Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Please Don't Tell
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Debut author Laura Tims writes an intense and utterly gripping contemporary YA tale perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars. Joy has done everything to protect her twin sister...including murder.

Joy killed Adam Gordon for what he did to her sister, Grace. At least, that’s what she thinks happened. Now Adam can’t hurt anyone ever again, and her sister can be free from the boy who harmed her.

But someone else knows what Joy did, and they’re going to out her as a cold-blooded killer if she doesn’t expose the scandalous secrets bubbling just below the surface of her mundane town. As the demands escalate, and she finds herself falling for Adam’s half brother, Joy must figure out the blackmailer’s identity before everything spirals out of control.

Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Please Don't Tell “It must have been me. Whether I was sober enough to remember it or not.”

This was a YA story about a set of twins, and a dead guy.

Joy came across as pretty messed up in this story, but she was fiercely loyal to her sister, and it seemed like she really believed that she would go as far as murder to protect her.

The storyline in this was about this guy called Adam dying, and Joy worrying that she was the one who killed him, especially due to the blackmail notes that she kept receiving ordering her to do something or the police would find out that she killed Adam. The pace in this was pretty slow though, and I felt like I spent most of the book just waiting to find out what really happened, and why Grace had such a problem with Adam anyway.

The ending to this was okay, but overall the book dragged for me.

6 out of 10

Play Your Heart Out by Crystal Kaswell - Book Blitz + #Giveaway

Play Your Heart Out
Crystal Kaswell
(Sinful Serenade #4)
Publication date: May 24th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

He parties like a rockstar. She’s there to make sure no one finds out…
Jess James has her eye on the prize. She is finding the money to pay for law school. Period. She is starting a new life on her own. Period. And she’s absolutely staying in Los Angeles, three thousand miles away from the people who expect her to lie for them. It doesn’t matter how lonely she gets on her own, how exhausted she is from working overtime as a cocktail waitress, or how deep the knife wound in her back cuts. She is going to be a lawyer, whatever it takes.
Only she doesn’t have what it takes. She can barely afford to pay her rent.
Sinful Serenade bassist Pete Steele has enough to pay Jess’s rent and buy her a small island in the Caribbean. The famous, talented rock star has everything… except the one thing his manager wants. Pete rose to fame as a devoted boyfriend. Doesn’t matter that his ex slept with his best friend, he needs to stop screwing his way through Los Angeles to keep his reputation clean. Pete works hard, and parties harder… and the sweet, blond waitress is exactly the girl he needs on his arm if he wants to keep the record company happy.
Their arrangement is simple: he pays her tuition, she plays his girlfriend. They’ll lie to the world, but not to each other. Especially not when they’re alone, in his bed, him figuring out exactly which buttons to push to get her moaning his name.
Jess is good at keeping up appearances. She can play the enigmatic rock star’s girlfriend. But Pete shouldn’t play games with a girl who’s been broken before…
Previous books in the series: 26014662 27847598 28599719
My eyes find Pete’s. There’s an earnestness to his expression. I feel like I can trust him. Like I can talk to him.
That might be worth lying to everyone else.
His hand slides under my skirt. My thoughts fade away. My shoulders and back relax. I want to feel the way I did at the park, like there’s nothing in the world but the two of us.
Sex first. Decision second.
I lean in to whisper. “Do we have to stay to talk?”
“Have to clear something with Aiden but I can do it after.”
Mmm. After. I nod. “Yes please.”
“Yes please, what?”
I can hear the smile in his voice. “Yes, please… will you… Do I have to say it?”
He chuckles. “I’ll get you there.”
His fingertips skim my thighs as he pulls his hand back to his lap. He pulls back enough he can stare into my eyes. I still can’t figure out what the expression in his deep brown eyes means, but damn if I don’t like staring into them.
They’re gorgeous eyes.
That vulnerability returns. He blinks and it’s gone. I shift backwards, breaking his touch. But it’s too loud to think.
Pete stands and pulls me to my feet. He nods goodbye to his friends then leads me to the back of the VIP area. There’s a roped off area with a NO ENTRANCE sign. He scans the room. A cocktail waitress has her eyes on us. More likely, she has her eyes on him. She licks her lips hungrily.
He could easily take her home. But he looks at her with apathy. He doesn’t want her. He doesn’t want any of the gorgeous models in this place.
He wants me.
Pete leans in to whisper. “Wait for me on the balcony. I’ll lose her.” He motions to the closed door in the corner of the roped off area.
He wants to do this on a balcony? Damn. First the bar bathroom then this. He has a thing for public sex.
I should say no. I’m going to be a lawyer. I can’t get caught having sex in public.
I try to force the word to my lips but it refuses. “What if we get caught?”
“This is private property. They’ll ask to leave. That will be it.” His eyes meet mine. “We can hold off till we get back to your place.”
I shake my head. I don’t want to hold off. I want him. Now.
I trust his assessment of the situation.
“No. Let’s do now,” I say.
He nods.
I wait for him to grab the waitress’s attention and I sneak past the velvet rope. The door to the balcony is frosted glass. You can’t see in or out. I turn the handle and check my footing. All good.
We’re overlooking the alley. No one can see us, not from the street, not from the club.
No one is going to catch us. Not on camera—it’s too dark for that.
Thoughts swirl around my brain. I like Pete. Find him interesting. Hell, find him fascinating.
Can I play his girlfriend without falling in love with him?
I press my hands into the smooth metal railing. It’s the only cold thing here. The sounds of the street—conversations and cars—flow into my ears, competing with the music coming from the club.
There’s only one thing I know: I can’t leave without being with him.

Author Bio:
Crystal Kaswell writes steamy new adult and erotic romance books. She loves when flawed characters fall head over heels for each other. Especially if they fall into bed first. She loves police procedurals, tea, and The Hunger Games series. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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The Hunt (The Cage #2) by Megan Shepherd

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Hunt (The Cage, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet.

After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders.

The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.

The Hunt by Megan Shepherd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Hunt (The Cage, #2) “Stupid, she thought, to think I could ever escape from them.”

This was a YA sci-fi story, about a bunch of teens held captive by aliens.

Cora wasn’t quite so irritating in this book, and she seemed to actually think things through a bit more too, which was a nice change from the first book.

The storyline in this was about Cora and the gang being held captive still, and trying to work on a way to go home again. Cora was trapped in a place called ‘The Hunt’ where she had to sing all day, Leon was crawling through tunnels and stealing stuff, Lucky was looking after animals for The Hunt, and Nok and Rolf were playing house in an effort to keep their unborn child. The pace in this wasn’t too bad, although it did slow down a bit towards the end, but I did enjoy this one more than book 1.

The ending to this had a surprise death! And left the gang in another predicament.

6 out of 10

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Blood Between Us
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Family secrets turn deadly in this edgy page-turner about the insidious limits of labels and the ties that bind just a little too tightly, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.

Growing up, Adrien and his sister, Grace, competed viciously for everything. It wasn’t easy being the adopted sibling, but Adrien tried to get along; it was Grace who didn’t want anything to do with him. When their scientist parents died in a terrible lab fire, there was nothing left to hold them together.

Now, after years apart, Adrien and Grace are forced to reunite at the elite boarding school where their parents were teachers. Being back around everyone he used to know makes Adrien question the person he’s become, while being back around Grace makes him feel like someone he doesn’t want to be.

For as much as Adrien wants to move on, someone seems determined to reopen old wounds. And when Adrien starts to suspect that Grace knows more about their parents’ deaths than she let on, he realizes there are some wounds no amount of time can heal. If Adrien isn’t careful, they may even kill him.

  The Blood Between Us by Zac Brewer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blood Between Us“How do you think I should have been treated? Like some kind of long-term houseguest?”
“Like their
adopted son.” She picked up her napkin and held it to the corner of her eye. It was a ploy for sympathy that she had used in the past, but there were no tears there. Not even the threat of tears. “Not like their actual son.”

This was an okay story, but it seemed to take a long while to get going.

Adrien was an okay character, and the way his sister Grace behaved towards him was pretty awful. Telling him that he shouldn’t have been treated as a proper son, he should have been treated differently because he was adopted was quite mean, and I could understand why he didn’t like her.

The storyline in this was about Adrien and Grace and the feud between them, and later in the story we did get a bit of mystery with regards to some anonymous text messages telling Adrien that Grace was doing something behind his back. This mystery element seemed to be introduced quite late in the story though, and the lack of it in the first half made it seem like nothing was really happening.
We did get a little bit of romance, and we did get a sort-of love triangle too. This wasn’t a big part of the storyline really though.

The ending to this was okay, and things seemed to come to a head quite suddenly, and really late in the book, and it wasn’t quite what I expected to happen.

6 out of 10

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lost in Love (City Love #2) by Susane Colasanti

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Lost in Love (City Love, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In this second book of the City Love trilogy by bestselling author Susane Colasanti, three girls share a Manhattan apartment the summer before college begins. Lost in Love captures the essence of summer love, self-discovery, and sisterhood, a perfect fit for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Sadie was convinced that Austin was her soul mate, but after discovering his secret she wonders if she even knows him at all. Darcy was all about fun boy adventures with no strings attached . . . until her ex moves to New York City to win her back. Things are getting serious with Rosanna and her boyfriend, but will she be able to break free of her past and let him in? With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, this is the summer that will change their lives forever.

Told from alternating points of view, Lost in Love weaves a story of first love, first heartbreak, and everything in between.

Lost in Love by Susane Colasanti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lost in Love (City Love, #2) “Everyone deserves to find true love. Everyone deserves to love someone the way I loved Austin.”

This was a YA contemporary romance story, which was once again about the love lives of the three main characters Darcy, Sadie and Rosanna.

Darcy was surprised in this book at the arrival of her ex-boyfriend Logan, and they struck up a bit of a new relationship.

“Logan was my heart. Could he be again?”

Sadie was trying to get over Austin after finding out that he was married, only to be thrown another curve-ball, and Rosanna was going on holiday with D.

“We are going to South Beach together. D could not be a sweeter, more generous person.”

The storyline in this followed each of the three girl’s love-lives, and we did seem to get a bit more action in this book than the previous book, and we also got a couple of twists thrown in. I think Rosanna was the one I felt most sorry for though, with the arrival of a girl called Addison and her agenda.

“You destroyed his entire life.”

The ending to this once again felt like the story just stopped, so hopefully the last book in the series will have a more concrete ending.

“Real-life endings suck.”

6 out of 10

Saturday, 21 May 2016

This Is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeye

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
This Is My Brain on Boys
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Addie Emerson doesn’t believe in love, at least for herself. A straightlaced, brilliant girl, she’s more interested in getting an A than falling in love. But Addie is determined to prove the science of love—because Addie Emerson does believe in science.

Science tells her that “love” is nothing more than the brain’s state under the influence of certain chemicals. And by artificially stimulating those chemicals, the brain can totally be tricked into falling in love. So Addie decides to apply that knowledge—and make her classmates fall in love—to win the coveted Athenian Award for Science in her elite private school. One way to speed up the process—adrenaline—she’ll put her classmates in dangerous, high-risk situations . . . and research the fallout.

But a mysterious new guy keeps messing with her plans. And she kind of can’t stop thinking about his gorgeous brown eyes. With backstabbing competitors—including her former lab partner, the preppy, wealthier-than-thou Dex—and more than one pair of star-crossed lovers—can Addie manage to salvage her experiment and win the Athenian? And what happens if she does the unthinkable—and falls in love?

This Is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This Is My Brain on Boys “Neural pathways,” he heard himself say in sudden clarity. “I laid down new ones in Nepal and wasn’t prepared to deal with the implications.”

This was a YA contemporary story, with a bit of science.

Addie was really dedicated to her work in this book, and took her experiments really seriously. She really did come across as quite a smart girl, and I liked her theories about love.

The storyline in this was about Addie doing an experiment which had to do with people falling in love during high risk situations, which she tried to recreate. We also got a storyline about animal testing and how wrong it was as well. I thought the idea of the story was pretty good, but the pace was a bit slow, and there wasn’t enough romance for me.

The ending to this was okay, but again, I’d have liked a bit more romance.

6 out of 10

Friday, 20 May 2016

Night Speed by Chris Howard

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Night Speed
Blurb (from Goodreads):
 An addictive new drug fuels superhuman strength and speed in this action-packed sci-fi thriller that will have fans of Scott Westerfeld and Marie Lu on the edge of their seats.

Only those young enough can survive tetra, a dangerous drug that creates a pulse-pounding rush of enormous strength and incredible speed. Seventeen-year-old Alana West has been trained to use tetra so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power--criminals like the one who nearly killed her kid brother.

On tetra, Alana is unstoppable--an explosive blur as she surges through New York City. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush . . . when just one more dose will prove deadly.

Supported only by her steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to stop their supply of the drug. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem--especially Ethan, the boy who seems to see the truth inside her. With her dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie, before the rush ends. Forever.

Night Speed by Chris Howard

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Night Speed “I robbed a bank. Make that two.”

This was a YA sci-fi story about teens using a special drug that made them super-fast for 9 minutes.

Alana seemed a bit of a hot mess. She ignored her handler, did whatever the hell she wanted to do, and seemed oddly addicted to the drug that she was supposed to just be using for work. When she was then asked to go undercover she seemed to want to do that with very little encouragement, and with very little guarantee that what she was doing was the right thing to do.

The storyline in this was about Alana going undercover, using this drug that she had a bit of an addiction to, and trying to crack the man behind the street version of the drug, and that was pretty much all I could gather. The pace in this was really slow, and I got really quite confused as to what exactly was going on and why, and I really lost interest.

5 out of 10

Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Group and NetGalley.
The Loneliness of Distant Beings
Blurb (from Goodreads):
'It is that quick, it is that strong, it is that beautiful. And it is also totally impossible.'

Even though she knows it's impossible, Seren longs to have the sunshine on her skin. It's something she feels she needs to stay sane. But when you're floating through space at thousands of kilometres an hour, sometimes you have to accept there are things you cannot change.

Except that the arrival of Dom in her life changes everything in ways she can barely comprehend. For a while he becomes the Sun for her; and she can't help but stay in his orbit. Being with him flaunts every rule designed to keep their home in order, but to lose him would be like losing herself.

In the end they must decide what is most important: loyalty to the only home they've ever known, or to each other?

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Loneliness of Distant Beings “We are responsible for our own survival, for the survival of our species. And it is our duty, every one of ours, to make that our priority.”

This was a YA sci-fi/romance story, featuring a group of people living on a space ship.

Seren was a girl who spoke out about her thoughts and didn’t care what other people thought, even when it got her into big trouble. Dom was a more reserved character and thought about consequences first, it just wasn’t possible for him to keep Seren in line though!

“It’s perfection.”
“Or another thing that’s suspiciously convenient.”

The storyline in this reminded me a bit of ‘Across the Universe’ only without the cryogenically frozen scientists. Partners were picked for people by computers, and not going along the computers choice was not allowed at all, so Seren and Dom had no chance of being together without facing harsh punishments, so this was a bit of a forbidden romance. Seren and Dom were cute together though, and it was terrible the way they weren’t allowed to be together.

“And then it’s happening: we’re kissing. And right then I know that I am his and always will be. Always was.”

The ending to this was pretty action packed, and left me thinking ‘wow’.

8 out of 10

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Girl Against the Universe
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the author of The Art of Lainey and Liars, Inc. comes a fresh, contemporary story about one girl’s tragic past and a boy who convinces her that maybe her luck is about to change. Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen or Jenny Han.

Maguire knows she’s bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought.

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Girl Against the Universe “Bad things happen to other people when I’m around.” I sigh. “It’s like I’m bad luck.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who believed she was bad luck to those around her.

Maguire was an okay character, and it was easy to see why she’d believe she was bad luck. To be in more than one accident where people died, and she walked away unharmed did seem a little strange, and I could understand her not wanting to get on a plane with what was left of her family just in case she caused the plane to crash.

The storyline in this was about Maguire overcoming her fears and learning to realise that maybe she could live a normal life, and wasn’t really cursed. We also got a bit of a romance brewing between Maguire and Jordy, and some tennis tournaments too.

The ending to this was pretty good, and I appreciated the little twist at the end.

6 out of 10

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Spark by Holly Schindler

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The local Avery Theater was just a run-down building to Quin—until her mother told her the tragic love story of Nick and Emma that played out on the theater’s stage all those years ago. Quin is convinced it’s the perfect story to rewrite for her drama class, but when she goes searching for more information, she makes a startling discovery—the Avery is rapidly regaining its former splendor and setting the stage for her classmates Dylan and Cass to relive Nick and Emma’s romance. Quin can see the spark between them, but it’s up to her to make sure her friends—and the Avery—can both be saved this time around.

Spark by Holly Schindler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Spark “Starting now, it’s up to me to figure out what the skies are trying to say.”

This was a YA magical-realism story, about an old theatre.

Quin was an girl who truly believed in the magic of the Avery theatre, and showed real determination in trying to restore it to what it once was, even when she was put in a tough position as director of the play they were holding.

The storyline in this was about Quin and her drama class putting on a production in hope that they could raise money to save the old theatre, and we also got some magical realism as the theatre transformed itself and those inside it. We also got a little bit of romance in the form of two members of the cast reliving a past romance that had happened at the theatre, in a star-crossed lovers kind of way.

The ending to this was okay, and things ended happily enough.

6 out of 10