Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye, 2017!: The Best Books of the Year

Well, the end of the year is upon us. Already?! Goodbye, 2017! I'm unfortunately ringing in the new year just as I did last year--sick and at home. You can't have everything. And the good news is that I have a marathon of The X-Files planned and, of course, you guys!

In celebration of the upcoming new year (!!!!!!) and all the fantastic book releases we've been graced with for these twelve months, I'm gathering a list of my favourite books of this last year. Me? Avoiding finishing up my City of Bones celebration? What-ever-do-you-mean? Why, I never!

Picking just a few of my favourites that were published throughout the year would have been hellish, so there's no limit to this list. I'd call it an excessive list if I was being honest.

Which is why my introduction ends here and with a Happy New Year to all of you! Let's get started!

Review: The House Mate by Kendall Ryan

The House Mate (Roommates, #2) by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★☆

Kendall Ryan does it again! What do you get when you stir in sexual tension between two amazingly complex characters, a live-in situation, one cute kid and a whole lot of potential angst? A fantastic love story to wrap yourself up in. You know the drill with Kendall Ryan; this queen of romance knows how to keep readers feeling electric and compelled in her character's relationships and this book is no different.

In The House Mate, we meet a new kind of "bad boy" leading man--Max Alexander is a newfound father with a whole new lifestyle change and the soon-to-be object of his affection, Addison Lane. As per usual, the chemistry between the two leads sizzles right off the pages and as lines between them blur, the further a girl falls into their connection.

What I liked most about The House Mate was that it was so very different from the previous two installments in the Roommates series. Whereas the previous two novels followed an entirely different, and ultimately similar trope, Kendall Ryan steps out of the routine with the relationship between a single dad and his nanny. Ah, yes, this isn't exactly a fresh and new connection but Ryan, as usual, makes it her own and continues to revitalize a tired genre.

Review: Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore | Rating: ★★★★☆

...that hearts that loved boys and girls were no more reckless or easily won than any other heart. They loved who they loved. They broke how they broke. And the way it happened depended less on what was under their lovers’ clothes and more on what was wrapped inside their spirits. What secret halls and trapdoors their souls held, and what each one hid and guarded.

This is my first experience with McLemore's writing but it will certainly not be my last. You know when you pick up a book and the writing is just so special, so artful, you want to just live in it? That's the best way to describe the way that Anna-Marie McLemore wields a pen.

Wild Beauty is one of the most wonderfully crafted YA reads in recent memory--it is descriptive, poetic, romantic and utterly whimsical in the way that not many authors are able to accomplish. When I say that there is something special about Anna-Marie McLemore's writing, I have no doubt that words could describe it otherwise but for me the first word that comes to mind about her writing is special.

Review: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart | Rating: ★★★☆☆

She knew that women were rarely the centers of such stories. Instead, they were eye candy, arm candy, victims, or love interests. Mostly, they existed to help the great white hetero hero on his fucking epic journey. When there was a heroine, she weighed very little, wore very little, and had had her teeth fixed.

Based on the magnificence that is Lockhart's prose, with what we saw in We Were Liars, I wanted to love Genuine Fraud. My problem was that while the writing was utterly luscious, it just didn't compel me in the many ways that Lockhart's previous release had. Which is seemingly an unfair thing to say, surely, considering the stories are two very different ones--but it just didn't do it for me quite like it should have.

I enjoyed it but only just. Lockhart has that way with her words that makes her one of the most enjoyable writers of her time. You know the type. You dive into their tales and get lost in their prose. They could literally type up a little commentary along the sides of a phone book and you'd be right there with your highlighter, marking away at the good bits. Genuine Fraud had plenty of moments in the narration that were so smooth and easy to fall into, I had many tabs present.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It's a Top Ten Tuesday (#10) Charlie Brown: Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Woo! Happy-almost-Christmas, if you celebrate. If not, happy Wednesday. I'm a day late on this post but to be fair, I have been tired all week from finishing up holiday shopping. And lazy. For those of you who are new to Top Ten Tuesday, it is presently hosted by The Broke and the Bookish (soon to be found at That Artsy Read Girl) and its title means exactly what you think it means. Every week, the book blogging community comes together with one topic to talk bookish.

This weeks topic is all kinds of jingle and jangle and I'm more than ready to participate. The top ten books I hope Santa brings me this year! I surprisingly didn't ask for that many books this year as presents because I have been trying to finish what I already have on the back burner. Plus, there's that little problem in the fact that I want ALL THE MAKEUP right now.

(I'm moving into Sephora and Ulta. Oops.)

That doesn't mean I couldn't come up with ten books that I have been eying. I mean, who would I be if I couldn't? So, while the books bellow are definitely going to be on my wish-list, I don't expect most of them to actually be under the tree come December 25th. Some of the books on my list are novels I hope to snag physical copies of in the future, after purchasing digital ones or reading eARC copies of throughout the year.

Only one is one I haven't read yet. 

So, let's get down to the jingle jangle part.

Blog Tour: Crave by Shanora Williams


I have some exciting news for you guys! 

