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Blind Dates and Other Disasters- Ally Blake/ Fiona Harper/ Barbara Hannay
The book contains three separate contemporary romance tales. Based on the title and cover, I was expecting some funny reads. What we got instead were standard romance reads.
The first story by Ally Blake focuses on how we get in our own way. Holly and Jacob’s passion is evident on every page and they have the sort of antagonistic chemistry that makes you smile. A-
The second tale by Fiona Harper got off to a rocky start for me. I disliked the first guy so much that I couldn’t get past that. I could never root for him or be on his team. The plot goes into some deep and difficult scenarios and was less of the light read I was expecting. B
The last story in the book is outback girl come to the big city. It’s cute and cheesy but also full of cliche. I’m not sure that it added anything new to the genre but it was a classic romance read. B
You can order a copy here.
eGalley provided gratis by Harlequin UK via NetGalley
Eye Candy- Tera Lynn Childs
Eye Candy is a decadent treat for contemporary romance fans. Lydia is instantly likable with her passion for candy, ambition for promotion, and love of fashion. The plot is both poignant and comic. My one pet peeve was the “choose your man” ending, I’d rather the author made those difficult choices for me (and clearly Phelps is the right choice!). Childs’ writing is adorable and charming as she plays with words, replacing curses with candy lingo. This cute read could make you melt like an M&M, but be careful the problem with a sweet read is it always leaves you wanting more.
Eye Candy is only $2.99 for Kindle right now! Get your copy here.
Also check out Tera Lynn Child’s other books: Straight Talk, Oh.My.Gods, Goddess Boot Camp, Forgive My Fins, Fins Are Forever, and Sweet Venom!
No One To Trust (Lexi Carmichael Mystery #2) - Julia Moffett
No One To Trust was my break from YA book. Sometimes you need something a bit different, and this book totally satisfied that need. The second book in the series, No One To Trust features a nerdy girl, hot guys with accents, and a great thriller plot with hints of romance. Basically mystery meets romance, what’s there not to like? Lexi Carmichael might as well be the modern day Nancy Drew only with more hacking and technology skills. It’s a perfect beach read for anyone looking for an interesting mystery, a good contemporary romance, or those who like spies or nerds. It can be read stand alone though I suggest picking up the first book No One Lives Twice. This is definitely a series
I will live vicariously through I will continue to follow.
No One To Trust is out now and is a steal at only $4 for the Kindle edition. Get a copy here.
eGalley provided gratis by Carina Press via Netgalley
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Shut Out is a contemporary retelling of Lysistrata in the form of a modern day Battle of the Sexes. Lissa Daniels is our spitfire protagonist. She’s clearly the heroine in her own life though she has more control issues than even I do. Randy isn’t a villain per se but more of just a dumb boy. Cash Sterling, now he can make a girl’s breath catch. Smart, well-read, clever, playful, athletic—is there anything Cash isn’t? Keplinger’s greatest strength is her willingness to tackle uncomfortable subjects. Shut Out reiterates all I learned in the Human Sexuality courses I took in college, but in a far more entertaining way. It’s about damn time we realize that double standards about sex are ludicrous and that living your life in fear that you aren’t “normal” is absurd. I applaud Keplinger for incorporating such a positive message within a fantastic story.
Shut Out is due out from Poppy in September. You can pre-order your copy here.
Follow Kody on Twitter @Kody_Keplinger or here at her website. She also wrote The Duff which you should also read. Like asap. kthanksbye.
This book was loaned to me by Erica of The Book Cellar. Check her out on twitter too @thebookcellarx. THANK YOU Erica!
Crossed,the sequel to the successful dystopian novel Matched, is AWESOMESAUCE! I hate myself a little bit for saying awesomesauce but there’s really no other word for it. I read Crossed in a single sitting out in the sunshine. Needless to say the sunburn I’m now sporting was entirely worth it.
I found Crossed much more engaging than the first book. I also found Condie’s prose improved from the first book and there’s even more poetry woven among the words. In fact, my two predictions from my Matched review came true: action and Xander. There was more action, adventure, and purpose to Cassia, Ky and Xander in this book. The relationship between Cassia and Ky gets more complicated here, more realistic, less the stuff of myth and legend. We also find out there’s more to Xander than meets the eye, though I would still like further exploration of his character though. I suspect we’ll get that in book three based upon the ending here.
Ah, the ending. Yes, well apart from wanting to scream out WHYYYYYYYY!!!!????? (I mean really, haven’t they ever watched a horror movie, you NEVER separate), I think the ending sets things up for what could be a very interested final book. I’m excited to see where Condie takes Cassia, Ky, Xander and us.
Due out November 1, 2011 from Dutton Juvenile Publishing. To read my review of the first book Matched, click here.
ARC provided gratis at BEA.
Return to Paradise- Simone Elkeles
I’m not one for sappy romances and cliche conversations. Though Saving Paradise is full of both, somehow, it’s okay because you love the characters so much and the story is so interesting that you don’t mind the mushy emo feelings stuff. I found the end to be both sweet and dramatically unrealistic, but somewhere deep in my icicle of a heart, I’m glad there’s a happy ending for Caleb and Maggie.
Linger- Maggie Stiefvater
I wondered where Sam and Grace’s story could go after Shiver which was such a brilliant read, but Stiefvater did an excellent job of continuing their story in a clever way. I appreciated the alterating narrative voices between Sam, Grace and Cole. Nothing could have prepared me for how sad and heart-breaking the ending is, but because there is a book 3, I will cling to hope. BTW: the parents are morons.
Jane by April Lindner
Jane Eyre is a brooding gothic masterpiece with haunting characters and a gripping dark love. Jane pays homage to the old classic by imbuing the tale with modern settings and sensibilities. The writing may not be as melodious as Bronte’s, but Lindner does a fantastic job bridging the gap between classic plot and modern melodrama. In her clever conversion of the characters, we see Rochester as rock star Nico Rathburn and Jane as 19-year-old college dropout nanny. Overall, lovers of the original story won’t be disappointed and Jane may be just the thing needed to help a newer generation to love the original too.
ARC provided gratis by Little Brown and Co.
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
By the time I had finished the first chapter, I was in love: head over heels in love with Evie. She’s sassy, sarcastic, smart, decisive and brave—literally all the things I love in a heroine! As Evie navigates her way through this paranormal adventure, my love for her grew. And Lend, where do I even begin with that darling boy. They’re perfect for each other.
White’s novel wins the award for the “most terrifying portrayal of faeries” hands down. It also touches on deep issues: isolation, family, the soul, happiness, sacrafice, selfishness, intentions and the sometimes fine line between good and evil. This book provided great food for thought, great adventure, and great characters. A must read for YA fans.
Free Ebook arc via Book Expo America
Another Pan by Daniel and Dina Nayeri
This brother and sister writing duo do danger well. In a creative re-imagining of the classic Peter Pan tale, they incorporate Egyptian mythology, the classic quest motif, standard love triangles, and even boarding school into this adventurous paranormal story. While good defeats evil in the end, happily ever after is still to be found; I have several questions I’d like answered. While I do prefer my fairy-tale endings, this book was creative, unusual, and pretty much has something for everyone.
PS- When Daniel signed my copy at BEA he drew me a picture and explained, “I’m drawing you a picture. It’s a bear, actually his name is square bear, and he looks exactly how I feel right now.” Lets just say square bear is not smiling.
Glimmerglass by Jenna Black Dana
Dana is an American teenager who is forced to take care of her alcoholic mother. When she reaches the breaking point, Dana runs away to her father, a powerful Fae lord in Avalon, England. Politics, romance, friendship and family drive this plot. I found the budding romance to be a little Romeo and Juliet-esque and LOVED every second of it! Though I have a few issues with the ending, I am quite sure that they will be addressed in the sequel. I heartily recommend this book which should be out May 25th.
Soundtrack Song: Audioslave, “Be Yourself”.