Release Blitz: House Hunt by Jackie Keswick

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HO– USE HUNT
by: Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero, #3
Publication Date: March 30, 2016
Genre: Adult, MM Romance, Romantic Suspense

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Synopsis: Jack Horwood hates owing favors. But when a simple day out to treat Gareth to the best oysters in England leads to a discovery of drugs and counterfeit money—things that neither Jack nor Gareth have the jurisdiction to handle—he has to call in help. Help that doesn’t come cheap, and that forces him to do something he promised himself he’d never do again—walk away from Gareth and the family he’s starting to make for himself.

Three months undercover is a long time. After missing Gareth’s birthday, Jack is determined not to miss their first anniversary. But coming home and being home are two very different things. So when he is asked to assist with a corporate espionage investigation, Jack can’t say no, despite knowing it will impact his already straining relationship.

Except, of course, he’s walking into a trap….

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EXCERPT

When the car’s growling engine stopped, Gareth found himself surrounded by woods in a corner of the Weald he’d never been to before. The small car park was deserted except for a handful of cars, and Gareth heard only birdsong, the rustle of the breeze in the trees, and the faraway drone of a plane. They hadn’t passed any villages or farms during the last leg of their drive, and nothing around him hinted at human habitation.

The car park didn’t even have a sign.

“You know where we are, right?”

“Would you believe me if I said we’re eight miles from Canterbury?”

It was hard to imagine that a city full of tourists, bars, and shops was in hiking distance of this deserted corner of Kent. The air held the bitter, musty scents of pine and damp leaves and—barely detectable—the savory smell of mushrooms. Most of the oak and beech trees surrounding the small, graveled car park were just starting to unfurl their leaves, giving the afternoon sun almost unhindered access.

Jack unlocked the boot, ready to get out of the car and retrieve the TVR’s roof. Before he could move, Gareth wrapped a hand around his neck and pulled him closer until the center console got in the way. Jack didn’t fight. He braced his elbows on magnolia leather and leaned across the barrier into Gareth’s touch. Their kiss was slow and languid, more teasing than enticing.

“Really not the car for that,” Gareth commented when he leaned back to put space between them. “Though I could imagine spreading you across that bonnet.”

“Yeah, let’s scandalize the locals,” Jack agreed and popped the doors.

It was the third time and Gareth still hadn’t figured out how it was done. Not that he’d been paying particular attention to the TVR’s doors. Though now that he’d started thinking about the acres of bonnet, he could see that the car had potential. He turned to look for Jack, but despite having opened the boot, he wasn’t anywhere close to the car. He stood in the center of the car park, staring at a beat-up green Rover.

“What’s the matter?”

“Not sure.” Jack’s voice was distant. “Thing gives me the creeps.”

“How?”

Gareth couldn’t see anything that might have set off Jack’s warning bells. The N-plated Rover 400 showed every one of its seventeen years of hard work. Flaking paint marred the sides, hinting at rust-eaten bodywork, and one of the car’s wings had been replaced with one of a slightly different green. It wasn’t a car that invited a second look from anyone, but somehow it had immediately drawn Jack’s attention.

“Jack?”

He stared a moment longer before he shrugged and turned back to Gareth. “I don’t know,” he said, sounding apologetic. “Probably nothing at all. Fancy a walk?”

“Since that’s what we came here for….” Gareth wanted to reach for Jack, whether to distract him or shake him hard enough to rattle some sense back into that busy brain of his, he couldn’t have said. “Was there anywhere in particular you wanted to go?”

“Just… around,” Jack said as he found a narrow path that led into the surrounding woods.

“Liar. And crappy at it, too. How’d you ever make it as a spook?”

Gareth had merely meant to tease, but a dark flush crept up Jack’s neck, and he hunched forward. “I wasn’t that kind of spook,” he mumbled when Gareth caught up with him.

“No?” Gareth wrapped his arm around Jack’s shoulders and felt him flinch at the contact. Jack was suddenly so tightly wound he was close to taking off. And that wasn’t something Gareth wanted to deal with right then. He cast around for something, anything, that could serve as a distraction.

“So, what’s going on with you and that Dave character?” he settled on, glad when Jack’s head shot up and he stared, caught out.

“Nothing’s going on. He’s straight.”

“Bullshit. He was all over you.”

