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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher



Thirteen Reasons Why

By:
Jay Asher

Published:
Oct. 18, 2007

Publisher:
Razorbill

Source:
eBook Purchased via Amazon

Add to
Goodreads

GR's Summary:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. 

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


 

My Thoughts:


I have had the book, Thirteen Reasons Why, on my TBR for quite some time.  I clearly remember that there was a lot of positive hype surrounding this book after it was first published.  I will be attending the Ontario Teen Book Festival soon, and Jay Asher is one of the guest authors attending, so I wanted to familiarize myself with his books.  This gave me the perfect excuse to read a book that I have been longing to read for years.

Thirteen Reasons Why tells us the story behind Hannah Baker's choice to commit suicide.  Her death impacted many, especially Clay Jensen, the guy who had a huge crush on her.  A surprise delivery arrives for Clay, and he is in turmoil when he discovers that the box contains cassette tapes recorded by Hannah herself, explaining the thirteen reasons (which include thirteen people) why she decided to kill herself.  Clay is to listen to the tapes, and then pass them on to the next person on the list.  If at any time, someone on the list does not pass them on, there is a second set of tapes that will be revealed to everyone.

This story had a very unique format. We get Hannah's story told through cassette, and simultaneously, Clay's narrative is interwoven with hers.  Clay goes through many afflictive emotions as he listens to Hannah's tapes.  He feels guilt that he didn't give Hannah the help she needed, as well as anger and frustration towards the people and events that lead to her suicide.  I felt Clay's emotions right alongside him.  I could understand the way that he analyzed ever action and bit of dialogue between himself and Hannah, thinking of what he should have done differently.

Hannah as a character gave me mixed emotions.  At first it seemed that some of her reasons for committing suicide were trivial, and didn't make sense.  However, as the story went on, the author did an excellent job of showing readers how every event connected, had bigger consequences than could have been first predicted, and "snowballed." Hannah felt like she didn't have control over her life, and as each person she counted a friend betrayed her trust, she felt like she didn't have anyone to talk to, or even anyone that genuinely cared about her.

Thirteen Reasons Why sent a clear and powerful message.  Mr. Asher did an excellent job of creating an authentic female teenage voice.  He gave readers a lot to think about.  Information on the signs of a person being suicidal, such as a drastic change in appearance, giving away their belongings, etc. was invaluable.  He made me contemplate the fact that as human beings we have a huge impact on others, and sometimes we don't even realize it.  I felt like he was sending a message directly to readers.  We need to be aware of how our actions effect others, be on the lookout for suicidal behavior, and not give up on someone when they give us the brush off, because we might just be the one to save their lives.

My Rating:

I give, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, 4 Mysterious Cassette Tapes, Destructive Rumors, Anguish, Turmoil, You Can Make a Change Filled Stars! I am looking forward to reading more by Jay Asher, and recommend this book to parents of teenagers, teachers, school counselors, and high school students, to bring much needed awareness, prevention, and change to the current escalation of teenage bullying and suicide.






Book Teaser:


Purchase At:

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo



About Jay Asher:
Except for six months in Wyoming, I've lived my entire life in California. It was during those six months in Sheridan, Wyoming that I came up with the idea for Thirteen Reasons Why. I've worked at an independent bookstore, a chain bookstore, an outlet bookstore, and two public libraries. Before those jobs, I worked at a shoe store, a trophy shop, and an airline. My very first writing award earned me a free fruit smoothie every day for a year. I've won a lot of awards since then, but that one tasted the best!






Blog Tour & Giveaway : Temperature’s Rising


SWEET & SASSY 

If you want a sweet read for the holiday, then look no further than Royal Chase by Sariah Wilson. 

When PR agent Lemon Beauchamp gets her client Prince Dante of Monterra booked on a reality show, she never expects to find love. But when flirting turns to something more, they share their first kiss... 


Excerpt:


“What is that scent?” he asked. 

“Lemon sugar,” I said, my heart beating too quickly. 

“Sweet and tart, like you,” he said before he planted a soft kiss at the amazing spot where my neck met my shoulder, and the earth shifted on its axis. 

I decided it had been far too long since I’d last kissed somebody if this was how I was going to react. I also thought for a moment that I should stop him, but the only thing I said was, “My lip gloss is lemon-flavored, too.” 

Which was such a blatant invitation, and from the fire in his eyes and the seductive smile on his face, he knew it. 

“I do appreciate the commitment to your name.” He set down his drink and used his free hand to run his fingers up and down my arm, which gave me chills and hot flashes at the same time. 

“Well, not everyone gets to be named after a fruit. You have to have fun with it.” He pressed another kiss to my throat, and I closed my eyes as a tingling warmth spread slowly through my body. 


 Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/RoyalChase


A DELECTABLE ROMANCE 

For a savory reading treat, Recipe For Kisses by Michelle Major will hit the spot. 

Ben “the Beast” Haddox is a bad-boy chef returning to his hometown to open a new restaurant...the only problem is the sizzling Chloe Daniels. Refusing to give up her storefront--or to give into Ben’s charm--the two are at a standoff that simmers with attraction.


Excerpt:

“I want to kiss you,” he whispered, and his soft voice and the wicked intentions it carried made her ache for more. “But only if it’s what you want, too.” 

She swayed closer, caught in the intensity of his eyes. After her reaction to him reaching for her in the store and that first night when she’d maced him, he must understand that she wasn’t a good bet. “I don’t think I know how to be with someone like you. I like things ordered, soft and gentle.” 

“I can be gentle.” 

She almost laughed at that. “Right.” 

“Give me a chance to show you, Chloe.” He ran his hand along her arm, higher to her shoulder then to her neck. She knew he was giving her a chance to become accustomed to his touch and found herself melting because of the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. “Tell me you want this.” 

As his rough fingers caressed her jaw, she leaned forward with her heart beating double time and whispered, “Yes.” 


Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/recipeforkisses


OPPOSITES ATTRACT--AND ATTRACT--AND ATTRACT!

Kick up the heat with Jamie Beck’s Worth The Trouble. 

Sophisticated cover model Cat St. James could not be more different from rough-around-the-edges carpenter Hank Mitchell. But that doesn’t stop the irresistible pull these two feel for each other. 


Excerpt:

Her uncertain smile twisted him up inside as she reached one hand up and fingered the ends of his hair. “Kiss me goodnight.” 

All the blood drained from his head and raced to his crotch. The relentless throbbing between his legs urged him to comply despite his better judgment. Just a kiss. 

As if watching himself in a dream, he saw his fingers caress her cheek. She raised her chin and parted her lips, and he pressed his mouth against hers. He gave over to the moment, to taste her once more, to slip his tongue inside her mouth and tangle with hers. The faint taste of champagne and honey overwhelmed his senses as he grazed her lower lip with his teeth. Time slowed. Every part of his body came alive. She bulldozed her fingers through his hair while moaning, engulfing him in desire. 

“Like I remember,” she whispered against his skin. He’d been teetering on the verge of making a gigantic mistake, until her words summoned bitter reminders of the last time he fell for her games. Abruptly, he grabbed her wrists and pushed back. 

“Hank!” She fell back into her pillow. “Stay.” 


Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/WorthTheTrouble


SPOTLIGHT ON THE ACTION 

The bright lights of New York City have nothing on the dazzling attraction between set designer Simone Oliver and director Zach Hammond in Abigail Strom’s Nothing Like Love. 

This sexy British hero with a penchant for quoting Shakespeare and a romantic heart will have you as hot and bothered as the cynic heroine. 



Excerpt:

He spun them around so Simone’s back was against the wall. He put his hands under her arms and lifted her up, and when her legs went around his waist, he leaned in close. 

His erection was cradled against her center now, and they were face-to-face. His heart was pounding hard enough to shake him and he couldn’t seem to find his breath. 

But the only thing he wanted to breathe in was Simone. 

When he brought his mouth to hers it was like tasting sweetness and fire at the same time. Her arms were around him, her legs were around him, and her scent engulfed him in an erotic wave. 

His lips urged hers apart and his tongue slid inside. 

The hot silk of her mouth was like a drug. Her tongue found his and they stroked and tangled, a thousand strands of need and desire binding them together. 

His body throbbed against hers. If his lust drove them right through the brick wall and left the two of them lying in the rubble, he still wouldn’t be able to tear his mouth away. 


Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/NothingLikeLove


CHAMPAGNE WISHES AND BILLIONAIRE DREAMS 

If out-of-control desire is your reading #goal, then J.S. Scott is going to be your new BFF. The author has won readers over with her H-O-T Sinclair brothers, but the stakes are raised with oldest sibling Evan. 

He is arrogant, Alpha, and amazing, and schoolteacher Miranda Tyler finds herself saying yes...to everything he asks in The Billionaire’s Touch. 


Excerpt:

“Kiss me,” Evan demanded as he moved his hands down her back and cupped her jean-clad ass with both of his large, strong hands. His fingers gripped the flesh and pulled her molten core into his hard form. “You asked me not to kiss you, so you have to kiss me.” 

Randi’s willpower broke as she looked up and saw the longing in Evan’s eyes. It was an echo of exactly what she was feeling, and she could no more resist him than she could stop breathing. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she speared her hands into his coarse hair and yanked his mouth down to hers. She needed his touch more than she wanted to resist him, and as his lips collided with hers, Randi completely forgot why she was even trying to fight the urge to devour him. 

He sprang into action the moment she kissed him, taking control as he demanded her complete surrender. Tasting. Teasing. Commanding. Evan’s tongue swept into her mouth, wiping away every doubt she had as he conquered her mouth with his own, leaving her breathless and mindless as he finally surfaced, his teeth catching her bottom lip and nipping at the flesh as though he wanted to mark it. 

His lips were suddenly everywhere, and Randi’s hand left his hair and wrapped around his neck as she felt herself being lifted off her feet. She landed on something soft— she assumed it was the couch—but she wasn’t about to turn her head away from his mouth to look. She was too obsessed with the feel of his body against hers to give a crap what she’d landed on. 

For some unknown reason, she felt safe letting Evan take control of her body while it burned for his possession. She knew he was feeling the same insane desires that she was experiencing right now. 


Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/BillionairesTouch 


TRUE LUST LEADS TO TRUE LOVE 

Forget about a love triangle, let’s talk love “square”! 

Author Melissa Brown’s newest romance If You Can’t Take The Heat has three sexy men after the same woman. And while casting director Whitney Bartolina is usually decisive, the choice between THREE men proves to be too hot to handle. Read on to find out how this take-no-prisoners heroine deals with a hunky cowboy from Montana. 


Excerpt:

Still holding on to his collar, she threw her head back in frustration. “You’re trying to torture me, aren’t you?” 

Suddenly serious, Wes smoothed her hair down and rested his hands on her shoulders. “Not at all.” 

“Then what is it?” Didn’t he want her as badly as she wanted him? 

“Maybe I like keeping you in suspense.” 

She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I noticed.” 

“And it gives us something to look forward to”—he trapped his lower lip beneath his teeth—“next month in Los Angeles.”  

Whitney’s stomach did a gigantic flip-flop. “You’re gonna do it?” 

Wes nodded slowly. “I have to see you again. It’s not a choice. It has to happen.” 

He pressed his lips to the exposed skin of her neck, sucking gently as his fingers weaved through her hair. 

Pure. Torture. 

“My hotel isn’t far away. Pleee-eease reconsider.” 

Wes said nothing but continued to lick, kiss, and suck at her sensitive skin. She wanted nothing more than to pull him into his car and straddle him right that second, but maybe he was on to something in delaying their gratification. The anticipation of seeing him again, of waiting until the next time they could be intimate, was intoxicating in and of itself. 


Learn more here >> http://bit.ly/TakeTheHeat




Friday, February 12, 2016

Book Review: Demon Princess (Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales #1) by Kassandra Lynn





Demon Princess 

Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales Book One 
(Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales #1) 
by 
Kassandra Lynn 
Published December 22nd 2015 
By Author Self Pub 
ARC for Review 

Summary
With her father gone and her brother missing, Demon Princess Adriana has to assume the throne, temporarily becoming the Demon King. The procession is underway, and the princess is nervous yet determined … until the unthinkable happens and she is summoned! Somehow, Aldric, a mage-in-training has summoned the princess into the human kingdom. Now trapped, Adriana must hide her identity and escape before she loses her life in the hands of her mortal enemies.




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Hmm Not Sure Yet

Demon Princess was an interesting read that captured my attention throughout. It wasn’t my favorite and I’m a bit on the fence with regards to continuing this series. The author places our lead girl in a precarious situation. I didn’t really care for the “good” people…they all seemed pretty awful especially towards Adriana. There is no mention of a date but the landscape and wagons and shops made it seem pretty long ago. Also there is no technology but the dress style seemed pretty modern. Like I said things move along pretty steadily this read kept my attention but something about it I just didn’t particularly care for. Not to say it was bad but maybe not for me, everyone is different and this may be your next 5 star read it just wasn’t for me.

The Story, okay so Adriana is the Demon princess heading to the thrown with the absence of her father and brother she is the only one who can stand in their place until they return. I’m going to try and keep this review spoiler free as that is my customary way of reviewing. Do to reasons revealed mid way Adriana is summoned away from her kingdom. No one knows who or what she is and Adriana will do whatever it takes to make sure things stay this way. She is stuck by the side of an awful sniveling little troll ugh…I did not like that guy one bit. His cousin is the only person who shows Adriana any sort of kindness. So sad. Truly. There was a nice storyline about Savior Bloods, Warriors, Wisemans, and of course Demons. Everyone is at odds and always has been it seems that everyone has common ground when it comes to destroying demons. We get told about a few demon accounts that seemed truly horrifying, I did grow to care for Adriana even though all she wants to do is kill everyone.

The Characters, Adriana as I mentioned she wants to kill everyone and go home. I can’t blame her. She was torn away from everything she knows and the people who have always been her mortal enemies are absolutely vile. Adriana is a strong and determined character I really enjoyed the way she confronted her adversaries time and time again. One thing I really did not like is her situation. Her will is ripped away and the person in charge of it is a slimy worthless bug. There is one person who takes a liking to her and they will fall for each other even though Adriana knows they are doomed something about their connection is too strong to ignore. I don’t see how things will ever work out between them especially with the discovery Adriana makes at the end.

The End, there is no cliffhanger and our main girl achieves her goals. I felt like it was a good ending and something I can walk away from with closure. Though there are many, many unanswered questions I’m not sure if the curiosity is there to continue this series. I liked the characters okay but it seemed a bit too…oh I don’t know I can’t quite put my finger on it except to say why. Where are all the links and why were we not given more of a history. Although I’d like to know how it ends I don’t see myself rushing to the book store. If any of y’all know what happens tell me!!! LOL jk I’ll probably keep an eye out on all the installments and make my final decision later.

My Rating
3.0 Hall, Summon Beast, Cuts, Trash, Floor, Dragon, Shop, Starvation, Slavery, Dress, Wiseman, Wings, Quest, Spell, Staff, Prison, Truth, Escape, Desperation for Home filled stars!  






Purchase Through

Amazon






About The Author

 Kassandra Lynn is the author of Book of Immortals series and Demon Kingdom Fairy Tales series. Her favorite genres are fantasy and romance. She especially enjoys reading and writing about unique concepts, unpredictable plots, and protagonists who aren't the typical protagonists.

Visit her at www.kassandralynn.com














Song Release : Listen to Me (Fusion, #1) by Kristen Proby


Kristen Proby is known for writing heartfelt characters with deep connections and sizzling passion. This April, she will seduce readers’ senses with a brand new series, Fusion, from William Morrow Paperbacks, in which five best friends open a hot new restaurant together. Today, we are thrilled to bring you a song written exclusively for LISTEN TO ME, the first book in the Fusion Series releasing April 12, 2016. LISTEN TO ME finds a hot former rock star looking for a steady gig at the restaurant, but he’ll have to convince the prickly front-of-house manager to take a chance on him—with her business and her heart. Don’t miss what Kristen has to say about the beautiful ballad, If I Had Never Met You, and then grab your copy of the song and preorder the novel today!


  Listen to Me - song banner  

A Message from Kristen about If I Had Never Met You:  From the minute song writer Jake Keller lays eyes on Addison Wade, a tune sets up residence in his head. As he gets to know her, the tune becomes a song. Their song. Addie's song. The stakes are the highest they've ever been for him when he finally sings it to her, but will it be enough to keep her? ​ I can't thank Brad Yunek and Dan Keseloff enough for writing this beautiful song to accompany Jake and Addie's story. I hope you love it as much as I do! 
Kristen Proby - signature          

Listen to a sample of If I Had Never Met You here!


If I Had Never Met You is now available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon for just $.99!


    Listen to Me - cover

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Add to your Goodreads

About LISTEN TO ME: 

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart. Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy...exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need. 

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him. Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?



About Kristen Proby: 
Author Pic - Kristen Proby
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby is the author of the popular With Me in Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type—fiercely protective and a bit bossy—and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.      

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Book Review: Unruly (Knights in Black Leather #2) by Ronnie Douglas


Unruly
Knights in Black Leather #2

By:
Ronnie Douglas

Release Date:
Feb. 23, 2016

Publisher:
William Morrow PB

Source:
Finished Copy from publisher in exchange for a honest review

GR's Summary:

Nothing’s sexier than breaking all the rules . . . 

When the daughter of one of the Southern Wolves gets a flat in the middle of a thunderstorm, there’s only one thing to do—strip down to her underwear and get a little muddy. But when Alamo, the sexy biker shows up to rescue Ellen yet again, things are bound to get a whole lot dirtier. 


Between the trouble he left behind and club rules, Alamo knows he needs to stay clear of Ellen. He’s not looking for a woman or complications—even when that woman is everything a man could want. Unfortunately, Ellen isn’t playing by anyone’s rules but her own these days, and a Southern woman who’s been raised by Wolves is awfully hard to deny. 


So when they give in to their raging attraction, both get much more than they bargained for…. 




Knights in Black Leather Series:
My Review of Undaunted Here

*Add this Series to Goodreads Here

My Thoughts:


Unruly is the second book in the Knights in Black Leather Series.  However, it can be read as a standalone or out of order because the timeline in both books one and two run concurrently.  I enjoyed Unruly.  I liked the main characters, Ellen "Ellie" Gillham and Alejandro "Alamo" Diaz.  Ellie was a strong, sassy, brave, outspoken, and genuine woman.  She was a little rough around the edges and very blunt due to her upbringing in the Southern Wolves MC Club culture.  I liked her, as I got to know her in book one, but loved her by the time I finished her story.

Alamo was the strong silent type.  He was loyal to his MC brothers, as well as his younger sister, Zoe, whom he raised.  He was forced to relocate from North Carolina to another chapter of the Southern Wolves MC Club in Tennessee; due to getting himself caught up in serious trouble while defending his sister's best friend.  While in Tennessee, he meets the beautiful, intriguing, hot-tempered, Ellie, and would love the opportunity to get to know her.  

However, Noah "Dash" and Ellie's previous "friends with Benefits" arrangement, causes a problem for Alamo when Dash orders him (with the support of the MC Club) to stay away from Ellie.  It is obvious that Dash is not serious about Ellie, but doesn't want anyone else to have her either.  Alamo dislikes Dash, and is constantly tempted by Ellie, but doesn't want to cause problems with the club.  Ellie doesn't know that Alamo has been told to stay away, and doesn't understand why he keeps giving her mixed signals about his interest, when it's obvious that they share an electrifying connection.

While I enjoyed the main characters, and the beginning of the story immediately drew me in, the plot felt long and dragged.  The reason for this is because Ellie and Alamo spent most of the story yearning for one another. I love anticipation and the slow burn of passion, but felt that this story would have been better if more happened in the plot and between Alamo and Ellie a lot sooner in the story.  The end was great!  It was fast-paced, exciting, interesting, entertaining, and passionate.  I only wish that the middle of the story had more going on to move the plot along like both the beginning and the end did.

I hope Noah "Dash," and Zoe (Alamo's younger sister) get the next story.  Dash made me angry in this installment.  I didn't like the way he treated Ellie like a secret to be ashamed of.  He has commitment issues, and needs a strong woman to teach him respect.  Zoe, with her hot and passionate temper would be just the lady to do it!  Plus, it would make for some more drama and fun sparks between Dash and Alamo who already don't get along.  I just hope that the next installment has more activity, and plot-twists throughout the entire story. I would also like to see the main couple get together sooner.
My Rating:


I give, Unruly, by Ronnie Douglas, 3 Powerful Yearning, Anticipation Building, Falling in Love Filled Stars!







About Ronnie Douglas:

Ronnie Douglas is the writing name for a multiple New York Times bestselling author. Drawing on a lifetime love of romance novels and a few years running a biker bar, she decided to write what she knew—dangerous men with Harleys and tattoos. Her debut “Ronnie book” was indie-published as part of a series she created and wrote with friends in 2014.