That's What *HE* Said Thursday #07

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme created 
and hosted bChapter Break. It's a fun way to share a quote 
from a favorite book boyfriend (aka male protagonist) to his girl.
For more info, visit Chapter Break here.

This week's quote is from City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare. 
The last book in The Mortal Instruments series was full of great lines, 
but this one was a favorite.

It was a surprisingly quiet sadness, for Jace, and when he spoke at last, his voice was surprisingly quiet too. "I just wish," he said, not looking at her but at the floor, "that I could say the right thing, do the right thing, to make this easier for you. Whatever you want from me, I want to do it. I want to be there for you in whatever the right way is for you, Clary."

Do you participate in That's What He Said Thursday? 
Or just have a favorite quote you want to share? Tell me below!

Review: Just a Little Kiss by Renita Pizzitola

Just a Little Kiss by Renita Pizzitola
Series: Crush #3
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: August 25, 2015 by Penguin Random House/Flirt
Format: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley
Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


Like most of the residents of her dead-end beach town, Felicity Daniels doesn’t know what she wants from her future. Instead of college, she’s waiting tables at the local grille where she’s more likely to run into the guy who was the love of her life—until one decision changed everything. Now as this year’s tourist season kicks in to high gear, Felicity realizes that whatever she wants isn't going to be found here.

Mason Hayes is the quintessential Summer Boy: hot, impulsive, and born without strings attached. While in town helping with the family fishing charter, he plans to have a little fun—and hopefully get over a certain girl. He’s never had a long-term relationship, but when he meets Felicity, he wonders if he’s found the girl who could change that.

With her heart still in repair, Felicity’s happy to have a distraction like Mason, but her best friend thinks he could also be her ticket out of this town. What’s the harm in using him to escape more than just her boredom? After all, he is just a Summer Boy, and they never stick around. But after one kiss, Felicity wonders if only one summer with Mason will ever really be enough.

My Thoughts

I became a fan of Renita Pizzitola's writing after reading (and loving) Just a Little Crush last year. The second book in this companion series, Just a Little Flirt, solidified that. And now, with Just a Little Kiss, I'm convinced that Pizzitola Just Can't Miss. :)

At 19, Felicity feels like her life is stalled in her small hometown. She yearns for more and is also desperate to escape the inevitable run-in's with her ex. But change doesn't come easy for Felicity. To avoid messy entanglements she keeps things simple: no life-altering decisions and definitely no relationships. When it comes to guys she sticks to the summer boys who are temporary distractions. But what if there is more out there for her, beyond her small town?

Just because I was interested in Mason, didn't mean I had to lose 
myself in the process. The rules were in place for a reason. To keep 
myself from getting hurt and avoid hurting others in the process. 
Keep things light, simple, fun. - Felicity

Mason is in town for the summer, helping his uncle on his charter boat. It's just the distraction he needs from his own life. Getting over his unrequited love for best friend Brinley hasn't been easy but he's ready to move on. Meeting Felicity has him considering that a summer fling just might be the real thing.

"If you think you're going to be able to hide behind some ridiculous 
rules you have for yourself and never plan to let go, then this is 
probably a waste of our time." My lips returned to her jaw as I slowly 
made my way to her ear, and my free hand lowered down her thigh. 
"Because if there's one thing I can promise you, it's that you're about 
to lose all control." - Mason

I loved watching the relationship between Felicity and Mason unfold. They both had been hurt in the past but one was willing to take a chance while the other was determined to avoid another possible heartbreak. I loved as they slowly found their way and navigated this new relationship. It was easy to pull for Felicity and hope for so much more for her. And Mason was completely charming and so patient with Felicity and her doubts and fears. I mentioned in review of the two previous books in the series how gifted Pizzitola is with dialogue and it's still evident here. I loved the banter between Mason and Felicity and the way they used humor to lighten a mood or get to know each other better. I was truly pulling for these two and their road was not without its bumps along the way. They both made mistakes and seeing them each hurt because of it was heart breaking. Mason and Felicity and their story felt completely realistic and I loved every minute of it.

But what I never expected to happen while running away from 
my problems, was finding my solution. My answer. My Felicity. 
Because I knew, hands down, without question that there 
was no one in this world more perfect for me than this girl 
right here. - Mason

Pizzitola writes that kind of New Adult that I love. Characters that are never cookie cutter, story lines that are completely believable without unnecessary drama, and sweet/swoony romance. She strikes the perfect balance between character development, plot and romance. I hope this series continues because as long as Renita keeps writing it I'll keep reading it.

Just a Little Kiss is the third in the Crush companion series but can easily be read as a stand-alone.

ARC kindly provided by NetGalley and Random House/Flirt 
in exchange for an honest review.

If you're a fan a new new adult genre, who are your favorite authors? 
Tell me about it about below!

Review: Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Dark Elements #3
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2015 by Harlequin Teen
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Purchased
Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


Some loves will last ’til your dying breath.

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell.

My Thoughts

Now *THIS* is how to end a series!

I'm sure we've all read some truly disappointing series enders (*cough Allegiant *cough*) and it's always a little worrisome when a series you love comes to an end. Will there be a satisfying conclusion? Will everyone get a happily ever after? Will all loose ends be tied up? Or will you want to throw the book across the room and be left with a massive book hangover?

Never fear, fans of the Dark Elements trilogy. 
Jennifer Armentrout does not disappoint!

I could easily gush nonstop about Every Last Breath but there's really not a lot I can say without major spoilers. I will say that I got everything I wanted from Every Last Breath... and then some. Plenty of action, plenty of romance, plenty of snarky comments and one-liners and JLA's signature humor. There was so much happening that I did *not* see coming, all the while building to a decision that was inevitable. Heartbreaking, but inevitable. 

Every Last Breath is about much more than "who will Layla choose." The Lilin is at large and must be stopped. The consequences of failure are apocalyptic. There are also changes in Layla as she comes to terms with the betrayal of those she considered family and with her own abilities. This is a stronger, more confident Layla than we first met in White Hot Kiss.

There were so many surprises in Every Last Breath. A plot twist I never saw coming. A surprising character that still has me questioning... everything. (Morris??!!) There were laugh out loud lines, appearances of side characters that I've grown to love (Cayman is the best!), and even some surprisingly emotional moments that caught me off guard.

Armentrout has done it again - created characters that I fall in love with, a story that keeps me turning the pages, and infuses it all with humor and emotion. I couldn't be happier with the conclusion to this trilogy.

Favorite laugh-out-loud line: 
"Whoa. Simmer down, crouching demon, hidden Warden."

Have you read Every Last Breath? 
Or have a favorite paranormal romance book/author you want to share? 
Tell me about it below!
(***Please be aware of possible SPOILERS left in the comments.***)

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino: Promo Tour!

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women's novels. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Connect with Renee:
Facebook   Website    Twitter    Instagram


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That's What *HE* Said Thursday #06

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme created 
and hosted bChapter Break. It's a fun way to share a quote 
from a favorite book boyfriend (aka male protagonist) to his girl.
For more info, visit Chapter Break here.

This week's quote is from my current read - Every Last Breath by 
Jennifer L. Armentrout. It's the final book in the Dark Elements trilogy 
and is full of great lines to choose from. Here's one of my favorites 
from Roth - the snarky, badass, totally hot Crown Prince of Hell. :)

Do you participate in That's What He Said Thursday? 
Or just have a favorite quote you want to share? Tell me below!

Top 5 Wednesday: Tropes You Hate

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey.
Click HERE for a complete list of participants and future topics.

So this week's topic is the Top 5 Tropes You Hate. 
Ah, so many to chose from but there are definitely 
a few that stand out from all the rest.

#1 - Miscommunication/Lack of Communication

My list isn't in any particular order but it's still fitting that this is at #1. Because this one is a HUGE pet peeve. When the conflict in a book is based solely on miscommunication... I'm instantly annoyed. There's big drama because information is not shared or because assumptions are made (without talking to anyone for verification). And all it would take is a 5 minute conversation to clear everything up. But no. Instead authors still use this tired, uber-annoying trope to create unnecessary conflict when in reality all could be solved if the characters just... TALKED. Talk, people. Just talk.

#2 - Unreliable Narrators

I hate this one so much that it's actually a deal-breaker for me. If I know in advance that a book features an unreliable narrator - I'm peacing out. Gone Girl, We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train... not happening. Of course, I don't always know in advance which led me to being all ragey when reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Inexcusable by Chris Lynch, and Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn, among others. Show me a book with an unreliable narrator and I'll show you a book I won't read.

#3 - Beautiful Girl... Who Doesn't Know She's Beautiful

Can we just stop this one? Please? It's so prevalent in YA and NA that I'm almost surprised when it *isn't* there. I am sooo tired of the drop dead gorgeous female protagonist who is completely oblivious to her beauty. But when described from any other POV it's obvious that her beauty surpasses that of any Victoria's Secret Angel and Maxim's Hot 100 combined. I have no issue with physically beautiful characters, but please let's be done with Miss Thang who is somehow 100% unaware that she's a total babe.

#4 - One Girl Saves the World aka The Chose One 

So this mostly applies to fantasy and dystopian which, granted, I don't read a lot of, but when I do there's always that ordinary teenage girl who (surprise, surprise) is The Only One who can save the day. This special snowflake is plucked from obscurity, thrust into a do-or-die situation where the odds are seemingly insurmountable, and she finds her inner badass and saves us all. Yeah, that was interesting the first few dozen times. Now? Not so much.

#5 - Insta-Love (You Knew It Was Coming, Right?)

I have a feeling this one will be appearing on EVERYONE'S list. Because it's used so often and yet is so unrealistic. Insta-lust? Sure, it happens. Totally believable. And it's possible that OVER TIME it could grow into love. But when it's that instant SO IN LOVE, I would die for him/her, our connection is so strong, no one has ever felt this way kind of love... puh-leeze. There's rarely any reasoning given as to WHY they are in love. We are just told. Repeatedly. It won't make me quit the book but it's definitely an Insta Turn-Off.

~Honorable Mention~

Not sure if this really counts as a trope, but open endings? Not A Fan. When a book has an unsatisfying (to me) ending and it is left to me, the reader, to interpret what may have happened... just NO. I feel totally cheated. When reading, I feel as though the author and I have an unspoken agreement. I, as a reader, agree to read their work with an open mind. S/he, as an author, agrees to provide me with a well-written story and Do Not Leave Me Hanging At The End! Authors who do not uphold their end of the deal make me very grouchy, indeed.

So there are my top 5 cringe-worthy tropes. The ones I would be happy not to encounter again. But seriously, what are the odds? What tropes are your least favorite? Any that you are just so over? Tell me about it below... I love your comments! :)


Heart-Shaped Hack by Tracey Garvis Graves (Pre-Launch Tour)

I've been a fan of Tracey Garvis Graves since I read On the Island back in 2012. I even had the pleasure of meeting Tracey when she was touring for Covet a couple years ago. So I'm beyond excited for the release of Heart-Shaped Hack next week. Check out the synopsis (I'm totally intrigued) and you can read the first five chapters using the link below!

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act. 

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

Click HERE to read the first five chapters!


Kate was taking a break and having coffee and a muffin at Wilde Roast Café when Ian slid into the booth and sat across from her. He was wearing a lightweight cream-colored sweater with a tan-and-green-patterned shirt underneath, and he smelled good.

“Hello again.”

Confused, Kate looked around. “Where did you come from?”

“I walked in the door like everyone else.”

“Do you live nearby?” Kate lived in the St. Anthony Main neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis. The food pantry was conveniently located on SE Main Street, which was a short three-block walk from her apartment. The quiet brick-paved street was lined with restaurants, shops, and a movie theater and included a stunning view of the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls. There were also bars that featured live music and plenty of green space in nearby parks.
He shook his head. “Not really.”

“Then why are you here?” 

“I felt like talking to you again. You’re seated, so you probably won’t try to strangle me this time.” 

“How did you know where to find me?” She was tucked away in a back booth instead of one of the tables near the windows that looked out over SE Main, so it wasn’t like he’d walked by and spotted her.
He held a steaming cup of coffee and blew on it to cool it. “I tracked your credit card activity. According to Capital One, you bought a cup of coffee and a muffin here twelve minutes ago.” 

“You tracked my credit card?” Her voice sounded rather loud and shrieky.
He held a finger in front of his mouth. “Shh, Katie Long Legs. That information is for your ears only. How’s your coffee? Would you like a refill?”

Kate did not appreciate being shushed, but she lowered her voice. “Are you some kind of cyberthief?” she whispered. And since when were criminals so well-dressed and impeccably groomed? 

“I did not steal your credit card number. I simply accessed your account to see where and when you’d used it last. Then I came here.”
“If you wanted to talk to me again, why didn’t you just go to the food pantry?”

He looked at her like it was obvious. “Because you’re not there. You’re here at this café.”

“If you’re not a cyberthief, then what are you?”

“I’m a hacker.”

“Is there a difference?”

“Most definitely.” 

“When you said you steal from the rich to give to the poor, I thought you were kidding. Is that how you get the money?”

“I don’t steal it. I appropriate it from people who shouldn’t have it in the first place. Then I give it to those who are more deserving.”

Kate twisted her napkin. “I can’t keep the money. I’ve already spent the first two donations, but if you come back to the food pantry with me, I can return the most recent one. It’s still locked in the safe because I wasn’t planning on going shopping until tomorrow.”
“No, Katie. I don’t want it back. It’s for you. It’s for the babies.” 

“It’s wrong,” she said quietly.
“Is it?”

“It’s against the law.” 

“Trust me when I say the people I took it from don’t want the law involved any more than I do.”
“What are you saying? That you’re a thief who steals from other thieves?” 

He wrinkled his nose, and it was adorable.
Stop! Thief! 

“It sounds so distasteful when you say it like that. I prefer master appropriator of ill-gotten funds. You can call me master for short.” 

“I have lots of things I’d like to call you. Master is not one of them.”


Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also find Tracey at GoodReads and Amazon.

The Moment of Letting Go by J.A. Redmerski - Release Week + Giveaway!

I am so excited to be taking part in the Release Week Blitz for J.A. Redmerski's The Moment of Letting Go! I was provided with an advance copy of the book and I have to say I was *blown away.* It was even better than I expected and I have no doubt it will be on my Best of 2015 list. Keep reading for my review, an excerpt and a chance to win your own copy of The Moment of Letting Go.


You can follow the rules or you can follow your heart... 

Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she'd always craved-until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.

Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he's convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can't deny the deep connection he feels. But there's a reason Luke doesn't do long-term. He can't promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .

Buy the book!


The Moment of Letting Go is one of those rare books that makes me struggle in writing a review because I so want to do it justice.

Sienna is an event planner who works hard in order to ensure financial success and stability. It is while overseeing a wedding in Hawaii that Sienna meets Luke, a local surf instructor. Luke is attractive, laid-back, and charms Sienna into delaying her flight in order to spend an afternoon with him. And before she knows it, Sienna has put her life on hold in order to spend two weeks with Luke – living in a way she never has before: carefree, unencumbered, and living every moment as it comes. As Sienna and Luke grow closer they both struggle with the possibility of a future together. Can Sienna just walk away from her successful career in California? Can Luke overcome the ghosts in his past? Love isn’t always enough and happily ever after isn’t always possible.

In Sienna and Luke Redmerski created incredibly well-developed characters that were perfectly flawed and beautifully realistic. I loved watching as they slowly came to know one another. The pace of their relationship felt so unhurried and natural. Sienna questioned the nature of her relationship with Luke as it progressed and made choices that felt completely true to life. It gave the story such an authentic feel and made Sienna a protagonist that was easy to believe in and empathize with. Luke had so much going on under the surface and his background was revealed slowly. He was determined to help Sienna overcome her fears but at the same time his own feelings of grief and guilt kept him from moving forward.

The Moment of Letting Go touches on themes of grief and healing, overcoming fears and limitations, and living an authentic life. But at its heart is the breathtaking story of two people who love fully and are willing to sacrifice for the other. Redmerski has crafted a story that is rich, detailed, inspiring and emotional and it will easily be one of my favorites of 2015. Highly recommended!

EXCERPT from The Moment of Letting Go

     Then he gets up and grabs my hands from the tops of my bare knees, pulling me to my feet.
     “We’re going swimming,” he says. “And we’ll talk more about this later…like on the day your vacation is over and you’re standing at the gate in the airport about to kiss me goodbye.”
     “Wow, you really think highly of yourself, don’t you?” I can’t keep the laughter from my voice.
     “Damn straight!” he says and pulls me along beside him. “Before these two weeks are over, I can guarantee you three things.” He holds up three fingers as we continue onward toward the water. “One”—he holds up one finger—“you’ll never want to go back to San Diego once Hawaii is done with you.” He holds up two fingers. “Two—that photography love of yours will start to take the place of everything else in your life. And three”—he wiggles three fingers and we stop on the beach where the water can pool around our feet—“you’ll kiss me at least once before you go home.”
     I blush hard and it feels like my eyes are bugging out of my head. “I might peck you on the cheek or something, but—”
     “No,” he says, smiling and quite serious, “it’ll be a full-on, tongue-dancing kind of kiss.”
     I smack him playfully on the arm—something is fluttering around inside my belly.
     Luke grabs my hand and pulls me out to the water with him, where we swim and hang out on the cliffs until late in the afternoon. People come and go throughout the hours, sometimes leaving us with Alicia, Braedon, and a few of their close friends to have the area to ourselves for a while before more people show up in intervals.
     “Backflip!” someone says just before Luke jumps into the water for probably the twentieth time.
     And every time he does it, it ties my stomach up in knots. But there’s something about him that I can’t quite figure out when I watch him leap off the edge of that cliff; it’s not overconfidence or showing off or recklessness, but something deeper, more profound. Maybe it’s a sense of freedom, or a natural high that consumes him while he’s in the air, as if he had been born with a pair of wings that only he can see. But the more time I spend with him, the more intrigued I become. Sure, he’s gorgeous and funny and polite and all the kinds of things—so far—that would make my mom love him to death. But what intrigues and excites me more is how he kind of makes me want to jump off that stupid cliff regardless of how scared I am of it.


J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries.

Connect with the author!


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That's What *HE* Said Thursday #05

That's What He Said Thursday is a weekly meme created 
and hosted bChapter Break. It's a fun way to share a quote 
from a favorite book boyfriend (aka male protagonist) to his girl.
For more info, visit Chapter Break here.

This week's quote is Trent's from Ten Tiny Breaths by the
fantastic K.A. Tucker. Love her! Her storytelling is top notch
and Ten Tiny Breaths remains my favorite. And Trent is pretty unforgettable. :)

Do you participate in That's What He Said Thursday? 
Or just have a favorite quote you want to share? Tell me below!