30 September 2014

BOOK TOUR [Excerpt + Giveaway]: Unrequited by Emma Grey

by Emma Grey

Date Published: May 26, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books 

Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world's biggest boy band. Is she the only girl in Sydney who can't be bothered with perfect-looking Angus Marsden?

Give her 5 Seconds of Summer. Now.

Or maybe the seriously-hot med student who rescued her on a train—and who could be Douglas Booth's twin! Perfect formal partner, much?

But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. Very. Throw in a deranged female popstar, final exams, a part in the musical and a mum who just doesn't get it—and where is her best friend?

When did life get so crazy? Kat's just an ordinary schoolgirl.

Isn't she?



She wonders if all afternoons are like this for people like Angus. No PE lessons. No homework. No uniforms. Someone to clean up after you when you smash insanely expensive lights on the floor.

Her eyes drift to the novel lying on his bedside table. Is that Pride and Prejudice?

‘What’s this?’ she says, picking it up, turning it over and absent-mindedly sitting on the white sheets of the unmade bed, flicking through the pages. Angus pauses for a second, then sits beside her and says, earnestly, ‘Well, that’s a book, Kat. Do you not have these in Australia?’

She laughs out loud and slaps his arm with it. ‘What’s it doing here?’

‘That’s my dirty little secret,’ he says, conspiratorially.

‘Your dirty little secret is that you’re a closet Jane Austen fan?’

He laughs. ‘I’m not joking, Kat. If I tell you this, can you promise not to tell anyone else?’

Whoa! Okay. Confessions of a pop star. She tries not to look too eager.

‘It’s just one thing from my private life that I try to keep ‘normal’,’ he explains. ‘That’s why I don’t really tell people. I’m enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts degree. I’m studying by distance through the University of London.’

He’s what?

‘No need to look so surprised!’

She shakes her head. ‘Sorry! I didn’t mean— It’s just not the reading material you expect to find on the bedside table of a pop star.’

‘Well, I guess if you don’t ordinarily hang around in pop stars’ bedrooms, how could you know?’

She feels hot. And confused.

‘You remind me of Elizabeth Bennett a little, Kat. She spends most of that book making hasty judgements about the hero.’ He winks.

She doesn’t know what to say to that. He’s right. What she does know is that they’re both now sitting on the dishevelled sheets of his bed. He looks like he’s reading her mind as she twists the hem of her school uniform skittishly.

What now? They’re sitting so close. He’s just looking at her, quietly. He’s beautiful. He’s an international sensation. He’s writing music with her. He’s doing a B.A. at the University of London and trusts her with his secret. Is he going to kiss her? Does she want him to?

Read the first three chapters here.

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Emma Grey has two teenage girls, a three-year-old boy, a couple of businesses and another teen novel in the pipeline. Her first book, 'Wits' End Before Breakfast! Confessions of a Working Mum' was published in 2005.


TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books That Were Hard To Read for Various Reasons

So, it's been long since I actually did a TTT because I always end up missing it, I would literally remember it the next day. I guess, from my last TTT, I've missed at least two or three posts already. So today, I'm definitely not going to miss it!

Today's topic is "Books that were too hard to read for various reasons". Now, this is going to be a little tricky, because the category isn't exactly specific like, "books that were excruciatingly hard to read"? or "books that were so good that it was so hard to read because emotions everywhere"? So, I thought, well, okay... I'm going to do a combination of those.

28 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love
by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on August 5th, 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Edition: eBook
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Tate Collins And Miles Archer aren't lovers. They aren't even friends. But they surely can't deny the mutual attraction going on between them. No strings attached, no feelings, no falling in love, which is great. He doesn't want love, she doesn't have time for love. But Miles has his own particular set of rules for Tate. Number one, never ask about the past. And number two, don't expect a future. Easy peasy, Tate can handle it, can't she?

This book destroyed me. A perfect paradox. BEAUTIFULLY UGLY.

Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly. 

This is the first time I've read a Colleen Hoover novel, and suffice to say, I was not expecting to get highly emotional with this read. In fact, through the first few pages, I did not expect to enjoy reading it after some time; I should have given Ms. Colleen Hoover the benefit of the doubt. 

Reading this began from a "read along" with Tika, Mallory and Jennie, a couple of book bloggers that I've become good friends with. A four day read that turned into weeks due to waiting up for each other was probably one of the factors that got me wanting to finish this book due to its consistent cliffhangers at every end of every chapter. I've never read a book with lots of cliffhangers like this one. In fact, the crime and mystery novels I've read didn't have much cliffhangers compared to this book. Needless to say, I was itching to finish this book.

