Jul 31, 2015

REVIEW: THE SONG OF DAVID by Amy Harmon

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She said I was like a song. Her favorite song. A song isn’t something you can see. It’s something you feel, something you move to, something that disappears after the last note is played.I won my first fight when I was eleven years old, and I’ve been throwing punches ever since. Fighting is the purest, truest, most elemental thing there is. Some people describe heaven as a sea of unending white. Where choirs sing and loved ones await. But for me, heaven was something else. It sounded like the bell at the beginning of a round, it tasted like adrenaline, it burned like sweat in my eyes and fire in my belly. It looked like the blur of screaming crowds and an opponent who wanted my blood.
For me, heaven was the octagon.
Until I met Millie, and heaven became something different. I became something different. I knew I loved her when I watched her stand perfectly still in the middle of a crowded room, people swarming, buzzing, slipping around her, her straight dancer’s posture unyielding, her chin high, her hands loose at her sides. No one seemed to see her at all, except for the few who squeezed past her, tossing exasperated looks at her unsmiling face. When they realized she wasn’t normal, they hurried away. Why was it that no one saw her, yet she was the first thing I saw?
If heaven was the octagon, then she was my angel at the center of it all, the girl with the power to take me down and lift me up again. The girl I wanted to fight for, the girl I wanted to claim. The girl who taught me that sometimes the biggest heroes go unsung and the most important battles are the ones we don’t think we can win.


I HAVE TOO MANY FEELINGS.
So, first: Where do you get this amazing and original ideas Amy?
Harmon's story telling is unique. In each and every of her books she's blown me away with her freshness. In this story, she uses tapes. The hero, Tag, records the story of how he fell in love with Millie, our heroine. As we read, Millie hears with us what Tag said in those tapes, and in between tapes we have Moses' input to understand a little more how Tag's mind works.

“Life isn't perfect,people aren't perfect, but there are moments that are.” 

I highly encourage anyone who wants to read this book to read The Law of Moses first. Moses, Tag/David best friend, plays a HUGE role in this book, and even though you can read The Song of David as a standalone, I think it would be better appreciated if it was read a spinoff of Moses' book.
The way Amy wrote the story isn't the only thing unique about this book. The premise is also something that was original and unexpected. From the beginning, ever since I read The Law of Moses, I knew Tag's girl had to be special, big-hearted, sassy and patient.

“But it wasn’t. Sex is not the most intimate thing two lovers can do. Even when the sex is beautiful. Even when it’s perfect.” Millie drew a deep breath as if she remembered how perfect it had truly been. “The most intimate thing we can do is to allow the people we love most to see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect. And I don’t think you’re ready to be intimate with me, David.

I loved the fact that even though Millie had a disability, she was still fierce and strong.
Harmon's writing and prose is still lovely. She has a gift, and her passion shows in each and every one of her stories.
I adored everything about this book. The themes, how it made me think and understand the world in a different way, and the way even the secondary characters were REAL.

“Millie told me once that the ability to devastate is what makes a song beautiful. Maybe that’s what makes life beautiful too. The ability to devastate. Maybe that’s how we know we’ve lived. How we know we’ve truly loved.” 

I am afraid that I'll give too much of the plot or the characters away, so I'll leave it short and sweet. In two words, this story was unpredictable and beautiful.

REVIEW: HIM by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?
Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.
Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.
Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend...and a big one to learn about himself.
Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.


This is the first M/M book I've ever read. The buzz around it made me curious so I had to see what it was about.
I can't lie. Throughout the whole book I was like:

NON SPOILERISH PART OF THE REVIEW:

This is a story about two best friends, Wes and Jamie. They love hockey and they love the summers they spend together skating.
After one particular summer, Wes never speaks to Jamie again, leaving Jamie angry and confused.
Fast-forward four years later, and they meet once again.
About Wes... I find him incredibly spot on and honest. The way he wasn't a stereotypical diva was great. 
Jamie was adorable and his family was so sweet. I think that I'd have liked it more if he had freaked out a little more when he found out he was into Wes
I liked how Jamie changed as the book progressed. It was awesome that the one who didn't know liked guys was the most soft-spoken of the too. I would have thought the one kidding himself would have been Wes, since he is such a macho alpha male, so it was a nice change.

“My weakness is him.”

