Infinity + One

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon

Publication Date: June 8, 2014

Publisher: Amy Harmon

Synopsis:

Bonnie Rae Shelby is done. She’s done being a country superstar. She’s done doing what’s she’s told. But mostly, Bonnie is done with living. Bonnie Rae’s made her choice, chosen her actions, but a chance meeting will change the course of her life forever.

Finn Clyde may not have much to live for, but he wants the chance to live. He knows helping Bonnie Rae will ruin his chance of a normal life. He knows he should walk away. He just can’t do it.

Together, Bonnie Rae and Finn embark on the journey of a lifetime. The journey will change their lives forever.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


The first thing I have to say (to myself) is why haven’t I read any of Amy Harmon’s books before? Friends had told me how amazing they were. I just hadn’t picked one up. That was a giant mistake.

Infinity + One was a very cleverly written book. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because there are so many neat little surprises in store for the reader. I will say the story was very entertaining, heartbreaking, funny and hopeful. I absolutely loved the complex characters Ms. Harmon created in Bonnie Rae and Finn.

I would highly recommend Infinity + One to anyone who loves an amazing NA contemporary read. It is going on my list of favorite books to recommend. (Sorry, I’m sure there are going to be a lot of Amy Harmon reviews from me in the near future.) I’m not sure if it’s still on sale, but I was lucky to get it for $.99 on an Amazon deal.

Running Wild

Running Wild (Sisterhood Diaries #4) by Susan Andersen

Publication Date: August 25, 2015

Publisher: HQN Books

Synopsis:

Playboy Finn Kavanagh planned a nice, relaxing vacation in Mexico. His peaceful plans are derailed the minute he meets Magdalene Deluca. Instead of relaxing, he finds himself helping Mags search for her missing parents.

Mags doesn’t need a man to help her search for her parents. She’s quite capable of handling it herself. But if Mags has to have along for the ride, it might as well be one as ruggedly sexy as Finn.

As their search gets more and more dangerous, their attraction gets hotter and hotter. Will Mags be the one to make Finn want to change his playboy ways?

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

While Running Wild was good, it didn’t amaze me. It took me quite a while to get into the story. I blame that on the fact Finn and Mags did not have amazing chemistry right off the bat. In fact, it wasn’t until they actually decided to hook up that there was any chemistry between them. Even then, it was only sexual chemistry. The sex scenes were hot, but I didn’t see any emotional connection at all. It left an interesting plot kind of bland. Which is sad because Susan Anderson’s writing is great.

Running Wild is the fourth book in the Sisterhood Diaries series, but can be read as a standalone. I would recommend it to romantic suspense readers who enjoy stories filled with Mexican drug lords, cantinas and jungles.

**Thank you to Goodreads and Harlequin Books for the opportunity to read and honestly review Running Wild.

Other books in this series:

  

ARC Review: Luxe

Luxe by Ashley Antoinette

Publication Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Bleu Montclair’s life has been anything but easy growing up in Flint, Michigan. At eighteen, she’s seen and done things that no kid should have. Lucky for her, Bleu has a chance to get out of Michigan and go to college at her dream school, UCLA.

But living her dream is way harder than Bleu expected. Her partial scholarship doesn’t cover enough of her costs. She’s struggling and the only way out is to take an opportunity her roommate gives her to make a lot of money fast. The opportunity will either be her saving grace or her downfall.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here trying to think of how to rate and review Luxe. It’s a hard one for me because while I didn’t enjoy the story, the writing was excellent. The book was fast-paced and had my attention from the first paragraph of the prologue. It felt real, raw and gritty.

I want to say it was too dark for me, but that can’t be the case. I’ve read books that are way darker and enjoyed them. I think it was more the hopelessness of the book. It started off with druggie parents, two deaths and a mention of a previous rape. That was all in the first 40 pages. It didn’t slow down from there. Horrendous situation after situation kept pushing Bleu down. Even things that should have been happy like college or a new amazing boyfriend were riddled with devastation. I didn’t see how things could get better. And just when I was starting to get my hopes up — BAM! Cliffhanger.

While there was nothing wrong with Luxe, I can’t say I enjoyed reading it. I needed a little sunlight in the darkness. So, I guess I just have to be honest and say it wasn’t the book for me.

