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Blog Tour: My Unexpected Forever by Heidi McLaughlin

August 30, 2013 Aman 14
YAY! I'm so excited to be a part of Heidi Mclaughlin's My Unexpected Forever Blog Tour organized by Good Choice Reading. Tour schedule can be found here. I absolutely LOVED this book! But before you read my review, take a look at what this books is all about.

Title: My Unexpected Forever
Author
Publication: Self | Sept 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Source: Author for Review/Blog Tour (Thank You!)
Series: Beaumont
Forever My Girl
My Everything (Novella)
My Unexpected Forever

Goodreads | Purchase
I expected a life of music.
I expected to raise my son.
It took one look to make everything change.
I never expected happiness.

I never expected to find her.
I never expected to feel desire.
I never expected I’d be a family man.
I never expected to be loved.
I never expected to fall in love.

They say you should expect the unexpected, I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind

Review:


     Holy Mother of Emotions!!! I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but it certainly wasn't THAT! I'm having a hard time expressing my feelings because they are all over the place. It's safe to say that My Unexpected Forever has blown my mind with all the feels it gave me. I couldn't be more happy with the way the author executed Harrison and Katelyn's story. Simply Brilliant!

     Books with kids do tend to make me very emotional especially when the kids are hurting, but when single parents are added to the story and make that two very awesome and completed devoted single parents who are also the potential love interest, then that turns into one amazing love story you don't want to miss. My Unexpected Forever deals with so many issues: losing a loved one, struggle with grieving, figuring out the right time to move on and getting over that guilty feeling. Katelyn had been living a great, happy life with her high school sweetheart and their twin daughter but that scenario took a 180 when Mason died tragically one night. Within a day, Katelyn was left broken and clueless as to how to handle her daughters and how to fill the role of both parents. I felt for her. Even if I don't know anything about being in her situation, her words were so powerful and heart-wrenching that it made you feel everything. Katelyn was hands down one of the strongest heroines I've come across in a long time, I loved that she wasn't perfect all the time, she did lose her mind and broke down at times, but that's what made the story even more realistic. I loved everything about this book. It was perfect!

     When I heard that Katelyn was going to be paired with Harrison, a drummer and single dad, I couldn't have imagined a more perfect partner for her. Harrison was everything that Katelyn needed, he was kind, patient, great with her girls, loved Katelyn with all his heart and more importantly, he understood the love she had for Mason and wasn't aiming to replace that. Seriously, who is that nice and understanding ? I need a Harrison in my life. Now getting back to the drummer part, YES he was very sexy, tattooed and pierced in the right places, big on flirting but only with Katelyn and definitely knew how to make her jealous. Oh, I loved their chemistry! It was playful, funny yet very sensual! One of my favorite part in this entire book was seeing the connection between Harrison and Katelyn's daughter's Elle and Peyton. Their moments really teared me up, especially the one on the end.

     My Unexpected Forever was a emotionally charged story about love, hope and new beginnings. At first I wasn't confident about the timing of the story, the dreaded "Is it too soon?" thought kept nagging me all the time, but once I opened the first chapter, I was so invested in the story that there as no place left for any doubt. I was hooked to Harrison and Katelyn's journey and didn't stop until it was over. And now I want more! I highly highly recommended every romance reader out there to give this book a try, but remember to read it in order because all the introductions happened in the previous book. Heidi McLaughlin has definitely made a fan out of me and I can't wait to see what she has in stores next!


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Review: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

August 28, 2013 Aman 16
Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: St. Martin's Press | Feb 26, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Source: Bought

Goodreads | Purchase

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.





Review:


This Book, you guys! THIS.BOOK! 

     No words can justify how much I fell in love with Eleanor & Park. I'm kicking myself for not picking it up the minute it came out! Why did I wait so long? Oh that's right, stupid me read the ending beforehand and decided it wasn't worth it. If only I could go back in time and smack myself! Eleanor & Park was hands down THE BEST BOOK I've read this year EVER! It was so romantic, funny, super-adorable yet shocking realistic. This book had the perfect balance of hilarity and seriousness and I can't even count the number of time I laughed, giggled (I'm not a giggler!), snorted and even cried during this book. It was perfection at it's best!

     Eleanor and Park are very ordinary high school kids but they still stand out because of their physical appearance, Park being a half-Korean and Eleanor being an overweight girl with bright red hair and a weird sense of style. Oh God, Eleanor was such a character, I can honestly say that there is no one like her and probably there won't ever be. She was such a blast to read about, her sarcastic nature in addition to her sense of uneasiness around others was what made her so special. Eleanor was so real, her doubts, fears and insecurities were something I could completely relate to. Though her family's situation was very difficult to understand but I loved how Eleanor made me feel and experience those parts with her words. Simple words ended up making huge impact in my reading progress, whether it was about her crushing and fangirling over Park (atleast on the inside) or her trying to survive her family, I loved every second of Eleanor time, she was a wonderful, strong, brave and truly an admirable character. Plus, she was hilarious, her one liners were the best. There was a scene where Eleanor thinks about some racist comment regarding Parker's eyes and it cracked me up. I loved her so much and I wish I knew a Eleanor in my life.

