Friday, August 31, 2012

Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

Tammara Webber
May 24, 2012
304 pages


A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.



I LOVED this book - start to finish.

 It was as the title says, "Easy." Easy to read, easy to like. Don't get me wrong, it has more than it's share of drama, action, romance, etc... there was just something so effortless in the way that Tammara Webber writes, it flows so easily, I didn't want to ever stop reading it. I read it in just over a day - even sneaking a chapter or two in at work. Lucas is as perfect a hero as you can get. He's tortured and flawed, but has such a kind soul, it's impossible not to fall in love with him (and swoon more than a little bit). I dare any straight female to read this and not want him as her boyfriend. I know I did. And our heroine, Jacqueline, is great too. In the opening of the book, we see her nearly get raped, yet she doesn't become a victim. She stands up for herself, takes self-defense classes and becomes literally a kick-ass heroine. Loved her nearly as much as Lucas. I highly recommend this for any YA/Romance fans. I'm going right now to pick up her other three novels!

Easy: 5/5 stars
Cover: 4.5/5 stars
Audience rating: Mature PG-13 (sexual situations, mature content, language, violence)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bonus If I Were You ecopy Giveaway!

As a special Labor Day weekend bonus, we are doing another giveaway of an ecopy of If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones! We just liked it that much and think everyone should have a chance to read it (see our dual review here). This is a two day only contest - the winner will be chosen and notified on Sunday, September 1st! This contest is open internationally.

Also, be sure to enter all the wonderful contests Lisa is throwing on her website - multiple gift cards and books, including one for $200, are up for grabs - enter here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Labor Day

Happy Labor Day! 

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
― Confucius

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”
― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

“I like to call in sick to work at places where I’ve never held a job. Then when the manager tells me I don’t work there, I tell them I’d like to. But not today, as I’m sick.”
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not for Sale

“Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so?
There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.”
― Drew Carey

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
---Thomas A. Edison

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Midnight Sins by Lora Leigh

                                                          Midnight Sins
                                                            Lora Leigh
                                                         August 2, 2011
                                                 St. Martin's Paperbacks
                                                           389 pages

His name is Rafer Callahan. He was a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who fought through life the only way he knew how: with his fists. But Rafer never meant to bring any harm to Cambria Flannigan, the girl—the lover—whose sister he’d been unable to save…
Cami lost her sister in the brutal murders that rocked her hometown so many years ago. Some still believe that Rafe, along with his friends Logan and Crowe, were involved. But how could Rafe—who haunted her girlish dreams, then her adult fantasies—be a killer? That is the question that keeps her up at night.
Now a prosperous ranch owner, Rafe is trying to build a new legacy for himself. It’s finally time to settle the score with Cami—and make her his. But old wounds open up with a series of new murders…and each of the victims has a connection to Rafe, Logan, and Crowe. With suspicion, fear, and loyalty tearing her apart, Cami is once again at risk of losing her heart—or her life

      It pains me to say this but I have found a Lora Leigh book that I do not absolutely love. It took a while but this is the first book that I have read by Lora that I have not truly enjoyed every minute of it. It is the first in a series so you get a lot of back story, and I felt like you heard about it every chapter. It seemed like all there was in the book  was telling of back story, sex, more people talking about the history of the town and the three men (Rafe, Logan and Crowe) then more sex. I feel like this story is similar to Lora Leigh's Nauti series, where there are cousins that are outcasts of the town and there is a deep dark family secret. I enjoyed the Nauti series much more. On the plus side I did enjoy Rafe, he was a strong alpha male, just the way I like them. Cami I felt sorry for her, she has had a rough life but I wanted her to grow a backbone a little sooner than she did. As this is the first in the series I am hoping that the next book will be a little better as I do tend to like the second books in series more than the first. If you are a first time reader of Lora Leigh I suggest starting with one of her other series as this one I am sorry to say is not her best work. 

