BOOK REVIEW: Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Bad Romeo (Starcrossed #1)
by Leisa Rayven (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on December 23rd, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, HumorCollege
Format: eBook (416 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble



While performing the greatest love story of all time, they discovered one of their own…

Cassie Taylor was just another acting student with big dreams at her prestigious performing arts college…then she met Ethan Holt. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy on campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing on stage, Cassie and Ethan’s epic romance seemed destined. Until it ended in tragedy when he shattered her heart.

Now they’ve made it to Broadway where they’re reunited as romantic leads once again—and their passionate scenes force them to confront the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their intense college affair. For Ethan, losing Cassie was his biggest regret—and he’s determined to redeem himself. But for Cassie, even though Ethan was her first and only great love, he hurt her too much to ever be trusted again. The trouble is, working with him again reminds her that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks. And when it comes to love, sometimes it’s the things that aren’t good for us that are the most irresistible.

Don’t miss Leisa Rayven's Bad Romeo, the intoxicating romance beloved by over two million fans online—a story that’ll captivate you and hold you breathless until the final page.


This book just left me speechless and wanting to throw a tantrum on how everything flowed. Bad Romeo and I, we've got a love-hate relationship going on, but no matter how frustrated I would get, I know I would still end up loving this book with pure adoration. Sure enough, this book did hold me breathless until the final page.

Six years ago, Ethan Holt and Cassie Taylor were the bomb. They began as classmates in a theatre college, always partnered up because of their amazing chemistry and undeniable lust for one another. Both outstanding performers, and became lead characters in the school's big theatrical play, Romeo and Juliet. But of course, that amazing chemistry lead to something else, up to the point of a heartbreak. Come present day, Ethan and Cassie have made it big in the showbiz industry and are now bigtime performers. Cassie has moved on... or so she thinks, but worst case scenario is having the guy who broke your heart now appear as your new co-star in a bigtime theatrical production. Woopdie-doo. Ethan, on the other hand, is regretful and will do everything it takes to win her back.

The chapters in Bad Romeo constantly bounces from Ethan and Cassie's relationship six years ago to their present day scenarios. While their past relationship is all about the love-hate fiasco they shared, which had actually begun with a lot of bickering, fueled by extreme sexual tension -- despite how both of them had been absolutely in denial at the beginning -- their present day selves consisted of Cassie being all angsty, trying to avoid Ethan's sweet advances in fear of getting attached and heartbroken once again.

Leisa Rayven did a great job with her characters, past and present. You can definitely see the differences between the characters, then and now -- how they've matured -- especially in regards to their personality and their actions.

Cassie was a character I could definitely relate to. Her awkward antics, her ridiculous sassiness towards a certain person but she ends up shying up about her thoughts in front of a crowd, her passion for something artistic (Not that I can act, but as an aspiring artist... well, you get the point). I always had a good laugh reading about her, because I could definitely see myself reflected in her character. Years later, her personality seems to be the same, although a bit less awkward now, it seems.

While Cassie is the hilariously awkward girl, Ethan was the brooding artist with a broken past. He was the typical "I don't need a girlfriend" type of boy, for some reason, which was pretty much cliche, but it definitely worked for his character. For the record, I adored both old Ethan and present day Ethan. The old Ethan was pretty much angsty and appeared both annoying and cute, he was also young and troubled. Pretty much understandable. On the other hand, present day Ethan just made me swoon. His charactered had developed and matured so well that I could not help but adore him more.

Not only did Rayven did great with her main characters, she was spot on with her minor characters as well. They were absolutely well rounded into the story, especially Jack. Oh lord, he was the fun of the crowd, and I can't help but agree that he stole most of the whole book... well, at least, for me, he did, except for the moments where he acted as a total cockblock between the couple.

What frustrated me about the book was the constant push and pull between Cassie and Ethan. One minute they're into each other, the next minute, either Cassie or Ethan can't handle the both of them together, to the point that it became somewhat repetitive mid section. There was too much tension going on between them but their constant denial was just too annoying.

Bad Romeo aggravated me, but it got me loving it in the end. I loved the balance of hilarity and drama in this book. Everything was just right; nothing much, nothing less. If you fancy a read that will make you giggle and well... make you want to slam your book or ereader down, then pick it back up to continue reading -- immediately -- this book is definitely right up your alley.

I also can't wait for the upcoming sequel, Broken Juliet! Please. Come. Now!

Save The Books! [Feature & Follow Friday #1]


*Feature And Follow Friday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read to discover blogs, gain readers and followers and make new friends!

Your house is burning down and you have time to select three books you own to take with you. What three books? 


Well, shoot. This is a really tough question and just when it's my first time to do an FFF post. Hah! So... three books.

1. I would definitely grab my copy of The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. I can just hug this book forever. An all time favorite.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. This book is one of the reasons why I'm sane... despite the fact that this book is all about a woman's depression and insanity. 