Ugly Love is written in first person narrative, a chapter each for Tate and Miles. Tate narrates the present day, meanwhile, Miles narrates a flashback to six years ago back in his high school days as a senior.

A registered nurse studying a few extra courses, Tate Collins decides to live with her brother, Corbin, in order to be closer to campus. Imagine her surprise when she sees a drunk guy passed out in front of her brother's door on the day she moves in and later on realizes that the drunkard is her brother's best friend. First impressions always matter. And her first impression on Miles Archer wasn't close to okay. 

Miles Archer comes off as a depressed individual, for certain reasons. He doesn't talk about his past and often keeps to himself. He basically comes off as mysterious, stoic and reserved, barely smiling. He works as an airline pilot and lives right across the hall from Corbin. Being attracted to Tate was something he least expected but that can be arranged, since the feeling is obviously mutual. 

"I suppose if a man lived through the ugliest side of love, he might never want to experience it again."

They both want each other, but Miles doesn't want to inflict a sense of promise. He's got two rules: no asking about his past, and no expecting for a future. Simple as that.

As this book has made me want to crumple up in a corner, I still could not give it the complete 5 stars. Why? Miles Archer, that's what. Miles Archer RUINED me. I have mixed feelings regarding his character, whether I should love him or not. Reading about him, especially in flashback to six years ago with his high school sweetheart, Rachel, was like an emotional roller coaster. He's basically a bipolar character towards Tate, ranging from sweet to a total jerk. But he brings the ache and pain in the story. He did, however, go through one of the most greatest character development I've ever read.

"And I realized... just now... that God gives us the ugliness so we don't take the beautiful things in life for granted."

Despite my previous commentary, I loved the rest of the characters of the realistic manner they were written in. Tate was a truly relatable, as any normal girl should be, in terms of life and relationships, however, in some scenarios, she comes off as frustrating to read, just like Miles. The secondary characters actually served a purpose and weren't just added in the story for the sake of content. 

This book is definitely placed in my favorite New Adult reads shelf, let's say if I did have one. A highly recommended read. 
26 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Heroes & Thieves by Heather C. Myers

Title: Heroes & Thieves
Author: Heather C. Myers
Genre: Romance, Historical, Adventure
Date Published: September 20, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating:

As a little girl, Arabella has always dreamed of adventure, listening to stories from her grandpa about Captain Aaron Donovan, the Robin Hood of the Seven Seas. But meeting the infamous pirate in the flesh didn't go too well - definitely dislike at first sight. But she needs him to take her away from this hell hole, and her feisty attitude got him a little hooked. Maybe having her on board isn't so bad after all. 

*ARC courtesy of author in exchange for honest review*

If Pirates of the Caribbean was a romantic adventure, this would be it. 

"I am still unsure why you consider yourself damaged goods when you are the closest thing to perfection I have ever come across."

I'm really loving the works of Heather C. Myers that I've read and reviewed a lot of her works, ever since she'd just been a writer on FictionPress. But this is the first time I've read her attempt at a short historical romance with an exciting twist for the readers. A Robin Hood of the Seven Seas matched with a saucy barmaid as they venture out from land to land. Her writing style doesn't change much, however, the use of old language is frequent.

Arabella, or Belle works as a barmaid in Tortuga for ten years after having run away from home. She's well known at the Bloody Mistake as the blonde barmaid with the incorrigibly saucy attitude. Meeting the infamous pirate one night at the bar for the first time turned out to be "dislike at first sight". Calling him out on his rude behavior and him mocking her choice in wanting to try a man's game. A bet is made, if Belle wins the round, he is to take her on board and away from Tortuga onto the next port, and if she loses, a discount on supplies for the pirates. 

The Robin Hood of the Seven Seas, Captain Aaron Donovan steals from the rich and does everything to help the poor and those in need. A wanted man, having him behind bars would be a rich man's dream. But he's not worried, although he doesn't exactly need the extra baggage. Meeting Belle for the first time, he sure didn't like her, but he's quite intrigued. When she loses her job, he takes her on board but she'll be dropped of the next port, the place she once called home. As the story progresses, Belle becomes quite handy to Captain Donovan as a female decoy in assisting the pirates with their schemes. 

