He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker: Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway

As a fan of K.A. Tucker, I am *so* excited to be part of the blog tour 
for her latest release. He Will Be My Ruin, an adult suspense novel, 
will be released on February 2. I highly recommend it 
and you can even enter for a chance to win your own copy!

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series makes her suspense debut with this sexy, heartpounding story of a young woman determined to find justice after her best friend’s death, a story pulsing with the “intense, hot, emotional” (Colleen Hoover) writing that exhilarates her legions of fans. 

A woman who almost had it all . . . 

On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one- bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself? 

A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .

 Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life. 

Until he became her ruin. 

On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

IndieBound | Book Depository | Audible


I’ve been a fan of K.A. Tucker’s since reading Ten Tiny Breaths back in 2014. Her story telling ability hooked me from the start and I knew I had found a new favorite author. Flash forward almost two years to when I heard about Tucker’s upcoming hardcover release of a straight-up suspense novel. Cue the excitement! 

In He Will Be My Ruin, Maggie Sparks, a wealthy heiress who is passionate about aiding others in underdeveloped countries via her nonprofit organization, is devastated by her longtime best friend’s suicide. At the age of twenty-eight, Celine was living on her own in New York City, paying her bills with a day job, and making plans to pursue her passion of antiques by enrolling in a prestigious art institute. What could have gone so wrong to make the attractive young woman choose to end her own life? When Maggie arrives in New York, staying in Celine’s apartment, in order to settle her friend’s affairs, she begins to ask questions. With the discovery of a large sum of cash and the photo of a mystery man, Maggie begins to seek closure of a different sort: the truth. 

Tucker has crafted a suspense novel that had me second-guessing every new discovery and suspicious of almost every character. At each turn, Maggie learned more about Celine and began to wonder how far apart they had truly drifted if she knew so little about the woman who was more like a sister than a friend. 

The secondary characters were a motley crew. From a governor’s son, to a building superintendent, a nosy neighbor, a private investigator, a hacker, and a swishy antiques expert. Some knew a side of her in life and some only became acquainted with her after death. But each plays a role as Maggie pushes for answers.

I loved how the plot developed, layer by layer, as Maggie uncovered more and more of Celine’s life in her final months. I found myself wishing that I knew Maggie better, but with so much going on plot-wise it was easy to concentrate on the mystery aspect of the story. Maggie was equal parts suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Celine’s and often too trusting of those around her. And while Maggie was sometimes too trusting, I on the other hand suspected almost everyone at different points throughout the book. The hashtag #ISuspectEveryone being used in conjunction with the book’s release couldn’t be more fitting. Because even when I decided I had it figured out… I was wrong (K.A. Tucker for the win!).

Fans of K.A. Tucker, fans of suspense, and just fans of great story telling will love He Will Be My Ruin. Not to be missed!

“Can tenants come up here?”

He eases himself upright until he’s sitting within the hammock, his brown suede slippers planted firmly on the cedar platform below. The blanket falls to reveal the long-sleeved cotton shirt that clings to his body. It’s nowhere near warm enough for twenty-degree weather. “They can come to the roof, sure.” 

I survey the arbor gate behind me again, and the wooden lattice fence that stretches all the way around, framing this little garden. “But not into here.” 

He kicks off, somehow managing to balance himself while the hammock sways. “It’s one of the few perks that comes with my job.

“And the building owner really doesn’t care? Because I feel like this would be a code infraction or something. What if there’s a fire and the tenants have to come up to get to the fire escape?” I’m rambling, but if I keep talking then it can’t get awkward and I won’t be forced back inside. 

“My experience is people travel down when there’s a fire.” He chuckles as if that’s the silliest idea, his English accent making me smile. “But if they come up here, then I guess they’ll have a nice place to sit while the building burns.” 

“Fair enough.” I pause. “Did Celine ever come up here?” 

A shadow flickers over his face. “No. I didn’t see much of her at all, really.” 

I’m not surprised. She was afraid of heights. 

