Review Policy

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mini Review: Start with the backbeat by Garube B. Isassi

Release date: April 6, 2016
Publisher: She Writes Press
My Rating: 3
Buy here: Amazon

Synopsis:
It is the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records. She is thrust into a race to find a gritty, urban rapper before the “Gangsta” trend passes their label by. As Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers search for the next big rap star, they fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current roster of acts as well as the new rap artist they sign to a contract. It turns out, he may not be what they expected. Full of original lyrics and wit, Start With the Backbeat is a compelling examination of the nuances of class, race, and culture in America―which are sometimes ridiculously serious.

My Thoughts:
I had really high hopes for this book, while it was a good read, I just kinda found my mind wondering while reading it. Which took me even longer to finish it than it should have. The characters were exciting, but something was just amiss for me :(

Review: A Girl like you by Michelle Cox

Release date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: She Writes Press
My rating: 4
Buy here: Amazon

Synopsis:
Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall―and just when she’s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead. 

When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him―and is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she’s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe―even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways.

My Thoughts:
I’ve said this many times before and I’ll happily say it again. I LOVE the 1920’s-30’s era. So naturally any book set in this period I’ll read and usually adore. That's exactly what happened with this book. I adored it. I loved Henrietta. She was such a charming character. While reading I got the “series” vibe from this book. I’m really hoping that it will become a series, that’s how much I liked it. I love a good mystery book and this one delivered the perfect amount. Another great debut book.

Review: Parting gifts by Katrina Anne Willis

Release Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: She writes press
My rating: 4
Buy here: Amazon


Synopsis:
Broken by their unorthodox Midwestern childhood, sisters Catherine, Anne, and Jessica Mathers search for love, acceptance, and worth―often in the most unlikely places. Catherine, the oldest of the Mathers sisters, is an English professor battling breast cancer with Cytoxan, red wine, and profanity. Anne is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two struggling to make ends meet in a suburban existence that both suffocates and confounds her. Jessica, the youngest by ten years and estranged―by choice―from her family, is an exotic dancer who feels safer on stage than in a relationship. But when the sisters are faced with an incomprehensible loss, they are forced to reevaluate themselves, their damaged bonds, and their fragile future.

Parting Gifts illuminates one highly dysfunctional family’s tentative, desperate crawl toward a life of meaning and worth.

My Thoughts:
This was such an eye-opening book. We have 3 sisters that are extremely different living 3 different lifestyles. I can relate to that. I have 2 siblings and we are all VERY different. I basically cried the last 60-70 pages. I don’t do spoilers, so y’all will have to read the book to find out what exactly happens. This was probably one of my favorite books that I read in April. I love a book that makes you really stop and think. It also doesn't hurt that this is one of those books that stayed with me a couple days after I finished the last page. Such a breathtaking debut novel.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: The Goodbye year by Kaira Rouda




















Release date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: SparkPress
My rating: 4
Buy here: Amazon
Synopsis:
Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated fa├žade of her life. Will and his wife are fine―as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).

Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together―empty nesting―might possibly be the end.



My Thoughts:
Usually I have issues with multiple POV’s, but I found that I actually enjoyed this book. Actually, I kinda loved it. Who am I right now? Ha. It just goes to show how well-written this book was. I loved being in the minds of the whole family. Things made a lot more sense that way. Reading about senior year made me remember my senior and how flipping stressful it was. Ugh. I can’t imagine doing all of that over again. This book deals with everything from making friends to adultery. It literally has something for everyone. It does take a hot minute to get used to all the Pov’s, but when you do, you’ll love it.

Review: Meternity by Meghann Foye

Release date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Mira
My rating: 3
Buy here: Amazon

Synopsis:
The novel your book club must discuss!
Meghann Foye was interviewed on The TODAY Show and The View regarding her new bookMeternity.
"A fresh, contemporary take on love and work, marriage and motherhood, Meternity is guaranteed to surprise and delight!" —Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowedand First Comes Love
Like everyone in New York media, editor Liz Buckley runs on cupcakes, caffeine and cocktails. But at thirty-one, she's plateaued at Paddy Cakes, a glossy baby magazine that flogs thousand-dollar strollers to entitled, hypercompetitive spawn-havers.
Liz has spent years working a gazillion hours a week picking up the slack for coworkers with kids, and she's tired of it. So one day when her stress-related nausea is mistaken for morning sickness by her bosses—boom! Liz is promoted to the mommy track. She decides to run with it and plans to use her paid time off to figure out her life: work, love and otherwise. It'll be her "meternity" leave.
By day, Liz rocks a foam-rubber belly under fab maternity outfits. By night, she dumps the bump for karaoke nights and boozy dinners out. But how long can she keep up her charade…and hide it from the guy who might just be The One?
As her "due date" approaches, Liz is exhausted—and exhilarated—by the ruse, the guilt and the feelings brought on by a totally fictional belly-tenant…about happiness, success, family and the nature of love.
My Thoughts:
So much hate on this book. It’s a book y’all. Everyone is taking offense to it. Mama’s are in an uproar, peeps without kiddo’s are offended. My gosh, who knew a funny, quirky book could get so many people upset.
I liked this book and no, I don’t have children. I liked the character and I found myself laughing out loud a few times. I thought this was a clever book and a fast-read. I didn’t really connect with Liz all that much, but like I said, I did like her. All-in-all, a 3 star read for me.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Haunt by JC Emery