The story plot is very promising, and got me reading it non-stop, which was also possible due to its less number of pages. I couldn't help but imagine Pirates of the Caribbean while reading this story, although Captain Donovan is nothing like Captain Jack Sparrow, particularly in terms of appearance. Aaron is described as a clean shaved, gorgeous man who looks nothing like a pirate. In fact, a little addition to his wardrobe, he would definitely look the likes of a rich gentleman (save for the fact that he is actually rich). I enjoyed reading Belle as well (Ooh, that rhymes). She comes off as a strong heroine, and I applaud the author for not making her the impossible woman, with things done in an impeccable manner. She's strong willed and high spirited, but she's not entirely perfect, which is what I love about her character. 

I love how the relationship between the duo bloomed gently, a slow burn per se. This wasn't one of those stories with a huge amount of sexual tension. In fact, this read turned out to be very romantic especially with Captain Donovan always on the lookout for Belle's safety. 

The story promised adventure, and adventure was what I got. However, my only complaints to this book was that it was too short and fast paced. More was what I expected. More of Belle and Captain Donovan's relationship, preferably. There were a couple of situations that weren't addressed properly as well, specifically Captain Donovan's past and a couple of characters mentioned in the story - which I would not go into detail because that would be a total spoiler - perhaps a sequel would be great. *coughs*

But nonetheless, this story was a worth it read and contained a lot of twists that I never expected. 
23 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan

The Hook Up (Game On #1)
by Kristen Callihan (Goodreads, Twitter, Website)
Self Published on September 8th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, College, Sports
Format: eBook (352 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The rules: no kissing on the mouth, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and above all… No falling in love.

Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?

Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…

Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.

That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and football…Game on.

Anna Jones, straight A's college senior, never expected to run into the gorgeous quarterback, Drew Baylor, who's close to being a National star, and lives under the limelight. In fact, she doesn't really want anything to do with him. Funny though when Drew actually wants everything of her; her body, her wit, her humor, her personality. One unexpected steamy hook up later, Anna just wants to keep everything casual, something to scratch an itch. But Drew's not giving up. Not until she's finally his.

The Hook Up is a college based new adult novel which features college seniors Anna Jones and Drew Baylor. It's a longer read than the books I've been reading since it's got more than 300 pages. This is the first book I've read of Kristen Callihan, and I've definitely fallen in love with her writing style. Written in first person, Kristen Callihan explores both point of views of Anna and Drew. 

I've been seeing this book all over my feed on Goodreads, and most of their updates say the same thing: "THIS BOOK IS TOTALLY HOT!" So, of course, I wasn't going to miss a totally hot book so I immediately got it and I can definitely vouch that those readers weren't lying at all. This book IS hot. 

Meet Anna Jones; she's smart, beautiful, feisty and most of all... A REDHEAD! I seriously fancy redheads, I've never not liked a redhead character so far (And I'm hoping I won't have to.). A college senior, she's not in the mood for anything, other than to graduate from college. No boys, no distractions. Nada. But the moment she comes across Drew Baylor who won't stop sending her heated stares, well, I don't even know how a girl can ignore that hotness. 

Drew Baylor is a star. He's a quarterback, basically the King of Campus, and every girl's dream guy. But the moment he laid eyes on Anna, he knew he had to have her. What's beautiful about Drew, he may be a star but he's absolutely not a player. And he's really serious towards his feelings for Anna. A hot hook up afterwards, he knows it's not only going to happen once; there will definitely be another time. And he's out to use the hook up tactics to make her his. 

I'm not a big fan of instalove, especially if it's between both characters. But instalust is something I truly fancy. The sexual tension oozing between these two was just over the top. As much as Anna wanted to deny it, it was just plain obvious. But of course, who wouldn't want to deny such an attraction when the guy who you're hooking up with, is totally way out of your league? I'd think I was just dreaming. 

"This can't happen again."
I snort. "It's going to happen again. You might as well admit it."
With a huff, she pushes a hand through her hair and glares. "No. It. Won't."
"Yes. It. Will." I don't want to be an asshole, but I'm not deluded. "I want you. You want me." A wry laugh escapes me. "Though I think 'want' is too weak a word here. 'Crave', maybe. 'Am insane for', definitely."

But it wasn't just the whole sex thing in this book that took me away because upon reading further, my emotions are honestly all over. There are only a couple of books that actually took my breath away - be it in awe of beauty or in an explosion of emotions - and this book just blew my emotions like Bruno Mar's grenade. 

