Grin and Beard It Release Blitz

Grin&BeardIt_Blitz

Grin and Beard It is now LIVE!

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Synopsis:

Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heartthrobs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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About the Author
Penny Reid is the USA Today Best Selling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja.
 

Website: http://pennyreid.ninja/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5997227.Penny_Reid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennyReidWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReidRomance

Penny Reid GABI GIVEAWAY
Giveaway Link:

Painted Faces

Painted Faces by LH Cosway

5 odd and unconventional romance stars!

“We all paint on a face to show the world. For some of us, that’s quite literal.”

Wow. Just…. WOW. I have never read another book quite like this one before. It completely blew me away!!! I mean, I never would have thought “straight drag queen” and “romance” would fit in the same category, but I was wrong!!!

Painted Faces is about Freda, a twenty something Irish woman who works odd jobs and has some terrible ex boyfriends. This story begins when Fred has a new neighbor move in and he immediately expresses interest in her. Nicholas is attractive and suave, and despite his advances Fred almost has him pegged as gay. But then she see’s his show and realizes he’s a drag queen and everything begins to make sense.

Nicholas offers Fred a job working as his assistant and she accepts. As time goes by the attraction between the two of the builds, but Fred is wary of his advances. Nicholas has slept his way across Europe and she isn’t sure if he’s serious about her, or just looking to shag her.

“I want to ruin you Freda, in the best way possible.”

I honestly didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I had read some of Cosway’s books before, but a friend had told me to read some of her earlier work as it was a little bit different (I then found out this friend hadn’t read this book yet lol). I’m so glad I read this book, and I kind of can’t believe I haven’t read it before. Why has no one recommended me this book???? Book friends, you are slacking!!! jkjk.

I loved both characters so much. Fred was an amazing heroine, she had insecurities yet she stood up for herself. She was understanding and accepting of ideas new to her. Was she perfect? No. But that’s what I liked most about her. Nicholas, oh he’s something else. He changed what I thought about masculinity. In a literary world of alpha males and dominance, here came a different kind of romantic hero and his uniqueness shone through the pages.

“I might not have a boyfriend, but I have cupcakes, and those tasty bastards haven’t let me down yet.”

This was such the perfect blend of romance and angst for me. I couldn’t put the book down, I was reading well into the early hours of the morning when I should have been sleeping. Believe me this book was worth not being able to adult properly the next day. I was so enraptured by this unique and special story, I didn’t want it to end.

So as you can tell, I bloody loved this book. I find myself wanting to go back and reread it even as I type just to be near Nicholas and Freda again. I can honestly say this is my favorite Cosway book to date and I probably will be binge-reading the rest of her books sometime real soon.

“It feels like nobody in the history of the world has loved another person as much as I love you. I love you so much it hurts. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me burn.”

The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

3 stars

This book………… it had the right idea, but the execution just wasn’t quite right. JLA is one of my all time favorite authors, many of you know that because I’ve been screaming about her books since I discovered them. I enjoyed this book, and I love the concept of it. I just didn’t like the execution of it.

This is the story of Mallory, a foster kid who doesn’t speak much because of PTSD and conditioning from her previous foster home. Four years later and a nice couple have taken her in and homeschooled her, but now she’s going to fulfill her senior year at a public school. On the first day of school she runs into the boy she never thought she would see again, her protector in her old foster home. They are happy to see each other, but their time in that horrible house has left it’s mark.

I think Mallory’s story was an important one to tell, social anxiety stemming from her issues is a tough subject. I feel teens will be able to relate to her as a character and easily empathize with her. It’s important for teens to have books they can relate to so they don’t feel alone, and this is a perfect one to hand to a teen who has issues with public speaking/ptsd. What I didn’t love was this book was looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg. Like, the message could have been executed in 350 pages instead of 470. Because for me, this book dragged big time. I never had that excitement to pick it back up again once I put it down.