SYNOPSIS

Kings rule men. Queens rule kings.
Wyatt Strand is a hard man. He has hard features, speaks with harsh words, and has a hardened heart. Having served the Forsaken Motorcycle Club as Vice President, Wyatt is used to taking responsibility for his brothers, but when he’s handed the gavel everything changes. His brothers are now his men and the threat from the Italian mafia still looms in the distance. A president needs focus, but that’s nearly impossible when his old lady blows back into town and drops two very large bombshells on him.
Amber Wallace is a tough woman, but an even fiercer mother. She once told a lie to protect her unborn child that tore her away from the man she loves. And now, years later, she’s coming home to make amends. Wyatt’s changed, but the club hasn’t. Women are to be obedient. Unfortunately for Forsaken, Amber’s not about to let a few rules stop her from living the life she always imagined.
The Forsaken Motorcycle Club started a war with the Italian mafia and they’ve paid dearly for that choice. With a new president at the helm, the wheels are finally in motion to take down Mancuso once and for all. Even if it means taking the fight back to where it began.
Love is never more beautiful than when it consumes you.

  
My Thoughts:
I love this series more than any other series I've read. These characters have a special place in my heart. There was a slight cliffy, but the book was so good it kind of overshadows the fact that I have no idea what happens next.

The attraction between Amber and Wyatt is off the charts insane. These two belong together. Fiercely protective and possessive makes for an intense story. Ambers love for Wyatt is what got him through his addictions, her and Baby Z. I guess the saying is true, true love does conquer all. I can't wait for the last book in this phenomenal series(sobs because there's only one book left). JC Emery has quickly become one of my favorite authors. 


EXCERPT 1

 “Ran out on me,” he says. His voice makes it sound like he’s thirsty, so gravely and rough. “Last time you ran out on me you were eight months pregnant with our fuckin’ son. Don’t like seeing you leave me.”
“We need to talk,” I say quickly before he can reach me.
“You need to quit fucking leaving me.”
“Quit giving me reason to!” That’s not totally fair. It’s not exactly his fault that the Italian guys showed up when they did. It’s not one hundred percent his fault that Rig targeted Zander. But it doesn’t exactly matter, either. Ever since Rig, I’ve been on edge and my moods are fluctuating like crazy. I don’t like these feelings. Adding Wyatt to the mix turns my crazy into straight-up insanity.
Wyatt storms toward me, grabs me around the waist and pulls me against him. He tips my face up towards his. And all his gentle turns into something else entirely in the blink of an eye.
“Knock it the fuck off!” He screams in my face, so loud, but I barely hear the words.
The ball in my throat hardens and I’m forced to swallow it. My hands shake with an anger that I don’t expect. I don’t know why I’m so mad right now, but I am. Nervous, sure. Anxious, yeah. But mad? That one confuses me. I don’t dwell on it though, because the frustration becomes too much to swallow. I push him off me, angry and annoyed. I suck in an unsteady breath as we stare each other down. He huffs. My eyes fall to his lips and they stay there. It’s magnetic—the pull his lips have over me. Every time I look at them, I’m either desperate to touch them or I remember every vile word that he’s ever said to me. If I’m being honest with myself, even then, in those moments of remembrance, I still want them on me. Nothing ever changes that. I hate admitting that, even to myself, though.
I pull my gaze from his lips to find his eyes are on my mouth now. His tongue pokes out, drags over his rough lips. I could fall into this. I could let this happen so easily, but then we’ll end up right back where we started.
“You can’t kiss me. You’re going to hate me soon, so please don’t kiss me.”





Ride #1 (Ryan and Alex) 
Thrash #2 (Duke and Nic) 
Rev #3 (Grady and Holly) 
Crush #4 (Jeremy and Cheyenne) 
Vow #4.5 (Ryan and Alex) 
Burn #5 (Ian and Mindy) 
Crave #5.5 (Diesel and Elle)





RIDE:
Death comes in Armani. Salvation comes in leather.
Principessa to the Mancuso crime family, Alexandra knows a thing or two about living outside the bounds of the law. Suffocated by the future her father has laid out for her, she makes a choice she can't take back, changing the entire trajectory of her life.

Thrust into the dark and dangerous world of the Forsaken Motorcycle Club for her own protection, Alex finds herself faced with the last thing she needs right now: the man of her dreams. He’s sex in leather, the devil incarnate, and one hell of a kisser. But he’s also off-limits. Ryan Stone can be her friend, but he’s forbidden to be her lover.

Third-generation Forsaken, Ryan knows nothing other than life on two wheels, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He enjoys the many privileges that come with the patch, and the only laws he recognizes are the ones set-forth by his club. That is, until who he wants more than anything isn’t allowed on the back of his bike —or in his bed. Balancing his desire for her body, and need to keep her safe, Ryan tries to keep Alex at a distance. Finally having made a choice for herself, she’s done hearing the word “no” and will push boundaries even Ryan himself doesn’t dare cross.

Love is never more tempting than when it’s forbidden.

Loneliness suffocates the heart. Acceptance breaks down walls.



THRASH:
As a Lost Girl to the Forsaken Motorcycle Club, Nicole Whelan knows how to party. She’s not cut-out for relationships and her life is way too complicated for anything more than casual encounters. But one night when she falls into Duke’s bed at the clubhouse, he sees something in her that he can’t let go of—no matter how many times she tries to run.

Having been left to raise her teenage brother, Jeremy, she’s already got her hands full and isn’t looking for anymore complications. But Duke’s just watched his best friend fall for the only girl he couldn’t have, and then almost lose her so shortly after, shaking him to his core. Faced with his own loneliness, he’s more determined than ever to break down Nic’s walls and show her that he can be good for her; but he’s got a bad track record and she’s got a bad temper. Changing his ways isn’t easy when he’s not sure what he’s even changing for.

The violence and turmoil are at an all-time high, and Forsaken is in a vulnerable place when a twist of fate breathes new life into the club. It’s a much-needed beacon of hope for the embattled biker family, even if everyone’s not exactly on board. With Duke and Nic’s relationship already on shaky ground, and something even more important at stake, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club will fight like hell to keep their family together and whole.

Love is never more precious than when it’s new.



REV:
With the looming threat from the Mancuso Crime Family, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club is preparing for a war that could destroy them. Grady, the club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, knows that love makes you weak, and he has zero interest in adding to his liabilities– especially now. He’s already got his teenage daughter who keeps him on his toes and a beef within the club that could fracture his relationship with a fellow brother for good.

For Holly Mercer, her life is finally getting on track and the last thing she wants is trouble from her hometown’s resident outlaws. Keeping her nose clean is easier said than done, when suddenly she finds herself embroiled in club business. Holly might like the idea of being with a real-life bad boy, but even being in the same room with tough-as-nails Grady flusters her.

When Holly inadvertently finds herself on Mancuso’s radar, she has two choices: trust that Grady will protect her, or continue to refuse the club’s help. Both roads are dangerous, but only one has the chance to damage her beyond repair.

Love is never more dangerous than when it can destroy you.



CRUSH:
Young love is always perfect. Until it's not.
Cheyenne Grady is a total daddy's girl to her bad-ass father, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Forsaken Motorcycle Club. She's funny, and kind, and she just wants that deep, earth-shattering love like her dad has with her school secretary, Holly. But Cheyenne's been looking in the wrong direction, because the only good that can come from the way she looks at Jeremy Whelan is a lesson in heartbreak.

Jeremy always wanted to prospect for the Forsaken Motorcycle Club and wear the same patch as his father. When a life-long dream becomes reality, Jeremy realizes that the outlaw lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it easy on relationships. He wants to be a good man, but temptation is everywhere.

Cheyenne is beautiful, and strong, and exactly what Jeremy could have forever. As long as he doesn't screw it up.
Love is never more powerful than the first time.




VOW:


HE REFUSES TO GIVE IN. SHE REFUSES TO GIVE IT UP.
Alexandra Mancuso knows all about regrets. She talked to the wrong person and started a war that’s ravaged her newly adopted motorcycle club family and threatens to cost Alex her life. Now, she’s cautious with the commitments she makes.
Ryan Stone, road captain for the Forsaken Motorcycle Club regrets nothing—except putting Cub in danger one time too many. The Forsaken Motorcycle Club has a plan to end the war with the Mancuso crime family and they need everyone’s head in the game. But Ryan can’t focus on the club when he’s so distracted by a certain reckless brunette. She gives him everything except for what he really wants.
Today, he refuses to take no for an answer and maybe, just maybe, this time Alex won’t be able to stand her ground.
True love always defies the odds.


