Wednesday, October 31, 2012


TorchedSeries: Stand alone
Publisher: Andrea Lynn Colt
Publication Date: 9/12
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 370
Source: Received from author for review.

Rose Whitfield's senior year just went up in smoke. Instead of having a blast with her best friend, her cheerleading squad, and her boyfriend Ryan, she's framed for arson. Popularity and criminal records don't mix, apparently.

Luckily, Rose knows who's framing her: Paxton Callaway. Paxton and Rose have spent years locked in a war of practical jokes. This time he's gone too far. Rose sets out to prove her innocence, win Ryan back, and take Paxton down hard.

Not necessarily in that order.

Torched was a pleasant surprise for me. It's not that I didn't expect to enjoy it, based on the synopsis I had extremely high hopes. But what made the book surprising for me was that I opened it out of curiosity (I was supposed to be reading a different book), planning to read only a few pages, and I could not put it down. I was so engrossed in Rose's story that by the time I looked up, I had read half the book! I had to know who set Rose up, why they did it, how she was going to prove her innocence once and for all.

I pride myself on being a super-smarty sleuth when it comes to "whodunits" in books and  movies. I credit my talents to being a lifelong watcher of  All My Children, may she rest in peace. *sniffs* So naturally, I went into Torched assuming that I would pin the evil doer by the halfway mark. And I did, or so I thought. Wrong. Then, I thought I'd found the true culprit at least five more times. Wrong on every count. Colt did a fantastic job of placing red herrings throughout the story. And I fell for every single one. I think I've gotten so used to having the mystery laid out for me on a platter, that my mystery solving skills have turned to oatmeal. When the truth comes out, I was truly shocked. Well played, Colt.

With a great mystery, I was sure to love Torched. But what makes the story truly stand out is the massive amount of character growth Rose experiences throughout the story. It would have been easy for the author to have let Rose been a completely innocent victim, without any blame or cause for hate. And though Rose is innocent, her past actions, her feud with Paxton, has done damage to those around them. That, and the fact that almost all of Rose's friends turn their backs on her, the same friends she's watched bully others, gives Rose a true wake-up call about her own actions. By going through this horrible experience, Rose gets a chance to reflect on what actions have put her in this position, how carelessly she has treated others, and what she can do to make things right.

Now, what's a serious book review without the boy talk. Torched has two eligible guys, Ryan and Paxton. Ryan is athletic, smart, sweet and romantic. The perfect guy, right? You would think so... But then there's Rose's neighbor, former best friend-turned nemesis, Paxton. Except... maybe there's more to Paxton than Rose is willing to see. Torched isn't a full-on romance, but it does deliver some very sweet, surprising, and happy romantic moments.

With its well-developed, funny, and engaging characters, surprisingly sweet romance, and a mystery that doesn't wrap up until the very end, Torched is a book that delivers the much-loved elements of a great YA story. Author Andrea Colt is an author that I look forward to seeing much more of in the future.

Favorite Quote:
(It's long, but fantastic.)

"His room was empty, but I heard the shower running down the hall. I was banging on the bathroom door before I could think twice about it.
  Movement inside, and then the door whipped open. 'Rose?'
  'Way to go, Callaway. You've won first place in the jerkwad awards.' Then I realized Paxton was naked but for a blue towel around his waist, held by one hand at his hip. I swallowed. That was a lot of skin. My eyes skimmed the top edge of the towel. Suddenly I felt like I was a sophomore again, noticing Paxton's new football chest for the first time.
  Paxton stood there dripping, then swiped water from his face.
  'This isn't an emergency, is it?'
  'Um.' My mouth was open. I shut it.
  'Whatever it is, can it wait until I'm done with my shower?' Then Paxton noticed me staring. He grinned. 'Unless you wanted to join me.' "  (51%)

You can purchase Torched at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Audrey's Guides, #1)Series: Audrey's Guide #1
Genre: Paranormal YA
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Publication Date: 6/30/12
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 293
Source: Received from author for review

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training.

