Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #101

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The Bakersville DozenCassie's Waiting On: 
The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride
Publication Date: July 4, 2017

Synopsis:
You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.

This one sounds so intriguing and right up my alley! It reminds me a bit of another book I read this year so I'm interested to see how different it will be from that one.  These books usually go one of two ways for me, so I'm hoping I won't be able to figure out anything until the very end!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
The Tiger's Watch (Ashes of Gold, #1) by Julia Ember 
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2017 


Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn't question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.


Just by reading the description of this novel I am super intrigued! The fact that they kill using a bonded animal draws me in the most since I'm not familiar with that type of mythology. I've never read anything by Julia Ember before but I can't wait to see what this novel has in store!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Blitz: Damage Control

Damage Control Tour Graphic
Damage ControlAbout the Book:
Title: DAMAGE CONTROL
Author: Eva King
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Hot Tree Publishing
Publication Date: May 27, 2017
Synopsis:

Recovering from a broken relationship, Emma Mitchell moves in with her best friend. Her life is quiet and uneventful, just how she likes it. Little does she know that the events of the following months will change her life forever.
Famous Hollywood actor James McNair is a renowned womaniser with a penchant for partying and hitting the tabloids for all the wrong reasons. When a night of partying a little too hard means he finally has to take stock and reevaluate his lifestyle, a week away from the flashing lights of Hollywood is just what he needs. What better place to hide than in his childhood home in Edinburgh, Scotland?
When the old friends are reunited, feelings resurface and sparks fly. But James must keep the pretence of his new persona until the premier of his biggest film in his career. He just has no idea if he'll be able to keep his feelings for Emma under wraps until then.
"Losing touch for seven years, two best friends reunite. A few snags come along the way, but their love will prove it is greater than it all. Definite must read! ❤️"
- Tricia Davis, Goodreads Reviewer


"If you are looking for a strong contemporary romance with flawed and realistic characters, Damage Control is a marvelous choice!"
- Beth, Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Damage Control Teaser

Giveaway

WIN $10 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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Contest runs from May 30 - June 5, 2017.

Additional Giveaway

Be sure to also join the giveaway for Damage Control, hosted by Hot Tree Publishing.
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About Eva King:

Eva King was born in Spain. During her teenage years, she moved with her mother to Scotland where she fell in love with the culture and one of its men. She now lives in Barcelona with her husband, two children, and a cat called Hamish.

Official website: http://www.evakingauthor.com
Connect with Eva King on: Facebook | Twitter




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Monday, May 29, 2017

ARC Review: Stolas (Dark Soul #1)

Stolas (Dark Soul, #1)About the Book:
Title: Stolas (Dark Soul #1)
Author: Randi Cooley Wilson
Pub. Date: May 22, 2017
Publisher: Secret Garden Productions
Pages: 300
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:
An ancient legend draws them together.
His dark soul will tear them apart.
Sometimes the only fairytales that exist are the dark ones.

For the past two years, Hope Annandale has fought to hold onto her sanity. Plagued by voices and visions, she struggles to understand what’s real, and what’s an illusion. As the lines between reality and hallucination blur, Hope discovers things that shouldn’t be real, suddenly exist. When Hope’s world falls apart, figuring out the secrets of her past becomes a matter of life and death. And the only one who can save her is the dangerously attractive demon prince, who is bound by an ancient legacy to betray her. The fate Stone has fought to escape is here. With destiny on one side, and desire on the other, Stone must protect Hope from the one thing he can’t hide from, his birthright. 

What if the one person you were meant to be with could never be yours? Stolas, the first novel in the Dark Soul series is a riveting tale of passion, danger and forbidden love. Intended for mature readers.