3. Since I've been picking out classics, I'm gonna grab a romance read with me. Tangled Up In You by Rachel Gibson. This is the first romance novel I've ever bought, so it's got more sentimental value. 

Okay, that wasn't so hard after all. What books are you going to pick? 
Choose wisely! 

Project: Diversify no. 2 [Stacking The Shelves #4]


*Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme created by Tynga's Reviews, where you share books you've recently added to your TBR (physical or digital)

Happy Sunday, everyone! You guys might have read in a couple of my previous posts that I do plan to diversify my blog and not just want to stick with smexy romance novels. So I've bought a couple of books last month that will help me start with this project I'm working on... and I'm calling it: PROJECT DIVERSIFY! *throws bacon confetti*

And as obvious as it is, I haven't exactly properly started on reading non-romance novels, because of The Bookish Groupies' SWOONUARY event this month! (Click on the banner on my right sidebar for more details!) And yes, I'm using it as an excuse to read more smexy romances before I get started on YA Fantasies and other Fiction reads...DON'T JUDGE MEH! I'm working on it, you know. *deep breath* It takes time. (HAH!)


Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Gone by Michael Grant
The Selection by Kiera Cass
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin

I don't even know why I bought a Hardcover copy of the third Mara Dyer book when I don't even have the other two books yet. I just saw it in stores and grabbed it. What sucks is that the first two books are out of stock in some stores. Guess it's time to do some huntin'. *cue jungle music*

Also, I was able to grab a signed copy of We Were Liars! Haven't met the author nor have I read this book but I couldn't miss the opportunity of owning a signed copy. And according to a few blogger friends, this book is one of their favorites of 2014, and also a Goodreads Choice winner, so I'm guessing this is going to be a great read for me. 


What are your thoughts on these books, if you've ever read them? Give me a heads up on what I should expect! 

BOOK REVIEW: Rules of Protection by Alison Bliss

Rules of Protection (Tangled in Texas #1)
by Alison Bliss (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Entangled: Select on August 26th, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Format: eBook (314 Pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble



It’s rule breaker Emily Foster's birthday, and like everyone at The Jungle Room, she just wants to get some action. Unfortunately, she stumbles on the wrong kind, witnessing a mob hit. To protect her, she’s entered into the Witness Protection Program with by-the-book Special Agent Jake Ward as her chaperone.

When the location of their safe house is compromised, Jake stashes Emily deep in the Texas backwoods. The city-girl might be safe from the Mafia, but she has to contend with a psychotic rooster, a narcoleptic dog, crazy cowboys, and the danger of losing her heart to the one man she can’t have.

Jake's as hot as he is infuriating, and she can't help but push all his buttons to loosen him up. Their mutual, sizzling sexual attraction poses a dilemma: Jake’s determined to keep her safe and out of the wrong hands; she’s determined to get into the right ones—his.


Ever read a book that's got you torn between like and love? Well, this debut novel by Alison Bliss is by far one of the most hilarious books I've ever read, but it's also one of the most aggravating reads I've ever come across on.

Rules of Protection kicks off with our heroine enjoying a birthday drink at a bar with a couple of friends, when she accidentally stumbles into the one of the back rooms and witnesses a murder scene by a notorious mob group that's long been on the Police's wanted list. Talk about a birthday surprise. To her rescue is the hot guy she'd met and flirted with earlier, who "surprisingly" turns out to be a Special Agent ready to take her into custody under a witness protection program now that her life is in danger. She gets a new identity under the name of Emily Foster, with Special Agent Jake as her chaperone... or more like babysitter in this case.

Emily Foster wasn't the typical heroine I've read. She didn't have much of a back story mentioned except the fact that she's an orphan, and her real name was never mentioned, but I've also got mixed feelings regarding her character.

At times, Emily is like the Queen of witty conversation and sassiness with extremely no filter, whatsoever...

"Does that approach render most females helpless?"
"I've been known to light a few tires," he [Cowboy] said, winking. "Lucky for you, I'm a fireman."
"You're a fire fighter?"
"Yes, ma'am." [...]
"Well, Cowboy, if my p***y is ever in need of being rescued, then I'll be sure to give you a call. Until then you'll have to play with your own hose."

And there are also times where she's the world's greatest genius.

"How are they going to suckle?"
[...]"Emily, ducks don't have nipples," Jake said.
"Or lips," Hank mumbled [...]
I was confused. "Then why do the babies go under the momma's wings?"
"To get warm," Jake answered [...]
My cheeks warmed. How was I supposed to know? It's not like I was raised on a farm.

Good lord. Looks like somebody never listened during Science class in her elementary years.