When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.
Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft was a story that I had been looking forward to reading for months. I held off until the week of Halloween, thinking that I would be in the perfect mood for some magic.

The story was fun had a lot of sweet moments. Audrey was a main character that I did enjoy. She was kind, thoughtful, and smart. She feels as if her younger, rocker sister, Meg, outshines her. And in some ways, Meg did outshine Audrey. So did their cousin/temporary guardian, Sadie. Sadie and Meg were fun, quirky characters and in comparison, Audrey sometimes felt...tame. And that's okay because that's simply who Audrey was, quiet and calm.

Things liven up for Audrey, though, when she meets Julian and the sparks fly! Literally. Audrey and Julian share a mystical connection that I never quite understood, but it did provide for the sweetest, most magical moments in the story. I love that he pushed Audrey to be up front with him, but didn't bully her into giving him answers that would put them both in more danger. He was very understanding of Audrey's quirkiness, probably a bit too understanding to be quite believable, but still, I enjoyed him.

Since I mentioned believability, I have to say that this was my only true issue with the story. Audrey and Meg's mom goes missing. A mysterious "cousin" shows up, says their mom had something to attend to, and doesn't give them a way to contact her. Instead of pitching the mother of all hissy fits and demanding answers, Audrey and Meg just go with it. They don't really like situation, but they don't fight it, and Meg even throws a party. I just didn't understand this angle, and felt like it was simply too easy.

However, I did enjoy Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft. It was magical, sweet and fun. I enjoyed watching Audrey develop and embrace her powers. The romance was just perfect to fit the tone of the story, and the ending was very dramatic. I do feel that younger teens would especially enjoy Audrey's story.

Full of sweet magic and a sweet leading character, Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is a story that will appeal to fans of teen witches.

Favorite Quote:

  "Just then the moon emerged from where it had been hiding behind a cloud and silvery light spilled onto the porch. I could see Julian's face much more clearly. The effect was peculiar, though. Half of his face, lit dimly by the living room lights spilling through the big bay windows, gleamed with color; the other half, now illuminated by moonlight, looked monochromatic. The result was a weird blending of old and new, like film reel that was half color, half black and white.  As our eyes locked, I felt wind rushing through me. Only his sincere brown eyes boring steadily into mine kept me from spinning off into the star-spattered sky."  (13%)

You can purchase Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 


Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's WoW selection is...

How My Summer Went Up in FlamesSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: 5/7/13
Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie just wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But with every mile marker that passes, Rosie discovers a new sense of self…and that sometimes the best revenge is moving on.

 Why I'm Waiting ~ Great cover. Fun story. And a ROAD TRIP!

Monday, October 29, 2012


Ask The PassengersSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 10/23/12
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 296
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.
As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.
In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

Insightful and inspiring, Ask the Passengers will challenge your thoughts on identity, boundaries, love, and acceptance.

High school senior Astrid Jones may be in love. With another girl. Is she gay? That's what her family, her friends, the town, her girlfriend think. But Astrid doesn't want to be defined. She wants an existence and freedom that doesn't exist within the labels that appease society. So Astrid refuses to answer the questions, refuses to be put in a box.

Ask the Passengers was such a quietly spectacular story. The author, through her character's observations on the people and ideas that define her town and her family, offered many insights into what society expects and believes about sexuality. Astrid's ongoing quest for knowledge, self-reflection, and truth offered a clever way of exploring, enlightening, and engaging that felt natural, not preachy.

Books like Ask the Passengers offer teens a chance to explore and find an identity among the characters, and for that reason, they are more important than we can ever know. But, I think these books can teach adults, particularly parents, as well. As a parent of young children, I have learned many lessons from the parents in these books. Sometimes the lesson is what to do for my kids; often times, as in the case of this book, it's what not to do. But I always take away the most important lesson: Listen. Be there. And let your child no that you love them and always have their back.

Ask the Passengers is such an important book for all to read. Whether you identify with the main character or not, the story teaches invaluable lesson on identity, kindness, and love. The world needs more of that.

Favorite Quote:

  "When I see the first plane, I make a deal with its passengers. I say: Look, this is a loan. I don't know if love is something I will run out of one day. I don't know if I should be giving it all to you guys or not. Today, I feel like maybe I should have kept some for myself for days when no one else love me. Not even my best friend.(pg. 214)

  "When I told you I didn't know if I was gay, I was telling you the truth. I just know I'm in love - with a girl. I had no idea of anything past that. It's very Socrates, you know? I'm not questioning my sexuality as much as I'm questioning the strict definitions and boxes of all sexualities and why we care so much about other people's intimate business. "  (pg. 256)

You can purchase Ask the Passengers at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do as following:

·Grab your current read
·Open to a random page
·Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
·Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.

Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.

Ask The PassengersSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 10/23/12

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.
As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.
In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.


My Teaser ~

  "I don't like how pot has taken my dad away from me, but I like how it's given him the balls to stick up for me like that. I send love from my bedroom. Dad, I love you for saying what you said at dinner. I know it was hard because Mom chopped off your balls and baked them in a testes casserole, but thank you for trying. It means a lot. (pg. 28)

This book was pretty incredible. You can find my full review of Ask the Passengers here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


What Happens NextSeries: Stand alone
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: 10/9/12
Format: Hardcover
Pages:  320
Source: Received from publisher for review.
How can you talk about something you can’t remember?

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still...), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect... or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.
Sometimes... we all come across a book that speaks to us, maybe a bit too loudly. A book that strikes a forgotten (or well-ignored) nerve.  What Happens Next has unnerved me. As a teenager, I had a lot in common with Sid Murphy. I know what it is like to be fourteen years old and have grown men hitting on you. To feel uncomfortable in your own body. And though I didn't experience what Sid goes through in this story, I have been almost assaulted (if mildly assaulted exists). And it sucks. So needless to say, I am sitting here with a lot of overwhelming emotions, and not quite sure what to do with them. So I'm doing my best to compartmentalize my personal issues, keep them separate from the review. But I really don't think that is entirely possible.

Honestly? Remaining detached and objective is so, so difficult when you read a book like What Happens Next. Colleen Clayton did a phenomenal job of making her Sid into a character that is so real, so utterly, heartbreakingly alive. Tall, well-developed, looks years older than she is:

"The summer I turned eleven, I was attacked by mutant hormones. They invaded my body and sent all the baby fat in my belly, limbs, and face screaming directly into my boobs, hips, and ass. I filled out so fast, I actually got stretch marks. The boys my own age either dove for cover or sat around thinking of funny tit names to call me. But I'd get all kinds of lusty looks from older guys- teachers, coaches, neighbors, old farts in grocery stores."

Sid has been defined by her striking features her whole life. She doesn't feel safe or comfortable in her own body. When she is sexually assaulted, with no memory of the event, Sid withdraws. She loses her best friends, her cheerleading, her voice. The only bright spot is Corey Livingston, the school stoner, who slowly becomes Sid's only true friend. Hoping to not attract attention to her body, Sid determines to take control and change it by running, starving, purging. But no matter how hard she tries, the truth won't stay away forever.

Now at this point, some people begin to wonder: Why doesn't Sid ask for help? Why doesn't she tell someone what happened to her? I came across a few reviews that stated those questions and it is so upsetting, and condescending, to me, when I see that frustration stated in a review. The answer is staggeringly simple: Sid is a sixteen year old girl who got drugged and raped. She is scared. Scared of the questions, the accusations, the implications. She is scared of the pain in her mother's eyes, the pity on the faces of her friends, the scorn of those who think she was asking for it. Any of us, as adults, can sit back and pontificate on what the proper course of action would have been; it makes us feel wise, right? But when you are a sixteen year old girl and your body has been used as some asshole's blow-up doll, you're hours away from home, and you can't even give a proper explanation...well, excuse me, but that may call for some understanding, not judgment. It honestly terrifies and saddens me to think that someone may treat a person in their life the same way they treat the characters in books.

