December 21, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #48

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.

It's been awhile since I've done an STS and I've accumulated some books along the way. 
This will be a Part One to my STS while on hiatus haul! 

Recent egalley haul:

Books Mentioned (physical copies):

Bloggers Mentioned:
Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thanks to:
Spencer Hill Press
William Morrow Impulse
Avon Impulse
Katherine Tegen Books
Greenwillow Books

What did you get?
Link me!

December 20, 2013

REVIEW: Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan (The Ivy Chronicles #1)
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Source: Edelweiss via publisher*
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs. 

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

My thoughts, feeling, and reactions
Foreplay by Sophie Jordan is exactly what New Adult should be. I believe this book completely hit all the good spots when it comes to my love for NA. I thought it had plenty of steam, sexiness, entertainment, along with a take home message about love throughout the whole book. Jordan didn’t disappoint me in her Firelight series and she sure as hell didn’t disappoint me on this new series!

I have to admit that it took some time for me to warm up to Pepper. She just didn’t stand out as much until later on in the book. She was sort of shy and quiet, inexperienced when it came to flirting, foreplay and sex and she ultimately had a set “perfect” plan for her future. She was a smart, determined, nice girl, one who wanted nothing more than a normal life. I understood why Pepper wanted her plans to work out. She wasn’t perfect and I enjoyed seeing a character that was flawed in a lot of ways because it just made her more for real for me. It was great to see Pepper learn from her mistakes and open her eyes to what she truly wanted and needed. 

I loved Reece right from the very start. He was such a breath of fresh air when it came to sexy, brooding love interests because he was such a good guy despite it all. There was some broken parts in him, but he was just absolutely loving after he shed his aloof and elusive demeanor. I really loved that he indulged Pepper, but never forced her to do anything she didn’t want to do. I thought he did a great job of helping Pepper out of her comfort zone and opened her eyes and heart to what was right in front of her. Reece was an amazing character all around. 

Foreplay had a solid plot line and had some interesting details along the way that kept me thoroughly entertained and glued to the pages. I think it had a rough start for me, but I was glad I kept going because it was well worth the read. The actual foreplay between Pepper and Reece was so freaking hot, I was about ready to take their clothes off for them! They were spicy and delicious and had me craving for more. I loved their chemistry and the awkwardness of Pepper’s innocence. The romance between them was the best kind, the unexpected kind, the type that creeped up between their foreplay. Of course I already figured these two would be getting it on, but to read how it happened was lovely and had me swooning. And I especially loved the whole fairy tale plan Pepper built up in her head and how she discovered that what she wanted for years may not be what she truly needed. The interactions, the hot scenes, coupled with the moments that leave me with a tender heart make this book an excellent read.

Overall, Foreplay was engaging, thoughtful, and a very steamy book that New Adult lovers will love and appreciate. 

*Thanks to Harper Teen for sending this book for review purposes
I was not compensated for my opinion. 

December 19, 2013

REVIEW: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: January 7, 2013
Source: Edelweiss via publisher*
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

My thoughts, feelings, and reactions
No One Else Can Have You started off with a great introduction to a quiet, yet strange small town and led into a mysterious killer on the loose with a young eccentric aspiring journalist turned investigator looking for the truth. I was pretty much sold on the creepy yet eye-catching cover and whole premise to match. This book was definitely unique, a different type of YA mystery that had its moments, but left me enjoying it nonetheless. 

I have plenty of things to say about Kippy. She was certainly odd, as was the rest of this book, and maybe slightly unhinged to some degree. She started off angry at her best friend, missing her and finding out maybe she didn’t really like Kippy’s company entirely, to becoming a good friend by discovering the truth about Ruth’s death. I thought it was brave (and probably crazy as hell) that Kippy was going around the town looking for some sick killer. Kippy, you see, was inexperienced, innocent, and irrational at the worst of times. At her best times, she was excited, very enthusiastic, and unwilling to just let something go when she got all riled up. At first she was totally clueless, but when things started to click, she would just light up and that made me smile. Kippy could act immature, but there was intelligence somewhere in her personality even though half the time I asked myself what the heck she was doing. She was a fun character and she sort of reminded me of SRB’s Kami from Unspoken.

While for me, the heart of the story was Kippy and the murder, the town and the people within the town were a sort of backdrop. They were behind the scenes and a few characters did play a major role in the forefront of it all. I have to say that the town was half creepy and half ignorant, especially the Sheriff. I think they were all clouded by their fear and how they wanted it to just end; they weren’t really looking into Ruth’s murder. I did however find that some of their customs had me rolling my eyes but I sort of liked the quirkiness of it all. There were lots of dark humor and some satire that I’m sure others would enjoy as well. Lots of the time, it seemed the small town and its residents were being made fun of. It was funny, but also frustrating too. The whole town was just a little too out there for me and a few times it got a little offensive when it came to mental illness other things.

I thought that the plot and the pacing needed work. It was a fun  and weird mystery novel for sure, but I found that some parts were slow or completely irrelevant. I also thought that some events were a little outrageous and unbelievable. And then sometimes things were just all over the place, so it was a little hard to follow, especially with Kippy’s erratic behavior. However, the ending really made this book better for me. It was so unexpected and it took a surprising turn. The ending really tied everything together and made it more understandable that I was glad I stuck through it. 

Overall, No One Else Can Have You was a strange YA mystery novel that I actually enjoyed despite its oddness and somewhat eye rolling plot line. It was surely out of the ordinary, a little charming, and as eerie as the moose hanging from that noose on the cover. 

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

December 17, 2013

Book Blast: Kiss of Fire by Rebecca Ethington

Joclyn Despain has been marred by a brand on her skin. She doesn't know why the mark appeared on her neck, but she doesn't want anyone to see it, including her best friend Ryland, who knows everything else about her. The scar is the reason she hides herself behind baggy clothes, and won't let the idea of kissing Ryland enter her mind, no matter how much she wants to.

The scar is the reason she is being hunted.

If only she knew that she was.

If only she had known that the cursed stone her estranged father sent for her 16th birthday would trigger a change in her. Now, she is being stalked by a tall blonde man, and is miraculously throwing her high school bully ten feet in the air.

Joclyn attempts to find some answers and the courage to follow her heart. When Ryland finds her scar; only he knows what it means, and who will kill her because of it.

“Loved the world, the concept, all of the characters (good and bad), and just everything about this story! On to the next one!” -Jena, Shortie Says

“I loved this book from the very first lines… I think it will be hard to move on to another story for a while." -Steele Reviews

“It’s amazing and left me at the edge of my seat through the night as I read.” - Zach’s YA Reviews

On sale now for $.99!

Can also be found on Barnes & Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.

Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads

December 16, 2013

REVIEW: Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh

Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh (Feel the Heat #1)
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: September 2, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N | Kobo
Competitors by day, lovers by night…

Allegra Wilks has had the worst month of her personal and professional life. To save her company, she must go on her would-be honeymoon and land the luxury eco-island resort’s lucrative advertising account. But when a lingerie mishap leads her into the arms of a wickedly distracting Australian, Allegra’s tempted to skip the trip and explore the most sensual kiss she’s ever experienced. Too bad their chance encounter at the airport is just that.

Having recently lost his company to his former best friend’s shady business tactics, Jett Alcott is headed to a South Pacific resort to secure an advertising account that will resurrect his reputation and career. Realizing the tantalizing Allegra Wilks is on his flight, Jett envisions a week filled with business and pleasure. But Jett doesn’t know Allegra’s fighting for the same account, or that there’s more at stake than his heart.

My Review
Another Brazen book that goes above and beyond when it comes to romance and seduction. Wicked Heat by Nicola Marsh really brings in all the elements of why I adore the Brazen line so much: steamy scenes, chemistry that pours off the page, and witty entertainment from characters that are easy to fall in love with. 

Jett and Allegra give the title of this book some serious justice. These two don’t just heat up the pages, they were freaking on fire. I absolutely loved these two together, whether they were going back and forth with their clever banter, being totally swoon worthy sweet and especially their steamy scenes that made me wish I was the one all over Jett. These two were just burning with electricity and chemistry. I adored Jett because in his cocky, charming and smooth side, there was a vulnerable guy who had doubts, fears, and insecurities. It was something I don’t normally see when it comes to guys. He laid it all out on the table and I loved him for that. Allegra was an amazing character as well because she was feisty, intelligent, and thoughtful. I loved that she was innocent, but confident even in her uncertainty. I thought she was very sexy in a subtle way and that she was just as ambitious and determined as Jett was. I just thought Allegra and Jett were meant for each other; they were just too cute!

I really like the way Marsh took Jett and Allegra’s story. I always enjoy a book where love and career is at stake and I thought Marsh played out everything in a very realistic, yet romantic way. It was never over the top and always believable and genuine. Marsh also tackled flings turning into love and commitment and issues of trust and relinquishing control when it came to relationships. I really loved the way she brought these two together, the conflict she put them through and how they ended up when I finished. I think my own complaint would be that I wanted more Jett and Allegra at the end. They were just so perfect, I couldn’t get enough!

Overall, Wicked Heat was a fast-paced, humorous and sexy read. Nicola Marsh, I want more please!