Midnight Sins:          2.5/5  stars
Cover:                     3/5     stars
Audience rating:         R  (explicit sexual content, language) 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Pushing the Limits

Pushing the Limits
Katie McGarry
July 31, 2012
Harlequin Teen
384 pages
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


I have had this book sitting on my shelf for almost 2 months and it just wasn't calling out to me. Then I started reading all the excellent reviews it was getting, so decided to give it a shot. I got about halfway into this book when I started wondering if I was reading the same book as all those people out there who loved it. Then I kept waiting for it to pull me in. It never did.

It took me a loooong time to get through this book. It was just so heavy, I didn't enjoy immersing myself in it. I'd read 2-3 chapters and then stop, when many times I'll read half a book before I want to stop. It wasn't bad by any means. I liked the realistic nature of the plot, and the fact that the characters had real (but not by any means ordinary) problems. The writing was technically good, it was well edited, I just didn't find myself caring all that much. I never felt connected to any of the characters,and the romance aspect was just missing something. The character I liked the most was Echo's dead older brother who is only mentioned in the past tense. The structure of the book with the constant POV changes between Noah and Echo made things worse - I would start to get involved in the book and then a new chapter would start and I'd have to pull away to figure out who I was hearing from. More than once, I actually found myself having to go back to the first page of the chapter so I could remember who's POV I was reading. It became very distracting. It felt like a very well-written after school special to me. I can see it winning all sorts of school and teacher awards for it's theme and messages, but nothing the romance-lover in me would swoon over.

Pushing the Limits:  3/5 stars.
Cover: 4/5 stars
Audience Rating: PG-13 (mild language, violence, mentions of sex and drugs)

I received a copy of this from the publisher at BEA 2012 in exchange for an honest review.

****I am giving away my review copy, which is a paperback ARC from BEA, signed by the author and includes a pretty satin bookmark (Sorry, US Only)! Enter using the rafflecopter below and good luck!***************

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, August 24, 2012

Double Review: Storm & Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm, Book 1 The Elemental Series
Brigid Kemmerer
April 24, 2012
Kensington, 353 pages

Synopsis: Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys - all the ones she doesn't want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They're powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life's at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who's hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming.


Book 1: Storm Review: I don't know why, but I didn't start reading this book with high expectations. I certainly wasn't expecting to like this book nearly as much as I did. It was great! Simply blew me away. Complex characters, tons of romance and action, along with normal teenage angst and drama, all despite having such a non-normal premise. A premise I loved, by the way - the use of the elements and nature is something I really hadn't read before. It was almost as if Brigid Kemmerer has built another world right here within our world itself. Although a little predictable - I figured out the "twist" less than halfway through- I still found it very exciting and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish. The only criticism I really have is that there is a lot packed into this book: numerous featured characters, lots of prior events and past characters referenced -  it sometimes got a bit muddled and confusing, but really just a bit. I'm going to go back and read the prequel novella Elemental in the hopes that there is a bit more clarification on all that.


Spark: Book 2 The Elemental Series
Brigid Kemmerer
August 28, 2012
432 pages

Synopsis:       Gabriel Merrick plays with fire. Literally.

Sometimes he can even control it. And sometimes he can’t. Like the fire that killed his parents.

Gabriel has always had his brothers to rely on, especially his twin, Nick. But when an arsonist starts wreaking havoc on their town, all the signs point to Gabriel. Only he’s not doing it.

More than Gabriel’s pride is at stake -- this could cost him his family, maybe his life. And no one seems to hear him. Except a shy sophomore named Layne, a brainiac who dresses in turtlenecks and jeans and keeps him totally off balance. Layne understands family problems, and she understands secrets. She has a few of her own.

Gabriel can’t let her guess about his brothers, about his abilities, about the danger that’s right at his heels. But there are some risks he can’t help taking.

