June 30, 2014

TEACHING ROMAN Release Day Blitz!

Teaching Roman by Gennifer Albin (Good Girls Don't #2)
Jessica Stone has her life in perfect order until her perfectly boring boyfriend Brett puts things in perspective. So when she receives a call to action from her heartbroken best friend Cassie, she ditches her plans for Winter Break in gloomy Olympic Falls and sets off to Mexico for some fun in the sun.

Determined to use her oceanview to prep for her MCATS, she doesn't plan to run into anyone from Olympic State, least of all the cute communications prof she's been crushing on for a year. When he unexpectedly saves the day, the two are thrown together in a distinctly extracurricular activity.

Roman Markson doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows from Olympic Falls while visiting his family in Puerto Vallarta, especially not a former student. Although Jess Stone has a way of catching men’s attention, a relationship with her is strictly off-limits. However, the rules feel less strict in Mexico, so they agree to a plan: one week in paradise and nothing more.

But avoiding each other back on campus is harder than they anticipated, especially when they can’t stay away from one another. Neither is sure what they have to learn—and lose—before life teaches them a lesson they’ll never forget.

About the Author

Gennifer Albin holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri. A recovering academic, she turned to writing her own books.  In her free time she sits on the National Novel Writing Month Advisory Board, laughs (and cries) with her mom writers group, and watches too much Doctor Who (if that's possible). Gennifer lives in Poulsbo Washington with her family.

Website | Facebook Fan Page | Twitter | Goodreads

This post was brought to you by Inkslinger PR ^^

June 27, 2014

REVIEW: Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover

Better When He's Bad by Jay Crownover (Welcome to the Point #1)
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Welcome to the Point

There’s a difference between a bad boy and a boy who’s bad . . . meet Shane Baxter.

Sexy, dark, and dangerous, Bax isn’t just from the wrong side of the tracks, he is the wrong side of the tracks. A criminal, a thug, and a brawler, he’s the master of bad choices, until one such choice landed him in prison for five years. Now Bax is out and looking for answers, and he doesn’t care what he has to do or who he has to hurt to get them. But there’s a new player in the game, and she’s much too innocent, much too soft…and standing directly in his way.

Dovie Pryce knows all about living a hard life and the tough choices that come with it. She’s always tried to be good, tried to help others, and tried not to let the darkness pull her down. But the streets are fighting back, things have gone from bad to worse, and the only person who can help her is the scariest, sexiest, most complicated ex-con The Point has ever produced.

Bax terrifies her, but it doesn’t take Dovie long to realize that some boys are just better when they’re bad.

My Review
I was so excited to read Jay Crownover’s new book that wasn’t already a part of the Marked Men series that I’ve become so obsessed. I had a feeling that Better When He's Bad would be something fresh with a lot of edge and I was sold by the sound of such a bad guy, not a bad boy, like Bax. 

And let me tell you all about Bax. He was a criminal, a thief, and a thug. His reputation certainly preceded him. He could be tough, he could be rough and most definitely he was cold and ruthless. He had a map of scars all over his body, he wore a hard glare with his emotionless dark eyes like a mask, and had a star tattoo right next to his eye that made him unforgettable in every sense of the word. He loved fast, beautiful cars and the same went for the women he took to bed. He wasn’t the type of person to back down from a fight and could be in your face and break it in a minute. Bax never pretended to be something he wasn’t and he never made himself out to be the good guy or even said he could be the good guy someday which was evident throughout the whole book. 

When Dovie came into the picture, Bax was still Bax. They didn’t have some lovey romance. Sometimes Bax just straight up manhandled and barked at Dovie. However, we do get little tiny glimpses of someone who could be compassionate. This was shown by the little things that Bax did for her: held her while she slept, brush her hair away from her face, buy her clothes, and protect her when need be. This was what made him salvageable. Dovie was a tough little cookie and survived as best as she could too, but in the work-your-ass-off-on-the-right-side-of-the-law type of way. She was scared shitless by Bax, but she saw something in him that was wedged deep in there, someone within Bax she knew of as Shane. And what I truly appreciated about Dovie was her ability to accept Bax for who he was. She didn’t make him change or didn’t try to fix him either.