Maybe I've brought to much of my own thoughts to this review and I'm okay with that. Each person has their own life experiences that impact their reading experience. These are mine.

What Happens Next is a book that should be handed out to every single teenager everywhere. Boys can learn what it is like to be a girl, objectified every day by careless comments. They can also learn to be a "Corey", seriously one of the best book boys ever. Every girl should read through Sid's experience and learn that it is okay to be scared, but it is also okay to tell. They can learn empathy for other girls, and most importantly: No matter what or how it happenes, being violated is never, ever your fault.

What Happens Next is a life-changing book. The emotional impact was so honest, so overwhelming, that I almost couldn't bear it, at times. It is a book that can prompt discussion, teach, open doors. I am so completely grateful that I had the opportunity to read it. I appreciate Poppy who brought it to the readers. I thank, from the very bottom of my heart, author Colleen Clayton for writing such a remarkable story of a girl who can change lives.

Favorite Quote:

"I spin around and it makes me dizzy and I feel like I'm high. My face is about to break in half from smiling. Then I look over at Corey, who is watching me with a tenderness that makes me want to crawl inside his heart, pitch a tent, and set up camp forever." 

You can purchase What Happens Next at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Mortal Defiance (Dark Betrayal Trilogy, #2)Series: Dark Betrayal Trilogy #2
Genre: Paranormal YA
Publisher: Nichole Chase
Publication Date: 12/11
Format: ebook (Kindle)
Pages: 326
Source: Received from author for review.

One short week turned Ree McKenna’s life upside down. Not only does she have the weight of the world on her shoulders, but she still has to juggle homework, a job, and a curfew. While Ree tries to find her footing amidst the chaos, the Dark Ones and their champion are busy hunting down any humans that have a touch of the gods running through their veins. Allies have ffturned into foes, and enemies have become stronger.

The world is growing darker, but the passion between Ree and two irresistible guys blazes hotter. Romantic ties from a past life will threaten to break Ree away from the love of her life and will cloud her judgment. In order to follow her heart, Ree will break rules put in place by the gods, risking her life and the lives of her friends in an act of Mortal Defiance.

Mortal Defiance is the very strong follow-up to Nichole Chase's Mortal Obligation. I'm finding it very difficult to review this book without giving spoilers for it and for Mortal Obligation, so I'm going to be vague, but hopefully helpful, here.

Mortal Defiance picks up very shortly after the shocking end to book one. Ree, her friends and family are dealing with the consequences of the revelations and loss. Their enemies won't wait, though, so they must all get it together quickly, and battle for their lives. They must also contend with their constantly evolving powers, and dynamic.

I really like how Chase has taken several different paranormal elements: Vampires, Gods, Demi-Gods, and created her own spin on each element. Her world-building is very detailed, but not confusing, and I appreciate her thoroughness.

And as much as I enjoy the world of the Dark Betrayal series, I must admit, I am a romantic. I loved how the relationship between Ree and Paden has developed. Their attraction to one another felt authentic, not forced, and had just the right amount of steam. I find it very annoying in stories, and unrealistic, when the main character spends more time swooning that fighting when the world is falling down around her. Ree is falling in love, but that comes second to staying alive. Smart girl. I also like the (sort of) love triangle with Roland/Ree/Padon. Both boys seem to be good choices for Ree, and that makes for an excellent dilemma.

Mortal Defiance took everything I enjoyed about Mortal Obligation: the friendships, romance, danger, and action, and built upon that strong foundation. I'm really excited to see how it all goes down in book three, Immortal Grave.