     Eleanor and Park met in a bus and what started as a awkward bus ride ended up being one of the things they both looked forward to everyday. They both were so adorable and their romance was even adorable, and now I want to repeat adorable a millions times in this review because it's the perfect word to describe what Eleanor and Park were all about. But what I loved the most in this book was that the romance never went on the cheesy side, well just a little but most of it was extremely realistic. I do want to mention Park's family, specially his mom for lighting up this story. She was hard to handle in the beginning but the minute her opinion changed about Eleanor, that's when Park's mom became one of my favorite character in this book. She truly made Eleanor feel like a part of her family and in a way, that made Eleanor's life so much better.

     Coming back to the ending, I think it was the most beautiful endings I've ever read in a long time. I'm a fan of happily-ever-afters and perfect wrapped up ending, but sometimes a hopeful one works the best. The ending for Eleanor & Park made me so happy and I've heard there are talks about sequel but this is the first time where I'll say that a sequel is not required. Not everything needs to be spelled out, I loved how the author wrote Eleanor and Park's story and I wouldn't change a thing. Plus, can I just add that this is the perfect way to write a third person narrative along with a dual narration. Kudos to Rainbow Rowell for pulling that off so beautifully. I'm a fan and can't wait to explore more of the author's work. Highly recommend Eleanor & Park to readers who would like to experience the joys of first love all over again. (<-- That was very cheesy)


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Top Ten Tuesday (1)

August 27, 2013 Aman 16
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
 where bloggers share their opinions on bookish topics in list form.

WooHoo! I'm so excited to finally join the Top Ten Tuesday crowd. I gave up Waiting on Wednesday because honestly, I couldn't find any new fun books to share and more importantly, I wasn't enjoying that meme. So Goodbye to WoW and Hello to TTT. I love this meme already!

Topic: Most Memorable Secondary Characters



First of all, I'm so glad that Adrian got a spin off series because he was one of the swooniest characters I've ever come across. GOD! I don't like royalty types, but Adrian was my exception. Loved loved LOVED HIM!


Iko is my favorite in this list! She rocked Cinder (the book :P) so hard, the story would have been so boring if not for Iko and her crazy one liner. She was so freaking adorable and I even cried in the end for her. But then she recharged in the next book and became Captain Thorn's spaceship--That was hilarious!


Damn, these men are hot! Venom and Aodhan appear in Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series as a member of Raphael's Seven. All the seven guys are super hot and swoon-worthy, but for some reason, Venom and Aodhan stand out from the crowd. While I love Venom's feisty and intimidating personality, I can't resist the broken, beautiful Aodhan. He's just someone I want to nurture so badly. These guys are definitely the most memorable in that series and overall UF genre.


Who read the Too Far series by Abbi Glines and didn't fall for Woods? No one! Woods was, dare I say, even better than Rush. He is totally my kind of guy, career oriented, focused and hot in bed. Yes, Please!


Oh, Isaiah! His character broke my heart in Pushing the Limit and Dare You To. Isaiah is one of those broken souls that you just want to fix and love and hug and cherish. I can't wait to read his book! Literally dying here. Someone please send me an ARC already!


Breckin was the coolest friend ever to Hope in Hopeless and I wish I knew someone like him. 
Enough said :)


Oh.My.God! Hector! Hector! Hector! He should have been the main character! I didn't care for Lucas that much than I did for Hector. He was so freaking HOT and I melted every time he appeared in a scene. That last book (Goddess by Josephine Angelini) did him justice! You've got to meet Hector if you haven't already. (Now that is what I call a fangirl moment)


I had to google her last name, but Sophie is the maid from Infernal Devices series, which I still haven't finished!!! Gah! By the end of year, I promise. I loved Sophie in Clockwork Angel and felt so bad for her falling for Jem and knowing it wouldn't work out. But I read half of Clockwork Prince and I remember that Sophie was in the beginning stages of being paired with one of the Lightwood brother. I so wish she did but I'll have to find out. 


COME ON. Do I even need a reason? It's Ryodan! He was so fucking awesome and sexy in the Fever series. Not to mention hilarious! I'm so glad he got a series of his own because I'm loving getting to see and experience his sexy side. I really want that nod!