However, regardless her hands-on stupidity and infuriating immature antics towards Jake and everything else, she is actually one of the most hilarious characters I've ever read. Reading about her was just epic, and I love it! What makes it so much better is it's written in her POV so we get a first hand experience on her thoughts, which are just beyond funny. She's absolutely a fiesty character who isn't afraid to speak her mind, but at times, her actions appeared too uncalled for, sometimes even done on purpose just to rile up Jake. See what I mean about mixed feelings?

Jake blew hot and cold at the same time. He's attracted to her, but he can't be irresponsible. The typical stoic hero who oozed testosterone all over. He's overprotective, and was ready to take a bullet for the people he cares about. Though, sure enough, he did add on to the hilarity of the whole story, especially with Emily and him together.

All the characters in this book -- main and secondary -- are absolutely well rounded and fit well into the story. Every character had its own spot on personality that made them all stand out, and not seem to be simply extras for additional content. Reading about them altogether is a total riot, especially with Jake's friends; Cowboy, Ox and the others. I couldn't help but laugh at the scenarios thrown in by the author no matter how ridiculous they may seem.

Although the synopsis suggests an action novel; at least majority of the book only consisted of Jake and Emily frolicking in the country side along with their new found friends, which appeared to be kind of dragging since I had been looking forward to a good balance of action and romance, but the action aspect of the story did pick up towards the end, which appeared to be somewhat fulfilling and not at all shallow.

This book made me laugh and made me sigh in frustration at the same time, but all in all, it was a fun read. If you're looking for humorous romance reads, this one is definitely right up your alley.

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Dreamcatcher by Anya Monroe (Excerpt + Giveaway)



Release Date: February 19th, 2015
Genre(s): Young Adult Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: The Lovely Messy
300 Pages


Paddle boards, bonfires & bikinis won’t help Penny. She craves the boy from the woods; not knowing she’s already caught in his nightmare. 

Penny’s nightmare is ruling her life and she doesn’t know why. It started a few months ago, and since then Red Bulls, 5-hour Energy Shots, and Starbucks drive-thru are her lifeline.

When Penny’s parents decide to take their research of a rare Native American cult to a remote cabin for the summer, she's less than enthused.

Then Penny meets Delsin in a clearing in the woods, and her view of the world awakens. Apathy defines her, but Delsin lives life to it’s fullest. A shaman-in-training, he is everything Penny is not.

Each morning she comes to the woods, handing pieces of her heart to him, but when Penny is confronted with her worst nightmare, Delsin asks for a sacrifice Penny didn’t see coming.



EXCERPT


“Listen, Penny. I know we are different in many ways, but you have this gentleness about you, and I don’t see it in many people. Most of the girls I’ve known are so intense. You are different.”

“So you keep saying.” But I relaxed a bit with his confident words, knowing that he liked me, straight up. “I should probably get back. We’ve been gone for hours.” I thought about Ollie looking for me. I didn’t want him to find me here. I didn’t want to share this place with him. With anyone.

“I know. I don’t want you to get in trouble, on my account.” He stood and took my hand.

He climbed out of the cave quickly, and then gave me his hands to hold, pulling me out easily. His arms were strong and he helped me to my feet. Once again we were on top of the rock, looking out at the woods, breathing in the mid-day air. But Delsin’s eyes were looking above, into the sky, as if searching for something far from his reach, and he raised his hands, too. As if wanting a hand to part from the clouds, to reach out and take him away.

I didn’t stare. I let him have his moment, even though I didn’t understand it. And I looked out, straight ahead, over the trees.

I didn’t know what I was looking for.

CHITCHAT WITH ANYA MONROE


Tell us five things about yourself readers wouldn’t know!

1) In The Dream Catcher, Penny gets sucked into several TV series. I have plenty of guilty-pleasure-shows myself. Namely (don’t judge!), The Bachelor. I’ve been watching it for years (with my husband!). We were even in a Fantasy-Bachelor-League last year together, which, just to clarify, was like Fantasy-Football, not the Fantasy-Suite! And he beat me. I KNOW!

2) When I was in Jamaica a few years ago I went to this cliff diving spot where people were doing crazy jumps. I was like, I so got this! One hundred feet? Ain’t no thing! Until I got to the ledge. Then I was like, Umm, I’m going to do the ten foot jump…

In The Dream Catcher Penny and Delsin take cliff and waterfall jumps, and that is seriously impressive. Because, apparently, I’m not that badass.

3) In The Dream Catcher Penny has a reoccurring nightmare that is freaking her out and so she’s trying to stay awake for as long as possible. Obviously she has extenuating circumstances that are keeping her from getting some shut eye, but I love sleep way too much to stay awake that long. I’m an eight or ten hours-a-night kinda girl. And I still need coffee to function.

