Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cover Reveal: Asa by Jay Crownover

I'm thrilled to be helping reveal the cover for Asa, the sixth and final novel in the Marked Men series! I have loved getting to know each of the Marked Men and I can't wait to finally read Asa's story. He's redeemed himself so much since the events in Jet and deserves his own shot at love!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the cover! Are you a fan of the Marked Men series?

 Release Date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make. 

About Jay Crownover: 
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men series. She also introduced the dark and sexy world of The Point that started with BETTER WHEN HE's BAD and is currently working on her newest series The Saint of Denver. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she'll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.   Image Map

Thursday, December 11, 2014

On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

Title: On the Edge
Author: Allison van Diepen
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
Source: Bought

Overall: 4 Stars

Wrong place. Wrong time.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two gang members attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, Maddie knows there's a target on her back.

But her courage has also caught the attention of Lobo, the mysterious leader of a rival gang, who promises to protect her. Lobo might be out for his own revenge, but Maddie knows she can trust him. And even though Lobo tries to push her away, she is determined to find out the truth about him. As sparks fly between them, Maddie is drawn deeper into his dangerous world . . . until there's no turning back.

When you live on the edge, any moment could be your last. 

My Thoughts: 
On the Edge is one of my favourite books written by Allison van Diepen yet! The book was crazy addictive and oh so good. I read On the Edge really quickly because I just couldn't stop reading it for even a moment. Allison van Diepen is known for her darker YA novels that tackle difficult subject matter, and her latest novel is no exception. It's really not all too often that I read a YA novel that deals with how high school students are affected by gang violence.

In the gritty streets of Miami, everyday you're living on the edge. When Maddie takes a shortcut through the local park after work one night, she witnesses two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Shocked by the senseless, violent act, she reports it to the police, even though she knows her agreement to testify against the men puts a target on her back for daring to speak up.

Maddie is a street-smart heroine just trying to make it long enough to her high school graduation. When she's not focused on her duties as editor of her school newspaper or working at McDonald's, she relieves stress by partying with her friends. Now, with a full-ride scholarship to Florida State University, she can finally leave Miami, that is, if she lives long enough. When the Reyes suddenly jump Maddie after work, she is rescued by a rival gang and their mysterious leader, Lobo.

The journalist in Maddie is curious for answers about Lobo's identity. He has a personal vendetta against the Reyes and Maddie wants to help him. It's a chance for Maddie to feel a sense of justice, especially when it seems the police aren't doing enough. Maddie has always kept her head down and accepted the realities of living in a dangerous neighbourhood, but she can't remain uninvolved anymore, not after everything she's seen. 

While the romance develops faster than I normally enjoy for a YA novel, I totally fell for it. The characters live very in the moment, and it matches the fast pacing of the book. It's sort of instalove, but not really? It's kind of hard to explain without giving much away... And on a different note, I loved Dex, Maddie's German shepherd! He's just a perfect guard dog, so sweet and protective of her.

Romance, suspense, danger, and even friendship drama, Allison van Diepen's On the Edge has a bit of everything to tempt and happily satisfy its readers. And if you're familiar with Snitch, an earlier novel of Diepen's, then I think you'll definitely recognize appearances by Julia and Eric in On the Edge. I absolutely can't wait to read Allison van Diepen's next book!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pull by Claire Wallis

Title: Pull (Push #2)
Author: Claire Wallis
Release Date: November 6, 2014
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates
Pages: 269
Source: ARC provided by author

Overall: 4.5 Stars

PULL is the continuation of Claire Wallis' sharp and shocking debut novel, PUSH. It is the second book in the series and is not intended to be a standalone.

"It is impossible for someone like me—someone with a sin-list capable of wrapping itself around the world—to find redemption. To be repaired."

David Calgaro has secrets, and the only woman he's ever loved is about to pay the ultimate price to protect them. He's spent a lifetime searching for purpose and control. And the only place he's managed to find them is in a single, perfect moment; a moment in which he has absolute control over someone else's life.

David is unredeemable, unfixable, unsalvageable. But Emma Searfoss has forced a tiny sliver of hope to penetrate his soul. Hope that, even though redemption is impossible, maybe life isn't. Maybe he isn't who he thought he was. Maybe he's meant to be more.

This is a new adult novel with mature content for readers 17 and up.

My Thoughts: 
After Claire Wallis' Push ended with a terrible cliffhanger, I couldn't wait to read what would happen next in the sequel. Emma and David are both messed up, broken individuals because of their pasts, but they find acceptance and forgiveness in each other. Pull may not be a psychological thriller this time around, but the novel is still far from being a conventional New Adult romance.

Pull is told through David's perspective, and we gain a greater understanding of the twisted way his mind works. He has always been such a fascinating character to me. The more I try to study David, the more I realize I won't ever really understand him. The justifications for his actions, especially concerning what he did to his ex-girlfriends, are so warped, yet logical in a creepy way.

Emma is the only woman who has ever given David the kind of control he craves. She proved her love for him when she willing jumped off a bridge so that David could save her, but now he's unsure if he can be redeemed for his past. He almost lost the woman he loves because the trauma from his mother's suicide as a child still haunts him, but now his future suddenly seems more hopeful with Emma in his life.

However, you can't forget that David is an anti-hero. With Emma, he can try to be a normal man, but it doesn't change that he's also a master of lies and manipulation. My feelings for him are so torn. How far can I excuse his actions? Can he really find redemption? What I really love is that Claire Wallis doesn't necessarily present a clear right or wrong answer. David and Emma will always be complicated as both individuals and as a couple.  

