Friday, 3 July 2015

Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley.
Faking Perfect
Blurb (from Goodreads):
“Edgy and honest, Faking Perfect is the real thing.” –Huntley Fitzpatrick

When Lexi Shaw seduced Oakfield High's resident bad boy Tyler Flynn at the beginning of senior year, he seemed perfectly okay with her rules:

1. Avoid her at school.
2. Keep his mouth shut about what they do together.
3. Never tease her about her friend (and unrequited crush) Ben.

Because with his integrity and values and golden boy looks, Ben can never find out about what she’s been doing behind closed doors with Tyler. Or that her mom’s too busy drinking and chasing losers to pay the bills. Or that Lexi’s dad hasn’t been a part of her life for the last thirteen years. But with Tyler suddenly breaking the rules, Ben asking her out, and her dad back in the picture, how long will she be able to go on faking perfect?


Faking Perfect by Rebecca Phillips

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Faking Perfect(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley.)

"I didn't love Tyler Flynn. I didn't even like him."



This was an enjoyable YA contemporary romance, and I really liked Tyler.

I felt quite sorry for Lexi in this, it seemed unfair that her mother cared about her so little, and to not even know if her father was dead or alive wasn’t nice either. Lexi’s mother literally acted like a child, and it was up to Lexi to make sure the bills were paid on time.

"Mom," I said, not taking my eyes off the paper I was reading, the one from the cable company that claimed our bill was well overdue.



The storyline in this was about Lexi, her search to find out more about her father, and her romantic relationships. We had a bit of a love-triangle going on in this book, with Lexi having a secret relationship with Tyler, and putting this on hold to start dating the boy she’d had a crush on for years – Ben. There wasn’t really any cheating in this book, except for maybe the emotional kind!

"First you steal me rum and now my cigs," Tyler said indignant. "What's next? You want my wallet? My heart? No, wait... you already stole that."



The ending to this was pretty good, and I was happy with the way things turned out. It was nice for Lexi to get a happy ending after everything she’d been through.



7 out of 10.

Saffron - The Blood Swan by D. Aswini

Saffron - The Blood Swan
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Needs and wanderings for blood in this vampire love story. An old magician injected venom of werewolves into his grandson and his friends to protect the world from turbulent vampires. The pack needed help from a vampire to find out some secrets.

Will the vampire help the pack to ruin their kind and bring peace or hid to save it's kind?
 

Saffron - The Blood Swan by D. Aswini

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Saffron - The Blood SwanSource: I won a digital copy of this book. Thanks to author D. Aswini.

“You look very palatable, and delicious to me,” the vampire said in a whisper, sniffing my scent. “I wonder, should I keep you to myself or share you with me friends?”



I’m not really sure where to start with this review, it took me up ‘til the 39% mark to work out that the main character was a girl rather than a boy!

The characters in this were all okay, I didn’t hate any of them, but they all seemed to be hiding things, and most of them came across as a little mysterious. I didn’t think it nice that they teased Jason constantly about how much he ate either, it got to the point where it was almost like bullying, the way they moaned that if they didn’t eat quickly Jason would eat the food supply of the entire restaurant!

Other than a dream at the start of this book, and the mention that Fredrick knew how to do magic, this came across as a YA contemporary story. We had these kids going to school, meeting new people, talking about boyfriends and girlfriends, making plans for the weekend – pretty mundane stuff, and I have to say that I wondered where the heck the vampires and werewolves from the blurb were. It was actually very late in the story by the time these paranormal beings showed up, and I had lost interest a bit by that point.

I also found this story confusing though. At one point Jesse’s mother tells her how her father had an car accident, and was in the hospital for a week, and that they didn’t bother to mention this to Jesse because she had flu at the time, and they - ‘thought it would be okay to hide it from you’. Why? Why did they hide it from her? What did they gain from not telling her? Why would an accident be kept a secret? And unfortunately there were quite a few unexplained events like this in the book.

There was a bit of romance in this, but I found it all quite sudden. It seemed like no sooner was a new character introduced, than we had Rich confessing his undying love for her, which was all a bit sudden for me.

The ending to this felt like the story just ended, and it just seemed like a lot of things were just left hanging.
6 out of 10


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Those Girls by Lauren Saft

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley.
Those Girls
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Some girls will always have your back, and some girls can't help but stab you in it.

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they're the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them--and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band--without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved--literally, figuratively, physically....she's not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever....or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.


Those Girls by Lauren Saft

My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Those Girls(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley.)

"Same sh*t, new year. The first day of eleventh grade."



This was an enjoyable story about three best friends with some very mixed-up sex lives.

Veronica was labelled as a slut, but it wasn’t difficult to see why when she made a joke out of the number of boys she had had sex with. Why she was so uninhibited about opening her legs for any guy that wanted her I don’t know, but she should really have drawn a line at the boyfriends of her best friends!

"Oh god, I hope I'm not coming down with something," she said.
I snorted and said, "Guess it'd be a tall order to track down who you caught it from."
We all laughed. Everyone loves a slutty Veronica joke.




I felt quite sorry for Alex, hearing about her best friends sexcapades couldn’t have been easy when she felt like the only virgin left, an having to see one of her best friends starting a relationship with the boy that she loved couldn’t have been easy either.

"Tell me how you really feel about Drew and Veronica."
She paused, took a long breath, and shrugged.
"It's pretty annoying."




Mollie was a bit of a mean girl at times, but I did feel sorry for her in the way her boyfriend cheated on her. She should have realised how big of an ass he was, but you could understand why she stayed with him when she was so scared of losing him.

"It had been so long since I'd felt so wanted by Sam. I wondered if I should make out with girls more often."



The storyline in this was about the three girls’ sex lives really, and the parties and relationships and revenge. The number of relationships that were changing and having other people getting involved and stuff was nuts, and at times it seemed like someone was always in the dark, and someone was always doing something wrong.

"The thought that Alex could potentially find out what happened on New Year's made me want to rip my f*cking throat out."



There was some romance in this, but boy was it convoluted!

The ending to this was pretty good, and I was pleased that the girls were able to be friends again after all that had happened!



7 out of 10

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK and NetGalley.

Blurb (from Goodreads):
For fans of We Were Liars and How I Live Now comes an addictive, sexy, twisty YA novel you won't want to miss Every October Cara and her family become inexplicably and unavoidably accident-prone. Some years it's bad, like the season when her father died, and some years it's just a lot of cuts and scrapes. This accident season--when Cara, her ex-stepbrother, Sam, and her best friend, Bea, are 17--is going to be a bad one. But not for the reasons they think. Cara is about to learn that not all the scars left by the accident season are physical: There's a long-hidden family secret underneath the bumps and bruises. This is the year Cara will finally fall desperately in love, when she'll start discovering the painful truth about the adults in her life, and when she'll uncover the dark origins of the accident season--whether she’s ready or not.


The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Accident Season(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Random House Children’s Publishers UK and NetGalley.)

“It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.”



This was a strange but captivating book, and I liked the twists.

I really liked the characters in this book, even if they made some suspect decisions. Who sits near a railway line, who goes into abandoned buildings during ‘accident season’? (a month-long period during which you are most likely to be injured). Surely that is just asking for trouble!

“You know,” I say to Bea a bit breathlessly, “for someone who’s so afraid of accidents, I sure do a lot of stupid stuff.”



Bea was also a funny character, and I loved her tarot cards and strange tales!

“But every once in a while,” Bea continues, “the prettiest virgins would find an object they weren’t supposed to touch, and that was the witch’s kiss. All witches keep their kisses in everyday objects, so that their hearts won’t beak too often.”



The storyline in this was pretty good, and I liked the way there was plenty of mystery and I wasn’t sure what was going on. The story also had a bit of a magical feel to it which I also liked.

“All around the clearing, hanging from the branches of every tree, is a flock of dreamcatchers, the kind you can get at the Saturday market in Galway: colourful webbed circles hung with little beads and feathers.”



I also really liked the idea of the secrets box, and I loved the little 'Irish' moments, such as when someone asks 'Will I call an ambulance?' - only in Ireland would someone say 'Will I?' instead of 'Should I?'.

There was some romance, and even though it was a little taboo, I thought that this couple were really sweet together!

“I’m just so ridiculously in love with you.” The tear in my world is getting bigger. Soon it’ll blow the whole universe apart. “I try to hide it, I try to stop it, I try to bloody kill it but it just won’t go away.”



The ending to this was pretty good, and I liked the revelations at the end. This story had a little bit of magic, a little bit of romance, and a touch of the paranormal, and it was really good!
7.5 out of 10


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Between Us and the Moon
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.


Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Between Us and the Moon(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“You watch the world. I’m not even sure you live in it.”



This was a touching YA romance, and I felt really sorry for Sarah.

I liked Sarah in this story, and I felt really sorry for her in the way her best friend/boyfriend dumped her totally out of the blue. I knew her lying to Andrew was a bad idea, but it was also easy to see why she did it, especially living in the shadow of her sister Scarlett the way she did.

“There has to be a direct correlation between Scarlett’s specific behaviour and style to the response of acceptance and popularity. If I figure this out, maybe I’ll get Tucker to see who I am – that I’m not ‘watching the world.’”



The storyline in this was about Sarah finding who she was after Tucker dumped her, and finding new love with Andrew. There was also some stargazing stuff in here, but it didn’t really interest me.

“The Scarlett Experiment.
I want to start the Scarlett Experiment now.”




Andrew and Sarah were pretty cute together, and it was sad that Sarah’s lie would at some point come between them. (Note – there are some sexual scenes in this book.)

“He breaks into the smallest smile.
And it’s a smile just for me.”




The ending to this was okay, but because it wasn’t the ‘happily-ever-after’ that I wanted, it left me wanting more!



7 out of 10.

Seven Days: The Beginning (Jess and Liam's Story, #1) by F.L. Black

Seven Days: The Beginning (Jess and Liam's Story,  #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A Madam Jolie Playhouse Novella

Welcome to Madam Jolie's Playhouse...
A private place to play...
18+ Warning:
ADULTS ONLY

Jessica Caughlin has landed the job of a lifetime. She has worked her entire life to bring herself out of the underbelly of Miami's unseen drug pushers and pimps. At F.E.A.R. Enterprises, she meets the wealthy and handsome Liam Firth, the Architectural powerhouse behind F.E.A.R. and who will soon be her boss.

Jessica's plans come undone when she finds she is expected to pay a debt to protect her family and save her life. She has exactly seven days to come up with thousands of dollars before the drug lords of Miami come to collect. Desperate and scared she finds herself, in a twist of fate, on the doorstep of Madam Jolie's, a private BDSM club...


************************************************************

word count: 35,000

This novella is intended to be an erotic fantasy, set in a fictional location with fictional characters, for 18 and up readers.
Contains explicit depictions of sex, strong language, and mild BDSM.


Seven Days: The Beginning by F.L. Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Seven Days: The Beginning (Jess and Liam's Story,  #1)Downloaded for free from Amazon.co.uk

“It is an exclusive club for those who have particular tastes.”



This was a really sexy little erotica/BDSM novella, and I have to say that Liam was so sexy!

I felt really sorry for Jess. Her mother had really screwed up her life, and it was really unfair the way she was expected to pay for her mother’s mistakes.

I felt like the story took a little while to get going, and it did seem a little information-heavy in places, but I guess this was just about setting the scene a bit. It did remind me of ‘The Arrangement’ at the half-way mark, but thankfully the second half of the story was really different.

This was quite a sexy story, and BDSM elements were introduced as the story went along.

The ending to this was pretty good ,and I’m now looking forward to book 2!
7.5 out of 10


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Lies About Truth
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past.


The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


The Lies About Truth(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Mom said when a person dies, you don’t get over it by forgetting; you get through it by remembering.”



This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who lost her best friend and her life as she knew it in a car accident.

I felt quite sorry for Sadie in this story, but I also wanted her to move on and change. The way she was so hung up on her scars seemed a bit superficial compared to everything that she had gone through, and I wanted her to stop focusing on her scars, and start focusing on her life.

“I missed Trent like I missed the person I used to be. Makeup covered parts of the my, scars, but nothing covered up grief.”



I liked the mystery over what had happened, and who was sending Sadie the notes stolen from her sort-of diary, although I guessed pretty early on who the culprit was. There were a couple of twists in the story that I didn’t see coming though, which made up for the slow pace a little bit.

“Everyone out there knew about Trent, knew I’d gone through the window of his Yaris, knew why Gray and I broke up. They probably assumed I blamed Gina and Gray for more than cheating.”



There was some romance in this, although not a lot. I didn’t really feel anything for Max though.

“A kiss can be a kiss or it can be an event.
I have cared about Max McCall all my life.”




The ending to this was fairly happy, and tied things up pretty well, the story was just missing a special something for me though.



7 out of 10.

Candles of Rejuvenescence by Shizette Parker

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Shizette Parker.
Candles of Rejuvenescence
Blurb (from Goodreads):
2015 - A South African travel writer finds herself on assignment at the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Five hundred years in the future, archaeologist Dr. Zed Marsden, together with a wealthy heiress, Roberta, set off on a quest to uncover mysterious secrets hidden in the past.

An enchanting tale of adventure, love, and hope despite reality.
 

Candles of Rejuvenescence by Shizette Parker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Candles of Rejuvenescence(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Shizette Parker.)

“If within my soul, you were the music, if the sun were within you, if you really were within my soul, then yes, I could hear, within my silence, the calm evening sea.”



This was quite a unusual story, about love, travel, and also science.

Giselle was a writer who was excited to attain her first assignment, especially as she was being sent to Italy for 2 months – a dream come true for her.
Zed was a man who lived 500 years in the future, and was interested in the secrets hidden in a mental box his dog discovered on the beach.

The storyline in this followed Giselle as she began to discover Italy, and fell in love with a man called Alessandro. We also followed Zed as he began to investigate following his discovery on the beach.

The story then took a bit of a drastic turn I don’t want to say any more because of the risk of dropping spoilers, but it was a very strange and sudden turn, which then led to a very unusual ending for all involved. I have to say that I wasn’t really expecting this (obviously), and it really wasn’t the sort of thing I’ve ever come across before, and gave this book a bit of a sci-fi twist.
6 out of 10

Monday, 29 June 2015

Locked, Loaded, & Lying by Sarah Andre

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.
Locked, Loaded, & Lying
Blurb (from Goodreads):
He might be innocent.
Or he might be very, very guilty...

Olympic skier Lock Roane was on top of the world: smashing world records, collecting medals, and basking in the love of a nation and his beautiful heiress girlfriend. It all comes crashing down after Lock discovers his girlfriend had an affair - then wakes from a drunken bender to find himself covered in her blood. Disgraced and dethroned, Lock awaits his murder trial with dread, not knowing if his girlfriend died at his own hands.

Journalist Jordan Sinclair is out of options. To satisfy her blackmailer, she must get the inside scoop (and its cash reward) on Lock Roane. An attraction to the arrogant athlete was not part of the plan. Neither is trying to find out what really happened that night. Now Jordan risks everything - including her life - to help the man she's falling for. A man who just might be a cold-blooded killer...


Locked, Loaded, & Lying by Sarah Andre

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Locked, Loaded, & Lying(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)

“Call Parker and inform him I saved the life of a reporter who’s now bulldozed her way deep into my case?” He rubbed his beard. “Christ, this day just keeps getting better.”



This was an adult romantic suspense story.


Jordan was quite a pushy girl, and I couldn’t quite believe the lengths she went to for a story! I felt quite sorry for Lock; wrongly accused of a murder that he didn’t commit, and then forced to hide out in the middle of nowhere for months to avoid being sent to jail!


“USSA ordered me to disappear from public, and I’ve done it for ten goddamn months.”



The storyline in this was about finding the real murderer, and the question of what it really Lock, or was it someone else?
There was some romance and a sex scene, but it all seemed to happen way too quickly for me, and I felt like the sex scene came totally out of the blue.


“She sighed blissfully into his mouth, stroking his satin-smooth cheeks, and burying her fingers in his thick, still-damp hair.”



The ending to this was okay, and I was happy that things worked out okay in the end.



6 out of 10