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Review: If Forever Comes by A.L. Jackson

September 30, 2013 Aman 11
Title: If Forever Comes
Author: A.L. Jackson
Published: Self | Sept 19, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Source: Bought
Series: Take This Regret
Lost To You (Novella)
Take This Regret
If Forever Comes

Goodreads | Amazon
If Forever Comes, the final chapter in the New York Times Bestselling series, Take This Regret.

Christian Davison’s life is complete. With a ring on Elizabeth’s finger and his daughter at his side, he’s ready to run headlong into their future.

Elizabeth Ayers never believed she would again find this kind of joy—the joy of a family and the wholeness found in the touch of the man she’s always loved.

Their love is intense and their passion only grows as they set out to rediscover each other.

But life is never easy.

Rocked by the unforeseen, Christian and Elizabeth will find themselves fighting for the one thing they hold most important—family.
Review:

     I'm so sick and tired of writing these 3 star reviews, I'm pretty sure I've read more than 5 okay stories this month alone and that too, back to back. Fun! NOT. I'm so desperately in need of an awesomesauce book that would blow my mind and remind me why I love reading in the first place. Help! 

     Now on to the actual review...where do I even begin? If Forever Comes was one of my most anticipated reads this year, I loved loved loved Take This Regret and even though that one had a pretty good HEA, I wanted more of Christian and Elisabeth. Well, my wish came true but sadly I didn't like the direction the story went in at all. Sometimes I wonder, how much can a person handle in life? At what point is it too much? And that was the case with If Forever Comes. Christian and Elizabeth have already gone through enough hard times together and individually, and the one they had to go through in this book (however sad and tragic it might be) was certainly too much in my opinion. Throughout the story, I kept thinking- We've already been through this, why is there a repeat? What does it prove? And why the fuck didn't Christian learn anything from his mistakes? Even though this was a well written story that brought gut-wrenching emotions from me, at the end of the day, I don't think it adds anything to the series. 

    If Forever Comes is told in a before and after style and from the first page, we know something horrible has happened between Christian and Elizabeth. Instead of living their happy ever after and being a whole family, they both are separated and back to square one. Elizabeth lives with her daughter Lizzie in her old house and Christian has moved back in his own. They both want nothing to do with each other and that's sad because atleast in the last one Christian really worked hard to get Elizabeth back and won her trust completely. Also, he reason for his behavior in this book was so ridiculous--he gave Elizabeth some space because he wanted her to find her way to him. ?!? I call that BULL! But also Elisabeth wasn't all good either. She was depressed all the time and event though I sympathized with her and felt her pain, I didn't appreciate what she did in the end. It was so uncalled for!!! Seriously, aren't we over that phase? And the person I felt the most hurt for was Lizzie. That poor kid has probably gone through enough changes in few years to last a lifetime, but I applaud her for still being so strong and happy and positive all the time. I do want to talk about the issue that took place in this book, I didn't hate Elizabeth for her reaction towards it because that's natural and every person reacts differently, so I won't hold her actions against her. Even if she pushed Christian away and didn't wanted to see his face, I had no problem with Elizabeth. What I don't get is why Christian never fought back and supported her. That was a big mistake on his part.

      Even though I wasn't a fan of this sequel, I still think it was a good effort and should be read by die hard AL Jackson fans. If Forever Comes did have those powerful emotions and teary eyed dialect that only Jackson know how to write. Get your tissues in hand! However, I did enjoy the romance and swooned over those heartwarming scenes. Christian and Elizabeth do love each other tremendously and it shows. The epilogue was, for obvious reasons, my favorite part. It was beautiful, romantic and exactly what C & E needed. Probably the best I've ever read!!! If Forever Comes wasn't what I expected, nevertheless I enjoyed it and would highly recommend this series to fans of second chance romance and reunion storylines. 


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Review: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young

September 27, 2013 Aman 17
Title: Just Like Fate
Author: Cat Patrick, Suzanne Young
Published: Simon Pulse | Aug 27, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, YA
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Purchase
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...
Review:

     Just Like Fate wasn't what I expected, I was hoping for an alternate reality read with some intermingled storyline, but I was left a tiny bit disappointment upon learning that this was more about fate and destiny, and while I love those themes and strongly believe in them, I still felt like something major was missing that was keeping me from loving this book. Both realities were very well constructed, but I couldn't find myself being fully investing in any of them. That being said, Just Like Fate was a decent read and I had a great time seeing the same story being played in different versions. 

     Caroline permanently moved in with her grandmother after her parents rough divorce. While she wasn't in very good terms with her parents, Caroline always finds solace in her grandmother, so knowing that she was going to die soon was hard on her. That's where these two scenarios comes in place, in one reality Caroline stays by her grandmother's bedside and watch her die, and in the another reality, Caroline goes out with her friends and misses her grandmother's last moments. In the Stay scenario, she gets to date her long time crush, Joel and in the Go scenarios, she meets a completely new guy, Chris, with whom she connects instantly on a personal level. My favorite was the Go scenario because Chris was one funny guy. Oh, those are my favorite types! I love his lively personality and sarcastic dialect, Chris sure did brought a lot of laughs from this side and I would go as far as to say that he kept this story rocking for me. I just loved him so much! And now you know whose side I was one :)

     Caroline was called a selfish, ignorant person numerous times by her sister, Natalie and I would agree with Nat to a certain extent. Caroline always thought about herself and never cared for anyone's well being than her own, and initially I was fine by that, but as the story moved on, I noticed that Caroline didn't once connect with her mom and asked her how she was doing after her mother's death. And even after her mother contacted her numerous times, Caroline never responded and for me, that was a very odd behavior. Though I'm very happy that she did grew a lot by the end and learned the importance of a family.

     Just Like Fate was a easy going, enjoyable read with a great life lesson. Even though I wasn't crazy over the story, I can see why a lot of people would really enjoy it, especially fans of alternate reality theme. 


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Review: Crash by Lisa McMann

September 25, 2013 Aman 14
Title: Crash
Author: Lisa McMann
Published: Simon Pulse | Jan 8, 2013
Genre: Paranormal, YA
Source: Bought
Series: Visions
Crash
Bang

Goodreads | Purchase
If what you see is what you get, Jules is in serious trouble. The suspenseful first of three books from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode...and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

In this riveting start to a gripping trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Lisa McMann, Jules has to act—and act fast—to keep her vision from becoming reality.
Review:

     McMann won me over with her Wake trilogy, so I had really high hopes for Crash when it came out earlier this year. Unfortunately, I'm the type of person who wouldn't read a book if it doesn't have majority of stellar reviews and I was a little disappointed when that didn't happen with Crash. But since I had already requested Bang and was approved for it later, I had to read this series, and I have to say that I went in expecting the worst, but ended up loving this book more than ever. Crash has truly left me in awe, I loved how the visions were handled, I loved how every character had a unique personality, I loved the family dynamics and most importantly, I loved the fluid writing. My only criticism is regarding the length of the book, I wish it was cut short because there was too much waiting and not a lot of action. If it were a novella or short story, I have no doubt that Crash would be one of my favorite paranormal/supernatural reads.

     Crash is titled very appropriately since it's about Jules having visions of some car crash that leaves a bunch of dead people in it's wake. Initially Jules is not too concerned about the visions, she's not even convinced if those are some sort of premonition or just her mind playing some sick games. As time passes and her visions become more clearer, Jules realizes the importance of her knowledge and starts forming a plan to possibly save the lives of those dead people. I really liked Jules, she was very easy to connect to, had no issues with anyone and was overall a very good, quite and "lost in her own world" sort of girl. Very different from what I'd usually encountered in other reads, but nevertheless a memorable and enjoyable character. Though I felt a little off by her too obsessive nature towards Sawyer. Jules and Sawyer have been best friends since kindergarden and even after they stopped communicating because of their parents rivalry, Jules never stopped loving Sawyer. I get that she was so "in love" with Sawyer but I believe a few flashback would've really helped me understand where Jules was coming from at every point. At times, the too much attraction from Jules' side felt like an overkill, especially when Sawyer's reaction wasn't the same.That being said, I really enjoyed the growth Sawyer showed in his character and I was so proud of him in the end.

     All in all, Crash was a fun afternoon read. I loved how easy it was to get in the story and let it entertain us for few hours. Granted that it didn't require any thinking on my part, I still enjoyed how simplistically the visions were handled. There wasn't any scientific explanation or such for Jules' condition, it was something that happened to her randomly. If you're looking for a light paranormal read with a contemporary feel, look no further, Crash most definitely fits the bill.


PS: Oh, also I completely forgot about this, but the one thing that really annoyed me was the excessive use of the word dog as a substitute for God. Ex: "Oh My Dog", "Dear Dog", "Thank Dog" ?!?!? That's the best you could come up with? I really hope this doesn't continue in Bang or I'll be majorly pissed.
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Top Ten Tuesday (2)

September 24, 2013 Aman 13
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.

Topic: Best Sequels Ever



1. Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy #2) by Wendy Higgins
2. Losing Hope (Hopeless #2) by Colleen Hoover
3. The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Ruchelle Mead
4. Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover
5. Pure (Covenant #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
6. Shadowfever (Fever #5) by Karen Marie Moning
7. Unlawful Contact (I-Team #3) by Pamela Clare
8. Prodigy (Legend #2) by Marie Lu
9. Dare You To (Pushing The Limists #2) by Katie McGarry
10. The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #2) by Michelle Hodkin

_____


Sweet Peril is the best sequel I've read to date!!! The balance between action, adventure and romance was perfect and more importantly, it made me FEEL ALL THE FEELS! Though Mara Dyer is a very close second. I was okay with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, it left me very confused, but when I read it's sequel, Mind=Blown!!! The story was crazy yet I loved every bit of it! This is the series I highly recommend to everyone! Others were great too, but these two are definitely my favorite.

Which ones did you pick?
Let me know in the comments and leave a link to your TTT :)

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Blog Tour: Find Me by Romily Bernard

September 23, 2013 Aman 22
Hi everyone! Today I'm so excited to be a part of Romily Bernard's debut novel Find Me Blog Tour, organized by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. Full schedule here. I have my review, dream cast and a tour wide giveaway to share, but first lets see what the book is all about.

Title: Find Me
Author: Romily Bernard
Publication: HarperTeen | Sept 24, 2013
Genre: YA Mystery
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD
“Find Me.”

These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target.

Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she’s going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.
Review:

     There is something about hacking storylines that can make even an average book into an addicting and exciting one. Find Me wasn't that different from any other mysteries I've read, but the addition of hacking made all the difference. I loved the intensity it brought to the story and the challenges it provided for the characters which in turn kept the reader on their toes at every point. The culprit was very predictable from the beginning, but I don't think that affected my enjoyment level that much. The story was fresh, fast-paced and well put together; besides the little issue I had with character bonding and emotional connection, I'm a fan of Romily Bernard's debut Find Me.

     Wicket (That is one weird name!) is a hacker who specializes in helping spouses track their partner's online activity, it's mostly cheating husband cases. But hacking is not a hobby for her, it started at an early age where her father would make her scam people, but even after getting rid of him and entering the foster system, Wick simply couldn't let go of it. Hacking is now a way to her freedom, oh look at that irony! Wick was a very smart, strong willed and determined person, I really enjoyed seeing how her mind worked and how she used computers for her benefit. After anonymously receiving the journal of her dead ex-best friend with the words find me written on it, Wick is tasked to find out what exactly happened to Tessa in her last days that made her commit suicide. On top of that, she needs to find out the mysterious guy Tessa was so attached too because Wick's little sister, Lily just became his next target and Wick will do anything to save her sister. 

     Some of the things I enjoyed in this book, besides hacking itself, were (1) the sisterly relationship with Wick and Lily, it wasn't fun and loving all the time. Like all sisters, Wick and Lily fought a lot but at the end of the day, they stuck together and trusted each other fully. (2) Wick's character, I don't know how to explain this correctly but Wick wasn't a very easy person to like. She was a very closed up person with trust issues and still struggled with standing her ground when it came to her father. But what I loved the most about her characterization was that even if you didn't like her, you could understand where she was coming from at every point and possibly sympathize with her. That also brings me to something I found missing in this book, i.e. no emotional connection. I didn't connect with any character and no matter how much I tried, it just never happened. Also, I didn't feel that strongly for the romance either, it was good and believable, but the secondary nature of it failed to fully grasp my attention. 

     All in all, Find Me was a very enjoyable read. I loved parts of it and didn't care for the rest, but at the end, I was left very impressed with the overall plotting and execution of the story. Plus, the unexpected twist in the end (the one with Griff) was brilliantly done. I didn't see that coming at all! There are hints for a possible sequel named Remember Me and I really hope it's true because I want more! 



Dream Cast

 




About the Author
Romily Bernard
I graduated from Georgia State University with a Literature degree. Since then, I’ve worked as a riding instructor, cell phone salesgirl, personal assistant, groom, exercise rider, accounting assistant, and, during a very dark time, customer service rep.

So don’t let anyone tell you a BA degree will keep you unemployed.


Find Romily on: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Youtube | Pinterest

Giveaway


2 signed hardback copies of Find Me by Romily Bernard and Slapbands.
US Only. Sorry INT peeps :(
Blog Tour was organized by
Tour schedule can be found here.
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Stacking The Shelves (16)

September 22, 2013 Aman 20
Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Review where bloggers
 share the books they bought, won or received for review.  


I bought some really good books this week and I'm so excited to share it with you guys!


Fangirl finally came out!!! YAY! So naturally I had to buy it :) Also, I've been wanting to read Reboot for a really long time, so I traded for it and this was my first time exchanging book, and I have to say, I might get addicted to it! But the book I've been waiting for the longest released this week, If Forever Comes by AL Jackson, the sequel to Take This Regret and I'm super pumped for that! Jackson is the queen of emotional, gut-wrenching reads and I can't wait to find out what she did with Christian and Elizabeth's story. This couple NEEDS to have a HEA!


 For review, I got Jennifer Probts' Searching for Someday. I really enjoyed her Marriage to a Billionaire series and I have high hopes for this one. Though I'm a little sad that it's not about Wolfe. Thanks Simon and Schuster for an early arc!


Eep! I'm so excited to read both The Only One by Magan Vernon and Lost and Lists by Tara Sivec! I'm a huge fan of Chocolate Lovers series, so when I heard that Gavin was getting a book of his own, I didn't hesitate a second and signed up right away. I'm expecting a lot of humor for this book and I have no doubt that it would deliver. I also received The Drake Equation for review. I couldn't resist the pretty cover, plus the premises indicated a forbidden romance storyline. I had to accept it! Thanks Heather Walsh for a review copy!

Now for something different and non-blog related, I bought a copy of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I wanted to read this biography for soooo long, but it was always either unavailable or out of stock at most of the bookstores. I was so happy to find a paperback and it was actually very cheap than I expected. YAY for good finds!


Here's some swag I won this week from Lisa Kessler, Author of Moonlight. Thanks Lisa! :)


How was your week in books?
Let me know in the comments and don't forget to leave me a link to your STS! 
 

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Early Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

September 20, 2013 Aman 16
Title: Wild Cards
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publication: Walker Books for Young Readers | Oct 1, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You.)
Series: Fullriders
Wild Cards
Untitled

Goodreads | Purchase
After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?
Review:

     I feel so terrible writing this review but it is what it is. I wasn't a fan of Simon Elkeles newest release, Wild Cards; the biggest letdown for me was the lack of chemistry between the couple and the extremely rushed ending. It's so weird to even say that because Elkeles was the author who made me fall in love with strong, heartfelt romances and to see that Wild Cards failed to deliver that alone was a disappointment in itself. In simple words, the feels I was expecting from this book didn't really reach me and overall what started as a potentially good book turned out to be a pretty meh one.  

     Derek has been expelled from his boarding school because of a silly prank he played on the seniors and is now forced to move to Chicago with his too-young step mom and 5 year old step-brother for the summer. For obvious reasons, he is not happy with the change of events but goes along with it. There he meets a feisty, fearless, captain of men's football team, Ashtyn Parker. From the get go, both these characters are strongly attracted to each other but some reason they kept pushing their feeling aside and pretended to act the opposite way. At first, I was all in for the teasing game, the little touches, conspicuous flirting and random arguments, but after a while I was so bored with the ignorance act. It felt like the story was stuck in one place and didn't seem to move forward. Since Wild Cards is a dual POV book, we were aware of both Ashtyn and Derek's feelings at all points and it's clear how much they like each other ,but here's what I hated the most, NO ONE stepped forward and expressed their feelings until the very end. That's right, the very end!!! The unnecessary stretch didn't add anything besides making me feel disinterested and detached towards to the story. It was such a waste of my time and energy, I just wish it would've been cut short.

     As for the characters, Derek most definitely left an impression in me. I love how well I connected to his story, the scenes where he talked about his mom and their time together were the most touching. I don't fully believe the change he showed in the end, but if given some extra time or additional 50 pages, I would've easily bought it. Though I did had a lot of problems with Ashtyn. Starting with her "I can handle everything myself" attitude. I'm all for independent and confident girls who can manged everything themselves, but come on! Ashtyn was beyond annoying to the point where I can't talk about her without going in the rant zone. She was just...ugh..I freaking hated her! On one side, she doesn't want Derek to interfere in any of her business, but she was always sticking her nose when it came to his life. What did you do that? Why aren't you doing that? Why are you being a coward? And that's another problem, Ashtyn just didn't know when to step back and give someone some personal space.

     Overall, Wild Cards could have been such a good book and it's really sad that it wasn't. I'm very disappointed with the characters, romance and the execution. The ending is not even that much of an issue compared to the rest of the book, but sometimes a believable ending can make or break a book for me, and this one definitely broke it. I would suggest fans of contemporary to try Simone Elkeles' previous hit series, Perfect Chemistry for a more romantic, diverse and entertaining read.


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Review: Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino

September 18, 2013 Aman 13
Title: Sweet Thing
Author: Renee Carlino
Published: Atria Books | Aug 20, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance, NA
Source: Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Kindle | Paperback
"You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together…then you'll hear the sound of your soul."
Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She's an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father's café, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She's denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions-for him, for music-but her father's legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.

A "heartbreaking and romantic" (Aestas Book Blog) debut, Sweet Thing explores the intensity and complexities of first love and self-discovery.
Review

     Sweet Thing didn't turn out anything like the name suggested. It was frustrating, repetitive and overall not a very enjoyable read. I will start off by saying that it reminded me a lot of Thoughtless and I freaking hated that book. The whole "living with a hot, irresistible musician, falling for him internally but not showing anything on the outside, pretending to be friends when clearly there are more feelings on both sides and also the on and off relation thingy" didn't work for me AT ALL. Nevertheless, I'm very thankful that the author didn't include any cheating in the story because that would have been a deal breaker for me. Sweet Thing was a barely okay read, I didn't hate it, but there wasn't any love either. 

     After the death of her father, Mia moves to New York to manage the cafe her father has been running for ages, and to figure out a career for herself. Even after graduation from an ivy league university with a business degree, Mia isn't sure if she wants to follow her heart and go for career in music or to put her degree to use. On her flight to NY, she meets a very sexy and swoony guy and little did she knew, he was going to turn her world upside down. Or atleast that's what I hoped! I loved the beginning, the opening scene was my favorite, but after Mia moved to NY and started on-offing a relationship with Will, that's when the story went downhill for me. Mia was a very very very frustrating character. I get that she was in mourning, but she had no right to play with Will's feeling. All she did in this entire book was lead Will on, make out with him, but then make him feel like a loser by calling their exchange a mistake. Seriously?!? Get it together! The only reason I continued this book was because of Will and his much sweet, charming and "swept me off my feet" personality. That guy was a dream come true. God! I officially want a Will in my life! But the sad thing about him was that he went back to Mia again and again when she clearly hurt him every time. Nevertheless, I loved how it ended because Mia needed a harsh lesson and hopelessly she won't make the same mistake again.

     All in all, Sweet Thing wasn't my favorite read and part of it was because of Mia's unbearable character. She was too much for me, but there are a lot of readers who enjoy MC's like her, so this might be a "it's me not you" issue. The story wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound, but there were a lot of things that didn't set well with me, so I can't give it a good rating. I would recommend it to fans of Thoughtless and similar reads. They would probably like this book much more than I did. But for now, it's a thumbs down from this side. 



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Early Review: Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

September 16, 2013 Aman 16
Title: Time After Time
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Publication: Disney Hyperion | October 8, 2013
Genre: Time Travel, Romance, YA
Source: Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Series: Time Between Us
Time Between Us
Time After Time

Goodreads | Purchase
Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

Review:


One word: SWOON

     That's the effect this series has on me. I'm completely and irrevocably in love with Bennett and Anna's story. I've mentioned this before in my review for Time Between Us that time travel books are one of the hardest for me to read, especially when one of the character is from a different time period. I'm a girl who wants a happily-ever-after and time travel makes it very hard to concur that, BUT I'm so proud and thrilled to announce that this series does have a very happy ending and no, that is not a spoiler because I'm pretty sure we all expected that. Still, I was beyond excited when I read that part! Epic Love Stories Rock!!!

     Time After Time is told from Bennett's perspective and that gave us an insight into the works of time travel and it's emotional and physical side-effects on Bennett. After doing over a major event in the last book, Bennett realized the depth of his ability and started doing-over some more incidents in this book. The more he changed the outcomings, the more painful it became for him to travel and he couldn't risk that because of Anne. Living in 1995 Chicago, Anne never gave up hope on her and Bennett's future together, she believed in living in the moment and experiencing every joy together. These both characters break my heart, the love they have for each other is so pure and genuine and can even make the most unromantic people fall for them and root for their romance. I loved them so much! There were so many incidents, especially in the end, where I wanted to hug Anne and comfort her in any way; Bennett's secrets really hurt her and I couldn't imagine being in her place and remaining that calm and composed when it came to him. I seriously would have bitch slapped someone and that is exactly why I love and admire Anne so much. 

     Time After Time was a wonderful, heart warming and a Must Read sequel to Time Between Us. Now answering the most important question: Was it better than it's prequel? Honestly, NO. I loved watching Anne and Bennett fall in love, Anne finding out about Bennett secret and being totally ecstatic about it and one of my favorite part, Anne and Bennett's reunion in the end. I loved all of those moments and there was no way the sequel would have compared, but I still enjoyed it tremendously and highly recommend this series to fans of time travel and romance reads. This is definitely one of my favorite romantic story and I'm know I'm going to be revisiting Anne and Bennett again in future.


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Review: Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

September 13, 2013 Aman 20
Title: Obsession
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: Entangled (Covet) | May 31, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Adult
Source: Bought
Series: None. Spin off to Lux.
Goodreads | Amazon
He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?
Review:  

     Holy Hotness! This book was full of steamy and sexual scenes, and for obvious reasons, I loved every second of it! Damn, I want a Hunter of my own! Obsession is said to be a spin of of Lux series that can be read as a standalone but I would strongly suggest to follow the series and read this one after Opal simple because it would be more fun and exciting that way. Plus, there are a lot of teasers about Origin, so it's kind of pointless to read it just for the romance when you can experience the full package. The first thing that stands out in Obsession is the focus on Arum as a hero. Now from reading the Lux series, we all pinned Arums as villians, so I loved seeing this different side of them and dare I say that I love an Arum, specifically Hunter than any Luxen (yes, I don't fangirl over Daemon but I'll take his brother anyday :P ). It's official, the darkness attracts me, but only when it has a good intention.

     Obsessions opens up with Serena having to watch her friend die by the hands of an alien. She doesn't know what the hell is going on so naturally, she reports it to the police but since the DOD are aware of everything, they send her into hiding. Hunter works for the DOD and he ends up becoming Serena's protector or as he likes to call it, her babysitter. Hunter was one cocky bastard and he played that role so well. I was so turned on by his domineering and bossy nature; there were times where I wish he would just stop being such a smartass, but that enhanced his personality more and made me fall in love with him. Well done, Armentrout! Hunter is most definitely someone I'm going to remember for a long time. Now coming back to the story, Hunter is an Arum who doesn't like to be around petty humans, but Serena turned out to be an exception to his rule. The chemistry they had from the first moment can only be described as sizzling and undeniable. Hunter & Serena clashed at every point, Hunter couldn't stop being a hot blooded alpha male and Serena was an independent girl herself. Do you see where this is heading? Hot arguments + even hotter make out sessions = A Fucking Fantastic Romance Novel!

     Besides the romance, Obsession delved more into the world of Luxen and Arums. The luxens aren't all high and mighty like I assumed, there were some really bad ones in this book. But what I enjoyed the most was getting to see the some of the side characters from the Lux series. Oh.My.God. I'm in love with Luc, he's such a genius and powerful kid. I wonder what happened with him and why he's everyone's go-to person. All in all, Obsession was a fast-paced, sexy and thrilling read. I didn't realize how much  I missed a JLA book until I started reading this one. The writing was so addictive that I flew through pages and finished this book within a day. I loved it! The story was wrapped up in the end, but I loved some of the secondary characters (Lore! Luc!) and wish they would get a book of their own. I highly recommend Obsession to fans of Lux series, it's not a must but I enjoyed it so much more knowing that I was going to read Origin next. It added to the already present excitement. If you're new to JLA, then I suggest you start with Lux series and then continue on with Covenant.




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Review: Shadows by Paula Weston

September 11, 2013 Aman 9
Title: Shadows
Author: Paula Weston
Published: Tundra Books | Sept 10, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy, Romance
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Series: The Rephaim
Shadows
Haze
Shimmer

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It's almost a year since Gaby Winters watched her twin brother die. In the sunshine of a new town her body has healed, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she fights and kills hell-beasts. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he tells her things about her brother and her life that cannot be true, things that are dangerous. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And who is Gaby? The truth lies in the shadows of her nightmares.
Review

 WOW! I'm thoroughly IMPRESSED!!!

     Shadows started off at a very low point, I was fine with Gaby and intrigued enough to unravel her past, but for some reason the overall story failed to fully grasp my attention. Even after Rafa entered the picture, I wasn't charmed by him like many others readers and at a point (the sudden make out session) I seriously felt like I was reading a different version of this book. BUT I couldn't have been more wrong in my judgement. After I hit the 10% mark, the story started to make sense and the interactions that I previously thought were weird among the characters were in fact purposefully written that way to throw the readers off their mark and then blow their minds with the twist they didn't see coming. Holy Shit! I was speechless when I read that particular scene. All I can say is, JOB WELL DONE! Shadows is without a doubt one of my favorite angel books with it's fast-paced, original and beautifully woven storyline. 

     Gaby lost her twin brother, Jude, in a tragic accident and even after going through several rehab sessions, she's still unable to get over the guilt/loss feeling. Her memories are very hazy prior to the accident and when Rafa shows up questioning Jude's death, Gaby discovers something about herself that makes her question everything she's every known about her life. The story is very dramatic among other things and Rafa points it out all the time. And speaking of Rafa, hot damn! Not only was he the most dashing guy ever, his sarcastic nature and lively personality lightened the book and made it super entertaining. There are guys who are mysterious and brooding, then there are the ones who are funny and charming at the same that, and the latter was Rafa. I loved him! The chemistry between him and Gaby was the best I've ever read, they head-butted most of the time, but still had moments where their playful chemistry outshined and made the possibility of an epic romance more imminent for future books, and that's one of the thing I'm dying to see in action. Gaby could be a little hard to relate to because of her dual personality (read the book for that!), nevertheless, I enjoyed her character tremendously and applaud her for the growth she showed in her personality and mindset. I can only guess how much better it is going to be in the next book.

     Fans of angel books need to watch out for The Rephaim series. It is truly a gem among it's peers and I can't recommend it enough. Shadows proved to be action packed, adventures read with a brilliant use of Angel/Demon Mythology, but it wasn't all fantasy focused, there was enough humor and romance in it that I wouldn't hesitate to recommended it to contemporary fans. Rafa was the best part about this book, without him and his charm, I don't think I would have enjoyed this book that much. So if not for anyone else, read this book for Rafa!



PS: I'm so jealous of the Australian and New Zealand readers because they already have access to the second book in The Rephaim series, Haze. I have to wait a whole year for that. Someone please pass it along here! *begs*



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Blog Tour: Adela Arthur and The Creator's Clock by Judyann McCole

September 10, 2013 Aman 4

Adela Arthur and The Creator's Clock
Judyann McCole
Self Published on July 26, 2013
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: The Chronicles of A #1
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
To Whom Ever This May Concern;

I wish I could tell you the contents of this book were purely fictional. That I, Adela Arthur, was just a normal sixteen year old from Portland and that dragons, giants, elves and mermaids were just myths. I wish these were legends shared from crazy old grandparents to crazy old grandparents around campfires. After all, that is what I used to believe.

I never would have thought they lived on the other side of our mirrors in a world called Cielieu. But they do...

I never would have thought there were humans, better known as Volsin that lived among them with the ability to create light from a single thought. But there are...

I never would have thought I was one of them... But I am...

I am the last Arthur and I was brought to the human world after a Volsin, filled with greed, began to strip the light from our kind.

The human world was supposed to be a safe haven... but he s found us and the only way to stop him is to go back to Cielieu and begin training as a student in the Elpida Castle of Light.

Like I said I wish the contents of this book were purely fictional and not my life...

-ADELA ARTHUR

About the Author
Judyann McCole
 
JUDYANN MCCOLE was a senior in high school when she started working on Adela Arthur and the Creator’s Clock during her history class. It started off as short story for a group of young kids she babysat for and grew into an adventure she herself wanted to go on. She is currently attending college in Virginia. Where she hopes to finish the next adventure in Adela Arthur’s life. She begin writing when she was in middle school most of it was just simple poetry but she was inspired by Maya Angelou and even a little of Dr. Seuss.



Find Judyann on: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway


One Winner will get: $25 Gift Card to Amazon

5 Winners will get: An eBook of Adela and the Creators Clock

10 Winners will get: A Bookmark with surprise art on it from James Vallesteros

Must be 13+ To Enter – Shipping in the US Only
Tour organized by:
Book Nerd Tours
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Early Review: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

September 9, 2013 Aman 15
Title: How To Love
Author: Katie Cotugno
Publication: Balzer + Bray | Oct 1, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: From Publisher for Review (Thank You!)
Goodreads | Purchase
Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.
Review:

     What an utter disappointment! How To Love was one of my most awaited reads of 2013, everything about this book, from the cover to the premises to the early feedback screamed that it was the perfect book for me. Second chance romance! Hell Yeah! That is my favorite type of romance and there has never been a time where I disliked a book featuring that, but I guess there is a first time for everything. How To Love and I started off at the wrong foot; from the first page, I didn't like anything about the story or the characters and the only reason I continued skimmed the second half was because I wanted to see how in the world would Sawyer redeem himself in Reena's eyes. The answer I got was a joke, but I'll get to that later. 

     How To Love opens up with Reena, a teen mom coming face to face with her daughter's father for the first time in three years. Reena and Sawyer had been dating in school when she got pregnant, but before she could tell Sawyer about the baby, he packed his bags and left town without telling anyone. His reasons and timing for leaving are still very unclear to me. Sawyer was not in good terms with his parents and after graduating high school he did nothing but party and drugs on daily/weekly basis. I get that he was frustrated with something, but why did he leave so suddenly. It made no sense! On top of that his attitude after his comeback was so insensitive and insincere towards Reena. If she was having a serious talk with him, Sawyer would just laugh of it or smile or smirk or something alone those lines and not take anything seriously. There was no way in hell I was going to like him even a tiny bit. Sawyer was in fact the biggest jerk I've ever come across and he is the number one reason for me not liking this book. He was a fucking piece of shit and I'm still clueless about what Reena saw in him. He had zero personality, he didn't care about anyone, and here's the winner, he took Reena to parties just so he could leave her amidst strangers and pop pills in the other room. You've got to be kidding me?!? But wait, here's the million dollar question: Why didn't Reena break up with him? Why did she put up with Sawyer's tactics everyday? He was bad news from the beginning and I don't believe for a second that he matured by the end. Sure the drugs were gone, but his attitude was a major problem.

     Initially, Reena was a very sympathetic and sweet character, I loved how well she handled the motherhood role and truly enjoyed every second of her time with Hannah. Some of the flashback of her going through her pregnancy were very painful to read, but I admired her strength and courage for going through those tough times with a positive front and not backing down from responsibilities. But somewhere along the line, especially after Sawyer's return, Reena lost her independent self and starting acting like someone I don't like. The on and off emotions along with going back and forth between her current boyfriend and Sawyer was a real turn off. After a while, I stopped caring about her and it sucks because I really liked Reena.

     Anyway, How To Love was a well written book, but my disinterest in the characters and the storyline along with the poor execution of that said story was what made this book a thumbs down read for me. This is probably one of the worst books I've read this year. It's sounds a bit harsh, but it is what it is. About the execution part, I wasn't a fan of how the before and after parts were handled. The time switch was so quick (after every other scene) and that made it difficult for me to grasp anything from either of those time periods. All in all, How To Love suffers from a "great cover, bad book" syndrome and I'm not confident in recommending it to anyone. But sure, if you're curious enough then do give it a try.



PS: I though about giving it 1 star but I've given way worst books that rating, so I guess it deserves a little more than that. Also, the review went too long and I forgot to talk about the ending, but in short it was ridiculous and I strongly hated how easily Reena forgave Sawyer.
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