Friday, May 31, 2013

Dual Review: Hopeless By Colleen Hoover

                                                             Colleen Hoover
                                                              May 7, 2013
                                                              Atria Books
                                                               406 pages

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

Tanya's Review: 
 This is my first Colleen Hoover book and WOW! I now understand what all the hype is about. I adored this book.I stayed up way later than I should have reading this book. In the beginning when I met the characters and how the story was going I thought I totally knew where it was heading, it was so obvious but I was wrong. This was a great emotional roller coaster and you think you know where the turn is and where it will head but so totally wrong. Sky and Dean are both greatly complex people and when you find out why each of them is they way they are its like they were so meant to be. I think Dean Holder is one of my new book boyfriends, he just made me weep. This was a wonderful book and I would totally recommend this book to all my friends, I actually made all the girls I work with read it(all of them read it in record time)and loved it just as much as I did. Kudos to you Mrs. Hoover I hope I will be reading lots & lots more of your books in the future.

Book:         4.5/5
Cover:         5/5


Laura's Review: 

I completely agree with Tanya on this one. I definitely think one of the measures of a book is how many hours of sleep are worth missing in order to read "just a little bit more." I, too, stayed up way past my bedtime to read this one. As flawed as Dean Holder is, he really couldn't be any more perfect. And he and Sky are just beautiful together. The "non-kissing" scene?? WOW. Hotter than some of the most detailed erotica I've ever read. One of my favorite books of the year - cannot wait to see what Ms. Hoover has in store for us next!

Hopeless: 4.5/5
Cover: 5/5

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: Surrender Your Love by J.C Reed

                                                      Surrender Your Love
                                                             J. C Reed
                                                         March 15, 2013
                                                        e-book, 324 pgs
Meeting Jett was like lightning. Dangerous. Better left untouched. And better forgotten. But lightning always strikes twice.

Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, doesn’t do relationships. When she’s sent to a remote estate to finalize a real estate deal, she discovers her new boss is no other than the guy she left naked in bed.

Sexy, dangerously handsome, and arrogant Jett Mayfield attracts trouble, and women, like a lightning rod. But the night he meets Brooke he gets more than he bargained for. The green-eyed millionaire playboy isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and he isn’t about to start now.

When he proposes two months of no strings sex, Brooke is intrigued and accepts his proposal. Little does she know Jett’s determined to claim the one woman he can’t have, pulling her deeper into his dangerous world.

A man who doesn't take 'no' for an answer.
A woman afraid to surrender to love.
Two lives that are about to cross...and secrets laid bare.

        I liked this book more than I thought I was going to. This is the author's first book and it was more than I expected. I have been getting a tad bit bored with all the books about millionaires/billionaires sweeping a young woman off her feet...blah blah blah, but this one had just enough mystery that it definitely stands out from the rest. I was kinda bored at the beginning, not sure how it was gonna go but about 1/4 of the way in it grabbed me and I knew I was liking this book. Brooke not one for relationships, has casual bedroom friend, nothing serious, she does not want to get hurt. Jett, definitely a man who gets what it wants and he wants Brooke. He scares her in a great way and he melts her walls down with some smoking hot love. But hey we can't have a fairly tale ending that easily can we? The author left me wanting more, silly cliffhanger endings. Lots of questions about Jett's past and how Brooke is going to handle all the information she receives at the end of the book. I enjoyed this one and I am eagerly awaiting book 2, I need to have answers.

Book:                3.5/5
Cover:                4/5   (Definitely on sexy cover, love the boots) 


****Received a copy of this e-book from author for a fair/honest review 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: BOOKS!

With BookExpo America starting today, what else could this week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes theme be, but BOOKS!

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it.”
― Oscar Wilde

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
― Anna Quindlen

“What she was finding also was how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren't long enough for the reading she wanted to do.”
― Alan Bennett, The Uncommon Reader

“Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.”
― Jeanette Winterson

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
― Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel

Monday, May 27, 2013

Triple Review: Assassins Series by Toni Aleo

Assassins Series, books 1, 2, 3
Toni Aleo
All three re-released together by Loveswept April 23, 2013

Taking Shots (Assassins #1): 

Elli Fisher has never thought she was good enough, let it be her job, her weight, her love life, nothing. That is until she meets Shea Adler. After doing a promotional shoot for the NHL team, the Assassins, she meets the hunky hockey player who shoots a puck, shattering her world.
Shea Adler was tired of the life he was living outside of the rink. The girls, the money blowing, the drinking, everything had to stop and it all did when he met Eleanor Fisher. He had never met anyone like her. She was feisty, witty, shy, and simply gorgeous. When he laid eyes on her, it was as if he was taking the hardest hit of his life into the boards, and he had to have her. Elli is a little skeptical of Shea, but he knows that they were meant to be together, and he needed her in his life.
Can Elli throw her insecurities out the window and love Shea with everything inside of her, or will she let a past relationship, and her family ruin any chance of her being happy.

Trying to Score (Assassins #2)

Fallon Parker’s dream has always been to turn her family’s wine company into a runaway success and eventually start a cellar of her own. Since graduating from college, she has worked relentlessly to make that dream a reality, especially after taking a chance on love—and losing. By the time Fallon becomes an official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, she feels like all her hard work is finally paying off. And then the man who broke her heart skates back into her life.

On the ice, Lucas Brooks is the NHL’s leading scorer—at least when he’s not in the box. Off the ice, he’s a mess, with all his anger and misery bottled up inside. He threw away the most important person in his life and has regretted it ever since. But when Lucas returns to Nashville in a trade, he’s determined to convince Fallon that he’s a changed man. The attraction is still there. The tension is electrifying. But the odds are stacked against them—especially after Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a devastating secret.

Empty Net (Assassins #3)

Audrey Parker was in a horrible place.
She hated her job, her sister was getting married and moving out, but worst of all, she was in love with a total jerk. No matter what she did, every guy she met hurt her. All she wanted was her happily ever after. Her Prince Charming. Her Lucas Brooks! She didn’t know how to change her life but she knew she needed too.
Feeling like she was about to hit rock bottom, Audrey wakes up next to Tate Odder.

Tate Odder had lost everything.
After being brought up from the Assassins’ farm team, the Florida Rays to the Nashville Assassins, Tate hopes he’ll forget everything he has lost. He doesn’t. Each day gets harder to live in a place he doesn’t know. Even being the first rookie goalie to shut out an opposing team three times during the Lord Stanley Cup Finals, he still felt empty. With the loss of his parents and sister still heavy on his heart, Tate isn’t sure how to live like everything is okay.

But when he wakes up beside Audrey Parker, things start to change. She turns his life upside down with her kooky sense of humor and her bright clothing. She is intelligent and beautiful, and for once, he doesn’t feel empty.



I'm reviewing these books together because I read them all in a row - but they really are stand alone books with a few common characters and one common theme: Hockey. I think of all the sports-themed romances, hockey is my favorite. There's just something so manly about it - you can't help but think "alpha-male" when you think of a hockey-player.

In Taking Shots, we are introduced to the Assassins hockey team and its captain Shea Adler. He immediately falls for Elli, the team photographer, but she is reluctant to start anything with him due to past insecurities. Both of them have issues and it just made them feel more real - not overly perfect, but still super-sexy despite their flaws. The overbearing and manipulative family became a little too much to take, but luckily they really aren't in the book all that much. I enjoyed this book so much, I was so happy to have the next in the series to read right away.

 So - maybe my expectations were a bit high after loving the first one so much, but I was disappointed with #2 in the series, Trying to Score. I found Lucas to be too cocky, Fallon to be too stubborn, the secondary characters were flat, and the story was way too long. I'm usually a big fan of the "secret baby" romance trope - but I don't like it when it is deliberately kept a secret and a child grows up without a parent because of another parent being spiteful - which is exactly what this felt like.I lost respect immediately for Fallon for hiding it and then for Lucas for being with her again (as it almost always ends up in romance novels). However, Ms. Aleo's solid writing redeemed what could have been a train wreck - the characters, despite being unlikable to me, felt real and compelled me to finish.

I wasn't thrown off by not enjoying #2 - I took a short break to cleanse my literary palate - and then moved right into #3 - Empty Net. And was so happy I gave the Assassins another shot.
How cute was this story? In a sea of older man-younger woman romance novels, it was so refreshing to read one that switched that up. Once again, Ms. Aleo writes honest, flawed characters that just come alive right off the page - but where in book 2 they frustrated me to the point of unlikability, the insecurities of both Audrey and Tate just made them more endearing to me. I found their trepidation tip-toeing through the early stages of romance to be heart-warming and I just wanted to hug them both. #1 is still my favorite of the series (all of which can be read as stand-alones), but this one is a close second.

Taking Shots - 4/5 stars
Trying to Score - 2.5/5 stars
Empty Net- 3.5/5 stars. 

Covers- 4/5 stars

Note - I received a copies of these books from the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Science!

Although most of the books I read are romance or YA fiction, every so often I still go back to my educational roots and pick up a non-fiction science book. I am sad I never got the chance to meet my hero Carl Sagan before he died, but I am super-excited to get to meet Richard Dawkins at this year's BEA, and another hero, Bertrand Russell's birthday was this past week. So, in honor of them, and all the other great thinkers out there who make science readable to the masses, this week's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes is all about SCIENCE!

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” 
― Carl Sagan

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” 
― Bertrand Russell

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” 
― Bertrand Russell

“In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” 
― Bertrand Russell

“I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.” 
― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

“In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.” 
― Carl Sagan

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” 
― Isaac Asimov

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” 
― Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sinful Sirens Giveaway Hop!

We're happy to be participating in this year's Sinful Sirens Giveaway Hop hosted by Under the Covers & Guilty Pleasures!  We're giving away the winner's choice of a book from our list of books that came to mind first when we thought "Sinful Sirens." It's open internationally as long as the book ships from The Book Depository or you choose an ebook. Check out our list of "sinful" books and be sure to stop by all the other blogs in the hop!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Top Ten Helpful BEA Tips for Beginners

It's almost here! In just a few short weeks, Book Expo America will officially begin - and thousands of bibliophiles such as ourselves here at The Revolving Bookcase will be in book heaven. But, along with the sheer joy that comes from being surrounded by books for 3 days, there are also moments of frustration, anxiety, stress, exhaustion and pain that go along with it too. This will be our fourth year going, and in those years we've gotten pretty good at making the most of our days there. Here is our Top Ten List of helpful tips for BEA Beginners:

1. Wear comfortable shoes  - This is probably the #1 tip I see from people about BEA. There's a reason for this. You are standing for 7 or 8 hours in row while carrying VERY heavy books. By the end of the day, your shoulders, neck, back, legs, and feet will be killing you. They still will be killing you if you are wearing sensible shoes, but maybe they'll recover by the next morning to do it all over again.

2. Plan ahead, but go with the flow too - Our first year going, we didn't plan much other than to look at the list and say "oh, look at all the great books and authors!" Did we have a great time? Of course! But, we also learned our lesson after missing out on a bunch of great books. Now, I start checking the website about 3 months in advance for any little bit of information available so I can start my schedule planning. By the time we arrive at BEA, I have a color-coded schedule in my hand with nearly every minute planned out. I never get everything on my list, and that's okay, but I now feel like I've made the most of it all. (As an aside, this year seems to be especially frustrating in terms of planning - if you haven't gotten a copy of the full list that's available currently, send me an email and I'll try to get you a copy of the spreadsheet with both the in-booth and autographing area signings - courtesy of my sister, who might just be the most organized librarian ever, and that's saying something).

3. Bring snacks - The Javits food is mediocre-at-best and way overpriced. Plus, you have to go to a different level to get it - which takes time away from the BOOKS! We now pack some snacks like a PB&J, granola bars, fruit, trail mix, etc... along with a water bottle and maybe a juice box or two. We can snack on those while waiting in line or find a rare seat at the edge of the exhibit floor and get recharged and ready for the rest of the day. Saves time and money!

4. Arrive early - The big galley drops seem to be first thing in the am. Some of the booths will hand out totes then too. And the lines for the first signings start forming as soon as those doors open. They will put out the daily magazine before the doors open, so you can grab a copy and read (which sometimes is the only way to know about a recent add-on or schedule change - that's how we found out Jimmy Fallon would be there two years ago) while you wait for the frenzy to begin!

5. Bring business cards - It's a great way to network, enter contests, or give a publisher your address for that book you just have to have but they ran out of 5 minutes ago.

6. Have a back-up plan - So, you planned to text your friend when you are ready to meet up for lunch or you saved your only schedule on the BEA mobile app...and then your phone dies. I feel like I've lost a limb if I don't have my phone, so after it running out of battery power 3 hours in the first year, I've since brought backup. There are some nifty little portable battery chargers available for pretty much any type of phone or device. I have one for my phone/nook/kindle, and another for my iPad/iPod (yes, I'm a device-hoarder). I charge them the night before, and then when my phone starts dying, I plug it in and it charges while I go about my business. They have different sizes and charging capacities, but this is similar to the one that I have and when fully-charged it will charge my phone (a droid razr) about one and a half times.

7. Bring a rolling suitcase - and then check it in the coat/bag check area when you first get in. When you find your shoulders and back just can't take any more weight or you have 10 minutes before the next signing, you go back to the checking station and unload all your goodies, and you're ready for round two! Plus, it makes it much easier to take back to the hotel or your car when it's on wheels.

8. Interact - You will be standing on lines for the majority of the time you are there. It goes much faster if you have people to talk to - and if you make friends, they might just hold your spot for you while you run to the bathroom or go grab a book in a nearby galley drop.

9. Don't take it all too seriously. Of course this means have fun, but it also means, don't let people who grab two copies of a book or who cut in line or push you without apologizing ruin your day. There are going to be rude, cranky people - all you can do is try not to be one of them!

10. If at all possible, take the next day off - Your sore muscles won't want to move and you'll want the time to read all the great books you just got!

Feel free to comment with any questions and say hi if you see us there! Can't wait! 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Brenda Novak's Auction for the Cure!

Brenda Novak's Annual Online Auction for diabetes research is live! They have amassed over 1500 amazing items - books, gift baskets, gift cards, ereaders, vacations, jewelry, and so much more!!
All the proceeds go to diabetic research. DRI, the research facility that gets the money, will be bringing their new Biohub into human trials by the end of the year and this could be the cure so many people have been hoping/praying for.  Never has it felt this close. A cure would benefit more than 350 million people worldwide.

Last year, over $300,000 was raised to bring the total to over $1.6 million! Let's help to get that number even higher this year! 

Click HERE to start your bidding and help this great cause!! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes: Romance!

Today, The Revolving Bookcase is lucky enough to be featured on Author Lisa Renee Jones' blog as part of her "Blogger Appreciation Month." So, in honor of that and the amazing romances Lisa writes, today's Wednesday's Words & Quippish Quotes will be all about ROMANCE. Enjoy!


“I heard what you said. I’m not the silly romantic you think. I don’t want the heavens or the shooting stars. I don’t want gemstones or gold. I have those things already. I want…a steady hand. A kind soul. I want to fall asleep, and wake, knowing my heart is safe. I want to love, and be loved.” 
― Shana Abe

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” 
― Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays

“Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.” 

― Janet Evanovich

“Sometimes when I'm alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena.” 

― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

“Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Perhaps I've spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high.” 
― E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

“There is no pretending," Jace said with absolute clarity. "I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I'll love you then.” 
― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

"Romance is everything." 
 - Gertrude Stein

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dual Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Walking Disaster 
(Beautiful, #2)
Jamie McGuire
April 2, 2013
Atria Books
433 pages

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

Beauitful Disaster not only was one of my favorite books that I read last year, but it's definitely one of my favorite romance novels of all time. When I heard Jamie McGuire was retelling it from Travis' POV, I had a rare fangirl moment and counted down the days until its release - buying it at midnight of the big day so I could start reading ASAP. I imagined staying up all night reading until the wee hours of the morning. Well, I did start at midnight, read about 30 pages and then.....was bored. I was shocked! I mean, I read Beautiful Disaster in a day and then again at least 5 (ok, it might be closer to 10) times, and I think I loved it more every time! And Travis is my favorite part of BD, and Walking Disaster is just BD with more Travis, so how on Earth did Walking Disaster go wrong for me?? I've thought about this for a while now, and this is what I've concluded - Ms. McGuire did such an amazing job bringing Travis to life the first time around, that even though we couldn't read his mind exactly, we still knew what he was thinking. Reading BD, he was real. All his emotions, all his longing, all his heartbreak. So, there was nothing new here. At least not for me. Did I love Travis and Abby just as much from this perspective? Absolutely. Was the story still amazing as a stand alone? Definitely. I just never felt as immersed in the story and nothing compelled me to keep reading. It actually took me 3 weeks to finish it because I kept picking up other books in between reading it.

If I read this book without having read Beautiful Disaster first, I'd probably give it 4/5 stars, but as that wasn't the case:

Walking Disaster: 3/5 Stars. 
Cover: 5/5 Stars

I totally agree with my co-blogger on this. I adored Beautiful Disaster, made everyone in my office read it, anoyone that asked for a great read I said, Beautiful Disaster. Travis Maddox had me swooning like a teenager. I counted down the days until Walking Disaster and was very excited to read it. When I started it I had such anticiaption to see the world from Travis's eyes and some of my favorite scenes from Beautiful Disaster did not even make it into this re-telling, like when he first sets eyes on Abby at the fight. I don't know what it is exactly, whether it be I had such high hopes for this story, if I just can't connect from a male POV or if since I already knew the story I wasn't as engrossed or anxious  to see how it ended. I will say that I loved the fact that we got an epiloge and got to see a glimpse into their future, that was my favorite part. I enjoyed this book but Beautiful Disaster is still my hands down favorite.

Walking Disaster:         3.5/5 stars                                                      
               Cover:        5/5 stars