Review:

description

If I could give this book 10 stars I would because it would be worth every single one! Randi Cooley Wilson has done it again...she's delivered an amazing new story that will leave you begging for more and with a shattered heart (aka what she does best)! In her first departure from her gargoyle series, Randi crafts an excellent new world, one that involves the 9 circles of Hell! I loved her spin on everything as it was unique but still held that feel of Dante's Inferno that I love. Just as you descend through the circles of Hell, Randi lets us descend into the story so that we fall in love with every single one of her new characters.

description

One thing Randi has always done an amazing job at is giving her readers characters that you love right from the beginning...even the bad ones. And Stolas is no exception! I honestly loved every single character that is featured in this book (well...maybe not Lucifer, but he was such a well-written evil character, I loved him for living up to his namesake devilish-ness). Hope is such a relatable character. She is such a force to be reckoned with and has great sass! I loved her character so much. Hope has been seeing demons and had dark dreams all her life, and because of that she's been told she's schizophrenic. But, obviously that's not truly the case. And when Stolas comes onto the scene, well let's just say he has his hands full with Hope. He definitely didn't expect someone like her to enter his life, but she does...and it's absolutely heart-stopping. Stolas, whose name is also Stone, has hardened his heart and believes he's just as much a devil as his father. That's not the truth though, and even though he's warned away from Hope, he can't resist her. And together they are perfect! Hope softens the stone that is Stolas' heart, and they have instant chemistry. They are plenty of sexy times between them, but I loved watching how both Stone and Hope developed into better, even stronger characters by the end of the book. Seriously though, the electricity between them as off the charts, and I loved every single second of it! All I have to say about Stone though is this: 

description

The world-building in this novel is fantastic and I truly felt like I was right there next to these characters experiencing everything they were. Everything was so well-written and this book truly sweeps you off your feet. There are some tough subjects that are featured in the story, but Randi remained sensitive to these topics and wrote them realistically. She did an excellent job in these parts and I think it is something that deserves mention. That ending though....let's just say brutal doesn't even begin to describe it! It shattered my heart and left me a mess. I seriously don't know how I'm going to be able to make it until the second book in the series, Vassago, is released! Definitely add this to your TBR list for 2017 because you don't want to miss out!!


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Friday, May 26, 2017

Audiobook Review: Heartless

About The Book:

  Title: Heartless 
  Author: Marissa Meyer 
  Pub. Date: November 8th, 2016
  Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
  Pages: 453 
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings 
  Rate: 2.5/5 stars 




Synopsis :

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Review:

If it's one thing that will make or break an audiobook for me, it's the narrator. There's been too many audiobooks that I just had to stop because the narrator's voice was so nauseating. Lucky for me, Heartless had an amazing narrator that kept me engaged throughout the entire book. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to make me love this. I don't know anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland as much as me, I've been a huge fan ever since I was a little girl. I also am a fan of Ms. Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series. So, I was HIGHLY anticipating the release of this last year. Heartless follows Cath, who is destined to become the Queen of Hearts.

Ok - the Queen of Hearts is SUCH an infamous villain, you can't help but be drawn into her story. She's truly iconic. She's so iconic that the majority of this book is almost unbelievable. Cath doesn't want to be married to the King, she wants to open her own bakery. This is all fine and well, but the only thing she does is complain and whine, never doing anything constructive about her situation to change it. Does this sound like the Queen of Hearts you know? It doesn't sound characteristic of the one I'm familiar of. While she develops a crush on the court jester to the King, she becomes even more idiotic. She starts blaming everyone in her life for her problems except for herself. Literally everyone. It's Hatter's fault, or her maid, her mother's, father's, the King's, and the list can go on and on. This would be fine if it wasn't the ORIGIN story to the famous Queen of Hearts. You're meaning to tell me the Queen of Hearts was so caught up over a boy she refused to function in the world of Wonderland? I just can't believe it. I of course loved the whimsy and magic of Wonderland, and seeing our favorite classic characters the Hatter, March Hare, and the Cheshire Cat. However, I don't think this did our evil Queen of Hearts justice.

So while the narrator of this audiobook definitely made this somewhat enjoyable, I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. The whimsy of Wonderland was definitely brought to life with Heartless, which I obviously loved. I just couldn't get over how unbelievable Cath was as the Queen of Hearts. I thought her origin story would be a little bit more epic than being sad over a boy she knew for a few months at the longest. Are you a fan of Alice in Wonderland? What did you think of Heartless?



- Jocelyn

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cover Reveal: Amnesia

About the Book:
Title: Amnesia
Author: Cambria Hebert
Publication date: June 12, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis: 
I washed ashore in a little lake town.
A place where everyone knows everyone, yet…
No one knows me.
I don’t know me.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist?
I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live.
I am invisible.
To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together.
I just want answers, the truth… knowledge.
His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me.
I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave.
They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.

Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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~Cassie

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #100

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 

The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina McBride 
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
The Bakersville Dozen
Synopsis:
You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.


This sounds like an interested mystery novel...hopefully it's unique enough that it won't be predictable because that's always the killer (pun intended) with these novels. This is the first book I'm reading by Ms. McBride, so I'm excited to see what she has in store for readers!

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
This is Not the End by Chandler Baker 
Publication Date: August 8th, 2017


Synopsis:
On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can't move on?


After reading Scythe by Neal Shusterman, which also talks about resurrection technology, I must admit I think this subject is very intriguing. While both seem entirely different in subject matter, I can't wait to see Mr. Baker's spin on the topic.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blog Tour: Chance at Redemption

About the Book:
Title: Chance at Redemption (Madison Square #3)
Author: Samatha Harris
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 23, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”
Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.
Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…
Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.
Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…
Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.
Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…

Author Bio:
Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.
Review:

I have been a fan of the Madison Square series ever since it came out, so when I was able to read the third book a little early...well I jumped on the chance! Similar to the previous 2 novels, Chance at Redemption can be read as a standalone, but it's so much better when you read them all start to finish. The characters from the prior novels make appearances quite frequently, so it's nice to be able to catch up with them and see how those relationships are going while still enjoying a brand new couple/story. This one focuses on Liam and Gwen, both characters which were featured in other books. I was very excited to read Liam's story, but I wasn't so sure about Gwen. Gwen was always pretty nasty, but I was interested to see where Ms. Harris would take her character. This is a nice, easy read that you'll get through quickly and is the perfect way to start the summer!

Liam was an excellent character in this novel. I loved everything about him from his big heart to his overall good nature. He is easily likable, and I wanted the best for him throughout the entire book. He's had a pretty rough life dealing with his parents, and now that he's finally doing something he loves and making a great name for himself, he's still facing backlash for those choices. But he pushes through and doesn't care for anyone's opinion on his choice of career or lifestyle. The one thing I loved about his character was his characterization. Ms. Harris did an excellent job at developing his character throughout the story. We watch this man who is very closed-off become someone who takes risks and opens himself up to the girl he loves. Gwen on the other hand was a pretty tough character to like. As I mentioned, she has a very strong attitude and is basically mean to the core. She's very entitled, something that I thought was still there in the end, and I did find her "transformation" a little too sudden. But she did grow on me by the end of the book. I would have liked to see her do a little more around Liam to show how much she truly changed (instead of just superficial changes that is). 

The one thing I will say that I didn't feel as much in this book as the previous books was the chemistry. I couldn't 100% get into Liam and Gwen's relationship. To me, they seemed more of the type of couple that would stay together for maybe a year and then realize they were just good friends, not soulmates. There wasn't that buyable "spark" or passion between them like I felt with the other relationships featured in this series (which I felt was most obvious when those other couples would be in the scenes with Liam and Gwen). However, I do want to say that I think their relationship was excellently written because it was extremely realistic and in many ways, relatable. Who doesn't have ups and downs when it comes to love? I do think that given some time, Liam and Gwen would be perfect for each other, but I think Gwen still needs to find out who she truly is first before committing to the type of relationship that Liam wants. 

The one thing I was thrilled to see was a wedding between a certain couple. I'll refrain from saying who in case you haven't read the other books yet, but it was a long time coming and I'm glad they finally got their happily ever after. My only other complaint is that I felt the story kind of cut off and there was no true resolution. I think an epilogue would have helped a great deal because then I would maybe feel better about how things were left between Liam and Gwen in the end. 

I still highly recommend reading this book if you are a fan of contemporary romance or this series! While it isn't my favorite in the Madison Square series, I really enjoyed it and was easily drawn right back into these characters' world. I truly hope there's another book in this series because I don't want to say goodbye yet!

Happy reading :)
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~Cassie

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns & Roses #3)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)About the Book:
Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children Books
Pub. Date: May 2, 2017
Pages: 699
Rating: 5/5 stars



Synopsis:

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.
 