Favorite Quote:

"He looked at her, and she noticed how much more relaxed he seemed just being near her. Her body and mind ached with the need to comfort him. Stepping into him, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pressed her head against his chest. A deep, pent-up sigh escaped him, and one arm slid around her waist while the other reached up to stroke her hair. Hours could have passed and Ree wouldn't have noticed. The only thing that mattered was the solace they offered each other."  (4%)

"Moving close to her, he leaned down so his lips grazed her ear. 'You're the only girl that I want to be with. The only girl that I look forward to seeing walk into a room. When I'm not with you, all I can think about is getting back to you. When you touch me, it's like fire running through my veins.' Gently turning her so she was facing him, he ran a thumb over her bottom lip, and she shivered. 'No one holds a candle to you.' " (47%)

You can purchase Mortal Defiance at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Book Depository

The Dark Betrayal Series
(click on cover to find my review of Mortal Obligation)

Mortal Obligation (Dark Betrayal Trilogy, #1)Mortal Defiance (Dark Betrayal Trilogy, #2)Immortal Grave (Dark Betrayal Trilogy #3)

Nichole ChaseNichole Chase is a daydreamer. No, really, just ask any of the math teachers that had the misfortune of seeing her name appear on their class schedule. For years she has had story lines and characters begging for attention, but she resolutely pushed them aside to focus on more normal (read, boring) jobs. Well, no longer! She is currently heeding the voices in her head and frantically writing their stories. Nichole resides in South Georgia with her husband, energetic toddler, three dogs, and two cats. When not devouring novels by the dozens, you may find her writing, painting, crafting, or chasing her daughter around the house while making monster noises.

You can connect with Nichole at:
her website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook


Saturday, October 27, 2012


THE WEEKLY REWIND is a weekly post in which I recap the bookish awesomeness from the past week, and post a book haul. Warning: I tend to ramble in my vlogs. Sometimes I get excited about things and I flail. Enjoy.

Book Haul

Avert your eyes, kids. There be some steamy covers this week.

 For Review:
Hot Ticket (Sinners on Tour, #4)Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers, #2)StrandedCharadeA Tangle of Knots

The Hook-Up Doctor's Guide (What a Boy Wants #0)Marked (Eternal Guardians, #1)

Break Out (Blood Hunter, #1)

Awesome People
Favorite Search Terms That Led to the Blog
  • "babes" - Now, why do I get the feeling these folks weren't looking for book reviews?
  • "dairy of a one night stand"- Hmmm... I wouldn't think too much of this odd search, except that there were SEVEN searches that included dairy instead of diary. Here's my review.
  • "what is the pseudonym for Cora Carmack" - ?????
  • "darkhouse experiment in terror" - The first book in a great series. I even have my non-reader hubby reading it. Here's my review.
This Week's Posts
Memes: Teaser Tuesday (Just For Now); Waiting on Wednesday (The Reese Malcolm List)

Special Features: New Release- Confessions of an Alli Cat; Fragile Blog Tour (excerpt)

Giveaways:  Slammed & Point of Retreat Movie Celebration (Signed Copies/Intl); Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Fang Girl/US Only); Drain You Blog Hop Giveaway (Huge Prize Pack); Losing It Blog Tour (ebooks/Intl); Fragile Blog Tour (Signed Copies)

Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment, and I'll come check out your blog. Have a great week!

Friday, October 26, 2012


Summer is over, but just because the temperature is dropping, doesn't mean we have to stop reading scorching hot books! Frisky Fall Saturdays is our new weekly post created by The Autumn Review, The Bookish Babe, Hackaroo's Reviews, and Sim-Sational-Books. Feel free to join in. (let us know so we can add a link to your post) As those leaves start piling up in the yard, ignore them and pick up a sexy book!

**The books featured on FRISKY FALL SATURDAYS are for adults. If you are under 18 years of age, or do not like smexy books, please stop here. **

Hot and HauntedSeries: Stand alone anthology
Genre: Erotica
Publisher: Avon Red
Publication Date: 10/23/12
Format: eARC
Pages: 100
Source: Received from publisher, via Edelweiss

True Halloween pleasures don't come from sweets . . .

Indulge yourself with some tasty tricks and treats from three popular erotica authors as they serve up tales of chilling, thrilling passion.

Megan Hart's Nothing Else Matters

After surviving the zombie apocalypse, Lira wants nothing more than the sense of life that only lust can bring. Suddenly torn between two irresistible lovers, Lira must choose: the one who brings her carnal fantasies to life? Or the one who sets her ablaze again and again?

Lauren Hawkeye's Pick Me Up

Sure, hitchhiking is dangerous, but Holly just had to get away. Now soaking wet and stuck in a downpour with her roadside savior, she's ready for a little window-steaming and some role-play. It's all fun and games until Holly realizes she's met her match . . .

Saranna DeWylde's Little Red's Big Bad

Hunting werewolves and being snowbound in a remote cabin with a sexy FBI agent are all in a day's work for U.S. Marshal Miranda Garrick. But when business mixes with pleasure, can she stay in control? Or will she be tempted by unrestrained passion . . . and tantalizing danger?
Three sexy, creepy stories to steam you up!

Nothing Else Matters, by Megan Hart, is the story of Lira, a survivor of the apocalypse. The world has gone to hell and the only way Lira knows to escape the terror is through sex. Anthony, a fellow survivor, is the man she turns to when she needs to turn her brain off and her body on. The author did a fantastic job of writing very steamy and easy-to-visualize scenes. This story definitely makes me want to read more from Hart.

Pick Me Up, by Lauren Hawkeye, was the story I was most excited to read. I am a huge fan of her book, My Wicked Gladiators, so my hopes were high. I did like this, but I spent the first chapter or so completely confused as to what was going on. Regardless of what the situation was, the sex was great, as I've come to expect from the author. Once the big shocker was dropped, the twist that made Pick Me Up so creepy, I was hooked. To read a story with alternating dread and being turned on was an interesting experience.

Little Red's Big Bad was such a mind trip. It started out like a freaking scene from The Silence of the Lambs and I did NOT think I was going to enjoy it at all. But then the focus switched to Miranda and Aden, two Federal Agents trying to capture a serial killer. The scenes between these two were fantastic. Miranda was basically panting after Aden from the moment they meet, not even able to keep her hands off herself while thinking of him. OH, and I learned about an iPhone app that I never even dreamed existed! As you might have guessed, there were elements to Little Red Riding Hood, and I loved it! So even though Little Red's Big Bad started out iffy for me, the awesome sexual encounters and the surprise ending made me love it.

Hot and Haunted is three short, sexy stories that will leave you surprised and breathless.

Favorite Quote:

"So she gave herself up to it and let him do what she wanted. Slow, slow, and sweet. It went on forever, and above her, the stars seemed to move across the sky. She closed her eyes, ignoring the stars to focus instead on the tension curling and twisting inside her."  -Nothing Else Matters  (eARC, 24%)

You can purchase Hot and Haunted at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble   - The ebook is only $0.99/Print is $3.99

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Fragile Blog Tour. I had the pleasure of reading Fragile last Spring (my review), and was truly touched by the sweet love story of Hardy and Miracle. The tour is being hosted by AToMR Book Tours; you can find the complete tour schedule here. My stop includes an excerpt from Fragile and the tour giveaway.

FragileGenre: Contemporary Young Adult
Publisher: M. Leighton Books
Publication Date: 4/12

Her heart, as delicate as glass. His love, as strong as steel. Can either survive life and death?

Hardy Bradford is an eighteen year old football phenomenon who has the girl, the school, the town and the future in the palm of his hand. His life is all mapped out for him, right down to who he’ll marry and how he’ll become a professional football player. It doesn't seem to matter that Hardy would’ve chosen a much different life if it was up to him. But it's not. At least not until his Miracle comes along.

The first time Hardy laid eyes on Miracle St. James, he didn’t know who she was, but he knew she was something different and that he’d never get her out of his head. And he didn’t. Now, months later, Hardy’s world is turned upside down when Miracle shows up in his class, stealing his heart and forever changing the course of his life.