Nightshade might be is most definitely the worst series I've ever read, but there were some characters in it (Ren!) that outshined and became memorable in my list. One of them is obviously Ren, but for the secondary, I loved Connor and Adne. They were so Ah.Dorable and gave a contemporary feel to the paranormal story. Loved them!

So that's my list! And I did cheat, but since it's my first time, I get a pass. 

Whose on your list?
Link me up :)

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Early Review: Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller + I'm Back!!!

August 26, 2013 Aman 25
Title: Where The Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Children | Sept 24, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Source: Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Purchase
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.
Review

    Oh boy, lets just get it out first: Where the Stars Still Shine had a very on-the-surface storyline, even though I enjoyed the book and loved some of the characters, I wasn't emotionally invested in it like I wanted to. The story was very similar to this book, but it wasn't dark, gritty or addictive in any way, I would go as far as to say that Where the Stars Still Shine was a light, fun, summer read. It is perfect for someone who wants to try an issue book without going through too much heavy emotional drama. 

     Callie was kidnapped by her mother at the age of 5 and for the next 12 years, she lived a life of a drifter until one fateful night when her mom was stopped by a local police officer. Through little chain of events, Callie's mom's lies were uncovered and Callie was finally reunited with her father and his traditional big fat Greek family. The family part was my favorite! I adored her relationship with her father, it was very awkward in the beginningbut I loved how Greg was always there when Callie needed him. In the new town, Callie comes across a boat guy who instantly intrigues her and that's where all my problems began. Callie was a very sexually active person, she would sleep with random strangers and that made me very uncomfortable. My reasons were plain and simple, I didn't get where Callie was coming from; for a person whose whole life has been a mess, Callie acted like everything was normal. Someone did point out that she might be in the denial zone but I don't buy that. I loved Callie in the beginning, I felt her pain and even understood why she wanted to help her mother when clearly everyone was against it, but other than that Callie was a very double sided, confusing character. I liked her but then I didn't half the time, and don't even get me started on the insta-love. That was ridiculous! She looked at him (the boat guy, Alex) and felt a connection, a longing and possibly love. Barf! Though I do have to point out that Adam started off as a very interesting character and I did fell for him, but his character was so underdeveloped that by the end I was doubting his presence in the story.

      I know my review is filled with all the negatives, but there were some positives as well. To name a few: Grey and his little boys, Callie in the beginning, Callie's grandma and some other secondary characters that I'm probably forgetting. All in all, Where the Stars Still Shine could have been such a great book if it was focused on only one issue or 50 pages longer because I wasn't a fan of that ending. One word: Abrupt! Anyway, I think this was an okay book and good for a one time read. I've heard great things about Trish Doller's other series and I'm really looking forward to reading that.



Note: It feels so good to be back! I had a great break, read some awesome books (Eleanor & Park!!!), and had a lot of free time for myself. Thank You to everyone who stuck around and commented while I was gone. You guys are too sweet :) I'll be visiting soon. BTW, did you check out the "Author's I Fangirl Over" graphic in the sidebar? I had so much fun making that and yes, they are my auto-buy authors! You should check them out too! I'm loving all these different colors and you might see more them from now on.
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Guest Post + Giveaway: Losing Control by Nina Croft

August 24, 2013 Aman 16
Losing Control 
Nina Croft
Released on August 12, 2013
by Entangled Brazen
Series: A Babysitting a Billionaire Novel
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Four years after escaping her abusive ex-husband, Kim finally believes she’s in control of her life and her emotions and she's determined to never risk either again with a man. She has a great home, a job as a security specialist which she loves, and Jake for a best friend. But things are a tad lonely in the sex department, so she decides to embark on a no-strings-affair with one of her hot co-workers. And who better to help her remember how to lure a man than her best friend?

Jake has wanted Kim from the moment he first saw her, but four years ago, she was too young and too damaged. So he kept her close and he kept her safe, offering her a job in his security company and the training to feel safe again, and he bided his time. But now, after the long wait, if she imagines he’s going to stand by while she seduces some other guy...

Never going to happen. 

Guest Post: How To Make Your Characters Stand Out...


Characters are what make a book special for me, what makes me want to read on and what I take from a book when it’s finished. Reading romance is all about falling in love with the hero and heroine and hoping desperately that they find their happy ever after.

But making original, unique characters who stand out from the crowd is hard. And it can be particularly challenging with contemporary romance (I also write paranormal and sci-fi and it’s much easier to make your characters unique when you can give them wings, or make them immortal or hand them a superpower…) where there are certain expectations of the hero and heroine.

So here are my top three takes, both as a reader and a writer, on what’s needed to make a character stand out.

Back-Story

For me it often comes down to back-story and understanding what makes the characters the way they are. Romance is all about taking a hero and a heroine and giving them a really good reason why they can’t just fall in love and live happily ever after. With my latest release, Losing Control, that’s Jake and Kim and the reason is Kim’s need to be on control of her own life. But it’s not enough to just tell people that she wants to be in control, they have to understand why. What happened in the past to make her value being in control so highly? That’s the back-story.

But back-story is a dangerous thing and too much of it can kill the pacing of your book. It needs to be slipped in stealthily, hinted at rather than said outright. But done right, back-story can be a fabulous tool to make characters come across as real people, with lives outside of the story and understandable reactions. 

Make them want something desperately

Why would the reader care what happens if the characters don’t? So give them something they are desperate for. In Losing Control, Kim is desperate to keep control of her life and not to lose Jake’s friendship, which is really important to her, and she doesn’t want to risk it for something that she believes can only be temporary—sex!  

So what would it be like being in a relationship or even—God forbid—being married to Jake?
Jake was a control freak. He liked his own way. So did she. He’d try to tell her what to do, and they’d clash continually, and in the end, he’d realize what she’d been trying to show him—that they weren’t suited like that.
But by then, it would be too late. And it would hurt, and they’d fall out and not be able to get their friendship back.

Jake on the other hand, is desperate for Kim. They’re best friends but he wants way more… He wants everything. 

By the end of the book the characters may discover what they thought they wanted isn’t really what they want at all. But that’s all part of the journey.

They need to feel strongly

Romance is about emotions and not just love. For me, the best characters are the ones who feel things very strongly, whether it be fear (of losing control, or losing Kim), hate, despair, bursts of wild excitement and happiness… As a reader, I need to experience those emotions along with the characters.

So what makes a character stand out for you? Let me know and be entered in my blog tour prize draw to win a $25 gift voucher.



About the Author
Nina Croft
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all sorts of romance often mixing in elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
 

Find Nina on: Website | Facebook | Twitter
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Ember Blog Tour: Guest Post by Christine O'Neil

August 23, 2013 Aman 0

"Our fires burn brightly for our readers and as a way to say thanks to our readers we've launched our latest division of Entangled Teen and it's name is Ember. We have two exciting launch titles: Darker Days by Jus Accardo and Chaos by Christine O'Neil. Read away!" Entangled Teen Ember is a division of Entangled Teen that specializes in digital-first YA's.

Chaos
Released on August 19, 2013
Series: Kardia Chronicles #1
My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly, when I lose my temper, my fingers become weapons of mass destruction. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this annoying—and super-hot—guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this watchdog council of semis who keeps an eye out for any bad apples. They think I'm the baddest of the bunch and want to take me out before I do any more damage. My nemesis Mac might turn out to be my salvation, only he's got secrets of his own...and they may just kill us both.

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The Last Hurrah Giveaway Hop

August 18, 2013 Aman 6
WooHoo! I'm so excited to be a part of The Last Hurrah Hop hosted by Candace's Book Blog!!! Too bad it's the end for summer, but winter is coming in few months and that's my favorite time of the year. Super pumped for that! But for now I'm giving away a very adventurous and full of entertainment contemporary read. I hope one of you gets a chance to read this pretty and enjoy it.


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Blog Tour: No Reverse by Marion Croslydon

August 16, 2013 Aman 5
Hi everyone! Today I'm hosting a promotional stop for Marion Croslydon's No Reverse Blog Tour organized by AToMR Books. (Full Schedule here). I have an excerpt and giveaway to share with you guys, but first lets see what the books is all about.

No Reverse
Marion Croslydon
Released on August 13, 2013
by Carlux Publishing

Goodreads | Amazon
A girl who needs to undo the past.
A boy who wants to forget it.
In love, there’s no way back.

At high school in Steep Hill, Kansas, Cassie O’Malley and Josh MacBride were the poster couple for quarterback/cheerleader romance until they starred in their own tale of teen pregnancy. No need to say: their shotgun wedding was low-key. But when there was no baby anymore, they went their separate ways.

Five years later, Josh has breezed through Georgetown and is about to finish his post-grad degree at Oxford University. He is set to join a lobbying group on Capitol Hill, owned by his new fiancée’s father. For Josh, the sky is now the limit… only he must first take care of a tiny legal matter: technically, he’s still married to the girl who broke his heart.

Meanwhile, Cassie has been waiting tables in Steep Hill to pay for her sick grandmother’s care. On the day of the old lady’s funeral, Cassie is served with two sets of papers. Josh is asking for a divorce. Her heart squeezes, but, well, he moved on a long time ago. But the second envelope shakes Cassie to the core. So, for the first time, she leaves Kansas and heads to good ol’ England.

