Review: The Accidental Kiss

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The Accidental Kiss

Author: Nicole Simone
Series: The Kiss series, #1
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Nicole Simone
Publication Date: August 12th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 279
Source: InkSlinger PR
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis (Goodreads):

They were like fire and ice.

But he was everything she didn’t know she needed.

Marked by tragedy, Sky Noel leaves Los Angeles with her mom to start anew in Castor, a small town in Louisiana. It was supposed to be Sky’s chance to have a normal life but she soon finds out normal isn’t written in her DNA.

When a mysterious boy named Daemon shakes up Sky’s fragile hold on reality, she is thrust into a world where zombies and voodoo not only exist in the pages of a novel. They are hidden in the darkest corners where danger lurks and death awaits. With a price on her head, Sky has to put her trust in the boy with the ocean blue eyes but is Daemon everything she was warned against and more?

Tricked into selling his soul, Daemon lives out his existence at the mercy of the voodoo priest. That is until one fateful night when his path is forever changed.

Desperate to atone for his sins, Daemon brings it upon himself to protect Sky at any cost. However, a secret hidden in his past could rip away the very person who makes him feel human again.

 

Opening Lines

The stark white hallways smelled like cleaning fluid as I navigated my way through the throngs of students. I glanced down at the piece of white paper with the number 301 written on it and looked back up. Down right panic coursed through my veins when I realized the lockers didn’t have numbers on them; only weird symbols that looked as if they belonged in a geometry book. I was totally screwed. ”

Excerpt From: Nicole Simone. “The Accidental Kiss.” iBooks.

The Good

…she soon finds out normal isn’t written in her DNA.”

Oh Sky, I kind of giggled at how far from normal her life really is! The second I saw the cover for The Accidental Kiss I just knew I had to read it. I mean have you seen that cover? Go ahead; scroll back up at look at it. Hot right?! I love the pose of the characters, and the smoking background and skulls are a perfect touch for this paranormal book. I honestly had my fingers tripled crossed hoping I would make it onto the tour, and it was my Waiting on Wednesday pick on my other blog. This book sounded amazing and I knew there would be a lot of people signing up. Thank you InkSlinger PR!!

I devoured this book as soon as I received the ARC, I read it so fast that a couple of days later I had to re-read it. I did some research and found out that Nicole has been working on this story for 5 years, this just goes to prove that handwork really pays off! I loved this book so much. I don’t read a lot of Paranormal books because I’m a picky individual but this one is making it onto my paranormal favourites list! The world building was executed perfectly, which is something a lot of authors struggle with in the fantasy and paranormal genre. There is a unique and interesting combination of zombies (omg, yes) and magic/voodoo that really works out well in this story.

Now let’s talk about the characters, they are just PERFECT! Sky is an all around great character, she can handle her own and does a really good job at adapting to her new lifestyle, plus I loved her attitude. Now Daemon…can I have him? Please?! If I was to ever come across a real life Daemon I would jump him in a heartbeat! The chemistry between them is great, and the sexual tension. OMG! I had the biggest grin on my face while reading certain parts of this! And the little one liners Daemon would give had me laughing so hard. Daemon and Sky were seriously a perfect combination that really complemented each other. The only thing I didn’t like, and it’s really minor, was the ending! For me it came too soon and now I’m impatiently waiting for book two! I’ll be stalking Nicole’s Goodreads page & Website to try until I find a release date :).

Lasting Impression

Overall, The Accidental Kiss did not disappoint me! I cannot wait to continue with this series, seriously I just can’t wait. I also plan on reading more by Nicole Simone, I really love her writing style. I’ll be re-reading this again later this month, yes I loved it THAT much!

4.5 stars

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About the Author

Nicole Simone works in digital media by day and at night, pen’s character driven romance novels that will make your mama blush. She lives in Los Angeles, C.A with her fat bulldog named Humphrey.

Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Review: Finding Hope

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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

Abrahem

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

Giveaway!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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 😉

bethfred.blogspot.com | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

 

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Review: Playing With Matches

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Playing With Matches

Author: Suri Rosen
Series: N/A
Genre: YA, Romance
Publisher: ECW Press
Publication Date: September 9th, 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 255
Source: ECW Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks
Chapters | Kobo | Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A cross between Jane Austen’s Emma, Dear Abby, and Yenta the matchmaker!

When 16-year-old Raina Resnick is expelled from her Manhattan private school, she’s sent to live with her strict aunt-but Raina feels like she’s persona non grata no matter where she goes. Her sister, Leah, blames her for her broken engagement, and she’s a social pariah at her new school. In the tight-knit Jewish community, Raina finds she is good at one thing: matchmaking! As the anonymous “MatchMaven,” Raina sets up hopeless singles desperate to find the One.

Can she find the perfect match for her sister and get back on her good side, or will her secret life catch up with her?

In this debut novel, Suri Rosen creates a comic and heartwarming story of one girl trying to find happiness for others, and redemption for herself.

 

**I received an advanced copy from ECW Press in exchange for an honest review**

Opening Lines

Here’s some advice if you plan on taking the Number 7 down Bathurst Street at 7:36 a.m. Do not sit downwind from the woman eating the industrial-grade tuna fish. And if The Groomer is on the bus, get ready to duck at the first sign of the nail clippers.”

The Good

If I could sum up Playing With Matches using only one word it would be Cute with a capital C!! Seriously, I think my face still hurts from smiling so much awhile reading this!

First off I just have to talk about the cover and my physical copy of this book. I was sent a PDF version until Playing with Matches was ready to be mailed out; when I opened the PDF I was so surprised by the cover design. I love the choice of colors and font used. I remember looking at it thinking how soft it looks! And when it came in the mail and I basically fell in love with it. The cover, the back of it, the font used, colour choices, the text style and the little arrows were all just beautiful touches to make this book look fantastic! And the spine! Let me just say that this book looks amazing on my bookshelf. I mean, if you still want to go and buy the ebook version, sure knock yourself out! But you’ll be missing out on one BEAUTIFUL book!

Raina Resnick is the main character and narrator throughout Playing With Matches, and I have to say that her character brought this story to life! I loved her character development throughout the book, it made her into a realistic character that people can relate to. I admit I was on the fence on if I would really like Raina’s character at the start of the book, but you quickly grow to love her. One thing that really bothered me was Raina’s family. HOW IN THE WORLD COULD YOU BLAME HER?! Ben was clearly a loser who didn’t understand that no family is perfect. My heart broke for Raina,  she was really just trying to make everyone else happy. Who hasn’t been in a similar situation of trying to make others happy?!

Now Suri Rosen…debut novel? Lies I tell you, LIES!! I’m only kidding. But Suri Rosen if you happen to actually read this I would like you to know that I am in awe of you. The writing style was perfect, everything just had a great flow. I have to say the biggest (and best) thing that I didn’t see coming was the fact that Suri Rosen didn’t focus on giving Raina a love interest. This made Playing With Matches refreshing and unique compared to all the young adult books that do focus on love interest. Suri Rosen proved that there is more to a character than falling in love, and that’s an important message!

Lasting Impression

Overall, Playing With Matches was such a cute read and I loved it to pieces!! A unique and refreshing read that has made its way onto my favourites list. A huge congratulations goes out to Suri Rosen, what a fantastic debut novel! I look forward to reading more of her work. Did I love it? YES. Should you read it? HECK YES!!!

5 stars

 

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Review | The Yankee Club

The Yankee Club

Author: Michael Murphy
Series: Jake & Laura Mystery, #1
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Alibi (Random House Publishing Group)
Expected Publication Date: August 12th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 220
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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In Michael Murphy’s action-packed Prohibition-era novel of suspense, a mystery writer returns to the bright lights and dark alleys of New York City—uncovering a criminal conspiracy of terrifying proportions.

In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.

Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.

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**I received an advanced copy of The Yankee Club from NetGalley via Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review**

First Impression

After reading Eyes On You by Kate White I wanted to dive into as many Mystery/Suspense novels as I could. So when I got contacted by TLC Book Tours and was given the synopsis for The Yankee Club I just couldn’t say no! And boy am I ever glad I didn’t. Historical Fiction and Mystery set in 1933? Toss me a dress, heels and pearl and call me doll!!

Opening Lines

As my train drew closer to New York City, the dining car’s rhythmic sway offered no comfort to the painful memories I left behind two years earlier.”

The Good

Setting – I was a tad bit nervous when I started The Yankee Club because I knew nothing about the Prohibition-era. Of course I’ve heard of it but I didn’t know every detail as why it came to be and how the era came to an end. Previous to Chapter 1 we’re giving a paragraph (I hope this included in the final copy) outlining what New York City was like in 1933 that gives readers a perfect introduction and back story.

Mystery – I got a new love, and it’s called Mystery. Sometimes mystery books just aren’t really that mysterious. I hate when you can actually predict what is going to happen and how it will all play out. Does that happen in The Yankee Club? NOPE!

Characters – Throughout The Yankee Club we are introduced to many different characters. Sometimes you come across a character that you can instantly tell is just a filler, and other times you come across characters that you think are just unnecessary. Neither of these happened in this novel. Every character played a part, and they played it well! The secondary characters held their own and helped the story and mystery flow.

Description/Style – Michael Murphy has a way with words. There were so many different points throughout The Yankee Club that had me feeling like I was actually there. The description was just perfect, and the amount of detail given gives readers a beautiful insight to life in the 1930’s.

I smiled and tossed the hankie out the side window. I glanced behind the car and watched a breeze toss it around like a kite in Central Park. As we turned the corner, the hankie fluttered between two cars then skidded along the sidewalk and disappeared in the streets of New York.”

The Bad

  • Nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

Character Depth – Michael Murphy gives us very entertaining and dynamic characters but at times I felt that these characters lacked having full depth to them. Secondary characters played key roles and we’re just as important as the main characters but I felt there was no real growth from majority of them.

Lasting Impression

Overall, The Yankee Club was a fantastic mystery read!! Shady characters, corruption, romance, mystery and suspense and not once did any of these factors overthrow the plot. I can’t wait to read All That Glitters which is the next book in A Jake and Laura Mystery series. Do I recommend this books? Yes. Will I read it again? Definitely before the month is over :).

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4 Stars

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This review is part of a blog tour organized by TLC Book Tours. Click here to follow the tour and reader other reviewers thoughts!

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Review | Lover Unknown

Lover Unknown

Author: Ellie Kincade
Series: Lover Unknown, #1
Genre: Adult Fiction, Erotica, Romance
Publisher: Ellie Kincade
Publication Date: July 22nd, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 34
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon

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Passion without boundaries.

The freedom of the unknown.

A night you’ll never forget.

Welcome to Club Q.

Hadley has never been one to shy away from a challenge between the sheets, but she’s been craving something she just can’t put her finger on. When a mysterious silver envelope shows up on her desk at work, inviting her to join Club Q, she’s about to get everything she didn’t even know she wanted.

A haven for the rich and beautiful, little is known about Club Q to those not on the list. For Chicago’s elite it means sex unlike anything they had ever experienced before

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First Impression

I was looking for something short & sweet and I came across Lover Unknown. Something about this reminds me of S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline, but that’s probably just me. Either way this still sounds good!

Opening Lines

Attempting to look preoccupied, I twirled the silver envelope through my fingers, willing myself to take that one last step. All I had to do was walk around the corner-off the main strip of city lights, and into a dimly lit alley-and there I was. Club Q.”

The Good

Wait. No. NOO!! That’s it? Do you know how many times I kept clicking on the arrow hoping there would be more? At least one more chapter! There is so much I want to say but it’ll just spoil the story for everyone, so my lips are sealed! This book was Steamy with a capital S! Eight pages in and Ellie Kincade had my body tingling with the description of Hadley getting check! Oh boy. It just kept getting better and hotter and the last chapter I completely didn’t see that coming!

“I felt the unfamiliar body shift behind me as the check continued-this time up the inside of my legs, connecting with every inch of thing. Higher and higher his hands lifted, seemingly in slow motion”

The Bad

  • Nothing!

The In-Between

  • Zilch.

Lasting Impression

OverallLover Unknown was fantastic! Ellie Kincade, as a debut novella you deserve a pat on the back and a round of applause! I need book 2 now! Also, I want to read more about Nina. I know her story would be a good one!

 

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4.5 stars

 

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Review | Aspen

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Aspen

Author: Rebekah Crane
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA, Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: In This Together Media
Publication Date: June 5th, 2014
Format: ebook
Source: Jen Halligan PR
Purchase: Amazon

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One quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn’t want to remember the car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to keep her stoner mother Ninny in line and out of unemployment. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics and her therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, Aspen is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.

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First Impression

This will be my first Rebekah Crane book, I didn’t get the chance to read Playing Nice so I’m excited to read this. Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor…that is a mouth full of a name! This sounds like something that could be made into a TV series or movie. However, the synopsis is really intriguing but I worry this might be a complex story to follow.

Opening Lines

“Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor, get your gimpy butt down here,” Ninny yells from the bottom of the staircase.”

The Good

Rebekah Crane has created a unique and simple story. I enjoyed the fact that the plot wasn’t too complex and I didn’t struggling to understand everything that was taking place. Every character played their part and there wasn’t a single moment that I felt a character was being used as a filler while reading Aspen. I have to say that Aspen was one of my favourite characters, what I can say? I love when characters are sassy! And Aspen is Sassy with a capital S! I have to say my favourite thing about this whole novel was how real it felt! Rebekah Crane has a way of writing and makes you feel like your witnessing the trauma first hand!

The Bad

  • Nothing I would consider bad.

The In-Between

  • Developments/Flashbacks – There were some flashbacks that I felt could have used more visual details for the readers. Also, there were developments between characters (trying not to give anything away!) that were not included in the story, it was obvious they took place but there wasn’t enough details for readers to get the full picture.

Lasting Impression

Overall, Aspen is a beautifully written and unique book with key concepts of self discovery. I’m now a fan of Rebekah Crane and can’t wait to read another one of her novels!

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4 Stars


Link: http://youtu.be/QVTve0hAlk8
Video created by Genius House Media. Find them on Facebook and Twitter!

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One (1) winner will receive a signed copy of Aspen, an ebook of Playing Nice, and a $10 Amazon gift card (US only).

Five (5) winners will receive an e-book copy of Aspen (INT).

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Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

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