 As of December 15th, Shanora Williams' latest novel, Crave, is officially available! Before we get into all the dirty details of this blog tour, I just want to give a massive shout-out of congratulations to Shanora on her latest release. She's definitely serving us some heat for the chilly winter months ahead! 

 Crave is a must-have for the romantic at heart and is bound to be a "devour in one sitting" read. So, get ready. Get cozy. Buy and read! Follow the cut for all the information you need.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Jewel of the Gods by Mary Bernsen

Get ready for Mary Bernsen's next compelling installment of Beyond the Gods, an adult fantasy that is sprinkled with the best of the genre. Including mythology and romance, Jewel of the Gods is a total smoke-show and will captivate you instantly.

To learn more about the book, and enter the generous giveaway that was provided, follow the cut!  

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Review: The Play Mate (Roommates, #2) by Kendall Ryan

The Play Mate by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★☆

Can I start by saying how much I genuinely love Kendall Ryan's work? All of the books I have read have been so outstanding. The Play Mate is the kind of novel that leaves you feel flushed and buzzed. Just a touch of this series and you're left glowing, breathless and maybe a little overwhelmed with emotions. In the case of The Play Mate, it contains all the things that make us love Kendall Ryan's novels: swoon-worthy alpha males and the bad ass women who love them, sizzling chemistry, classic banter exchanges and delicious backstories.

Best of all? The Play Mate primarily takes place in (one of the two cities*) the city I call  home--Chicago! Okay, okay, so maybe that's not the novels best side-note but it's just one of those little things that I appreciate in settings. If the book is set in New York City or Chicago, I'm there. Sprinkle in the beginning of the novel set in Paris and I'm already swooning.

Admittedly, I definitely think this one may be the weak link in the Roommates series. Does that mean it is a bad novel? Hell, no. It's just as appealing as you'd expect--a tantalizing relationship between two fantastic characters who have been friends since they were children, smoking chemistry and a whole lot of wit spicing up the dialogue. As per usual, Kendall Ryan writes a total smoke show of a novel and keeps readers on the edge of their seat, anticipating the--ahem--big bang and hoping for a happily-ever-after for a set of characters who truly deserve it.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Blog Tour & Excerpt: The Vixen's Lead by Tate James

And just like that, it's the final day in the blog tour for The Vixen's Lead. Tate James' novel may have been released in September of this year but it is the perfect December read. New Adult fans with a bit of a taste for paranormal romances, a little walk on the wild side, will flock to the beginning of this series.  

So curl up, ladies and gentlemen. Get cozy and check out this exclusive excerpt before buying. And don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blog Tour, Giveaway & Review: The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy


The time is here! Yesterday saw the release of one of the most explosive debuts this year in YA: The Truth Beneath the Lies. I'm so excited to share my thoughts with you guys on this COMPLETELY DELICIOUS AND UTTERLY BONKERS novel by Amanda Searcy. This is the sort of novel that will need no introduction--so, let's just cut to the chase, shall we? 

Follow the cut for all the information you need to know about the YA thriller everyone will be talking about. Under the cut you will find my review and an exclusive giveaway in celebration of its release. Are you ready?!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: I've Been Looking for You by Jennifer Dean

I'm so excited to be a stop on the I've Been Looking for You blog tour. Words cannot do my feelings justice, but I'm certainly going to give it a go when sharing my thoughts with you all. Jennifer Dean's latest was released at the very start of the month and I promise you, it's an unforgettable YA read for all ages. 

To learn more about the book, including my review of it, follow the cut! And don't forget to try your luck at entering the giveaway. 

Top Ten Tuesday #9: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

Happy Tuesday, everybody! For those of you who are new to Top Ten Tuesday, it is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and its title means exactly what you think it means. Every week, the book blogging community comes together to blog about one particular theme and this week, it is our top ten favourite books of 2017.

This year has been full of so many brilliant books.

Whether they were the kind that moved you emotionally, made you laugh or became something of a guilty pleasure, 2017 had so many hits. Picking only ten felt like a bit of a crime, but I narrowed it down the best I could. Fortunately for me, my end of the year countdown will feature the ones who got left behind for this week's Top Ten Tuesday.

Let's get started!

Review: Honeybee by Trista Mateer

Honeybee by Trista Mateer | Rating: ★★★★☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

We're just a few months away from the republication of Trista Mateer's collection of poetry, Honeybee. Yet so, so far away. Is it May, yet? It is very likely that you have seen her work as it originated, in various forms, but the truth is that this will be the book of poetry that people will talk about in 2018. Mateer perfectly captures the essence of growing into and out of love; the rise of romance and the fall into heartbreak.

What Trista writes is this--the dull ache of losing the person you love and the aftermath of both parties as they are trying to move forward with their lives. As she writes out her feelings, exploring the ups and downs, with a sort of frankness that is often difficult to convey in so few lines, you find yourself going through the motions with her. It's like falling in and out of love right with her. You're consumed instantly and her prose echoes within you. Honeybee is honest, complex and startlingly beautiful.

Through the years, I had only caught glimpses from Trista's works. Those bits and pieces are featured within Honeybee and all drawn together in a new light. This edition remains the same in tone but with a few key differences. Honeybee is not meant to be read alone; its pacing is so achingly real that you devour it within a small window of time. Longtime readers will recognize this trait instantly, as it carries us forward.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Blog Tour + Review: Torrid Little Affair by Kendall Ryan (Now Available!)


Say hello to the new queen of romance novels. Kendall Ryan is back with her newest novel, Torrid Little Affair, and it's blossoming with just as much heat as you'd expect. I'm beyond thrilled to be participating in the tour promoting Torrid Little Affair, as it's no secret that I am utterly obsessed with her Forbidden Desires series.

To learn more about the novel, the author and the series follow the cut! You'll find my review of Torrid Little Affair and all the dirty details.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Ten Years of City of Bones: Week Nine (Quotes)

I was going to post this on Friday but I'm kind of in denial that the celebration is almost done so I did find myself procrastinating just a smidge. Where did the time go? Do we really have only one more week left of my very first meme? Further, is City of Bones really 10 years old?! 

Man. I just really want to thank everyone who has taken the time to participate in these questions and this getting to know you dance we've been doing for almost ten weeks. While I've nearly completed these tasks, you are more than welcome to join in at any time and work at whatever pace you wish. To learn more about Ten Years of City of Bones, click on "celebration" in the very first sentence of this post.

And now, to the Tardis main attraction!

Review: The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan

The Room Mate by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★★

“Sometimes there are no second chances. Sometimes it’s now or never.”

I've come to the conclusion that, The-Actual-Queen-of-Romance, Kendall Ryan cannot write a bad book. It's just not possible. She will always, always, always create the sort of novels you dive head first into and grow feverish over when reading. In The Room Mate, you get two very pleasurable characters who have the most explosive level of chemistry imaginable. If you've read a Kendall Ryan book in the past, you know how teasing and seductive her prose is--she's a pro at the slow burn and this book is a definite hell-yes on that front. 

What do you get when you mix (1) A scorching hot med student, who has a romantic streak and beyond charming; who may or may not drive his conquests mad when he leaves them plus (2)  A young woman comfortable and secure in her life, with a great career and a lovable pup by the name of Enchilada, who is still looking for Mr. Right and (3) A shared childhood? Well, you get a hell of a lot of chemistry, tension and danger. 

Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera | Rating: ★★★★★

Maybe it's better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs.

Before I dive straight into all the emotions I felt whilst reading They Both Die at the End, I will say this: when I was little, I constantly read novels by Lurlene McDaniel. For most of my preteen and teen years, I was able to train myself to read these books in public and be moved but to never, ever cry visibly. So, when picking up this particular release, I thought I'd be prepared--between the title and my prior reads. I wasn't.

This year, about three books moved me to tears. The Hate U Give, Dear Martin and now They Both Die at the End. No matter how much you think you're prepared for some-thing, there's still that chance that you'll react in different ways. Adam Silvera has a prose that leaves you feeling both warm and fuzzy. Then, when you least expect it, his words cause your eyes to sting and before you know it, you're an emotional wreck. I have to be honest, I have never read anything like this book before and I probably never will. Truly, one of the most haunting releases in YA this year.

I feel... speechless.

Review: Filthy Beautiful Forever by Kendall Ryan

Filthy Beautiful Forever by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

Nothing says winter weekends like a glass of wine, a little makeup stalking, and a Kendall Ryan novel before embarking on late nights out with friends. I've binged the entirety of Kendall Ryan's blissfully addictive Filthy Beautiful Lies series over the last week. I'm fairly certain my friends are fed up with me babbling about the couples featured in the series--along with her Forbidden Desires lineup--but they're just so damn good. Truly, I'm flustered thinking about all the love and lust and smart-mouthed alphas in these books.

What a conclusion! While Filthy Beautiful Forever is, perhaps, my least favourite installment in the series, it is still intoxicating. There's this bubbly feeling one gets after reading a book by Kendall Ryan and this is no different. As it happens, I think my favourite of the Drake Brother's significant others is Mia--hell, I'd have probably proposed to her as a child, too.

Watch out, Collins. I'm here for your girl. I'm kidding. Mostly. But, for the record, I am positive that Mia is my favourite Ryan heroine and there's just so many good things to say about her. I really loved Collins, too, but Mia is my #1!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Blog Tour & Excerpt, Review + Giveaway: Love and Other Hazards by Claudia Riess

Today's the day! I'm so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Claudia Riess' adult romance Love and Other Hazards. Although the book has been out since June 6th, 2017, the novel itself was quite new to me.

In celebration of the tour and the months since its release, before I get started on my review, I'd like to send some massive (and belated) congratulations to Riess on her novel's publication! Without further ado, let's just dive right in! Follow the cut for an exclusive look at Love and Other Hazards, a giveaway and my review of the novel as a whole.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Book Blitz: The Right Direction by Kathy Coopmans

Attention, romance lovers! Teaser after teaser has finally paid off! The countdown is now over. And the latest release from the beloved USA Today Bestselling Author Kathy Coopmans is here. The Right Direction, is officially live! Follow the cut for all the details you need to know.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Filthy Beautiful Lust by Kendall Ryan

Filthy Beautiful Lust by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★★

"Who I was before became irrelevant the moment I met you." 

