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January 29, 2014

REVIEW: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan (Uninvited #1)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 28, 2014
Source: Edelweiss via publisher*
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.

When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.

Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
Uninvited by Sophie Jordan was a different kind of dystopian novel that really caught my attention. It had a unique premise and the thing that really drew me to the book was the whole HTS gene. I liked the way Jordan incorporated this into this world and changed the life of a girl by the shocking revelation that she would be a killer one day. 



The main character, Davy Hamilton was picture perfect. She was super talented at a very young age, loved and admired by friends, teachers, and other parents and even envied by many. She had loving parents and a boyfriend who adored her. All of this came crashing down on her and it completely changed her vision of the world around her and even herself. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Davy was weak, just closed-minded in the beginning. She was in denial, which was understandable, but what I loved was how determined she was to prove that she wasn’t a monster or the killer people seemed to believe. She fought hard with herself and I think knowing Sean and Gil made her realize that they weren’t so different as her. She did struggle to accept what happened to her but she tried her damn hardest not to let the HTS gene define her.

 

I liked being in Davy’s head and experiencing her hardship as being a carrier. I got to her see go through being at her lowest point, then her highest, and even when she had to make a life altering decision. But what I really liked more than being in Davy’s head was the short, small snippets before the chapters that showed what was going on outside of Davy’s immediate world. It should how brutal people were, how carriers had their own self-fulfilling prophecy, and how chaotic things really seemed to be when scrutinized. I wish these glimpses were more prominent in the novel because they brought more understanding to world itself. 



There was romance in the book for those looking for something like that. However, it is not very heavy. The novel is more focused on Davy’s struggles, what she goes through being a carrier and how she has to survive being labeled dangerous among the dangerous. However, the romance has some serious potential. The little that I did get was both satisfying while still leaving me wanting more between Sean and Davy. 

Sean was still mystery to me, even now, but what she showed and the way he acted had me rooting for him all the way.

So basically this book centers around the HTS gene and I really loved that concept because I thought it really relates to today’s world. People still judge and discriminate because of label or appearance or because what society believes. The HTS gene in this book is basically that label. The people in this book look at the carriers like they are already killers. It didn’t matter if they knew that person before and had positive past encounters with them. I thought Jordan did a great job of balancing out this part of the book and incorporating this into Davy’s life while still showing what’s truly going on around her that she’s not aware of. Jordan doesn’t reveal everything, she does it bit by bit and this is what makes the book truly enticing. Even when things get revealed, there’s still so much left to know, I’m itching for the next book!


All in all,  I loved Uninvited. It had a great storyline, a main character than stands out among the rest, and a world that’s so much more than I could have imagined.

*Thanks to HarperCollins for sending a copy for review purposes
I was not compensated for my opinion.

January 28, 2014

Release Day Launch: SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack


We are so excited to share in the Release Day Launch and giveaway for Cora Carmack's SEEKING HER!! SEEKING HER is a novella in Cora’s bestselling Finding It Series, published by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)! Go out and grab your copy today!

Jackson Hunt gets his turn in this Finding It prequel novella…

Jackson Hunt hasn't been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn't exactly what he had in mind, but it's a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey's father doesn't want her to know she's being followed.

She's vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it's time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.


Buy Links: Amazon | B&N

SEEKING HER Excerpt:

I was going to have to find some way to cope with this. If not, I was better off calling Mr. Summers and suggesting he find someone else to take over his daughter-watch.
I felt a pang of something at that thought. It was a general kind of discomfort, and I wasn’t sure whether it was the thought of returning home or something else that made that thought so unappealing.

After the cooling walk earlier, and now standing under the cool, calming rush of water, it was easier to think that I could control myself, but I knew better. It always seemed easier in my head than it really was.

I wiped the water from my eyes, and tried to think of some other way to deal. There was always the hope that Kelsey would get bored. That she would mellow out. If she only partied a couple nights a week, I should be able to resist. But that seemed unlikely.

All that restless energy; the way she’d soaked up the attention from the people around her. I couldn’t see her giving that up. And it was working for her. She was still in the phase where partying made her feel good. That was the one thing that helped me stay clean. The few times I’d slipped up since I started the program had left me miserable and angry, and even more frustrated than when I started. I’d found new ways to chase the high. And maybe that wasn’t any healthier, not when one way involved being in the midst of flying bullets.

It wasn’t the same kind of rush, but it did the trick. I pictured Kelsey again, laughing with her head thrown back, her shirt falling off her shoulder and displaying the gentle curve of her neck. It reminded me of the way she’d tossed her head back that first day out in the woods.