Review:

“When you erupt, girl, make sure it is felt across worlds.” 

I seriously have no idea where to even begin with this review. I'm going to try not to include any spoilers, but if there are any, I'll give you fair warning before reading further. Honestly, I am absolutely blown away by this novel and it took me several days to adjust to the world after finishing this beautiful book. I honestly don't know how SJM can top this book, but let's get real here...she will because she's just that amazing. I read this in one sitting overnight because I simply couldn't put it down. It's true, this book is a Court of Pain and Feels but it is absolutely mindblowing and I felt incomplete after finishing. SJM seriously took her writing to new heights, and I can't even begin to explain how fantastic it was to experience this journey.

“The great joy and honour of my life has been to know you. To call you my family. And I am grateful - more than I can possibly say - that I was given this time with you all.” 

I have been such a fan of this series from the very beginning because I always felt that it showed Sarah J. Maas' extreme writing talent. It's so different from the Throne of Glass series, and I loved the creativity and dedication that she puts into this story. You can clearly tell just how much all of these characters mean to her, and every scene is richly described. Her writing truly sweeps you away and it's something that you easily lose yourself in. I know that if someone would ask me tomorrow to leave this world behind and instead go into Feyre's world, I would not even hesitate. This story is complex and I never expected for SJM to build on the world so much more than previously, but she does, and it's excellent. There is a great progression to the story, and this means new faces and new places come into play all while still developing our beloved characters.

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.” 

The book starts with Feyre back in the Spring Court with Tamlin. While some people might have found this part slow, I think it showcased just how far Feyre has come as a character. The strength that it took to go back and set the foundation for her (and Rhysand's) plot was utterly fantastic! I think it helped set up the story perfectly and it showed us Feyre's mindset at the time. I definitely got some Aelin feels in this part because of how awesome and kickass Feyre was, which just added to my love for her character. But the best thing: Feyre's characterization. I thought she was well-developed already, but SJM added yet another layer to her character. Feyre is such a strong and powerful character and has come such a long way since the first book. Looking back, I can't even believe that this is the same person...and that is an excellent thing. It shows how much Rhys and the Night Court have impacted her and aided her in the person she was to ultimately become. 

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... the wait was worth it.” 

Rhys is as perfect as ever. I mean come on...who doesn't love him?! The way he treats Feyre made me swoon every darn time, and she is his High Lady in every single way. He gives her something that Tamlin never did...respect. He believes in her and that she can accomplish amazing thing. He allows her to spread her wings (<-- this is an excellent pun btw...I know I'm really not as funny as I think) and embrace her magic. The constant support and love Rhys shows her is something every girl should have. Plus, he's freaking hilarious...you can't get a better man! I honestly will never get enough of him and he will always stay firmly in my top 5 book boyfriends. Obviously the chemistry between Feyre and Rhys is off the charts, and all the sex scenes are perfectly written. I love them together so much, it just makes my heart happy. 

“It's a rare person to face who they are and not run from it - not be broken by it.” 

Cassian and Nesta are brilliant and I firmly believe that they will be a focus in one of the upcoming books. I need them together, and I need to have a book with them as the main characters because it will be such an epic story! They have the perfect dynamic that is present throughout the entire book. We learn more about Mor, and my heart broke for her multiple times. I just wanted to give her a giant hug, but I loved delving deeper into her character. Azriel is brooding as ever, but I love him. There is definitely something up with him and Elain, and I need to know what that something is. Amren's sass is pure gold and I love her so much. There are definitely some surprises with her character that left me (along with the characters) shocked. We also meet a new High Lord, Helion and god do I love him! He has to be in these next 3 books because he's awesome. We also see the return of the Bone Carver and the Suriel. And seriously...they play epic roles in the story. And Tamlin...I have to mention this guy. I actually liked how SJM handled him in this book (especially at the end). It was realistic and believable. And (Lord help me), I didn't hate him anymore. 

“My rage had become a living thing inside my chest, an echoing heartbeat that soothed me to sleep and stirred me to waking.” 

My favorite part about this book though (besides all the other stuff) is its unpredictability. Seriously, SJM gave me a heart attack multiple times. Just when I thought the story was going in one direction and bombshell twist would come out of nowhere and completely change the entire story. And there was not 1, not 2, but 3 major things at the end in which I was freaking out and making very weird noises that I'm sure my neighbors in my apartment building did not appreciate. The one MAJOR (and I mean MAJOR) thing involving a certain character at the end had me with tears in my eyes and my face the picture of shock. I seriously have never been more scared for a character in my life, and I was praying so hard that SJM didn't do what she did. I think I stopped breathing at one point, so HOW DARE YOU SARAH J MAAS!! HOW DARE YOU SCARE ME LIKE THAT! 

“It is a new world, and we must decide how we are to end this old one and begin it anew.” 

If you couldn't tell, I LOVED this book! I still am not okay after reading the entire battle since SJM made me lose my mind, but everything was tied up nicely and the conclusion was everything I could want. Most of the main questions were answered, but she definitely planted the seeds for a new foe for our group to be facing. I think it would be interesting if the books were from different characters' perspectives, but I'm never going to mind more Feyre and Rhys. This is by far the best read of 2017, and you need to read it as soon as humanly possible!


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #99

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
Salvaged (Saints of Denver, #4)
Salvaged (Saints of Denver #4) by Jay Crownover 
Publication Date: June 20, 2017

Synopsis:
Hudson Wheeler is a nice guy. Everyone knows it, including his fiancĂ©e who left him with a canceled wedding and a baby on the way. He’s tired of finishing last and is ready to start living in the moment with nights soaked in whiskey, fast cars, and even faster girls. He’s set to start living on the edge, but when he meets Poppy Cruz, her sad eyes in the most gorgeous face he’s ever seen hook him in right away. Wheeler can see Poppy’s pain and all he wants to do is take care of her and make her smile, whatever it takes.

Poppy can’t remember a time when she didn’t see strangers as the enemy. After a lifetime of being hurt from the men who swore to protect her, Poppy’s determined to keep herself safe by keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Wheeler’s sexy grin and rough hands from hours restoring classic cars shouldn’t captivate her, but every time she’s with him, she can’t help being pulled closer to him. Though she’s terrified to trust again, Poppy soon realizes it might hurt even more to shut Wheeler out—and the intense feelings pulsing through her are making it near impossible to resist him.

The only thing Poppy is sure of is that her heart is in need of some serious repair, and the more time she spends with Wheeler, the more she’s convinced he’s the only man with the tools to fix it.


I cannot even tell you how excited I am for Poppy and Wheeler's story.  This is one that I have been looking forward to for a long time, and I know that Wheeler is going to steal my heart after the first page (heck, he's already done it just from the little bit he's been in the series so far). I already know this book is going to be a masterpiece! June 20th can't come soon enough!


Jocelyn's Waiting On: 
Devil's Cut (The Bourbon Kings, #3) by J.R. Ward 
Publication Date: August 1st, 2017 


Synopsis:

At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing’s for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.


OMG - I absolutely LOVE this series. The southern charm, family ties, and sensual romance make this one of my favorite series EVER. If you haven't picked up this series yet, I highly encourage you to do so! It's also full of mystery, betrayal, and lots of sexiness. I must admit my favorite character is Ginny and I hope we get to see so much more of her in this installment!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Blog Tour: The Truth About Happily Ever After

About the Book:
Title: The Truth About Happily Ever After
Author: Karole Cozzo
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 16 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis: 
Chin up, Princess, or the crown will slip.
A theme park princess must put her life back together after her happily ever after falls apart in The Truth About Happily Ever After, a contemporary YA romance from Karole Cozzo, author of How to Keep Rolling After a Fall and How to Say I Love You Out Loud.
Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa’s perfect summer falls apart.
Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her friend Miller’s support, she’s determined to prove that she’s more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she’s finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she’s ready for something real.

Author Bio:
Karole lives outside of Philadelphia, PA with her loving husband, exuberant little girl, and smiley little boy. She adores YA Romance, because it would be awesome if life in general had a requisite feel-good happy ending rule. Vices include obscene Haribo gummy consumption, addiction to Starbucks NF vanilla lattes, and tendency to hoard Bath and Body Works 3-wick candles.