It's fairly obvious how shameless I am about my love of books penned by the incomparable Kendall Ryan. The third installment of the Filthy Beautiful Lies series, Filthy Beautiful Lust, is no exception to this rule. Just as slow of a burn (and that delicious ache of a good love story) as her impressive archive of books, there's no shortage of steamy scenes and fiery characters for readers to swoon over. Although readers were surely sad to close the story of Sophie and Colton in Filthy Beautiful Love, it's no doubt they will find themselves just as fond of Kylie and Pace.

Best of all, we do get glimpses of both Sophie and Colton in the duration of Filthy Beautiful Lust. Which should be  unsurprising--given that the series is about the delectable Drake brothers. Catch me, I'm swooning. I wasn't sure I would be down for these two--Pace was a great side character but I was skeptical of if I'd like him in his own narration--but holy crap, they are blazing through the pages at me.

Kendall Ryan drives her plots straight through your heart. The character of Kylie, for example, just might be my new-favourite Ryan heroine. She is easy to root for and not without flaws, aka the best kind of character. I loved the glimpses we got of her during Sophie and Colton's stories, but there is so much more of her to be explored in Filthy Beautiful Lust. I love how strong of a lead she is and how attentive she is to her young son, how determined she is to do what's best for him always--the number one thing a parent should do.

Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear Martin by Nic Stone | Rating: ★★★★★

"Last night changed me. I don't wanna walk around all pissed off and looking for problems, but I know I can't continue to pretend nothing's wrong. Yeah, there are no more "colored" water fountains, and it's supposed to be illegal to discriminate, but if I can be forced to sit on the concrete in too-tight cuffs when I've done nothing wrong, it's clear there's an issue. That things aren't as equal as folks say they are.

I need to pay more attention, Martin. Start really seeing stuff and writing it down. Figure out what to do with it. That's why I'm writing to you. You faced way worse shi--I mean stuff than sitting in handcuffs for a few hours, but you to stuck to your guns... well, your lack thereof, actually." 

It took a lot not to include the full, first letter that Dear Martin's Justyce writes. It took a lot not to include every few sentences.

The first thing you should know about Nic Stone's novel Dear Martin is that it is one of the most poignant stories you will read both this year and in your lifetime. If there is one thing for certain about Dear Martin, it's that the honesty in the story's examination of current events is so heart-wrenching and true-to-life, you're left feeling both moved and unsettled.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Holiday Ever After Boxed Set

Attention all romantics. This brand new holiday boxed set of twenty contemporary romances is OFFICIALLY AVAILABLE for your pleasure this holiday season. To sweeten the deal, the team behind this set of novels is offering a MASSIVE giveaway to one lucky reader--one you'll definitely want to check out.

Follow the cut for all the details! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Blog Tour, Review + Giveaway: S'more to Lose by Beth Merlin

Woo, woo! S'more to Lose is (nearly here--it's out December 5th, aka TOMORROW!!!!!!) and I'm so excited to be a part of the official blog tour in promotion of it. Congratulations to Beth Merlin on the second installment of her charming The Campfire Series! So, follow the cut to learn more about the book--the series and its author--as well as my thoughts on the novel! 

Review: Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan

Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★★

"Call me crazy, but I have a rule about dating men who are married: I don't."

Delectable and filthy in ways that grip tightly to the heart, Kendall Ryan's slowly seductive prose strikes all the right cords again and again with Filthy Beautiful Love. The (dazzling) conclusion to Sophie and Colton's love story is satisfying and enthralling. With all the events of the first book, Filthy Beautiful Lies, there are two hearts on the lines and a whole lot of questions.

Deeply romantic and tantalizing in its seduction, hearts will soar and shatter throughout the course of this book. There are many things a reader should keep on hand whilst reading Filthy Beautiful Love but most of all, I recommend applying waterproof mascara to your lashes because the journey we take is so emotionally charged. Kendall Ryan is the biggest talent in her genre and I knew that this novel would be beautifully crafted with steam and human complexities, but nothing can prepare you for reading it.

We already knew that Sophie and Colton's story was far from over. It just so happens that there is a big speed bump along their paths. Which is kind of ironic that their biggest cause of tension and heart-break isn't rooted in how they met, but in the fact that Colton is technically married still to his estranged wife, Stella. Filthy Beautiful Love picks up quickly where the previous book left off.

Review: Prisoner of Darkness by Nissa Leder

Prisoner of Darkness (Whims of Fae, #2) by Nissa Leder | Rating: ★★★★★

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me by the author. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

I'm going to start my review of the second installment of Nissa Leder's Whims of Fae series the very same way I began my review of its predecessor: Oh. My. God. It's not a secret that I adored the introduction to this world, The Two Princes of Summer, nor should it come as a shock to anyone that Prisoner of Darkness was at the top of my most anticipated reads. I was allured by Leder's prose instantly--and soon, I became entirely lost in the beauty of this world she has created. Without a doubt, Nissa Leder is an author readers should be looking out for in the future. And Whims of Fae is shaping up to be one of the very best, and underappreciated, YA releases in recent memory.

Much like with The Two Princes of Summer, Prisoner of Darkness had me bewitched from the very first chapter. There was so much that happened through the course of the first book that my heart was thudding in anticipation for what came next in the lives of Scarlett, Raith, Cade and Kaelam. After that killer ending to the previous book, I was left in a pool of emotions and excitement.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane

AH, can we all take a moment to swoon over how STUNNING the cover art is? I'm a sucker for the cover arts that toy with colourful doodles. They're just so charming. I know, I know, you should never judged a book by its cover but there's something about this one that is so aesthetically pleasing, it makes me want to jump around and ask, "Is it January 30th, yet?" 

Yes, we have to wait THAT LONG for The Upside of Falling Down. Believe me, I am just as excited as you surely are. If you are a fan of contemporary YA releases, then this book should definitely be on your most anticipated lists for 2018. To learn more about Rebekah Crane's novel, follow the cut. And don't forget to enter the giveaway! 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan

Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★★

(Clears throat) My name is Jessica and I'm officially a Kendall Ryan addict. Someone should have warned me her books were so delicious and addictive because damn, I have burned through so many in just a few months. She is definitely in a league of her own when it comes to the genre because she is THE best. Hands down, one of the best romance writers of our day.

Just as easily as her prose can move you, all those steamy interactions her character's have with their love interests will send you into a frenzy. I may sound dramatic when I say this but, phew, I need a cold shower after finishing Filthy Beautiful Lies. Kendall Ryan proves once more that not only can she execute a story in both teasing and satisfying ways, her characters command your attention from the start and never let you leave them behind.

There are three impossibilities in this book. One, Filthy Beautiful Lies is impossible to put down. Two, Sophie and Colton's chemistry is hot and impossible to ignore. Three, it is impossible to forget. Kendall Ryan knows how to tug on your heartstrings and have you swooning over this unconventional love story. Reading Filthy Beautiful Lies is like feeling that buzz of life, love and lust at your fingertips.

Review: One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series, #1) by Beth Merlin

One S'more Summer (The Campfire Series, #1) by Beth Merlin | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

As a note, a copy of this novel was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

There's something positively charming about Beth Merlin's prose. One S'more Summer, the beginning of her debut The Campfire Series, is proof of that. When people are quick to refer to a writer's prose as something reminiscent of another writer's, I get a bit skeptical. The buzz is that Beth Merlin is perfect for fans of Emily Giffin or Sophie Kinsella and in so many ways, I see that. There's that quality of classic, easy to read chick-lit to One S'more Summer. Yet, I find, when I compare the three, the way her story develops is done far more gracefully--a feat for a debut author.

You should know that I binge-read the two books that, thus far, make up The Campfire Series. Another thing you should note is that, despite my 3.5 rating of the book, I certainly enjoyed it. It was the perfect book to get into and face a reading slump head-on. There's something sweet about the way Beth Merlin tells the story of Gigi Goldstein. You have these familiar archetypes and plotlines, but the way she navigates them is smart and heartfelt. She makes these themes some-thing of her own and most of all, she makes you love (and feel deeply) for Gigi as she is set on a path all her own. 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Now or Never by Lucy Smoke

Last week saw the release of one of the most anticipated NA romance novels of the year and the beginning of Lucy Smoke's Iris Boys series. Now or Never promises to heat up the dreadfully cold winter nights ahead. To learn more about the book, its author and the giveaway offered in celebration of Now or Never's official publication, follow the cut. 

Deal Alert: The Fourth Element Trilogy (Boxed Set) by Kat Ross is on sale for $0.99 + Bonus Giveaway!

With the holidays just around the corner, it's ALWAYS a plus knowing that an awesome book is on sale. It's even better when the book is really a three-for-one deal. So, this is not a drill: the entire boxed set of Kat Ross' The Fourth Element Trilogy is ON SALE for $0.99, across digital retailers, for a limited time. Treat. Yourself. To learn more about the trilogy, its author and to try your luck at the chance to win a Kindle Fire, follow the cut!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review: The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young

The Breakup Support Group by Cheyanne Young | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

There's no shortage of contemporary YA romances. It is, however, difficult to find any that make you feel both the warm and fuzzies, and like you've just discovered a new friend. In the case of The Breakup Support Group, you feel like you've inherited a group of friends who are all tied to one another in teenage heartbreak. Cheyanne Young captures the essence of being young and in love just as easily as she is able to tie readers into her characters own heartache.

This makes the novel itself relatable to both ends of her readers--those who are in the same age group as the characters, and those who are not. It adds a nice balance to what makes the novel likable. You have traditional coming of age triumphs and failures; first heartbreak, after your first love, and the age old complication of being a new girl at a new school. You have the romance aspects of the teenage years. You have the healing of love lost and, of course, the power of friendship.

I will say this--The Breakup Support Group is genuinely a sweet novel. For many readers, it will be like reading the day-to-day events of a good friend. There's a sort of intimacy in the prose that cannot be replicated and makes it a simple read. I finished it quite quickly and not just because I am a fast reader. Cheyanne Young has the sort of writing that makes you want to continue, continue, continue.

Book Blitz, Excerpt + Giveaway: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J. Wilson

Is there anything better than cuddling up with a good book on a cold night? No. There isn't. Not for us bookworms. Murder on the Lake of Fire promises to hit all the right marks with its audience.

Following its December 1st, 2017, release date, one thing is certain: the beginning of the Mourning Dove Mysteries series is pure fire. As a novel that holds LGBTQ+ characters and dangles mystery and romance above our heads, you already know it's worth looking into. 

To learn more about the book, the author, and try your luck at a giveaway in celebration of its release, follow the cut! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Review: Dirty Little Promise by Kendall Ryan

Dirty Little Promise (Forbidden Desires, #2) by Kendall Ryan | Rating: ★★★★★

"Ever since the words had left her lips, I could see it whenever she looked at me, whenever she touched me. At first, I wanted to pull back, but then I realized that what I felt for her was more than lust too. The more time I spent with her, the more I felt like she was becoming a part of me. Like she was half of something inside me that was only complete when she was near." 

The love story of fan favourites Emma Bell and Gavin Kingsley continues (and, sniffles, concludes) in Dirty Little Promise. After the startling conclusion we reached at the end of Dirty Little Secret, and the massive cliff-hanger that followed, fans were quick to wonder where the relationship was headed between Emma and Gavin. Were they doomed before they even truly began? What comes next? Will they ever be the same--or will they be better?

Kendall Ryan does not leave us hanging for too long, as the second installment of the Forbidden Desires series picks up right where we left off. As always, it has the makings of one of the most captivating romances. Because of Kendall Ryan's delicious prose and steamy leads, readers are sure to be treated to a fun and smart story to unravel. It's just as easy to get lost in these books as it is to get lost in your lover's eyes.

Ten Years of City of Bones: Week 8 (Locations)

Well, well, well. It is finally Friday again. While my week has been less than desirable (see: my cell-phone no longer working, general scratchy throat things, laptop being a slow little bugger) I can honestly say I'm stoked to continue my celebration of Ten Years of City of Bones.

As the celebration's ending draws nearer (hullo, week eight!), I just want to say thank-you to anyone who has participated. It's never too late to join in, for those who are new.

This weeks theme is all about the locations and plots which was a great question in theory. Now that I'm over here planning this post I'm just cursing myself because this one seems to have stumped me today. So, I'm skipping over the plots in lieu of the locations only.

The good news is, I've had my fill of coffee for the day and my brain is finally starting to work with itself a bit. It's still sluggish but, hey, that's what happens when you don't sleep, kids. SO! Let's talk locations.

Book Blitz, Excerpt + Giveaway: Run Away With Me by Mila Gray

Mila Gray returns with an all-new installment in the Come Back to Me series! As of November 28th, 2017, the third installment is here to fulfill your NA romance daydreams. Run Away With Me promises to be delectable in all the right ways. 

To learn more about the novel, read an exclusive excerpt and try your hand at entering the giveaway in celebration of its publication, follow the cut!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo | Rating: ★★★★★

“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled—not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it as the boy did.”  

Okay. You should know something about me, first: I love fairytales.With all my heart. There's nothing like a good tale that gets the blood flowing, right? The problem with collections of fairytales that are tied into novels is, that a lot of the time they just aren't good. At first, despite how much I adore Bardugo's writing, I was skeptical of The Language of Thorns. I haven't had luck with many of these sorts of short stories, save Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. So, naturally, I had my expectations quite low.

Within the first story, I was captivated and compelled to read more. For a time, I felt as though these were fairytales of a different age. Bardugo has her signature all over it--from settings, to prose. But it feels classic already. Completely and beautifully a world of its own. What strikes me about the way it is written is that you certainly feel as if someone is reading the stories out loud to you, huddled near a fire in the dead of winter. The Language of Thorns embraces you and ties you into that feeling of nostalgia and unease that comes with all the classic fairytales we knew as children.

Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo | Rating: ★★★★★

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.” 

Wow. That's the first coherent thought I have when I consider the conclusion of Crooked Kingdom. As always, Leigh Bardugo kills it and exceeds my expectations for what she has in store. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to wrap up a story. This is not just a writer penning a story full of magic--this is a writer being literal magic. Six of Crows was brilliant and Crooked Kingdom is just as so.

Truly, I can't stress how beautifully written this story is. It has everything you could want from a YA fantasy novel. A lot of action. A lot of danger. A hint of romance. Some teenage angst thrown in for good measure. And whole lot of soul. I didn't think that Bardugo could pack quite the same punch with Crooked Kingdom but she did.

Further, Bardugo's writing just keeps getting better. From her first story in Shadow and Bone all the way to Crooked Kingdom, she has proven that she is one of the brightest stars in YA literature. She is coming for that thrown. If you've liked her previous works, you know exactly what I am saying: she just keeps getting better. Which is shocking in and of itself, considering she has always been brilliant.

Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin

The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin | Rating: ★★★★☆

"Fate is bullshit. Destiny doesn't exist. If I want a happy ending, I'll have to write it myself."

As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.