4) Penny and Ollie are best friends and their relationship is central in The Dream Catcher. Growing up is crazy hard and complicated, but so is just being a person in general. That’s why friends and finding your people is so important. However, I’m a little jealous of the proximity Penny and Ollie live to one another. Like, they live in the same house for most of the novel. My best friend lives across the country so we rely on texts and FaceTime and voice memos to keep in touch. Thank goodness for WiFi! 

5) I’ve never made out under a waterfall. In The Dream Catcher Penny and Delsin do, and I’m kinda jealous. It seems terribly romantic. I need to remedy this, stat. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



ANYA MONROE

Anya Monroe likes to write stories and paint words on her walls. She believes in love at first sight and fights for happily-ever-afters. As a wife and mom to six kids, she carves out time to write between carpool pick-ups and date nights because words are her heartbeat. She lives a ferry ride from Seattle and is a total Pacific Northwesterner who drinks chai lattes and wears Birkenstocks and has dreadlocks. She's a cliché, but doesn't mind it. Not even a little.

BOOK BLITZ ORGANIZED BY:

EXCERPT REVEAL: The 27 Club by Kim Karr



Expected Publication: March 3rd, 2015


You don’t know when…
You don’t get to choose if…
When it’s time to join…you’ll know.

You might think you want to be a member—but trust me this is one club you don’t want to join. It’s not a place where people go to live out their deepest, darkest sexual desires—there are no handcuffs or blindfolds.

The 27 Club only admits those who die young and tragically. My brother was recently bestowed membership and joined many of our ancestors before him. I know I’m next. This is my destiny, and I was ready to yield.

But then I met Nate. He awakened a sensuality in me that had never been explored, never satisfied. I knew then I could no longer accept my destiny. Nate’s presence controls me. I’m overwhelmed by his touch, his words; my every thought is consumed by desire. I believe he was brought into my life for a reason.

Nate doesn’t believe in destiny.

But I do. 

And if there’s a way to cheat it—I must.







EXCERPT


Coffee Beans Part II

Time to get down to business. 

I stomp out of the bedroom and down the stairs. The TV is on and I can hear the weatherman announcing the same info the driver relayed to me. “Tropical Storm Angela seemingly having stalled out once it passed over Cuba is picking up wind speed as it makes its way toward the Florida Keys.”

The rain is still beating down, but there are no calls for evacuations so I can only assume I am fine staying here.

Determined to get this conversation over with, I’m stopped dead in my own tracks. Nate is standing in front of a built-in coffee maker, waving his hand frantically up and down cursing under his breath, “Motherfucking piece of shit.”

“What happened? Did the Miele not do what you told her to do?”

He turns.

I feel like I’m watching him in slow motion.

Without warning, the air crackles.

He’s momentarily taken aback, but then a look of amusement crosses his face. “Zoey Flowers, you are . . .”

Words pop into my head—sexy, beautiful, hot as hell, fuckable.

Where did those come from?

That grin lingers on his mouth. “Your brother’s sister, without a fucking doubt.”

Tears prick my eyes. Not the words I hoped to hear, but so much more meaningful.

His face contorts, the glow of amusement gone from his eyes, shadowed by something darker. He sets two cups of coffee on the counter that separates us. “Hey, I’m really not good at this stuff. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

I swipe the drops away. “No, really, it’s okay. I just miss him. That’s all.”

Nate’s hands grip the counter and his head falls. “Yeah, me too.”

Silence sweeps the vastness of the space, but strangely it’s not uncomfortable.

His gaze lifts. “Zoey, it’s nice to finally meet you.”

I can’t help but be charmed. “It’s nice to finally meet you too, Nate.”

He clears his throat and a bit of shyness seems to cross his face.
I fear I might be staring, so I avert my gaze to look down at the counter and it lands on the two cups. “Are those lattés?”

His head lifts at the same time mine does. The connection is immediate—a jolt of electricity travels between us and I swear I see a little smile—not a smirk, but an actual smile on his face.

The most adorable boyish grin.

My belly flutters and I can’t help but return the smile, feeling a little shy myself.

“Yeah, well that’s what they’re supposed to be. I didn’t know what you drank, but thought I’d try these.”

I move closer, close enough that my hipbones nudge the edge of the counter. “Lucky for you, I’ll drink anything made with coffee beans.”

Then it hits me, that his hair is the color of the finest imported coffee beans.

“Yeah, lucky for me,” he repeats.

Taking a seat on one of the barstools, I blow on the top of the latté. The froth is not exactly froth-like, more like big soap bubbles or maybe clumps of soured whipped cream.

“You’re a schoolteacher, right?” he asks.

“Something like that,” I say. “I’m employed by the University of Rochester. You’re a landlord, right?”

His lips tip up a fraction. “Something like that.”

I laugh. “Just kidding. I know all about you—big successful CEO of an up-and-coming development company, who buys unprofitable businesses, turns them around, and then sells them. Zach said you are very business savvy.”

This is true, but what I fail to mention is Zach told me so much more about him.

