Review for Catch A Falling Heiress (An American Heiress In London #3) by Laura Lee Guhrke

Catch A Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke

TITLE: Catch A Falling Heiress
SERIES: An American Heiress In London #3
AUTHOR: Laura Lee Guhrke
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Linnet Holland’s life has finally worked out the way she wanted. The man she has always fancied has finally taken notice. He takes her to the gardens to propose and that magical moment is interrupted by Jack Featherstone. The infernal man not only ruins the proposal and strikes her beloved, but he then has the audacity to kiss her right in front of her mother and as well as the biggest gossip in town. Her reputation is thoroughly ruined but she refuses to marry this man. She cannot marry a fortune hunter, she won’t and nothing her family can say will change her mind. Jack knows he messed up by kissing her. He knows that it was the wrong move. He also knows that her Frederick Van Hausen, her “beloved” is not the man she believes him to be. He is the villain in all stories and he refuses to let another women fall victim to him. Now, he’s determined to make it right. He will change Linnet’s opinion of him and make her agree to the marriage if it is the last thing he does. Can Linnet let go of her first impressions enough to realize that Jack might just be the right person for her or is she doomed to suffer the effects of a ruined reputation?

I both loved and hated Linnet. I love her and her strength and determination, but how she adamantly refuses Jack when the audience knows that Jack is actually a good guy was infuriating. I like Jack and I want her to like him. Her reasons are solid and you cannot fault her logic. She wants to marry someone American. She doesn’t want a English fortune hunter who will look down on her for the rest of her life and she has finally escaped that future only to be dragged back at the last possible second. She’s angry and frustrated and I wanted to hug her and give her her heart’s desire. But, at the same time, what she wants isn’t what’s best for her. What she wants would be incredibly bad and would not turn out as she imagines. And Jack’s refusal to explain himself just makes everything worse. Even when she finds herself liking him against her will, she jumps back to the “he just wants me for my money” argument and all is lost once again.

Speaking of Jack, I just love him. I think I have a thing for historical romance heroes in general because they all make me feel rather swoon-worthy, but Jack was perfect. He’s in a tough situation, as all romance heroes are. He has a high sense of honor and integrity and he’s fiercely loyal. Then there is the whole his a handsome gentleman and behaves as such. I also think part of my love for him stems from his loyalty to his friends. He’s that guy that you’d run to at 3 AM with a dead body and he’d come no questions asked with a tarp and tons of colorox to clean the mess (or the Regency equivalent of that). Watching him try to win Linnet over despite her determination to hate him just and me falling for him more. Guhrke really knows how to write a swoon-worthy male. I seriously can’t think of a single novel she’s written where I didn’t love the hero.

Speaking of Guhrke’s writing, she has me spoiled. Between her and Julia Quinn, I’m pretty much ruined for all other historical romances. I’m so used to their level of awesome that I just can’t tolerate any less. In fact, I’ve gotten where they are the only ones I read from this genre! I think I’m scared that I’ll come across another bad one or be disappointed by an author that normally does a great job. Laura, though, is a master of her craft and I’m always anxious to grab her latest book. She manages to give you exactly what you want when you want it. Or better yet, exactly what you didn’t realize you wanted when you wanted it. The whole house-party set up in this novel is perfect. It’s riveting, how Jack is going to make his case and get Linnet to fall for him. There is no if. This is romance, after all, and we know it’s going to happen, we just don’t know how. That’s the beauty of romance. You are guaranteed a happily ever after, so you don’t have to stress over that, just over how the hell these two are going to work out their problems. And it’s a magical thing to watch. If only real life was that awesome. Le Sigh.

Anyway, what is there really to say here? Laura Lee Guhrke never fails to impress me. You’d think that after so many books, it would become more difficult to write an original feeling story, but she awesome has a tale that feels brand new. It’s always written with heart and charm and wit. It always leaves me smiling. This is no exception to that rule. It’s funny and sweet and heart-warming and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can’t wait for the next one!

****Thank you to Avon for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Geek Girl (Geek Girl #1) by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

TITLE: Geek Girl
SERIES: Geek Girl #1
AUTHOR: Holly Smale
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Harriet Manners is the textbook definition of a a geek. She’s actually okay with that. She likes her intelligence and doesn’t understand everyone else’s fascination with clothes and makeup and superficial pursuits. Then she accidentally gets discovered as the next big model and things spiral from there. Does she have what it takes to shed her geeky exterior and become a worldwide sensation or will her never quieting mind prevent her from letting go enough to allow it to happen?

I loved Harriet from page one. She’s smart and funny and completely unpopular in the best way. Climbing the social ladder isn’t really on her to do list. She is a little sick of being picked on, but she doesn’t necessarily want to be the highest rung on the ladder. She just wants to be allowed to geek out. So when she get’s discovered as a model, she decides that maybe it’s time to try something new. Try on the pretty clothes and the makeup and actually talking to Nick, the male model she’ll be posing with. Things go from awkward to normal and back again over and over and over and it was thoroughly entertaining. I love Harriet with the makeup and wannabe girliness and without it. Her inner snark had me rolling in laughter from page one and I couldn’t help wanting more. I love that she likes who she is, but I also love that she is brave enough to try something new. Stepping out of her normal role and into something scary and new is far from easy, but she tries. She gives it her all even though she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. It just made me love her more.

I could speak to the other characters, but really, she’s the main one. The rest all play their roles, filling in where they are needed and making connections with her at the appropriate moments. Nick shows up every so often to provide just enough confusing swoon-worthy stares to move her obsession along just a bit more. Her dad and Step-Mom provide parenting like moments. I gotta say that I loved her Step-Mom quite a bit by the end. She’s not perfect and she’s not Harriet’s bio-mom, but she loves her and is more attentive than Harriet and Dad realize. In the beginning, I was irked by her bossing Harriet around, but she really does have the best of intentions and that scene, in her office at the end, well, let’s just say we should all be so lucky.

What really won me over with this novel was it’s laugh out loud comedy. I know LOL is a term people throw around constantly, but rarely does a book make me snort or laugh or giggle out loud. Smiling or internal chortling happens constantly, but few are good enough to make me really laugh out loud. And this was one of them. It is full of humorous dialogue and outrageous shenanigans and enough awkward situations to have you laughing and hiding your face simultaneously. I also loved the ending and the message that carries. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that it is the perfect message for teenagers and more books need to go in that direction.

I know many people have compared it to Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series and I whole heartedly agree with that comparison. This is right on that Georgia level and that is a huge compliment. This is laugh out loud funny with enough heart to make it feel real. I recommend it to every reader out there. Old, young, boy, girl, chick-flick fan, or nerd lover, this will be loved by all!

****Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

TITLE: Heartbeat
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Scott
PUBLICATION DATE: January 28, 2014
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
PAGES: 304 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / Hardback
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

A heartbeat is the only thing keeping Emma’s mom alive. She’s brain dead with no chance of recovery. She’s only being kept “alive” to support the life of the infant growing within her. This was Dan, Emma’s stepdad’s decision, and Emma is beyond angry at him and the rest of the world for this. She just wants to talk to her mother. She knows her mom could help her sort out her emotions, but that’s never going to happen. Then she notices Caleb Harrison. He’s the town bad boy and the old Emma never would have cared. The new Emma notices something familiar in his eyes, a grief that no one else seems to understand. And being with Caleb makes her feel alive again, finally. She doesn’t spend every second with him consumed by the longing to discuss her issues with her mom again. As they days tick by and the countdown to her dead mother’s c-section continues, Emma has some hard decisions to make and some terrible realities to come to terms with. Can she make the best of it or will she continue on her downward spiral?

I don’t know that I could handle Emma’s situation as well as she does. She is incredibly close to her mom and her step-dad and then her mom dies and suddenly all Dan (her step-dad) cares about is his unborn child. Emma is no longer a consideration where her baby brother is concerned and her opinion is unwanted and unnecessary. And she’s forced to go and see her dead mother every single day. Every day she has to look at her dead mother’s corpse as she incubates a tiny life inside her. A life that Emma can’t help but resent. This little thing is responsible for her mother’s death. Her mother was a high risk pregnancy because of her age. Her mother only got pregnant again because Dan wanted a baby and it killed her. So how is she taking it? Not well, as you can imagine. This former straight-A, goodie two shoes suddenly doesn’t care about anything. She doesn’t do her school work or even pay attention in class and she spends her afternoons staring at her ceiling grieving the loss of her mother and Dan’s betrayal. She flat-out ignores Dan and his attempts to fix the situation. This irritated me at first. It seems childish. But the further in you get, the more you can’t help but side with her. Dan is doing his best, that is true, but sometimes you’re best isn’t enough, is it? The further in you get, the more you realize that he doesn’t chase after her when she walks away. He doesn’t beat down the door she locks him is face. He tries, but he isn’t giving it his all and Emma knows that more than anyone.

I loved Caleb almost instantly. He completely understands Emma’s plight and his own might be worse. His little sister died a few years back and his parents credit it as his fault. It isn’t really. She got hit by a car while riding a bike and she wasn’t wearing a helmet so she was gone instantly. How they believe it was his fault is beyond me. He wasn’t driving the car that hit her and he certainly didn’t encourage her to ride in the road with no helmet, but they act like pushed her in front of the car. They are downright cruel to him. He lashes out in the only way he knows how, drugs and crime sprees. That’s how he got that bad boy reputation. He’s incredibly sweet to Emma and they connect in a way that neither of them expect. He is there for her in a way that no one else is. Even Emma’s best friend, who sticks by her despite the drastic personality change, doesn’t quite understand what she’s going through. But Caleb does and he makes a point to be there for her when she needs him.

This heartbreaking story had me from minute one. It’s written in short chapters that I flew through to find out what happened next. You want to see that confrontation between Emma and Dan. When you get there, trust me, it’s better and worse than you imagined. You just want things to work out for her and we know they want. I know we are all secretly thinking that this is fiction and her mom can wake up, right? But she can’t. She won’t. Her mom is truly dead and the baby is the only reason she is on life support. This little baby, the one Emma was so excited for, is suddenly the enemy. Emma can’t see how this could possibly be what her mom would want. Dan can’t see how Emma would believe her mom would want them to do anything less. And their perspectives can’t seem to mesh. Emma is steadfast in her beliefs and so is Dan, but something has to give. The ending is bittersweet and fits the novel perfectly.

This is my first Elizabeth Scott novel. I can honestly say I’ll be grabbing any and all of her books that I come across for cheap. This was heartbreakingly amazing. While you see all the reasons she should get over it and move on and love her baby brother, you can’t help but sympathize with Emma. This poor girl just can’t seem to go back to who she was before. If you are looking for a happy, snarky novel, this isn’t it. What you get here is so much deeper and more raw. It’s a captivating story and one I’m glad I got the chance to read!

****Thank you to Harlequin Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Blog Tour – Perfect Couple (Superlatives #2) by Jennifer Echols (& Giveaway)

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Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols
TITLE: Perfect Couple
SERIES: Superlatives #2
AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols
PUBLICATION DATE: January 13, 2015
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows
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In this second book in The Superlatives trilogy from Endless Summer author Jennifer Echols, Harper and Brody think they’re an unlikely match, but the senior class says they belong together.

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents’ bitter divorce left her wondering what a loving relationship looks like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody ‘Perfect Couple That Never Was’, her friends have been pushing her to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack female admirers, but Harper can’t see herself with him. He’s confused about the match too. Yet they find themselves drawn together; first by curiosity about why the class paired them, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they’re attracted to each other, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating well. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But they feel so changed from making the effort, they can’t forget each other. What if this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?


I combed through the first third of the book before I found the excerpt I wanted to share with you. I hope you all enjoy it and decide to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

“I’ll catch up with y’all,” I said “Back to the towels for me. I’m having contact problems.” Amid the chorus of “Oh, no!” and “Poor baby!” and “Do you need help?” I explained what had happened. “If I can wipe my eyes and run fresh water over my hands, I think I’ll be okay.”

I sloshed toward shore. But as I reached dry sand, I was anything but okay. My left eye stung. My right eye was worse. When I opened it, all I could see was blur. The beach was as bright as another planet with no atmosphere to filter the sun. I could hardly see my way back to the island of umbrellas and towels I’d come from. When I finally made it, I tripped over several boys and landed on the dog, who didn’t budge.

“Move, dog,” I said rudely. She got up, sticking her sandy dog butt in my face as I opened my cooler for a thermos of water.

Kennedy was telling the other guys about the indie film we’d seen at the Tampa Theater downtown last weekend. They were laughing uncontrollably. Kennedy was brilliant and had great comedic delivery. He would be perfect someday as the vastly intelligent, super dry commentator on a political comedy show. His shtick was as much as what he left out as what he said. At the moment, he was strategically omitting that we’d had an argument in his car on the way to the movie and that he still hadn’t been speaking to me by the time he dropped me off at home afterwards.

“Right, Harper?” I heard him ask. He wanted me to verify some funny point in the movie – something he hadn’t discussed with me one on one, because we’d hardly talked since then.

This was his way of making up. After our fights, he ignored me until he just decided not to anymore, signaled by him by asking me a question and me responding, and then it was like nothing had happened between us. This time, instead of answering, I poured freezing water over my hand and wiped at my eye. Now it felt like I’d gotten sand in my eyeball. I tried to shift the offending particle into the corner where my tears would flush it out. That was a mistake. The stinging was intense.

I tried to open my eye. I couldn’t. My upper eyelid was wedged shut with my contact. Was it possible that my contact had drifted that far back? Could it float even further and get stuck on my optic nerve? Where was my eleventh-grade anatomy knowledge when I needed it?

“Guys,” I called. Kennedy kept up his blasé movie commentary while I went blind in one eye. Tears streaming down my cheek, I said more loudly, “Guys, do any of you wear contacts? I need help. I think my contact has shifted into the back of my eye socket.”

“Harper,” Kennedy said, “only you.”

I took in a deep breath to calm myself, but I was on the verge of panic. These boys were not going to help me. Kennedy would make fun of me while this piece of flexible plastic sliced its way into my brain and gave me a lobotomy. The girls would help me, but they were too far away to hear me yell over the surf, and I couldn’t open one eye, and now I couldn’t see out of the good eye because of the tears. I felt like screaming.

Strong hands framed my face. One thumb pulled at my lower eyelid. I was surprised Kennedy had relented and come to my rescue. “ I wear contacts, and I know all about this, unfortunately. Let me help.”

But it wasn’t Kennedy’s voice. It was Brody.


Jennifer Echols
Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Contact Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


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When Harper and Brody are voted Perfect Couple That Never Was they are both shocked. The two couldn’t be more different. Harper is the photography nerd and Brody is the star quarterback. But since that day, she finds herself noticing him more and more. Since that day, her friends have been pushing her to ask him out. Even though she has a boyfriend, she finds herself thinking about Brody more and more. She finds herself wondering if maybe the school knows what they are talking about and she should give this budding attraction wtih Brody a chance.

Harper is that geeky girl who is hiding a rocking body. She’s smart and hard-working, with a desperate drive to get the best photographs. She dresses pretty conservatively for a high school girl and she swears it’s because she likes it that way. But is it really? The further into this we get, the more we see her question those decisions. I both loved and hated this. I loved that she wanted to experiment. I loved that she was brave enough to try something new. I loved that the new looks work well. What I didn’t love was how it was all inspired by Brody. I’m very big on the be yourself schtick. Changing solely to impress a guy is something I feel like very girl does and something that we shouldn’t. We should all put our best face forward, but there is a difference between that and drastically altering your wardrobe to get a guy. What happens when you get tired of wearing those tight tops and mini-skirts? What happens when you just want to roam around comfortably in jeans and a tee, but he expects full-on glamor all the time? That isn’t what happens here, but it bugged me that her change was Brody inspired. She ends up liking it for herself, but it could have easily went a different direction.

Brody was a character I wanted to love immediately, but he took time to grow on me. He’s cocky and hot and completely sure of himself. He has a bit of that player vibe going on that I tend to find slimy rather than sexy. He has enough charm to keep me from being completely weary of him, but he also has a sorta girlfriend when he starts fooling around with Harper, when gives me the skeezy vibe. Beyond that, though, he was pretty loveable. It was clear that he was sincere under all the bravado.

What I really enjoyed about this, about all Echols work really, is the relationships. It’s not just about boy meets girl, it’s about friends and family and self. It’s goes deeper than just a flirty YA contemporary romance. Both characters are realistically flawed and relatable. I didn’t always agree with their actions, but they always felt authentic and true to life. That’s not to say that some of their actions weren’t downright stupid because they were. That whole “make Brody jealous” bit sent me into a mini-rage because we all know that was not the right move. How is that the right thing for the moment? Those moments always anger me in books. You know, the ones where the character finds out something they don’t like and instead of thinking things through, they do something rash and stupid. I’m not a fan of stupid. I actively try to avoid stupid.

What I didn’t like was they was this skirted around the cheating issue. Harper is dating Kennedy. No matter how much of a jerk Kennedy is, they are still in a relationship. Nothing should happen with Brody until after that has ended. Brody is sorta dating Grace, but that’s a bit more vague. Either way, lust doesn’t excuse a lack of common curtsey. I hate how some novels portray cheating as acceptable because it’s “true love” and the characters “couldn’t help themselves.” I’d just like to call bullshit on that particular concept. Be man (or woman) enough to admit want and go after it, but don’t deceive people to get it. I’m a bit more forgiving here because they are teenagers and hormones do run high at that age. Plus, you know, teenagers aren’t as much of an adult as they’d like to believe. Also, shit happens.

I think I may have liked this a bit more than Biggest Flirt. Even though I am still a bigger Will fangirl than I will ever be for Brody. Will is that nice, boy next door type and I love seeing those. That’s beyond the point. This is a perfect contemporary YA written with Echols trademark style and wit. It’s addictive and I tore threw it needing to know if Harper and Brody finally worked out their shit. If you like Echols previous work or contemporary romances, then you’ll love this!

****Thank you to Simon Pulse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet #4) by Julia Quinn

The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

TITLE: The Secrets Of Sir Richard Kenworthy
SERIES: Smythe-Smith Quartet #4
AUTHOR: Julia Quinn
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2015
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss
RATING: 5 bows

Sir Richard Kenworthy must find a wife and he must do so quickly. This fact limits his options severely. Anyone who agrees to be wed within only a week or two of acquaintance is probably not going to be what he originally wanted in a wife, but there is nothing to be done about it. He needs a bride. Then he comes across Iris Smythe-Smith at her families musical and thinks maybe she’ll fit the bill rather nicely. She’s intelligent and values family and not difficult to look at or hold a conversation with. Iris has always been overlooked. Her pale coloring and quiet nature makes it easy to blend in with the background. What most people don’t realize is that behind that quiet facade lies a quick wit and more intellect than the average society male can imagine a female to have. So when Sir Richard Kenworthy starts flirting with her and acting as a man falling in love, she wonders how true it is. Then a compromising position forces her hand and she can’t help but wonder if he is hiding something. Is Sir Richard Kenworthy keeping secrets from his new bride or is Iris being paranoid? You’ll have to read to find out!

I must say that “overjoyed” does not even begin to describe my feelings for when I got approved for this. I think I went a bit happiness crazy.
Toothless excited gif
Julia Quinn is one of my all time favorite authors. I love all of her work. I think if you read my The Sum Of All Kisses review, you know that I more than a little fangirl-y over her work. Hell, my username on many a website is JuliaQuinnFan07! If I had to limit myself to only reading books by one author for the rest of my life, it would be her. That’s how much of a fangirl I am. Her work never disappoints me. So, as you can imagine, when I got approved for this, I went a little crazy. I was literally bouncing for joy because I knew it would be awesome….and I wasn’t wrong. Enough fangirling though, let’s get on with the review!

Iris was a character I immediately loved. She’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s perfectly sarcastic. Basically, she’s everything you could want in a historical romance heroine. She’s accepted her lot in life. She knows she’ll never be the belle of the ball, but she’s content with that. She actually likes being a wallflower because it gives her a chance to observe the people around her. This is one of her favorite past-times, just watching people. Seeing them interact with each other is utterly fascinating to her. Her quiet wit and biting sarcasm had me smirking the entire novel and is what really won Richard over.

Speaking of Richard, I liked him pretty quickly. He’s so entirely devoted to his family that it’s hard not to love him. He may go about solving it the wrong way, but he is determined to help his family, whether they want it or not. I can both understand him and hate him at the same time. By the time his secret was revealed, I knew what it was, but I didn’t catch on until just moments before. Up until that point, he was charming and sweet and it was difficult not to fall for him even though you knew he was hiding something big. After the doozy, it was still hard not to fall for him. You couldn’t argue with his logic. It made perfect sense and it was heart-breaking to watch. All he wants to do is help and to him, this crazy option, is the only option. He sees no other path. What he wants, what he expects Iris to do, is insane. And yet, he goes about it in such a way that you just want to hug him.

This story has quite a bit more mystery than I’m used to in historical romance. JQ keeps us on the end of our seats trying to figure out what Richard is hiding. We know that it’s bad because he is sure that Iris will never forgive him for it. I’ll admit that I had many theories floating around my head and the one that ended up being right was not the one I was expecting. But the closer you get to finding out, the more I didn’t want to know. I wanted Richard and Iris to live happily ever after. That needed to happen and I began to believe Richard’s side, that Iris would never forgive him. It was a heart-breaking ride, one that does end happily, for all those who will wonder. JQ wouldn’t do any less than a happily ever after.

This is exactly what I look for in a historical romance novel. Julia Quinn is the standard I hold all others in the genre up to and this novel is a prime example of why. She does it all flawlessly. She gives us the perfect story, the one that has just the right amount of conflict to keep it moving and still manages to pull together a believable happily ever after. We always get lovable characters and enough wit and repartee to keep up snorting with laughter (even while reading in public). You get it all and you don’t have to compromise on anything. This novel is perfection and any historical romance fan (or just romance fan in general) will love it as much as I did!

****Thank you to Avon for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Blog Tour for After Us (Before & After #2) by Amber Hart (& Giveaway)

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After us by Amber Hart
TITLE: After Us
SERIES: Before & After #2
AUTHOR: Amber Hart
PUBLICATION DATE: December 30, 2014
PAGES: 368 pages
SOURCE: Blog Tour via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows
BUY LINKS: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

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“Beautiful, lyrical writing and a dangerously suspenseful plot. . .an unforgettable novel that readers will love.” –Lucy Connors, author of The Lonesome Young

Sometimes secrets kill. Maybe slowly, maybe painfully. Maybe all at once.

Melissa smiles. She flirts. She jokes. But she never shows her scars. Eight months after tragedy ripped her from her closest friend, Melissa is broken. Inside her grows a tumor, fed by grief, rage, and the painful memory of a single forbidden kiss.

Javier has scars of his own: a bullet wound, and the memory of a cousin shot in the heart. Life in the States was supposed to be a new beginning, but a boy obsessed by vengeance has no time for the American dream. To honor his familia, Javier joins the gang who set up his cousin’s murder. The entrance price is blood. Death is the only escape.

These two broken souls could make each other whole again–or be shattered forever.

Our time will come. And we’ll be ready.


Amber Hart grew up in Orlando, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. She now resides on the Florida coastline with family. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of BEFORE YOU, AFTER US, UNTIL YOU FIND ME, and sequel to UNTIL YOU FIND ME (untitled as of yet). Represented by Beth Miller of Writers House.

Contact Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | GoodReads

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Melissa is a flirt. The entire world is aware of this. What the entire world is not aware of is what she hides behind that flirty persona. They don’t know how broken and scarred she is. They don’t know the pain she’s suffered and what it’ll take to recover from the blow the world has dealt her. Javier is also scarred. He escaped from a life in Cuba without being forced into a gang, but that is exactly what he’ll do now. It’s been 8 months since MS-13 ratted Diego out and got him killed. In that time, Javier has made a decision. He’ll do whatever is necessary to find Wink, the asshole who is responsible for Diego’s death and take him out. Nothing else matters. To do this, he’ll need to talk to Diego’s girl, Faith, who witnessed his death. To get to Faith, he’ll need to befriend Melissa. What he doesn’t expect is his attraction to flair up so quickly and with such force. Can they make it work?

Melissa was a character I loved in Before You. She was always watching out for Faith and supporting her when she needed it. That made this so much harder because Faith has ran off. She left because she couldn’t take Diego’s death and now she’s not answering Melissa’s calls. Right when Melissa needs her, Faith has shut her off. Leaving Melissa to deal with her problems alone. It’s not that she blames Faith, but she needs her best friend. Those of us who read Before You, we know why Faith is avoiding Melissa. We know the truth Faith is hiding, but that doesn’t make this any less heartbreaking. Melissa is hard not to sympathize with. What she is going through is traumatizing and she just carries on like nothing is wrong. She gets up and goes to work and tries to take care of her debts.

Javier was a character I was on the fence about. On one hand, he has lost his best friend and that is hard to take. On the other, he is a damned moron. How is taking out Wink going to solve anything? Diego will still be dead. It won’t bring him back and it won’t bring you closure. It’ll just get you enlisted in a gang with the naive assumption you can get out with no consequences. His one shining point is his loyalty to his family.

His family, by the way, astounded me. The idea that any one woman would willing submit herself to the trauma of giving birth to 12 children is just crazy. Not to mention how much it costs to raise that many children. 12 mouths to feed plus Mom and Dad? How do you do that? The thought of the extra expense of a single child sends me into a mini-panic attack, much less 12. Beyond that, the pure racism and sexist nature of the household infuriated me. Javier’s mom flat out refuses to allow any of her children to date anyone who is not Latina. She will not accept a white girl or a black girl or a Native American or anyone but a Hispanic girl for her sons. Period. That is appalling. People have the right to love who they love, period. Love doesn’t know age (though relationships with a big age gap do kinda weird me out) or race or gender. The other thing is the fact that the girls are all pushed into the role of care-giver. It is the daughters responsibility to take care of the boys. Excuse me? Do we not live in the 21st century? Javier’s mom needs a serious reality check. Though the girls don’t seem to complain, I was floored by the role they were pushed into. What if the girls don’t want to cook and clean and serve the food? What if the girls want to play soccer instead? What if one of the boys wants to learn to cook? What is wrong with that?!?!?

This novel a great sequel to the first, though it doesn’t quite live up to the awesomeness that was Faith and Diego. I think that may have been because I wasn’t as big of a Javier fan as I was a Diego fan. It might also be because I know that everything Javier was doing was in vain. There is no reason to do these things. Plus, I think it’s incredibly stupid to believe there will be no consequences for joining a gang. To truly believe that you can join a gang and expect to get out without putting your family and friends at risk is fucking idiotic.

Besides being appalled with his family and not loving Javier quiet as much as I did Diego, this was a wonderful novel. Melissa and Javier have just enough tension to keep you begging for more. It’s a novel that is hard to put down, even when you are disagreeing with what the characters are doing. I recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary YA or fans of Simon Elkekes Perfect Chemistry series.

****Thank you to K Teen for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows

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Review for Lila & Ethan: Forever And Always (The Secret #4.5) by Jessica Sorensen

Lila & Ethan: Forever & Always by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: Lila & Ethan: Forever And Always
SERIES: The Secret #4.5
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 24, 2013
PUBLISHER: Forever Yours
PAGES: 87 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

Lila wants Ethan to be with her forever. Everything is better with him next to her. But Ethan has serious commitment issues and though she knows he loves her, she’s not sure he’s in this for the long haul with her. Ethan loves Lila more than anyone else in his life, but he’s terrified that they’ll end up like his parents, screaming at each other for not wanting the same things. He loves Lila too much to put her through that, but it’s clear that she needs some reassurance and he’s not so sure he knows how to give it to her. Can they figure out what their future holds or are they more short-term than either of them ever anticipated?

Lila and Ethan are the same characters we know and love from the first four novels. There isn’t really anything new added to them here that we didn’t already know. Lila has issues with her parents and a past drug addiction. Ethan has serious issues with commitment. Here we get a glimpse of that road trip they’ve been planning and it’s priceless. Preppy, perfect Lila on a road trip where the next bathroom break is questionable, much less the next opportunity to shower? Like I said, priceless. She copes better than you’d expect, but it’s still amusing to watch. For Ethan’s part, well, he’s just as fascinating as ever. He’s no Micha…in fact, he’s Micha’s opposite in a lot of ways, but he’s still a Sorensen male and, therefore, incredibly swoon-worthy.

As with most novellas, this is fast-paced and too the point. Somehow, though, Sorensen manages to completely draw you in for a mere 85 page novella. For those 85 pages, all you care about is how Ethan and Lila are going to solve their problems. It usually takes a bit longer for me to become enraptured in a novel. I may be biased because I adore this series and all it’s characters, but still, it’s addictive. You have to know what Ethan is going to do to reassure Lila that he isn’t going anywhere.

What you really need to know is that if you loved The Temptation Of Lila & Ethan, you’ll love this additional glimpse into their heads. If you haven’t read The Temptation yet, I suggest you do that first. I don’t know how much sense this makes going in blind. Either way, I’m always floored by Sorensen’s ability to never let me down. I’ve yet to read a book by her that I didn’t love and this is no exception!

****Thank you to Forever Yours for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for The Thousand Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars #1) by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

TITLE: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line
SERIES: Veronica Mars #1
AUTHOR: Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
PUBLICATION DATE: March 25, 2014
PAGES: 324 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 bows

A decade after graduating high school, Veronica Mars is back to her old self. She’s taken the PI gig back up, despite Keith’s wishes, and she’s determined to keep Mars Investigations going while Keith recovers from near fatal car crash injuries. So when a girl goes missing during spring break, Veronica is more than willing to do her part in finding her. What starts as a simple disappearance turns into anything but. This case could go so many different directions and it’s up to Veronica to untangle the web before it’s too late.

For those of you who follow me regularly, you may know that a mystery novel isn’t exactly my cup of tea and you would be entirely correct. I’m not really the murder-mystery type. Someone always ends up dead in those and Noir novels rarely have happy endings. What you might not know is that I’m a big time Marshmallow. I’ve been a VMars fan since the shows second season, so there was no question for me when this was announced. I knew I’d have to read it, period. I can’t miss the possibility of more Veronica/Logan action (and Veronica’s smarts and snark). Then it was released on audio…..narrated by Kristen Bell….
Veronica Mars Over The Moon Face gif
I borrowed a copy as soon as humanly possible and began listening with my husband (who is also a rabid fan). Because we only listened when we were together, it took a while for us to get through it, but man, it was perfect. Before I even get into the plot or the writing, I just wanna give Kristen props. She does an amazing job narrating this thing. She knows each character so well and she is amazing at imitating Keith’s verbal mannerism, if that makes any sense. What I’m trying to say is she’s amazing…as if we didn’t already know that.

Now, as to everything else. First off is always character. What can I say about the characters of this novel? Most of them I already know and love. You get a peak of everyone in the VMars cast that you could want.
Veronica Mars waving gif
Veronica is a character I feel like I grew up with and have always admired. She has her faults, but she’s so fiercely loyal that I have a hard time faulting her for them. She’s so damn smart and cocky and awesome. I just don’t have the words to do her justice. She’s the queen of sarcasm, something I can relate to entirely.

Then we have Logan Echolls.
Logan Echolls
Logan is a character that I would hate in real life. That image is probably not what you’d get if this novel is your first foray into the VMars world. Here, Logan is stable and strong. He’s sweet and caring and exactly who we all knew he was capable of being. But earlier in the series, he was Neptune’s obligatory psychotic jackass. He was cruel and careless and it would be easy to hate him. In real life, that’s how it would have stayed. He wouldn’t have changed. But the magic of fiction means anything is possible, so Logan and Veronica grow closer and closer and closer and he’s constantly saving her ass. For me, it was always Veronica and Logan. I was never a Duncan fan (a character we have yet to see reappear) or a Troy fan and just FUCK Piz. I could see her staying with Leo, but it was always always Logan. He was such a tortured character with a twisted backstory and so much potential.
Logan & Veronica making out gif
Logan & Veronica hugging gif
ANYWAY…enough of my fangirling. As Logan pertains to this novel, we don’t get nearly enough of him. He’s deploy as an Airman (I think? I’m pretty shitty at keeping up with the different divisions of the armed forces), so we get a handful of skyped conversations between him and Veronica. Unfortunately he isn’t actually present for the duration of this novel, but have no fear! He is in a good bit of the next one (I’m a reliable source for that info ‘cuz I’ve already read it). Logan’s just a character I can’t help loving. The fact that he seems to understand Veronica on a level no one else does makes it all the better.

Then we have Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie!
Cindy Mackenzie gif
She was one of my favorite characters in the show and I’m so psyched about her having a big presence in the novels. She’s probably smarter than Veronica and a computer genius. She gave up a high paying job at Kane Software to work the PI gig with Veronica and even though the money isn’t as good, she is obviously so much happier with this job. She gets to hang with Veronica and put her computer skills to the test finding the missing details that just might help solve the case.

Everyone else you’d expect to find shows up sooner or later. Weevil, Keith (of course), Cliff, Leo, Wallace, Dick, the whole gang. Hell, Veronica’s mom even puts in a game-changing appearance. I, personally, cannot get enough of Cliff McCormack. He’s just so funny! I love him. That doesn’t really add much to the review, does it?

Writing and plot-wise, this was interesting and perfect. Veronica solves the crime and saves the day, but it doesn’t necessarily go where you expect it to and there are some pretty great twists and turns. I don’t know if it was because of the fact that I listened to this on audio with Kristen or if it really was perfect, but this had that Veronica Mars feel that you can’t find anywhere else. The thing with the world of Veronica Mars is that even though the show wasn’t extraordinarily long (3 seasons and a movie), you still had an undeniable understanding of each character. I’m in it for the characters. I have to connect with them, to want to take this journey with them and I would follow Veronica’s story to the ends of the Earth, but it’s not just Veronica. Every single character is well-rounded and fleshed out completely. They feel like old friends….I’m getting a bit off topic again, aren’t I? See, this is why I’ve been avoiding this review for months. I knew I wouldn’t be able to write it objectively. My opinion of VMars will always be colored by my love of the show.

All you really need to know is this: If you’re a Marshmallow, this won’t disappoint you. The biggest difference between this and the show is that now they aren’t on TV and can use a bit more language. If don’t know much about the show, then I’d suggest you start there. This seems to written with enough background given that you can just jump in and make sense of it, but I feel like you won’t have that deep abiding love for it if you read it cold. Go forth and familiarize yourself with all things Neptune, California and then come back and prepare to be amazing. Also, be glad that you are just now coming into the fandom, not forced to wait ten years between the show and the movie when the show ended at the worst possible moment. TEAM LOGAN FOREVER!

5 bows
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Review for The Sum Of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet #3) by Julia Quinn

The Sum Of All Kisses by Julia Quinn

TITLE: The Sum Of All Kisses
SERIES: Smythe-Smith Quartet #3
AUTHOR: Julia Quinn
PUBLICATION DATE: October 29, 2013
PAGES: 373 pages
SOURCE: Gift from my husband
RATING: 5 bows

Lady Sarah Pleinsworth will always hate Hugh Prentice. He has never done anything to her directly but his actions caused her beloved cousin Daniel to be exiled from England for several years. Now that Hugh has fixed that and Daniel is home at last, everyone wants to forgive and forget. Not Sarah, though. Sarah isn’t the forgive and forget type. Sarah is determined to hate him for all eternity. So when Honoria assigns Sarah to make Hugh feel welcome at the weddings, she’s beyond irritated. Doesn’t Honoria know she hates this man? Forced to make nice, she makes it known to Hugh that she doesn’t not enjoy this arrangement, but will suffer through it because Honoria asked it of her. The more time she spends with him, though, the more she realizes that maybe she doesn’t hate him after all. For his part, Hugh is just as irritated at Lady Sarah. She’s loud and dramatic and down right annoying. But the more time he spends in her company, the more he comes to appreciate her hidden wit and think that maybe she isn’t as bad as he originally thought. Are these two destined for all head over heels, or will they soon learn that all of their original impressions were spot-on?

Sarah is a character I could clearly understand Hugh’s irritation at. She is, in fact, very dramatic. It’s even more annoying because she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s dramatic. She’s also highly opinionated. I can relate to her more than I’d like because I’m also very opinionated. Hopefully I’m less dramatic because I tend to hate drama, but I’ll never see myself through someone else’s eyes, so I guess I’ll never know! But back to Sarah. I admire how loyal she is to her family. The Smythe-Smith brood is intimidatingly large, so it’s no wonder she always has someone hanging about. It must be nice to have such a close-knit family. I must admit that I love her sisters. All of them, but especially Harriet and Frances. They are so terribly darling that I cannot express my love completely. It was so very much fun to watch Sarah discover more about herself. The realization that she is indeed dramatic was a priceless moment.

Hugh was someone I loved immediately. I must confess that I swoon easily for the heroes of historical romances. They are always so dashing, with just the right amount of rakish-ness. Hugh is no exception to that, but he’s a bit different than your average HR male. He’s handsome and charming and witty, as you’d expect, but he’s also went threw a great deal with his leg and then with convincing his father to allow Daniel to live his life in England unscathed. The length he went to to assure that would happen is astounding. You want to both congratulate him on his genius and slap him for being an imbecile. His penchant for maths is astounding as well. I can’t do basic addition without a pencil and paper (or a calculator preferably), but this guy can do them in his head in a matter of seconds. He’s relationship with his father is heart-breaking. Parents are supposed to love you, period.

What can I really say about a JQ novel? She’s brilliant. My favorite thing about her collective works is the humor. She always incorporates wit and humor. Humor is very important to me. Reading is an escape that should make me happy and laughter is the best way to show that happiness. I fear she has spoiled me for all other historical romances. I go into them all expecting JQ levels of awesome and am usually disappointed. How to do you go back to loving mediocre once you’ve had perfection? Beyond my fanatic level of love for all things Julia Quinn, this is also one of my favorite types of stories. That whole I hate you, I like you, I love you dance is always entertaining to watch. It promises epic disputes, witty repartee, and the perfect sigh worthy moments.

Basically, what I’m saying is that this is a novel for everyone. As with most historical romances, even though this is the middle book of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. It might enhance the experience if you know some of the backstory, but it is by no means necessary. I think anyone who enjoys romance novels of any kind would love this. It’s everything you could want in a novel. 🙂

5 bows
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Review for The Ever After Of Ella & Micha (The Secret #4) by Jessica Sorensen

The Ever After Of Ella & Micha by Jessica Sorensen

TITLE: The Ever After Of Ella & Micha
SERIES: The Secret #4
AUTHOR: Jessica Sorensen
PUBLICATION DATE: December 3, 2013 / December 2, 2014
PUBLISHER: Forever / Hachette Audio
PAGES: 272 pages / 7 hours and 2 minutes
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley / Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

Ella’s life is finally going well. She has moved past most of her issues and has learned how to breathe through her problems. Then a box shows up containing her mom’s old journal and suddenly she isn’t so sure she can have her happily ever after. How can she live out that reality if she’s never seen what it looks like? Micha will always be there for Ella, but he’s been offered an opportunity to go on tour that he isn’t sure he can say no to. He can’t leave Ella behind and he isn’t sure she’d want to pack up and hit the road for three months. Faced with the reality of balancing their dreams with their fears, can Ella & Micha make things work or will their relationship finally fall to pieces?

There isn’t much new to say about either Ella or Micha. They are both the same characters we remember and love. Ella is the same sweet, fiesty girl. She just has a better handle on her issues. She’s moved on enough to not spend every waking hour thinking about her past, even though things do pop up occasionally. And then there’s Micha. He just might be my favorite male character, ever. He’s so fucking devoted to Ella that you can’t help but love the guy. He’s sweet and caring and determined to help Ella through whatever she is going through. I really don’t have words for him. He’s perfect. He is the perfect book boyfriend. He’s hot, he sings, he plays guitar, he is so fucking in love with Ella that it hurts. He’s just perfect, okay?

This lives up to Sorensen’s previous works. It’s just the right level of heartbreaking and uplifting. Ella & Micha have been through quite enough, so I was a little nervous to start this because I didn’t want to see them put through anymore drama. They’ve had enough problems. For all of you worried about that particular problem, fear not! This is Sorensen’s least traumatic novel (at least that I’ve read thus far). No epic breakups or terrible revelations or spirals in unimaginable depression. Just Ella & Micha working towards making their wedding happen. And it was absolutely perfect. This is exactly what you want to see for Ella & Micha, a future with just enough imperfections to make it believable, but still perfect.

All you really need to know is that this is the novel for Ella & Micha you have been waiting for. Sorensen manages to write a novel that is even better than it’s predecessors, which is a feat because I love The Secret Of Ella & Micha. Even though you thought the pair got their happily ever afters at the end of The Secret and The Forever, here they really do get that picturesque ending that we all dream about. I hope their future is filled with many happy days.

****Thank you to Forever for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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