The vehemence in Gareth’s tone brought Jack’s head around. The frown dissolved and the smirk appeared. “That jealousy I’m hearing, Flynn?”

Gareth felt the rush of heat in his neck sweep up the sides of his face. He held Jack’s disbelieving gaze regardless. “Would you blame me?”

OTHER BOOKS IN THE POWER OF ZERO SERIES…

Job Hunt Book #1 Cover

JOB HUNT
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #1
Publication Date: May 13, 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Romance, Suspense

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Synopsis: You don’t greet your new boss dressed like an underage rent boy. But when Jack Horwood—ace hacker and ex-MI6 operative—opens the door to Gareth Flynn, he’s too busy to worry over details like that. And anyway, his potential new boss is his former Commanding Officer – the same guy Jack has had a crush on since he was seventeen. So he should understand, right?

When he applied for the job in Nancarrow Mining’s corporate security division, Jack had hoped for peaceful days repelling cyber attacks. Maybe a bit of corporate espionage on the side. His plans didn’t include rescuing abused children, hunting pimps, or dealing with his overly protective and hot-as-hell boss, Gareth Flynn.

Walking away is not an option. Jack never takes the easy way out. More than that, meeting Gareth raises old ghosts that Jack needs to put to rest. Rescuing kids. Taking risks. Saving the day. Jack can do all that – but deciding what to do about his attraction to Gareth isn’t the sort of cloak-and-dagger game Jack plays well. Yet Gareth, strong and smart and always on hand when needed, might be Jack’s salvation.

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Ghosts Book #2 Cover

GHOSTS
by Jackie Keswick
The Power of Zero #2
Publication Date: February 10, 2016
Genres: Adult,Contemporary, LGBT, M/M, Novella, Romance, Suspense

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Synopsis: Jack Horwood doesn’t do families. Or Christmas. From the time his mother sold him to her pimp to the moment he walked out on the man he loved, Christmas has always been about change and painful choices. This year seems no different. Helping Daniel and Nico recover from their imprisonment and hunting down those responsible puts Jack in a frame of mind he doesn’t want to inflict on anyone. Least of all Gareth and the tentative relationship they’ve started to rebuild.

But Gareth, for whom Christmas is all about new beginnings, won’t let Jack take the easy way out. He makes him face his ghosts instead. Even when said ghosts invade their bedroom.

When Daniel’s parents are found, Jack is determined to settle the matter without involving Daniel at all. But fate decrees otherwise, and it’s Gareth who helps him finally understand that the strongest bonds are those forged together. Once he gets that, Jack can step up and make a decision designed to lay his ghosts to rest—for good.

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ABOUT JACKIE KESWICK

Jackie Keswick

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurrent dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves stories about unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She has a thing for green eyes and tight cyclist’s butts and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

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ARC Review: Nobody But You by Jill Shalvis

25712281Title: Nobody But You

Series: Cedar Ridge, #3

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN…

After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease—and tempt—him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Jill Shalvis has been one of my favorite contemporary romance authors for several years now and books like Nobody But You are the reason why. It was witty, heartwarming, sexy and a whole lot of fun.

I have been interested in getting to know our hero, Jacob Kincaid, since I first heard of his disappearance from the Kincaid family in Second Chance SummerMy curiosity was peaked even more after getting to know his twin in My Kind of Wonderful. Jacob didn’t disappoint. He was ruggedly handsome, a little cocky, loyal and kind of sweet. Jacob wasn’t perfect, though. He had his insecurities where he stood with his family.

Jacob couldn’t have found a better match than he did in Sophie Marren. She was a sexy, redheaded spitfire who had turned her back on love after a failed marriage. Sophie was adrift in life, trying to find out where her path should go. Luckily, it lead her right to Jacob.

While Jacob tried to make up his disappearance from their lives to his family, Sophie was just trying to make it day to day. Sophie didn’t let Jacob hide from his past mistakes and Jacob helped Sophie find her way. They were unbelievably cute together and their sexual chemistry was hotter than hot.

I absolutely adored Nobody But You. I didn’t want to put it down, but I also didn’t want it to end. I loved it that much. I’m really, really hoping we get another Cedar Ridge novel. I would love a book about Kenna.