He raises one brow in the sexiest way. “You’re going to make me blush if you keep talking like that. But it sounds to me like you’re leaving some crucial things out. I’m sure your brother must have given you some dirt on me.”

How does he know Zach told me all about his inability to commit, his obsession with work, and his need to always be in control? He never spoke of him in a demeaning way though. No, rather Zach seemed to idolize this man. The words integrity, hard working, and respectful always followed anything that might have been construed as negative. Zach once mentioned that he thought something must have happened that triggered Nate’s extreme behavior.

He could understand that.

Honestly, so could I.

“Z never could give a compliment without making sure to put a little bite in it. My guess is he would have said something like this: “Big shot asshole of some  rising development company.”

I shrug. He did have my brother pegged. “Maybe it did go more like that.”

He smirks, and God help me. I have to look away.

I try to tuck my emotion aside by sipping on my latté. It tastes more like water, but the coffee lover in me is distracted by the trouble that’s watching me.

His eyes seem to darken as they follow the liquid into my mouth and then down my throat. 

His breath seemingly goes shallow as if he’s picturing my mouth on something else.

My imagination must be in overdrive. I shake it off and point to my cup. “Not bad.”

He takes a sip of his and practically spits it out. “Not bad! It tastes like shit.”

I can feel my lips turning upward again. I swear I haven’t smiled in so long that I snap and just let the laughter roll through me—my body quaking, my hair bouncing like a lion’s mane.

Nate stares flabbergasted, and I can see his body tensing.

Once I’m finally able to speak, I manage to say, “Really, it doesn’t taste terrible. You just have your timing and ratios off, that’s all. Steam the milk a little longer, and add more beans.”

He sets his cup down and gives me a skeptical look.

“I used to work at a coffee shop when I was in college. I can show you if you like?”

Our gazes lock.

When he doesn’t respond, reality crashes down around me. I can’t let this become flirtatious.

I clear my throat. “Well, anyway, can we get back to why you’re here in the middle of the night? You can be honest with me—have you been staying here?”

A muscle twitches along Nate’s jaw, but he doesn’t answer me. Instead, he picks up his cup and turns to the sink, dumps his full latté down the drain, and then walks to the back of the house in the darkness.

My head twists so my eyes can track him.

He flicks a light switch on and twists his own head.

I know he must have caught my stare, and God knows what possessed look I might have had on my face. I quickly turn back.

“Zoey, I think we need to talk.”

“I know we do. And Nate, it’s okay. Really. I don’t mind that you’ve been staying here,” I reassure him as I turn back around.

He opens one of the many sliding glass doors and the sound of the storm gets louder. “Come over here. I want to show you something.”

Something draws me toward him.

He’s a man of authority. I can tell he’s used to getting his way, but I’m not usually one to submit to dominance. I’ve been around it enough at work—male professors are the poster children for authoritative personalities.

But still I move forward, approaching him with caution.

The sound of the waves crashing against the shore is beautiful. With the door open the smell in the air is pungent in the most delicious way, or maybe that’s Nate—clean, fresh, manly.

Without realizing it, I’m standing right in front of him. I get lost in the wind, the air, the sound—and him. I tilt my head back to look at him. I’m tall, but he’s almost a head taller than I am—he must be six-two. Something about his proximity makes my body feel possessed.

It’s nothing like I’ve felt before.

He steps out the door and onto a covered deck, scrubbing his stubbled jaw. “I told you I’m shit at this kind of stuff so I’m just going to get this over with.”

Relief takes over.

Here it comes.

Finally!


PRE-ORDER THE BOOK 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



KIM KARR

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

BOOK REVIEW: The Accidental Assassin by Nichole Chase (SWOONUARY)

The Accidental Assassin (The Assassins #1)
by Nichole Chase (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Self Published on December 1st, 2014
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense, Humor
Format: eBook (356 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Ava McKenzie is a creature of habit. Life is passing her by and she has nothing to show for it. She’s had the same job since she started college, she orders the same dish every time she goes to her favorite restaurant, and only reads books from authors she knows. There is nothing new or surprising in her life… until her best friend marries a man from London. When her newlywed friend asks her to house-sit while she honeymoons, Ava jumps at the chance. She thinks this could be the very thing she needs to shake up her life. Ava throws herself head first into her new lifestyle; she wants to try everything, go everywhere, and never get stuck in a rut again. Of course, offing a man in a car garage hadn’t been one of the things on her list to try.

Owen Walker spends every day in a new place with a new case. As one of the most renowned assassins in the world, he has his choice of marks—and he’s never failed in a mission. When a new hit takes him back to his hometown, he looks forward to spending time somewhere familiar. What he isn’t expecting is to help an attractive, confused American woman find out how she’s ended up on a hit man’s list.

