Wednesday, December 6, 2017

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Release date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

Morgan MatsonAbout the Author
Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature. Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: Rules of Rain by Leah Scheier

Release date: December 5th 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:
A dramatic novel about the bond between a teen and her twin brother.

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of her life. Before she even knew what autism meant, she's been her twin brother's connection to the hostile world around him. She's always prepared—when her father abandons them, when her mother gets sick, when Ethan is tortured by bullies from school—Rain is the reliable, stable one holding them all together. She's both cautious carer and mad chef, preparing customized meals for her family and posting crazy recipes on her cooking blog.

Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and she's sure that nothing will ever change—until one night when her world is turned upside down by a mistake she can't take back. As her new romance with her long-time crush and her carefully constructed life begins to unravel, she discovers that the fragile brother whom she's always protected has grown into a young man who no longer needs her. And now, for the first time, she finds that she needs him.


“Do you want me to get your weight blanket?” I ask him.
He shakes his head and swallows loudly.
“So the surgery thing didn’t go well?”
He shakes his head again. “It went very well. The surgeon said that I had a lot of promise. Liam told me he never says that about anyone.”
“That’s fantastic!” I smile. “Then why the yoga?”
He sighs and slowly gets to his feet. “I feel better now,” he says, ignoring my question. “I’m going to my room to study.”
“Okay. Are you sure you don’t need anything—”
“I’m fine,” he retorts. “Good night, Rain.”
“Good night.”
I drag my book bag to the coffee table and pull out my text books. Normally I study in my bedroom, but today I’m waiting for Ethan to change his mind. He seemed so fragile just now, and I’m sure that he’ll come stumbling out into the hallway at any moment.
It was such a big week for him. He’d gone to his first party, seen his mother through a hospitalization, and started on his path to becoming a doctor. Until recently, any one of those things would have caused a violent short circuit. How was he handling all three together? He should need me right now; I should be holding him, wrapped tightly in the safe embrace of his weight blanket.
But his bedroom door stays closed, and the landing is quiet.
An hour passes, and there’s no sound to break my loneliness. Finally, I shuffle off to my room and swing my door shut with a bang. I want him to know that I’m awake if he needs to talk. But he doesn’t. There’s no tap at the door, no restless movement on the other side of my wall. He’s okay.
He’s okay without me. And I know that the thought should make me happy. It’s what I’ve worked for, isn’t it? Then why am I wishing that I hadn’t taught him the yoga pose, all those breathing exercises to calm himself? It’s a horrible, selfish thought, and I know I would never admit it to anyone. I’m supposed to be the perfect sister. My mother is always bragging about my competence and caring; Hope even thinks my relationship with Ethan is impressive. But what would they think if they knew the real me? I used to believe everything I did for Ethan was out of love. But what if that isn’t true? What if my love is a messy, twisted thing? Maybe I’m just a charming imposter who’s managed to fool everyone, including myself. I can’t keep pretending to be a good and loving sister, if deep down I’m dreading the day he breaks from me. It isn’t real love if I need Ethan to need me.
This quiet feels so unnatural; I can almost hear my brother breathing on the other side of the wall. My phone is lying next to me on the pillow. I scroll through my friends’ names and tap out a greeting to our WhatsApp group, then quickly delete it. What’s the point in chatting? Might as well just go to sleep. I slide over to the edge of my bed and tap the wall between us, count out five, sharp knocks.
Like I do every night.
There’s a short pause, and for the first time in my life, I’m terrified that he’s not going to respond. That he’s fallen asleep without waiting for my good night.
I shut my eyes and take a deep breath. Let it out, in a slow, cleansing exhale, just as I’ve taught Ethan to do. I focus on each breath, concentrate on the rise and fall of my chest. Ten beats pass.
And then his voice comes through the wall.
“Good night, Rain.”
He says it like he always does, in his clipped, low monotone, but to me the words sound almost musical, like a child’s bedtime story. I feel my heart rate slow, my muscles relax. It’s going to be okay, I tell myself. I can go to sleep now. My brother’s still there.

Leah ScheierAbout the Author
Leah Scheier was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. As a child, she was inspired by her favorite authors, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lloyd Alexander, and C.S. Lewis to dream up tales of adventure and romance. Now grown up with daughters of her own, Leah works as a pediatrician and continues to create new stories. |


2 copies of Rules of Rain provided by the publisher

Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: The Ghostwriter by Alessandra Torre

Release date: October 2nd 2017
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

This book is not a romance. It is contemporary fiction, but very suspenseful in nature. It is about a famous romance author and a dark secret she keeps.

Four years ago, I lied. I stood in front of the police, my friends and family, and made up a story, my best one yet. And all of them believed me. 

I wasn't surprised. Telling stories is what made me famous. Fifteen bestsellers. Millions of fans. Fame and fortune.

Now, I have one last story to write. It'll be my best one yet, with a jaw-dropping twist that will leave them stunned and gasping for breath.

They say that sticks and stones will break your bones, but this story? It will be the one that kills me.

*Request approved via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I've wanted to read something by Alessandra Torre for a long time because I've heard great things about her writing. When I saw The Ghostwriter on Goodreads, I decided to check if it was available on NetGalley and low and behold, it was. So, of course, I requested it, and I'm happy to say that I ended up really liking this story a lot. 