Despite the title, this book was definitely NOT all about hooking up and steamy scenes. This book actually had INTENSE drama that almost made me want to jump out the window (Well, not literally). Friendships were made, bonds were formed and it wasn't the "I-fell-in-love-with-you-after-first-sex" kind of thing. There was a sweet and gentle build up of passion between the couple. I wouldn't consider it as a slow burn, it felt just right, but the sense of denial was always present on Anna's perspective, which was somehow frustrating but realistic. However, it's overwhelming how Drew is actually genuine towards his feelings all along.

I've always been in love with broken male characters, and Drew is basically one of the most broken heroes I've ever read. He's recently orphaned, his parents passing away due to an accident.  At the beginning, he comes off as a laid back football player who's got the hots for Anna, but further into the story, I started to feel for him, especially when the author got into revealing more about his background and situation; teachers putting him in favor, mates trying to be sympathetic. Drew rejecting every bit of help from his friends was just painful to read. His character was like a slope down graph, like an instant fall drop especially when an incident occurs that causes him to break. 

Meanwhile, Anna, like I said, frustrated me from the beginning (but I still liked her) because of her rejection towards Drew's advances, although it actually seemed like a sensible thing to do (Because honestly, nobody wants to get hurt). But upon reading further into the story, she actually goes through a huge character development, after always being the one to leave Drew hanging whenever they're together. I love how she turned out being the mature and responsible one in the relationship up to the very end.

In regards to the other characters, except for Gray, who was introduced as Drew's best friend, there was little or no character development at all, especially Iris, Anna's best friend. She comes off as the fun girl friend in the beginning, the type who'll surely make your life colorful, but as the story progresses, I just wanted to dump her in a sack. No, Iris. Shut up. Go home. 

What I'm excited for now is the next book, "The Friend Zone" where Gray is featured. I really like Gray, he's the only sensible side character.
20 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Marine For Hire by Tawna Fenske

Title: Marine For Hire (Front And Center #1)
Author: Tawna Fenske
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date Published: February 3, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating:

The last thing Sam Kercher expected was to be a manny (male nanny) for a single mother with bouncing twin babies. He's a marine from head to toe, so changing diapers aren't probably the hardest thing to do. Sheridan just got out of a nasty divorce and she's sworn off military men. It's up to Sam to keep his identity hidden, be Sheridan's bodyguard and juggle two little bouncing baby boys all at once. Piece of cake, right?

WARNING: Drinking of beverages while reading the book is unadvised. 

Tawna Fenske is the queen of romance comedy, I swear. I've read a couple of books by her and I always end up spitting a drink or trying to wipe tears off my eyes. The first book I've read of her was Frisky Business, you can find my review of it here. And fairly recently, Ms. Fenske just tied the knot with her "Gentleman friend"! A big congratulations to the couple!

Marine For Hire is definitely one of the best romance comedy I've ever read. It's pretty much a quick read, almost 200 pages, but despite how short it seems, it's such a worth it read. At least this time I didn't burn my tongue just like what happened when I drank hot chocolate while reading a previous work from her. 

Sam Kercher is a full blooded marine, but he's currently on hold and is off the tour for some time. When his old friend Mac Patton provides a request he can't reject out of the code of honor, he suddenly finds himself convincing Mac's newly divorced sister with infant twin boys that he works as a manny (male nanny). And boy did he ever remember Mac's sister back in college looking all hot... but she's off limits

"You can't be serious," she said, her face registering the fact that she'd caught on to what Mac was driving at. "You hired Beefcake here as my nanny?" She looked at Sam, then flushed. "No offense. I'm sure you're very nice."

"On occasion," Sam said, and took another step forward. "It's Sam, actually, but we can go with Mr. Beefcake if that's more comfortable."

Now, who can resist such hotness when Sheridan lays her eyes upon this gorgeous beefcake standing next to her brother saying that he's the new nanny. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that he can even change diapers better than she can! But when she's already sworn off military men, having come from a military home and even getting married to her military ex-husband who cheated on her with a stripper. So, no. Military men? She ain't touching that. No Sir-ee. But she's totally convinced Sam isn't military with the way he handled her kids; he's basically just a hot hunk of deliciousness. If he can calm her screeching and squealing twin boys down better than she can, then why not?

Image Credit: Google
Aren't they so cute?!!! I'm in love with the twins. Like seriously.