When the Mara Dyer trilogy ended a few years back, I found myself beyond bummed to say goodbye to these gorgeous and intriguing characters. One might say that I get overly attached to fictional characters, now more than ever, and there's just something about Mara, Noah, Jamie and Daniel that just went straight to my heart and began to weave themselves into my veins.

Plus, the overall creepy vibes and atmosphere the original trilogy possessed was right up my alley. When I heard that Hodkin would be returning to these characters--a new set of novels centered around Noah Shaw--I nearly screamed in excitement. In all honesty, I probably did. Even with that joy, I was a little hesitant and skeptical on how this spin-off would truly work. The Becoming of Noah Shaw is, of course, its own story and a truly intriguing one at that. Michelle Hodkin manages to work right back into her groove and has just as tight of a grip on my heart as she did when The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer came to be.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Power Struggle by Paige Fieldsted

It's here, it's here, it's here! Paige Fieldsted's novel Power Struggle has OFFICIALLY landed, just in time for you romance lovers to snuggle up to a good old fashioned erotic romance that features--yes, you guessed it--a whole lot of power, control and tension. It promises to be delicious and I just know there will be a massive following for it. 

In celebration of the novels publication, I have all the dirty details under the cut. And a giveaway! So. What are you waiting for? Let's do this! 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Teaser Campaign: The Right Direction by Kathy Coopmans

IT'S OFFICIAL, FOLKS! We have only 7 days until Kathy Coopmans latest, The Right Direction, is released. In honor of that, please allow me to squeal about it--the final countdown is here for the official release. I REPEAT: SEVEN MORE DAYS.

Are you ready? To learn more about the novel, follow the cut.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #8: Ten Books on My Winter TBR

And just like that, November is nearly gone...

The last few weeks, I have been feeling rather bittersweet about where the time has gone. It's merely a symptom of being me--I often think of how quickly life passes us by. Soon enough, the year will be over. In between sessions of re-watching The Tudors and Victoria, and seeing friends, and preparing for the holidays, I have been trying to knock a few dozen more books off my TBR pile from this year.

Which is great! Because this week's topic for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted, as always, by The Broke and the Bookish--read about it here) is all about the TBR pile! In addition to the TBR stack, I tend to reread various favourites during the winter months--Wuthering Heights, Harry Potter, The Infernal Devices, The Hunger Games, Addicted/Calloway Sisters, etc.

Winter is the time of the year where many of us stay indoors for a good chunk of time. I seem to get some of my best reading done when the weather outside is... well, frightful. I have many books that I would like to read before the winter is over, so I narrowed it down to the books I want to finish by the end of the year--the first big chunk of winter.

Let's do this!

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Nectar of the Gods + Inside Details from Author Mary Bernsen

Woo! Happy release day to Mary Bernsen and her delicious novel, Nectar of the Gods! As part of this weeks book blitz celebration, there are two things readers can look forward to (three things, when you count the fact that THE BOOK IS OUT TODAY): a wicked giveaway and some inside details from Bernsen herself. 

Including her dream cast for Nectar of the Gods (which is perfect, mind you), an exclusive excerpt of the novel and her Top 5 Under-used Paranormal Creatures

Monday, November 27, 2017

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Rating: ★★★★★

We are all someone's monster.

First, you should know that I am severely hungover from this book and its final pages and I need to get my hands on the second one immediately. A-ha! Just kidding, I have it right next to me and I am going to dive into it literally the second after I finish my review for Six of Crows. So. What to say, what to say, what to say? Where to begin? Besides, "No mourners..." Let me just take a moment to praise Leigh Bardugo's ever evolving Grisha Verse. I could go on and on about how luscious and darkly intriguing Bardugo's world is but the fact of the matter is that no words can do it, or the author, justice.

There's so much depth in the way that Bardugo has gone on to develop the world we met originally in Shadow and Bone. Although Six of Crows is set in the very same world, and readers will be happy to spot various references to favourite characters of the past, it is undeniably a story of its own. Everything about Six of Crows was frantic heartbeats and tense curiosity. Think: the thrilling fantasy of Grisha Verse, the original trilogy's magical twists of smoke, all of that world building and romance and intrigue, mixed with a cast of new characters who are fleshed out beautifully. Add in a sprinkle of a high-stakes heist that all but spells disaster from the very beginning and you have the formula for one of the best YA fantasy novels, ever.

Review: Because You Love to Hate Me by Various Authors, Edited by Ameriie

Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy by Various Authors, Edited by Ameriie | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

Firstly, I have to say how exhausting it was to see some responses to the prompts in this collection being provided by the very admirable and very hard working Booktube community. I can see a lot of unfavorable comments to them, which is entirely unwarranted, and I just have to say: everyone who has been spending their time since Because You Love to Hate Me was announced, all the way to its recent publication, just slamming the mere presence of Booktubers in the collection, I am ashamed of you. There's no reason to be so tacky and mean spirited. Unless you are striving to have a book written about your rudeness. Perhaps the next topic should be about judgmental internet trolls--now that's an anthology I'd get behind just as easily. Can some-one make that happen? Pretty please?

As for the collection itself, I really enjoyed most of the stories from Because You Love to Hate Me. In all its delectable, villainy glory--from the wide range of unforgettable talent and the contributions brought forward by some of the most prominent book vloggers of the last decade, there was a little something for everyone. Certainly, there were some flaws--a few duds in terms of short stories--but for the most part, I had a little difficulty in putting the book down for even lunch. The way the stories each flowed and tangled themselves in your mind caused a massive (!!!!!) addiction on my part and I had a blast just reading it!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Ten Years of City of Bones: Week 7 (Favourite Books in the Shadowhunter Chronicles)

On the seventh (!!!!!!!!!!!!) week of Shadowhunters celebration and madness, Cassandra Clare gave to me: Seven (hundred?) fictional characters to obsess over, six books to CRY ON, five seconds of sanity (!), four... yeah, I actually can't finish this.

I was like, "Hey. Let's try and be witty today, Jessica, shall we?" but turns out I suck at this. Now, I can feel your judgment through the laptop. It's okay, though. We made it through this together and now you guys have something to blackmail me with. It's all in good fun. Real talk, though, can you believe it's week seven in Ten Years of City of Bones? I can't.

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Right Gift, Wrong Day (A Right Text, Wrong Number Novella) by Natalie Decker

Contemporary YA romance fans have a lot to be thankful for! As of today, Natalie Decker's coming at you with a Right Text, Wrong Number novella and if there's one thing you've probably learned by now, is that it is going to be delicious. Right Gift Wrong Day is OFFICIALLY OUT TODAY! To learn more about the novella, and the book it is paired with, follow the cut.

In celebration of its release, fans can enter a fantastic giveaway, too! All the details are just under the line. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review: Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Lovers Like Us by Krista & Becca Ritchie | Rating: ★★★★★

"His satisfied smile stretches from cheek-to-cheek. Somewhere in some alternate universe, I'm a philosopher writing dissertations on that fucking smile. And its sheer effect on me." 

I'm not crying, you're crying. There's nothing like a good book to really kick you in the gut and then proceed to snuggle you afterward. Lovers Like Us is another display at how brilliant Krista and Becca Ritchie are when it comes to crafting a series of characters so real, they may as well be your best friends. It's the same feeling we got while reading Addicted and Calloway Sisters. Nothing can beat that emotion.

Picking up quite quickly after the strained events of the first installment, Damaged Like Us, we pick right back up on the romance between Maximoff Hale and Farrow Keene. As always, their chemistry is sizzling; their banter high paced and fun, their love for one another strong as love can be. If you haven't found yourself shipping these two yet, you will soon. This is their story--and it's beautiful, full of trust and flat out steamy. You can literally feel the pull as you read their interactions and I adore it. As always, the romance is out of this world.

Review: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins | Rating: ★★★★☆

The very first thing (the most important thing, really) you should know about There's Someone Inside Your House is that its entire storyline is a mix of genres. At its core, it's very much so a typical Stephanie Perkins novel--with a lot of thrills, chills and twists sprinkled in for good measure.

This seems to be some level of confusion or distress for some readers, due in part to the way it was marketed (as a full on slasher novel) and the manner in which we--as readers--take upon ourselves to build up an image of what we believe the story will be before picking it up. At the end of the day, this is what brings in the disappointment afterwards... our inability to understand that a story isn't always our first impression of it.

Truth is: in There's Someone Inside Your House, Perkins pens a wickedly delicious thriller, slashed deeply with romance, wit and lovable characters. The novel itself is exactly how you might picture a horror novel by her to be--and I found it thoroughly entertaining. So, no. In my eyes, it didn't feel quite as frustrating for me as many other readers have seemed to say. There's Someone Inside Your House is not a full-blown horror novel but it still twists the reader in their seat from suspense and is far from a letdown.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #7: 10 Books I'm Thankful For

It's that time again! For us in the USA, it is time to wrap ourselves up in thoughts of thankfulness and then stuff our faces with some home cooked meals if we're lucky enough. With the holidays just around the corner and end of our year getting closer and closer, it has completely thrown me off my game to realize that Thanksgiving is this week!

Still, I was incredibly excited to see that the theme for this weeks Top Ten Tuesdays (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish: click here for details)--Ten Books That I'm Thankful For. As a reader, it is one of our favourite topics; to be given the opportunity to speak freely about the books that have shaped us since reading them.

For me, hundreds of books have woven themselves into parts of me and there's no going around that. I may not be able to remember every last detail, of every page, in every book, that I have ever picked up. But to an extent, they have all given me reason to be thankful. Which leads me to a couple of nods I want to make before diving into this week's post: thank you, to a l l of the authors out there. For believing. For creating. For doing. For being.

Your work means everything. And you mean more.

And to wrap things up quickly, I'd also like to say thank-you to everyone who has ever visited my page or reached out to me in the past. Lastly, to all the book bloggers out there who keep the love of reading alive and present in our world. You mean something. You mean everything. I'm thankful for you.

Let's get down to business, shall we? Here they are! The books (and series) I am most thankful for, now and forever. If the book listed is part of a series, I will link only to the first book/installment. I'm mostly just winging it by picking the first ten books or series that comes to mind. Again, I am thankful for many books--some of these won't be exceptionally moving, some of them will be.