I think I am one of the few with this opinion, so please pick it up and try it for yourself. JLA is still one of my favorite authors and I will gladly read anything she publishes in the future, this just wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. And oh! This book has a pretty cover. That’s another bonus 🙂

Unbreak My Heart

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

4.5 stars!!!

“Love can overlook a lot of things.”

If I could sum up this book in one gif, it would be this one:

Good gawd, this book and all of the emotions and feels. It ripped me apart inside and tore out my guts. I picked up this book because a fellow reviewer/blogger said ANGST and I was sold. Honestly I am that much of an angst whore and I have no shame.

Ten years ago Kate and Shane were friends, until Shane met Kate’s friend Rachel, fell in love and married her. Rachel and Kate were best friends at this point, yet over the years Shane and Kate grew apart. Kate was there for Rachel when Shane was deployed and essentially another parent to Rachel and Shane’s four kids.

But when Rachel dies, everything changes. Having been around their entire lives, Kate steps in to help raise the kids with Shane. About a year after her death, Shane and Kate take comfort in each other, an action that leads to a lot of awkwardness and regret.

“I’d loved him from afar for most of my adult life, and while I didn’t see that changing anytime soon, I also didn’t expect that he’d ever return those feelings.”

This book broke me. For those of you who love angst like me, this book is an all you can eat buffet of it. I can honestly say if you don’t care for angst, this isn’t the book for you. I loved this book, I loved Kate, I loved the kids. Shane…… well he’s a hard man to love. He’s not a sweet hero, in fact he can be a real big dick. But, he grew on me.

There was this one part, and those who have read the book will understand, that freakin killed me to read. I felt the hero wouldn’t be redeemable after reading this part of the book but I was wrong, because he did. I also feel Kate responded to his actions exactly how I would, and in fact she was more understanding than most because she truly loved this man. Even though he wasn’t perfect, even though he wasn’t always the nicest, she saw him for who he was and she every part of him.

I think this is a special story and was the perfect book to read for my mood. I cannot believe I’ve never read anything by this author until now and I’ll have to read more of her stuff very soon. Fans of author Natasha Anders will love this book.

“I don’t know what I’m doing Kate, but I know that I want you.”

ARC provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Charged

Charged by Jay Crownover

Review:

4 stars!

“It’s better to have nothing with the right person than to have everything with the wrong person, isn’t it?”

Charged is the story of Avett and Quaid, a couple no one expected but one that was explosive. Avett is a pink haired rebellious daughter of Brite, the man Rome bought his bar from in the previous series. Avett has had her low moments but while she was never the good child she never ended up behind bars. Until now that is when her ex-boyfriend drags her into a situation that gets way out of hand. Quaid is the attractive and ruthless lawyer hired to represent Avett.

On the outside Quaid and Avett don’t make any sense; she has a rocker chick look, and he’s the man in the expensive suits. Avett doesn’t want to depend on the lawyer, but as time goes by she begins to realize she needs to accept help in her life and not just from Quaid. Together they embark on a journey of self-realization and discover the person they want to be in their own lives. But that doesn’t necessarily mean reality won’t set it.

“Nothing is guaranteed, especially love, but only a coward doesn’t roll the dice and take a chance on it when it’s right there in front of them.”

First off I gotta say Jay Crownover writes some of the best introductions in her books. Almost every time I read one of her intros I either tear up a bit or am inspired. Sometimes both! Second, I love the way Jay writes her characters. This is the twelfth book I’ve read by her (and I’ve been hooked to her books since Rule came out) and I can honestly say none of her characters ever feel repetitive or the same. On top of that I feel Jay writes some of the best female characters out there, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses and showing how those things combined can create a beautiful person. Many of these women in her books I wish were my friends.

This book comes across as an opposites attract story, but I feel it was more than that. This book was more about how we all have so much in common despite what we appear to be to other people on the outside. Avett’s personal journey was one that was tough to go through because for every failure, she brought herself down more than anyone else could. It was a long journey to the point where she felt she deserved to be forgiven for her past wrongs, but it’s one worth reading.