Nobody But You is a must read for contemporary romance readers and Jill Shalvis fans. It can be read as a standalone, but having the background from the first two books might make some of the family dynamic more clear.

**I received an electronic copy of Nobody But You from NetGalley and the author in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: I Got 5 On It

If you’re old like me, the title I Got 5 On It made you sing the Luniz song in your head. You might have been a little concerned what this week’s post is about. No worries. It’s not weed related. It’s definitely book related — as in I Got 5 Stars On It.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is 10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads. I’ll be giving you ten of my most favorite recent 5 star reads. Warning some of them could be thought provoking to the point where you might as well be watching https://www.hdpornvideo.xxx/.


1. The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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2. MacKenzie Fire by Elle Casey

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3. Redemptive by Jay McLean

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4. Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

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5. Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

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6. Elastic Hearts by Claire Contreras

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7. Porn Star by Laurelin Page & Sierra Simone

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8. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton


9. Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy


10. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

Review: The Dean’s List by Kelly Collins

Title: The Dean’s List

Series: The Dean’s List, #1

Author: Kelly Collins

Publication Date: August 4, 2015

Publisher: Createspace

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Fiction, New Adult

Goodreads Synopsis:

When does being naturally sexy become your best attribute?

Twenty-five-year-old honors student, River Roberts, knew her life had to change. With only forty dollars to her name, she was hungry, tired, and out of options. While seeking advice from her best friend Jade, she found something that could provide all she was looking for. Sexy, witty, charming and motivated, she met the requirements for The Dean’s List, a university society that offered alumni anything they desired. It was the perfect job for her.

But it came with a cost: secrets and loneliness.

After the death of his wife, enigmatic Jonathan Ferris lived in a world of acquisition and mergers, a world where he knew financial security, a world filled with desolating loneliness. That was until River Roberts. She was intelligent, beautiful, sensual, and when their lives collided, his world changed.

But then there was reality: she wasn’t truly his.

In a world of commodities and trading, River and Jonathan must fight to preserve what their hearts desire. But will that be possible? Will their collision be temporary, or will they overcome the many obstacles in their way?

This book it is a stand alone contemporary romance story about college romance. Older men and younger women. There are no cliffhangers just hot Alpha male millionaires and an intriguing love story.
Due to content, this book is intended for 18+ readers.


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


I have to be completely honest. When I requested a review copy of The Dean’s List, I didn’t pay too much attention to the book blurb. I skimmed it quickly and thought it sounded interesting: A college girl meets a guy through some sort of university work program. Cute, right? Well, let me just admit I was a little surprised by what the Dean’s List really was. I wasn’t expecting River to join a private alumni call girl service!

Kelly Collins did an amazing job setting up this story. The Dean’s List started with River working at one of those girly coffee stands where the less clothes worn the better. Her personality seemed to be a little rough around the edges and it was easy to see how she could make the jump from selling coffee almost naked to sleeping with clients for money.

River wasn’t just rough around the edges, though. She was a very complex character. She was smart, sweet and classy when she wanted to be. The way she understood her clients and wanted to give them what they needed (besides sex) made me like her. Her confusion over her “relationship” with Jonathan was perfect. I enjoyed the way it complicated her job and her life.

Overall, The Dean’s List was a fun, sexy read. I would recommend it to readers who like erotic fiction and don’t mind their heroine being involved with someone other than the hero.

**I received an electronic copy of The Dean’s List from IndieSage Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Review Tour & Giveaway: In Your Dreams by Ginger Scott

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Welcome to the In Your Dreams review tour with Ginger Scott, hosted by Wordsmith Publicity. Be sure to check out all the reviews and enter the giveaway!

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 IN YOUR DREAMS (Falling Series #4)

NA Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 29, 2016

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BLURB

Casey Coffield has a growing list of personal flaws he keeps locked away in his head:
He’s never on time.
His list of IOUs to his best friend is endless.
Money is always short.
Goals are never in reach.

Oh, and he’s decided to add college drop-out to that list, too. He doesn’t really think that last one’s such a bad thing, but his family insists it is, so it stays on the list.

On paper, he’s a zero. But in person, when he’s mixing tracks for a sea of bodies at the hottest clubs and parties, he’s downright irresistible. Just-right stubble on his chin, body of a boxer and a smirk that stimulates all the right nerves—women have never been a problem. They flock to his swagger and fall for his charm…fast.