The Ghostwriter is certainly a dark read. Even if the blurb kind of set you up for it, right off the bat you can tell something is up with the main character from the opening chapter. Her personality just isn't likable or as sweet and fluffy as many female characters. She's harsh and sugarcoats nothing, and didn't even change after learning terrible news. And you know what? I liked her. There are things about Helena that I relate to, not the mean parts lol, but just the fact that she's an author and often wants to just have some peace to write. I knew there was something in her past or the way she grew up that made her this way, and I feel like my questions were answered throughout the story and more so toward the end.

As for the premise and what Helena had lied about four years ago, I had kind of figured things out from early, but I never expected that part about her husband and wouldn't have guessed her involvement where her daughter is concerned. When all was revealed by the end, I actually cried for Helena. In fact, I think that was the only time I felt sympathetic toward her character. For most of the story, I would cringe or chuckle at her attitude or the things she'd say to the two people who truly cared for her. But when she finished her book, the truth gripped me so much that I connected with her on an emotional level and could understand what she was going through.

It's hard to get my thoughts together to write a better review. All I can is that The Ghostwriter really is suspenseful in nature because you know Helena did something and lied about it, but you also want to know about her life leading up to that. The overall atmosphere is just gloomy and troubled, like Helena's character. And while I'm sad for her and with the way things ended, I found her to be quite strong to have swallowed her pride to an extent and ask a writer she doesn't get along with to help her write a story of that magnitude. Not only that but what she did afterward for certain people affected was kind on her part. With the way she was you never would have expected her to do that but in my opinion, deep inside Helena is a good person, just troubled.  

To conclude, wonderful writing and interesting plot. It made me put myself in the story and see things through Helena's eyes. I'm happy that I've finally given Alessandra Torre a read and am looking forward to picking up her other books. 

About the Author
Alessandra TorreA New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Alessandra Torre has written thirteen novels, three of which have become New York Times bestsellers.
Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was a breakout hit, rising to the top of the ebook charts on Amazon where it attracted the interest of major publishing houses and garnered Torre her first print deal with Harlequin HQN. Less than twelve months later, Torre signed a second print deal, this time with Redhook (Hachette) for the Deanna Madden series, an erotic suspense trilogy.
From her home on the Emerald Coast in Florida, she devotes several hours each day to various writing projects and interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happily married and with one son, she loves watching SEC football games, horseback riding, reading and watching movies.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Release date: January 16th 2018
Publisher: Soho Teem
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape--perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a "suitable" Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City--and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she's only known from afar. There's the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya's last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

About the Author
Samira AhmedSAMIRA AHMED was born in Bombay, India, and grew up in Batavia, Illinois, in a house that smelled like fried onions, spices, and potpourri. She currently resides in the Midwest. She’s lived in Vermont, New York City, and Kauai, where she spent a year searching for the perfect mango.

A graduate of the University of Chicago, she taught high school English for seven years, worked to create over 70 small high schools in New York City, and fought to secure billions of additional dollars to fairly fund public schools throughout New York State. She’s appeared in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Fox News, NBC, NY1, NPR, and on BBC Radio. Her creative non-fiction and poetry has appeared in Jaggery Lit, Entropy, the Fem, and Claudius Speaks.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Review: Stranded with the Navy Seal by Susan Cliff

Series: Team Twelve #1
Release date: November 1st 2017
Publisher: Harlequin
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

For one navy SEAL, danger and passion are brewing in paradise 

Working on a cruise ship was supposed to be the perfect distraction for chef Cady Crenshaw. Instead, it made her the perfect target. Abducted and thrown overboard into foreign waters, she has only one shot at survival…and it comes at the hands of an irresistible ally. 

Navy SEAL Logan Starke's protective instincts were locked and loaded the moment he met Cady at the ship's bar. When a violent struggle to take down her captors leaves Logan and Cady stranded on a deserted island, he leaps into rescue mode. But the hot sand and the even hotter attraction between them can't be denied…and temptation could be the deadliest threat yet.

*Publisher approved request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this one, from start to finish. It felt like I was reading a modern-day version of the Blue Lagoon, but with a lot more flavor and heat. And the main characters are way more interesting than the movie stars. I loved Cady's knowledge as a chef and all she offered to the story, not only with food but her cautious personality is something I can relate to and I liked how fierce and unafraid she was of speaking her mind. 

Logan's military background made him intriguing. He had experienced so much in war and his strength and protectiveness were admirable, even though sometimes it made me cringe along with Cady when he would dive into danger. 

I wouldn't say the story was suspenseful or action-packed through and through, but there were some thrilling moments, not only involving dangerous people, but the main characters' time on the island had its share of crazy. And their moments of vulnerability were both entertaining and frustrating.

Overall, great premise, wonderful writing that's fluid and fast. Both characters got on my nerves in little ways, but they still made me laugh and sympathize with them too. And I'm happy that by the end of the story they just let it all go and trust in each other. Another thing I have to mention is the setting. It was described subtly but nicely. It was as if I could smell the salty air, taste the seafood, and bathe in the waterfall along with them. It's just a good story that will certainly warm up your cold nights. I'm looking forward to learning about Logan's comrades as the series progresses. 

Susan CliffAbout the Author
Susan Cliff is a longtime romance reader, part-time writer and full-time California girl. She loves to daydream about exciting adventures in faraway places. Her Team Twelve series features strong Navy SEAL heroes falling for unique women. |

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