I love the way this book targets the crazy side of parenthood, especially with infants and toddlers. The diaper changing, teething, lots and lots of crying. There's barely any rest of the parents! Sheridan thinks she's a lousy mother, because she seriously can't handle the twins with all the crying and she can't even tell Jackson and Jeffrey apart at one glance; she still needs to look at a birthmark to know who's who. She often compares herself with "normal" mothers, because she thinks she's not doing things right. And Sam in the picture just made her life easy... when she doesn't know he's singing them the marine anthem as lullabies and making military references towards the babies.

Sam definitely made her life easy... a little too easy. Now she's got herself fantasizing about him and then she's Google-ing sexual harassment between employers and subordinates because she can't handle her libido, and so can't he. 

"And I'm especially glad your douchebag ex is gone." She frowned. "Was that too insensitive?"

"Please. I spent three years married to Captain Insensitive. At this point you could tell me to go fuck myself and I'd feel giddy someone's talking dirty to me.

The book is equally funny and sexy; romance in the right period and situation. Especially with someone as sexy as Sam, life is meant to be way sensual. The chemistry between them, not only in terms of sexual but as "parents" too is over the top. And he's just so sweet too. Why can't all guys be like Sam?

Everything about this book is just awesome for me. And I can't wait to read more of Tawna Fenske's books. I've also finished reading the next book to the series:

Fiancee For Hire
(Front And Center #2)
19 September 2014

COVER REVEAL: The Ghost of You by Amanda Burckhard

The Ghost of You
by Amanda Burckhard

Release Date: 12/30/2014
Publisher: Swoon Romance

Emmy has everything she’s ever wanted: a hot boyfriend she adores, great friends, a promising future, and even a well-connected family. But one night rips it all away.

A car accident shatters her world, claiming the lives of her twin brother and her best friend. In the wake of the accident, her friends drift away, her family falls apart, and her boyfriend cheats.

The grief is more than she can handle, so she finds escape at the bottom of a bottle of painkillers. Taking the pills makes her brother alive again, if only in her head. Seeing and talking to her brother as if he were still alive is the only thing that keeps her going. Until Logan King moves to town.

Logan sees past the mask of pristine popularity she wears in public and he’s the only one who can tell she hasn’t moved on. His uncanny ability to read her forces her to open up and she starts to fall for him, no matter how unwilling she is to admit it. But Emmy isn’t the only one keeping secrets and when a close brush with death sparks events that bring everything to light, Emmy will have to decide what’s more important: learning how to forgive and move on, or holding onto the pills and the ghost of her past.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Amanda Burckhard grew up exploring bat caves and hunting for dinosaur bones in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When she wasn’t crossing paths with mountain lions, she was making up stories and devouring books at the library. Although, she still does that.

Amanda loves to travel and cross out things on her adrenaline packed bucket list. Some of the things she's been able to cross out include see an active volcano erupt, ride a gondola in Venice, and pet a tiger.

She currently lives in North Sioux City, South Dakota and works as a microbiologist by day. Some of her obsessions include comic book movies, hot chocolate, sushi, sunshine, and Doctor Who.

Cover Reveal Organized By: 

17 September 2014

20 Things You Might Not Know About Me - Challenge Tag

So I got tagged by the awesome Tika from Fangirl Confessions to answer a couple of questions that will surely lead to y'all learning more "stuff" about me. I love reading memes like these too, make's room for interaction between the person behind the blog and the readers. 

So, time to answer the 20 questions! Here goes:

16 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Bouquet List by Barbara DeLeo

Title: The Bouquet List
Author: Barbara DeLeo
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss Imprint)
Date Published: September 15, 2014
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My Rating:

Yasmin Katsalos is the good girl gone wild. She's got a Bouquet list, kind of like a bucket list, and Lane Griffiths definitely fits her target number 5: Seduce a man who's out of your league. Tall, dark and mysterious. No chickening out! (Well, I doubt that ever crossed her mind)

When I first read the blurb to this book, I thought it sounded quite promising. Especially with the good girl gone wild heroine theme with a sexy brooding guy to match. 

The Bouquet list is kind of like a bucket list, but slightly different concept. Bucket lists are for the things you want to do before you die. Meanwhile, the bouquet list is for things you want to do after almost having met your death.

