Friday, February 21, 2020

Stacking the Shelves & Sunday Post (60)

Hosted by:  Tynga's Reviews
Hosted by:  Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

We've been dealing with sore throats, and sinus infections over here.  This week I got a lot of reading done, and am excitedly waiting on a few books for tour reviews.  On Netflix, I binged on Love Is Blind.  I love reality television, and am eager to see which couples actually end up making it down the aisle.  I got happy mail this week with a finished copy of Undercover Bromance as well as more planner stickers from PB Taco on Etsy.  I just love her store!

On the Blog this Week:

Purchased:
Add to Goodreads

For Review:
Finished Copy-
Add to Goodreads

eARC-
Add to Goodreads


Thanks to Berkley Romance and Random House Books for Young Readers 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

I Hate You, Fuller James by Kelly Anne Blout


I Hate You, James Fuller
By: Kelly Anne Blout
Release Date: March 2, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Add to Goodreads
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

I hate you, Fuller James. 

I hate your floppy hair and your lopsided grin and those laughing blue eyes that always seem to be laughing at me. 

I hate that you’re the most popular guy in school and I’m still the girl who sneezed and spit out her retainer on someone at a middle school dance. It’s just such a cliché. 

I hate that I’m being forced to tutor you in English and keep it a secret from everyone. Because otherwise it might put our basketball team’s chances at winning State in jeopardy, and even though I hate you, I love basketball. 

I hate that it seems like you’re keeping a secret from me…and that the more time we spend together, the less I feel like I’m on solid ground. Because I’m starting to realize there’s so much more to you than meets the eye. Underneath it all, you’re real. 

But what I hate most is that I really don’t hate you at all. 


My Thoughts:


When I read the synopsis and saw the cute cover for I Hate You, Fuller James, I expected a fun, and cute story.  However, I got so much more!  I must admit that at the beginning of the story I didn't know if I would enjoy it, because James came across as immature for being a senior in high school, and it seemed like everything about him irritated Wren, even things that I thought weren't a big deal.  However, we quickly learn it's because these two have quite the history!

I'm happy to say, that the pages just flew by!  James was the captain of the basketball team and the most popular guy in his high school.  He was dating mean girl, Marissa, who was pretty, but extremely shallow, and a horrible bully!  Both of them consistently gave Wren a hard time at school.  James was more worried about his image and being popular than anything else.

I loved Wren.  She was sweet, intelligent, and dedicated to her family.  When James starts a food fight, Wren, who usually doesn't react to shenanigans, gets so angry that she throws food back.  As her punishment, she gets stuck tutoring James, because he is failing A.P. Literature, and needs to bring up his grade in order to play basketball. 

As Wren and James are forced to spend more time together, they get to know each other on a deeper level.  I connected to both of these characters emotionally, and found myself in love with their story.

Wren was extremely close to her grandfather, who had moved in with her family, because he was suffering from Alzheimers.  My heart broke for her, and I smiled at all of the heartwarming scenes with her and her grandfather.  This was extremely difficult for me read, because I've always shared a special bond with my grandparents, and lost my Nana a couple of years ago, and my grandpa has been really sick.

James was very close to his little brother, Hudson, who had brittle bone disease.  I loved his little bro, and their relationship was super sweet.  James matured, and underwent a lot of character growth, but I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, because of an unfortunate mistake that James made at the beginning of the story.

I Hate You, Fuller James, was a super fast, light, cute, and fun read!  It balanced out heavy topics, with lightness, humor, friendship, and first love.  This was a story that sucked me right in, and gave me great characters, and a real, relatable, and emotional reading experience.






About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author and Wattpad Star Kelly Anne Blount has more than seventy-three-thousand followers on social media. Her Wattpad stories have been read more than twenty-million times. She’s contributed to Tap, Wattpad’s new app for chat-style stories, where her work has been “tapped” more than fifty-million times. She is a writer and reviewer for SpoilerTV, which has allowed her to develop an incredible network of film and TV stars. 

Two of her Wattpad works, including Captured (seventeen-million reads), have been optioned for film by Komixx Entertainment, and she is regularly invited to present seminars about social media at author events. 