Review:

I'm a sucker for theme park princess books, so I knew after reading the description of this book I had to read it! The Truth About Happily Ever After was a cute read that will appeal to a lot of readers who are looking for something light to read. It felt like a good summer read to me, so it's coming out at the perfect time. I really liked how the author tied Disney into this without ever saying the actual name. I thought the way she went about it was brilliant, and it added to the atmosphere of the book. While I wasn't sure about our MC, Alyssa, at first, I did grow to like her. This book is all about the importance of friendship and how sometimes true love comes to you in the way you didn't originally expect!

While I have no actual experience to relate to with being a theme park princess, I could easily believe that this is an accurate portrayal of what the actors have to go through. However, I hope it's not that cutthroat and that people aren't picked apart like that because it's such a shame if that's truly the case. I also did grow to like Alyssa's character, which surprised me. I was very hesitant at first because I she originally seemed like the stereotypical blond airhead and I was really hoping the author wouldn't give into that trope. But let me tell you, after the princess stuff falls away...Alyssa becomes a very relatable and realistic character. I was really rooting for her to have her happily ever after in the end! Her growth throughout the story was excellent and I liked that she realized what was truly important. 

The one thing that I had a problem with (which is similar to others who reviewed this book) is the focus on Alyssa's weight. Yes, it makes sense it the story, but there were times I felt it was a talked about a bit too much. I mean there were many instances where Alyssa was verging on eating disorder type behavior and I didn't really like the way this was portrayed. This could easily be damaging to a young girl in many ways because of the park's unrealistic expectations. However, I will say that I applaud the author for including a character such as Miller, who actually confronted Alyssa about her behavior before it went too far. This doesn't always happen in real life (which is extremely sad but ultimately true), and I was happy that Alyssa was able to realize how far she was going and how unhealthy her mindset was toward her body and image. 

My only other complaint was that the ending did feel a little rushed and childish at times...so it didn't really match up with the rest of the book. However, I definitely was happy with how the story ended and who Alyssa ultimately ended up with. I would recommend checking out this book if you are a fan of Disney and want to read about a realistic happily ever after. 

Happy reading :)

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~Cassie

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ARC Review: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

About The Book:

  Title: Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
  Author: Renee Ahdieh 
  Pub. Date: May 16th, 2017
  Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers 
  Pages: 368
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy 
  Rate:  4.5/5 stars 




Synopsis :
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.
 

Review:

"Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. 
As unshakable as the mountain." 

At first glance, this might seem like a Mulan retelling. But this book is so much more. A combination of folklore and fantasy, Flame in the Mist will revolutionize the way you think about fantasy. Mariko's cunningness and survival skills save her from being murdered in the Jukai forest when her convoy delivering her to her new husband is slaughtered in cold blood. It just so happens that this forest is frequented by a dangerous gang, known as the Black Clan. Mariko infiltrates this infamous gang to find out exactly why someone wanted her killed. 


"She was without a doubt strange. Maddening.
A force to reckon and be reckoned with." 

Told in a voice that only Ms. Ahdieh has, we read as Mariko learns more and more about the mysterious Black Clan and the secrets they hide inside of the Jukai forest (including deadly trees and beasts made of shadow). We finally get a relatable heroine who wants her freedom and independence, while at the same time making mistakes and fumbling through life. Because after all, she doesn't have all of the answers. Trying to earn the trust of Ranmaru and Okami, Mariko finds herself drawn to them in more ways than one. Alternating perspectives only adds to the mystery of the situations in the book, forcing you to turn the pages. PLUS, the only thing steamier than the bits of romance we get in this novel is the constant action being thrown our way. When worlds finally collide, Mariko has to find out who she is truly loyal to. Her family, her betrothed, or the unexplainable black clan who might have tried to kill her? 

Flame in the Mist spins a tale of feminism, romance, and fantasy. It's uniqueness is sure to set the tone for future fantasy novels to come and will become an instant favorite to all fantasy lovers alike. As I'm sure you've heard of this book before, let me just assure you that you will not be disappointed come May 16th. Because you've already preordered it, right? 



Thank you to Penguin Young Readers for providing this book
in exchange for my honest review

- Jocelyn