A medical student, Yasmin almost died in Borneo due to dengue fever, and now she's learned that second chances are best not to take for granted. Leaving behind the goody two shoes girl she once had been, she dyes her hair purple, gets a nose stud, changes her style to punk hipster and goes back home to New York only to find out her family business is going down and in chaos, her parents going crazy. Oh, and she's also got that list.

Lane Griffiths, bestfriend to Yasmin's older brother and practically the Katsalos' adopted son, is asked in a favor by Papa Katsalos to work on the renovations of The Palace, their family business being a wedding venue. He's a restaurateur, and a well known one, for that matter. When Yasmin arrives and Papa Katsalos leaves to follow his wife to Greece, it seems he's stuck with not only the renovations, but with babysitting as well. Yasmin thinks this is the perfect opportunity, some alone time with him, to seduce him and get that fifth number on her list ticked. 

I'm a sucker for unrequited love stories, with Lane and Yasmin fooling around behind the whole family. Not to mention, all that self-control Lane had to go through at the very beginning, with Yasmin being off limits and vice versa. Yet, of course, they still succumb to that passion they've been trying to hide. I love how they're definitely two different people. Polar opposites to be exact. North and South. Yasmin is the happy-go-lucky sweetheart, meanwhile, Lane comes off as rigid and stoic.

Upon reading, I liked Yasmin, especially for her sudden change on her outlook in life, to do what truly makes her happy to the point that she actually went to the point of changing her appearance and style. Of course, no one expected good girl Yasmin, and a medical student for that matter to actually get a purple dye and even a piercing. But despite being the sweet, happy girl, she also had a persistent side to her, and usually gets what she wants, even with Lane and the venue renovations. Meanwhile, Lane, often times, he's quite aloof and a little secluded with his personal life, especially having come from a crappy childhood. I love how the author wrote Lane as a guy with lots of insecurities, especially in terms of belonging. 

The Bouquet list is a truly sweet and charming read of unrequited romance and restoring a family. This is my first Barbara DeLeo read, and hopefully, won't be my last.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter 

Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.

After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.

Barbara still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.

BLOG TOUR [Excerpt + Review + Giveaway]: Adrian Lessons by L.A. Rose

Adrian Lessons
by L.A. Rose

Date Published: August 25, 2014

If there’s one thing Cleo Reynolds knows, it’s that she’s not into Adrian King.

The son of a model with the looks to prove it, the experienced author of her school newspaper’s sex advice column, the cocky playboy with a hint of darkness. That Adrian King.

Nope. Nuh-uh. No way. 

The problem is, he’s very into her.

After accidentally flashing him, and slightly-less-accidentally-but-still-totally-unintentionally making out with him in front of the whole class, she expects to be called crazy. Instead, he asks her out. 

Cleo’s determined not to end up as another notch on his bedpost. Except she hasn’t done…you know…it in a while. (Read: ever.) And as a girl who pays her tuition by writing all the sex scenes in her roommate’s bestselling romance series, the lack of inspiration has served up a fat slice of writer’s block.

Until her roommate proposes that Cleo and Adrian act out all the steamy scenes in her book.

It’s just research. No feelings involved.

Nope. Nuh-uh.

Read Excerpt:

“Christ,” Adrian finally mutters after a good half minute of staring at my body. He runs his hand through his hair.

I’m not saying my grand plan is to make him so worked up he’ll have to satisfy me. And then I can move on with my life.

I’m not saying that’s my plan, but if it were, I’d be an evil genius.

“You too,” I smirk, trailing my fingers down my bare waist. “That shirt looks expensive. Wouldn’t want to mess it up.”

Not taking his eyes from me, he pulls his shirt off, back over front in that casual way boys have. I gasp. Doves zoom overhead, sprinkling golden confetti. A chorus of angels sing. Okay, not all that actually happens, but it’s the first time I’ve seen him shirtless. And that chest deserves some fanfare.

His torso is tan, lithe and strong, the hard contours of a six-pack-verging-on-eight-pack begging to be licked. Every ounce of him is sculpted, refined. Just looking at him floods my abdomen with tension. There’s a swirling tattoo on the left side of his ribs, but I’m too busy thinking about how I want to mount his torso on my mantelpiece like a serial killer to dwell on it.

My roommate looks between us, her eyes narrowed. “You two seem to be getting along much better today.”

If by ‘getting along’ she means ‘staring at each other with enough sexual tension to hoist the Titanic from the bottom of the sea’ then yes.