The memory of that caused a different kind of rush in me, and I groaned, pressing my forehead into the tile. Before I could help myself, I pictured her long legs straddling that guy in the gardens. The bright green material of her bra, and the way it conformed to her perfect chest. She leaned back, her fingertips trailing from the bark of the tree to his shoulders.

In an instant, the memory shifted into fantasy, and those were my shoulders she clung to, not his.
That was my undoing. There was only so much resisting I could do in one night.

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About the Author
 Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.





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January 21, 2014

Release Day Launch: SAVOR by Monica Murphy


We are pleased to announce that Monica Murphy's SAVOR is now available for purchase! SAVOR is a sexy Contemporary Romance novel in Monica’s The Billionaire Bachelors Club Series, published by Avon Impulse (an imprint of HarperCollins). Go out and grab your copy today!!


New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy concludes her sexy Billionaire Bachelors Club series with a fiery romance that refuses to be left at the office…

Bryn James can’t take much more. Smart, sexy Matthew DeLuca is everything she wants in a man, but he’s also her boss—the youngest, hottest vineyard owner in the Napa Valley—and he doesn’t see her as anything more than his shy assistant. That’s all about to change. Armed with a hot new look and an attitude to match, Bryn is determined to catch Matt’s eye… professionalism be damned.

With his winery’s grand reopening approaching, Matt is trying to stay focused, but Bryn is suddenly making it very difficult. He’s always thought her prim demeanor effortlessly sexy, but Matt can’t deny that her transformation is jaw-dropping …and going to make it very difficult to keep his hands to himself.

But when one thing leads to another and suddenly Matt is stripping Bryn bare, he’ll be faced with the biggest risk of his career—and his heart. Can he convince her—and himself—that this might just be more than a no-strings office affair?



EXCERPT:
“Don’t be so cranky. It’s okay to admit you have a thing for Bryn.” Ivy leans forward in her chair, a secretive smile curling her lips. “I have a feeling she has a thing for you too, you know.”

I do know. And I can’t act on it. Bryn James works for me. She’s my assistant. She’s by my side constantly; we spend more time with each other than probably anyone else in our lives, especially lately what with the winery’s grand reopening approaching. She’s a representative of my business. If I were to fuck around with the help and the relationship fell apart, I’d be in huge trouble. She could screw me over financially every which way by suing me for sexual harassment and I’d be left with a limp dick in my hand and a ruined business.

Yeah. Not going to take the chance. Saw it happen with my father. Not going to let it happen to me.

“It doesn’t matter. Nothing can happen.” I send Ivy a stern look. “And this conversation can never leave this office.” Glancing over her shoulder, I try to see if Bryn is at her desk but the chair is empty.

Thank Christ.

Ivy’s expression goes solemn and she holds up three fingers. “This conversation stays here. Scout’s honor.”

“You were never a scout,” I mutter, afraid she’s making a promise on an untruth. She’ll probably just blab to everyone. Or specifically Archer and Gage. I don’t need to hear their shit.

And I am worrying way too much over this.

She laughs again. “I won’t say a word, I promise. But I need to tell you something, Matt.” She leans in close, her voice dropping. “She’s got a major crush on you. You might not see it but it’s there—sounding in her voice, shining in her eyes, every time she looks at you, talks about you. The way her body turns into yours every time the two of you are together . . . it’s pretty obvious. A body language expert would have a field day with you two.”

Body language expert? What the hell is Ivy talking about? “I have no idea what you’re referring to, but office crushes are just that. Crushes. Harmless attractions no one ever acts on. Period. End of story.”

This is what I keep telling myself. I can’t pursue anything with Bryn, no matter how much I’m tempted to. Not only would it be wildly inappropriate, dating my assistant, but we come from two different worlds. She seems nice and normal, quiet and unobtrusive, and I am anything but. My life has been a circus sideshow for years.

“I get it. You’re trying to do the right thing, and I admire that. So, of course you don’t see anything beyond an efficient assistant in Miss James.”

Well. Ivy’s not too far off the mark. When I first met Bryn, she hardly said two words, kept her head bent when I spoke to her and offered lots of yes-sir and no-sir answers. She had this way of almost blending in with the walls, like she didn’t want anyone to notice her.

So I didn’t.

As we got comfortable working together though, something happened. I’m thinking Ivy had a hand in Bryn’s slow transformation. She actually makes eye contact when she speaks to me, and she’s become somewhat animated. Started to wear bolder colors as well, drawing my attention to her chest though I keep my eyes averted as best I can.

These subtle changes made me notice all of the little things—like the color of her eyes (blue), how her hair looks (like silk and I want to touch it), and the tempting fullness of her lips (they’re spectacular).

Her gaze lingers when she looks at me and sometimes so does mine. Her smile softens, her voice drops lower when she speaks, sparking my imagination. Would she sound like that right before I kissed her? Took off her clothes? Took her to my bed?

Yeah. All of those are dangerous thoughts. I almost prefer the old Miss James. The one who was like the wallpaper—boring and nondescript. Mean to say, but hell, the last thing I need is a distraction.

And she’s become the biggest distraction I’m currently facing. The very last one I need.

ORDER YOUR COPY:
Amazon US / Amazon CAN / Amazon UK / B&N / iTunes      



ABOUT MONICA MURPHY: 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite. A wife and mother of three, she writes New Adult and contemporary romance for Bantam and Avon. She is the author of One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend.  










January 18, 2014

Stacking the Shelves #49


Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews where you can share books obtained via the bookstore, the library, online, through trade, borrowed from friends, gifted and/or received for review that you're adding to your shelf.

Subscribe to my channnnnnnel!

Books Mentioned:
The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno
Side Effects May Very by Julie Murphy
The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer
Trust in Me by J. Lynn
Be With Me by J. Lynn
Torn by Monica Murphy
Bold Tricks by Karina Halle
The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski
The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen
The Only One Magan Vernon
Dirty Trick by Christine Bell
Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh
Lovers Unmasked (Brazen anthology)
Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi
Wethering the Storm by Samantha Towle
Trouble by Samantha Towle
The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton
The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton
Sweet Surrendering by Chelsea Cameron
Recipe for Attraction by Gina Gordon
Asking for Trouble by Tessa Bailey
Wilde for Her by Tonya Burrows
Game for Trouble by Karen Erickson
Down the Aisle by Christine Bell
Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck
Seducing the Rival by Seleste deLaney
Crash Into Me by Tracy Wolff
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

*sorry for not linking! Nahhh, I sucked it up and linked them for you guys!


Hit me up with what you got!

January 16, 2014

REVIEW: Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky #2)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
It's been months since Aria learned of her mother's death. 
Months since Perry became Blood Lord of the Tides, and months since Aria last saw him.

Now Aria and Perry are about to be reunited. It's a moment they've been longing for with countless expectations. And it's a moment that lives up to all of them. At least, at first.

Then it slips away. The Tides don't take kindly to former Dwellers like Aria. And the tribe is swirling out of Perry's control. With the Aether storms worsening every day, the only remaining hope for peace and safety is the Still Blue. But does this haven truly exist?

Threatened by false friends and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night? 

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi was a spectacular follow up to Under the Never Sky. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more riveting sequel! 

The novel picks up right where UTNS left off with Perry and Aria reuniting. It started off good, a strong lead in to the hope and tension that circulated throughout the novel. The reuniting of my favorite heroes meant good and bad things to come and while I expected some of these things, plenty of times I didn’t.

Through the Ever Night was more than just about Perry and Aria. While there was romance between them, I felt that it was set back to allow more important things to come forward that they needed to deal with. I cannot say that those stolen moments were not cute. I adored them together the most, even if it was short and fleeting. There was definitely more tension between Aria and Perry because of their situation and circumstances and those trials, tests and doubts solidified their relationship for me. 

I felt Aria and Perry grew more individually; strong separately, but stronger still together.  Aria was no longer the lost Dweller, terrified of the outside. She really embraced who she was even though she still struggled with where she belonged. Perry showed a more vulnerable and insecure side when it came to his feelings and his relationship with Aria. He struggled with wanting to protect the Tides while still doing the right thing in the end no matter how much his people disagreed.


Because both Aria and Perry had their own scores to settle, I think this added just a bit more adventure and thrill for the storyline. The friendship between Aria and Roar that was established in the first book definitely deepened in this book. It was probably my most favorite part because their bond was different from the Perry and Aria bond, but just as touching and heartfelt than ever. I liked seeing the previous secondary characters I barely got a glimpse of get bigger parts, even though some of those characters made me want to punch them in the face. 

Plot wise there were many problems the main characters had to face whether they be directly or indirectly related to one another. Each faced a whole lot throughout the novel and it really added depth to everything. This book wasn’t solely set on Aria and Perry finding the Still Blue, though that was their main goal. Other elements were definitely at play (Aether storms, Hess, the Horns, Dwellers vs Outsiders) coupled with Rossi’s talent to really emphasize the world surrounding the characters, there wasn’t room to be bored. There were just plenty of surprising twists that kept me on my toes and there wasn’t an ounce of pain, betrayal, loss and heartache that I didn’t feel along the way. 

Overall, Through the Ever Night was far beyond anything I ever expected. Rossi really outdone herself and all I can say is that I loved every single page of what she created here. 

Read my review for Under the Never Sky, the first book in this amazing trilogy!

January 14, 2014

Excerpt Blast: SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack


SEEKING HER by Cora Carmack 
Expected publication: January 24, 2014
Pre-order (it's only $0.99! zomg)

Book Description:
Jackson Hunt gets his turn in this Finding It prequel novella …

Jackson Hunt hasn't been out of the military for long, but he needs to get a job and find a sense of normalcy if he is going to keep his demons at bay. The job that falls into his lap, though, is anything but normal.

Becoming bodyguard (and babysitter) to spoiled rich girl Kelsey Summers isn't exactly what he had in mind, but it's a chance to travel, to get away. The catch: Kelsey's father doesn't want her to know she's being followed.

She's vibrant and infuriating, exciting and reckless, mysterious and familiar. When Jackson sees her falling into the same patterns he suffered years ago, he decides it's time to stop watching and help her instead. But getting to know Kelsey is more difficult than he thought, especially because the more he knows her, the more he wants her.




About the Author
Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

January 9, 2014

REVIEW: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Source: Edelweiss*
Rating: 3/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

My Review
I was hesitant to read The Promise of Amazing due to all the mixed reviews that kept popping up. Upon finishing the book, I realized that though the novel did not live up to the title of amazing, it did not crash and burn either. I found parts that I wasn’t a fan of and I also found parts that I liked tremendously as well. 


The Promise of Amazing was spilt into two points of view between Wren and Grayson. I related more to Wren because she was smart and quiet; a very good person at heart. Grayson, on the other hand, was very hard to like because he started off being an asshole and a playboy, someone who stirred up trouble. Grayson did grow on me the more I read and got to know him and the more he wanted to change for himself and for Wren. These two character were different in almost every sense, but the same in wanting to change for the better. Wren wanted to be more than average, someone who wasn’t quiet and Grayson wanted to get his act together. They inadvertently helped one another to see their lives differently and I liked that part about them.

I liked Grayson and Wren’s relationship and the complications they had to go through that kept them apart or brought them together. However, I was not a fan of how quick these two fell in love. It was nice seeing them fight for one another and seeing how they handled their problems individually though. They had a great connection that felt authentic and I thought they were super adorable together. I just wished the L word didn’t come out so quickly. 

I didn’t mind the slow pacing of this storyline, but I thought that some of the twists were more forced than it should have been. A lot the things that were mentioned weren’t really expanded on and others were explained all in one sitting that it felt more like info dump and I didn’t really enjoy that. I also thought that some moments weren’t really necessary and felt more like fillers to draw things out. The upside of the dual points of view was being able to experience the characters feelings and reactions at first hand, but the downside was the lack of elemental surprise of knowing everything before the other character did. The ending was rushed and a little bit anticlimactic after what happened between Wren, Grayson, and the other characters.

Overall, The Promise of Amazing had great potential to be totally awesome, but it sort of fell through bit by bit. Not to say that it wasn’t an ok read in the least because I was fond of the main characters.

*Thanks to Harper Teen/ Blazer + Bray for sending a copy for review
I was not compensated for my opinion.

January 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #45

Waiting on Wednesday 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where you share an upcoming release that you're anticipating on reading.

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I haven't done one of these in foreverrrrrrr
so here goes....


The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Release date: March 4, 2014
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux


Why is Jessirae waiting for this book?

A) That gorgeous cover - how can I resist that unique, pretty, I want to press my face against that cover - cover? I know I shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but hot damn look at it! I was drawn to the cover which made me want to read the summary, and BOOM, I WANT IT YO.

B) I fell in love with Rutkoski's writing when I read (and reviewed) The Shadow Society. I was so impressed by her writing style and her ability to build a world so clearly and intricately. I know these are two different books, but when I like one book from an author, the chances of liking another becomes very high. 

C) And of course the mention of war, secret love, and deadly games, holy rolie polie olie, I'm so freaking solddddddddd. Fantasy books are totally growing on me!

Are you waiting on this book too?