I never expected Claire Wallis to end Pull the way she did; the notion never even crossed my mind. I was caught totally unprepared for the conclusion, left in a state of shock, tears in my eyes, and unable to process what I just read. Claire Wallis' Pull is an unforgettable sequel, and brings Emma and David's story to an end. I would absolutely love to read more unique, dark New Adult series like this one.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Title: Trust Me, I'm Lying (Trust Me #1)
Author: Mary Elizabeth Summer
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 336
Source: Bought

Overall: 5 Stars

Fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal. 

My Thoughts:  
As soon as I learned Trust Me, I'm Lying was about a teenage con artist, I instantly added the book to my must-read list. Perfect for fans of Veronica Mars and Ally Carter's Heist Society series, Mary Elizabeth Summer's debut novel is fun, fresh, and completely unpredictable. Julep Dupree is a confident and resourceful heroine, but she's going to need the help of all her friends to outwit her father's enemies and stay one step ahead of them.

To help pay for her education at her upper crust Chicago high school, Julep runs small scams for her wealthy classmates, well-aware they can easily afford her fees. When Julep returns home one evening to find her apartment ransacked and her father missing, she must find a way to unravel the trail of obscure clues he's left behind. Julep's father—an old-school grifterwas involved in something very dangerous, and she will need to use all the tricks of the trade she's learned from him if she hopes to ever see him again. 

It's kind of funny that for a girl who's so smart, she can still be pretty oblivious at times. Julep can so easily understand her marks and make predictions about how they'll act, yet she fails to recognize that her best friend Sam has feelings for her that go beyond friendship. Sam has always been her faithful sidekick and hacker extraordinaire, but he wants more, even if he doesn't voice it. What makes it all the more complicated is the interest Tyler Richland, the most popular guy at school, has suddenly taken in Julep. 

I would've never guessed that Trust Me, I'm Lying would end the way it did. I can't even remember the last time a conclusion took me so much by surprise! Julep always has some kind of plan in motion, even if she doesn't necessarily disclose it to readers, so I just had to trust that everything would fall into place. Trust Me, I'm Lying maintains an air of mystery and suspense from the very first page until the very last one.

I can't wait to read the sequel Trust Me, I'm Trouble

Friday, December 5, 2014

French Kissed by Chanel Cleeton

Title: French Kissed (International School #3)
Author: Chanel Cleeton
Release Date: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Chanel Cleeton
Pages: 256
Source: Copy provided by author

Overall: 5 Stars

On the surface, Fleur Marceaux has it all. If only the facade matched reality. With one year left at the International School in London, Fleur’s struggling to graduate, her love life is a mess, and she can’t stop thinking about Max, her ex-boyfriend’s best friend. But all that pales compared to the blackmailer determined to destroy her.

There’s a social hierarchy at the International School and Max Tucker is outside the velvet ropes. After watching Fleur break his friend’s heart, Max knows to stay away from trouble, despite the crush he’s had on her since freshman year. But when they’re partnered on a project, Max learns there’s more to Fleur than meets the eye, and she just might be worth the wild ride.

The more time they spend together, the further Max falls. And when a kiss awakens a passion Fleur never imagined, she’s unable to resist Max, who she had thought was all wrong for her but might be the only thing that’s right. But will he stand by her when her secrets are revealed?

Don’t miss the final book in the International School series. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 17 and up.

My Thoughts: 
After Maggie and Samir's story came to an end in London Falling, the International School series didn't seem quite over yet, which is why I was so excited to read French Kissed. There was so much unexplored chemistry and tension between Fleur and Max that I couldn't be more happy to read their love story. While French Kissed can be read as a standalone, I think you'll have a greater understanding and appreciation for the novel if you've read both I See London and London Falling first.

When Fleur and Max are teamed up together on a school project, they decide to put aside their differences and have a fresh start. As they spend more time together, the misconceptions they've held for each other fall away. It's not too long before their newfound friendship slips into a serious, steady relationship, but Fleur has been badly hurt in the past, and she's still afraid to give the final piece of her heart to Max.

It has taken Fleur Marceaux until her senior year to finally pull herself together. After partying away her troubles the last few years, Fleur is determined to make this year different, to take school and her future more seriously. Dressing in designer clothes and acting with cool confidence may convince people that she's living a perfect life, but they also help Fleur to hide her own doubts and insecurities. To make matters worse, a blackmailer is threatening to expose Fleur's most painful secrets.

As a scholarship student, Max Turner doesn't run in the same social circles as wealthy students like Fleur. That hasn't stopped him from secretly liking Fleur since he was a freshman though. Fleur is like a fantasy to him, gorgeous and unattainable, a woman who could stomp all over his heart like she did to his best friend if he let her. I love that when Max realizes just how much he's misjudged her, he apologizes. He sees beyond Fleur's beauty and recognizes just how warm, kind, and caring of a person she truly is; she's far from being the Ice Queen he once called her. 

When I reached the epilogue, I was so close to shedding happy tears. The conclusion of Chanel Cleeton's French Kissed is just so utterly perfect and romantic. I wouldn't have wanted the International School series to end in any other way. Fleur and Max just perfectly complement each other as a couple, also positively influencing and encouraging one another to become stronger as individuals. I absolutely loved the book and Max completely stole my heart. Chanel Cleeton's French Kissed is a sweet and sexy New Adult romance you all simply must read!
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