“Remember, guys,” she says. “Last time was more about the romance between the characters. Their first kiss. This is purely sexual.” At the words ‘purely sexual’, a shiver grips my spine. I think Adrian might be similarly affected, because he hardens all over. And I mean all over.

“Come on, then,” I muster up the courage to say, fingering the lacy edge of my panties. “Inspire me.”

My Rating:

Reading Adrian Lessons definitely made my day or should I say, night, rather. I just devoured the whole book for a whole night. Even for a quick read, I have to this book is definitely one of the best I've ever read. 

Cleo is on a dry spell. She's stuck and can't get her head properly to write erotic romance for her best friend/roommate. Meanwhile, Marie, her author best friend, thinks Cleo needs all the help she can get, even if it means anonymously writing the Sex King for advice on her behalf. 

Adrian King is the Sex King and runs an sex advice column on the campus paper. What more could he wish for when he finds out his long time high school crush is in campus and was the anonymous sender who happens to be an erotica writer, asking for sex advice? Okay, well the letter wasn't exactly sent by Cleo, but it could count as the same thing. 

Enter a matchmaking author roommate (who writes great romance novels but can't write smut), Cleo and Adrian are forced to act out the hook ups in order to trigger Cleo's creative juice.  

I love everything about this book; the humor, the context, and the author's writing style. The whole story is written in first person, and not just simply flat out narration, but a genuine welcome to what most girls and guys think of. I enjoyed Cleo's narrative, especially the fact that she thinks hilariously. Definitely relatable. Her character is just lovable and absolutely fun to read. She's random with over the top hilarity and definitely does not register the meaning of "filter", because she's got none of it. 

Adrian, on the other hand, was cute and creepy at the same time, especially when his sudden "obsession" (as Cleo would put it) with her suddenly went out in the open, up to the point of him ending his sex advice column as the sex king. Now, I'd say that was definitely sweet. I love how Adrian is a truly passionate character, and not the type to mess around hearts despite his promiscuity. 

The only thing I disliked about this book was that it was too predictable. However, despite my comment, I loved this book from beginning to end. Can't wait to read more of L.A. Rose. 


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L.A Rose recently made it out of college alive and with an English degree. She's a habitual beach bum and a not-exactly-recovered romance addict. She's also plucked up the courage to become an indie author.

14 September 2014

#TenBookChallenge [Nominated by Fangirling Misses]

So Belle from Fangirling Misses nominated me to do a Ten Book Challenge, which I'd actually done already on my facebook profile before. But since I got nominated again, I'll put everything down here.

The rules are simple: 

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Do not take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Paste these instructions and tag 10 friends, including me, so I can see your list.

13 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Save The Date! by Heather C. Myers

Title: Save The Date
Author: Heather C. Myers
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Date Published: September 10, 2014
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My Rating:

Gemma Harrison's life is in danger and she doesn't know it. Her dad thinks it's time she gets a personal bodyguard under a fake marriage, and her fake fiance is none other than Agent Dixon Black, the guy she's always tried to escape from. 

*ARC courtesy of author in exchange for honest review*

I've read this story before when it was on FictionPress, and the author has made a couple of changes, but I'm still glad it stuck to the original story plot. This is the second published book I've read of Heather C. Myers, and with my fascination towards her writing style ever since FictionPress, I'm looking forward to reading more.

Everyone thinks Gemma Harrison is a spoiled brat, of course, being the daughter of a CIA VIP, but all she wants to do is get away from her father's overprotective antics. But after getting caught after another attempted escape, her father is certain for her need of a personal bodyguard under the pretense of a fake marriage. And when her fake fiance happens to be Code Blue with his piercing midnight blue eyes and stoic personality, she knows she's in trouble.

Agent Dixon Black is definitely the kind of guy that gets his job done properly, even if it meant he had to babysit a twenty year old Gemma and be her fake fiance, despite their huge age gap. He's unresponsive, cold and definitely not easy to amuse, but he suddenly finds himself smiling when it comes to Gemma.

I love everything about this book, from Gemma and Dixon's relationship, from bouncing between the lines of fascination and often times, dislike, especially with personality clashes. But despite that, these two had chemistry from the very beginning. Gemma's personality is often relatable, she's a character who's somewhat unpredictable at times, especially when she doesn't actually come off as a spoiled brat, but she turns out to be sensible towards things, especially personal beliefs. Also the fact that she likes to read a lot, and at the same time, be a weird fangirl of celebrities. Totally me. Hah! Meanwhile, Dixon's overprotective personality didn't turn out to be overbearing but actually sweet instead. Definitely, he was contradictory to Gemma but the duo turned out to be such a sweet paradox. Everything between them was actually predictable, with the duo trying to deny the feelings surging in them.