All except for this one. 
Purple hair, gray eyes, a raspy voice and sass, Murphy Sullivan is a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll. And her and Casey? They have history. He can’t remember it, but she wrote a song about him—and it’s not exactly a love song. But it is good. Damn good. And uncovering her inspiration just might be the key to solving a few of his shortcomings—not to mention open doors to his own big break in the music industry.

But sometimes dreams get messy when they collide. Sometimes life changes patterns. A past paints the wrong picture and futures get cloudy. The only question that remains is who will you choose when the dust settles—you? Or the girl of your dreams?

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REVIEW


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I get excited every time I see Ginger Scott is going to release a new novel. She’s quickly become one of my favorite New Adult authors with her exceptional storytelling. She creates deep characters and puts them in situations that feel true to life. No matter how flawed or broken her characters are, I always fall in love with them.

I’ve been waiting to read Casey Coffield’s story ever since I heard it was being written. I loved his friendship with Houston in The Girl I Was Before.  I couldn’t wait to find out more about him.

Casey was a perfectly flawed character. He was the cocky popular kid from high school who was trying to make it in the music industry. He gave up a lot to chase his dreams, and would do what it took to make them come true. Even going after his dreams meant sacrificing his relationship with his family. His relationship with Murphy brought out so many good things in him. It was fun to watch him learn more about himself and grow.

Murphy was an incredibly cool character. Her hatred for Casey didn’t come from where I thought it would. It was fun to watch her try not to fall for him. She didn’t stand a chance. I also loved Murphy’s entire family. They made the story all that more special.

Casey and Murphy together were adorable! I loved the way they complimented each other. The slow-burn of their romance was so sweet and incredibly enjoyable to read. I rooted for them the entire time I was reading.

The only thing more I could have wanted from In Your Dreams was more toward the end. The ending was super cute, but I wanted to know what happened in between the last chapter and the epilogue. I needed to know what happened during that time frame! It drove me a little nuts not knowing. I think what happened in the in between that time frame would have added even more feels to the story.

Overall, I absolutely adored In Your Dreams. It made me laugh and smile. I loved Casey and Murphy and I’m hoping I’ll get to see a glimpse of them in one of Ginger Scott’s future novels. I’m really sad I’m done reading it because now I am once again waiting for Ginger Scott’s next book. (Please let it be about Trent from Wicked Restless. Please. I’m crossing my fingers!)

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THE FALLING SERIES

TIF (Falling #1)

This is Falling (Falling #1)

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You and Everything After (Falling #2)

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The Girl I Was Before (Falling #3)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling author of eight young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, Wild Reckless and The Girl I Was Before.

A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her  and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.

When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).

Connect with Ginger:

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Facebook
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Google
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Review: All of It by Kim Holden

Title: All of It

Author: Kim Holden

Publication Date: November 24, 2013

Publisher: Do Epic, LLC

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN–a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there’s something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there’s more to him than meets the eye. Before long, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true–until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It’s not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.


 ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


I’m really struggling with my feelings about All of It. It was written by one of my favorite authors, Beth Flynn. Her novel Bright Side is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the follow up to it, Gus. I wanted to enjoy All of It just as much. I didn’t.

All of It was a struggle for me to read from the beginning. I had a hard time getting into the story. (I even set it aside for a couple of months.) I just didn’t connect with the main characters, Ronnie and Dimitri. Ronnie was annoying. The way she spoke and acted didn’t remind me of a high school senior at all. Dimitri was kind of creepy at first. He was way too forward, and Ronnie was way too accepting of it for having basically no experience with guys. If a guy talked to me the way Dimitri talked to Ronnie after only knowing me for a week, I would be avoiding him. I didn’t get their insta-love. I also didn’t get the way they talked to each other. They sounded way too mature and formal for teenagers.

Somewhere around the sixth or seventh chapter, I began to get into the story. As Ronnie and Dimitri’s relationship progressed, I began to like them more. It lasted like a minute because the story moves forward in time and Ronnie’s making really dumb decisions. Decisions we have take her word on because we didn’t see any of it happen. She just tells us. When she finally comes to her senses and I start liking the story again, not one, not two, not three but FOUR deaths take place. That was pretty crazy. Of course, Ronnie can’t handle it (Who could?) and Dimitri has to save her.

Through all the depressing craziness, the bright light in the story is Dimitri. He has her back. He stands by her when he probably shouldn’t. It was sweet and I loved how he got Ronnie back on track.

But then the story jumps time again. Now, it’s 20 years in the future. Ronnie catches us up on what’s happened and where she is now in her life. This is when the biggest mystery of the book is revealed. It’s also my favorite part of the book. Ronnie and Dimitri’s connection was so cool. I wish the rest of the story would have been as cool. I want to say the journey was worth it to get to the ending, but I’m not sure it was.

Obviously, I didn’t love All of It. I wanted to because, hello, it’s Kim Holden’s. It had a couple of amazing parts, but the rest was just so-so. I had to remind myself that it was her first book. If I put it in that perspective, it’s a pretty good debut novel. It just wasn’t phenomenal like Bright Side. So, it falls somewhere around 3 stars for me.

 

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

16045306Title: Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Series: Hundred Oaks

Author: Miranda Kenneally

Publication Date: July 15, 2014

Publisher: Sourcefire Books

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

“Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet.” — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You


 

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


 

The books I’ve read where running is a major part of the story fall into two categories: boring or amazing. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was one of the amazing ones.

What’s so wonderful about Breathe, Annie, Breathe is the realness of story and characters. I loved Annie. Her reaction to the loss of Kyle is what I would expect from a real life teenager in a similar situation. She’s lost the most important person in her life, the one she saw forever with, and she’s not sure how to move on from that. Annie feels guilty for having a future beyond Kyle. Her negative feelings rise to the surface when she’s dealing with her family, the ones who love her best. The only way she can think of to deal with it is to finish the marathon Kyle never got to. I enjoyed the way Annie was able to find herself again with help from Jeremiah, her friends and her family. They let her be who she needed to be and supported her when she needed it most.

Jeremiah was a really cool male love interest. His addiction to extreme sports and the adrenaline rush they gave him added another cool aspect to the story. It made Annie deal with her deepest fears. His witty banter with Annie was so much fun to read.

I also loved the supporting characters. Jeremiah’s family was hilarious. I skipped ahead a couple of books in this series after reading Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker, so Breathe, Annie, Breathe made me want to go back and read Matt’s story.

As for the running aspect of the book…The way each chapter revolved around where Annie was in her training schedule was interesting. I felt like I was learning something about training for a marathon and what it takes. It also helped show the progression of Annie’s life without Kyle, her new relationship with Jeremiah and how she evolved as a person over time. What could have been boring actually made the book fly by.

If you’re looking for a fun, uplifting YA book to read, I would highly recommend Breathe, Annie, Breathe or any other of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks novels. The writing is exceptional and I always finish feeling happier than I was before I started reading.

 

Review: Elastic Hearts by Claire Contreras

elastic heartsTitle: Elastic Hearts

Series: Hearts, #3

Author: Claire Contreras

Publication Date: March 20, 2016

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

Victor Reuben.
Most sought out divorce attorney in LA.

Nicole Alessi.
Soon to be ex-wife of Hollywood’s biggest star, Victor’s latest client and his boss’s daughter.

In such a high profile divorce, they can’t afford any extra drama. Luckily, neither one of them has anything to hide.
Unless you count the mind blowing sex they had…
Once…
Twice…
Three times all those years ago.

As long as they leave the past where it belongs, they’ll be fine. But with her wearing those tight dresses and him giving her those heated glances, keeping their hands to themselves is proving to be more difficult than either one of them realized.

It won’t be long before the paparazzi start to smell smoke, and where there’s smoke…


 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


The first book I ever read by Claire Contreras was Kaleidoscope Hearts. I saw Colleen Hoover recommend it on her Facebook page when it was released and decided to read it because I was just getting into reading the New Adult genre. I loved Kaleidoscope Hearts. It was so emotional and brilliant. It made me fall in love with Claire Contreras’ characters and her writing. I was so excited when I saw Elastic Hearts was being released. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store for Estelle’s brother, Victor.

Elastic Hearts was a different type of second chance love story than the first two books in the series. It wasn’t based on an old, deep connection between the main characters. Victor and Nicole’s connection was based on a couple of hook-ups they had a few year ago. Now, they were being thrown together in a lawyer-client situation without anyone knowing about their connection or attraction. They had to pretend it didn’t exists. I liked this change. The secrecy around their hook-ups relationship made the story more exciting. It also put me on edge a couple of times wondering if they were going to end up in trouble.

Victor Reuben is going to be many ladies’ new book boyfriend. (I call dibs!) He was just right parts cocky and sweet. Victor knew what he wanted from life and went for it. When his wants changed, he wasn’t afraid to admit it and go for it — even if he did it cautiously. Nicole was a fun surprise. I expected her to be more confident than she was having been married to a movie star. Her little insecurities made her very relatable. I loved watching Victor and Nicole trying to keep things professional. I’m so happy the story was told in dual points of view, so I could see what was going on in each of their heads.

Elastic Hearts is one of my favorite New Adult releases of 2016 so far. It put a smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. It was witty, smart and sweet. I didn’t want to put it down and I’m sad it’s over. (Although, I can’t wait to see what’s going to come next from Claire Contreras!)  I would highly recommend Elastic Hearts and the entire Hearts series to New Adult readers who enjoy emotional stories filled with amazing characters.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I’m Going to Hype (And shocker: They’re not all romances!)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Ten Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven’t Talked About Enough/In A While, or Ten Books I’m Going to Hype. All book blurbs are courtesy of Goodreads.


15507958 1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

So beautifully written and heartbreaking, Me Before You explores the question how much does quality of life matter?

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time


22669832 2. Bright Side by Kim Holden

I know, I talk about this one all of the time. I can’t help it. I try to live my life by the main character Kate’s mantra every day. It’s such an inspiring story.

Secrets.
Everyone has one.
Some are bigger than others.
And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.

They both feel it.
But they each have a reason to fight it.
They each have a secret.

And when secrets are revealed,
Some will heal you …
And some will end you.


21469108 3. The Ghost of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

This book blew my mind. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. It’s historical fiction, but I think it reaches beyond that.

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.


23253863 4. Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

I couldn’t leave this psychological thriller out. Gone Girl has nothing on Beth Flynn’s Nine Minutes. And the sequel is even better.

On May 15, 1975, fifteen-year-old Ginny Lemon is abducted from a convenience store in Fort Lauderdale by a member of one of the most notorious and brutal motorcycle gangs in South Florida.

From that moment on, her life is forever changed. She gets a new name, a new identity and a new life in the midst of the gang’s base on the edge of the Florida Everglades—a frightening, rough and violent world much like the swamps themselves, where everyone has an alias and loyalty is tantamount to survival.

And at the center of it all is the gang’s leader, Grizz: massive, ruggedly handsome, terrifying and somehow, when it comes to Ginny, tender. She becomes his obsession and the one true love of his life.

So begins a tale of emotional obsession and manipulation, of a young woman ripped from everything she knows and forced to lean on the one person who provides attention, affection and care: her captor. Precocious and intelligent, but still very much a teenager, Ginny struggles to adapt to her existence, initially fighting and then coming to terms with her captivity.

Will she be rescued? Will she escape? Will she get out alive—or get out at all? Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age novel, filled with mystery, romance and unexpected turns, Nine Minutes takes readers into the world of one motorcycle gang and inside the heart of a young girl, whose abduction brought about its fall.


22449806 5. The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

This is one of my new favorites. Completely heartbreaking but utterly addicting.

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.


40440 6. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I loved this book. I think it’s time for a reread because I’m beginning to forget the story. It was super weird.

Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.

As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story.

Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets… and the ghosts that haunt them still.


10283872 7. The Beach Trees by Karen White

This is the first book I read by Karen White. I’ve since read all of her novels. Part historical, part romance, part mystery, this book has it all.

From the time she was twelve, Julie Holt knew what a random tragedy can do to a family. At that tender age, her little sister disappeared-never to be found. It was a loss that slowly eroded the family bonds she once relied on. As an adult with a prestigious job in the arts, Julie meets a struggling artist who reminds her so much of her sister, she can’t help feeling protective. It is a friendship that begins a long and painful process of healing for Julie, leading her to a house on the Gulf Coast, ravaged by hurricane Katrina, and to stories of family that take her deep into the past.


18693753 8. Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little

I loved this psychological thriller. Think a snarky Paris Hilton who has been incarcerated for killing her mother.