The fuse is lit…


Book 2 Spark Review: I had mixed feelings about this book - I really enjoyed the premise and was very excited to be reading a new Merrick brother's story. The idea of a super-ability to communicate with the elements is such an interesting thing to read and has so many possibilities. This is where Brigid Kemmerer excels - she is such a great developer of character and story-weaver. But, there were a lot of things that kept me from all out loving this book as much as I loved Storm. I liked the character of Gabriel a lot, but felt it took him a bit too long to stop throwing himself a pity party and pushing everyone who loves him away. There was so much hatred and negativity in this book. I know it's been over decade since I've been in high school, but I have a hard time believing all that goes on in this school. Yes, kids will get picked on because they are different or nerdy or smart, but the frequency of it, including sexual assault we are led to believe goes on, I just don't think is realistic (or at least I hope it isn't!!). I also don't believe that the jocks would be so incredibly cruel to a deaf student, especially one who excels in sports. In my high school (which was fairly big), I actually think a lot of the special ed kids were treated better than some of the "normal kids." I may be remembering things with less than 20/20 vision, but still... I don't enjoy reading stories with that much hate in them, even if the "good guys" triumph in the end. However, I really enjoyed Layne and Gabriel's interactions and how she made him that much lighter in spirit.  And can I just say how much I already am in love with Nick, Gabriel's twin. Cannot wait for his story, which I hear is going to be a novella, but I'd love for him to get a full-length novel! 

Overall, LOVED book 1 and think book 2 is worth reading, if not just for the continuation of a great and unique plot, but also for the glimpses we get to see of some great characters who will hopefully have their stories told soon. 

Storm (Book 1): 4.5/5 Stars
Spark (Book 2): 3.5/5 Stars
Covers: 4/5 Stars

Audience Rating: PG-13 (Violence, language, sexual situations)

Note: I received a copy of Spark from the publisher for review purposes. This in no way affected my review's content. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Friendship

It's Friendship Week!

 I must say I have been truly blessed throughout my life to be able to call some of the best people I've ever known my friends. This Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes is for them and for all the great friends out there.

“Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. 
Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. 
Just walk beside me and be my friend.” 
― Albert Camus

“Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a best friend.” 
― Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You

“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.
Even longer,' Pooh answered.” 
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“The best mirror is an old friend.” 
― George Herbert

"A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”
  - John Leonard 

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What, you too? I thought I was the only one.” 
― C.S. Lewis

“Why did you do all this for me?" he asked.
 "I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.'
You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte.
 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” 
― E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Monday, August 20, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaways: Author Lisa Renee Jones

We are so pleased to have author Lisa Renee Jones visiting our blog today to discuss her newest novel, If I Were You, which officially comes out this week on the 24th, but is already available to order on Amazon! Both of us have read it and loved it (read our dual review here)! Lisa has some fun prizes to give away and additionally The Revolving Bookcase will be giving away one print and one ecopy of If I Were You as well! So, there will be 5 winners total! Be sure to enter by commenting and using the rafflecopter at the end of this post (Sorry, this giveaway is US only).


Welcome to The Revolving Bookcase, Lisa! 

Thank you so much Laura & Tanya for having me today to talk about IF I WERE YOU, the first book in my INSIDE OUT trilogy. IF I WERE YOU has been a long time coming. It was a story I thought of and started plotting many years ago. My fiancee had been buying and selling storage units, and he’d found a journal he began to read. It was a  soap opera on paper and he couldn’t put it down. It was then that he began to urge me to write a story about a journal found in a storage unit that was both sexy and mysterious. He loves thrillers and so do I.

This story took years to come to publication. Once my fiancee started bugging me about writing it, I didn’t start out excited. Over time though, little ideas came to me and I jotted down notes. DH kept pushing and that really is something I thank him for now. Finally, I wrote the story but I wrote it to the formula my agent wanted me to. It made it all the way to committee at a big publisher and the line it was going to be for was cut right at that point. I was devastated because it took a year for that to happen. In that year, the line was cut. However, I’d been bugged by the story being in third person. It didn’t feel right. Six months later, DH kept hounding me and I pulled it out again and started writing in first person. The story came to life. I was so glad it didn’t sell because it wasn’t special in the way it felt special when I started writing the first person version. The very fact that I was nervous writing it and even showing it to my proofers told me it was different than anything else I’d done. And it is. These characters and their stories really speak to me and I hope they will to the readers as well!


He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

You can read the entire first chapter HERE

Today I have prizes!
  • A $10 Amazon gift card
  • A Rose Yankee candle -- from the story!
  • A copy of my September Blaze Follow My Lead

Also there is still time for the release contest!

Want to win? Just comment for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Want to win $75? I draw every week on Saturday through August 24th. Every time IF I WERE YOU hits 100 new bookshelves I draw for $75. If it hits 500 new shelves that week I draw for $75 5 times. You can win more than once.

The details are here:

I look forward to your comments!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dual Review: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You (Book #1 of Inside Out Trilogy)
Lisa Renee Jones
August 24, 2012
330 pages (paperback)
How it began…

One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expires.

Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.

The dark, passion it becomes…

Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, all of which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.

All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.


Laura's Review:

After being teased by the first chapter a month or two ago, I was extremely excited and anxious to finally be able to read this book. I was not disappointed at all! Author Lisa Renee Jones has managed to create a book that is not only a well written and engaging story, but does double duty as a super-hot and sexy romance novel as well. A great feat indeed! It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of her previous work, but If I Were You is, by far, my favorite of hers to date. I just loved it! From page one, it grabs your attention with an interesting and suspenseful storyline and in-your-face sexuality. I could not put it down! I was vacationing in Ireland when I read it, and I found myself wanting to stay in bed and read instead of going out to sight see. It's been compared to Fifty Shades of Grey with good reason - damaged and super-possessive male introduces (somewhat) innocent female into a whole new world beyond her imagination. He's super possessive and super protective (swoon!) and the sex is oh-so-very hot, and I have the feeling it's just going to get hotter in the upcoming books. For those tentative readers who are shying away from the BDSM books, this one would be a good one to start with because it's introduced and discussed without being overly graphic (yet?). I loved the mystery aspect and storage wars theme, and I learned a little about both art and wine while reading it - what more could you ask for in a book?! After having only read book one of a planned trilogy, I already can tell I'm going to like this series even more than the Fifty Shades one. I cannot wait for book two!

If I Were You: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 4/5 stars
Audience Rating: R (explicit sexual content)

Tanya's Review:       
This is the first & only book I have read by Lisa Renee Jones and I need to remedy that fast.  This book had me from page one and I had a hard time putting this one down. Everything about this book made me want more. Every page I read I had more questions. What happened to the woman who wrote the journals? Who was the man in the journals that could make a woman do such things? Where can I find these men? Who  can you trust? I love a good mystery and when you mix in some smoking hot love scenes I am all for it. I felt that there really was not that much BDSM in this book, just a slight mention of it but I have a feeling we will be seeing some more of it in the next books. I enjoyed watching this somewhat shy woman go after her dreams and into this very different world than her ordinary teachers life. Our heroine has some choices to make and I am unsure of who she should trust as there are two very dominant powerful men that are having an interesting power struggle over her. I can not wait for book two in this series as when this one ended I was in shock and I really wanted just maybe another chapter to answer some of my questions.This is one read I am definitely telling fans of Fifty to read. 

  If I Were You :    4/5 stars                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
 Cover:      4/5 stars                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ~~~~~Tanya~~~~~                               

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Review: Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell

Seducing Cinderella (Fighting for Love #1)
Gina L. Maxwell
July 20, 2012
Entangled Publishing: Brazen
177 pages, ebook

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds him himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.

There's a reason this book is now on the NYT bestseller list. I really enjoyed it. It felt more "Ugly Duckling" than "Cinderella" to me, but either way I liked the premise, even though it hit on a bunch of cliched romance themes - big brother complex, athlete, good girl/bad guy, therapist/patient, in addition to the fairy tale ones I already mentioned. Now, "ugly duckling" stories can get annoying to me since the heroine usually has incredibly crappy self-esteem, but this one hit all the right notes despite that. And boy, Gina Maxwell can write some steamy scenes! We're talking off the charts chemistry here! She's also great at character development and description. I really felt like I could picture our heroes exactly as she intended, and that by the end of the book, I knew them.

Overall, despite a few overdone themes, it was well written and a quick read - highly recommend it for any romance novel fans. I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Seducing Cinderella: 4/5 stars
Cover: 4/5 stars

Audience Rating: R (descriptive sex scenes) 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sizzling Books of Summer Giveaway Hop!

We here at The Revolving Bookcase are happy to be participating in the Sizzling Books of Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by My Secret Romance Book Reviews. As you can guess from the title, this hop is all about hot summer books and chilling summer drinks. So, for our giveaway, we chose a book that is not only sizzling, but also is all about America's favorite summer pastime, baseball: Jaci Burton's Changing the Game. Read Tanya's review here. (if you've already read it, you can choose any book under $12 from Barnes & Noble or The Book Depostitory). This giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to your country. Be sure to stop by  all the blogs on the hop for more great giveaways!  

After you read it and get all steamed up, you can cool down with a refreshing Aguas Frescas drink. 

Photograph by Sam Kaplan from

Blend 5 cups of any chopped fruit (we used strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, watermelon and mango) with 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Add more sugar and/or lime juice to taste and serve over ice. 

To make it alcoholic, add a shot of either tequila or rum - I recommend Malibu Pineapple Rum. 
(recipe from 

Good Luck & Enjoy! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart by Amy Andrews

How To Mend A Broken Heart
Amy Andrews
September 1, 2012


The Doctor Dries Her Tears

Facing her estranged husband, Fletcher, was always going to be heartbreaking for nurse Tessa King. Especially as Fletcher has one last favor to ask—with his mother critically ill, he needs Tessa to pretend tragedy never tore their marriage apart. Impossible when your husband is the one man it hurts your heart to touch…but the one man you can't resist…



I think this book should really be called "How to Mend a Broken Heart If You Are Willing to Wait 10 Years and Be Around Someone Sad ALL THE TIME." Seriously. When I pick up a series romance, I want a quick, lighthearted get-away-from-it all read. This book was so sad and heavy, it was a bit draining to get through. I don't mind some tragedy in a book, but for it to be the only topic in the book - mentioned on every other page, it is just too much. And not what I want in a romance novel. I just felt sorry for both protagonists and never fully related to them as a hero/heroine. I did enjoy the romance in this book, which was nice - very sweet and touching. It had very likable characters that have been dealt a crappy hand in life, but there's only so much of another person's tragedy you can read and still find yourself enjoying the book.

How to Mend a Broken Heart: 2.5/5 stars.
Cover: 3/5 Stars
Audience rating: PG-13 (mild sexual situations, adult themes)

Review: Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe (Crooked Creek Ranch 1)

                                                       Can't Buy Me Love
                                                           Molly O'Keefe
                                                           June 26, 2012
                                                   Random House Publishing
                                                             368 pages
  A girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Tara Jean Sweet knows that opportunity will never knock; she’ll have to seize it. Elderly Texas rancher Lyle Baker has a dying request: He will give Tara Jean a stake in his leather business in exchange for a little family subterfuge. All Tara Jean has to do is play the part of a gold-digging fiancĂ©e to lure Lyle’s estranged children home. The mission is soon accomplished.

Now Lyle’s gone—and his ridiculously handsome son, Luc, an ice hockey superstar sidelined by injuries, is the new owner of Crooked Creek ranch. He’s also Tara Jean’s boss. But being so close to sinfully sweet Tara Jean does crazy things to Luc’s priorities, like make him want to pry her deepest secrets from those irresistible lips. But when Tara Jean’s past demands a dirty showdown, will Luc stay and fight?

       I thought this book was ok. I have been noticing a lot lately that many of books I have been reading are the first in a series and I just don't seem to warm up to them as much as the next few books in the series. The story I thought was a good premise, an old man dying and wanting to get his family back together one last time so he could see them. His children hated him and we get glimpses of why that came to be. Everyone in the book seemed so angry and messed up. I guess I just didn't really love anyone in the story. There were a few people introduced in this first story as secondary characters and I was more interested in them. The next book in the series, Can't Hurry Love, came out last week and I am hoping to get a better story as the hero in this story is one of the secondary characters we met in this first book. Overall I thought it was a decent book and I am willing to keep reading the series. 

Can't Buy Me Love:    2.5/3      stars
Cover:                          4/5        stars


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dual Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx (Book #2 Lux Series)
Jennifer L. Armentrout
August 14, 2012
Entangled Teen
366 pages

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Laura's Review: 

I didn't think it was possible for Jennifer L. Armentrout to write a book that was more swoon-worthy than Obsidian. It is one of my favorite books I've read so far this year (see my review here). But, clearly, she was up to the challenge set forth by legions of Daemon fans, because, OMG, Onyx isn't just as good, it makes Obsidian look pale and bland in comparison! 

Onyx opens exactly where we left off in Obsidian: Katy is feeling the effects of the mega-healing Daemon did to her, and the bond that formed between them as a result. Daemon's hot-cold fluctuations are in full-force hot mode, and I dare anyone to not fall in love with this new sweeter man. Katy does her best to resist, sure that what Daemon is not real, and that he's blinded by the power of their connection. I loved watching Daemon do his best to convince her otherwise!

And while he's trying to do that, a new complication enters: Blake. New boy to town, who instantly bonds with Katy because she can relate all too well to being the new kid. She's torn between what she feels (but trying not to feel) for Daemon and the desire to have a relationship with someone "normal." 

All that love-triangle, teenage drama would have made Onyx a wonderful romance novel all by itself, but we haven't even gotten to the really good stuff! We knew the Arum wouldn't be gone for long, but there's a second threat to the Luxen and their human friends: the Department of Defense has arrived. And the ensuing conflict and action is intense. So intense, I read the last 200 pages straight through, staying up half the night to finish!

I don't think I could love this book any more. I just cannot wait to see what Ms. Armentrout has in store for book three! 

Onyx: 5/5 BIG Stars
Cover: 4/5 (I still think the cover model looks WAY too old and sophisticated for our little Kat...but Daemon...yum!) 
Audience rating: PG-13 (adult situations, language, violence)

Tanya's Review:                                                                                                                              
 I just adored this book and liked it even more than Obsidian. I read it in one day, was up until 1:40 am( I had to be to work at 8am) because I needed to know what would happen. I adore the banter between Daemon and Katy and now that there is a new guy in town, to see how Daemon deals with jealousy, just wow. I really think I am too old to swoon but Daemon for you, I swoon. The story picks up right where Obsidian left off and if you thought the Arum were problems wait til you see all the new people coming to town. The story was great, has it all. Action, mystery, several swoon worthy moments. Ah, Jennifer Armentrout I tip my hat to you, you are a must read and I really need the next book now!

Oynx:    5/5 stars                                                                                                                             
Cover:  5/5 (I love her covers, the colors, Daemon..swoon)                                                   


**Be sure to enter our 500 Follower Giveaway for a chance to win your own copy!**



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Renegade Passion by Lisa Renee Jones

Renegade Passion (A Zodius Novel)
Lisa Renee Jones
May 17, 2012

Sonia' a gifted physic who finds herself seeing visions of the many women who have started disappearing around Vegas. Visions that have now put her on the radar of Adam Rain, a soldier who was part of an experiment that made him a super solider, powerful and dangerous. Adam wants to control the city. He wants to control her.

Kel is also one of those super soldiers, a part of the unit called the Renegades who fight to protect humanity. A soldier who once planned to call Sonia his wife, until an Area 51 experiment changed his life, his future, Sonia's future. But now she is in danger, and nothing, and no one, is going to hurt her. She is his passion, his desire, his heart.

The man she believes is dead.


This book is a bonus novella to the Zodius series. The action takes place between Sterling and Damion's stories (books 2 and 3), but it isn't necessary that you read any of them prior to this one.

Kel is a GTECH "super soldier" - one of many military men experimentally injected with alien DNA to gain superhuman strength and other powers. He gives up the love of his life, Sonia, in an effort to protect her from the dangers of this new association. When her own gift puts her on the radar of some dangerous people, he comes back into her life to protect her.

Protecting seems to be what the Renegade men do best. But that and their superpowers are not all they seem to have in common - they are all super hot too (and why wouldn't they be!). The pages practically sizzle whenever one of them walks into a room! The love and passion Kel and Sonia felt for each other never went away and their chemistry is re-ignited immediately. The heartache they both felt previously is tangible and I found myself rooting for them both right from the beginning.

I haven't read book 1 or 2 in this series yet, but there is enough background information given that I never felt lost. If anything, I felt like the background almost took up too much of this short book, but the story of GTECH is so unique, you can see how that would be necessary. Based on the little bit I've seen of the other renegade men (and their women - who are all heroes in their own right too), I can't wait to read their own stories!

This novella is a super quick read, but it still packs in all the love, passion, action, and excitement you'd find in a longer novel. A must read for any fan of the other books in this Zodius series or any other romantic suspense!

Renegade Passion: 4.5/5 stars

**** FOR 2 DAYS ONLY - Renegade Passion is FREE on - Click Here to get your copy!****
*****August 9-10th only!****

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: The Simple Things

This week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes is all about the simple things in life in honor of National Simplify Your Life Week. So, take the time to stop and smell the roses and enjoy! 

 "The human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten - the simplest things." 
-  Dr. Malcolm Sayer, Awakenings

* * * * * * * * * 

“The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.” 
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

* * * * * * * * *

“The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” 
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

                                                                     * * * * * * * * *

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.” 
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

* * * * * * * * * 

“I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

* * * * * * * * *

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” 
― John Grogan, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard

                                                        Gabriel's Inferno
                                                       Sylvain Reynard
                                                      Omnific Publishing
                                                            April 2011
                                                            506 pages
Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide. An intriguing and sinful exploration of seduction, forbidden love and redemption, "Gabriel's Inferno" is a captivating and wildly passionate tale of one man's escape from his own personal hell as he tries to earn the impossible...forgiveness and love.

  Talk about angst, forbidden love and a tortured character. The story is of Gabriel and his student Julianne. Gabriel is a lost and tortured man, well in the beginning I found him to be an arrogant a** hole to be quite frank.As you read you find out exactly what happened to Gabriel to make him the way he is and how he hopes/thinks that Julianne is his angel.  Julianne is a poor grad student and has a huge crush on Professor Gabriel. She can not remember a time when she did not adore him. Gabriel can not even remember ever meeting Julianne and really treats her terribly. As the story unfolds you learn of each of their pasts and how they intersected one day and how this love story began. It is wonderfully written and I read it in 2 days. I was up until almost 2am when I had to be to work the next day. I love when a book just captures you and you can not stop reading. This is another book that apparently started out as Twilight Fan Fiction and has recently been sold to Penguin's Berkley imprint (article).  I guess I need to start looking for the twilight fan fiction pages as they are hot right now. If you are looking for another great read, along the lines of Fifty Shades but not nearly as much sex, this is a book for you to try. I am looking forward to reading the next book in their story as I need to know how their forbidden love works out. 

Gabriel's Inferno:   4.5/5  stars
Cover:                   3/5    stars
Audience Rating:      R    (adult situations, sex)