As Ava and Owen dodge bullets, will they be able to escape their undeniable attraction to each other? Or will all of that chemistry blow up in a shower of hot and dangerous sparks?


I've been so excited to read this book ever since I first saw it on Goodreads, because who wouldn't love an assassin story featuring a clueless heroine and a hot assassin hero? The synopsis just grabbed me. In fact, the title itself grabbed me. 

Ava's life just turned upside down within a couple of hours. From simply house-sitting in London for her newly married couple friends to accidentally killing a man and then all of a sudden, she's on a hitman's list, and is now running away with Owen, the hot guy she met at the cafe earlier who turns out to be an assassin. Why she's being hunted down, she's not sure. Even Owen isn't sure, but together they team up to get to the bottom of the whole fiasco. 

See how cool that sounded like? Clueless American heroine and hot British assassin on the runaway -- speeding getaway cars, dodging bullets, gun holsters and hidden knives, and all other assassin stuff. I was so pumped for these scenarios, and yes, these were featured at the beginning and it got me really excited. 

Since the story is written in first-person, bouncing from AVA's POV to Owen's, we get a good glimpse on their own personal thoughts. Ava was just funny to begin with. She was just an ordinary American woman trying to spruce up her life by agreeing to house sit for her best friend in London, then all of a sudden, she gets ended up in a hitlist. How her character was trying to stay sane from the whole craze was just funny, and her whole life depended on Owen to survive. However, althroughout the story, she starts to become comfortable with the lifestyle and starts to pick up on the basics. 

Meanwhile, Owen was epic, especially at the beginning. He was cool, smooth and suave, especially with his job. He's the dream hero; hot, sexy and smart, except that he kills for a living. But nearing the end of the book, his POVs started to become kind of annoying when he starts going all possessive over Ava. It's both romantic and aggravating at the same time, because of his disregard to his professionalism due to his feelings for Ava. 

The whole climax appeared to be absolutely anti-climactic; the reason behind why Ava was being targeted in the first place. It appeared to be kind of unexpected but the whole shebang just got me thinking, "That's it? That's the 'bang' of the story?". Everything just went downhill from there towards the ending. Imagine a graph going up, up, up... then it suddenly shoots down like a plane crash. That's what happened.

This book could have been better. The characters were fun and witty, and the most of the dialogues where hilarious, but if only the whole action included would actually make sense and live up to the book's potential. However, I'm still looking forward to reading the next book as this seems to be the start of a new series.

BOOK REVIEW: Model Behavior by Tamara Morgan

Model Behavior
by Tamara Morgan (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Cosmopolitan Red Hot Reads on January 13th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (85 pages)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | iTunes



Seven tasks. Twenty-four hours. And one chance.

The moment her best friend, Ben Meyers, drops his phone into her drink, model Livvie Winston knows The List has begun. Seven tasks, each more difficult than the last. If Ben completes them in twenty-four hours, Livvie must abandon her strict friends-only rule for one night of reckless, wicked sex with the most delicious man she knows…

The first tasks are easy. Order the cheapest thing on the menu. No cell phone for twenty-four hours. No ogling Livvie's model friends. Check, check, check.

But when Ben heads to the tattoo parlor, Livvie realizes that Ben isn't just playing for one night—he's playing for keeps. Livvie won't sacrifice this friendship for anything—even for a night of enjoying this incredibly sexy man in every naughty position imaginable. And she'll do whatever it takes to protect their friendship and her heart, even if it means beating Ben at his own game. Even if it means playing really dirty…


Tamara Morgan's writing style appears somewhat different from other romance books I've read. Her style consists of a poetic edge that somehow confused me, seeing as this is supposed to be a contemporary romance novel and it somewhat came off as gimmicky. 

Best friends turned lovers is a trope I really enjoy reading, and this book is one of them. Olivia "Livvie" and Ben have been best friends for years, until suddenly, Ben wants more into the relationship. Years ago, during a drunken night, Olivia creates a list on a napkin which consists of 7 things Ben must do in order for Livvie to consider them to be in a relationship. 

However, the list isn't an easy peasy to-do list but stuff that are crazy and against the norm: get a tramp stamp, order the cheapest meal in a fine dining restaurant and request for tap water and so on...Come present day, the napkin seems to be in Ben's hands and he attempts to accomplish the whole list in order to prove his feelings for Livvie.

But Livvie isn't buying the whole scenario, because of how she had been burned by men ever since due to her poor past, before she had even become a full fledged fashion model. She doesn't plan on risking their friendship either, so althroughout the story, she pushes him away, which had been so annoying. 

Ben, on the other hand, was just a sweetheart and an absolutely charming character. Despite his rich status, he didn't come off as totally arrogant. I adored his character especially with all the lengths he had been willing to go through in order to convince Livvie that they belong together. 

All in all, this book was just really funny and romantic, especially regarding Ben's attempts to woo Livvie. I loved how this book didn't merely center on lust, but it was all in the lines of friendship and sweet romance. Short, sweet and romantic, this book will make you swoon and giggle!

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: You Own Me by Mary Catherine Gebhard

Happy Valentines Day, Mischievous Readers! Enchanted Book Promotions presents a new cool Psychological Romance by Mary Catherine Gebhard. Pretty cover too, if you ask me.





Release Date: February 14th, 2015
Genre: New Adult Psychological Romance


“I’ll love you until you break my heart. I’ll give you the broken pieces of my heart as an offering to you, because you own it. Whole, shattered, alive, or dead; you own my heart no matter what condition it’s in. I’ll stay with you until you figure out how to feel. I’ll stay with you even if you never do.”

This is a story about happiness, and how it doesn't simply happen because you fall in love.

Lennox is on the run from her ex-boyfriend. She had to drop everything, tell no one, and move to a new town, alone. She expected to be lonely, she expected to be afraid, but she never expected to meet a man named Vic who drove her crazy with lust and anger and called her “Lenny.” If it’s at all possible, Vic is more twisted than the man she ran away from. 

She should ignore him, but they’re drawn to each other like magnets. Lennox ran from from Seattle to Santa Barbara to get away from violence, to create a new life, and to be something simple. Instead she’s found herself wrapped up in great friends and an epic love. This new life is the opposite of everything she wants, but it might just be everything she needs.

BUY THE BOOK



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 



MARY CATHERINE GEBHARD

Mary Catherine Gebhard bites off more than she can chew and sometimes calls herself Eva Natsumi. She's lived in Salt Lake City, Utah her entire life, but occasionally goes on vacation from reality. Don’t worry, she sends postcards.

COVER REVEAL: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, Mischievous Readers! I am beyond excited to share with you the SMOKIN' HOT cover of ROCK HARD, the second book to NALINI SINGH's sexy contemporary rockstar romance series called 'Rock Kiss'.



Expected Publication: March 10th, 2015


In New York Times Bestselling author Nalini Singh’s newest contemporary romance, passion ignites between a gorgeous, sinfully sexy man who built himself up from nothing and a shy woman who has a terrible secret in her past…

Wealthy businessman Gabriel Bishop rules the boardroom with the same determination and ruthlessness that made him a rock star on the rugby field. He knows what he wants, and he’ll go after it no-holds-barred.

And what he wants is Charlotte Baird.

Charlotte knows she’s a mouse. Emotionally scarred and painfully shy, she just wants to do her job and remain as invisible as possible. But the new CEO—a brilliant, broad-shouldered T-Rex of a man who growls and storms through the office, leaving carnage in his wake—clearly has other plans. Plans that may be equal parts business and bedroom.

If Charlotte intends to survive this battle of wits and hearts, the mouse will have to learn to wrangle the T-Rex. Game on.

PRE-ORDER THE BOOK



CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE SERIES


ROCK ADDICTION
(Book 1)


ROCK COURTSHIP
(Book 1.5)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



NALINI SINGH

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about hot and wickedly tempting rock stars. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Also, don't forget to swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page for the Rock Kiss series, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the books.

GIVEAWAY



COVER REVEAL PRESENTED BY:

BOOK REVIEW: Hope Flames by Jaci Burton (SWOONUARY)

Hope Flames (Hope #1)
by Jaci Burton (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Berkley on January 7th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (320 pages)
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo Books | iTunes



Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she's not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.

That's fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he's devoted to the only faithful companion in his life--his police dog. Still, there's something about Emma he can't shake.

When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they're giving each other something they thought they'd lost forever...hope.


This isn't my first Jaci Burton rodeo. I've read almost every book in her sexy sports romance series, Play by Play, which I absolutely adore. And did I mention that she's got the sexiest book covers ever? EYE CANDY ALERT!

Dr. Emma Burnett returns home to Hope, Oklahoma, now that she finally owns a vet practice which she'd purchased from a retired veterinarian. On her first day of business, she meets Officer Luke McCormack who brings in his injured German Shepherd sidekick, Boomer, and all the sexual chemistry just begins from there. Pretty Doctor meets Sexy Officer, equals, "sparks". The only problem is, both Emma and Luke haven't been on the dating wagon in so long, with Emma being busy preparing for her big business break, and Officer Luke just not in the zone for the "R" word, but they can't resist the chemistry they've got... and the cute dogs.

"Hope" is where the heart is.


Our heroine, Emma, is a victim of an abusive relationship from the man she walked out on, prior to her return to grad school. Due to the terrible experience, she's vowed never to be the weak one and a victim again, and has morphed herself into a strong independent woman. It's actually refreshing to read about her character going through a positive turn around in her life. Jaci Burton's female leads are always the best there is, because of how they're a representation of strong willed women. Now that she's opened her very own vet clinic, she's not on the lookout for a relationship, just the same as Luke.

On the other hand, Luke has been burned by his ex-wife; a city girl who can't handle the country life, and just hightailed it out of Hope, away from him when she finally thought it was too much. Poor Luke. He's such a sweet character, that can be quite dense sometimes when it comes to women, but everything else about him is perfect: a handsome protector, and an animal lover at that? I need me a Luke.

Not exactly flaming as I thought. 


Judging from Jaci Burton's sports contemporary romance series, I should know her romances are often explosive and do well for me. For me, she's the Queen of Sports Romances. However, I'm assuming, since this book is a new set up and has nothing to do about sports, it had a bit of a downfall.

Hope Flames was definitely a good book to start the series. Although I'd have to say, it wasn't a huge welcome slam that knocked me off my feet. Not what I expected, but I wasn't disappointed much... okay, maybe a little. The whole book turned out to be somewhat bland.

Sure enough, there was chemistry between Emma and Luke, in the form of short circuiting electricity -- one minute it's there, then the next thing, it's gone. Something constantly appearing and disappearing. Their relationship was truly sweet, but there wasn't just enough flame to grab me and leave me intrigued.

The whole time they spent with each other in the book was mainly "hanging out" with a little bit of steamy sex coming from here and there. It wasn't exactly a 'Friends with Benefits' trope, since there was no specific discussion about it in the book. I'd rather call it a Friends-To-Lovers trope, judging from the romantic development as they spend more time with each other, alongside their adorable sidekick doggies.

I love it... kinda.


I read a lot of sweet, small town romances, and I surely consider this as one of those. Although, there were a series suspenseful scenarios, with the break ins and the robberies in the book, it wasn't exciting enough. Then again, this book isn't exactly a romantic suspense novel.

Did I mention there are lots of dogs in this book? Boomer, Daisy and Annie, these three munchkins may be just extras, but they're worthy secondary characters to this story. As an animal lover, I enjoyed their presence in every scene they were in the book, which was literally most of the time! I love how Jaci Burton formed a story around these lovable pets, and not in a manner as if they were just thrown in for the sake of Emma owning pets just because of her profession.

Hope Flames is basically just a feel good novel, that will make you swoon and sigh, and giggle. If you're into light feel books, with a little dash of suspense, this book is definitely for you.

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I Want To Read from the Fantasy Genre


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish for the fun of random lists. 

Most of you must probably know that I'm an avid Romance reader. Romance is my oxygen and a good smexy book is my guilty pleasure. I love me some Adult and New Adult contemporary books... YA? Negotiable.

Meanwhile, the Fantasy genre isn't exactly a best friend. Let's just say we're probably distant friends who see each other every once in a while but not someone I'm eager to see everyday or most of the time. But Fantasy has a lot of sub genres; Paranormal Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Science Fiction Dystopian Fantasy and whatnot.

In my teen years, I was obsessed with the Paranormal Fantasy genre. I had a fair collection of books about vampires, werewolves, angels (No, I don't have the Twilight Saga because I hate it). Urban Fantasy is fine, but not exactly a common read. But most definitely, I cringe at the mention of High Fantasy. 

After having read Eragon by Christopher Paolini ages ago (which I rated 4 stars, according to Goodreads, even though I didn't really enjoy it that much) and attempted to read Eldest, I couldn't handle anymore High Fantasy books. Even my attempt to read the Percy Jackson books were a fail.

And now, now, before you start getting all defensive about the High Fantasy genre, let me explain why I cannot stand the idea:

A. There's usually too much stuff going on, basically information overload. 
B. Its got a different jargon that confuses the shit out of me.
C. The world building is usually complicated.  
D. The books make my head hurt. 

BUT! BUT! BUT!!! That doesn't mean that I don't get attracted to Fantasy novels. I mean, look at those gorgeous book covers! They're just calling on to me, chanting my name. I'm a sucker for amazing covers and Fantasy novels usually have the most interesting and intriguing designs ever. Yes, I do judge the book by its cover, but that discussion is meant for another time.

Soooo, fantasy novels. Yes, they're intriguing -- not just the covers, but the story plots too -- but they're exhausting to read. But since I've been working on diversifying my blog, I must, kinda against my will (keyword: kinda), step out of my comfort zone. And fairly recently, my good friend Tika had gotten me to read two Fantasy books that I actually enjoyed: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Zodiac by Romina Russell.

So, without further ado, here's my list of unrequited books.

      

        

    

        

So I know most of these books aren't totally High Fantasy and even readers younger than I am read a lot of these, but this genre just isn't my forte. But like I said, I'm willing to step out of my comfort zone to get these babies read!

And yes, you are seeing right. I AM ATTEMPTING TO READ A GAME OF THRONES BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN! *DEAD*

What's on your Top Ten Tuesday today?