Don’t let that deter you from reading it. Like I said, the writing was very realistic. If you’re a fan of complex characters dealing with drug addiction, violent crimes, etc. this might be the book for you.

**Thank you to Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review an ARC of Luxe.

The Shameless Hour

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: April 12, 2015

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

As Harkness men’s hockey team manager, it’s Bella’s job to take care of the hockey players. She knows she does her job well–maybe a little too well in some people’s eyes. It’s no secret she has spent time out of practice with some of the players. Bella’s not embarrassed, though. Sex is something she likes. She’s good at it and she has no desire to complicate things with a relationship. So, why does a one night stand with her hot neighbor, Rafe, make her second guess herself?

Rafe always thought he would lose his virginity to someone he loved. His teen mother and strict Catholic upbringing had him waiting for the right time and person. Rafe never thought he’d lose his virginity in a drunken hook-up with his sexy neighbor. He can’t help but feel guilty about their one-night stand.

Then, Rafe comes to Bella’s aid when she needs it the most. Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help but she has no choice but accept it — and maybe him as well.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series. Ms. Bowen has a way of taking issues or problems facing today’s young adults and weaving amazing stories around them. I always end a book in this series feeling like I’ve either learned something new or gained a different insight than I had before.

The Shameless Hour had the same effect on me. It was way more than just another New Adult romance. It dealt with a very relevant issue in today’s American society: slut shaming. I felt Ms. Bowen did an amazing job tackling this particular issue. Through Bella, Ms. Bowen put slut shaming in terms readers could identify with.

I also liked how Rafe’s thoughts and feelings around his virginity were addressed. It’s very rare in book to have a male virgin in their late teens or early twenties. It was a refreshing point of view.

Not only did I like the messages and information The Shameless Hour was delivering, but I loved the romance and chemistry between Bella and Rafe. There was a sweetness between them that was adorable.

I would highly recommend the entire The Ivy Years series, including The Shameless Hour. Sarina Bowen’s writing is excellent, the stories are full of fun and sweet moments, and I always end up learning something new.

Other books in this series:

  

  The Fifteenth Minute

Before the Blog #10: The Ghosts of Heaven

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? 

_________________________________________________________________________

 The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Publication Date: October 2, 2014

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Synopsis:

I’m not sure I can do the description justice, so here is what Goodreads says:

A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book?

I chose it for a couple of different reasons. First, because the only place I’ve ever seen it publicized was in a copy of BookPage I picked up at the library. I think it deserves to be out in the spotlight more.

Second, as soon as I finished The Ghosts of Heaven, I felt like I needed to call all of my friends and tell them to read it. Well, first I yelled a really loud expletive and my husband stared at me like I was crazy, but then I wanted to call a friend to tell them to read it. I wanted someone to talk to about The Ghosts of Heaven. It completely blew my mind.

I really enjoyed each one of the four stories. I can’t really pick a favorite after reading the entire book. I read them in the order they were printed and I would probably suggest doing that, even though the author says you can read them in any order. What an amazing novel!

When did you read this book?

I read it in one day in January 2015.

Who would you recommend this book to?

It’s a Historical Young Adult novel, so just about anyone could read it. It may seem slow at the start, but it’s very worth reading.

Going Long

 Going Long (Waiting #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: September 25, 2013

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

High school sweethearts Reed and Nolan have been through many ups and downs in their relationship. College is no different — especially when they’re at schools two hours apart. Can Reed and Nolan make their love last? Or will football, school or misunderstandings ruin any chance they have of happily ever after?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I had to jump right into Going Long the minute I finished Waiting on the Sidelines. I couldn’t help myself. I was curious to see where Reed and Nolan’s relationship was going next. They had been through so many ups and downs.

From the start, Going Long had me on pins and needles. Even though things started out happy enough, I was worried for Reed and Nolan. I knew it was only so long before something drove a wedge between them.

I was totally right, too. Going Long was filled was just as much drama as Waiting on the Sidelines. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. That probably sounds impossible, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.

It sucked watching Nolan’s insecurities get the best of her. I understood, but her strength in Waiting on the Sidelines was something I really admired. I was sad things were harder for her this time around. Reed, though — Reed made me love him. I wasn’t so sure I liked him after the first book, but he definitely redeemed himself in my eyes in this one.