I rated this book down a star because most of the focus shifted to Dovie and Bax’s “romance” for a lack of a better term. Not saying that I didn’t enjoy those after the dark on the counter top sexy times, because let’s face it, this is me we’re talking about and I enjoyed them a lot. However, when I was in Dovie’s head, I wanted to be in Bax’s because I thought that’s where all the action was going to be.  A lot of the answers Bax was looking for just got told instead of shown if that makes sense at all. I’m not sure if it was the plot itself or maybe the pacing that made it seem like the information was just tossed at once. But I really loved this book because I was so darn invested into the story. I wanted to know what went down that night Bax got arrested. I wanted to know what the deal was with Dovie and her brother Race and why on earth Novak wanted Bax so much. When we do get answers, things pick up and several revelations come out; some I expected and others that threw me for a loop. I was also shocked by the extent of what Bax would do during the whole shebang and it was well worth the bumpy ride. 

The best thing about this book besides Bax, of course, was how Crownover allowed readers to conjure up our own view of the Point and the Hill and all the dirty stuff in between. She made us feel that this neighborhood does indeed exist and that people do live this way and that there is not a shortage of danger, action, guns, strip clubs, dirty fights, money laundering, blackmail and jail time when you’re in this type of neighborhood, living this type of life that Bax continues to live in. She brought this world to life so easily and I would be lying if I wasn’t stoked to read more in this series.

June 25, 2014

REVIEW: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Take Me On by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #4)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

My Review
Take Me On has come extremely close to topping Pushing the Limits for me. There was just something powerful and heart wrenching when it came to Haley and West’s story that nearly gave me as much emotion that I got from Noah and Echo. Katie McGarry just continues to dominate with her fantastic stories!

The Characters

West was impulsive, prideful, and had a temper that needed to be reined in. He had a strained relationship with his father and felt immense guilt for Rachel’s accident. Haley was strong, fierce, and self-sacrificing. She too felt extreme guilt for her family and bottled up many problems and emotions that she needed help with.What I loved about these two were how opposite they were of each other on the outside, but so alike in the inside. Haley wasn’t as privileged as West was, but both seem to carry the weight of the world, both love their families to death, and both would do anything to protect them. I ached for Haley because of all the things her family lost, her living arrangement, the horror she went through and the fear that continued to haunt her. I loved West for being so protective, for wanting to help Haley, for realizing how lucky he was and how much he needed to change and be a man.

The Romance

This book really does deal with the touch stuff and personal issues. It wasn’t always happy go lucky times between West and Haley. They had to keep working at it. What I loved about what McGarry did with their relationship was allowed them to do stuff not for the other person, but for themselves alone. There was give and take and there wasn’t a clear set happy ending. The future was still unknown and I liked that for Haley and West because their journey to each other wasn’t easy at all. I also really enjoyed the training that went with West and Haley’s story. I liked how fighting became their symbol, but in a good way. Fighting was what kind of broke them individually, but it also fixed them and led them to one another. It was nice to see how the training and the kickboxing played a significant role in their relationship. 

The Plot, Conflict and Setting

The book takes place in a “not so good” neighborhood. There’s drugs, drug dealers, drug users, people getting jumped, fighting, etc. It wasn’t picture perfect and it suited how difficult it was for Haley and West to be together. The book mostly centered on fighting, especially between Haley’s family and of her ex boyfriend’s family and gym. It also focused on using the sport of fighting for the good versus the bad. There was definitely some heavy stuff well worth mentioning such as homelessness, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and dysfunctional families. But opposite that, McGarry celebrated familial love and the depth in which such bonds reach and also the love felt between West and Haley. There were also plenty of surprises and revelations that should rock the boat and keep readers totally mind boggled.

All in all, I thought Take Me On was wonderfully written. McGarry really brought forth the intensity and whirlwind moments full of heartbreak of different varieties. She left a message to never give up and to push through the demons bringing you down. She displayed the importance of family and the ability to discover what makes you truly happy.

*Thanks to Harlequin Teen for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review

June 20, 2014

REVIEW: Winning the Boss's Heart by Hayson Manning

Winning the Boss's Heart by Hayson Manning
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Publication Date: September 9, 2013
Rating: 4/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new for his Japanese client, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand. Not even his temporary cook and secretary—the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod—will deter him. There’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years...

Billie has one dream: save enough money to go to college. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian—a man who has every intention of destroying through "modernization" the town’s most cherished historical home. But before she can say see ya, she realizes she’s signed the dotted line and is contractually bound for eighty-four days.  Working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A—as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day...