BURN
Tragedy cuts deep. Revenge burns deeper.
The blood of their enemies coats the leather of their cuts and a trail of bodies lie in their wake, but the Forsaken Motorcycle Club isn't done yet. Carlo Mancuso still needs to pay for his sins. Nobody knows that more than Ian Buckley, the Treasurer for Forsaken.
Ian prefers his pleasure mixed with pain and he's only ever at peace when he's doling out justice. Convinced that he's too unstable and sadistic to take an old lady, he keeps his trysts, like all of his relationships, brief and anonymous. But with his club at war, and the stakes being so personal, Ian's feeling the events around him more deeply than he expects.
Mindy Mercer is the sweet daughter of Fort Bragg’s most respectable cop. At least that’s how the town sees her. Very few people know the Mindy who hides her tracks and battles her cravings by lying to everyone around her. She thinks she has control of her addiction until she suffers an attack that leaves her searching for a way out of her own personal hell.
Mindy has never been more desperately in need of a savior and Ian has never seen a more beautifully destroyed creature in his life. Their attraction is intense, but their damage is extreme. Some scars never heal, and some people never get better.
Love is never more painful than when it can kill you.

CRAVE:

SHE'S HEARTBROKEN. HE'S A HEART-BREAKER.

Elle Phillips's relationship with the Forsaken Motorcycle Club is strained, much like the relationship she had with her father, a Forsaken brother, before he died. The only piece of Forsaken that Elle wants to hold onto is their sergeant-at-arms and her former lover, Sterling “Bloody Knuckles” Grady. Unfortunately, Grady's moved on and he doesn't seem to be coming back. With her heart hurting over one man who's died and another who's practically dead to her, Elle throws herself into her work as a private investigator and tries to keep a low profile where the club's concerned. But when a case comes along that she can't refuse, she finds herself embroiled in club business in a way that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about Forsaken.

Diesel knows that keeping tabs on Elle Phillips is going to bring him trouble. He already loves her even though he barely knows her, but when Grady asks Diesel to keep her safe, he can't say no. His patience has run out and he's going to do anything to get Elle to realize he's the man she's been craving-- even going behind the club's back to help her solve a case she shouldn't be working.

Real love is always the cure.

MATURE CONTENT WARNING: The Bayonet Scars novels are a dark and gritty romance series which features graphic sexual content, violence, and foul language that is intended for a mature audience. Each novel features a different couple, though it's not recommended that they be read out of order due to the series story arc.




About the author:
As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and pursuing her bachelor's degree in English. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year round in Northern California and can't imagine a climate more beautiful.

JC writes adult, new adult, and young adult fiction. She dabbles in many different genres including science fiction, horror, chick lit, and murder mysteries, yet she is most enthralled by supernatural stories-- and everything has at least a splash of romance.

twitter username jc_emery





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Review: Love of the game by Lori Wilde


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LOVE OF THE GAME
Stardust, Texas #3
Lori Wilde
Releasing April 26th, 2016
Avon Books


A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde…

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.


MY THOUGHTS:
This is the first book of Lori Wilde's that I have read in this series. So, I guess this book can be a standalone. I read a Christmas book of hers last year and I really loved it, so I wanted to give this series a try. The verdict? Simply put, I loved it. It combines my two favorite things; The South and sports.


These two characters had chemistry from the get go, though things didn't work out and till the end, I still loved every page. This book wasn't heavy on the sports talk though, it focused more on Axel and Kasha's relationship. Now since I've read the third book in this series I absolutely have to go back and read the other two.  I am now a fan of Lori Wilde's and I can't wait till the next book of hers comes out.

BUY NOW



New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.



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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Release date: May 3, 2016
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
My rating:  3.5
Buy here: Amazon


Synopsis:
From Morgan Matson, the bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

My Thoughts:
Let me first start out saying, HOW ARE WE IN MAY ALREADY? Seriously y'all, this year is flying by. 

As a fan of Ms Matson, I have to say that this was a good book. I loved the characters and the plot. However, it was just lacking something for me. I keep comparing every book of hers to "Second chance Summer" and honestly, no other book can top that one. This one was a close second though. 
I loved reading about Andie's growth throughout the book. Sometimes the best things in life happen without a plan. For plan-obsessed Andie, she learned that the not-so-easy way. I loved watching the relationship between her and her Father grow and get stronger. 
What I love about this author is that she can really draw a person into the story and make them believe  they're right there in the pages. The fact that this book doesn't just focus on the romance between Andie and Clark is another thing I loved. The whole book is centered on Father\Daughter, friendships, and love. There's something for everyone.