Silence hangs between us and I figure I have nothing to lose. I edge toward him with the tin. “Trade you…One of these for a hit of what you’re smoking.” 

At first Grady meets my question with a blank stare, and I think I’ve overstepped my bounds. But then he grins, a handsome boyish grin that I never noticed before. One that makes him all the more attractive. “How do I say no to that?” He accepts the tin of cookies and then eases back into his hammock, stretching a long, toned arm out to fetch the hidden joint from a planter. “It’s big enough for two,” he offers, gesturing beside him. 

Normally, I would never think of climbing into a hammock with a guy I barely know, but there’s something oddly familiar about Grady and the way he offers it. No leery glances, no winks. Nothing overtly sexual beyond his natural presence. 

And I’m too drained to care about any of that right now anyway. 

“This could go disastrously wrong,” I warn, stepping onto the wooden platform.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About K.A. Tucker: Born in small-town Ontario, K.A. Tucker published her first book at the age of six with the help of her elementary school librarian and a box of crayons. She currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and an exhausting brood of four-legged creatures.          

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook **Novel Goodreads ** Author Goodreads ** YouTube ** Pinterest ** Instagram


Review: Letting Go by Molly McAdams

Letting Go by Molly McAdams

Series: Thatch #1

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Source: Library Loan

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

My Thoughts

First things first. Before I get into my thoughts on this book I just have to acknowledge that cover. That hideous, oh-so-unfortunate cover. The man wearing the white dress should not be on this cover. He does not scream romance to me and (before I covered his manly-man face) I kept picturing our intrepid heroine with masculine features, a strong, square jaw, and a red wig. I was forced to take the following measures:

Okay, I feel I can carry on now. In the meantime, feel free to donate to my new non-profit organization, Readers Against Bad Covers. Together we can make a difference.

Letting Go was the first by Molly McAdams I've read so I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a simple writing style (which isn't a bad thing), a girl that everyone fawns over, a perfect guy, and lots of angst.

As the synopsis tells you, Grey is days away from marrying childhood sweetheart Ben when he dies from a previously unknown heart defect. She falls apart and leans heavily on Jagger, best friend to both she and Ben. Flash forward two years and Grey and Jagger, having just graduated college, are headed back to their hometown. It doesn't take long for Jagger to come clean that's he's been in love with Grey for years and Grey freaks out. Cue much angst.

Before you get the idea that I didn't like this one... not true. Yeah, I had issues. Every guy - and I do mean every guy - in the book fawns over Grey like you wouldn't believe. Apparently she's like a siren and no man can resist her. So you know, that's real nice for her. Next up is Jagger. Who is perfect. No, seriously, the guy has no faults. He has the patience of a saint (Saint Jagger - I like the sound of it), he is understanding, he is romantic, he's protective and kind, and he always says just the right thing. And while that is totally unrealistic, I still fell for it and found him to be seven levels of swoony. Finally, there are *so* many issues at play. A story of a young woman moving past a tragic event and finding love again would have been enough. But that would be too easy. There is so much more going on: the love story, grief, harassment and stalking, secrets, even a child with questionable parentage. There was a lot thrown in the mix here. 

But like I said, don't go thinking I didn't like it. Despite all that, I still got sucked into the story, I still fell for Saint Jagger, and I was still pushing for that HEA. Even though the story deals a lot with loss and grief and moving on, I still consider this to be on the lighter side of New Adult. So if you're looking for "light but angsty" (it's totally a thing, just ask me), this one would be right up your alley.

3.5/5 Stars 
What's your take on TGTBT (to good to be true) male characters? 
Enjoy them or just too unrealistic to be believed?

Review: After You by Jojo Moyes

Title: After You by Jojo Moyes

Series: Me Before You #2

Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary

Release Date: September 29, 2015

Format: Kindle

Source: Library Loan

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

My Thoughts

**Spoilers for Me Before You are included in this review.**

I admit I was a little nervous about reading After You. I wondered if it was really necessary and if it was going to ruin all my good feelings about Me Before You. Me Before You was the first I’d read by Jojo Moyes and became one of my favorite books of 2013 – and made me want to immediately read more from her. I was okay with how Me Before You ended. I had my own thoughts of what became of Lou and I was good with that. Two years pass and here’s a sequel? Cue the misgivings…

All that worry for nothing! After You managed to pull me right back into Lou’s world, but what a different world it was this time. I had such high hopes for Lou at the end of Me Before You. She had grown so much during her time with Will and I just knew she would blossom and really start living. Yeah, not so much. After You finds Lou very much in limbo – a year and a half after Will’s death and drowning in grief. Living alone in a small apartment, working at an airport bar, estranged from her family, and basically being a total recluse. She’s (barely) keeping up the appearance on moving on but nothing could be further from the truth. Will's plea for Lou to live boldly? Not happening.

Enter several new faces in Lou’s life: members of a bereavement group that she begrudgingly attends, a paramedic her comes to her aid, and most significantly, a troubled teenage girl. In different ways each of these people force Lou out of hiding and she starts to engage in life again. But that comes with risks and Lou isn’t so sure she’s ready – or willing – to put her heart on the line again. Love leads to loss, right?

You should have been here, Will, I told him silently. 
It was you she really needed.

While After You is a very different book than Me Before You, it was still the writing that pulled me right in. Moyes has a way of presenting her characters in all their messy, flawed glory and manages to make you feel personally invested in their very well-being. The cast of secondary characters provided relief from what could have been a very dark tale of Lou’s grieving. But there was humor and friendship and love and the possibility of so much more.

None of us move on without a backward look. 
We move on always carrying with us those we have
lost. What we aim to do in our little group is ensure
 that carrying them is not a burden, something that
 feels impossible to bear, a weight keeping us stuck
 in the same place. We want their presence to feel like a gift.

After You didn’t quite destroy me like its predecessor but it still packed an emotional punch. I hurt for Lou, I got frustrated with her and wanted to shake her, and I cheered for her. If you’ve read Me Before You I highly recommend continuing on with After You. And that kinda-sorta open ending has me wondering if there’s not more to come in Lou’s story. If so, I’ll be first in line to experience it.

4/5 Stars 
Have you read Me Before You or other books from Jojo Moyes? 
What's your favorite?

Top Ten Tuesday: Welcome Books, You Just Made it To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 

This week's theme is pretty straightforward: the top 10 books 
most recently added to your TBR. So here we go...

Never Tear Us Apart - Monica Murphy
Forgetting August - J.L. Berg
Into the Dim - Janet B. Taylor
Never Stop Falling - Ashley Drew
Crashing Back Down - Kristen Hope Mazzola
I Am Princess X - Cherie Priest
Full Measures - Rebecca Yarros
The Blood Scion - Nazarea Andrews

What books have you recently added to your TBR

Review: Addicted After All by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Title: Addicted After All by Krista & Becca Ritchie

Series: Addicted series #3

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: October 30, 2015 by K.B. Ritchie

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


Two addicts. One epic love story.

Prepare for the worst.

That’s what Lily and Lo try to do when Jonathan Hale schedules an “important” meeting. The problem: after being swept into the public eye and battling their addictions, they’re not sure what the worst is anymore.

In a sea of many changes—including Ryke & Daisy living with them—Lily realizes that the best part of her fluctuating hormones might just be the worst.

Her sex drive is out of control.

Loren knows that she’s insatiable, but he’s not giving up on her. She’s too much a part of him. And as he carries more and more responsibility, some of the people that he loves doubt his resolve.

In the conclusion to their love story, Lily & Lo stand side-by-side to fight, one last time, for their happily ever after.

**Author's Note**
Due to the 2-year gap between Addicted for Now (Addicted #2) and Addicted After All (Addicted #3), you must read Thrive (Addicted #2.5) or the Calloway Sisters spin-off series before reading Addicted After All.

My Thoughts

**There are likely spoilers aplenty here for the previous books in the series. If you have not read the books prior to Addicted After All, you've been warned. Nicely, of course.**

My love affair with the Addicted series continues. In Addicted After All the focus returns to my favorite couple, Lily and Lo. The series started with them and I continue to have such a soft spot for these two characters who have struggled so much and come so far. 

No longer weighed down by self-pity and hatred,
I can go farther than I dreamed. - Loren Hale

I loved slipping back into the world of the Calloway's (and Hale's, and Cobalt's, and Meadows). And what struck me the most in Addicted After All was the amazing character growth in Loren Hale. The years of alcohol abuse, isolation, self-loathing - he's put it all behind him. Sure there still were moments of self-doubt, but this is Lo 2.0. A man who has managed to come out on the other side of his addiction and is so much better for it. He has finally realized that he can be more. He didn't get there alone - Ryke helped him on the path to sobriety, Connor has shown him friendship and support, and Lily has always been by his side - but he did it. And seeing Lo step up and willingly take on the challenge(s) in front of him, to have the feeling that he could be the one that others leaned on... I just wanted to cheer.

This is a new Loren Hale.
One that has learned from all of his mistakes.
One that understands right and wrong 
and every gray, messy part in between.

As a whole, the Addicted gang were more cohesive than ever. The experiences they've had, coupled with all of them now living under one roof, have brought them even closer together and the support they show for one another is so solid. Their personal struggles, their career issues, the continued intrusion of the paparazzi and the persistent rumors have not torn them apart but only reinforced their bonds. It was a recurring theme throughout the book and I loved it.

I knew from the beginning that we'd be addicted after all. 
I just didn't know whether we'd be at a better place
 than we were before. - Loren Hale

So much of Addicted After All is about healing and forgiveness. Seeing these characters reach those milestones, and knowing what it's taken for them to get there, has been a truly emotional ride. While I'm excited to continue on with Fuel the Fire and Long Way Down, I am a little heartbroken that this is the final book centering on Lily and Lo. They've long been my favorite couple and I'll miss their special relationship and unique points of view.

4.5/5 Stars

*Recommended for readers 18+ for mature content. 

Review: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Title: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Release Date: February 3, 2015 by Henry Holt & Co.

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper

My Thoughts

There are times when a book makes such an impact on me that I find it almost impossible to review. How can I possibly do it justice? I’ll Meet You There is one of those books. I finished it more than four weeks ago and I’ve been mulling over my review ever since, feeling like a less than stellar review is somehow doing a disservice to the book. But here’s my attempt at sharing what an incredible story this is.

I’ll Meet You There is the story of Sky. Her life is not an easy one but she has big plans. After the loss of her father and the subsequent breakdown of her mother, Sky often took on the role of caretaker and responsible adult. Escaping the trailer park and the suffocating life in her small town is her only goal. With high school graduation behind her, she lives for the end of summer when she can shake off the dust of Creek View and flee to art school. But when her mother loses her job, Sky feels responsible for her well-being and suddenly her own future is in jeopardy.

I’ll Meet You There is the story of Josh. He left Creek View for the Marines at the age of 18 – cocky, popular, and sure of himself. He returns at 19 a very changed young man – wounded, an amputee, and suffering from PTSD. His experiences have left him feeling far removed from life in his small town and viewing the people and limitations there with a new and critical eye. As he struggled to accept his new reality - while suffering from pain, nightmares, guilt and grief – Josh finds an unlikely friend in Sky. 
Demetrios managed to create characters who were completely believable. I never once felt I was reading a work of fiction, but instead maybe a recounting of very real people that the author knew and loved. Josh and Sky’s realities often felt grim and the hopelessness was almost tangible. The ache I felt for these two young people was visceral. I pulled for them, I wanted so much for them. I wanted Life to be kinder and gentler with them. The realism extended to the setting as well, with Creek View feeling almost like another character in the book. The small town off a California highway, withering in the summer heat. The dilapidated trailer park, the lone diner/restaurant, the bored teenagers and the lack of any opportunity.

Sky and Josh were both so flawed but so likable. Both are lonely – both feeling isolated and suffocated by life in Creek View. Both struggling against unfair, or downright cruel, circumstances. I loved the slow burn of their relationship. It made it that much more believable. More meaningful. Every touch, every smile, every hug… they meant something. There was no insta-love. There were no rainbows and roses. No happily ever after with a bow on top once they found each other. This was real life in all its messy, imperfect glory. 

Josh’s experiences in Afghanistan and his struggle in the aftermath truly hurt my heart. I appreciate a military aspect in novels when they are honest and done well, when an author has obviously done the research instead of relying on clichés. With a husband who is a 20 year veteran, who had a wide and varied Navy career, I am acutely sensitive to the portrayal of military themes. So often they are idealized (every sailor is a SEAL, every soldier is an Ranger) or riddled with clichés (hotshot rogues who save the day). But Demetrios either researched well or has firsthand knowledge of the subject matter. She gave an unflinching account of Josh’s service, his connection to his fellow Marines, his injury, and most importantly, his lingering issues with survivor’s guilt, anger, and grief. This was so grounded in reality that it was sometimes painful to read. Kudos to Demetrios for the honesty – and for getting it right.

I’ll Meet You There is a story of loss, hope, grief, friendship, coming of age, falling in love, pushing your limits, setting your own course and so much more. This isn’t a story with high drama or cookie cutter characters or overused tropes. Instead, the realism is gut-wrenching and at times hard to take. Sky’s fight to escape from an unstable parent and a dead-end town and Josh’s struggle to come to terms with the realities of war were unflinchingly portrayed. But it was that grittiness and that realism that makes I'll Meet You There what it is: completely unforgettable.

5/5 Stars

Alan Rickman & Severus Snape

Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded 
he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
 "After all this time?"

"Always," said Snape.

Alan Rickman
1946 - 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: I Meant To... But I Didn't

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme 

This week's theme is all about the 2015 releases that you meant to read last year, but didn't. Oh, the shame. Or, otherwise known as: the story of my life (and yours, too?). Let's face it, most of us suffer from the same affliction - too many books and too little time! So here's my Hall of Shame: the 2015 releases that I was dying to read as soon as they hit the shelves... but they're still sitting around looking at me woefully.

Before We Were Strangers - Renee Carlino
I was dying for this one. Bought it the day it was released. So yeah...

Who Do You Love - Jennifer Weiner
I was so excited for this one that I ordered through Book Depository just so I could have the pretty UK edition. My friend Hope loved it. What more do I need?

Nowhere But Here - Katie McGarry
I love Katie McGarry - and pre-ordered this one. But I won't let myself start it until I finish the Pushing the Limits series. (I just need to read Breaking the Rules.) 

Never Never Part Two - Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
I loved Part One and was left wondering what the heck was going on. I meant to read Part Two last year but now I'm waiting for Part Three so I can marathon them.

Fuel the Fire - Krista & Becca Ritchie
Okay, in my defense, I didn't read Addicted After All (the previous book in the series) until mid-December. So I think I get a pass on this one.

The Deal - Elle Kennedy
It's official. I am the *only person* who has not read this book. I took a poll and everything. I must meet Garrett. Soon.

Sweet - Tammara Webber
This has been out since last April. I want to cry when I think I've let it sit on my shelf for so long. I adore Tammara's writing and love her Contours of the Heart series (Landon Lucas Maxfield, people!). 

Until Friday Night - Abbi Glines
Abbi Glines is one of my favorites. And the start of a new series is an exciting thing. And yet this pre-order is still sitting on the shelf giving me the puppy dog eyes. 

What You Left Behind - Jessica Verdi
I had this one on my TBR a full 4 months before it was released. I am convinced that it's a total "me book" and I'm going to love it. That theory is still untested.

The Wrath & The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh
Not my usual kind of read but I was intrigued by the 1001 Nights retelling. I actually checked it out from the library at one point but didn't get to it before it was due back.

What books did you totally mean to read last year... and didn't? 
Have you read any of the books on my list? 
What should I grab first?