Friday, June 23, 2017

Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Release date: May 16th 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

When it all falls apart, who can you believe in?

Everything is going right for Lucy Hansson, until her mom’s cancer reappears. Just like that, Lucy breaks with all the constants in her life: her do-good boyfriend, her steady faith, even her longtime summer church camp job.

Instead, Lucy lands at a camp for kids who have been through tough times. As a counselor, Lucy is in over her head and longs to be with her parents across the lake. But that’s before she gets to know her coworkers, who are as loving and unafraid as she so desperately wants to be.

It’s not just new friends that Lucy discovers at camp—more than one old secret is revealed along the way. In fact, maybe there’s much more to her family and her faith than Lucy ever realized.

*I received a physical ARC from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.

I finished this book a few weeks ago but was still iffy about my final verdict toward the story. For the most part, I liked the writing and the premise. Lucy is a likable character and I could relate to her in some ways, especially in regards to her faith and how she'd have doubts in what she believes in at times. I also liked the camp and the various characters she came in contact with. They each taught her something new and opened her eyes to certain situations that she may have misinterpreted prior. And in the end, I feel like her character experienced growth and was better able to understand and accept people that may not share her faith, yet realize that like her, many were going through horrible things too.

Speaking of horrible things. Cancer sucks. Whenever Lucy spoke to her mom or thought about her, it truly tugged at my heart. It was sad being her head or reading scenes where her mom is described. I could envision her sickly appearance every time, so much so that I kept hoping she'd beat it and Lucy's family would have a happy ending, which is one of the reasons why I gave the story three stars. 

I didn't like the ending. I got absolutely no closure from it and feel like I'm left in limbo wondering if there'll be some follow-up or what. Also, there were things that I felt should have been made clear from earlier. For instance, when Lucy's mom sent her to this other camp after she's been going to their church's camp for so long, the truth should've come out from then. At least how her mother is connected to this particular camp. I understand about the rest and why she withheld that big secret from Lucy, but her mom definitely should have told her sooner. 

Like I said, the writing and the story are good, but I didn't love it the way I had hoped to. And being that this is the first Emery Lord book that I've read, I was expecting a lot more since I've heard so many great things about her previous releases. Regardless, I'm still going to give her other books a shot, even though this one didn't have me completely.

Emery Lord
About the Author

Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer, The Start of Me and You, and When We Collided. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. 
Emery believes in the magic of storytelling, Ferris wheels, and you.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Release Blitz & Giveaway: Ultimate Game Changer by Kira Adams

Genre: Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 22, 2017

Synopsis via Goodreads:

He's my brother's best friend. When my parents died, a part of me died along with them. Nothing mattered anymore; everything lost its meaning. I lived my life in moments, good and bad, but somewhere along the way, I stopped living.

We only had each other, and Cade, he did a hell of a job looking after me. They doubted we could make it; they doubted our resolve.

Braxton has lived next door to us ever since we moved in with my aunt after the horrific accident. Cade took to him so quickly; they've been inseparable ever since. Their favorite pastime? Torturing me. But something has shifted between us recently, and I'm seeing him in a whole new light now. I know my brother will never accept it, but he's drawing me in like a moth to a flame.

He pushes off the doorframe, closing some distance between us. He is now close enough that I can feel his breath on my face when he speaks. There are droplets of water left on his chiseled chest, and he looks like he just stepped out of a magazine ad.  The hairs all over my body are standing up, and I’m worried that I am visibly shaking. God, he is going to give me hell for this.  He leans over so that his lips are dangerously close to my ear. “What’s the matter, Em? Are you feeling okay?” His breath tickles my ear and sends shivers down my spine. “What are you doing?” I ask, my voice shaky. “Nothing,” he replies, pulling away enough so I can see his face and then batting his eyelashes innocently. “I just love watching you squirm.” I push him away, annoyed. Within seconds Braxton has my back up against a wall and he is pressing into me as he trails his mouth and breath dangerously close to my ear. It takes a few moments for me to register what else I feel because I can barely catch my breath. Braxton is Cade’s best friend. I know he gets off messing with me…but he’s never taken it this far before and I feel completely out of control.

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Krista Pakseresht has always been a dreamer, from the first time she opened her eyes. Creating worlds through words is one thing she is truly talented at. She specializes in Young adult/New adult romance, horror, action, fantasy, and non-fiction under the pen name Kira Adams.

She is the author of the Infinite Love series, the Foundation series, the Darkness Falls series, and A Date with the Devil.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Counting On You by J.C. Reed and Jackie Steele

NEW RELEASE ★★  Counting On You is  LIVE! ★★ 

From New York Times Bestselling Author, J.C. Reed, and Jackie Steele comes a new standalone novel.

I have everything I want.

Success. Wealth. Women…and make that plenty of those. As a filthy-rich CEO, I would say I’m pretty much close to perfection. Except for that one weakness: I’m cocky as hell, and an irresistible magnet for women.