Going Long was an outstanding coming of age romance. I would highly suggest this series and any of Ginger Scott’s books. She’s quickly becoming one of my go-to authors.

Other books in this series:

Top Ten Tuesday: FREEBIE! My Choice: Top Ten Books I’m So Happy Were Recommended to Me

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is FREEBIE – your choice! I looked back through the themes for this year that I missed. I decided to pick Top Ten Books I’m So Happy Were Recommended to MeI’m excited about this theme because it reminds me of books that I loved.


1. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

My old boss and I used to recommend books to each other. She recommended Plain Truth to me. I absolutely loved it when I read it. I went on to read many more of Jodi Picoult novels after that.

2. Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

So, I have to admit Kaleidoscope Hearts wasn’t recommended to me personally. Colleen Hoover recommended it all of her Facebook followers. Since I love CoHo’s books, I decided to try this one. I’m glad I did. I’ve read many of Claire Contreras’ books now and I love them.

3. Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Speaking of Colleen Hoover…Thank you Amazon for recommending Colleen Hoover to me after I read Jessica Park. I appreciate the love affair you started.

4. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Normally, I’m the one recommending books to my sister and mom, but they both read this one before me. They told me to read it and I did. It was full of laughs.

5. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale wasn’t exactly recommended to me. I was in a book group and the lady that started it had been in one prior. She didn’t want to re-read any of the books she’d already read in her last group, so she gave us a list of books we couldn’t pick. This was on that list and I decided to read it. So, in a way, she recommended it to me.

6. The Scent of Rain and Lightning by Nancy Pickard

A few years ago, a mom at my daughter’s preschool recommended The Scent of Rain and Lightning to me. I just happened to see it at the library right after that and picked it up. I really liked it.

7. Bright Side by Kim Holden

I feel like a broken record. This book is on almost all of my lists. It profoundly influenced me. I have my favorite Goodreads buddy readers to thank for introducing me to Bright Side. They’ve also introduced me to the next to books/authors as well.

8. Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

Nine Minutes and it’s sequel Out of Time have messed with my mind in ways not many books have. Don’t let the plain cover fool you. This book is packed full of stuff. Like I said, I have my Goodreads buddies to thank for this one.

9. How We Deal with Gravity by Ginger Scott

I would have never known about Ginger Scott had I not decided to buddy read this book on Goodreads. It would have been a shame. I’ve only read one other of her books, but I have a third waiting on my Kindle. It’s going to take some time, but I plan on reading all of her books.

10. The Villa by Nora Roberts

I don’t exactly remember my first Nora Roberts book. All I know is that it was given to me by my mom. The Villa is the first one I remember loving. After reading it, I went on to read a ton of Nora Roberts books. I would say her books are what started me down the path to being the reader I am today. But honestly, I have my mom to thank for my love of reading.


That’s my list. What are some of the best books people have recommended to you? Tell me in the comments.

I went on a bender and now I’ve got a hangover.

Maybe I should clarify that a little…

I went on a book bender and now I’ve got a book hangover.

(I wouldn’t want you all to think I’ve been drinking myself silly over here. Although, I think that hangover would be faster to cure than this type of hangover.)

A book hangover. It’s something we readers are constantly dealing with. How do we get over books that we love so much, leave us emotionally spent or reeling from surprise?There’s no magic potion, no concoction made by our friends to ease the pain.

My book hangover began when I read More Than This by Jay McLean for a Goodreads buddy read. I loved that book, but it got me all worked up emotionally. It also ended in a cliffhanger I couldn’t ignore. I had to read the next book. I downloaded More Than Her and read it immediately. It wasn’t as amazing as the first book, but it was good and it ended in yet another cliffhanger. So, what do I do? I go and download the next two books in the series. I read the entire series in a weekend.

After four very emotional books, I wasn’t quite sure what to read. Nothing really sounded good. I was too emotionally burnt out from the More Than series. Then, the same Goodreads group started to read a Ginger Scott series. I thought it would be a good way to move on from the funk I was in after the More Than series. I mean, I love Ginger Scott’s books. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I was heading into emotional book territory again. All of Ginger Scott’s stories draw me in because of the emotions she is able to give to her characters. It’s part of the reason I love her writing. So, I read Waiting on the Sidelines and its sequel Going Long. I loved them and would highly suggest them, but I was still hung over! It was almost as if I was pulled deeper into the end of book funk.

So what am I doing now to get over the hangover? I’ve decided to go back to my trusty Kindle and try reading some books I already have on it. I’ve been focusing on books that sounds a little lighter or funny. I hope it will help me out of my book hangover and get me ready to read some really good emotional stuff. So far, it seems to be working. 😉

How do you get over a book hangover? Do you have a great idea I should try? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on the Sidelines

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting #1) by Ginger Scott

Publications Date: November 13, 2103

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Nolan Lennox’s boyish name fits her. She’s a tomboy at heart, her clothing choices filled with boys’ soccer shorts, sports logo tees and knee socks. Nolan was happy being who she was until her freshman year of high school. Then, a couple of devastating comments changes it all. Now, Nolan’s changing her style and trying to catch the eye of the most popular boy at Coolridge High without losing too much of herself.

Reed Johnson is following in his father and older brother’s footsteps. He’s quarterback of the Coolridge High School football team with college scouts watching from the sidelines. He’s got a hot, older girlfriend and his dad’s rich. There’s not much else Reed could ask for. He’s got it all.

Then, Reed meets Lennox. She’s nothing like the girls he’s dated before. He doesn’t understand why he’s drawn to her, but he can’t help but be. Reed wants to be the best person he can for Lennox. He’s just not sure he can avoid breaking her heart.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I stayed up until 1:00 am reading this book. I got up in the morning and continued reading this book. I have not put this down except to sleep. I couldn’t.

The story consumed me. There was so much going on! I can’t believe how many different issues Ginger Scott was able to work into one book! Waiting on the Sidelines was a rollercoaster of emotions and events from the beginning to end.

Through it all, Nolan Lennox shined. She started out a self-conscious tomboy but quickly matured into a girl who knew herself and what was worth fighting for. The way she treated herself and others was special. Ginger Scott made her true to herself from beginning to end. Sometimes, I think that’s missing in YA books.

I have to admit I didn’t always like Reed. I’m still not even sure if I like him after finishing the book. I’m not sure if his sweet moments with Nolan were enough. But his actions and reactions to life felt real. In some ways, he reminded me of boys I dated in high school or college.

Oh, and I just have to say that I loved the Arizona setting. I went to ASU and it felt like taking a trip back in time. I remember those desert bonfire parties and the heat. It made me smile a lot while reading this book.

Waiting on the Sidelines was spectacular. It is going on my list of favorite books. Once again, Ginger Scott has emotionally levelled me. I feel a huge book hangover coming on. Luckily, I have the next Waiting book ready to read.

Other books in this series:

More Than Forever

 More Than Forever (More Than #4) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Synopsis:

Lucy and Cameron have been it for each other since they were fourteen. Their love  has never wavered. It’s always been about forever for them. But, sometimes, forever isn’t enough.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

More Than Forever started out as a cute coming of age romance. It was more along the lines of a sweet YA contemporary romance. Cameron was the perfect friend and boyfriend that would do anything for Lucy. I loved the interactions between the young lovebirds and their parents. They were so funny and adorable.

Then, slowly, Lucy and Cameron’s relationship matured along with them and More Than Forever  became a beautiful New Adult romance. While it was still sweet and incredibly funny, there was now the angst and a sexual relationship as well.

Lucy and Cam’s sexual relationship was one of my favorite parts of the story. In the beginning, it felt honest and true to real life. As time went by, it was sexy and funny — just like it was reading about them in previous books.

As for the angst, at times I wanted to yell at Cam for being so blind and at Lucy for not truly seeing Cam. I ached for them as they dealt with the problems they faced. I wanted them to make it. The love they shared was so special.

Obviously, I loved More Than Forever. I thought More Than This was my favorite in the series, but More Than Forever stole its place in my heart. It was sweet, funny, steamy and most of all emotionally loaded.

I would highly suggest reading More Than Forever and the entire More Than series. I loved the way all of the books tied together and that I got to see not just the romances bloom but the friendships as well. I can’t wait for the next book More Than Enough to come out. I hope it’s Heidi and Dylan’s story!

Other books in this series: