Sunday, July 28, 2013

Review: One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

One Week Girlfriend (Drew + Fable, #1)
Monica Murphy
January 10, 2013
155 pages (ebook)


That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…


I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.


Read an excerpt here:!one-week-girlfriend-excerpt/cjh1


I picked up this book because I was looking for a quick romantic story. I was not expecting the emotionally intense book that I got, but boy did I love every minute of it! My heart ached for the quiet and serious Drew - I just wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be okay. Which is probably why I loved Fable so much. She so deserved to have a chip on her shoulder, but instead of being stubborn and frustrating, she is caring and relentless in her patience with Drew. The only thing holding me back from a full 5 stars is that I just would have liked that satisfaction to see justice served in the end, but I'm hoping that might be coming in the next book, which I cannot wait to read!

One Week Girlfriend: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 3.5/5 stars

Monday, July 22, 2013

Release Day Giveaway Blitz!

Some of you probably already read my review of Escaping Reality - the debut New Adult Romance by one of my favorite authors, Lisa Renee Jones (if not, you can read it HERE). Needless to say, I loved it - and judging by the already looong list of rave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, so has everyone else!). To celebrate it's release TODAY, Lisa and a bunch of bloggers are having a ton of giveaways! You can win gift cards, books, bags, swag, and more! I've put together the list as sort of a Release Day Giveaway Hop (and put them in order by end date for those of you late to the party). Good luck - happy reading and happy hopping!


GIVEAWAY LIST (Sorted by CONTEST END DATE) 7/22/2013 - LRJ Fan Page Repost & Share -

7/23/2013 - The Revolving Bookcase - Signed IF I WERE YOU or Canvas Tote bag

7/25/2013-The Reading Cafe-TOTE BAG Release Day Giveaway Promotion
Book Addicts Not So Anonymous Tote bag

Miscellaneous Thoughts of a Bookaholic - Release day giveaway/Abbr. review

Interview and Giveaway with Lisa Renee Jones at The Reading Cafe:

Review: The Only Exception by Magan Vernon

The Only Exception
Magan Vernon
April 9, 2013
Beautifully Broken Books
272 pages


Fiercely liberal Monica Remy prefers to blend in. Despite her tattoos, piercings, and outspoken personality, she transferred to Central to escape—before she finds out that her next door neighbor is the uber conservative governor's son, Trey Chapman.

No matter how hard she tries to avoid Trey, he still finds a way to get under her skin. Monica can’t stand his crisp white shirts or his staunch views on women. But she can’t help counting every freckle on his face and wondering what it would feel like to have him stop talking politics and kiss her.

A class debate project forces the unlikely pair to work together, and the political lines are blurred in late-night make out sessions. But despite their fiery chemistry, Trey’s politics threatens to smother their relationship for good.


I have mixed feelings about this one. It just felt inconsistent to me. Well, other than the political theme that was brought up on every other page which became consistently annoying. The story actually started out refreshing because it's so rare to have real themes in romance novels - and I wouldn't have even minded the constant political debates, except they were really all about one issue. One issue that was repeated and repeated - what felt like 100 times. The inconsistencies came in the characters - both of whom I really liked, but one moment you have this uber-confident, bordering on harassing alpha male, and the next he's so wimpy, it seems like he's got a split personality. The chemistry between them was amazing, and I really wished the author focused more on that. Overall, I enjoyed the romance, but the rest of the book was so cliched and stereotypical, I was kind of happy it was over in the end.

The Only Exception: 3/5 stars
Cover: 3/5 stars

Note: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Review: Save the Date by Susan Hatler

Save the Date (Better Date than Never series, Book #4)
Susan Hatler
July 1, 2013
Hatco, Inc.
165 pages (ebook)


Kristen knows men hide things. Case in point, her last boyfriend turned out to be married. Just like anyone else, Kristen is devastated. However, since Kristen evaluates people for a living, her ex’s duplicity has her searching for a new career as well as swearing off men.

Touring history museums with her sexy friend Ethan doesn’t count, because he has a girlfriend, and has only shown friendly interest in Kristen. He even helps with her career counseling tasks. Although Kristen has a secret crush on Ethan, spending time with him is safe. Until she discovers he’s actually single. Gasp. And now he’s flirting with her, too.

Suddenly, Ethan is way too dangerous. Not to mention tempting. Sure, he seems like sixty shades of perfect, but how’s a girl with bad judgment supposed to detect what skeletons he has in his closet?


This was a short and sweet romantic novella. I don't know if it is because I haven't read the previous books and this was so short, but I just didn't connect to the characters. I found the heroine's lack of confidence to be annoying after the first few minutes, and her friends' misguided attempts to get her out of her funk were too pushy. The strong point of this book was Ethan. Besides being super-hot, he's also kind and very patient (way more than anyone in real life probably would be). It's too bad I didn't feel the chemistry between him and Kristen. I had read others' reviews which were more positive and wonder if reading the previous books in the series would help with the connection, but it didn't read well as a stand-alone.

Save the Date: 2.5/5 stars
Cover: 3.5/5 stars
Audience Rating: PG-13

Note: I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dual Review: Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout (writing as J. Lynn)

Jennifer L. Armentrout (writing as J. Lynn)
July 15, 2013
Spencer Hill Press (Contemporary imprint)
240 pages


For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.


Laura's Review:

What can I say? Put together one of my favorite writers, Jennifer L. Armentrout, and my newest favorite genre, New Adult, and how could I not be first in line to read it?? This was one of the first books I read after getting an ARC at BEA this year. I really feel like this is where Ms. Armentrout belongs. I love her YA stuff, but NA gives her just that little bit more freedom to let loose. And boy does she here. The story itself was a bit predictable, but the characters and the romance live up to the high expectations I have for any JLA book. A must read for fans of her or the NA genre.

Frigid: 3.5/5 stars
Cover: 3/5 stars


Tanya's  Review:                                                                                                                                
I started reading this one while waiting on lines at  BEA. I have loved Jennifer L. Armentrout's other books and when I found out she was dippig her toe into the New Adult genre, well I was down right giddy. As always Jennifer delivered. I think one of my favorite bits about Jennifer's stories is that the heroine always seems so relatable to me and that there always seems to be just a touch of humor in the story.  I enjoyed that the heroine is a bookworm, and love that it appears she is reading one of my favorite books on her kindle.  I found this to be a fast, fun and enjoyable read. If you are a fan of Jennifer, like I obviously am, this book is for you.

Frigid :   3.5/5  stars                                                                                                                             
Cover:  2.5/5 stars                                                                                                                             

Review and Giveaway: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones!

Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1)
Lisa Renee Jones
July 22, 2013 (expected)
Julie Patra Publishing
250 pages
Infinite possibilities….
Infinite passion…..
Infinite danger….

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

At the young age of eighteen, tragedy and a dark secret force Lara to flee all she has known and loves to start a new life. Now years later, with a new identity as Amy, she’s finally dared to believe she is forgotten–even if she cannot forget. But just when she lets down her guard down, the ghost’s of her past are quick to punish her, forcing her back on the run. 

On a plane, struggling to face the devastation of losing everything again and starting over, Amy meets Liam Stone, a darkly entrancing recluse billionaire, who is also a brilliant, and famous, prodigy architect. A man who knows what he wants and goes after it. And what he wants is Amy. Refusing to take “no” as an answer, he sweeps her into a passionate affair, pushing her to her erotic limits. He wants to possess her. He makes her want to be possessed. Liam demands everything from her, accepting nothing less. But what if she is too devastated by tragedy to know when he wants more than she should give? And what if there is more to Liam than meets the eyes?

The first book in a planned two book series, Escaping Reality is also Ms. Jones' debut in the trendy New Adult genre. And when she does something, she goes all in - as is clearly the case with this book. I devoured it from start to finish. It hooked me with the mysterious premise, and kept me reading with the tumultuous relationship between Amy and Liam. Liam, who fits right into the reclusive-billionaire-alpha-hotter-than-anyone-has-a-right-to-be role that seems to be a prerequisite if you're the lead in a New Adult Romance, is absolutely swoon-worthy, but unlike the often doormat-ish females of the genre, Amy stands her ground and goes toe-to-toe with Liam well. I am a sucker for romantic angst, and Escaping Reality has it in spades. And if the ending is any indication, book two (which thankfully we only have to wait a couple months for) is going to start with even more of it. Escaping Reality definitely raises more questions than it answers, which is a bit on the frustrating side, but the short wait between books, and the rumored possibility of a prequel novella is promising and quells more than a little of that frustration. I certainly will be first in line waiting for book two to see how this all ends. A wonderful New Adult debut that fans of the genre (or any romance for that matter) will adore.

Escaping Reality: 4.5/5 stars
Cover: 4.5/5 stars
Audience rating: R

For all you bloggers, booksellers and librarians - Escaping Reality is available to READ NOW on NetGalley for a limited time! I was lucky enough to get an extra special early look at this book, which resulted in a blurb on the cover, which of course, I am very excited about.

AND Ms. Jones is offering up a giveaway in anticipation of the book's release next week. You can win a signed copy of book one in the Inside Out Series: If I Were You OR a tote bag featuring Escaping Reality and book three, Revealing Us (if you already read If I Were You or just really love tote bags)! Just use the rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: The Night is Watching by Heather Graham

The Night is Watching (Krewe of Hunters, #9)Heather Graham
May 28, 2013
400 pages

The dead of night

The Old West town of Lily, Arizona, is home to the Gilded Lily, a former theater…and bawdy house. These days, it offers theatrical productions geared to tourists, but the recent discovery of a skull, a real skull, among the props and costumes shakes everyone up.

So, who do you call? The Krewe of Hunters, a special FBI unit of paranormal investigators. In this case, it's agent Jane Everett. Jane's also a talented artist who creates images of the dead as they once were. But the Krewe always works with local law enforcement, and here that means Sloan Trent, former Houston cop and now sheriff. His great-great-grandmother was an actress at the Gilded Lily and she's not resting in peace.

Then more remains appear in the nearby desert. As they search for answers, using all the skills at their disposal, Jane and Sloan find themselves falling into danger and into love.


I'm a big fan of Heather Graham's. I've read and enjoyed a couple of the other books in this Krewe of Hunters series, but this one was a disappointment. The mystery was a bit hard to follow, and not really suspenseful, and the romance was forced. It really felt like the hero/heroine were together because they just had nothing else to do. I felt no chemistry between them. The Old West/Ghost town imagery was nice and a refreshing change from most books I read, but most of the characters felt flat and cliched. I've read enough of Ms. Graham's other works to know this isn't the norm for her, so I'm willing to give her another try in the future. Unless you are a hard-core fan of Ms. Graham, I'd skip this one.

The Night is Watching: 2.5/5 stars
Cover: 3.5/5 stars