Miracle’s sick. Very sick. And Hardy might be losing the only thing in his life that has ever mattered. How much is too much to sacrifice for the one you love? For just a little more time? For just one more chance? Can Hardy be the hero Miracle needs? Or is it Hardy that needs saving?
(a text conversation between Miracle and Hardy)
I’m sorry about the other day in the woods. I’ve missed you at school.

After agonizing about it for a while, Hardy finally decided to let it go, reminding himself what’s done is done. He couldn’t undo it and texting more in an attempt at damage control would likely only make things worse. So, putting his phone aside, Hardy turned onto his side and tried to put it­—and Miracle—out of his mind.

When he heard the ding of an incoming message, he nearly rolled out of bed scrambling to grab his phone.

My fault. Not yours. And I can’t explain why, but I miss you, too.

Hardy’s heart raced. Suddenly, he was no longer the least bit tired; he was elated.

Sitting up in bed, Hardy cautioned himself not to read too much into the short message. Two questions chased each other through his brain: what did the message mean and what did he want it to mean.

He’d been so wrapped up in just experiencing Miracle, in being in awe of her that he hadn’t really taken the time to think about what he wanted from her. But he needed to. Miracle had been through so much. A girl like that deserved his thoughtfulness rather than his impulsiveness, his selfishness.

As he sat in the dark thinking about her—the way she made him feel, the way her eyes sparkled with mischief, the way she viewed the world, her strength, her kindness—he realized that all he wanted from her was time. Time with her. Time in her presence. All the other things he thought about were things he’d like to do for her. Well, with the exception of the long list of things he wanted to do to her.

Hardy felt himself harden just thinking about sex with Miracle, so he pushed the thoughts aside. Miracle deserved more than just his lust, too. And she would get it. What she probably didn’t realize was that she already had it. She just had to accept it. He was already hers for the taking.

Impulsively, Hardy typed a response.

Can I see you?

He didn’t care that his father would freak if he found out. He didn’t care that it was over an hour’s drive each way. He didn’t care that it was the middle of the night. He didn’t care that he was technically at the lake house with someone else. His heart was already back in Middleton. With Miracle. The rest was just logistics.

He held his breath as he awaited a response. The screen went black in its silence. He hoped she didn’t cuss him out for his audacity, although he couldn’t imagine Miracle doing any such thing.

When finally she responded, Hardy’s pulse thrummed with anxiety. And anticipation.


Hardy smiled. At least it wasn’t a no.

No, in about an hour.

Viewing her answer as a good sign, Hardy got up and hurriedly pulled on jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. They’d been having unseasonably cool weather, where the temperature would drop down into the fifties at night. He was sure if she agreed, he’d have to see her outdoors.

He was pushing his feet into tennis shoes when his phone sounded again. He held his breath as he picked it up to read the display.

Park at the dead end and text me when you get here. I’ll come out.

Hardy pumped his fist in the air then felt ridiculous for being so inordinately pleased. He wanted to tell himself that Miracle was just a girl, but he knew that wasn’t the case. Miracle wasn’t just a girl. She was…something special.

He paused only long enough to text her on my way before sneaking quietly out his bedroom door to peek down the hall. Thankfully, the house was quiet. It appeared everyone had gone to bed.

Tour Giveaway

M. LeightonI was born and raised in the United States, and I’ve lived in several of the fabulous fifty. Though I currently live in the deep South, I spent much of my childhood up North and hope to return there one day. A few other things about me: I believe that sometimes you have to look really, REALLY hard to find the good in people, but it's there. I believe that I'm shrinking (I swear five years ago I was two inches taller). I believe my husband is quite possibly one of the most amazing men in the entire world (I can't be sure because I haven't met all of them). I believe coffee and chocolate, when combined, could be the basis for world peace. I believe that Jesus rocks and communism doesn’t. I believe that white makes me look fat and black collects lint. I believe summer's too hot, winter's too cold and fall was made for football. I like dogs better than cats and the first movie in a trilogy is invariably the best. But most of all, I believe that love conquers all.

