Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey




Title: Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publication Date: November 7, 2017 
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled Teen


Blurb:

"We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He's used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He's always been on the outside, looking in, and he's fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart. 

Freddie isn't like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he'd better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain's never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.



Links:

Goodreads:

My Review: 

Haven sucked me in right away. First, it was written entirely in a male POV, which is unusual for YA romance and was a fun change of pace. And how cool is the name Rain for a guy? Loved it. The story started out, keeping me on edge with Rain living this rough, urban lifestyle, running from the police. It made for a stark contrast when he ended up moving to a small town to live with his aunt who, ironically is a police officer. His transformation in this story, both inner and outer, was riveting to watch. The story was fast-paced and dangerous and kept me glued to the pages the entire time. The mystery of watching the secrets in this small town unfold and the romance between Rain and Freddie made for an addicting read.

My only issue with the story is that it felt hard to connect with the characters, mostly Freddie. Their romance seemed to lack emotional intimacy and it felt that it was mostly built on survival and lust. I didn't see a true friendship forming between the characters. Most of the focus was on the action and suspense and less on the character development. It made it harder to care what was going to happen to the characters.

Other than that it was great. The world-building was fun and the tension was spot on.


**Four Stars**



About the Author:


Mary Lindsey is a multi-award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband. Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.




Want to see other stops on the tour? Check out the tour schedule.



Giveaway:

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Review and New Release: Approximately Yours by Julie Hammerle




Title: Approximately Yours
Author: Julie Hammerle
Series: North Pole, Minnesota
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Release Date: October 3, 2017



Author Bio:



Julie Hammerle is the author of THE SOUND OF US (Entangled TEEN, 2016). Before settling down to write "for real," she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.

She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.


My Review:


This was my second trip to North Pole, Minnesota, and I have to say, this one was even more fun than the last! I really liked Holly. She felt real to me. She's strong and outspoken and knows what to say to guys, but she keeps a protective wall around her at all times and assumes that people are going to hurt her. But, hidden behind Elda's cell phone, she's able to finally connect with a guy...Danny, the guy she's been crushing on since they were little. Only, it ends up getting her into big trouble. I had a lot of fun reading all their texts and gifs back and forth. The GOT references were SO great in this book. I was laughing my head off and kept thinking, "These are my kind of people." So clearly, Julie is also my kind of people. Julie? Why aren't we friends? After reading your non-acknowledgments/Airing of Grievances page I really felt like our friendship should be a thing, especially the parts about George R. R. Martian and avocados being so delicious and so expensive. I feel your pain.

I digress... Back to my review.

Elda was hilarious with her gorgeous body and awkward conversation. Her obsession with gross stuff felt so random and was fun. I feel like I missed out on her relationship with Dinesh though. I kind of wanted them to have their own book because they both seem like such cool characters.

And Craig. I LOVED that guy. Making his gingerbread people the entire Stark family made me giddy.  I want to see more of him. He needs his own quirky Throner chick. I'm just sayin'.

There were so many good parts to this book. I just want to read it over again because it went too fast, and I savored every moment of it. Thanks, Julie and Entangled for another yummy, fun read.

**Five Stars**

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review: Just One of the Boys by Leah and Kate Rooper


Blurb:
Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons.But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality...even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates...
Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning...
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning--a few locker room scenes are included.




Author Bio:




Leah and Kate Rooper are sisters from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Growing up beside the Pacific Ocean and inside a temperate rainforest fed their sense of adventure as children, and nourished a curiosity for strange and distant lands. They fed this curiosity with books - lots and lots of books. After experiencing the magic of Middle-earth, they began creating their own worlds. When they're not writing, Leah and Kate spend their time blogging and vlogging about their travel adventures and their writing journey.



My Review:

This book was so fun! I got through it quickly. I'm a sucker for twin stories. I'm not a big hockey fan, but this book sucked me in and I felt as though I was Alice, getting my head into the game right with her.

It was fun to see how long it took for him to figure out she was actually a girl. I felt like that was a good move on the authors' part. Having her show up periodically as a smoking hot figure skater was a nice touch. I loved watching her teammates fawn over her. Hilarious! 

I enjoyed watching Hayden's growth as he and Alice grew into best friends. I think my favorite part was the Christmas scene where she goes outside to sit and talk with him about his parents' death. I enjoyed watching the growth of the characters and they changed throughout this book. They had both been through so much pain and had both been burying it. For me, that was the heart of this book. I love it that I can read a book that's silly and fun and leaves me giggling but also deals with characters who have real issues they need to overcome. Every Entangled book I get my hands on seems to have this element of growth with their characters and that along with the fast pacing and fun storylines is what keeps me coming back to Entangled Crush.


