Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Release Day Launch: The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch of Rachel Harris' THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING! THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING is the first book in Rachel's The Fine Art of Pretending series published by Spencer Hill Contemporary.


The Fine Art of Pretending

Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Amazon | Amazon UK | IndieBound



THE FINE ART OF PRETENDING Synopsis:

According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

Release date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary





EXCERPT

An exhale of breath leaves Brandon’s lips, almost like a laugh, and he scoots closer to me on the blanket. I twist my legs under myself, sitting tall as I face him. He cups my chin and tilts it toward him, drowning me in the now dark-green depths of his eyes, the cologne I gave him for his birthday filling my head. It’s woodsy and yummy and I always loved how it smelled on the store testers, but on Brandon, it’s even sexier. My eyes flutter closed, and I inhale again, this time slowly. Goose bumps prickle my arms, and my head gets fuzzy.

Brandon slides his hand down the column of my neck and brings the other up, threading his fingers through the hair at my nape. His breath fans across my cheek, and everything south of my bellybutton squeezes tight.

When his mouth first meets mine, it’s hesitant, questioning. But as I move my lips with his, he quickly grows bolder, coaxing them apart.

Desire, pure and raw, electrifies my veins as his tongue sweeps my mouth. A whimpering sound springs from my chest, and instinctively, I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him closer. Needing more. My teeth graze his full bottom lip, and I pull it, sucking on it gently.

He moans and knots his fingers in my hair, and a thrill dances down my back.

Brandon is an amazing kisser, just as I knew he would be. I have no control over my body’s reactions. I lose myself in his lips, his tongue, and his strong arms, forgetting time and space and even my surroundings—until Gabi’s snicker brings reality crashing around us, reminding me we have an audience.

And that I’m kissing Brandon.

We break apart, out of breath, and stare into each other’s eyes.

That was unexpected.


About the author:

Author Photo
Award-winning and Bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls next door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Emotion, vibrant settings, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books...and kissing. Lots of kissing.

An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, and LOVES talking with readers.

Find Rachel on:


 Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook



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Release Day Launch: All Things Pretty by M. Leighton

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We are so stoked to bring you the Release Day Launch for M. Leighton's ALL THINGS PRETTY! ALL THINGS PRETTY is a Contemporary Adult Romance and the third novel in M. Leighton’s Pretty series. Sig's book is here!


All Things Pretty

ALL THINGS PRETTY Synopsis:

Pretending to be something they’re not, afraid to trust anyone completely, destined to tear each other apart– this is the story of unlikely love and unbearable consequences.

Sig Locke is a cop. He was raised by a cop and all his brothers are cops. He bleeds blue, believes in right and wrong, and sees in black and white, never in shades of gray.

But that was before he met Tommi.

Tommi, with her long legs and bright green eyes, she captured Sig’s interest from the moment he saw her. Even after he discovered who she was–the girlfriend of a drug dealer, the beauty behind a criminal–he still found her utterly irresistible. What Sig doesn’t know, however, is that she has a secret even a cop can’t uncover.

Tommi Lawrence hasn’t had an easy life, and it only got more complicated the day she met Sig. She learned long ago that she can’t trust anyone. Her gut tells her that Sig is no exception, her heart tells her that he is. But that was before she found out his real identity.

Can love be forged in a fire of lies? Or will the truth destroy them both?

Release date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Self-published



Excerpt

Her lips are still curved when she turns her attention back to me. Something about the moment hits me like a punch to the gut. I think for a second that I could stand here and stare at her, just enjoy her smile and her happiness for hours. Days, maybe. But I can’t. We can’t. So, instead, I brush a clump of mud from the end of her nose. “Have fun?”

“I did. Thank you. This was so good for him.”

“And you.”

“And me,” she concedes.

“You can be the real you around me anytime. I won’t tell a soul.”

“So you prefer this?”

“Oh, hell yeah! I don’t need glamorous. Or proper.”

“I’m not proper.”

“You forget that I heard your…expressiveness that day on the side of the road. And it didn’t consist of ‘darn’ or ‘golly gee’. But I haven’t heard anything like that come out of your mouth since then.”