There, Cassie finds that Josh has not just “moved on,” he’s freakin’ engaged to some blue-blooded heiress. The feelings Cassie had buried deep rush back to her. But no matter if he keeps thrusting the divorce papers under her nose, she needs him to save the only person she loves more than Josh, more than life itself…

Excerpt

     
     I was out of breath. Josh freed my arm and crossed the room, creating an area of safety between us. He stared at me as if I were a two-headed monster.
     “You could have mailed the divorce papers. No need to hand-deliver them.”
     I swallowed hard. I’d spent a fortune and crossed a fucking ocean to see him face-to-face. There was no chickening out now. I shuffled on my feet so that I could hold myself straighter.
     “I need to tell you something. Face-to-face. I… I’m not ready to sign the papers. Not yet. We need to talk. And then, if you still want me to sign, I will.”
     When I’d told Josh I was pregnant, his mouth hadn’t dropped open nearly as wide as this. But, credit to him, he recovered quickly. “You’ve been begging for one for the last six years. Now that I’m ready to give it to you, you change your mind. Have you dedicated your life to ruining mine?”
     Those sweet words of love… I shook myself. This wasn’t about me, or Josh. I had to think straight, “big picture,” and work at reaching my goal.
     “What happened between us, it’s sad.” I moved toward him until we were nearly arms’ length away. “But we can work things out, try and get over what happened when…”
     “When you killed my child?”
     I shuddered.
     “When you went behind my back and had an abortion?”
     His words pierced into me like icepicks. I couldn’t hold his gaze, so my eyes focused on the tips of my shoes instead.
     “Or when you forgot about our vows and went on tour with your new rock star boyfriend?”
     Josh was now close enough that I could smell him, and he smelled the same. All man now, but still with some of the scent of the boy I grew up with. He smelled like the lemons from his mother’s award-winning garden. I wanted to throw myself into his strong arms, have them wrap around me and make me feel like he did when we were younger—when love was easy.
     “I did what I had to do, and I did it for you.”
     His body jerked backwards and his hands flew up to his face. “You have absolutely no shame.”
     His words should have floored me. Instead they fired up frustration. “No shame? Do you think you’d be where you are now, Ivy League and all, if I had burdened you with a baby when you were seventeen?”
     First, Josh didn’t react. Then I saw the thoughts processing all over his face, as if it were the first time he’d looked at the past that way. So I hammered my point home. “If I’d had the baby back then, you’d still be in Steep Hill, and not even close to getting your butt out of there. Just like Woodie and me.”
     When Josh finally talked, it was like a judge passing a death sentence.
     “You did not have the right to make that choice for me. But you did and now there’s no way back.”
     Whatever the “real” truth was, Josh was right.
     “Maybe you’re right.” I gave in, my voice cracking. “But you had so much going for you. I knew I had to let you go.”
     “Why?” His eyes widened. “We could have made it work.”
     We’d already had that conversation. For someone that smart, Josh had always lacked common sense.
     “Really?” I cocked my head. “You’d have stayed in Steep Hill, so that I could look after both my sick gran and the baby”
     Josh opted for silence again. Seriously, had he ever extracted his head from his butt and looked at a situation the way it really was?
     I took a deep breath to focus on tidying my thoughts. Now was the time to share the truth with him. If he was to be angry with me, better make it for the right reason. I bridged the space between us. He didn’t budge. Good. I extended my arm to touch his forearm. He didn’t react. The contact filled me with hope.
     “Josh,” I whispered, “I came here to tell you… I didn’t—”
     The background sound of the music downstairs burst into the room, then receded when the door behind me slammed shut again.
     “Darling?” A girl’s voice.
     Josh stepped back, his jaw tightened. Before he had been looking down at me. Now he wasn’t looking at me at all. That was when I noticed the bottle of fancy perfume on the table next to the double bed.
     I spun around. A stick-thin brunette stood two yards away from me, all designer jeans and turtleneck top. Her hair cascaded down her shoulders in a way only a professional’s blow-dry could have delivered.
     “I’ve been looking for you everywhere.” The girl’s accent was East Coast, all clean and polished.
     “Sorry, Lenor.” Josh struggled for his words. “I bumped into a friend from home.”
     “How sweet.” Lenor approached me, her manicured hand extended for a shake. “I’m Eleanor, Josh’s fiancée.”

About the Author
Marion Croslydon
Marion’s parents are terribly disappointed with her…
 
They wanted her to have a serious job, providing financial stability and social standing. For years, she really tried to make them happy; she studied hard, got into top schools, graduated with honors and found a high-achieving job.
 
But deep down, Marion was miserable. She never wanted to be a top executive, brokering deals in New York, London or Tokyo. Marion wanted to be… a ROMANCE WRITER. She wanted to spend her days in that good ol’ tracksuit of hers, in front of her laptop, popping down Oreos like there was no tomorrow. She wanted to fall in love with a different man each time she wrote the first line of a new book (while being happily married to the most handsome man in Great Britain).
 
That’s exactly what Marion does these days, and it makes her incredibly happy. She loves to share these happy vibes, talk book crush, fictional boyfriends and sexual chemistry with like-minded people. And because she spends most of her days on her own deep inside her writing cave, you are welcome to come and say “hello” from time to time. Just to make sure she doesn’t sink into insanity.
 
Her friends, family and arch-enemies (there are quite a few) will be forever grateful for your help.

Find Marion on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Giveaway


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Stacking the Shelves (13) + I need a little break

August 11, 2013 Aman 20
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Review where   
bloggers shares the books they bought, won or received for review.

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Early Review: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

August 9, 2013 Aman 10
Title: Shooting Scars
Author: Karina Halle
Published: Grand Cen­tral Publishing | Aug 20, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Source: Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Series: The Artists Trilogy
On Every Street (Prequel)
Sins &Needles
Shooting Scars
Bold Tricks

Goodreads | Amazon
Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.
Review:

     I had my doubts in the beginning, but after finishing this book I can safely say that I'm still Team Javier. It's crazy to root for a criminal, drug lord and a psychopath (all Ellie's words), but I can't help it. Javier is one of those people who stand out, even if it's for their dirty work and makes you addicted to them. There is no logical reasoning besides that I don't give a shit that he's bad, I still want Javier to win in the end. Even if the end is him being happy and safe.

     Shooting Scars was a breathtaking sequel to Sins & Needle. It was unpredictable from start to finish. Surprising doesn't even cover my reaction towards the direction it went, I'm still amazed by some of the events that took place that I never saw coming and usually I'm very good at foreseeing such things. I'm in love with Shooting Scars, even more so than Sins &Needle simply because we got more Ellie and Javier and their equally sexy scenes. LOVE!  

     Shooting Scars picks up right after it's prequel ended, Ellie walked away with Javier and traded her life for Camden's ex-wife and kid. Camden is beyond pissed and after seeing his ex-wife's true colors, all he want is to rescue Ellie back from the hands of a monster (now that's Camden's words, what is wrong with these characters?). Where he's teaming up with Gus on one side, Javier wants Ellie to help him with something on the other. The story on both sides was always fast-paced and super addicting, there was never a moment of boredom. I loved the addition of dual POV's, initially I wasn't interested in Camden's because I'm not his fan, but I still enjoyed knowing how he was handling himself in those tough situations, and I have to say that Camden really impressed me with his character development. He started as an amateur person in this mafia/drug cartel world, but he really grew some balls by the end and learned how to fight dirty. The tattoo machine scene--YIKES! I might have nightmares about that.

     Seeing Camden's inner darkness really made me sway in his direction, but I'm definitely Team Javier for now, no doubt in that. Although I wasn't that happy with Ellie, she came off as an indecisive character, not the strong, kickass girl I'm used to, but I'm still cheering for her and really looking forward to see the next part of her dangerous journey. Shooting Scars was an exhilarating read and perfect for fans of darker and more sexier contemporaries.


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Blog Tour: Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak

August 8, 2013 Aman 13
Hi everyone! I'm so excited to be a part of Home to Whiskey Creek Blog Tour organized by Lit Connect. I'm new to the Whiskey Creek series, but they sound so cute and romantic. I can't wait to get into it. I have a guest post and giveaway to share with you guys, but first lets see what the book is all about.

Home to Whiskey Creek 
Brenda Novak
Released on July 30, 2013
by Harlequin MIRA
Series: Whiskey Creek #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Sometimes home is the refuge you need-and sometimes it isn't.  

Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible-men now-are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend....

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love.

Guest Post: Sneak Peak on Upcoming Books


     It’s almost over! Only two days to go. Are you keeping up with me? How many gold mining related items have you found so far? There has been one on each post from Day 1. You’ll want to know what it is. You’ll also want to make a note of the character that features most prominently in each of the posts. You’ll input them on your scorecard tomorrow, when my blog tour ends, to claim your prize. Everyone with a perfect score wins a Whiskey Creek Fan Pack* so follow me through the whole 10-stop tour and claim yours! (If you’re starting late, you can get instructions at www.brendanovak.com, where you will also find the scorecard.)

     Yesterday, I told you about one of the future books in the Whiskey Creek series. Today you’ll get another sneak peek on what might be coming up. I’ve had a lot of reader mail asking for Kyle’s story, so I will probably use him for Book 8 (or maybe I’ll reverse the order and put him as Book 7 and Riley as book 8). Kyle first showed up in the prequel, WHEN WE TOUCH, as the unhappy groom of Noelle Arnold, one of the true villains in Whiskey Creek. She stole him away from Olivia, her sister, and secured the deal by purposely getting pregnant. But she wasn’t too thrilled with married life, or the fact that her husband only married her in an attempt to do the right thing, so she sort of changed the game on him, and she and Kyle quickly divorced. (I don’t want to tell you too many details or it might give away too much from the previous books.) After his quick marriage and divorce, Kyle got involved with Callie (from WHEN SUMMER COMES). They tried to turn their close friendship into love, but it just didn’t work. And then Callie met Levi, and if you’ve read WHEN SUMMER COMES, you know what happened between them.

     Kyle has a good head for business and is doing well financially. He owns a solar manufacturing plant outside of town. But he hasn’t been too lucky in love. Deep down, he’s still enamored with Noelle’s sister, Olivia, who is now married to his stepbrother. Karma is a…b…er…drag(!).

     So…what could possibly be on the horizon for Kyle? I’ve thought about having him get together with Eve. They might make a great couple, especially because Eve is hoping to one day marry and have a family, and Kyle is ready, too—more than ready. But…I’m not sure Eve’s the right mate for Kyle. It didn’t work out so well when he tried to get with his other close friend, Callie.

     I could try to redeem Noelle and get them back together (but I can already hear you booing and hissing, so no worries—I’m kidding!). I know! I could bring someone new to Whiskey Creek. Oh, that might be fun. I’m picturing a down-on-her-luck girl picking up temporary work at Sexy Sadie’s, hoping to get just enough money to keep moving on. With the right backstory and the right conflict that could work. He’s too “together” these days to match him with someone who’s also in a good place. But…what do you think? Who should Kyle end up with?


About the Author
Brenda Novak
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak is the author of more than forty-five books. A three-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda has a brand new small-town contemporary series out. Come meet the long-time friends who have made Whiskey Creek the “Heart of Gold Country,” with WHEN WE TOUCH (prequel novella), WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES (Book #1), WHEN SNOW FALLS (Book #2), WHEN SUMMER COMES (Book #3), HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK (Book #4) and TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS (Book #6 due out October 29, 2013). 

Find Brenda on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Giveaway


Follow the directions in each of Brenda’s posts along the tour. Keep track of your answers because at the end of the tour, you’ll be asked to submit them. Perfect “Character Mining Score Cards” will get a fabulous Whiskey Creek package! Full Tour Giveaway details can be found at here (as well as the “Character Mining Score Cards”) This contest is open to all US and Canada residents of the age of majority. Please see full Terms and Conditions at here.

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Early Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

August 7, 2013 Aman 16
Title: All Our Yesterdays
Author: Cristin Terrill
Publication: Disney Hyperion | Sept 3, 2013
Genre: Time Travel, YA
Source: Publisher for review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Purchase
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Review:
 
     WOW! I don't know whether to applaud at the author's highly imaginative and innovative time travel world or critique it, because I can go either ways. This book made me THINK and I can't remember the last time that happened! I loved Cristin Terrill's debut novel, it was a mind-blowingly read. There were so many things that made me go WTF, numerous incidents that took a me a while longer to understand, various explanations that went against everything I've been taught, but that is particular what makes All Our Yesterdays "the best in it's genre" thrilling read. 

     Em is a girl in a cell who is tortured, beaten and interrogated routinely for the last 4 months because of some information she's withholding. The world outside is a mess due to invention of a time machine and the only way Em can undo all the wrong-doings done by the doctor is if she travels back in time and stop it's development altogether. Em was a very driven girl, I loved that she risked her future life in order to save her past self from the torture. I know it sounds very confusing, but the author did a tremendous job at transitioning the time and the pov's, so it's not too hard to grasp the story. There are two guys who are important besides Em, and I won't disclose their identities, but I have to say that one in particular was in my hate list. It didn't matter if it was past or present, I hated that person. He was very obsessive and aggravating, and no matter how hard I tries to tolerate him, my efforts were wasted because of his nature. But the other one made it all better. Oh, how much I loved him? From the outside, he appeared as a goofy person who doesn't take anything seriously, but it's obvious he's much more than that. Plus, his love for Em so pure and genuine that it left no grounds for a love triangle.

     All Our Yesterdays started as a time travel book but ended up being a more emotional story about love and friendship. It raised questions about right and wrong that left me dumbstruck. There were many times when I labelled Em as a weak character--I wanted her to finish her job and not think too much about it--but I did empathize with her at the end of the day, so I guess that makes it alright. Like I said before, I could go either ways with the character, story or the world building, I could point out the good things and I could easily point out the equally bad (per se unbelievable) things, but the fact that I enjoyed reading this book so much makes it a definite hit in my book. I highly recommend All Our Yesterdays to fans of time travel, mystery and romance. You are in for a great ride.


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Waiting on Wednesday (47)

August 6, 2013 Aman 15
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by
Jill @ Breaking the Spine where bloggers share their most anticipated reads.

This week I'm waiting on
 
Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Releases on Feb 4
, 2014
by Feiwel and Friends

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Release Day: Out of Play, A Tale of Two Centuries and Hover + Giveaway!

Aman 7
Welcome to the Entangled Teen August 6 launch party! Today, we're celebrating the release of Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry, A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris, and Hover by Melissa West (coming August 13th).


Out of Play  
Nyrae Dawn, Jolene Perry
Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn’t have a drug problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—just need a little help taking the edge off sometimes. After downing a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska. 

Hockey player Penny Jones can’t imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers to all the best schools, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who’ll take care of her absentminded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered to come home from work, let alone deal with their new tenants next door.

Penny’s not interested in dealing with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps and begins to see what he’s been missing. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

Find Nyrae Dawn on: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Find Jolene Perry on: Website | Twitter | Facebook

*****



A Tale of Two Centuries
Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #2
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But
how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

Find Rachel Harris on: Website | Twitter | Facebook

*****


Hover 
Melissa West
Releases on Aug 13, 2013
Series: The Taking #2
On Earth, seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander was taught to never peek, but if she hopes to survive life on her new planet, Loge, her eyes must never shut.

Because in this world, pleasure is everything, held up by a ruling body that keeps their people in check by giving them what they want and closing their eyes to what’s really happening around them. The only hope Loge has is to move its people to Earth, and they have a plan.

Thousands of humans crossed over to Loge after a poisonous neurotoxin released into Earth’s atmosphere, nearly killing them. They sought refuge in hopes of finding a new life, but what they became were slaves, built to wage war against their home planet. That is, unless Ari and Jackson can stop them.

But on Loge, nothing is as it seems…and no one can be trusted.

Find Melissa West on: Website | Twitter | Facebook



Giveaway

To celebrate, Entangled is giving away a paperback of each book!
Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
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Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

August 5, 2013 Aman 18
Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: Poppy | April 2, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Purchase
If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O'Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie's Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? 
Review

     Cute, adorable and a perfect summer read. This is What happy Looks Like turned out to be one of my favorite contemporaries I've read this summer. It is not a perfect story with a perfect ending, it doesn't have the most impressing characters or the most entertaining storyline, but what it does have is a very well polished, brilliantly executed and beautiful written storyline; so memorable and addicting that it can make you overlook any flaw. It's one of those books where little flaws don't matter as long as the bigger picture makes sense.

     I'm a huge believer of "Things happen for a reason" saying and this book represented that concept impeccably. Ellie is a normal small town girl who one night receives an email from a then unknown (to her) teen celebrity. What started as a discussion about a pig and some other silly things, ended up forming a beautiful bond of friendship between Ellie and Graham. The anonymity barrier helped them share secrets and personal opinions that they wouldn't dare share even with their best friends. I loved Ellie and Graham, they were very realistically portrayed. For instance, the moment they met, no one declare any sort of love and soulmate connection. They were so normal; even after Ellie found out that the guy she was writing too was a teen heartthrob, Graham Larken, she didn't fangirl over him. Initially she was surprised and had some doubts about their relation, but her reactions made sense to me. Ellie had a secret of her own that she didn't want to get out and with paparazzi following Graham's every step, it was hard for her to be friends with him. Anyhow, I'm so happy that they both somehow made it work by the end and didn't leave us hanging.

     Though there is one thing I still couldn't understand: Why was Graham so depressed stressed out over begin a celebrity. In every scene, he was so scared of being recognized by fans and I just couldn't figure out why he was acting like that. If you're famous, wouldn't you be atleast a little happy by the fame and not run away from it? It's not like Graham was a child star and is now done with all the fame, he was found out few years ago and that makes it even hard for me to imagine why he wasn't enjoying his time that much. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this book tremendously and I'm sure this little issue won't bother most readers.

     This is What Happy Looks Like deliver exactly what it says in the premises and portrays on the cover. Super Cute Summer Read that shouldn't be missed by anyone. Usually I'm not a fan of open ending, but the ending the author wrote in this one was so well suited for the story that even I had to make an exception. It wasn't sad or anything, the ending was very hopeful and it made me so happy. I'm in love with Jennifer E. Smith's newest release and can't recommend it enough to my fellow romance lovers.


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