Thrill Me

Thrill Me (Fool’s Gold #18) by Susan Mallery

Publication Date:

Publisher:

Synopsis: 

Maya Farlow left Fool’s Gold and Del Mitchell suddenly to follow her dreams. Ten years later, she’s back in town. It’s her job to promote Fool’s Gold’s new slogan: The Destination for Romance.

Maya’s not the only one back in town. Del’s returned home. After Maya ran away, Del was left to pick up the pieces of his life and heart. He made a name for himself in extreme sports. He’s also Mayor Marsha’s pick to be the celebrity spokesman for the town’s new slogan.

Now, years after she painfully tore apart his life, Maya is forced to work with Del. Luckily, Del doesn’t hold a grudge. In fact, he likes working closely with Maya way more than he should.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So, for a little background information, Susan Mallery likes to release books in the Fool’s Gold series in groups of three. This summer, she released Hold MeKiss Me and Thrill Me. I didn’t review Hold Me for A Novel Glimpse, but I did read it. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite Fool’s Gold novel. I liked it, I just wanted more from it. This series has so many amazing books in it and my standard for new Fool’s Gold books is really high. Kiss Me was better. It was really good, but not quite up to my favorite Fool’s Gold novels . (You can read my review for it here.) So, I had really high hopes that Thrill Me would be reminiscent of my favorite Fool’s Gold novels.

It totally was. It was the perfect book for the flight I read it on.  Thrill Me was light and funny. The story was so cute! Both Maya and Del were strong characters on their own, but together they shined. Their chemistry was hot! I loved how they went for their second chance with each other and didn’t let the past get too much in the way. The story was fun to read.

I would definitely suggest Thrill Me to fans of the Fool’s Gold series or anyone that enjoys contemporary romances. Like the rest of the books in the series, there is some carry over of characters but it could be read as a standalone.

Other books and novellas in this series (in order):

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1) Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold, #2) Sister of the Bride (Fool's Gold, #2.5)  Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold, #3)  Only Mine (Fool's Gold #4)  Only Yours (Fool's Gold, #5)  Only His (Fool's Gold, #6)  Only Us (Fool's Gold, #6.1) Almost Summer: A Fool's Gold Novella (Fool's Gold, #6.2)   Summer Days (Fool's Gold, #7)  Summer Nights (Fool's Gold, #8)  All Summer Long (Fool's Gold, #9)  A Fool's Gold Christmas (Fool's Gold, #9.5)  Halfway There (Fool's Gold, #9.75)  Just One Kiss (Fool's Gold, #10)  Two of a Kind (Fool's Gold, #11)  Three Little Words (Fool's Gold, #12)  Christmas on 4th Street: Yours for Christmas  When We Met (Fool's Gold, #13)  Before We Kiss (Fool's Gold, #14)  Until We Touch (Fool's Gold, #15)  Yours for Christmas (Fool's Gold, #15.5)  Hold Me (Fool's Gold, #16)  Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17)

Blurred Lines

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis:

Parker Blanton and Ben Olson have been platonic best friends since they met their freshman year of college. It’s a shock to everyone they meet. After all, Parker’s a hot chick and Ben’s extremely handsome. Why wouldn’t they be hooking up? They even live together. Truth is, they’re happy being best friends. Parker’s had a serious boyfriend, Lance, for 5 years and Ben is a self-declared ladies man.

All of that changes when Lance dumps Parker. Now, Parker’s on a quest to find a no-strings-attached hook up. She looks to Ben for advice, but quickly decides she may not be up to casual sex with strangers. But what about casual sex with someone she knows? Someone she trusts–like Ben.

Ben and Parker are determined to keep their friendship the same while having casual sex together. It works great until Lance wants Parker back. Will they still have their friendship when they no longer have sex?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit I love friends to lovers stories. There’s just something about two friends who already enjoy and care for each other falling in love. Maybe it’s just the romantic in me, but I find this type of story so sweet.

It was more than just sweet, though. It was steamy. Ben and Parker had major chemistry. (Fans self.) Their connection with each other was off the charts. I honestly can’t believe they waited six years to hook up! How did they not have any sexual tension? I get that Parker had a boyfriend, but there had to be some sort of sparks! 😉

I think New Adult readers will enjoy Blurred Lines. It’s a fun story filled with friendship, love and sex.

Restless Waters

Restless Waters (Left Drowning #2) by Jessica Park

Publication Date: August 26, 2015

Publisher: Flat Finn, Inc.

Synopsis:

Blythe McGuire has finally moved on from the dark past that haunts her. Thanks to her boyfriend Chris and the rest of the Shepherd family, she’s found happiness again. She’s found love and the sense of family she lost.

Her peaceful future doesn’t last long, though. Blythe can tell a storm is brewing in her best friend and Chris’ brother, Sabin. As Sabin begins to pull away from their close friendship, Blythe worries his past may be catching up with him. Blythe wants nothing more than to help Sabin, but will helping him ruin the peacefulness she’s finally found?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jessica Park is a book writing genius. Her writing is so emotional and, at times, devastating. She knows how to pull me in and get me all worried about her characters. Then, in the most unique and intriguing way, she makes everything all better. Well, as better as it can ever get for her damaged characters.

When I originally read Left Drowning, I was overwhelmed. I don’t think I had read any other book at the time that left me feeling such, well feelings. There were so many of them: sad, devastated, happy, hopeful. Left Drowning was such an emotional rollercoaster and I absolutely loved it. It’s a book I’ve recommended to most of my friends time and time again.

When I opened my Twitter account on August 27th and saw Tweets about Jessica Park pulling a Beyonce and releasing a sequel to Left Drowning, I immediately went to Amazon and downloaded it. Nothing could have stopped me from reading Restless Waters. I needed to know how some of my favorite characters were doing.

Blythe and the Shepherds seemed okay at first, but then Sabin really started to worry me. He was far from okay. What he was going through scared me. I worried the happiness everyone had finally found was going to blow up in my face. I’m not going to tell you what happens and ruin it, but it was very emotional and sometimes stressful. Don’t worry, there was some happiness, too.

I truly loved Restless Waters. Once again, Jessica Park has written a book that tears me apart and then puts me back together in the best way possible. For that reason, Jessica Park will always be one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read Left Drowning and Restless Waters (or any of her books, really) you’re missing out.

Other books in this series:

Tales of a Book Bag: Kauai, Hawaii

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Tunnels Beach, Kauai
The final trip my book bag took this summer was to Kauai. It was the first time in almost 10 years that my family took a “big” vacation. We went with two other families. It was hot, humid, beautiful and a ton of fun. I managed to get a little reading done on my trip between the beach and the pool. 😉

Sunrise in Kapa'a
Sunrise in Kapa’a

We were able to visit several different beaches: Tunnels Beach, Rock Quarry Beach, Hideaway Beach, Poipu Beach Park, Lydgate Beach Park, Lumahai Beach and Hanalei Bay. Each was beautiful in its own way. My favorite beach was Rock Quarry Beach. It had a river that meets up with the ocean. The area where they combined made a nice little pool to hang out in. It was also very beautiful.

Hideaway Beach, Princeville
Hideaway Beach, Princeville

Hideaway Beach in Princeville was also a favorite, but the hike down to it was pretty sketchy. Actually, the hike up was worse than down.  It’s very steep with a system of handrails and ropes to guide you up and down. There were also a ton of mosquitoes hiding in the shade. But it was easy to snorkel and find fish there.

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Lumahai Beach

At Lumahai Beach, you can jump off tall rocks into a pool of water The ocean waves sweep you back to shore. Both my husband and daughter tried this. I was too chicken.There is also a small pool of water on the rocks to wade in. It’s the perfect size for small kids.

We didn’t actually visit the Kilauea Lighthouse, but we did stop to take some pretty pictures of it on our way back from Hideaway Beach.

Kilauea Lighthouse
Kilauea Lighthouse

One of my favorite days in Kauai was spent with just my little family. We drove south from where we staying in Kapa’a and stopped to visit a couple of waterfalls and have lunch in Poipu. It was fun to hear my daughter’s exclamations over the beauty she saw.

It was a very fun vacation. I know my book bag enjoyed it. 😉 I hope you enjoy the pictures from Kauai. I’m hoping to have more Tales of a Book Bag posts this winter when the weather changes and there are new sites to see!

Wailua Falls
Wailua Falls

Check out all of the other places my book bag has been this summer:

Banks Lake, WA

Rimrock Lake, WA

Lake Tapps, WA

The CRAP (To Read) List #2

Back at the beginning of August, I posted this picture of my to-read list on the new CRAP notepad I had picked up on a trip to Portland.

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I can honestly say that I completed this list, with the exception of Boys Like You because I had to return it to the library before I could read it. (I’m hoping I can pick it back up sometime soon, but for now it goes back on my TBR sometime list.) I also added four more books to this list before I was done with it.

I have to admit, having the CRAP (To-Read) list forced me to stick to a plan. I did deviate at times to buddy read with my favorite group on Goodreads, but I mostly stuck to the list. It worked so well for me that I’ve created a second list.

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You’ll notice this time my CRAP (To-Read) list is much longer. A couple of the books are library books, some are from NetGalley, some from author review requests and others are simply books I downloaded on my Kindle.

Right now, I’m reading book #1. It’s Restless Waters by Jessica Park. It’s the sequel to Left Drowning. Jessica Park surprised the reading world Thursday when she released it without any prior promotion. Very cool!

So, what’s on your CRAP (To-Read) list right now? Is it a long list or do you have it under control?

Sweet

Sweet (Contours of the Heart #3) by Tammara Webber

Publication Date: April 27, 2015

Synopsis: 

Sweet is a spinoff of Easy and Breakable from the Contours of the Heart series. It is a standalone novel. While there are a couple of mentions of characters from the first two novels, you won’t feel like you’ve missed anything if you haven’t read them.

Bad boy Boyce Wynn is everything Pearl Torres Frank shouldn’t want. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and doesn’t care what the world thinks of him. But Pearl wants him. She always has. Pearl knows there’s more to Boyce than the tough guy everyone sees.

Now, Pearl’s home from college for summer. Before she heads off to medical school in the fall, she’s determined to have Boyce. It doesn’t matter what it may cost her.

Boyce has been fighting his obsession with Pearl forever. He’s been waiting in the wings for her to be single. Now, she’s home for the summer and it’s his chance to make his move. Can he prove to her he’s worth taking a chance on a former bad boy?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Pearl and Boyce’s love story definitely was sweet! I loved how they had been in love with each other for years, but hadn’t really acted on it. Their shared history was a cool aspect to the story. I especially liked how Boyce pushed Pearl to make her own decisions and protected her. He won me over in Breakable, but I adored him even more in Sweet.

There were just a couple of things that held me back from giving Sweet 5 stars. One, all of the flashbacks. While I liked learning their shared history through the flashbacks, there were just too many of them. They overtook the current story at times. Two, I wasn’t 100% sold on the way the story wrapped up. I don’t want to ruin it, but it just seemed a little out there to me. It didn’t ruin the story or anything and I really liked the book. I just would have rather seen something different happen.

Other books in this series:

  

ARC Review: Your Voice Is All I Hear

Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

Publication Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Synopsis:

April’s never been popular. She’s always been happy living in the shadow of her best friend. When her best friend moves before their senior year, April’s left friendless.

To April’s surprise, she’s not a loner for long. New student, Jonah, takes an interest in her immediately. April can’t believe it. Jonah’s not only smart, but cute! All of the girls in her class are interested in him, but he only wants to be friends with April.

April and Jonah’s friendship quickly becomes romance. As April gets closer to Jonah, she begins to notice things she hasn’t before. Jonah’s obsessed with cell phones and people trying to get them. He hears things April can’t.

April doesn’t want to believe there’s anything wrong with the boyfriend she loves, but she can’t deny it when Jonah’s committed to a psych ward. His diagnosis: schizophrenia. April’s determined to help Jonah through this tough time. It’s what girlfriends do, but will her love be enough?

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is a tough review for me to write. Even though I’m giving Your Voice Is All I Hear 4 stars, I feel like a lot of this review is going to sound negative. It’s not because I hated the story. Schizophrenia is a tough subject and I think Leah Schreier did an excellent job portraying it in a way that was identifiable. It was more the main character that I had a hard time with.

When I started reading Your Voice Is All I Hear, I didn’t like April. I have to admit it was because I didn’t want to be able to identify with her friendlessness, but I could. It may not have been in high school, but I remember a time in elementary school when I felt friendless. It was uncomfortable to feel those feelings again through April’s eyes. It was necessary for the story, but I still didn’t like it.