“Ladies aren’t supposed to talk that way, according to Lance.”

“I don’t want a lady. I want a woman. One who knows her own mind. One who wears what she’s comfortable in, one who says what she’s thinking.” I take a step closer. I can’t help myself. Her scent draws me in. Even covered in mud, she smells like sexy sunshine. “I want the woman who kisses like she’s on fire and makes me feel like I’m the only one who can put her out.”

“Sig,” she begins.

I break in to cut her off. I know her objections. And I know how much I don’t want to hear them. “I’m just being honest. I’m not even touching you.”

Her eyes are glued to mine, a damn near irresistible gravity pulling us together. “It’s not like you can anyway. I mean, we’re in public. With my little brother. What could you possibly touch?”

I reach down and smear my hand in mud. With her eyes locked on mine, I reach between us and flatten my palm on her chest, right over her heart. “This. I’d touch this.”



About the author:


Author PhotoNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, M. Leighton, is a native of Ohio. She relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she can be near the water all summer and miss the snow all winter. Possessed of an overactive imagination from early in her childhood, M. Leighton finally found an acceptable outlet for her fantastical visions: literary fiction. Having written over a dozen novels, these days M. Leighton enjoys letting her mind wander to more romantic settings with sexy Southern guys, much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.
A note from M. Leighton: I love coffee and chocolate, even more so when they are combined. I'm convinced that one day they could be the basis for world peace. I also love the color red and am seriously considering dying my hair.

Find M. Leighton on:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Review: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Title: Beware the Wild
Author: Natalie C. Parker
Release date: October 21st 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 220
Source: Edelweiss

It's an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp -- the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn't return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp's done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance -- and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance.



Beware the Wild is... Well, it's different. A standalone YA paranormal - I haven't read many of those. And the premise is easy to understand, but I like having more detail in things like this, which I didn't get in this book. But I did enjoy the overall story, as well as the whole mystery of the swamp and the disappearances.

After a fight with her brother, Sterling realized he's run off into the swamp, the one place no one should ever go. And after a while, she discovers that no one even remembers him. A girl climbs out of the swamp in his place, and she takes over his life. Suddenly Sterling's always had an older sister, not a brother. Everyone in town has replaced Phin with Lenora May, and Sterling doesn't know what to do. When she finds out that Heath, a boy she used to know, also has a connection to the swamp (which is, he's also lost someone in there), she's determined to team up and find their missing loved ones.

Though we don't get to see too much of this, I enjoyed Sterling's relationship with her brother. We see it mostly through her flashbacks. The two of them are really close, and they have fun goofing off together. Phin is also really protective of his sister, but not in an overbearing way. I wish we'd got to see more of him in the book!

I thought it was pretty clichéd that the one person who can empathize with Sterling is a gorgeous broody guy who has a sort of history with her. But whatever, I really liked Heath. He has his own secrets, his own reasons for being the way he is. Mostly it's because he lost his best friend to the swamp, and Sterling is the only one who remembers after he reminds her. Don't worry, there's a reason why the two of them remember while no one else does!

We get to find out more about what's really in the swamp, and there's a nice little folk tale about the way it began. In fact, you can sort of relate this book to that folk tale as well. There's a lot of danger in there, creatures that shouldn't exist and a kind of magic called the Shine. Sterling and Heath need to know how it all works in order to get back whoever they lost.

Some things are a little bewildering if you think about it, like how everyone in the town knows the swamp exists and there's something wrong with it, but no one ever does anything. And also the fact that people are disappearing but life goes on normally. I mean, it's a small town, someone's got to notice something, right?

The romance is sweet, and I liked the way Sterling and Heath kept each other on track, and made each other remember who they lost. There isn't much of it on account of the danger surrounding them, but despite everything they had some cute moments together. I haven't said much about the characters because they didn't really stand out to me, and were in fact a little forgettable. Even Heath, although I really liked him. So bottom line, this was an enjoyable read, but not exceptional. I would try more books from this author, though.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #81: Ensnared

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Ensnared by A.G. Howard


Title: Ensnared (Splintered #3)
Author: A.G. Howard

Release date: January 13th 2015
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

After surviving a disastrous battle at prom, Alyssa has embraced her madness and gained perspective. She’s determined to rescue her two worlds and the people and netherlings she loves. Even if it means challenging Queen Red to a final battle of wills and wiles... and even if the only way to Wonderland, now that the rabbit hole is closed, is through the looking-glass world—a parallel dimension filled with mutated and sadistic netherling outcasts.

In the final installment of the Splintered trilogy, Alyssa and her dad journey into the heart of magic and mayhem in search of her mom and to set right all that’s gone wrong. Together with Jeb and Morpheus, they must salvage Wonderland from the decay and destruction that has ensnared it. But even if everyone succeeds and comes out alive, can they all truly have their happily ever after?

Woot, a Jeb cover finally! It's just as pretty as the first two. I'm more of a Morpheus fan, but I love Jeb too, and though I'm a little nervous about the end of this trilogy, I can't wait to see what A.G. Howard has in store for us.


Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Release Day Launch + Trailer Reveal: Stay with Me by J. Lynn

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 We are so pleased to bring you the Release Day Launch for Jennifer L. Armentrout's STAY WITH ME! STAY WITH ME is a New Adult contemporary romance being published by Avon (William Morrow), an imprint of HarperCollins, and is a part of Jennifer’s Wait for You series.



Stay With Me Cover

At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.

But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she'd left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.

Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.

Release date: September 23rd 2014
Publisher: William Morrow

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STAY WITH ME TRAILER!




EXCERPT

As I lay there, trying to swallow a loud, obnoxious yawn, I remembered something he’d said when we first met, about life being too short. I imagined he had firsthand experience with shortened lives while he was serving. That mentality came from experience. I got that now. Could even understand it, but there was something I didn’t understand.

“Why?” I asked.

There was a beat. “Why what?”

Jax sounded tired, and I should shut up or point out that I was now tired and could sleep, so he could leave. But I didn’t. “Why are you here? You don’t know me and . . .” I trailed off, because there really wasn’t anything left to say.

A minute went by, and he hadn’t answered my question, and then I think another minute ticked on, and I was okay with him not answering because maybe he didn’t even know. Or maybe he was just bored and that was why he was here.

But then he moved.

Jax pressed against my back, and the next breath I took got stuck in my throat. My eyes shot open. The sheet and blanket were between us, but they felt like nothing.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Getting comfortable.” He dropped an arm over my waist, and my entire body jerked against his. “It’s time to sleep I think.”

“But—”

“You can’t sleep when you talk,” he remarked.

“You don’t need to be all up on me,” I pointed out.

His answering chuckle stirred the hair along the back of my neck. “Honey, I’m not all up on you.”

I freaking begged to differ on that point. I started to wiggle away, but the arm around my waist tightened, holding me in place.

“You’re not going anywhere,” he announced casually, as if he wasn’t holding me prisoner in the bed.

Okay. The whole prisoner thing might be melodramatic, but he wasn’t letting me up. Not when he was getting all kinds of comfy behind me.

Oh my God, this was spooning. Total spooning. I was spooning with an honorary member of the Hot Guy Brigade. Did I wake up in a parallel universe?

“Sleep,” he demanded, as if the one word carried that much power. “Go to sleep, Calla.” This time his voice was softer, quieter.

“Yeah, it doesn’t work that way, Jax. You have a nice voice, but it doesn’t hold the power to make me sleep on your command.”

He chuckled.

I rolled my eyes, but the most ridiculous thing ever was the fact that after a couple of minutes, my eyes stayed shut. I . . . I actually settled in against him. With his front pressed to my back, his long legs cradling mine, and his arm snug around my waist, I actually did feel safe. More than that, I felt something else—something I hadn’t felt in years.

I felt cared for . . . cherished.

Which was the epitome of dumb, because I barely knew him, but feeling that, recognizing what the warm, buzzing feeling was, I fell right asleep.