My Review
I didn’t think I would absolutely, positively dig this book so much as I do! What Hayson Manning created in Winning the Boss’s Heart was such a gem. I was so swept away by the characters and the quickness of the book and just the homey feel that was weaved in. 

I thought I wouldn’t like Mason at all because he was just so demanding and cold and closed off. He even had the audacity to call his assistants by numbers instead of their names and expects them to work long ass hours. I kind of wanted to hit him upside his head and ask him what his deal was. But oh, the pain that he showed and the bottled up guilt softened my heart for him and I completely get why he was the way he was. After such a tragic loss and how he continued to blame himself, I could see why he thought the perfection he once had was all he ever would have. He totally drowned himself in work and became so walled in. I wanted to open his eyes and his heart and just make him see that there was so much out there. 

And I think Billie does the job. Here was this quirky woman who had big dreams of going back to culinary school, who had a strange but cute dog, who never stopped talking, who made every area like it was well lived in, and someone who totally challenge Mason. And that is why I loved Billie from the very start. She had more character and personality for her and Mason and everyone around. She was silly and sometimes spoke without her brain and mouth communicating and she wasn’t afraid to just banter right off with Mason. Billie was a person with so much energy and life, she was the light that Mason so desperately needed. 

These two were always at each other’s throats, but I loved them because they were exactly what the other needed. It was obvious from the start that their professional relationship would be different because of Billie’s extraordinary personality. She got under his skin and he had no choice but to let her in. Those little glimpses of him feeling something for her were the best parts for me. I especially loved the easy banter between them though most the time Mason would get angry or frustrated it was still so entertaining and made me laugh out loud. I was surprised by the amount of humor, the affection and even the hurt that both characters had or felt. For me, it was the characters that gave this book that comfort easy to read feeling and I’m so glad I picked it up!

June 18, 2014

REVIEW: Crash into You by Katie McGarry

Crash into You by Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits #3)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: November 26, 2013
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane. 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

My Review
Oh Crash into You, I have been waiting for you the moment Isaiah showed up in Pushing the Limits and even more so when he was so torn up in Dare You To. And while I can’t say you were my most favorite of the bunch, you surely did not disappoint in being absolutely fabulous. Katie McGarry continued to amaze me with her incredible characters and soul touching story lines.

It’s only fair to start with Isaiah.

I knew I would love this boy that very first encounter and now, I’m head over heels completely crazy gaga in love with him. He was mister tough guy with tattoos and piercings and someone you don’t mess with, but deep inside he’s this super loyal and dependable guy. I was so heart broken for him in the previous book, I was glad he had his own story now. There was just so much more to him than what meets the eye. Though he thought he didn’t deserve love or that he couldn’t possibly be good enough for love, he was. He wasn’t lacking in kindness, tenderness, concern and devotion for every single person he cared about. 

Sweet sweet Rachel.

I liked Rachel, I really did. It sucked that she struggled with panic attacks and how she was overlooked by her family. I understood her need to make her mother and her whole family happy. She was strong because she held up for so long, but weak because she didn’t speak up when she should have. However, Rachel was super cool because she was down to earth, loved cars just as much as Isaiah, and she was also loyal as hell. When she finally broke out of that shell of hers, I was damn impressed.

Isaiah and Rachel sitting in a tree...

I think the reason why this book was not my favorite of the three so far was because of how easily Isaiah and Rachel got together. It felt sudden to me, but it got better along the way because they were both starting to get under each other’s skin and starting to feel things. They were trying to overcome a bunch of obstacles that were attempting to keep them apart. And I loved that Isaiah learned to let Rachel in and to let go of the control he needed and Rachel was able to be herself around him and allow her to realize that she was indeed strong and brave. While they were not my favorite in the beginning, they were just lovely by the end.

Cars, drag racing, fundraisers, and threats!

I loooooved that this book was all about cars, which brought Isaiah and Rachel together in first place, even though I know jack about cars. Can’t say I wasn’t confused by the terminology and gadgets and gizmos, but it was pretty awesome. I even loved all the drag racing and I appreciated the danger that became the conflict of the novel. And I adore McGarry for bringing the gang together in order to help Isaiah and Rachel in need. That’s one the main reasons I love her books because they have a family aspect in them between people who are not blood related, but close enough to become the real deal. As of her previous books, there’s a good amount of laughs, tension, make out sessions and family drama to keep you hooked.

June 16, 2014

REVIEW: The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Assassin's Curse #2)
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

My Review
I fell in love with Cassandra Rose Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse because of the originality and the creativity of the novel that had so much adventure. She gave me exactly what I wanted from the first book and brought it back into the second with even more action, danger, and even better... some romance!

This book picks up where The Assassin’s Curse left right off with Ananna and Naji stranded on the Isles of the Sky. From there the adventurous tale of these two trying to break the curse begins. Like its predecessor, The Pirate’s Wish takes my favorite duo to many places. Why I fell in love with this duology was clear from the world building alone. Clarke brought in such detail and vibrancy in both books, but so much more in this one. Much of the setting is described so clearly from the unpredictable Isles of the Sky to the beautiful nature in the Island of the Sun, to the rich city of Jokja. Even more so, I appreciated the way in which sailing across the vast sea was described and all the fights that ensued when it came to battling another ship and taking it.

The journey for Ananna and Naji to completing the three tasks was indeed epic and made way for new characters to join in. We get royal manticores, a former noble Empire soldier, a Queen of Jokja, and even talking fish and sharks from an underwater palace. All these character played a role or helped in someway. Marjani, though a recurring character, felt like a new one because so much was revealed about her. She was by far my favorite of them all, well beside the manticore.

I’ve always loved Naji and Ananna because they were so different. They just worked so well together despite their rocky alliance in the beginning. Especially with Ananna’s stubbornness to stay clear of danger and Naji‘s anger and harsh demeanor, these two clash more than once but it created an entertaining and endearing banter more than anything. I liked how Ananna was a lot more assertive in being able to protect herself. Although I did find her to be a little more insecure, she was still that awesome outgoing pirate I loved. Naji was still reserved and brooding, but I adored him because he protected and cared for Ananna even when she didn’t see it. Plus Naji could conjure up some blood magic to kick some serious ass. What’s even better between these two was how Clarke gave me the romance that I was hoping for. She gave me attraction in the first book, but gave me a foundation, substance and kindling romance that held much more depth in this one. It wasn’t legendary or monumental in any shape or form, but it was the perfect amount of affection that really snared my heart. 

Definitely a lot goes on plot wise, but it’s not difficult to read at all. There’s a mixture of revenge, doubt and near death experiences to grab attention. And why I continued to love this book despite the crazy pacing and roller coaster completion of tasks was because it was always unpredictable. I never knew what to expect from the characters or even with the magic that surrounded this book completely. There wasn’t a shortage of pirates, assassins, monsters, and spells. Naji and Ananna go through so much. Tears shed, blood is lost, and life tips in the balance because there was always a threat for them at every corner and I absolutely loved that. 

Overall, The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke reminded me why I fell in love with the world she created in The Assassin’s Curse in the first place. She gave me a fit ending and conclusion for my favorite pirate and assassin that still have me thoroughly enchanted.

Check out my review for the first book that started it all - The Assassin's Curse.

June 13, 2014

REVIEW: The Warrior by Victoria Scott

The Warrior by Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
War between heaven and hell is coming, but Dante Walker makes it look damn good.

Dante’s girlfriend, Charlie, is fated to save the world. And Aspen, the girl who feels like a sister, is an ordained soldier. In order to help both fulfill their destiny and win the war, Dante must complete liberator training at the Hive, rescue Aspen from hell, and uncover a message hidden on an ancient scroll.

Dante is built for battle, but even he can’t handle the nightmares where spiders crawl from Aspen’s eyes, or the look on Charlie’s face that foretells of devastation. To make matters worse, the enemy seizes every opportunity to break inside the Hive and cripple the liberators. But the day of reckoning is fast approaching, and to stand victorious, Dante will have to embrace something inside himself he never has before—faith.

My Review
The Warrior by Victoria Scott was an exceptional end to a trilogy that introduced me to the one and only Dante Walker. In this epic finale, Scott doesn’t hesitate to raise the stakes in every level and form. Again, she entertained me, captivated me, and had me on the edge of my seat for the most part. 

Like I said previously in my review for The Liberator, I appreciate Scott for keeping Dante true to his character. He really has come full circle, even more so in The Warrior. He was still self conscious about his Liberator role, but Dante was so determined to help with the impending war, to protect Charlie and save Aspen from hell. I really thought I saw an even more deeper side to Dante in this book. True to his form, he was still arrogant, but my favorite parts of him were his doubts, his fears, and the guilt he felt even for the enemy. Dante learns a lot about himself, he pushes himself to be stronger and better, and he opens himself up to friendship and opens his eyes to the Big Guy. Dante was not perfect as much as he wishes to be and he made plenty of mistakes, but he continued to redeem himself, he continued to keep on trying and he made sure that he was giving his all every single time. 

I loved how plenty of new characters showed up and helped shaped Dante in this last book. Granted not all of them were truly on the good side, I did like the good I saw in them. My favorite quirky new character had to be Oswald. He was fun and smart and his role in the book was awesome. And speaking of characters, although it pains me to see some that I grew to love meet their end, I was glad that Scott wasn't afraid to kill certain characters. It was upsetting and heart breaking, but she gave their deaths meaning. She never once cut corners or did it just to give the book dramatics. Those deaths were legitimate and was given a close. I was also surprised by the amount of betrayal in the book, how certain characters turned from the Liberator side. It’s funny how love and war are tricky and dirty and desperate and Scott totally managed to rock my belief in those particular characters.

The amount of action and fighting in The Warrior was immense compared to book one and two. The strategies, the killing, the battles, the weapons were all exciting and shocking and probably the best parts of the book. Scott gave me exactly what I was looking for when it came to wars and epic battles and she did not disappoint in that last showdown between Dante and Rector. She built up the anticipation, she gave the thrill, she put in the drama, and the harsh reality that many will fall. 

Overall, I really love The Warrior. It was a fine piece of work to end Dante’s story. Scott was well rounded in this one and I’m completely content with how everything wrapped up so nicely. There is only one Dante Walker and Victoria Scott made sure we would never forget that. 

*Thanks to Entangled Teen for sending a copy for review purposes

More Reviews on Dante Walker:

The Collector by Victoria Scott (Dante Walker #1)
The LIberator by Victoria Scott (Dante Walker #2)

June 11, 2014

REVIEW: The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth about Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.

My Review
The Truth about Alice shows an important moral about not being so quick to judge and gives us insight in how rumors and lies can be taken too far. It also shows the importance in kindness, friendship and forgiveness. 

The unique thing about The Truth about Alice is not knowing who Alice was or what the truth was directly from her. We get to know Alice through the eyes of other students in her high school who knew her on a friendship or acquaintance basis. The book was split between four perspectives: popular girl Elaine, former outcast and best friend to the book’s namesake, Kelsie, football star Josh, and last but not least, shy genius Kurt. All had a role to play in Alice’s downfall and at least one person stuck by her side. 

I thought too many perspectives would get confusing or even tiresome, but I actually thought it was a wise and clever idea. I got to see how these characters saw Alice and what they really thought of her. Jennifer Mathieu did an excellent job of making sure each character had a distinct voice so we can set them apart from one another. All four characters had different personalities and opinions and I loved that I didn’t have to know whose head I was in. 

I’m going to start with my least favorite character: Kelsie. To be quite honest, I loathe her. She was the worst best friend or even friend ever. It was obvious she was jealous of Alice’s popularity and experience, but she completely abandoned Alice because of one little tiny insignificant lie. Kelsie abandoned Alice, whether those rumors were true or not, to keep her social status. To make sure her popularity was still in tack. The more I was in her head, the more I disliked her with every page. She was disgusting. I just thought Kelsie was extremely selfish. 

Josh and Elaine were kind of mildly the same in how they both felt slight guilty about Alice, but they were still obviously pretty bad. Elaine was the lesser of two evils. She was the typical popular girl, conceited, and so full of herself. She wasn’t a bad person per se, but she sure didn’t set a good example either. I say she’s the lesser of the two evils even though she instigated and didn’t do anything to debunk the rumors, she still redeemed herself in the end because she looked at the bigger picture. Josh on the other hand, was almost as bad as Kelsie. He wasn’t horrible or even a bad guy. He was a good friend towards Brandon and even had some nice memories about Alice, but his selfishness reared its ugly head. And I believe Josh may have been a catalyst to the night of the party and other things. He felt sorry for Alice and he certainly felt guilt, but he did nothing about it and that’s where my disappointment stayed.

Kurt was the best character. He had his own selfish reasons for helping Alice, but he was nice to Alice even when she wasn’t pleasant. He was cute and awkward and shy and I liked that he got out of his shell to approach her. He took his chances and he saw something in Alice that no one else saw. And out of the four, he had the strongest, clearest and most intelligent voice. I adored him. 

I cannot say whether the rumors of Alice were true, you’ll just have to read for yourself. I just love that Mathieu created an original book like this. She kept me riveted and slowly trickled down the information about Alice and what really happened through every single chapter in the eyes of each character. It was great build up. She didn’t give a happy ending, she just gave a realistic, believable one. Mathieu made Alice imperfect allowing the reader to form our own opinions about her and to judge her too while reading along. But in the end, Mathieu leaves an important message about not believing everything you hear and not being so quick to judge a person despite past faults. 

June 6, 2014

REVIEW: Tease by Sophie Jordan

Tease by Sophie Jordan (The Ivy Chronicles #2)
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5 stars
Get it: Amazon | B&N
What happens when a girl who always calls the shots meets a guy who's too wild for even her?

A born flirt and good-time party girl, Emerson has never had a problem finding a willing guy. She's always chosen her hookups carefully, and she's never broken her three cardinal rules:
Never let them see the real you.

Never fall in love.

Always leave them begging for more.

Then Shaw comes along. A hottie from the wrong side of the tracks, he's immune to her flirtatious banter and come-hither smile. After rescuing her from a disastrous night at a biker bar, he doesn't even try to take her to bed—he calls her a tease and sends her home instead. Unable to resist a challenge, or forget the sexy, dark-eyed, bad-boy biker, she vows to bring him to his knees.

But instead of making Shaw beg, Emerson finds herself craving him. For the first time in her life, she's throwing out her rule book. Suddenly, she's the one panting for a guy she can't control—a guy who won't settle for anything less than the real Emerson and who forces her to do things she's never imagined, including facing a past she thought she'd buried.

A guy who just might leave her wanting more. . . .

My Review
I really love what Sophie Jordan started with in the Ivy Chronicles when she wrote Foreplay. I fell in love with Reece and Pepper and now even more so with Emerson and Shaw in Tease. 

What I really like about this series is how the male love interest is a really good guy and not the typical bad boy the girl falls for. This time around Emerson was portrayed as the bad girl with Shaw trying to win her over completely. From the way Emerson was described in the first book, she seemed wild, promiscuous and like the title of this book, a tease. But getting to know her, she wasn’t like that at all. It was all a front to keep control of her life, to make sure she protected herself and her heart. 

It was slightly harder to totally love Emerson because of the way she acted, but like Shaw I didn’t give up on her. And speaking of Shaw, he was amazing through and through from the beginning. He resisted Emerson, but when he gave in to her he gave her his full attention. He continued to try to see her, to get to know her, and ended up caring for her deeply. He got under her skin, pushed to know who she really was underneath and even though she pushed and pushed, he persevered. I loved Shaw so much because he wasn’t afraid to push Emerson in the right direction of not being scared and not running away any longer. He allowed her to see this for herself and it was awesome. 

Sophie Jordan did a stunning job with this book because she totally added in the perfect amount of sexual tension and even some suspense too. She made it so that you really wanted to get to know Emerson and Shaw and just wanted to root for them all the way into the end. Just their make out scenes alone were smokin’ hot, I couldn’t get enough. They were on fire! The issues both Emerson and Shaw faced were real and genuine and Jordan was not afraid to give an ending that wasn’t entirely happy all around. I also liked that I got to see Pepper and Reece again and Jordan even set up this book for what’s ahead in the next installment. I’m just itching to read Georgia's book!

*Thanks to William Morrow for sending a copy for review purposes

Favorite Quotes

"No. I don't have a boyfriend. What about you?"
"No. No boyfriend either."

"You might not think you deserve more respect than that, but I do. You deserve better."

"I don't know what it is you do to me. But I'm not going to fight it anymore."

"You'll know it's coming. You'll want it. Mind and body. You'll beg me to make love to you. I'll make sure of that, Emerson."

"I know you've tried really hard to keep me out, but it didn't work. I'm in your blood. And you're in mine. I know that."

"Don't leave me."
"Oh, Emerson, I couldn't if I wanted to."

"Look at you. You try to act so tough, but you're just a big softie, Emerson."