Things got a little better once April met Jonah. Their budding friendship turned romance was sweet. But then the voices in Jonah’s head started. I felt horrible for him and what he was going through. April really drove me crazy, though. Her denial was understandable and real but I got so frustrated with her! I just wanted her to admit Jonah wasn’t okay and help him get the help he needed. Ugh! It made me not like her.

That being said, the story really was great. The prologue captured my attention right away. The entire story felt real, like it could happen. I absolutely loved how it ended. If someone was looking for a good novel with a character dealing with schizophrenia, I would suggest this one.

**A digital copy of Your Voice Is All I Hear as provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Before the Blog #7: A Little Something Different

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

_________________________________________________________________________

A Little Something DifferentA Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Synopsis:

This is Gabe and Lea’s love story written from the view point of 14 people — none of whom are Gabe and Lea.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book? 

It really was a little something different. I loved watching the story unfold from everyone but the main characters’ points of view. Some of the characters were really unique and interesting.

When did you read this book?

October 2014

Who would you recommend this book to? 

A Little Something Different is a YA contemporary romance I think anyone would enjoy. Be ready for the cuteness of it all.

That moment when you accidentally schedule something….LAST WEEK!

Ugh. I was trying to schedule a post for Monday since I know I have a busy weekend and failed miserably. Somehow I posted to last Monday. Then, I decided to just go ahead and publish it immediately. I messed that up, too! It’s still the 26th at my house, but it’s the 27th on WordPress. That means I scheduled it for yesterday! I finally have it right, but I’m sure my email followers got a million emails, so my apologies. I’ll try not to do it again.

Technology. It’s a love-hate relationship.

Kick Push

Kick Push (The Road Series #2) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Synopsis: 

At seventeen, skateboarder Josh Warden became a single dad. He gave up his dreams to take care of his son. It was a struggle. Now, three years later, he’s finally in a good place. He’s got a good job, a great place to stay and he’s got Tommy.

Then she shows up. His neighbor’s daughter, Becca. She’s beautiful and mysterious. Josh can’t seem to stay away from her. He should. He’s got enough on his plate being a single dad. And Becca…Well, Becca’s got some issues of her own. He’d love to ask her about them–if she would talk.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Ugh. I loved this book, but I hated this book. Does that mean I just liked this book? I don’t know. I’m having a hard time deciding how I actually feel about it. It’s making it really hard to write a good review of it. I think I’m going to just bullet what I liked and didn’t like.

The great things about this book:

  • Tommy was stinkin’ cute. He had super powers that would make anyone adore him.
  • Hunter’s humor and support of Josh. Their conversations were hilarious. I would have liked more of him in this book.
  • The skateboarding. It was just super cool.
  • Photography aspect of the story. I love pictures of my loved ones, so this hit home for me.
  • Last (but not least), Josh. What I loved most about this book was him. He was just a stand up guy. No matter what problems he and Becca faced, his reactions were all simply because he loved her. He may have been a jerk at times, but he always made sure she knew he loved her.

The thing that drove me nuts:

  • Becca’s hidden past. It drug out FOREVER. Seriously, for most of the book. The first half of the book, it was mysterious and intriguing. The second half, it was like come on already! Just tell me! I started to think that no matter what it was, I was just going to write her off as weird. Which wouldn’t have been very nice of me because there was such tragedy in her life. Once I knew, I could identify with her actions better.
  • The ending. This one is my own fault. It’s a cliffhanger and I had no idea. I didn’t notice the (Kick Push #1) after the title on Goodreads. (Which is confusing because Jay McLean has Kick Push listed as The Road Series – Book 2 on her website.) But honestly, I would have rather seen Josh and Becca’s story wrap up in one book. Mostly because I’m still not 100% digging Becca. I am curious to see what will happen to them (or mainly Josh), so I will read the next book. Maybe Becca will grow on me now I know her backstory. I hope so.

So, would I recommend reading this book? I’m going to say yes. I have decided the positives outweigh the negatives. So much of the story is Josh and Tommy. It’s just too cute and special of a story to pass up. And I’m going to go back and read Where the Road Takes Me. I need more Hunter. I know I have it on my Kindle and never read it. Shame on me! I need to update my TBR (CRAP) list!

Other books in The Road series: