Review: Finding Hope



Finding Hope

Author: Beth Fred
Series: A Missing Peace, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Beth Fred
Publication Date: September 1st, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: Itching For Books
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis (Goodreads):

When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna’s garage, she’s not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she’s failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.

The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a “sand nigger” and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn’t told his family about her, she’s heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they’ve worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee’s previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection . And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook…


Opening Lines


A sports car sat at the curb in front of my house. Ommy worked nights and I was driving her car, so someone was at the house with Mirriam. I sighed. At least, it wasn’t that punk across the street. He didn’t drive a sports car, and he would have just crossed the street.”

Excerpt From: Beth Fred. “Finding Hope.” iBooks.

The Good

Finding Hope, the book that gave me serious whiplash!! There were a couple of different points throughout this book that I sat there and actually yelled “Wait…what!?” out loud. This was the first time I’ve ever read anything with a war reference, Iraq or PTSD. I was a little nervous at first that I wouldn’t really be able to relate to the story, but that didn’t happen.

When I first started reading Finding Hope I wasn’t too impressed with Kailee’s character but she quickly grew on me! We get to see her character develop through this story and seeing what she goes through, and what her personal life is like really helps you come to understand her. I loved the dynamics of Abrahem and Kailee’s relationship. Definitely an unlikely couple, but I found they worked out well together. While I found each character within this story to be interesting and a good mix to the plot, I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing some information. I wish I knew that this was originally part of a series, I would have loved to have read book 1 first to get the full history of each character.

Finding Hope touches on some pretty heavy topics and issues that made this book more realistic, relatable and just unique. It was interesting reading about PTSD and racism. I also enjoyed the sub-plots that took place with each character. Although I felt like Jackson’s story was rushed and I would love to seem him get his own book. Maybe there will be a book 3?! I can only hope…

Lasting Impression

Overall, Finding Hope was an interesting read! I was pleasantly surprise with this being my first time reading a book that handled Iraq & PTSD. I’ll have to try and find the first book so I can read them back to back and get the full picture of all the characters.

3.5 Stars


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Beth Fred is a full time ELF keeper and part time author/blogger/writing instructor. She’s represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Beth likes her tea hot, her romance sweet, and her guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma’am, make promises they keep, and aren’t afraid to profess their undying love. It’s not breakfast if there aren’t carbs (at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of her favorite things. Bet you can’t guess where she’s from 😉 | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





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ARC Review | Wild

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Author: Alex Mallory
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Retelling
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: FFBC
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Bookdepository

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In this action-packed and timely “Tarzan for the digital age,” Cade, a teen raised in the wilderness, is brought into modern civilization.

The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving-that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger…

Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy-he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion.

Thrust into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it.

As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

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First Impression

Tarzan retelling? WHAT!! There are many retellings out now a days, but how often do you come across one on Tarzan? I can’t think of any, it’s just so rare! Back in April after reading the synopsis I added it to my 2014 shelf and when I say there was a blog tour for it, well of course I had to sign up! I mean…it’s TARZAN!

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The Good

  • More plot, less romance – I loved that this was not a romance driven novel. I mean yes, you have a little bit of romance between Cade and Dara, obviously! But it was more described as two characters being interested and curious about each other. Wild has a solid plot, with romance floating in the background.
  • Writing style – Alex Mallory knows how to write! I found her writing to be very descriptive and has a beautiful lay-out which helped made me feel like I was actually IN the story! I like that she went with third person POV, it allows for readers to see different perspectives and get a real sense of what was happening.
  • Characters – I loved the two main characters; Cade and Dara! Cade, oh Cade. He’s just so adorable! My heart broke for him; being ripped away from the only world he knows and thrown into the world he didn’t know existed is just plain cruel. I just wanted to grab him and hold him and tell him everything was going to be okay!! Now Dara is a strong-willed individual, if she sets her mind to something it’s happening. There’s no way to change her mind. And the secondary characters had a bigger role in this than I expected, but liked! Cade and Dara had great chemistry together and even as individuals they brought a lot to this story.

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The Bad

  • Nothing really that I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Pace – I’m a little bit of an impatient individual and when I get to books that have long and slow chapters I tend to lose focus. Wild is a slow pace kind of story that bothered me, but it’s so well written that I didn’t want to DNF it.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Wild was a beautiful modern-day retelling of Tarzan. A little slow at times, but still a solid story! If you love Tarzan, retellings, or in the mood for a contemporary novel I recommend giving Wild a try!

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3.5 Stars

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Tour-Wide Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US Only | Must be 13 or older to enter

* A Wild Prize Pack Featuring:*
– a signed, finished copy of WILD
– a copy of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ TARZAN OF THE APES
a DVD (region 1) of Greystoke: Legend of Tarzan of the Apes
– bookmarks
+ a stuffed plush flu microbe. (US Only)

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Alex Mallory is a pen name for YA author Saundra Mitchell. She’s a big fan of reading, history, camping and competitive M&M sorting.

She once crossed a dilapidated train trestle in the middle of the night, 200 feet above the Wabash River, in a futile attempt to prove her love to someone who had no idea she existed.

1) She lived to tell about it. 2) It didn’t work. 3) She doesn’t recommend it.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

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Blog Tour: Forever Layla

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Forever Layla

Author: Melissa Turner Lee
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: AltWit Press
Publication Date: May 27th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 217
Source: IFB
Purchase: Amazon

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What if the woman you envied most is the person you are destined to become?

In 1994, high school senior David Foster was the lackey and soundboard geek for his best friend’s grunge band. During spring break, the band lands a dream gig playing at a motel in Myrtle Beach, SC. David expected all the girls to ogle the guys on stage, but when a beautiful blond “Bond Girl” approaches him and calls him by name, he’s shocked to find out she knows more about him than a stranger should.

She even knows about his notebooks and his visions of time travel.

What she thought was a quick time-travel-sightseeing trip takes a surprising turn when she meets the young adult version of the man she’d heard stories about as a child. His fairy-tale romance with the woman he’d loved, Layla, inspired her to accept nothing less than a love just as strong…but hopefully not as tragic. When she won’t tell the younger version of him her name, he calls her Layla–and the world as she knows it changes forever.


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Whatever happens, the pain and sorrow will be worth it in the long run.

When I signed up for the blog tour for Forever Layla and read the synopsis it peaked my interest. However, when I finished the first chapter I became hooked! I’m normally easily confused when it comes to time travel, it’s a complex concept to have in stories and most times authors do a poor job at covering all their bases. This however was not the case for Melissa.

The story is split from being told from David’s perspective and then it switches to Layla. I actually enjoyed this style; it allowed for getting a better sense of both characters and the chance to build a connection. While this was a solid story I wasn’t a fan of the ending, I found it was so abrupt and didn’t follow the overall flow of Forever Layla.

Overall, this was a unique and captivating read. I definitely recommend Forever Layla to anyone who wants a great romance, with strong characters and a well laid out plot.

3.5 Stars

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[US Only]
* Win a signed copy of Forever Layla + swag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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“David?” a soft feminine voice spoke my name.

I glanced up to see the biggest brownest eyes framed by the longest blackest lashed I’d ever seen. I glanced down to focus on the rest of her. The form fitting black dress she wore hugged every curve down to her toned and tanned legs.

My gaze trailed on down to her fancy black heels and then back up at her face. She was hot…like model hot. I couldn’t blink or think as I stared at her beautiful face framed by large amounts of blonde hair and a pair of large hoop earrings. She didn’t look like the other girls with her eye makeup, glossy pink lips and the way her hair was puffed up and styled. She looked like she had just stepped out of one of the James Bond movies Dad and I liked to watch on TV.”

“I glanced around the crowd of girls in cutoffs, t-shirts, Keds and stringy hair. Her look wasn’t in style at the moment. Most girls were doing the grunge and hippie thing, but Bond girls never went out of style with guys. I tried to say something, but I think I just stared and possibly stuttered before a wheeze came out. She reached for the inhaler in my shirt pocket and handed it to me. I took a puff as she shook her head smiling.

“It is you.” A look of pure wonder and amazement lit her face. She blinked, making her thick and extremely long lashes flutter like butterfly wings. “I can’t believe it. You wear glasses now.”

I pushed them back on my nose self-consciously as I put away my inhaler. “Yeah, like since the third grade.” I eyed her up and down once more and worked hard to remember to breathe. “Do I know you?”

“Kind of…Well not really. I’m…” she shifted her eyes to the side without moving her head and bit her lips like she needed to remember something and stopped for a moment before she continued. “Ugh! I suck at this. You’ll never let me do this again if I mess this up.” She shook her head and then turned her attention back to me. “No, you don’t know me, but I know all about you. Let’s just put it that way.”

Her grin said something was up.


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Melissa Turner Lee holds a BA in Communications with a concentration in Journalism from the University of South Carolina. She has studied fiction writing since 2008, attending various writing conferences and workshops, along with guidance from professional writing coaches. She resides in Spartanburg, SC with her husband and 3 sons.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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