Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want To (Finally!) Read in 2017


Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
Click HERE for a complete list of participants and future topics.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday theme is about the books you meant to read in 2016 (or 2015, or 2014... ) and never got around to. The books that have been on your TBR for sooo long and you really still want to read them. We all have those, right? I mean, we're truly excited about them and yet somehow we never seem to get to them? (What's up with that, by the way?!) So here are my top five books that I meant to read in 2016 that I finally will read in 2017.


MAKING FACES
Amy Harmon
I just checked GoodReads and I added Making Faces to my TBR in February 2014. Almost three years ago. What am I waiting for?! This is one of those books that I just know I am going to love (even though I have no doubt it's going to destroy me). But I am the master of putting off reading certain books in order to prolong the anticipation and this one tops the list.

TORN
Jennifer L. Armentrout
There was such a long wait between Wicked and Torn. And I just knew that by the time Torn was finally released I would be grabbing it immediately and inhaling it. I mean, after the way Wicked ended I must know what's going to happen! But, yeah, that hasn't happened yet.

TATIANA AND ALEXANDER
Paullina Simons
This is another perfect example of me purposely not reading a book just to prolong my anticipation of it. I read The Bronze Horseman in September 2013 and it instantly became my favorite book of all time. Three years later and I still have not continued the trilogy. It's like, I'm still savoring the perfection that is The Bronze Horseman. (Plus, knowing what TBH did to me, I'm not sure my heart can handle it.) But I *will* be reading this one in 2017. 

SHADOW & BONE
Leigh Bardugo
I've been meaning to read the Grisha trilogy for sooo long. I know so many people who love this trilogy and, even though I'm not a big fantasy reader, I feel like I'll really enjoy it. All three books have been sitting unread on my bookshelf for far too long.  

UNDER THE LIGHTS
Abbi Glines
I read Until Friday Night, the first book in the series, back in July and bought Under the Lights as soon as it was released. But still haven't read it. Because, y'know, reasons. So I'll definitely be making this one a priority in 2017. 

What book are you *finally* going to read in 2017?



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 
This week's theme is Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read for the First Time in 2016. My first thought was I'm not even going to have ten. Surprisingly I had about 16! I think there are a couple debut authors but hey, it still counts. :) So here are my ten favorite new-to-me authors that I read in 2016.


Becky Albertalli
Molly McAdams
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Evelyn Skye
Jay Crownover
Renee Carlino
Amber Smith
Sarina Bowen
Lauren Layne
Samatha Harris

Have you read any of these?
What new-to-you-author did you discover this year?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Best In Books | November 2016


Best in Books is a monthly feature created by BookTuber Hope Ortego
A playlist of her Best In Books videos can be found HERE.
_________________________________________________

Welcome to my Best in Books for October! Best In Books was created by my friend Hope and she was kind enough to let me join in on her feature (because she's awesome that way). Her BookTube channel is linked above and I hope you'll check her out. Now on to all the best bookishness in November...

Jillian from Fire in You
Whether she believed it or not, Jillian was one tough cookie. She'd been through a lot and after several years of playing it safe and living as small a life as possible, she started to take risks and really came into her own. She didn't magically transform overnight and she was often unsure and questioned herself, but she really showed backbone and bravery and I loved that about her.

Jax from Stay With Me
When I was talking to my friend Brittany about the Wait for You series and waxing poetic about Cam Hamilton she said, "Just wait until you meet Jax." And I scoffed. But yeah, now I get it. Wow. Jax is sexy and sweet and the way he treated Calla had me in a melty little puddle of swoony goo (yes, that's totally a thing). While Cam is still tops when it comes to the book boyfriends in the series, Jax sure gave him a run for his money.

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
Despite the overriding serious themes, there was definitely some funny dialogue throughout Our Chemical Hearts. Tons of pop culture references and plenty of snappy banter.

"Plus, how can she be your soul mate? Didn't you tell me she'd never read Harry Potter? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life with someone like that? I mean, for God's sake, think of your children. What kind of environment would they be growing up in with such a mother?” 

Sisterhood Everlasting

While I ended up giving this one a measly 2 stars and the characters were a miserable, unlikable lot, I will say that it had the biggest OMG moment of anything I read in November. It totally took me by surprise and I actually spent the next several chapters waiting for it to be a big mistake. Nope, it really happened. And I never saw it coming.


Rule

I've had a physical copy of Rule on my shelf for at least two years and since it didn't seem like I'd be picking it up any time soon I finally decided to download the audio version. And Rule is 100% bad boy. A moody, tattooed, pierced, sexy manwhore who lives by his own rules with no apologies. He doesn't do the relationship thing but naturally that changes with Shaw. It's not smooth sailing from there, though. Rule struggles to make peace with his family and the past. And just because he falls in love with Shaw doesn't mean he changes who he is - he's still a bad boy, just slightly reformed. :)


Your Inescapable Love

I don't usually get taken in by cutesy/sweet but there was a passage in Your Inescapable Love that was just precious and stood out for me. This took place during a flashback nineteen years previous when Max and Emilia first met at 9 years old.

“It's raining. Let's go inside my house. Momma says it's bad to be out when it rains.”

She looks at the house behind me and then back at me. "Are you sure your parents won't be upset?"

"No, they let me and my brothers and sisters bring friends all the time."

She looks down at her boots again. "But I'm not your friend."

A loud sound cracks above and she jumps. She looks at the sky with wide eyes. Boy, she really is afraid of thunder. 

"You are now. I want to be your friend, Emilia Campbell. And I will protect you from the thunder."
it rode in on
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I am not a re-reader. It almost *never* happens because there are waaaay too many books I want to read to spend time on re-reading. But I made an exception last month for Simon. I listened to the audio book in October and instantly fell in love. So much that I downloaded the audio version again in November and listened to it all over again. I am totally smitten by this book and it's sure to be one of my favorites of the year.

Stay With Me

I didn't have a 5 star read in November so it was a good-not-great reading month. But even so, it was easy to pick my best book of the month. I was so invested in Jax and Calla's story. Calla stayed strong throughout situations that would have had me rocking in a corner. And Jax was an absolute dreamboat - there by her side through it all. Jennifer L. Armentrout just *does not disappoint.*
______________________________________________________


Now it's your turn: What was the best book you read in November? 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Review + Giveaway! Fire In You by Jennifer L. Armentrout

   

Some are born with fire in them.

✮✮✮SECOND CHANCES, HOPE, & RED-HOT CHEMISTRY✮✮✮

FIRE IN YOU, the final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Wait For You World is here! Don’t Miss Brock and Jillian’s passionate and richly moving story in this standalone contemporary romance! 

Let the FIRE IN YOU burn and grab your copy today!

 

From the # 1 New York Times and International bestselling author comes a richly moving story about heartbreak and guilt, second chances and hope. Full of familiar, fan-favorite characters and no two people more deserving of a happy ending, Fire In You will burn bright beyond the last page…

Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

   
   



MY THOUGHTS

Jillian was just eight years old when Brock came into her life. Taken under her father's wing as a troubled fourteen year old boy, Brock seemed like the only one to really see Jillian. She became his shadow as they became best friends. As Jillian matured she waited for the day that Brock would see her as more than a little sister or a friend. Just when she was certain that day had finally come, tragedy strikes and changes Jillian forever. 

Six years have passed and Jillian is living a quiet life, one with out risks - and without Brock. All her dreams and goals were put on hold or set aside six years ago but she's finally ready to make a fresh start. Quitting her boring job at a insurance company and taking a position at Lima Academy, a successful MMA training facility owned by her father, is a step in the right direction. The Academy is her father's legacy and has always been a part of her life. What she doesn't expect is Brock Mitchell, now the general manager at the Academy, back in her life. Not only is he now her boss but he also seems determined to regain the friendship that was abandoned years ago. Friendship... and even more.

It was so easy to feel for Jillian. Jennifer L. Armentrout is a master at creating down to earth, relatable characters and Jillian was no exception. Her background was revealed slowly with flashbacks interspersed throughout the first half of the book and it was the perfect way to get to know Jillian while slowly learning what the event was in the past that made her so self-conscious and intent on keeping others at arm's length. 

Brock was a total alpha force to be reckoned with and it was impossible not to fall for his cockiness and charm - and his won't-take-no-for-an-answer attitude when it came to Jillian. Even though he'd achieved great success as an MMA fighter, he had his own troubled past to contend with. I loved the respect and loyalty he had for Jillian's father and the confidence and belief he had in Jillian. 

"You have a fire in you, Brock. You were determined to do more than survive, 
but to make something out of your life. To succeed and - "


"And you don't think you have that?" His eyes searched mine. "After what you've 
survived and where you stand today?"

The chemistry between these two was off the charts and I loved watching as they came together. Jillian had a lot to work through considering her past had left scars both physical and emotional and I appreciated her strength as she pushed herself to take chances and really start living again. Whether you have followed this series from the very beginning or choose to read Fire In You as a stand alone novel, you're sure two fall in love with these characters and their story as much as I did. 

About Jennifer L. Armentrout: # 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. She spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Jennifer has won numerous awards, including the 2013 Reviewers Choice Award for Wait for You, the 2015 Editor’s Pick for Fall With Me, and the 2014/2015 Moerser-Jugendbuch- Jury award for Obsidian. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA. She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.  

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Throwback Thursday Review: Leo by Mia Sheridan

Leo by Mia Sheridan

Series: No

Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Release Date: November 27, 2013

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


Synopsis

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.

When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and moves to another city, he promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She's content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?
My Thoughts


A sure sign you are about to read a story that simply captivates you? When you read a line and fall in love on PAGE TWO. Yes, page two. That's how quickly I fell under the spell of this incredibly moving and heartfelt story. 

 photo Leo-08_zps61bbb07a.jpg

Evie and Leo meet while in foster care. She is 10 and he is 11. They form an unbreakable bond that sees them through tough circumstances. By the age of 14, Evie knows she's in love with Leo, which makes it even more heartbreaking when he announces that he is being adopted and he'll be moving across the country with his new parents. But they promise to wait for one another and Leo swears he will return for Evie when she turns 18 so they can start their life together. But that doesn't happen.
"No matter how far apart we are. No matter the distance or time, I will never love anyone except you. Not ever."
Eight years later Evie is 22 years old, working as a hotel maid to support herself, and has a few friends. But she's never forgotten Leo. When an attractive man approaches her and says that Leo sent him she is more hurt and confused than ever. But her attraction to this new man, Jake, cannot be denied and even as they start a passionate affair she questions what Jake may be hiding and what his connection to Leo really is.

 photo Leo-09_zps6d2d72bf.jpg

Evie and Leo captured my heart from the very beginning with the strength and the sweetness of their feelings for one another. These two special people found each other early in life but both had already endured so much. Although they were young, there love was pure and true and my heart ached for them both. Seeing Evie eight years later was satisfying in that, while she still loved and missed Leo, she had overcome her circumstances and worked hard to create a new life for herself. She was equal parts strong and vulnerable and I loved that about her. She hadn't allowed her past to make her bitter or hard. Instead, she was kind and compassionate.

Maybe I'm an open book, or maybe love is like a magnifying glass straight into the souls of those who own your heart.
Jake was an intriguing character. He was attractive and charming and a gentleman (with some alpha tendencies that just made him even harder to resist). He was kind and sweet and generous to Evie and wanted to give her so much. I never doubted his feelings for her. But there was also plenty of mystery surrounding Jake. Many questions about his past that he said he would share with Evie, but only later. I had so many questions and so many theories and learning the truth was heartbreaking. 

I loved the flashbacks that provided more of Evie and Leo's story. It really drove home what these two meant to one another and how much of a support system they were for each other. Growing up where they may have had food and shelter but sorely lacked any love or (foster) parental guidance only strengthened their bond.

I can't say enough (without gushing) about how much I enjoyed Mia Sheridan's writing. It was perfect in its simplicity (and I mean that in the very best way possible). Her writing had an ease and a flow that drew me right in and had me completely immersed in these characters and their story. My only complaint? I wanted more of this incredible love story. I've become an instant fan of Mia Sheridan and I know I'll be reading all her other works very soon.

4.5/5 Stars

Originally read/reviewed January 2015
 
Have you ever read a book that you loved instantly?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Sunday Post #35


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

Hello! It's been two weeks since my last Sunday Post and I totally lay all the blame on WORK. This is always my busiest time of year, this two week period around the end of November and early December, and I always find myself just working to keep my head above water. And, unfortunately, everything else suffers in the meantime. Hence the sound of crickets here on the blog. :) I did manage two (super quick) posts but I haven't been able to visit a single blog in over a week. My inbox is exploding with notifications. Hopefully by next weekend I'll start to see the light and can get caught up - because I miss catching up with everyone's posts!

For those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great day with family or friends. We spent the day at my parent's house and I loved the time with them and my sisters. Since then I've been hibernating as much as possible - trying to decompress after a seriously stressful, albeit short, week at work and avoiding the Black Friday/shopping madness at all costs. How about you... do you go for the Black Friday shopping?


Thursday, November 24: On Thursday I shared a quick Thanksgiving post. I really try to remember to be thankful *every* day but it never hurts to have a day set aside to really focus on gratitude. :)

Saturday, November 26: I can't believe the #ShelfLove Challenge is almost over! I've had a great time participating each month. Yesterday I shared my thoughts on which bookish item I am most thankful for.   



 

It took me a little while to get into Fire In You but once I did I enjoyed it so much. (I don't think it was the book, more like I was feeling a bit slumpy.) And even though I read (well, listened to) Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda just last month, I was already ready for a re-read. Definitely one of my favorites of the year!

  
Finished:
Fire In You (Wait For You #6) - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Audio) - Becky Albertalli

Current
Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
Jet (Audio) - Jay Crownover


PHYSICAL COPIES:


*From my November Bookworm Box*
I already own The Lovely Reckless but now I have a signed version which is always awesome.
I'm not familiar with J.S. Scott or the Sinclair series but it looks interesting. Has anyone heard of this one?

The Lovely Reckless - Kami Garcia
No Ordinary Billionaire - J.S. Scott

KINDLE:

 

Too Late - Colleen Hoover
Knight of Ocean Avenue - Tara Lain
Race the Darkness - Abbie Roads




How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
You know I want to hear about it! :)