Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #119

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


Cassie's Waiting On: 
Love, Life, and the List
Love, Life, and the List by Kacie West
Publication Date: December 26th, 2017

Synopsis:


Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Kacie West has definitely become one of my favorite authors.  She always writes such fun, light-hearted romances that are just the thing I need at the time.  So I'm obviously picking this one up! It sounds cute and like a great after-Christmas read :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)About the Book:
Title: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Pub. Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 336
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming morethan friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
 

Review:

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with all things Sherlock Holmes, and I loved Ms. Cavallaro's debut, A Study in Charlotte. While this book wasn't everything I was expecting, I still enjoyed it a great deal. I liked where Ms. Cavallaro went with the characters and the story, and I'm definitely still excited to check out the third book in this series. 

The plot of this story was good, but not really what I was expecting in the sequel following such a strong start. There wasn't really as much 'solving mysteries,' and doing what Holmes and Watson do best. There was much more focus on more romantic relationships and teenage angst. Now don't get me wrong, it was fine and still enjoyable, but not what I thought I would get from a Sherlock Holmes themed story. There was much more in this book that I could figure out in regards to the mystery of the missing uncle. Again though, I still enjoyed the mystery because it was very well written. It kept me interested until the ending. 

I think if I would have known from the get go that this book was going to serve the purpose of developing the characters more, I would have gone into the book differently and perhaps given it a higher rating. But ultimately, that was the reason I gave it 3.5 stars. Regardless of this though, I really like where Ms. Cavallaro is taking Holmes and Watson. I found myself caring much more about them than I did in the first book. I love that Jamie is the main narrator of this book with Charlotte occasionally taking over the story. It's a unique way to tell the story and allows the reader to get into the mind of Charlotte Holmes. We definitely see a more vulnerable side to Charlotte in this story which was a nice change of pace. But don't worry, she's still a Holmes through and through. Since I've been shipping Jamie and Charlotte since basically the very first page of the first book, I was hoping that there would be a little more development in regards to their relationship, but it was still slow as ever. There are definitely some great moments with them together and I'm happy with where I see their relationship going. Those small moments made everything worth it. You see how much they truly care for each other, and although they both can be a bit (okay...a lot) stubborn, neither wants to hurt the other. 

Overall, I would say check this out if you were a fan of the first book. Be aware that it's much more character driven than the previous book, and because of that it is a little slow. While it was a bit lacking, it was still an enjoyable story that leaves me ready for the third book! I am excited to see where Ms. Cavallaro takes this series and these characters!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables, #1)About the Book:
Title: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables #1)
Author: K.C. Tansley
Pub. Date: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Beckett Publishing Group
Pages: 242
Rating: 4/5 stars


Synopsis:

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut. 

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton. 

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

Review:

I'm always a sucker for ghost stories, and with it being Fall, I knew this was going to be the perfect read! I enjoyed every second of this book and am glad that I had the second book on hand to read right after finishing this one because I definitely wanted to stay in the Unbelievables world a little longer. Even though this is a pretty quick read, Ms. Tansley creates a classic ghost story that has all the right elements to make you fall in love. 

This book is very reminiscent of a classic gothic ghost story that you hear about growing up....which how can you not love that sort of thing? Especially at this time of year. The atmosphere really made this book for me and Ms. Tansley writes it perfectly. You feel the spookiness coming off the page. The one thing I loved is how Ms. Tansley really delved into the spirit world/lore. She took the time to go in depth about the paranormal elements to make sure we understood things and the world she was creating. I found her spin on things like the spirit world, reincarnation, souls, and possession unique and frankly, it just made sense. I was very intrigued while reading because I couldn't wait to learn more about the world she created. I also loved the time traveling element to the story. Although in some books the addition of time travel might not have fit, again...it just made sense in the story. I adore when authors can seamlessly blend genres like this and have it feel so natural.

The characters were well written for the most part as well. Kat is strong-willed and despite knowing how much danger she is putting herself in, knows that she has to do what is right and figure out the mystery. Kat was an enjoyable character from the get go for me and I liked how relatable she was. Evan, while a bit haughty at the beginning, really loosens up and becomes a likable character by the end. By the end I was shipping Kat and Evan pretty hard (and believe me...you will too). However, one thing that was a little off to me was the fact that the 19th century characters were more well-developed than the modern day characters. By this I mean, I felt like I knew all of the characters in the 19th century better than Kat, Evan, or any of the other characters that we were originally reading about. While the majority of this story takes place in the past, I would have liked a little more characterization for the 21st century characters as well. 

There was one other small thing that made me lower my rating, and this was how Kat was able to "get rid of" the ghosts when they started appearing to her. I found it incredibly difficult to believe that by just repeating the phrase, "ghosts don't exist" over and over again would suddenly cause a firm believer to be "ghost-free." If the author would have said that Kat found some other way to rid herself of the ghosts, it would have been more in line with all of the other elements that Ms. Tansley incorporated. This concept just felt so unnatural in such a well-crafted storyline. However, it didn't bother me too much because it basically made me go from 4.5 stars to 4 stars.

Despite a couple of little things, I highly recommend checking out this novel by K.C. Tansley! It was a fantastic start to a new paranormal series and it sure to be a major hit with a little more attention. With Halloween coming soon, this is the perfect spooky October read!

Happy reading :)

Thank you to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Come back this Friday to see my review for the second book in this series, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts as part of the the Blog Tour :)

~Cassie

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: Till Death

Till DeathAbout the Book:
Title: Till Death
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: William Marrow
Pages: 400
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

Review:

Till Death is yet another absolutely amazing read from Jen Armentrout! I will never stop loving JLA, and with every book, her writing gets better and better! She is such an incredibly versatile author, and it makes her stories even more exciting every time you sit down and read one of her novels. I didn't even have to read the synopsis to know that I was going to read this book, but after I did, I was immediately intrigued. And that's the beauty of this book...there is a lot of intrigue and suspense and you are always on the edge of your seat. JLA does what she does best, and keeps you guessing until the end. She is one of the few authors that can still surprise me, which is something I adore!

All we know when the story starts is that something terrible happened to Sasha, but we don't know what exactly. We know it involves "The Groom" and that Sasha somehow managed to survive this serial killer, but we don't know specifics. I loved that Jen did this because it built the suspense even more. It kept me reading because I had to know what happened to Sasha. I personally loved Sasha as the main character. She was so strong and brave, yet kind and selfless. Even though what happened with "The Groom" happened 10 years ago, Sasha is still coping with everything that happened...especially when new "surprises" keep coming into her life reminding her of that terrible time. I liked that Sasha could defend herself. She knew how to handle herself and wasn't a damsel in distress type. 

Now, this review wouldn't be complete without talking about Cole. Lordy be...that man is like sex on a stick. Can you tell I liked his character? He was the perfect hero and perfect balance to Sasha's character. I loved how protective he was of her, yet he still let her do her thing. Cole was everything you could want in a man, and I loved the chasing Sasha made Cole do before she let him back into her life. 

The plot was absolutely fantastic! I loved how everything was revealed slowly over the course of the story, and it was a true mystery from start to finish. It was fun to slowly put the pieces together and try to pick up on clues throughout the story. I definitely didn't figure it out though, which is always refreshing. There are some major twists and turns that will leave your head spinning and keep you guessing until the end. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone if you are a fan of these types of books. With just the right mix of suspense and romance, this is the perfect read to end your summer!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cover Reveal: Fire and Bone

About the Book:
Title: Fire and Bone (Otherborn #1)
Author: Rachel A. Marks
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: 
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she’s of age, she’s asked to pledge her loyalty to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means necessary. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glamour, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could give her more than she ever imagined.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

Read a sample chapter here!

Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.



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~Cassie

Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Trailer Reveal: Dark Paradise

I am so so excited to take part in the trailer reveal for Randi Cooley Wilson's new book, Dark Paradise!!! As you guys know, I'm a huge fan of Randi and love her to death.  She's an amazing person, and knows how to write an awesome story.  Plus, this is all about Gage...and who doesn't want to read about that hottie gargoyle!!  Without further ado...here's Dark Paradise!!

About the Book:
Title: Dark Paradise
Author: Randi Cooley Wilson
Publication date: November 15th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis: 
When you lose the one person who gave your life meaning and purpose, how do you continue to exist without her? Your love. Your soul. Your only reason for breathing.
Dark, sexy, and dangerous Gage Gallagher exists in the shadows. A gargoyle cursed to live each moment of the rest of his existence with the death of his beloved mate, Camilla, eclipsing him. The wounds of his loss run deep and haunt him and to cope, he seeks answers. But this protector doesn’t play the rules. Gage could care less who he must hurt, or what he must do avenge his beloved. He’s reckless. A traitor amongst his kind. And he’s so far lost in the evil and darkness that rules his world, he doesn’t even see the bright light of innocence until she collides with him, heart first.
Nassa isn’t looking to be saved. The powerful sorceress of the Black Circles knows all about living with shadows that haunt your soul. She’s had a hard life and had to make tough choices, hardening her heart. And while her father is a demon king, she refuses to allow darkness to pull her down—until she meets Gage. Now, she drowns in it. Thrives in it. Craves it. And may even be falling in love with it.
When Nassa becomes captivated by Gage, she soon realizes the only thing they have in common is their undeniable mutual attraction. Yet, Gage clings to her because without his even realizing it, she’s become the reason he continues to breathe, and exist. When secrets are revealed and loyalties are tested, the two find themselves need each other in more ways than one. And Nassa soon finds out, Gage isn’t just hiding in the dark, he is the darkness. He’s her dark paradise.
Dark Paradise is the story of Gage Gallagher. It can be read as a stand-alone, or after the bestselling Revelation series and/or Royal Protector Academy novels. Intended for mature readers 18+ due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.

BOOK TRAILER:

Author Bio:
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and "Covetousness" a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.





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~Cassie

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blog Tour: Breakaway

About the Book:
Title: Breakaway
Author: Sophia Henry
Published by: Random House: Flirt
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Synopsis: 
In a standalone hockey romance that tugs at readers’ heartstrings, a broken ex-pro learns to live and love again—all thanks to the complicated, wonderful nurse who gives him a second chance.
Brianna Collins needs to break away from her overbearing family. Her parents expect her to “fix” her brother after a series of concussions derailed his hockey career. Unfortunately, no doctor will give him clearance to play, and she’s finished with being the person they rely on to perform a miracle that will never happen. For Bree, a six-month nursing assignment at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the perfect escape.
Luke Daniels, former forward for the NHL’s Charlotte Aviators, has spent close to a year rehabbing a career-threatening injury—and distracting himself however he can. Worlds collide when Luke realizes that the girl from his latest one-night-stand happens to be the new nurse at the hospital where he volunteers in the pediatric unit. What’s more, Bree’s the only person who makes him excited about life again.
Despite her initial reservations, Luke can’t help pursuing sweet, beautiful Bree. Then he realizes it was her brother whose career he ended with an accidental hit, and he falls back on the thing that’s always helped suppress his demons: alcohol. But if Luke doesn’t kick his old habits, he just may lose the one thing he loves more than hockey.
Don’t miss any of Sophia Henry’s exhilarating Pilots Hockey novels:
DELAYED PENALTY | POWER PLAY | INTERFERENCE | UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT | BREAKAWAY
Praise for Sophia Henry
“Sophia Henry’s hockey novels are fun and flirty, warm and sweet, with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy hockey heroes. They’ll bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.”USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson

Author Bio:
Award-Winning Author, Sophia Henry, is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.
Review:

Although I have not read any of the other Pilots Hockey novels by Sophie Henry, I definitely am interested in checking out the rest of them! I'm always a sucker for hockey romances, so I knew this book would be right up my alley. I was happy to see that it was also a standalone so while reading I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Sure, it would have been nice to know some of the characters prior to reading this, but the story focuses on Luke and Brianna. The side characters have intrigued me enough that I want to check out the other books in the series and that is always one of the things that make me love a book more. If the author can automatically make me want to learn more about the other characters, I know I'm in for a good read.

As I said, this story revolves around Luke Daniels, a former NHL player for the Charlotte Aviators, and Brianna Collins, a traveling nurse who has a job at Charlotte Children's Hospital. Even though Brianna, who has been surrounded by hockey all her life has sworn off dating hockey players for the rest of her life...the minute Luke comes into her life, she finds him hard to resist. What starts off as just fun becomes something much more, and I loved every second of it. The connection between them is palpable and the sparks fly off the page! Let's just say it's HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I loved watching their relationship develop and grow. Even though both brought their own baggage to the relationship, they continually supported each other and built each other up. Luke and Brianna were faced with some tough situations and they got through them together. 

Sophia Henry's writing was fantastic and really made this story for me. I was instantly swept away into Luke and Brianna's romance and the story itself. Ms. Henry's writing is real and emotionally charged. Your heart breaks for the characters at times, and when they feel joy...you feel just as much joy. I definitely need to check out more of her novels because she could easily become a new favorite author! 

There were only 2 things that I wasn't totally happy with, but both were pretty minor and didn't ultimately affect how I felt about the book. First was the fact that Brianna constantly says that she no longer wants to date a hockey player, yet the first (and only) person she hooks up with/dates is a hockey player. I kind of wish she would have held firm with her decision at first and that there would have been more of a struggle between her attraction toward Luke and not wanting to date another person in hockey. But at the end of the day, this part was okay and didn't bother me that much. Second, I found it hard to believe that no one knew who hit Brianna's brother. When something like that happens in hockey, you know that sort of thing. I know that this whole aspect was added as a twist to the story, which again...didn't bother me that much...but it just didn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. 

I highly recommend checking out this book when you are able!! It was a fantastic standalone non-traditional hockey romance that is a fast-paced read. I enjoyed the story from start to finish and I loved how everything ended. I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future!



Happy reading :)

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~Cassie