Connect with author M. Leighton at:
her website | Twitter | GoodReads page | Facebook


Winter White (Belles, #2)Series: Belles #2
Genre: Contemporary YA
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: 10/9/12
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Source: Received from publisher.

Isabelle Scott and Mirabelle Monroe are still reeling from the revelation that they share more than just the roof over their heads. The media has pounced on their story and the girls are caught up in a flurry of talk-show appearances and newspaper interviews. They’ve put on a happy public face, but someone is leaking their true feelings to the press, and while it seems like the world is watching their every move, at least they have each other. But with cotillion season right around the corner, Izzie and Mira have barely had time to process their newfound sisterhood. Mira has dreamed of making her debut in a gorgeous white gown forever-now, if only she could find an escort. Izzie, meanwhile, is still struggling to find her place in Emerald Cove and it’s seeming ever more impossible with EC mean-girls, young and old, doing their best to keep her down. As cotillion preparations heat up, though, there are dance steps to learn, manners to perfect... and secret initiations to complete? As if sophomore year wasn’t hard enough! It’s time for the gowns to go on and the gloves to come off.
Why I Read Winter White: I was a huge fan of Belles. That made Winter White one of my most-anticipated books of the Fall. I love this series. With Belles, author Jen Calonita created a story with charming and infuriating characters, in a society that's perfect at first glance, and a family in which drama is an everyday occurrence. Winter White continues the story of the Belles, Mirabelle and Isabelle, and their struggle to come to terms with their new lives.

I adore Izzie and Mira. The two girls are opposite in so many ways, but thankfully, complement one another. The only worry that I had when starting this story was that Mira would be resentful of Izzie coming into the family, or that Izzie would take her hostility towards her father and Emerald Cove out on Mira. That the two girls were able to not only understand, but also embrace, their differences made Winter White so enjoyable.

That's not to say that Izzie and Mira have it easy, not by a long shot. Savannah Ingram is still furious with Izzie for being with Brayden, and she's not giving up on winning him back. Brayden's mom isn't too thrilled, either, and will not make things easy for the two. Then there's Izzie resentment of her father's secret, it's a sore spot for both her and Mira. I was surprised by my feelings for Mira in Winter White. Even though she didn't make things easy for Izzie when she first came to town, Mira really stepped up to embrace her. That choice cost her her friends, she no longer has a boyfriend, and she feels lost. Like an outsider in her own family. Kellen is still there beside her though, in the art studio and as a friend. Now if only she can get the courage to tell him she's into him!

Not only do Mira and Izzie have to deal with their personal drama, but also the fact that someone is gunning to bring down their dad's Senatorial run. Someone who is closer to the inside than they can even imagine. Oh, and this is all happening during the Cotillion preparation, the ceremony that will announce Mira and Izzie to Emerald Cove society.

Winter White has it all: Drama, Heart, Young Love, Heartbreak, and Deceit. There is nothing scarier, or more awesome, than an Angry Belle.

Favorite Quote:

  "He looked at her carefully between sips of cocoa. He had a small white line on his upper lip from the whipped cream, but she didn't tell him. He looked cute like that. 'I like hanging out with you, too.'
  And that's when Mira felt it. Hope. The hope that maybe, just maybe, Kellen liked her back."  (pg.151)

  "Izzie wished she had the nerve to tell him to stop talking, but part of her wanted to hear what he had to say. She didn't know her mom shared the same need to give back that she did. There was no one left to tell her what her mom was like. Sometimes she even craved hearing her mom's name spoken out loud so it wouldn't disappear."  (pg.161)

  " 'I'll go with you,' Brayden told her. He pulled his wallet out for fare.
   Izzie laughed. 'You don't even know where I'm going!'
  'So?' Brayden took her bag. 'All I need to know is I'm going with you.'" (pg.167)

You can purchase Winter White at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

The Belles Series
(click on cover to read my review)
Belles (Belles, #1)Winter White (Belles, #2)

Recent Post