Defending Taylor Hundred Oaks #7 By: Miranda Kenneally Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire Release Date: July 5, 2016 Add to Goodreads Source: eARC from publisher in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary: Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High. Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?
Hundred Oaks Series: My Review of Racing Savannah Here My Review of Breathe, Annie, Breathe Here My Review of Jesse's Girl Here
I love the Hundred Oaks Series. It is not only fun and romantic, but it opens up the opportunity to contemplate and discuss social issues relevant in the world today. Ms. Kenneally always writes the most thought provoking stories, and I appreciate the fact that they are chock-full of substance!
In Defending Taylor, we get to learn about high school senior Taylor Leukens. When they story begins, we learn that seventeen year old Taylor is the youngest child of a senator. She attends a prestigious and elite private school, is set to be the captain of the girls soccer team, and has been preparing for years to get into Yale, the ivy league college of choice for her grandfather, father, and sister. Her brother "rebelled," by attending Princeton.
Consequently, Taylor undergoes an abundance of stress, lack of sleep, and the constant need to make her family proud of her. When Taylor get's caught with pills that are not hers, she gets blamed. Thinking that her father will be able to help her situation, she takes the fall for her boyfriend, Ben, who is attending their private school on a scholarship. Unfortunately, Taylor's father decides that she needs to endure the repercussions of her actions.
Therefore, Taylor gets expelled and ends up having to attend Hundred Oaks High School. Her lie causes a downward domino effect that ends up disrupting more than one aspect of her life. Along the way, Taylor gets close to her brother's best friend and long time crush Ezra Carmichael, who is dealing with his own secret, challenges, and stresses.
Defending Taylor was quite the page-turner! I was not surprised, as all of Ms. Keneally's books tend to hook me from the start, and captivate me until the very end. I loved Taylor's character. She was the typical teenager that stressed about making the wrong life decisions, and not succeeding in the way that her family expected. She took pills to help her get the energy she needed, so that she would not fall asleep when studying. Taylor took on way too much, and was so busy working hard, that her life was passing her by.
Ezra was a character that made her question what she really wanted in life, and I loved that about him. He supported Taylor, and just wanted her to be happy. Ezra was a sweet, sexy, and all around great guy, that was one of the catalysts for her character growth. I appreciated how Ms. Keneally addressed the issues of teenage stress, and pill use. I think this issue is very relevant in the present time. We see the way that teens are struggling with the need to be perfect and exceed expectations to get into college, and then score at the top of their class.
I give, Defending Taylor, by Miranda Keneally, 4 Taking the Fall, Growing Up, Sweet Romance, Taking Charge of One's Happiness Filled Stars!!! This was another great story in the Hundred Oaks Series, and I loved getting reacquainted with other characters from previous stories in the series! Especially, Jack Goodwin, from Racing Savannah!!! He gave Taylor some priceless advice. I can't wait to see whose story we get next! Keep them coming Ms. Keneally!!!
Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
Uninvited Fate, #7 by Elizabeth Reyes Release Date: May, 2016 Add to Goodreads Source: Author eARC received in exchange of honest review Synopsis:
When Aiyanna Casilieris becomes stranded in a snowed in mountain cabin, the last thing she imagined was that she'd be welcoming a wickedly sexy intruder to keep her company. But within days, she's invited him to do so much more.
First instincts are usually right.
Falling for someone on the rebound is never a good idea. But Nathan Romero has never been one to pass up a harmless and meaningless good time. Even when it turns out the sexy stranger he's stranded with is a lot more innocent than he imagined.
Even before they're rescued, he finds himself asking for more time with her once they're out of there. As their relationship back in the real world intensifies, nothing surprises Nathan anymore. Not how fast things move between them nor even their talk of moving in together.
Anything too good to be true . . . always is.
Surrounded by friends and family who are all for the relationship despite it moving at lightning speed, Nathan couldn't be surer that what he's feeling for Aiyanna is the real deal. Things between them couldn't be more perfect. Until the unspeakable happens.
Could their love survive the most brutal of betrayals, especially when there's no denying it? Or was their rapid but perfect relationship really too good to be true?
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Fate Series on Goodreads: Our Review of Breaking Brandon HERE Our Review of Suspicious Minds HERE Our Review of Again HERE Our Review of Rage HERE Our Review of His to Guard HERE
The Fate Series has been a romantic series all about serendipity, and finding the person you were destined to be with. For those romance readers that believe in soul mates, fate, and that there are no coincidences in life, you will love this series! Uninvited was a bit different than the other books in this series. There was more suspense, darkness, and plot twists at the end.
In this book of the Fate Series, we get Nathan Romero and Aiyanna "Anna" Casilieris' love story. Nathan is still getting over the fact that the girl he was interested in, Kelli, ended up engaged to and pregnant with his older brother, Isaiah's baby. Therefore, he decides to head to Aspen to spend the New Year away from his family, and with his buddies instead.
Anna was suppose to spend New Years in a romantic cabin with her new boyfriend Jace. However, right before things got serious between them, she found out that he had slept with his ex-girlfriend. Now, she is waiting on her best friend, Scott, to arrive and spend New Years at the cabin with her.
An unpredictable snowstorm of mega proportions lands Nathan and Anna together at the cabin. As they wait the snowstorm out, they both discover a connection with one another, that neither have ever experienced with any one else. However, Nathan makes it perfectly clear to Anna that he is not interested in a relationship. While both Nathan and Anna agree to a temporary fling until the storm clears, they both realize they want much more from one another.
However, Anna doesn't want Nathan to feel any pressure, and Nathan doesn't like the fact that Anna's best friend, is a male, and he is also one of her room mates. When the snowstorm clears and Nathan and Anna decide to take a chance on love, there will be challenges, dangers, and manipulations that neither of them could have seen coming. Will their relationship survive intact?
Uninvited got off to a slow start for me. However, once Nathan and Anna left the Cabin, the plot picked up. This story really kept me guessing. Both of Anna's roommates seemed peculiar, and I understood why Nathan was suspicious of Anna's friends. I myself wondered, are any of these roommates crazy or are they just odd? It was fun putting the pieces together and trying to figure out the plot of the story. There was a big mystery that I never saw coming, and it added an element of entertainment to Uninvited.
Together, Nathan and Anna's chemistry and physicality with each other sizzled, and continued to grow. It was obvious that there was a reason that things didn't work out between Nathan and Kelli, because the way that Nathan and Anna seamlessly connected, outshone anything that he'd every experienced with Kelli.
As per usual, one of my favorite aspects of the story was seeing all of the major and minor characters reunited. I love the Romero and Moreno families so much, and always feel like I am a part of their circle. The family continues to grow, and it's so special to me that I've got to experience every one of these characters lives from the very beginning.
I give, Uninvited, by Elizabeth Reyes, 4 Fateful Encounter, Serendipitous and Passionate Connection, Obsession, Crazy Plot Twist Filled Stars!!!
If there is one series that I absolutely love to revisit over and over again, it's the Fate Series by Elizabeth Reyes. The more books she adds to this series, the more her writing style captivates me. I'm a huge fan of this author and I have devoured every single book she has published. Uninvited was high on my list of most anticipated reads of 2016. Let me tell you that Elizabeth Reyes did a fantastic job with this book! It was so different from what she has written in the past. This book had twists and turns that left me speechless!
All the Romeros have stolen my heart and Nathan Romero is no exception! In this book, we get Nathan and Aiyanna's story. Nathan was introduced in the previous books of the Fate Series, but we really got to know him in His to Guard. I was really excited when the author announced that he was going to get his story next. My heart broke for him in His to Guard. I wanted him to find the perfect girl who would steal his heart.
One undeniable attraction that is simply too hot to resist.
The last thing Aiyanna Casilieris was expecting on her trip to Aspen was to meet Nathan Romero. She's taking this trip to forget about her boyfriend's betrayal. She just found out that he's been cheating on her with his ex-girlfriend. Because of a major snowstorm she's stranded in a cabin all alone. Until Nathan Romero shows up. She has mixed feelings about the sexy stranger that is stranded in the cabin with her. She feels a pull towards him that she can't deny, but he wants nothing to do with relationships. As Aiyanna and Nathan's time together at the cabin comes to an end, they both realize that they want to continue seeing each other. The real world is full of surprises for Aiyanna and Nathan. Their new relationship is about to get tested in the most unexpected way.
I was captivated by this book from beginning to end! From the moment that Aiyanna and Nathan met, sparks fly. The chemistry between these two was so hot that it could have melted all the snow outside of their cabin! I'm not a huge fan of insta-love. I like slow-building romance novels, but sometimes I fall in love with insta-love romance novels as well. And Uninvited was one of them. Aiyanna and Nathan only knew each other for a few days before things got serious between them. When a Romero falls for a girl, he makes sure everybody knows who she belongs to. Aiyanna was a sweet heroine that I loved to cheer for. I loved how Nathan took care of his girl and even if there was trouble in paradise, you could really see that his love for Aiyanna was strong and real. He's a dirty talking alpha male that you do not want to miss! The things he does and says to Aiyanna? *Fans Face*
Like always one of my favorite parts is the special appearances by previous characters. It's always a pleasure to reunite with all the Morenos and Romeros. They are a bunch of amazingly intoxicating characters that will keep you turning those pages! If you have not read the previous books in this series, you might get a few minor spoilers from the other books.
I highly recommend the entire series and trust me when I say that these books will make you feel all kinds of different emotions! These books have made me cry, left me livid a few times, made my heart burst with happiness and always left me with a smile on my face. Uninvited is a fantastic addition to the Fate Series and was filled with twist and turns. I did guess the major twist in this story, but it did not take anything away from my reading journey. Elizabeth Reyes writes some pretty awesome Epilogues. This one takes the cake with the twist that she added. I was like ''What in the freakin' world did just happen?!?!?'' Yup! That one was EPIC! Fantastic conclusion to the Fate Series!
I give, Uninvited, by Elizabeth Reyes, 4.5 passionate, thrilling, page-turning, captivating, be careful who you trust stars!
About Elizabeth Reyes
Award winning, USA Today Bestselling Author, Elizabeth Reyes continues to answer her calling on a daily basis. Since releasing her debut novel FOREVER MINE (MORENO BROTHERS #1) in 2010 she has since published seven more in that series, FOREVER YOURS, SWEET SOFIE, WHEN YOU WERE MINE, ALWAYS BEEN MINE, ROMERO, MAKING YOU MINE, and TANGLED with more stories about the Moreno family and their friends to come. She's also published a second series, 5th Street which includes, NOAH, GIO, HECTOR, ABEL. FELIX. Her Moreno Brother's spinoff series FATE includes FATE, BREAKING BRANDON, SUSPICIOUS MINDS and AGAIN (Sydney's story). Her debut traditionally published title is DESERT HEAT and her latest release is her first ever three part romance serial DEFINING LOVE.
When she's not writing (which is rare) she spends as much time as she can with her husband of almost twenty-one years, two young adult children, her Great Dane, Dexter and big fat lazy cat named Tyson.
Up in Flames Rosemary Beach #13 By: Abbi Glines Release Date: June 28, 2016 Publisher: Atria Books Add to Goodreads Source: eARC from publisher in exchange for a honest review GR's Summary:
The villain of Rosemary Beach finally gets her own happy ending in the long-awaited final novel of the #1 New York Times bestselling new adult romance series by Abbi Glines. The blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling Rosemary Beach series ends with a bang when the troubled character readers love to hate gets her very own happily ever after in this eagerly anticipated and overwhelmingly requested story. Known for causing problems for everyone in Rosemary Beach, Nan has been growing up lately, and she’s finally taking center stage—and finding love with the man she least expected.
I can't believe we finally got Nan's book! I have been following the Rosemary Beach Series from the very beginning, and could not stand the nasty, bitter, and manipulative Nan from the start! However, she has been such a significant character in this series all along, and I've wanted to get inside of her head. Let's just say her book was a page turner, and anything but vanilla, which is nothing less than I'd expect from a story about Nan.
In, Up in Flames, Nan is in over her head, but she doesn't know it! She got involved with a dangerous and powerful criminal, and now there are people that want information out of her, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of her connection to that criminal.
Enter Major, (Mase's Cousin.) He has been tasked with getting close to Nan, and collecting intel. His boss' right hand man, his co-conspirator, and the mastermind behind the tracking and surveillance is Cope Roth. Major is sleeping with Nan, and she is taken with his charm. However, she doesn't like the fact that he sleeps around, and doesn't make her his number one priority.
Consequently, Nan decides to leave Rosemary Beach and go to Las Vegas on a mini vacation, where she meets the sexy, masculine, dangerous, and very serious, Gannon. Nan shares an unbelievable connection with him, and likes his take charge, alpha male demeanor. Now, Major is pulling out all of the stops and trying to win Nan back. He realizes that he cares for her, and she was much more than an assignment to him. Who will Nan end up with?
Up in Flames was filled with lies, manipulation, conspiracy, danger, suspense, and seduction. We get another page turner from Ms. Glines, and fans of the Rosemary Beach Series will be very pleased! I enjoyed getting in to Nan's head. As I read her story, I started to like her. She was a very lonely, and heart-broken person, who had known nothing but rejection since she was a young girl. Rush, her brother, was her hero, and the only person that had ever showed her love and acceptance.
Nan grew on me, the further I got in to her story. She realized that she was not easy to like or even love, and was working on becoming a better person. We got to see sweet glances of Nan and her softer side, whenever she spent time with the nephew that she loved with all of her heart, Nate. I enjoyed the sensual and erotic relationship between Nan and Gannon. However, it was a bit dark and twisted, which gave me mixed feelings. It worked for Nan, so that's all that really matters.
It was great being reunited with a few characters of the Rosemary Beach Series. I especially enjoyed getting more Rush, Blaire, and little Nate. I saw how forgiving Blaire was to Nan, despite everything that she had done to her, and it made me love Blaire even more! She tried to make Nan feel welcomed, and like a part of the family. I have so much respect for Blaire's sweet and loving character. I cannot believe this is the final book in the Rosemary Beach Series! I am going to miss all of the characters so much, but am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Ms. Glines writing.
I give, Up in Flames, by Abbi Glines, 4.5 Secrets, Lies, and Manipulations, Dark Eroticism, Redemption & Healing, Falling In Love Filled Stars!!!
Abbi Glines is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Rosemary Beach, Field Party, Sea Breeze, Vincent Boys, and Existence series. A devoted book lover, Abbi lives with her family in Alabama. She maintains a Twitter addiction at @AbbiGlines and can also be found at Facebook.com/AbbiGlinesAuthor and AbbiGlines.com.
Nick Geary, jaded clan leader of human guardians, the Keepers, is doomed to love a human woman who’s forgotten him, time after time, for thirteen years: Libby Klink, a skittish accountant who’s as terrified of her recent and strange intuitions as she is of her mundane existence.
When Nick is ordered by the clan’s guiding force to seek Libby’s help in defending the clan against enemy Betrayers, romance sizzles as the pair forms an unlikely alliance in their desperate search to discover the key to the clan’s salvation—which Libby alone holds.
But a haunting secret could cost Nick everything, and in a race against time, both will be forced to choose between their hearts and duty. Can their love, and the clan survive, or will the very forces that drew them together ultimately destroy them?
The Keeper was a very unique read. The author introduces two worlds with one gal right in the middle. This story holds the classic good versus evil undertone. I wasn’t too sure about this book at first but the synopsis made me want to give it a shot. I did enjoy it…I had a somewhat difficult time connecting with the characters but I’ve had a full plate in my personal life so I can’t in good conscience dock the author for that. I’m going to have to hold to the classic it’s not you it’s me saying. I look forward to reading more from this author several of the minor characters really jumped out at me and I could see them possibly getting their own story.
The Story, Libby is a normal girl who’s life is about to get turned upside down. There is something very special and unique about her and the fate of everyone basically rests on her. One very normal and uneventful day something odd happens and she meets the man who is going to change everything. Libby is taken into a world she didn’t know existed. Keepers(Protectors) Watchers(Overseers assigning missions) and Betrayers(the bad stuff that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe). She has to train right away and stop all heck breaking free.
The Characters, Libby is not very special yet…She is actually pretty meh. Her entire life has lead her to this point once she starts to learn about the way things really are she begins to change. At first we see a girl who is afraid of everything but when she realizes her purpose her character really takes flight. She is bestowed with certain gifts that start taking root and she is completely transformed. By the end we have a fierce protector that although still flawed has a warrior’s heart. Nick, he is a Keeper and clan leader he steals Libby’s heart though he carries a lot of guilt he has always loved her and will stop at nothing to continue protecting her. These two were destined to be together and I was so happy to see them find their way.
The End, this is the first in a series but fear not folks there is no cliffhanger and we get a nice resolution. The end sets the story up for more to come and I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with. I would like to know more of the Watchers and the other realm because It was very interesting there are three main deities? Not sure what to call them but it seems they know all the nitty gritty and I want to be in on their secrets.
3.5 Dangerous threats, Challenge accepted, Good always triumphs over evil, Love filled stars!
Her index finger found the button and lowered the window a crack.
Immediately, he raised his hands. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m unarmed.”
Always good to hear. She cocked her head, perplexed. “Who are you?”
“Nick Geary.” Unsmiling, a muscle worked in his jaw. He held her hostage with his eyes. “We need to talk.”
Her heart tripped. No doubt about it. She’d never heard of any Nick Geary, never seen this man before in her life. Or had she? Why didn’t she know? Shouldn’t she? What could they possibly need to talk about? A new kind of panic engulfed her. She pounced on the button, closed the window, and laid on her horn.
Scowling, he mouthed some kind of oath.
The driver door swung open on the truck in front of her. A portly man with a bush of a gray beard got out, lumbered over. Squinted at her. “You okay?” he bellowed as he tugged a T-shirt sporting a Confederate flag over his girth. “This guy messin’ with you?”
Yeah, he was messing with her all right. Air. She needed air. She locked eyes with Nick. His were blue and crystalline, as placid as they’d been stormy. He reached around his neck to finger a shiny stone the green of spring grass, nestled under his collar on what appeared to be a thin leather strap.
It glowed with ember-like intensity. She watched, fascinated.
I-279 South, idling engines, the car radio somewhere behind her booming its bass—all of it receded like floodwater after a storm.
Libby stood on the porch of the cabin she and her father rented for a week every summer. He came around the corner, fairly glowing. Pink with health. Dad. He slung a fishing rod over his shoulder and winked. “Let’s go catch us a mess of crappies.” The creek, ten feet away, rushed over rocks and fallen trees, its path clear, sure. The sun warmed her face and the air soothed her. She breathed in the scent of earth, burgeoning with spring.
She blinked. Snippets of music and phone conversations littered the highway around her. Libby gaped, unable to speak, like she’d shot down a hill on a roller coaster and banked the curve of the next.
Nick said nothing, his eyes still locked on hers.
Ford Truck shot him a dirty look, then clambered over to her side of the car. “Lady, I said, you okay?” he yelled.
Shaking, she lowered her window, not sparing him a glance. “Yeah, yeah, I’m okay.”
Muttering something about the country going to hell in a handbasket, Ford Truck stomped back to his pickup and climbed inside.
Still staring at Nick, she clung fast to her resolve before it escaped her. Reaching across the seat, she yanked on the handle, and pushed open the passenger door.
About Rebecca E. Neely
A sucker for a happy ending, Rebecca writes the kind of stories she loves to read—those featuring authentic, edgy and vulnerable characters, smack dab in the middle of action that explodes from page one.
Raised on a down home blend of Johnny Cash, Jack London, Sherlock Holmes, the Steelers, and all things small town, Rebecca feels blessed to have grown up in a close knit, fun loving and artistic family. Her mother, a voracious reader and scratch cook, and her father, an entrepreneur, English teacher and lover of literature, taught Rebecca and her brother to work hard, aim for the stars, and live life.
With music, books and laughter as constant companions, she grew up working, cooking and eating in the family’s restaurant business. A certified book and hoagie junkie, Rebecca thrives on live music, mysteries and the outdoors.
She’s a cheddar enthusiast, lover of cats, teddy bears, hot coffee, cold beer, thunderstorms, the blast of a train’s whistle, the change of seasons, country roads, woodpeckers, spoon rings, cool office supplies, and the Food Network.
Careers, past and present, include freelance writing, accounting, mother, problem solver, doer and head bottle washer.
Rebecca is a member of the Three Rivers Romance Writers, a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and is honored to serve as a judge for several writing contests each year.