Stay With Me Teaser 1Stay With Me Teaser 2






About the author:

Author Photo#1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


Find Jennifer on:

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter


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Sunday, 21 September 2014

Review: Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

Title: Even in Paradise
Author: Chelsey Philpot
Release date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: eARC
Pages: 234

Source: Edelweiss

When Julia Buchanan enrolls at St. Anne’s at the beginning of junior year, Charlotte Ryder already knows all about the former senator’s daughter. Most people do... or think they do.

Charlotte certainly never expects she’ll be Julia’s friend. But almost immediately, she is drawn into the larger than-life-new girl’s world—a world of midnight rendezvous, dazzling parties, palatial vacation homes, and fizzy champagne cocktails. And then Charlotte meets, and begins falling for, Julia’s handsome older brother, Sebastian.

But behind her self-assured smiles and toasts to the future, Charlotte soon realizes that Julia is still suffering from a tragedy. A tragedy that the Buchanan family has kept hidden … until now.

It’s only in hindsight that we can point, as easily as finding a town on a map, to the moments that shaped usthe moments when choices between yeses and nos determined the people we became.
I don't really know what to say about this book.. I thought it would be similar to The Great Gatsby, and it is. But not the parts I liked about that classic. Even in Paradise would be enjoyable for people who like contemporaries I guess, but it just wasn't my kind of book.

Charlotte is a totally ordinary girl, so it surprised her when Julia Buchanan suddenly became her friend. The two of them become very close, and Charlottle even ditches all her old friends. She gets to experience what it's like to be a Buchanan, but soon realizes it's not all fun and games. Their family has secrets that they don't want getting out, and they're all actually way more dysfunctional than anyone expects. Charlotte is dragged into both sides - the good and the bad. And she has to deal with that.

Julia has a total Gatsby complex, and it annoyed me to no end. Yeah, I sympathize with her, but I didn't like any of the choices she made and I hated that she was practically throwing her life away. She's exciting and fun, sure, but also really sad inside. There's a darkness in her that she won't let out, and all of it just makes her seem a little insane. She's kind of unstable and really fragile, and honestly freaked the shit out of me at times.

Charlotte (or Charlie, as Julia - and later everyone else - calls her) is basically the Nick of this book. For those of you who haven't read The Great Gatsby, Nick is the totally boring and spectator-like narrator. Like Nick, Charlie is pulled into a life of glamour and parties, quite unexpectedly. Charlie has moral character, but it's like being with Julia negates everything she is. She doesn't seem to have much of an opinion of her own, and just becomes Julia's sidekick.

The romance was also a little weird, but it did introduce Sebastian, who's by far my favourite character in this book. Sebastian is Julia's older brother, and Charlie doesn't think it's appropriate to have a crush on him. But of course she can't help it, and she realizes neither can he. I liked their little romance, and I especially liked Sebastian. He's so adorably clumsy! Really, he's so accident-prone that it's like he was cursed to be that way or something. He and Charlie together make a very cute couple. But Sebastian has his own faults as well, and I just got so tired of all the secrets.

There's a twist towards the end that was kind of obvious, and then later there's another one, kind of a surprise, which I didn't see coming. Either way, this book just didn't hold my attention and the shallowness of the characters really dampened my enjoyment of it. If you're really into these kind of contemporaries, maybe you should give it a try. But if not, don't bother.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 2/5

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Review: Ghost Heart by Ripley Patton

Title: Ghost Heart (The PSS Chronicles #3)
Author: Ripley Patton

Release date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: eARC
Pages: 170

Source: Author

In the aftermath of a brutal tragedy, Jason and Passion are on the run. Marcus is lost beyond reach, and The Hold is in shambles. If that weren't enough, Olivia Black has been taken by the CAMFers to be used as Dr. Fineman's personal lab rat in his merciless quest to uncover the mysteries of Psyche Sans Soma once and for all. But only if he can break her.

They are scattered.
They are devastated.
They are ruined.

Their only hope is Olivia's stubborn determination to thwart her captors and unlock the secrets of her ghost hand before Dr. Fineman can. Will she finally find the strength within herself to embrace the full power of her PSS?

And will it even matter if Marcus has already betrayed her?

Ghost Heart is the third installment in The PSS Chronicles, and I'm definitely glad it's not the last! Though the book isn't particularly long, there is a lot packed into it, and so many twists and surprises. I was honestly shocked at so many of them! So I applaud Ripley for all the unpredictability.

We get three POVs in this book - Passion, Marcus, and Olivia. Which is a change from the previous two books. I liked seeing things through different eyes, but I was pretty impatient in the beginning waiting to find out what's going on with Olivia! I definitely liked getting to know Passion better, though. There are so many things I want to say but I can't because of spoilers! But trust me, this book will really take you on a roller coaster.

I missed Olivia and Marcus's interactions, because they're one of my favourite YA couples - they click so well together and their banter is amusing. But I feel like the events of this book needed to happen so we can get to know them individually as well. If you've read Ghost Hold, you'll know there's more than one cliffhanger at the end. Well, things aren't going so well for Olivia, or Passion and Jason, or Marcus. And it's also still hard to read the book knowing Yale and Nose aren't in it.

There's definite heartbreak in Ghost Heart, I'm not going to lie. So many emotions in this! I like how deeply I'm getting involved in this series, and I love the characters. Olivia, though in a precarious situation, is still standing strong, and I really admire her willpower and ability to stay calm and keep a clear head. Passion's pretty awesome too, I've come to realize. I admit I didn't love her previously, but in this book I really did. I don't want to say much about Marcus since he goes through a lot (and also spoilers) but I will say that though things are still murky with him I believe he's a good guy and it's amazing how much he cares about the people he loves.

Again, there isn't much more I can say without giving something away. Regarding the plot, we get to know more about the Hold, and more about how it originated with Samantha's dad. We also find out a little more about the CAMFers and their relationship with the Hold. It was cool getting all this background, and I'm sure it'll all play a big role in the next book. We also get to know more about PSS powers! Not just Olivia's, but others as well. Although hers are the most detailed, of course.

So all in all, I was really happy with this. Though goshhh it's going to be hard waiting for the fourth book! Especially with the way this ended. It was a powerful ending, and a great one, but more cliffhangers! To all the YA readers - if you love paranormal and you haven't picked up The PSS Chronicles yet, what are you waiting for? Go grab it!

*Thank you to Ripley Patton for sending me an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

Friday, 19 September 2014

Review: Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Title: Kiss Kill Vanish
Author: Jessica Martinez
Release date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller
Format: eARC
Pages: 280

Source: Edelweiss

Valentina Cruz no longer exists.

One moment, she was wrapped in Emilio’s arms, melting into his kiss. The next, she was witnessing the unthinkable: a murder in cold blood, ordered by her father and carried out by her boyfriend. When Emilio pulled the trigger, Valentina disappeared. She made a split-second decision to shed her identity and flee her life of privilege, leaving the glittering parties and sultry nightlife of Miami far behind.

She doesn’t know how to explain to herself what she saw. All she knows now is that nothing she believed about her family, her heart, or Emilio’s love, was real.

She can change her name and deny her past, but Valentina can’t run from the truth. The lines between right and wrong, and trust and betrayal, will be blurred beyond recognition as she untangles the deceptions of the two men she once loved and races to find her own truth.

Kiss Kill Vanish definitely isn't what I expected. Well, not that the synopsis tells you all that much, but there are a lot of surprises along the way and so many twists everywhere. The premise is definitely interesting, and the plot is well-paced. It's just the characters I had a problem with.

Valentina comes from a pretty luxurious life. Her father deals art, and makes a lot of money selling valuable paintings. Valentina was happy with her life, especially with Emilio, her boyfriend who also works for her father. That's how they met, actually. But when Valentina witnesses Emilio killing a man her father told him to, she can't stay there any longer. She runs away with practically nothing, and tries to make a new life. But as her old life begins blending in with her new one, Valentina realizes just how messed up everything around her used to be; she just never knew it at the time.

The first half of this book is very different from the second. I really loved the second, but the first annoyed me most of the time, and my rating would have been lower if the plot hadn't changed and picked up later on. If only it were amazing from the start! Then this would have made an awesome book. Basically, get through everything that happens in the first half (this is just an estimate, I'm not sure if it's actually half or not), and immerse yourself into the rest of the book. It's totally worth it!

The protagonist, Valentina, annoyed the hell out of me. She's a complete idiot. I mean, she's what, seventeen? How can she run away to another freaking country carrying only her passport and a stupid musical instrument she stole from her boyfriend. No money, no clothes, no nothing. She has to resort to almost begging on the streets of Montreal before an 'artist' finds her and gives her a job. And she's so unbearably naive, it's insane. Stop being so dependent on your asshole boyfriend, gosh. It's obvious Emilio isn't being honest with her, and she still sticks by him loyally. Ugh, I really hated Emilio... There's really nothing to like about him and it's impossible for me to imagine what Valentina sees in him.

Then there's Lucien, a.k.a. the 'artist' who gives Valentina a job. He's sleazy and weird and Valentina really doesn't like him, but he pays her a shitload of money to pose for his paintings. No nude ones, don't worry. Just Valentina (or Jane, as she is known in her new life) dressed up in weird costumes. Valentina has no friends in Montreal, not even her three roommates. She talks to Lucien of course, and to Lucien's younger brother, Marcel. Who is a druggie and almost as sleazy as Lucien.

So the first half passes by kind of uneventfully. Until something big happens, and then BAM everything starts to change. I loved seeing how Valentina develops a friendship with Marcel. He changes a lot - he stops using, he's a lot more alive, and he quits the weird sleaziness. Marcel and Valentina's conversations are hilarious most of the time, and some lines really did have me laughing out loud. I loved the banter! And of course I loved it when their friendship became something more. That takes quite a while, though.

Like I said, there are a lot of twists so I really can't say anything else about the plot. Just that it's intense and dangerous and I loved seeing where it was going. Valentina becomes less of an idiot, which I was thankful for. Thinking about the book now reminds me once again of how different the first and second parts are! I like to thing of it as a before and after, though of course I won't mention the event that splits the book into those categories.

Kiss Kill Vanish is a standalone, so it ends well with no loose ends. I liked that, because open endings really bug me. There's an awesome climax/fight scene kind of thing near the end, which totally had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Jessica Martinez's writing is amazing! I loved her dialogues especially, and I would totally go back and read all the scenes with Marcel and Valentina, primarily the road trip ones. The writing also really drew me in. I just wish the beginning/middle hadn't bored me that much, otherwise I would've love this book. I'd definitely say give it a try, though! It's thrilling and humourous and sweet and dangerous all at once.

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3/5

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #80: Talon

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick for this week's WoW is...


Talon by Julie Kagawa


Title: Talon (Talon #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release date: October 28th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

One of my most anticipated books this year! I adore both Julie Kagawa and dragons. So combining the two is like... wow. I have no doubt this will blow my mind, and I can't wait to dig my claws into it. NEXT MONTH!


Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Book Blitz: Take Me On by Katie McGarry


Release Date: 05/27/14
Harlequin Teen

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.

Bonus novella included: Crossing the Line.



Available from:

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Excerpt from West’s Point of View

“Look, it’s me or them.” I motion toward the thugs with my chin. “And I’m telling you, I’m not the bad guy in this scenario.”
She laughs. And if it wasn’t such a beautiful sound, I’d be insulted.
“Because a guy driving an Escalade in this neighborhood is the equivalent of a Boy Scout.”
The right side of my mouth tips up. Did she call me a drug dealer?
“From the looks of you—” she glances at my knuckles again “—well, let’s just say you must have your own baggage and I’m not a baggage claim type of girl.”
“No, you’re the type that runs into traffic.”
She smiles and I like it. The anger racing through me moments before vanishes. I rub my jaw, then lean my hand against my open car door. Long light brown hair with waves, dark eyes that sure as hell suck me in as they sparkle, a tight body and a kick-ass attitude. Truth be told, I like more than her smile. Too bad I almost killed her by running her over. It’ll make asking her out awkward.

“Get into my car and I’ll drive you home.” I hold up both my palms. “I swear. No drive-bys on the way.”

Books in the series:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

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About the author:

KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Find Katie on:

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