the feels, but I just wanted more, especially because these two people have gone through so much. BUT, that is really the only complaint I have.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

Awesome book! I would definitely read this one again. It was this sweet romance between these people who deserve to be loved but don’t know how to love themselves, and it was just so enjoyable to see these characters grow individually and together. Trust me. You will have a hard time putting this one down. I am now a Teresa Roman fan, and I hope to see a lot more books by her.

About the Author:

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Teresa Roman is a lover of books, both reading and writing them. She currently resides in Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and the puppy her son convinced them to adopt. When she isn’t at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer writing or with her head buried in another book.

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Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway – Red Blooded by Caitlin Sinead

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Welcome to the I Heart Fictional People’s Red Blooded blog tour stop! Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit why this is late. I actually had it written days ago, but I was out of town for a few days, and I thought I had it set to publish on the 13th, but clearly, I was wrong. I apologize! Anyway, on to my review of this great book!

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Title: Red Blooded

Author: Caitlin Sinead

Published by: Carina Press on August 3rd, 2015

Length: 222 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult

Source: InkSlinger PR (for honest review)

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Instead of eating ramen and meeting frat guys like most college freshmen, Peyton Arthur is on the campaign trail. Traveling with her mother, the Democratic pick for vice president, she’s ordering room service, sneaking glances at cute campaign intern Dylan and deflecting interview questions about the tragic loss of her father. But when a reporter questions her paternity, her world goes into a tailspin.

Dylan left Yale and joined the campaign to make a difference, not keep tabs on some girl. But with the paternity scandal blowing up and Peyton asking questions, he’s been tasked to watch her every move. As he gets to know the real Peyton, he finds it harder and harder to keep a professional distance.

When the media demands a story, Peyton and Dylan give them one—a fake relationship. As they work together to investigate the rumors about her real father and Peyton gets closer to learning the truth, she’s also getting closer to Dylan. And suddenly, it’s not just her past on the line anymore. It’s her heart.

My Review:

Initial Thoughts

I absolutely loved the cover when I first saw it! It instantly grabbed my attention, and I knew I had to find out more about it. When I read what it was about, I had mixed feelings. I’m really not into politics, so I didn’t know how I would feel about that aspect of the book, but I also just HAD to know more about Peyton and Dylan and their intriguing fake relationship. And I’m glad I did!

What I Liked

This book was really well-written! I was surprised to find out that Caitlin Sinead is a fairly new author. Judging from this book, I would’ve guessed that she is a seasoned pro. Everything flowed well, the pace was just right, and one of my favorite parts was how each chapter began. They each began with a little snippet from Peyton’s dad’s book, and I swear, it had me on the verge of tears almost every single time. It was such a perfect way to introduce each chapter. Her dad may have passed away, but it was a nice way to keep him very much part of the story. I loved that.

The plot. Even though I usually avoid all things related to politics, I really enjoyed this story. It’s more than just the politics. It’s about a girl struggling with possible revelations about her past and also with new feelings for a guy. I also liked the fact that it shows the human side of politicians and their families. I don’t think people realize how tough it can be to be the daughter of a senator or someone high up on the political food chain. I know I never really thought about it. So, it really opened my eyes, which I appreciate.

The romance. Yes, the romance. Peyton and Dylan do not have your typical relationship. They see an opportunity to perhaps help Peyton’s mom’s campaign, and they decide to start a fake relationship. As you can imagine, things aren’t as fake as one might think. And I really, really liked the pacing of their blooming romance. It wasn’t just two people falling instantly in love and jumping right into a relationship. It was gradual, which made it that much more believable.

What I Didn’t Like

The ONLY minor thing I didn’t like was that I wish there were more Peyton/Dylan romance scenes. Don’t get me wrong. The whole book involves the two of them, in one way or another, but I wanted more of the romantic, lovey dovey stuff. There was more of that toward the end, and I guess it just left me wanting more.

Overall Thoughts

This was such a great story. It had an independent lead female character, a sweet romance, drama, some plot twists you won’t see coming, and yes, even the dreaded politics that somehow really worked, and that’s saying a lot from someone who despises anything political. So, trust me when I say that this is one you won’t want to miss. I am now a Caitlin Sinead fan, and I cannot wait to read her other books.

BUY IT NOW – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks

About Caitlin Sinead

Caitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, is available now from Carina Press. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The AlarmistThe BinnacleCrunchableJersey Devil Pressand Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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Chapter Reveal: Before & After by Nazarea Andrews

BA_CHrevealI’m so excited to present the Chapter Reveal (hosted by InkSlingerPR) for Before & After, a New Adult contemporary romance written by author Nazarea Andrews, which will be released on July 30th!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]BEFORE & AFTER BOOK BLURB:

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college.

A boy from the wrong side of the tracks, covered in ink and crooning in a bar is the last person a straight laced girl with a art major should fall for, but his rough edges made her jagged, alive, shaving away the coddled southern princess and revealing a soul wild and brilliant.

They fell in love, despite her family and his past and all the reasons why it wouldn’t work–and with their best friends, they made a life.

Everyone was supposed to live happily ever after.
They, more than anyone, know that life doesn’t go according to plan.

Rike and Peyton fell in love in college. A boy with a guitar, and a poet’s heart, and a girl with freckles dusted over her nose, a perfect fucking fairy tale.

But what happens when the fairy tale doesn’t fall apart–but is forgotten?

Click HERE to add it on Goodreads!

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CHAPTER ONE:

Prologue: Now

It’s raining buckets and I don’t want to go out in that. I stared at it from under the awning of the club and felt Lindsay sway into me. For a second, we both wobbled and another one of the girls banged against my side and I shrieked, sure we were going down.
Lindsay rights me, pulls me close. I lean my head on her shoulder and puff out a petulant, “Bitch.”
Her grip tightens just a touch and she laughs.
I haven’t been this drunk since senior year of college, when we did Christmas at her parent’s beach house in Key West. I wouldn’t be this drunk now except she begged.
Hung over and washed out wouldn’t do for the wedding, and even after that insane night on the beach with jello shots and beer funnels and tequila body shots, I had woken up without a hang over.
And that’s what you do, when your best friend begs the night before her wedding–you do her shots while the rest of the bridal party screams at the strippers and you slip her watered down beer that smells like piss.
You take the holy fuck never again drunk, because tomorrow, no one will be looking at me while she prances down the aisle in white.
Well.
One person will. And he’d think this shit was hilarious. I giggle against Linds’ shoulder and she bumps me gently. “You good?” She murmurs as we wait for the cab.
I smirk up at her, the world spinning unsteadily. “I’m fucking wasted.”
She laughs softly and kisses my forehead.
“Lindsay, get in,” one of the other girls calls and she peers at the cab. It won’t hold all of us, and I can feel a new tension settle over my best friend.
Lindsay doesn’t have a lot of close friends. Partly because we came here, to this city neither of us knows, because of the boys. So we both started over.
And because when we have each other, and the boys, well. We don’t need much else. But she’s more social than I am. And she works at a small ad agency, where she’s gotten close to the other girls.
So when she needed bridesmaids, of course she asked them.
I smirk as Lindsay shakes her head. “Y’all go. Peyton and I will grab the next.”
There’s a moment of rain splattered quiet and then the girl–I forget but I think she’s one of the Jennifers–shrugs and slides into the little cab, slamming the door behind her.
“What a bitch,” I mutter.
She laughs, that real noise that I know like breathing. Not the fake shit she’s been shoveling at the other girls all night.
“Stop it,” she orders and I blink up at her. “You’re thinking too much. Your drunk, Pey. Let go and enjoy it.”
I lean into her, and murmur, “Wanna help?”
She laughs again, shoving my shoulder, and I giggle. “You are such a slut when you drink.” She mutters.
I nod agreeably, and a cab pulls up. It’s dingy and the driver is frowning at his phone even as it he pulls to a stop. He gives us a distracted look as we spill in and the world sways, dizzy for a long moment. Lindsay tugs me against her as I whimper and pushes my hair back, studying me. “The Embassy Suites,” she says and he nods, jerking into motion.
Linds mutters under her breath and reaches for her seatbelt. “Sit up, honey. Belt. The rain is awful.”
“Freaking mother hen,” I grumble and she shrugs, implacable. I huff and shift to sit up and my phone goes off, the ringtone that only Rike has. I squeal and Lindsay reaches for me as I scramble for my purse, abandoned on the dark, dirty floorboard. I close my hand over it and hear her scream, my name a twisted noise that is almost unrecognizable.
It’s the last thing I can’t remember.

Young couple in love outdoorBA_TEASER3_SM

 

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AUTHOR LINKS:

Website – http://www.nazareaandrews.com/
Blog – http://www.nazarea-andrews.blogspot.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/NazareaAndrews
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nazarea-Andrews/43623123516
Street Team – https://www.facebook.com/groups/427502530700422/

 

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Review: The Line Between by Tamsyn Bester

23346285Title: The Line Between

Author: Tamsyn Bester

Published: January 19th, 2015

Length: 254 pages (eBook)

Genre: New Adult/Romance

Source: NetGalley

My Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤❤

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.

** ** ** ** ** **

It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…

My Review: 

I apologize in advance for sounding like an obsessive teenager with a crush. The grownup fangirl in me has arrived and is not planning on leaving any time soon.

I should probably start with my rating. I know my rating system says the highest rating is five hearts, but I’m breaking the rules and giving this book six very well-deserved hearts. IT’S MY BLOG. I DO WHAT I WANT.

I can’t even put into words how much I loved this book. I stayed up until 4 in the morning reading it, so excuse my random, unorganized thoughts. I’m sleep deprived, but I couldn’t be happier about it because it was SO worth it! So, where do I start?

I guess I’ll start with the cover. It was love at first sight for me. I knew I just HAD to read it. And then I read the synopsis. Come on! Two people who hate each other and are secretly drawn to each other? Who wouldn’t want to read this book?!

I’m so glad I did! It was like a modern, sexier version of Romeo and Juliet. Their families don’t get along, so they grew up as pretty much enemies. But, of course, when you can’t have something, you want it even more, right? The difference here was that they genuinely hated each other. There is so much history and animosity there that it’s hard to ignore. And over the years, Dane had done so much to hurt Kennedy. Then, that thin line between love and hate began to blur. And I was a happy witness to it all. And I have to admit: the hate they had for each other that gradually turned into something more was sexy as hell! They couldn’t stand each other, but they also couldn’t stand to be away from each other. I have read books about love/hate relationships before, but this one doesn’t even compare. The song “Nothing Compares to You” by Sinead O’Connor comes to mind. I’m serious. I loved it.

And Dane is my new favorite book boyfriend. Yes, he was frustrating sometimes, but once you get to know him and his past, you understand and begin to feel for him. And I absolutely loved how protective he was of Kennedy. He came to her rescue on a few occasions, even though he was supposed to despise her, and it was just so swoon-worthy. And he is so damn sexy! My God! It’s insane how attracted I am to him. Why does he have to be fictional?! And he has this sweet, thoughtful side that only Kennedy seems to bring out of him, and it’s just another reason I love him. Yes, I love a fictional character way more than I should, but hey, that’s the name of my blog, and I’m not ashamed of it!

Kennedy is awesome. She puts on this tough exterior, but deep down, she’s hurting, as Dane is, and I have mad respect for her because she has been through a lot but still seems to push through and live her life. And I love the minor characters. Reid, Jade, and even Grady are friends that I would love to have. Reid is charming and sweet. Jade is that friend who would do anything for you and help you get through life’s struggles just by being there. And Grady is just so outgoing and hilarious that he can make you laugh no matter what you’re going through. Such a perfect cast of fictional people here!

What I loved about the plot was that as a reader, you didn’t know exactly what happened to make Dane hate Kennedy so much. You can assume, but it’s not clearly stated until toward the end, which I thought was such a great move from a writing standpoint. All of a sudden, you’re like, “Ohhhhh! Now it all makes sense.” It wouldn’t have had the same effect if we knew exactly what happened from the beginning.

And damn did this book give me the feels. There was one particular chapter that really got to me (and then a couple scenes after that too). I tend to highlight and write notes within my books, and I’ll share with you what I wrote at the end of this chapter so you get a feel for how it affected me: “That was brutal. I am a fucking emotional mess. My pillow is drenched with heartbreaking tears.” And I wasn’t even exaggerating. I was crying almost hysterically. I’m glad everyone in the house was sleeping. I can’t remember the last time I cried over a book like that. So, kudos to Tamsyn Bester and her fantastic writing and storytelling skills for turning me into a complete crybaby.

And the ending! I won’t say much because I don’t want to give it away, but let’s just say I’ve been practically smiling for 10 hours straight. I don’t want to go back to reality!!!

And now I’m realizing how long this review is. Sorry! So, overall, I am IN LOVE with this book and now with this author (don’t worry, I’m not a creepy stalker or anything). I have zero complaints. I tried to think of one, but there is absolutely no negative things I can say about it, hence the SIX HEARTS! I MUST have the paperback version of this book. I NEED it on my bookshelf, and I won’t be happy until it’s there. I just finished this book last night, and I already need to read it again. I could talk about this book for another seven pages, so I am going to end it here because I’m getting ridiculous. Bottomline: Amazing book. Amazing author. Absolute must-read and must-own 🙂

*I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Author Links: