Monthly Archives: August 2013

Playing With Her Heart by: Lauren Blakely

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I was very excited for the release of Lauren Blakely’s new book Playing With Her Heart. I loved her other books, and I could not wait to read this one too. Please, keep in mind that her books are not YA and should not be read by anyone under 17.

Playing With Her Heart by Lauren BlakelyHere is the main part of the book’s description:

Twenty-three year old rising theatre star Jill McCormick has built a life out of pretending. Pretending she’s happy, pretending she’s not haunted by the dark secret that shattered her world six years ago. But then she comes face to face with her new director — sexy, sophisticated, jealous, all-alpha, dirty-talking Davis Milo. He tries to resist the actress he’s cast, but the attraction between them is too powerful, and soon their private rehearsals spiral into new, forbidden territory. The connection, the chemistry is undeniable, and it hits them anywhere, and everywhere — in the theater, on the piano, in the limo, in the restaurant…But the tragedy in Jill’s past stands between them. Davis has walls too, so they can either face their fears together, or risk the most intense love, sex and passion either has ever felt…

You can read the full thing over at Goodreads. I cut out the racy quotes because I try to keep my posts on the clean side in case any younger readers stumble across them.

I really wanted to love this book because I am a huge fan of Lauren Blakely’s other books, but I had just enough problems with this book that I can’t give it the coveted 5-star rating.

I liked the premise of this story. It had a little of that forbidden romance feel without being some terribly inappropriate situation. This made it hot without the awkward. I also liked how their lives somewhat mirrored the play and that they were able to use it to learn and grow together.

Davis was awesome. He was kind of the perfect mix of things. He was athletic yet artsy, smart, thoughtful and pretty much any other positive adjective you could come up with, but at the same time he wasn’t perfect. He had been hurt in the past and had trust issues. He struggled at times to find the right balance in his life, and there were other little things about him that made him more believable.

I have mixed feelings about Jill. She was not what I was expecting. There were times when I would really like her and connect with her as a character, but then there were also times when she would annoy me a lot. She spent so much time trying to force a situation that she shouldn’t have. I understand why she did, but it still bothered me.

I wish Patrick would have had a little more personality. It would have made my above complaint less relevant. Seriously, he was one of the flattest characters I have read in a while.

I did like getting the tie-ins to Ms. Blakely’s other books. We got to see glimpses of the couples from all of her other books.

However, by the same token, I was kind of annoyed that we didn’t see more of Jill’s friends, especially Kat. Sure they had a couple of quick scenes together, but they live together. I would have liked to see more bonding time. Especially at the end when Jill is doing her confessions. I think Kat deserved to hear the truth and that it would have been cleansing for Jill to be able to unload on her best friend. After all, that’s what best friends are there for.

So in conclusion, while there were plenty of things about this book that I liked, I did have some issues with it.

4 Stars

To purchase your own copy of Playing with her Heart from Amazon, go here.

Thank you for reading my review! To stay up-to-date on all of my reviews, please like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow my blog! Happy reading!

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Smash Into You by: Shelly Crane

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Shelly Crane is one of my very favorite authors, so every time she releases a new book, I snap it up right away. Yesterday she released Smash Into You and I one-clicked as soon as a saw it.

Here is the description from Goodreads:

Smash Into You by Shelly Crane

Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn’t quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week’s pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being. 

Never stop running…

Now he’s semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It’s been three months since he had to move because ‘Biloxi’, as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more. 

Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they’re after them both.

I LOVED this book! Shelly Crane is such a ridiculously amazing writer. I love her stuff and this book seriously did not disappoint.

This book is clean, and believe me, nothing is missed. Shelly’s writing is flawless, and doesn’t need any cheap tricks to cover up. Marley and Jude have real relationship building. There was no insta-love. Everything between them felt real.

Another thing I loved was that this book was that it did not follow the traditional story lines that I read every day. The base story was unique, and tons of things happened that I did not see coming at all, but I can’t tell you what they were because this is a story that needs to be experienced without spoilers. just know that it will keep you guessing all the way through. It was also unique in that most books seem to either a) have a love triangle or b) have the characters get together and them have some huge blow-up where they break up and then get back together in the last chapter. I loved that this was another classic Shelly Crane book where neither of those things happen. Her characters work together. They are partners and equals and the COMMUNICATE! It’s a shame that that is such a novel concept in books, but it is. When things happened, Jude and Marley would discuss is. They didn’t keep secrets out of some misguided attempt to protect each other. It was such a refreshing change, and it’s kind of sad to me that characters who talk to each other isn’t the norm.

I will say that it is necessary to go into this book with some willing suspension of disbelief. the situation is a bit on the fantastic side, but it is done so beautifully that the story never crosses into the realm of the ridiculous. It is a delicate balance, and it is spot on.

Oh, and you should also know that the whole book is written in Jude’s POV. This doesn’t really make a difference, but it did add a different dynamic to the reading experience. Just thought you should know.

I don’t really know if this review makes any sense. I feel like my ideas are kind of swimming around in my mind and not translating well. I guess you just really need to know that this book is fantastic, and you should read it.

5 super glittery excited stars!!!

To experience the awesomeness for yourself, you can buy Smash Into You from Amazon here.

Thank you for reading my incoherent rambling. 🙂 I would love it so much if you would please take a minute to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow this blog! Happy reading!

Damselfly by: S.L. Naeole

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When I first got my Kindle, one of the first Indie authors I discovered was S.L. Naeole. I fell in love with her writing immediately. Her latest book is titled Damselfly, and is the second in her Faeble series.

Here is the Goodreads description:

Damselfly by: S.L. Naeole

She used to be known as the Blithe Baby. Now she’s something more, and that’s not a good thing. 

Seeing the world through new eyes, Sophia Blithe has found love, found hope, and found a life that she never new she would have with Declan Sterling, a Sidhe boy with indigo eyes and magic in his touch. But, she should know by now that life never plays out how you want it to. 

When the new world she knows, and the old world she remembers begins to crumble around her, Sophia will lose almost everything that’s ever mattered to her, and will be forced to make a decision that will forever change the course of not just her life, but also the lives of those she loves the most.

I have rather mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, the story line is unique and extremely suspenseful. It is really not like anything else I have read. On the other hand, I kind of have a hard time cheering for the “happy ending.” I seriously do not see how this series can end well. It is hard to cheer for the main characters when their goal is to save the murderous fairies. So yeah, I have some definite mixed feelings about this book/series.

This book was well-written, if a little long. Ms. Naeole has some serious talent for writing unique stories. I have read most of her stuff and really enjoy her writing. That being said, the Faeble series is not necessarily my favorite. She does not pull any punches in this series, and to me, it gets a little hard to read at points. It can get kind of gruesome and I feel the need to take a step back and disconnect for a while. I would categorize this as Upper YA, and I do not recommend it for younger readers.

I like Dex, though the revelations at the end of the book were heartbreaking. I am seriously anxious for the next book to find out what is going to happen between him and Fee.

I flip-flop on whether I like Fee or not. She definitely has her moments, both good and bad. She has had a rough life and it just seems to keep getting harder. I keep waiting for her to catch some kind of a break, but every time she seems to, the rug gets pulled out from under her feet and the stuff hits the fan even worse than before.

This book left a lot of questions open at the end, and I am looking forward to getting some answers in the next book.

3 Stars

To purchase Damselfly from Amazon, go here.

Thank you for visiting my blog! To keep up with all of my reviews, please like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow this blog! Happy reading!

Purity by: Claire Farrell

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It’s always disappointing when the last book in a series doesn’t quite live up to its prequels. This seems to be a problem I run across a lot. Good writers don’t know how to end their stories. Today’s book that did that was Purity by: Claire Farrell, the last book in her Cursed trilogy.

Purity by Claire FarrellHere is the description from Goodreads:

Perdita’s life has gone back to normal in all of the worst ways, while Nathan doesn’t even recognise himself anymore. Still, they’re both trying to make do the best way they know how.

But when they finally catch sight of that flicker of light at the end of the tunnel, Vin plays his final, most deadly, hand.

I started reading this book a long time ago, like back when it was first released. I struggled and, while I knew I wanted to come back and finish it, I gave up for a while.

The first half of the book was tough. It was all angry characters and no communication and Perdita and Nathan both pining away for someone that they didn’t think wanted them anymore. Seriously, one conversation could have eliminated the entire first half of the book. It was kind of depressing and I just wasn’t feeling it.

I was looking for something to read and decided to pick it back up and finish it. Apparently I just needed to read a little farther past where I stopped and the story picked up.

The second half of the book was definitely more interesting, though i still thought it dragged. Things that have been building throughout the whole series finally came to a head, but I just thought the whole thing could have been shortened. It seemed like the author was just stretching out the events until she reached the number of words she wanted and then just told, not showed, us everything that happened after. It went from way over described throughout the whole book to the bare minimum for the end.

I don’t know. I just think this book could have been better. I liked the first two books a lot and this one just wasn’t as good. It wasn’t terrible; it was just kind of disappointing.

3 Stars

To find Purity on Amazon, go here.

Thank you for reading my review! Please take a second to like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, friend/follow me on Goodreads and/or follow this blog!

Enchanted by: Alethea Kontis

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I hate when I am eager to read a book and it doesn’t live up to my expectations. That definitely happened to me with Enchanted by: Alethea Kontis.

Enchanted by Alethea KontisHere is the description from Goodreads:

It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past – and hers?

*Le Sigh* I really need to stop getting pulled in by pretty covers. The pretty cover and the promise of fairy tales drew me. Too bad the inside wasn’t as enchanting as the outside.

For starters, the writing style of this book did absolutely nothing for me. It read like a 14-year-old wrote it for a creative writing project. Maybe I’m just to old at 20, but I read a lot of YA, and this was not up to par. I think this book should be marketed for 12-year-olds not teenagers.

Next, there was way to much going on. I think the author must have taken a book of fairy tales and made it her goal to see how many of them she could fit in this book. I wish I had counted. It was absolutely ridiculous. Mixing a few is fine, but not all of them.

At the same time, I felt like chapters would go by where nothing happened! There was so much focus on trying to get every fairy tale possible in the story that the story itself was forgotten. A lot of story and no plot is a bad combination.

I had no emotional connection to this story either. The characters were in love after the first chapter. There was no buildup, not background to understand the world, no anything. It was awkward.

On top of that, stuff kept happening that made no sense. There was no worldbuilding at all, so random things kept happening. One of the toughest parts of writing fantasy is that the world must have limits to be believable. This world had no limits. Anything could happen when convenient. There was no structure and it made everything unbelievable. Yes, I am aware that this is a fairytale world and none of it could happen anyway, but there is no willing suspension of disbelief without structure and rules.

So yeah. This book did not do it for me. Like I said, maybe 12-year-olds would like it but not really anyone else.

2/5 stars

If you want to take a chance with this book and form your own opinions, you can get from Amazon here.

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