I'm happy I gave this a try. I don't regret it and my reading experience was amazing. The dialogue was witty and fun. I didn't enjoy the sex scenes a lot, but I wasn't put off by them. It's just that M/M is not my cup of tea, so I knew what I was getting into. I honestly can't believe I liked the book this much!
Elle and Sarina did a great job, and I'd love to see them work together again. The flow was incredible and I finished the book in one sitting. I NEEDED to know what was going to happen.
Overall, I loved the plot and the characters. I laughed and felt sad and cared for these two guys. It was a rollercoaster!

SPOILERISH PART OF THE REVIEW:

I found very realistic how Wes was scared of losing Jamie, specially since Jamie is bisexual so Wes has to "compete" with both girls and boys. I'd feel that way if my boyfriend was bi, and I'd totally wonder if he was missing what I wouldn't be able to give to him.
I also think if I was Jamie I wouldn't want another man touching my ass, specially since he was still trying to figure out what I like and exploring my sexuality. It would have been more realistic to me if he had been the one giving the first time, though I do understand Wes's struggles with receiving. It also wasn't a big deal for me, it wasn't something that took anything away from the book. It was still amazing to read about their story and how they found their way to each other.
I ADORED that Holly was a cool chick. She wasn't those irritating nasty girls who are plain mean. She was great, and much more understanding than I'd have been in her shoes. I'd be pissed and totally confused if my ex was gay, just saying.


Jul 28, 2015

INTERVIEW: Avonlea Cole

QUICKFIRE ROUND:

A) Do you believe yourself to be an outgoing or shy person?

Both-leaning towards outgoing.

B) What do you enjoy the most, salty snacks or sweet treats?

sweet- love baking

C) What do you prefer, TV shows or movies?

Movies

D) What's your favorite book ?

The English Garden series by Lori Wick

E) What's the last book you read?

Resisting the Bad Boy by Violet Duke

QUESTIONS:


 1) What's the most influential book you've ever read?

I named my son after the main character in the "The Rescue" by Lori Wick, but I believe "Surprise Island" By Gertrude Chandler Warner was the first book I remember reading over and over again.

2) What inspired you to write ESCAPE TO YOU?

I love how you can take an idea and just begin building on it. I love the idea of escaping the distractions around you and well.. falling in love.

3) What's your favourite genre to write and/or read?

Romance for sure although James Patterson is amazing!

4) Tease us! What are you currently working on? What can readers expect from your next book and/or future works?

I have decided to make Test Drive a series and each book will follow a different bachelor and will feature an unorthodox style of dating.

5) We love stalking authors! Where can readers find you?

 I'm still getting used to social media, but I have set up a few sites.
Blogspot

Jul 4, 2015

REVIEW: BLUE by HJ Bellus

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Blue Williams shines no matter the circumstance.
-Prettiest in her hometown
-Most talented cheerleader on her high school squad
-Valedictorian of the senior class
-Prom queen and runner up for Miss Teen Colorado
And the list goes on…
That’s until college, when she finds out nobody recognizes her, and if they do they couldn’t care less. Blending in is something Blue has longed for her entire life. Living in a dorm with a set of new friends is just what she needed to escape her stale life back home. For the first time, she’s seen for her talent and not her name or looks.
Cheer is her number one priority, considering a full-ride scholarship landed her at a prestigious university, and she intends to take advantage of it. A true beauty inside and out, Blue’s heart has always pumped competitive blood. 
Until one night changes her forever…the beauty is gone, and all she has left are nasty, ugly memories. The man who saved her has a story of his own, with ninety percent of his body scarred. 
What happens when the Beauty falls for the Beast?


I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast retellings. This one in particular read like a suspenseful romance. And, btw, the cover is gorgeous.
Fuck gender roles! This book had an out-spoken, kick ass female lead. I loved how the hero was the one who felt ugly and she was the one who had to make him feel worthy.
We don't see many Tuck's in NA. He was... original. Special. A little broken, but he worked through his issues.
Blue was very likable. IMHO the whole college thing was nicely portrayed. The only thing that bugged me was that EVERYONE was sexy/hot/pretty/whatevs. Too unrealistic to me.
I adored the families! Both main characters had tight relatives that supported them and loved them.
I was really enjoying the plot, and the twists. The love story moved a little fast at the beginning, but then took a nice pace. I really loved the book once they kissed for the first time. Everything was going great!
This book was going to be a 4 star read... until the last 20%
I wanted more. Something huge happens during the last chapters and then we jump to the epilogue a few years after and everything is magically solved. I wanted to see Blue's journey towards recovery.
To wrap it up, I loved the story and the characters, but I just felt cheated with the ending. It was implausible and under-developed.



Jul 3, 2015

REVIEW: DEEP DOWN by Brenda Rothert

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I’m falling.
Faster.

Further.
Deeper.
Sometimes you fall so hard you can’t get back up. My closest companions now are shame and loss. But a sliver of hope lies in the only person I have left in this world – the one who’s growing inside me.
Survival becomes living again because of my child, and the town where I begin anew. That’s where I meet the man who starts to melt the ice inside my heart.
As we get closer, reminders of my past become sharper. Clearer. To confront the pain, I have to discover what’s deep down inside me. Is there enough left there to become whole again, or am I too wounded to heal? 

Wow.

That's just it: WOW.
I don't know how I feel. This book was unique, and it was a roller-coaster. 
I was angry at the unfairness of everything that Ivy had to go through. I wanted to kick something!


She is so strong. She loved her baby boy, and she was the best mother. I wonder how many people endure her pain and are as amazing as she is. She wasn't bitter, or mean. She was reserved, but kind.
And then... Reed came along. She got people around who cared for her, and my heart was happy. She needed that, and was so worthy of it.
The plot was original, and it seemed real. I never thought it was exaggerated/over-done or unrealistic.


The characters were special and dear to my heart. The love story was built slowly, even though they lusted after each other, but the pace never dragged and the writing was beautiful.
At times I did feel like something was missing.  I also would've liked more emotion from Reed when he found out about Ivy's past. I wanted... more.

However, the story was great and even the secondary characters were incredibly developed. I want to see how their stories unfold. I can't wait to read more about the Lockhart Brothers! Sexy bastards <3
Just wait until you meet them... one book won't be enough ;)


REVIEW: WHEN YOU'RE BACK by Abbi Glines

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The future is bright for Reese Ellis. She has Mase Colt-Manning, the man of her dreams, and a family she didn’t know existed until her long-lost father arrived on her doorstep in Rosemary Beach. After growing up with a cruel mother and abusive stepfather, Reese is eager to get to know the caring and charming man who wants to be a part of her life. Everything is finally falling into place.While Reese is visiting her new family in Chicago, Mase spends time with his “cousin,” Aida, who has worshipped him since childhood. Though they’re unrelated by blood, Mase and Aida have been raised to think of each other as family. But when Reese returns, she can tell something isn’t quite right with Aida, who clearly resents Reese and excels at manipulative little games. And though Mase is unsuspecting, Reese knows Aida doesn’t love him like a cousin should...
I love the Rosemary Beach Series.
But...
SHE HAD THREE ORGASMS. IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH!
And... IN THE FIRST CHAPTER!
The beginning was just TOO much sex. And believe me, I love me some steam. But I was missing some story. Nothing happened until 50% in.
That being said, Abbi's writing is addictive. You can't stop reading. Her books are short and hot, and they are the perfect one-sitting read. I'm a fan of hers, I just didn't connect with this particular book.
I have to admit Reese and Mase aren't my favorite couple, and their books didn't do it for me. At least not like the other couples. Doesn't mean their story wasn't enjoyable! I just didn't like it as much as I liked the others.

I was his. Everything about me belonged to Mase Colt Manning.

Sure, the dialogue was cheesy. BUT THAT'S ABBI GLINES. I read her books to escape reality. I'M A HUGE FAN. She's one of my most-read authors.
She delivers an alpha male, hot sweaty sex, a bunch of drama, and a lot of corny lines. AND I LOVE IT. In this book, we had that. That's why I couldn't rate it lower than 3 stars. The book achieved its goal. I was swooning and ready to marry Mase, even if the story wasn't for me. He was AH-MASE-ING. (Hehehehe)
I also liked how Reese matured and grew in this book. She was kick ass, but still true to herself. She still had some issues, but she didn't let them control her life. She was strong.

"Don’t let you weakness define you, Reese. Ever. Your strengths should define you.”

A certain man (besides Mase) fell in love with Reese. I don't know how I feel about this. Although Reese is a sweetheart, she had been cold to him during the book, and even though they talked a few times, I don't think he could have fallen in love so fast. I hope in his book he realizes it wasn't love, just lust. It would make this a much enjoyable read IMHO.
I loved how we got a glimpse of how each couple in the previous books were doing. Can't wait to see how this series wraps up in the last few books!
(AND ABBI YOU BETTER NOT KILL MASE SO YOU-KNOW-WHO CAN BE WITH REESE IN HIS BOOK. OR I'M GOING TO DIE. FOR REALZ)


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