I also love almost all the characters in the book, mostly her parents, especially Gemma's mom. It's hilarious how Gemma's parents actually tended to get carried away with the wedding preparations despite being held under false pretenses. The wedding cake, the gown, the pre-nuptial photoshoot. If I didn't know any better, they actually wanted to matchmake the couple.

The ending turned out pretty great, my only complaint being it too short. It's only 175 pages long but a worth it read.

What I'm hoping for right now is a short sequel, or a novella perhaps on the aftermath of Gemma and Dixon's relationship. If Gillian, Gemma's best friend, could get her own book, that would seriously be great, although it seems this book is not part of a series.

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Full disclosure: I am an acquired taste. I'm a typical blonde Orange County suburbanite who says 'like' more than necessary, laughs loud and probably obnoxiously, and loves to dance in the rain. I'm a 24 year old college graduate with more than a few tricks up my sleeve, and I also happen to be a pretty big Ducks fan. I'm married to the love of my life, and we're expecting my first child, a girl. Oh, and I'm a writer. Like, for real.
11 September 2014

BOOK REVIEW: 2B or Not 2B? by Stephanie Witter

Title: 2B or Not 2B?
Author: Stephanie Witter
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
Publisher: Smashwords (eBook)
Date Published: June 25, 2014
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My Rating:

London Reed is in need of a dorm room close to campus. Byron Davis lives in Apartment 2B. She's definitely not interested and him, and he's not into her. As long as they don't mess with each other and stay out of each other's business, they'll be alright, right?

I've seen this book a couple of times already and a few of my friends recommended it to me, so I thought, why not check it out? The blurb seemed promising, about room mates falling for each other (Which I do think is kind of cute). However, this turned out to be one of the most frustrating reads I've ever come across. And it's not the good kind of frustration, mind you.

London Reed is basically the girl next door and has a mouth with absolutely no filter. In need of a dormitory real close to the campus, she comes across Byron Davis, an ex-military hunk, living in Apartment 2B and manages to convince him to be roommates despite his promiscuity.

At first, the story seemed to be going a little fine, with the light humorous banter between the duo and Byron's amusement with London's potty mouth and always ends up saying "You did not just say that," which started to become a lot more irritating further in, as if he's not a college student where there are tons of potty mouthed girls everywhere. But then, it started getting frustrating when these two characters started to become hypocritical tools with a lot of issues, especially London.

I felt like London's insecurity with her body was just a little too much in the story. There's the mention of overweight, large thighs and chubby arms in almost every corner of the book. I mean, hey, we get it. She's not a twig bitch. There's no need for the constant mention of her curvy figure. Another is her past love life she can never move on from. She hates her ex, Ryan for playing her, but she also can't get over him. (Perfectly normal, I get) Which is probably why she tells Byron that she's not the type who sleeps around for the sake of not getting hurt again, but she definitely gives a mean head. She's got the hots for Byron and vice versa, although her head says it's a bad idea because she definitely doesn't want to be his "replacement-until-the-booty-call-arrives", but then she hooks up with other guys to make Byron jealous. (How is that not booty call?)

Don't let me get started on Byron too. Definitely the most hypocritical tool ever. He likes her. But he still can't get rid of his promiscuity and keeps bringing in girls because London won't acknowledge the fact that sleeping together was not a mistake. Also the idea that he's military should have made him quite reserved, but surprisingly, he's a party animal which claims to be his getaway after what happened to him in Afghanistan. He's also got a possessive streak on him about London, with her whereabouts and the guys she hooks up with.

There are also tons of story points in this book that didn't get elaborated much, especially with London's past with Ryan. What exactly had he done to mess her up? The idea pointed out was a little vague and faintly hinted.

The only character I actually liked in this book was Macon. Not only does his name rhyme with bacon, but he's definitely the gay best friend anyone can ask for.

This book definitely needs a huge retouch, because I seriously believe the plot is very promising. It just needs a couple of changes and tons of editing. Although this doesn't mean that I won't check out more of Stephanie Witter's books, because her humor is what actually caught me. I'm looking forward to checking out her other books, and hopefully the next entry to this series.