So when one tiny mistake lands me in hot waters with the investors, I have one hell of a choice to make: 

Restore my reputation… Or risk losing my company.

I’m a man of my word and failure is not an option. Not now. Not ever. I fully intend to uphold my responsibilities. 

Sharing an apartment should be easy, right? And it’s only for six weeks. 

That’s what I thought before I found out that my new roommate is female.

And wow.

Vicky Sullivan is unlike any woman I’ve ever met.

She’s hot as sin, and crazy.

Definitely not my kind of crazy, but too hot to pass up.

There’s something about her that makes me rage with want.

I don’t like her, but obviously my dick does. And what he wants, he gets.

Six weeks… 

Living together shouldn’t be too hard…

Until my best friend challenges me to a bet…

I make it my mission to make her mine.

There’s only one problem. 

I have to break…Every. Single. Rule.

And did I mention she’s completely off-limits?

It’s too late to say no. 

Author’s note – Counting On You is a full-length, standalone novel with no cliffhanger.



GIVEAWAY (open internationally)

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Meet J.C. Reed
J.C. Reed is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She writes steamy contemporary romance with a touch of mystery and suspense. When she's not typing away on her keyboard, forgetting the world around her, you can find her chatting with her readers on Facebook.

    Meet Jackie Steele
Jackie Steele is a USA Today Bestselling author and a true romantic at heart. Whether reading or writing, Jackie loves dark, emotional stories that twist with your head and take you on a journey. As an ever romantic, she believes in happy endings and true love in all forms, which is reflected in all of her books.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CAN'T WAIT TO READ: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Release date: June 27th 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pre-order: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father. 

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord.

About the Author
Carlie Sorosiak grew up in North Carolina and holds two master’s degrees: one in English from Oxford University and another in creative writing and publishing from City University London. Her life goals include traveling to all seven continents and fostering many polydactyl cats. She currently splits her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, hoping to gain an accent like Madonna’s.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Series: Follow Me Back #1
Release date: June 6th 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Synopsis via Goodreads:
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

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

I must admit, I hadn't enjoyed the few books I've read about pop stars and their fans in the past, but after reading that blurb and picking up a sort of suspenseful vibe, I really wanted to give Follow Me Back a try. So glad I did, because I ended up seriously liking the story. 

At first, Tessa's character turned me off because of her star-crazed ways and how she'd spend so much time fangirling over Eric Thorn. I mean, I was sympathetic to her condition and the difficulty in leaving the safety of her room after what she'd experienced. But whenever she would post about Eric and be so concerned with what he was doing, I felt like she needed to put all that effort into dealing with her agoraphobia. It basically justified Eric's paranoia about the intentions of his "fans" and how obsessive they could be. 

Eric Thorn seemed like a real-life celebrity. Everything he was going through came off raw and it made me wonder how many entertainers were truly dealing with the same thing. He not only had trouble with his record label, but he was having a tough time with the way many of his fans behaved online. And Eric was also in a dilemma because while he had paranoia after the murder of another star by a fan, he was pressured by his label and manager to feed the obsessiveness by showing off his body or posing seductively. It was all marketing, regardless of his fears. So I could understand his anger and his intentions behind the decision to do what he did. 

I liked how he hinted at all his issues as a celebrity to Tessa when they developed an online relationship, and while it reached a point of frustration when he kept his true identity a secret for that long, after they'd virtually gotten so close, it just kind of made sense to me and I liked his plan of how to get them to meet. 

The real dark side of the story didn't start to come to play until a little past the middle, in my opinion. For the most part, it was about both characters bonding online and sharing their individual issues. But towards the end when things started to unravel, my eyes literally went wide and I was yelling at Tessa for making that naive move. But then again, anyone else probably would have done the same thing if they'd grown to trust someone so much after months of talking. Still, having dealt with what Tessa had gone through and had developed agoraphobia from it, I feel like she should have been more careful. 

In spite of that a little issue, I loved how Eric and Tessa finally met in the end, even if it almost didn't happen. And the author left us with such a creepy and confusing ending that I'm now constantly on the look out of details about the next book because it doesn't seem good for both characters and I want for nothing more than to see them be happy, together. 

Overall, it's a very intriguing story with good writing. Totally a great debut. But I have questions A.V.: What happened to Eric? Had a psycho fan done something horrible to the characters? I need that sequel like yesterday! 

About the Author
A.V. GeigerA.V. Geiger writes contemporary young adult fiction. Her debut novel, FOLLOW ME BACK, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in 2017. 
A.V. is a popular author on Wattpad, where her original fiction has frequently ranked #1 in the Mystery/Thriller genre. Her writing career began as a hobby, posting celebrity fanfiction online, and her work draws extensively on her own experiences with fan culture and social media. 

She lives with her family in New Jersey.

WEBSITE | Twitter | Wattpad

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