**Five Stars**

Review: Unfair Catch by Kelsie Stelting


Title: Unfair Catch
Author: Kelsie Stelting
Series: Savannah's Story 1 (Texas Sun Series)
Genre: Clean New Adult Romance


Blurb:


Get ready to fall in love all over again—with self-discovery, handsome cowboys, and the unbreakable bonds of female friendship.

After losing her dream job in Austin, Savannah Dondi has to do the unthinkable—move back to her small hometown. Living minutes from her parents and working in her aunt’s beauty parlor isn’t exactly the glamorous life she had planned.

When she sees Hudson McAllister at the local rodeo, he’s even better than she remembered. Tall, lean, and clinging to a bucking horse. She only wishes she’d held onto him so tightly.

Her misguided feelings for Rhett Lane had ruined it then, and if she doesn’t stop herself from falling back in love with Rhett, he’ll come between her and Hudson this time too. Avoiding him in a small town will be hard, though. Especially since their best friends are in love.

A second chance with Hudson would make all her troubles worth it, but resisting Rhett might be more than Savannah bargained for.

Read on KindleUnlimited or Buy for 99 Cents


Author Bio:


Kelsie Stelting grew up in the country in Western Kansas, where she gained an appreciation for agriculture and developed her love of writing. She is also passionate about her faith and starting honest conversations about mental illness. In May 2015, she graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences and Industry, and she will soon graduate with a master’s degree in Agricultural Communications from Oklahoma State University. She will continue exploring the world with her husband and writing works of fiction and nonfiction.

Please visit kelsiestelting.com to stay in touch!


My Review: 

When I first started reading this book it felt like your average, run-of-the-mill New Adult Western story about a girl returning to her hometown and facing the hotties she used to date and all the memories and drama that came along with it. I was sucked in immediately by Savannah's emotions and felt as though I were seeing the world through her eyes. I felt her pain and longing as she confronted these two important guys from her past. Her hometown felt so real to me. I could imagine all the people and all their lives. Kelsie did a fantastic job painting Savannah's world. I liked it that Savannah messed up and then had to live with the pain of her mistakes and learn lessons from them. I was biting my nails as she interacted with Hudson and Rhett. The suspense was killing me! Other characters made mistakes as well. A teen drinks and then has to live with the ugly consequences of getting totally smashed. I loved it! The scene was perfectly cringeworthy! 

And then church is brought into the story. TOTALLY unexpected and SO refreshing. It's not this in-your-face-conversion kind of thing. It's just part of their lives. It really bugs me that religion is so absent from books. So, well done, Kelsie for weaving it into your story. Because let's be honest, how many readers go to church or at least have been at some point in their lives? It's a huge part of our culture. You still see it in movies all the time. Someone's confessing to the priest or lighting a candle in a church. But books? Hardly ever anymore. And that bugs me. It's something that I'd like to see more. 

I loved watching the characters change and grow and overcome their past hurts. It was so beautiful to read. 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I'm looking forward to reading the second one!

**Five Stars**





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Release and Review: Breaking the Rules of Revenge by Samantha Bohrman

Swapping Twins and Camp? Yes, Please!



Title: Breaking the Rules of Revenge
Author: Samantha Bohrman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush
Rease Date: September 18, 2017

Blurb:



Mallory Jones is tired of being the girl who stays home and practices French horn while her identical twin, Blake, is crowned homecoming queen. So when she has the opportunity to pretend to be Blake, she takes it. At Camp Pine Ridge, she will spread her wings and emerge a butterfly. Or at least someone who finally gets kissed by a cute guy. That is, until bad boy Ben Iron Cloud shows up, ready to get revenge on Blake—aka Mallory.

If it weren’t for that infuriating girl, Ben wouldn’t even be at camp. Luckily, he now has six weeks to soak up some rays and get even with his nemesis. But the more time he spends with Blake, the more he realizes she’s nothing like the girl he thought she was—she’s kind and innocent and suddenly way too tempting. And soon enough, revenge is the last thing on his mind. Unfortunately, the girl he’s falling for is keeping a major secret...

Disclaimer: This book contains a super-hot bad boy out for revenge, all sorts of camp hijinks, and a girl who realized she’s been a butterfly all along.

Buy it on Amazon



Author Bio:


Shortly after graduating from law school, Samantha had three children and began writing books. She never looked back, but she suspects her husband has. You can often find her in the aisles of Target looking at scarves and forgetting to buy broccoli and eggs. If it’s a good day she’ll be holding a latte. If it’s not, try not to stare. Ruby’s Misadventures with Reality is her first book, though hopefully not her last. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.sambohrman.com.



My Review:


I grew up on the Sweet Valley Twins books and loved them so much. This book had all the fun of the Wakefield twins, but a bit edgier. Mallory was such a relatable character. She's just your normal awkward bookworm teen, only she has to deal with Blake, her uber-popular identical twin sister, who seems to have the air of a celebrity about her at all times. The kind of celebrity who's always in the tabloids for doing something else to embarrass themself.

I sympathized with Mallory immediately. I think all of us know what it feels like to be left in someone else's shadow, especially when you're just trying to be a good person. And it was tough for me to get guys to notice me in high school just like Mallory because I was always reading or focusing on Choir.

This book got very interesting very quickly. First of all, the settings were gorgeous. Huge old Southern plantation mansion. Summer Camp. Two of my favorite settings for books. And of course the Blue Ridge Mountains. As an eastern Tennessee girl, I'm a sucker for the mountains, woods, and trees, and I want to read about romances there.

I loved and hated watching Mallory take the revenge Blake deserved. It was like a trainwreck I couldn't look away from. It was fun to watch Mallory struggle to become more assertive as she tried to become more like Blake.

The best part of this story for me was Ben, and his slow change from hating "Blake" to falling for Mallory. I enjoyed every second of it.

While there's no sex, there were a few F-bombs and some suggestive content, so I would recommend this book for adults who love YA or mature teens.

*Four Stars*

Monday, September 11, 2017

New Release and Review: Boomerang Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

It's release day for Boomerang Boyfriend. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book! I highly recommend it!


Title: Boomerang Boyfriend
Author: Chris Cannon
Series: The Boyfriend Chronicles #3
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush

Blurb:

Working with her best friend’s brother at Betty’s Burgers, free-spirited Delia starts to see Jack in a new light. Not only has Jack-the-Jerk turned into a hottie, he’s even acting like a nice guy, who rescues dogs and knows how she likes her coffee. But if Jack is into her, then why is he keeping her a secret? Of course, if her best friend doesn’t approve, Delia could lose the only family she’s ever known.

Seeing Delia in her retro waitress uniform throws Jack’s world out of whack. She’s always been just another pain in the butt little sister...not a datable female. But she’s rockin’ the Pie Princess tiara, and even her hot-pink striped hair is sexy. What’s that about? He needs to get his head on straight because artsy, funky Delia and her nonconformist ways don’t fit in his safe and ordered world.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains kisses that make the world fall away and snarky humor that may cause you to LOL in public places.

Each book in the Boyfriend Chronicles series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 - Blackmail Boyfriend
Book #2 - The Boyfriend Bet
Book #3 - Boomerang Boyfriend


 Buy on Amazon


About the Author: 



Chris Cannon is the award-winning author of the Going Down In Flames series and the Boyfriend Chronicles. She lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and various furry beasts. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures or snarky romantic comedies.

My Review: 


Gah! I loved this book so much. It is exactly the kind of book I like to read. I loved watching Jack and Delia struggle with the feelings they start feeling toward each other. I loved watching Delia slowly begin to realize that maybe Jack wasn't such a jerk after all. Chris Cannon did an excellent job showing Jack's flaws and inner struggles with the death of his father and grandfather. His reaction felt realistic and broke my heart a little bit. I just wanted so badly for him to let Delia into his life to help cheer him up a little.

Also, the dogs in this book were SO FUN. They were the best comic relief. I loved the themes of family, togetherness, and healing. Boomerang Boyfriend left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling that lasted for days after reading.

*Five Stars*

Friday, July 21, 2017

Blog Tour and Review: Artificial Sweethearts by Julie Hammerle




Title: Artificial Sweethearts

Author: Julie Hammerle 

Release Date: 7/10/17 

Publisher: Entangled Teen 

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance



Blurb: 

It’s not chemistry between Tinka Foster and Sam Anderson that made them agree to fake date. With her parents trying to set her up with an annoying student golf coach, and intentionally single Sam’s family pressuring him to bring a date to his brother’s wedding, they could both use a drama-free summer.

So it’s not his muscular arms and quick wit that makes Tinka suggest they tell everyone they’re both taken. Definitely not. And it’s not butterflies that makes a kiss for appearances during the lake party go on way too long—so long that Sam wishes it were real.

But Tinka keeps people at arm’s length—she’s always been second best, even to her parents. And her relationship-for-show could crush everything when she realizes she’s done with fake, pretend, and second-best.


Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains bikinis at the lake, a lot of making out in dark theaters, and a meet-cute you’ll read twice.



Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072V24Q1J
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/artificial-sweethearts-julie-hammerle/1126605031?ean=9781640631403
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/artificial-sweethearts/id1250024031
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/artificial-sweethearts


Entangled: https://entangledpublishing.com/artificial-sweethearts.html


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34389398-artificial-sweethearts




About the Author:



Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled TEEN, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota young adult romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

Connect:

Website: www.juliehammerle.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieHammerle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HammerleJulie/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juleswritesstuff/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661470.Julie_Hammerle
Newsletter: http://juliehammerle.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=83bea3773ce2e6025ac4114c7&id=21c06afa78



Excerpt:

The sliding glass door whooshed open behind them. Their opportunity for escape was lost. Tinka spun around as the guy headed toward them. He was carrying three bottles of water and had put on a T-shirt, a faded movie tee, over his mesh shorts. Jaws. A story about a terrifying shark that kills people.
The guy handed a bottle to Tinka. “Take a seat.”
Ready to flee at any moment, she perched next to Jane on the bench, where the hot, sticky varnish stuck to her legs immediately. Tinka unscrewed the cap, which gave off the familiar rip-pop sound that proved the bottle had not been tampered with. Tinka tilted it back; and as the cold water coated her parched throat, she forgot for a moment she was about to be murdered.
“This is a gorgeous house,” Jane said. The guy knocked back his water, then screwed the cap back on.
“Thanks. I like it.” Tinka decided to play civil. “Do you do all the landscaping yourself or do you have a crew that helps you?”
He smirked at Tinka, like she was the most curious thing he had seen in a while. “We have a crew, but I noticed a few spots on the bushes that needed trimming.”
She nodded. “If you need to get back to work, don’t let us stop you. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble with your boss.”
“My boss?” He was still grinning at Tinka with those dimples as he kneaded the plastic on his water bottle. “You mean my father?”
“Your father owns the landscaping business?”
“My father owns the house. I’m Sam. Anderson,” he added for good measure. “I live here.” He gestured toward the back door.
Jane dropped her face into her hands. “Oh my God, Tinka.”
Tinka spun toward her, pointing. “Oh my God nothing, Jane. You didn’t know he lived here, either.”
“I did so.”
“How?”
Jane waved her hand to indicate Sam and the flirty smile reappeared on her face. “He has a way about him.”
“He has no way about anything. No offense.” Tinka nodded to Sam.
“None taken.” Knitting his brow, Sam lifted his hat and ran his fingers through his curly brown hair. He had hazel eyes with friendly crinkles on the corners that didn’t disappear even when he frowned.

My Review:

Heads up! This review contains spoilers.

This was a quick read for me. I loved Sam and Tinka and their denial of the chemistry they kept feeling throughout the story. I'm a huge sucker for fake romance books! Artificial Sweethearts didn't disappoint! It was a nice change to read about a female character who was the pretty girl who knew she could hook up with any guy she wanted but had already realized it didn't appeal to her anymore. The dynamic with her parents intrigued me from the start.

The romance was cute, but for me, the meat of this book was Tinka coming to terms with her role in her family. It was fascinating to see the different ways each member of the Foster family dealt with the death of her older brother, Jake, who died when he was four and she was one. I really enjoyed watching their growth as a family and individually as they came to terms with the very private feelings of mourning over the death of such a young child.

I felt like Tinka's growth could have been expanded a bit more. I would have liked to have a bit more explanation of why she pushed everyone away. I'm guessing it had to do with her parents and the way they pushed her away. I feel like the author needed to bridge that gap just a little better. But it was addressed enough that I was able to fill in the blanks. My guess is that her parents emotionally distancing themselves from her because of their inability to deal with their grief and that was what influenced her reaction to do the same to her friends.

It was beautiful to see her finally talk openly with her parents about their feelings over Jake's death, and consequently her issue with constantly pushing her closest friends, and Sam, away.

Overall, this book was a good read with lots of cute moments and swoonworthy scenes. The chemistry building between Sam and Tinka felt realistic and they were fully-fleshed out characters with real issues, hopes, and dreams coming to terms with issues they needed to overcome. I highly recommend it!

***Five Stars*** 


Giveaway:

Signed copy of Any Boy But You (US Only)