Stop by any of Kelly’s social-media platforms (@KellyAnneBlount) and stay tuned to this website for announcements and information about upcoming releases and events. ​ 

Kelly Anne Blount is represented by Jennifer Wills (jennifer@theseymouragency.com) and Nicole Resciniti (nicole@theseymouragency.com) of The Seymour Agency.





Blog Tour: Angry God (All Saints High #3) by L.J. Shen


“Once again, L.J. Shen has blown me away with a hauntingly beautiful, angst-driven, emotionally charged romance that will stay with me long after the last page. A must read for 2020.”
 --Siobhan Davis, USA Today bestselling author

Angry God, an all-new beautiful and dark new adult romance from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen, is available now!

Vaughn Spencer. 
They call him an angry god. 
To me, he is nothing but a heartless prince. 
His parents rule this town, its police, every citizen and boutique on Main Street. 
All I own is a nice, juicy grudge against him for that time he almost killed me. 
Between hooking up with a different girl every weekend, breaking hearts, noses and rules, Vaughn also finds the time to bully little ole’ me. 
I fight back, tooth and nail, never expecting him to chase me across the ocean after we graduate high school. 
But here he is, living with me in a dark, looming castle on the outskirts of London. 
A fellow intern. A prodigal sculptor. A bloody genius. 
They say this place is haunted, and it is. 
Carlisle Castle hides two of our most awful secrets. 
Vaughn thinks he can kill the ghosts of his past, but what he doesn’t know? It’s my heart he’s slaying.
Angry God is a stand-alone, DARK High School Romance. It deals with sensitive subjects some may find triggering.

Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/AGLJShen
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/38HbfWt
Amazon Audible: https://amzn.to/37x5edq


Add ANGRY GOD to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/35oUOMC

Book Excerpt:

“How good are you at keeping secrets, Lenora Astalis?” His voice wrapped around my neck like a noose. 
I wanted to cough. I needed to cough. He terrified me. I hated him with the heat and passion of a thousand blazing suns. He made me feel like a scaredy cat and a snitch. 
“Oh, yes. If you’re coward enough to pretend you’re asleep, you’re good enough to keep a secret. That’s the thing about you, Astalis. I can smash you into dust and watch your grains dance at my feet. My little circus monkey.” 
I might’ve hated Vaughn, but I hated myself more for not standing up to him. For not opening my eyes and spitting in his face. Clawing his unnaturally blue eyes out. Taunting him back for all the times he’d taunted all of us at Carlisle Prep.
“By the way, your eyelids are moving,” he said drily, chuckling. 
He straightened up, his finger making a brief stop at the base of my spine. He snapped his fingers, making a breaking sound, and I nearly jumped out of my skin, letting out a gasp. I squeezed my eyes tighter, still pretending to sleep.
He laughed. 
The bastard laughed. 
Was he sparing me for the time being? Was he going to check in on me from now on? Retaliate if I opened my mouth? He was so unpredictable. I wasn’t sure what my life would look like in the morning.

About LJ Shen:
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries. 

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.


Connect with L.J. Shen:
Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Book Review: Unforgiven (Loveless Texas #2) by Jay Crownover


Unforgiven
Loveless Texas #2
By: Jay Crownover
Published: February 25, 2020
Publisher: Forever Romance
Add to Goodreads
Source: eARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review
Book Summary:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men series comes an irresistible and suspenseful romance between a tough Texas Ranger and his first love--a woman in danger who insists she doesn't need his protection. 

Hill Gamble is a model lawman: cool and collected, with a confident swagger to boot. Too bad all that Texas charm hasn't gotten him anywhere in his personal life, especially since the only girl he ever loved has always been off-limits. 

But then Hill is assigned to investigate her father's mysterious death, and he's forced back to the town--and the woman--he left behind. 

When Hill left Loveless, he broke Kody Lawton's already battered heart. And now that he's working on her father's case, avoiding him is impossible. She can handle Hill and her unwanted feelings--until he puts his life on the line to protect her. Suddenly, Kody realizes that Hill could be taken away from her...for good.

Includes the bonus novella Cowboy to the Rescue by A.J. Pine!



My Thoughts:


Unforgiven is the first book that I've read in the Loveless Texas Series.  It has a heartbreaking and spellbinding prologue that reels you in to Hill Gamble and Kody Lawton's story.

These two have quite the past!  Kody's first love was Hill's younger brother, Aaron, who was a troubled soul with severe mental health problems. Kody had been drawn to Hill first, but she dismissed the idea of them together, because Kody and Aaron, who started out as best friends, were a lot more alike.  

Hill moved to get away from his dysfunctional family, but as he found himself getting closer to, and falling in love with Kody, he completely removed himself from her and his brother.  When tragedy struck, Kody never forgave Hill for what she construed as his abandonment of her and Aaron.

Now many years later, Hill is a Texas Ranger, and must deliver horrible news to the Lawton's; their father has been murdered.  Kody has always struggled with her emotions, and preferred to focus on her anger so that she can survive the tragedies that have occurred in her life.  However, with Hill in close proximity, and danger escalating as her father's killer is on the loose, walls will come down, and feelings will be revealed.  Will this be Kody and Hill's chance to have the love that they've secretly longed for from each other, or will the killer get to one of them first?

I loved Kody's sassy, spitfire, impulsive, and independent personality!  She was tough on the outside, but had a tender heart.  Hill was patient, kind, sexy, loyal, and gave everyone and everything his best.  I enjoyed getting both characters points of view.  I thought Kody was unfair to Hill at the beginning of the story, and it made me angry, but I understood it was a coping and defense mechanism.  

The first half of the story was a bit slow, because both characters were in their heads a lot, and not a whole lot was happening.  The second half of the story took off, as the suspense ramped up, and more began happening between Kody and Hill, as well as with the killer.

I enjoyed Kody's brothers Case and Crew, as well as their significant others, and would like to go back and read their stories.  This book can easily be read as a standalone, but I would love to learn more about the secondary characters, as well as the Lawton's upbringing.  The secondary character that shone through and really sparked my interest was MC Club President, "Shot," and I can't wait to get his story.  He's my favorite type of alpha bad boy, and it would be nice to see him fall in love and get his happily ever after.

If you enjoy romantic suspense, with a sexy and swoon-worthy cowboy, a fun and sassy female lead, as well as a lovable cast of secondary characters, check out Unforgiven!







About the Author:

Jay Crownover is the international and multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men Series, The Saints of Denver Series, The Point Series, Breaking Point Series, and the Getaway Series. Her books can be found translated in many different languages all around the world. She is a tattooed, crazy haired Colorado native who lives at the base of the Rockies with her awesome dogs. This is where she can frequently be found enjoying a cold beer and Taco Tuesdays. Jay is a self-declared music snob and outspoken book lover who is always looking for her next adventure, between the pages and on the road.


Blog Tour: What I Want You to See by Catherine Linka



What I Want You to See

By: 
Catherine Linka

Publisher:
Freeform

Published:
February 4, 2020

Add to:
Goodreads

Pages:
384

Format:
Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Source: 
ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review

Book Summary:

Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother and her home, Sabine longs for a place where she belongs.

But the cutthroat world of visual arts is nothing like what Sabine had imagined. Colin Krell, the renowned faculty member whom she had hoped would mentor her, seems to take merciless delight in tearing down her best work—and warns her that she’ll lose the merit-based award if she doesn’t improve.


Desperate and humiliated, Sabine doesn’t know where to turn. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who understands better than anyone the pressures of art school. He even helps Sabine get insight on Krell by showing her the modern master’s work in progress, a portrait that’s sold for a million dollars sight unseen.

Sabine is enthralled by the portrait; within those swirling, colorful layers of paint is the key to winning her inscrutable teacher’s approval. Krell did advise her to improve her craft by copying a painting she connects with . . . but what would he think of Sabine secretly painting her own version of his masterpiece? And what should she do when she accidentally becomes party to a crime so well -plotted that no one knows about it but her?



Complex and utterly original, What I Want You to See is a gripping tale of deception, attraction, and moral ambiguity.

"Linka delivers intrigue, betrayal, and a feast for art lovers."―Mary McCoy, author of Printz Honor Book I, Claudia

*"Clear-sighted and heartbreakingly true, this is a genuine portrait of a girl in quiet crisis learning to see things as they are."―Booklist (starred review) 


"Tense, smart, and engaging . . . What I Want You to See is a stunning portrait of deception, artfully peeling back layers of secrets to reveal a meticulously crafted crime."
Elle Cosimano, award-winning author of Nearly Gone


"A messy, heartbreaking and very real journey of learning to let others see who you truly are."―Carrie Arcos, author of the National Book Award Finalist Out of Reach 


"A stunning page-turner that will tear your heart and paste it back together."
Kim Purcell, author of This is Not A Love Letter and Trafficked


 


My Thoughts:

I love the beautiful and artistic cover on What I Want You to See. Once I read the synopsis, I was intrigued, and knew this was a book I wanted to read.  What I Want You to See was a super fast read.  The chapters are short, and the writing flows effortlessly.  I love how the author gave just enough description of the setting, characters, and plot, that I could easily visualize everything, without being bored or making the narrative drag.

The story is told from college art student Sabine Reyes' point of view.  She is in her first year of college and attending the California Institute for the Visual Arts, after being awarded the prestigious Zoich Scholarship. We get the present, as well as flashback's in to Sabine's past, through memories, and her reflection on sketches that she previously created.  We learn of her painful, sad, and heartbreaking past.

Sabine has high hopes of becoming a famous painter one day, and learning from the renowned Professor Collin Krell, who also happens to be the department head.  However, Sabine quickly realizes that she will not get what she had hoped for from her professor.  During group critique he constantly humiliates Sabine and puts down her paintings.  Then Sabine meets Adam, Master's candidate and work study grunt.  He offers her a solution to her struggle with Krell. Is this the answer to her problem?  Can she trust Adam, or is he not who he appears to be?

What I Want You to See had a very important theme in it about not just looking at the surface of things, but delving much deeper, and looking past anger, hurt, and fear. We see it when Professor Krell is trying to teach Sabine about art, as well as when it comes to looking at the people you meet.  Many times our perceptions are blurred when we just take things and people at face value. 

Art has always been a passion of mine, and I took three years of it in high school. So I was completely enraptured as Sabine learned about light, reflective surfaces, color, texture, negative space, etc.  I could easily visualize her pencil and pastel drawings, as well as her paintings. 

I enjoyed getting to know the secondary cast, and Sabine's friends, Taysha and Kevin were wonderful characters, but my favorite was Mrs. Mednimov, Sabine's sweet, generous, and nurturing landlady. These three made up a surrogate family/support system for Sabine, and I enjoyed her interactions with all of them.  There was a light romance in the story, but the focus was the art, the mystery behind Adam and what takes place in the plot, and the overall message. 

There were some serious topics addressed in the story, such as death of a loved one, homelessness and poverty, as well as depression and suicide.  If you are an art lover, enjoy a suspenseful little mystery, light romance, and a fast-paced story that will keep you eagerly turning pages, I suggest you check out, What I Want You to See by Catherine Linka.






Purchase At:



About the Author:

Catherine Linka has been immersed in books her whole life, most recently as a writer and bookseller. She’s the author of the young adult novel WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE as well as the dystopian duology A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONECatherine lives in Southern California and watches hawks and hummingbirds when she should be writing. 




Giveaway:


3 winners will win a signed finished copy of WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE, US Only.



Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/3/2020

2/4/2020

2/5/2020

2/6/2020

2/7/2020


Week Two:
2/10/2020

2/11/2020

2/12/2020

2/13/2020

2/14/2020


Week Three:
2/17/2020

2/18/2020

2/19/2020

2/20/2020

2/21/2020


Week Four:

2/24/2020

2/25/2020

2/26/2020

2/27/2020

2/28/2020


Blog Tour Hosted By:
http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/