As soon as they processed my release Noah and I hit the ground running. A change of clothes. A wig. An inconspicuous sedan. We doubled back once, twice, then drove south when we were really headed east. In San Francisco we had a girl who looked like me board a plane to Hawaii.

Oh, I thought I was so clever.

But you probably already know that I’m not.

LA IT girl Janie Jenkins has it all. The looks, the brains, the connections. The criminal record.

Ten years ago, in a trial that transfixed America, Janie was convicted of murdering her mother. Now she’s been released on a technicality she’s determined to unravel the mystery of her mother’s last words, words that send her to a tiny town in the very back of beyond. But with the whole of America’s media on her tail, convinced she’s literally got away with murder, she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

She knows she really didn’t like her mother. Could she have killed her?


19063 9.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It was a little slow at times, but I think it’s important to read books set in the World War II area every once in a while. We shouldn’t forget what happened.

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.


4667024 10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Another time that’s important to remember and an amazing book.

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step….

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women–mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends–view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope,The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

 

 

Release Blitz: Elastic Hearts by Claire Contreras

NOW AVAILABLE ELASTIC HEARTS

Meet Victor and Nicole in Elastic Hearts.
This sexy, forbidden standalone by Claire Contreras is

NOW LIVE!

Grab your copy at the following retailers:

Amazon USAmazon UK iBook Kobo

**Special release week pricing**

elastic hearts

Blurb

From New York Times Bestselling Author, Claire Contreras, comes a sexy new standalone novel.

Victor Reuben.
Most sought out divorce attorney in LA.

Nicole Alessi.
Soon to be ex-wife of Hollywood’s biggest star, Victor’s latest client and his boss’s daughter.

In such a high profile divorce, they can’t afford any extra drama. Luckily, neither one of them has anything to hide.
Unless you count the mind blowing sex they had…
Once…
Twice…
Three times all those years ago.

As long as they leave the past where it belongs, they’ll be fine. But with her wearing those tight dresses and him giving her those heated glances, keeping their hands to themselves is proving to be more difficult than either one of them realized.

It won’t be long before the paparazzi start to smell smoke, and where there’s smoke…

*Each book in the Hearts Series follows a different couple and can be read as a standalone.*

elastic hearts teaser

Excerpt

“This isn’t going to work,” he said finally, turning to face me as he stood behind the desk.
“What?”
“This. Us. Me on this case. It’s not going to work.”
“Because you want to fuck me against the window,” I said.
He gripped the top of the chair tightly and dropped his head, but didn’t comment on what I’d said. “Maybe we should just see each other when we have to . . . for the divorce,” he said.
I let out a laugh. “I didn’t plan to come here tonight, let alone run into you.”
“You’re right,” he said, meeting my gaze. “You’re right, but we should still stick to that plan.”
“As my lawyer, I don’t think you should let me make rash decisions when I’m drunk,” I said. He looked down again, but I saw his smile before he tried to hide it.
“I’m serious, Nicole.”
“That’s fine, Victor. I get it. Is that it? I was talking to a really cute guy upstairs, and I still need to use the restroom. Maybe I’ll take him with me.” Even in my current state, I could see the way his eyes darkened at my suggestion.
“You just said you were drunk,” he growled, gripping the chair harder.
“Not that drunk.” I paused to search his face. “Would that upset you? If I hooked up with that guy in the bathroom? I kind of like bathroom hookups.”
“Nicole,” he said, his tone hard, his eyes searing into mine.
“You know, you’re actually the only guy I’ve done that with,” I admitted. “But it was so hot. You kept saying all these dirty things in my ear, remember?”
“I remember,” he said, voice grating.
“You were doing that,” I said, pointing at his fingers, which were digging into the top of the chair. “Gripping my ass. I had marks the next day, the soreness. So hot.”
“Nicole,” he growled.

elastic hearts now available

Haven’t read this series yet?
What are you waiting for?
*Each book in the Hearts Series follows a different couple
and can be read as a standalone.*

Kaleidoscope Hearts (Book One)
ONLY $2.99

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Paper Hearts (Book Two) Mia & Jensen
ONLY $3.99

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Elastic Hearts (Book Three) Victor & Nicole

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**Special release week pricing**

Author Information

claire bio

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs.

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones.

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