“The fact that when you were a bad person, bad things happened to you and I knew I deserved them all. Every lesson I learned, I held close and let prick at me with sharp barbs over and over again.”

Avett and Quaid had explosive chemistry and the two of them just worked. I normally am not a huge fan of large age gaps but the nine to ten years between them worked fairly well. Avett at this point was done with her crazy years and not acting immaturely in the timeline in the book. Quaid had reached a point in his life and career where he knew what was worth fighting for. He knew when to appreciate a laid back woman and he didn’t place a bunch of expectations on Avett, her just supported her.

The only thing that I didn’t love in this book was there was a bit of instalove and very little angst. I was kind of hoping for more verbal dialogue between the characters but there seemed to be a lot of internal dialogue from both characters instead. And a lot of the time the characters were a bit too insightful than real people would be, saying all the right things at exactly the right time. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book at all.

I think many people would enjoy this book and would enjoy Avett and Quaid. While this book can be read as a standalone I recommend reading the Marked Men series first as well as the two other books in this series as it enhances the experience for the reader.

“I’m glad you finally found you.”

ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

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Excerpt:

Avett

“This is a bad idea.” I knew it. I could feel it deep in my bones and the allure of letting go, of doing what I always did, and falling headfirst into disaster, was pulling at me hard. But I was supposed to be changing. I was supposed to actually be sorry, not just saying it and turning around into the next catastrophe. I knew kissing Quaid Jackson was going to lead to all kinds of sorry and sorrow. I knew it as much as I knew I didn’t care and that I was going to kiss him and chase this bad idea until it crashed and burned, like they always did.

“You made a lot of them lately. What’s one more?”

He was right. What was one more? Especially when it looked like him, when it smelled sleepy and expensive like he did, when it felt hot and hard pressed up against me. What was one more awful choice when it came with lips that were firm and demanding as they landed against mine? What was one more when it was attached to rough hands that brushed along my exposed rib cage and paused under the achy swell of my breast? What was one more bad decision on top of all the other ones that had led this particular mammoth-sized bad decision to my door?

I had plenty of time, tomorrow, to do the right thing, but now I was going to enjoy the hell out of the wrong thing as he pressed his mouth more insistently into mine, taking the choice of which came first—the kiss or the story—out of my hands. Maybe that was why I was so drawn to him, so attracted to everything there was about him. He didn’t give me the room or the chance to make any kind of choice, good or bad. He decided and I followed his lead towards victory or towards ruin…and this kiss felt like it had everything in it to ruin both of us.

It was the first time in my life that a bad idea felt like the best idea I had ever had.

 

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About CHARGED:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation…or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.

As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

BUY LINKS:

 Amazon ** iBooks ** Barnes & Noble ** Kobo

And don’t miss the first titles in The Saints of Denver Series!

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About Jay Crownover:

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Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denver series. 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. 

Links:

Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter

CHARGED Goodreads ** Jay Crownover Goodreads

The Problem with Forever Release Blitz!

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The Problem with Forever Release Blitz!

 

EXCERPT:

The expression on her face said he gave great full frontal, and when he laughed, her pink lips split into a wide smile. Her smile transformed her from pretty to beautiful, but my attention swung away from her as tiny hairs rose all over my body. That laugh…it was deep, rich and somehow familiar. A shiver crept over my shoulders. That laugh…

He was walking backward, and I was rather amazed that he didn’t trip over anything, actually somewhat envious of that fact. And then I realized he was heading toward the last half circle. Toward me. I glanced around. There were only a few seats open, two on my left. The girl was following him. Not just following him. Touching him.

Touching him like she’d done it a lot.

Her slim arm was extended, her hand planted in the center of his stomach, just below his chest. She bit down on her lower lip as her hand drifted farther south. Golden bangles dangling from her wrist got awful close to the worn leather belt. My cheeks heated as the boy stepped out of her reach. There was something playful about his movements, as if this dance was a daily routine for them both.

He turned at the end of the desks, stepping behind the occupied chair, and my gaze tracked up narrow hips, over the stomach the girl had touched, up and up, and then I saw his face.

I stopped breathing.

My brain couldn’t perceive what I was seeing. It did not compute. I stared up at him, really saw him, saw a face that was familiar yet new to me, more mature than I remembered but still achingly beautiful. I knew him. Oh my God, I would know him anywhere, even if it had been four years and the last time I’d seen him, that last night that had been so horrible, had changed my life forever.

It was too surreal.

Now the reason why he’d popped in my head this morning made sense, because I’d seen him, but hadn’t realized it was him.

I couldn’t move, couldn’t get enough air into my lungs and couldn’t believe this was happening. My hands slipped off the desk, falling limply into my lap as he dipped into the seat next to me. His gaze was on the girl who took the seat next to him, and his profile, the strong jaw that had only been hinted at the last time I’d seen him, tilted as his eyes moved over the front of the room, across the wall-length chalkboard. He looked like he had back then, but bigger and with everything more…more defined. From the eyebrows darker than the mix of brown and black hair and thick lashes to the broad cheekbones and the slight scruff covering the curve of his jaw.

Goodness, he’d grown up in the way I’d thought he would when I was twelve and started to really look at him, to see him as a boy.

I couldn’t believe he was here. My heart was trying to claw itself out of my chest as lips—lips fuller that I remembered—tilted up, and a knot formed in my belly as the dimple formed in his right cheek. The only dimple he had. No matching set. Just one. My mind raced back through the years, and I could only think of a handful of times I’d seen him relaxed. Leaning back in the chair that seemed too small for him, he slowly turned his head toward me. Eyes that were brown with tiny flecks of gold met mine.

Eyes I’d never forgotten.

The easy, almost lazy smile I’d never seen on his face before froze. His lips parted and a paleness seeped under his tawny skin. Those eyes widened, the gold flecks seeming to expand. He recognized me; I had changed a lot since then, but still, recognition dawned in his features. He was moving again, leaning forward on his seat toward me. Four words roared out of the past and echoed in my head.

Don’t make a sound.

“Mouse?” he breathed.

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Grab your copy of THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER Here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1WMX5IM

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1SahjLo

iBooks: http://apple.co/1YcdPIf

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Tr8JDD

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1q32q1D

 

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THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting new story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

 

For some people, silence is a weapon.

 

For Mallory “Mouse” Dodge, it’s a shield.

 

Growing up, she learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime.

 

Now, after years of homeschooling with loving adoptive parents, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at public high school. But of all the terrifying and exhilarating scenarios she’s imagined, there’s one she never dreamed of—that she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet the deeper their bond grows, the more it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants, and the truths that need to be heard.

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

Praise for THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER:

 

“The intensity between Mouse and Rider is palpably sizzling… romance aficionados [will] lose themselves in Mouse and Rider’s smoldering glances and steamy kisses.” –Kirkus

 

“Armentrout’s effort to gradually coax her protagonist from her shell via a supportive, loving community succeeds, and readers looking for an inspirational comeback story will find Mallory’s to be satisfying and hopeful” –Publishers Weekly

 

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

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#1 New York Times and #1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV. Her young adult romantic suspense novel DON’T LOOK BACK was a 2014 nominated Best in Young Adult Fiction by YALSA.

She also writes Adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Links:

Website: http://jenniferlarmentrout.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jlarmentrout

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferLArmentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4476934.Jennifer_L_Armentrout

THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26721568-the-problem-with-forever

Smut

Smut by Karina Halle

4 stars

“She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.”

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Blake and Amanda are the least likely to be paired for a writing assignment in class. So when the professor does in fact put them together to write a final project, the two are not thrilled with the prospect. Blake is a hot playboy getting his business degree, and Amanda wants to be a serious writer when she graduates from college. The two have no choice but to work together to write a great novella in order to pass the class.

Despite tensions at the beginning, the two end up forming a nice friendship and find they write well and enjoy spending time together. When the semester is over, Blake comes up with an idea that involves spending more time together, and could possibly help their careers.

“It’s not new to want to keep shagging a girl-if the sex is good, how can you not? But when she is all you think about, every moment of every day, well then buddy, you have a problem.”

So first things first, this book was HOT. Dear lord, that library scene? #lifegoals. I really enjoyed this book from Ms. Halle, she’s always been witty and funny in her past novels, so I had no doubts whatsoever that she could pull off a romantic comedy. There were many moments where I laughed out loud while reading and I had a giant smile on my face the rest of the time.

Blake and Amanda are a couple I loved to read about, their banter and their romance. I also loved Amanda’s roommate Ana! Hilarious side character, would love to see more of her and wish she would pop into other Halle novels (a girl can dream). I also enjoyed all of the nerd talk and references.

I think this book came at the perfect time, just before summer. I could see many readers enjoying this book on vacation or lounging outside in the sun.

“Anywhere you want to go, my peach. But we’re going together.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

SMUT by Karina Halle – Release Day Blitz

SMUT by Karina Halle – Release Day Blitz!!

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What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also might find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership together using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

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iTunes: http://bit.ly/Smut-KH-iBooks
Nook: http://bit.ly/Smut-KH-Nook
Kobo: http://bit.ly/Smut-KH-KOBO

 

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About Karina Halle:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetalBlonde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle?from_search=true

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://www.amazon.com/Karina-Halle/e/B0050KE63C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1407546895&sr=8-2-ent

EXCERPT

She holds my gaze for a moment and something passes over her. Regret, maybe. Then she nods. “Sit down. Let’s work.”

And so we do. And for the first time in a long time, it’s strained. I’m about to suggest maybe we need the Estonian vodka anyway when she lets out an exasperated sigh over something she’s reading.

It happens to be something I wrote.

“What?” I ask, wondering what I did wrong.

She gives me the are you kidding me? look. “Okay, I was ignoring it earlier but I think you need to get a grip on some of this shit. This simply does not happen.”

“Explain, please.”

“I just think it’s unrealistic for there to be so much talking, let alone the fact that the first time they do it it’s in a public place.”

“Too much talking?”

“Yeah.” she scans over the document. “You know, give me your cock, oh you feel so good, harder, harder, you’re so big, fuck me harder big boy.”

“Have you even had good sex?” I ask incredulously.

She flinches. “Of course I have. And it’s none of your business.”

“We’re writing about sex. It’s completely my business. I’m not letting you interject your edits based on your personal experiences about sex because believe me, if the sex is good, you’re moaning my name.”

She raises her chin. “Maybe all those girls were faking it.”

Oh, brilliant.

“Excuse me?” I say, hands pressed against the table, nearly getting out of my chair. “You have no idea. I pride myself in giving a girl as many bloody orgasms as she can handle.”

“Bloody orgasms don’t sound like fun,” she jokes softly.

“They can be if you’re into knife play,” I tell her, even though that’s not exactly what I meant. Still, she scrunches up her nose. “Don’t knock it until you try it, but that’s neither here nor there. When you were with Alan, he must have made you come at least a few times.”

If he didn’t, I feel like finding the guy and showing him a thing or two for wasting four years of her life.

“Yeah,” she says flatly.

“And in the middle of that orgasm, didn’t you want to yell a few things?”

“Sometimes.”

“And why didn’t you?”

She looks at her nails as if they’re suddenly fascinating. “It didn’t seem right. It was…too intimate. I would have felt dumb. He didn’t like any of that stuff.”

The plot thickens. “Any of what stuff?”

“Sex that didn’t involve the missionary position or the bed.”

My mouth drops open. My brain and penis can’t compute this. “I feel so sorry for you.”

We must remedy this.

She glares at me. “It’s not like I didn’t want to do it. I did. And he did try it. Most of it. But it always went back to the same old.”

I knew it. She’s a nerd on the streets and a freak in the sheets.

“I don’t mean to brag,” I tell her in all seriousness. “But you do realize that I could give you an orgasm in thirty seconds.”

Her eyes widen. I can’t tell if she’s horrified or intrigued. “I don’t believe you and I don’t want you to try.”

She’s not getting it. I frown, trying to explain. “If you’re having good sex and it’s with someone you’re comfortable with, you won’t worry about holding back. You’ll cry out all the nonsense you want, you’ll make noises like a pig and scream like you’re on fire because you truly can’t have a good orgasm unless you’re letting go on all accounts.” I lean back in my chair and study her, running my fingers along my jaw. “I would venture that every time you came with your ex, you were only experiencing half of what you should have been. How is it with your vibrators?”

I expect her to tell me to fuck off, that I’m getting too personal but to my surprise she gives me a small smile. “It’s better. But I do have a roommate with exceptionally good hearing.” She clears her throat. “Anyway, so I guess I’m wrong. The heroine can make all the noise she wants.”

“And have first time sex in public.”

“I don’t know…”

“Believe me, when you finally get a chance to fuck, you don’t care where it is. That’s why I always have a condom in my pocket. And the more public the sex, the sneakier you have to be, the hotter it is.”

“But in the book you would never get caught.”

“You don’t always get caught in real life too.”

I can see she wants to ask me where I’ve done it but she loses her nerve. “Okay.” She looks back to the document. “I accept defeat.”

But I don’t want her to. I want to prove to her I’m right and not have her take my word.

Is there a non-creepy way to show her just how amazing good sex can feel? I’m thinking not.

Or…maybe there is.

Echo

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

5 stars!

“Everybody has a heart. Sometimes you gotta work hard to find it.”

So I read this book based on work recommendations from fellow librarians. These are the librarians who do not rate high very easily and all of them told me this book was a 5 out of 5. I had ZERO interest in reading this book. I mean it’s historical fiction AND magic realism? Totally not my thing. But I pulled up my big girl pants and checked it out and gave it a chance, and I am so glad I did!!! This book is something else, and I feel all ages could read it.

Echo tells 3 main stories: Friedrich, Mike and Ivy. All are children of preteen age, they all live in different times, places and circumstances. We get to read each one of their stories separately, and the power of music is what connects their stories in ways you wouldn’t have guessed.

“Music does not have a race or a disposition! Every instrument has a voice that contributes. Music is a universal language. A universal religion of sorts. Certainly it’s my religion. Music surpasses all distinctions between people.”

I cannot say much else than that because SPOILERS. What I can say is that from the first page I couldn’t put this book down. The way it’s written and the stories involved in it, it’smagical. I loved the themes, how many of them are still relevant today. The characters felt so real to me, there were moments where I was in great big tears because apparently I am a wuss. This is a book I can see myself rereading in the future and giving it to a lot of kids to read.

Honestly, I ask you as an adult to read this book. Or read/give it to the child in your life whether it be your child, niece or nephew, family friend, anyone. I know it’s aimed at middle grade age range but I feel it’s a book any age can love. It’s amazing.

I have also had people tell me and read reviews on here where people have said to listen to the audiobook. My friend played me a small bit of the audiobook and I can agree because it plays music that enhances the story.

“She said people on hard times deserved to have beauty in their lives as much as anyone else, whether or not they could pay their rent or were walking to a breadline. Granny said that just because someone was poor didn’t mean they were poor of heart.”

The Winner’s Kiss

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkowski

4 stars!

“You don’t need to be gifted with a blade. You are your own best weapon.”

A fantastic end to a great series! Warning now, if you haven’t read the previous two books in the series, there will be spoilers in this review. If you have read those books, this review should be spoiler free for this final volume.

Arin journeys to a new land hoping to gain political allies in a war against the Valerian emperor. Unknown to him, Kestrel has been discovered as the Moth, a spy betraying her own people. Kestrel, betrayed by her own father, has been sent to a work camp in the north. No one but a few enemies knows she’s there, and she begins to wither away with each passing day.

“Will you come with me?”
“Ah, Kestrel, that’s something you never need to ask.”

This is an absolutely superb series!!!! While this final book wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t a train wreck either and I always appreciate this when reading the third book in a trilogy. And I’m glad I waited and was able to dive right in after finishing the second book because that cliffhanger was killer!

I found myself enraptured in the tale of what happened to the characters. Kestrel’s was so heartbreaking and I longed for Arin to discover where she was (to the point of wanting to whack him over the head). For a book that’s almost 500 pages, there were a few slow moments, but the majority of this book I couldn’t put it down. There were some parts that were way more violent than I expected but it seemed realistic to the plot of the book. I also loved the side character of Roshar, the eastern prince. I’m kind of wishing he gets his own book? Maybe? Cause that would be awesome.

My only disappointments as I said before was some parts lagged in the middle. But the ending seemed rushed and not all loose ends were tied leaving me wondering the fate of some of the kingdoms. Maybe I missed it but it was a bit perplexing to me.

Overall Rutkowski is a wonderful fantasy/political intrigue writer and I look forward to anything she produces in the future.

“Arin pulled her onto his lap. He held her shaking form, tucked his face into the crook of her cold neck as she sobbed against him. He murmured that he loved her more than he could say. He promised that he would always choose her first.”

The Winner’s Crime

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkowski

4 stars

“If you won’t be my friend, you’ll regret being my enemy.”

Boy am I glad I waited to read this book, because holy mother of cliffhangers! Now I can continue to the next one no waiting. Waiting would have sucked!

The second book in a trilogy, The Winner’s Crime continues after the events of the first book. If you have not read the first book, there will be spoilers pertaining to that in this review. Otherwise it should be spoiler free.

Kestrel is engaged to the son of the Emperor, a deal she made to free Herrani from war with her country. Arin has become governor of his people and must lead them however he can. Kestrel’s engagement has landed her in a political web, one where she must always be on her guard. When it comes to Arin, he is her only weakness and she will do whatever she can to keep him safe. Arin is left frustrated and in the dark, feeling one way for Kestrel despite signs that he should forget her and let her go….

“An emotion clamped down on her heart. It squeezed her into a terrible silence. But he said nothing after that, only her name, as if her name were not a name but a question. Or perhaps that it wasn’t how he had said it, and she was wrong, and she’d heard a question simply because the sound of him speaking her name made her wish that she were his answer.”

This second book was a lot more political than the first. The first being more about the romance and rebellion, this one was about secrets and intrigue. If you are shipping Arin and Kestrel, it is a painful couple to wish for because the two of them cannot seem to get a break. Kestrel is trying to keep Arin safe, and Arin just wants answers which will put him in danger.

I think this was a great follow up to the first book, but I didn’t have the LOVE IT feelings I did for The Winner’s Curse. But it is thoroughly enjoyable and I liked the story the author weaved, making it difficult to guess what would happen next. My heart bled for all of the heroes of this book and I wanted all of the villains to die! I cannot wait to read the next book.

“Sometimes you think you want something when in reality you need to let it go.”

I won this paperback copy in a Goodreads giveaway. About a year ago. I’m so sorry it took me so long to read this book! I wanted to wait for the final book to be released before diving in, which I don’t regret.

A Court of Mist and Fury

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

2.5-3 stars

Hmmm. Whelp. This wasn’t really what I expected. A Court of Thorns and Roses was one of my favorite books from last year, it was on my top reads of 2015 and everything. So to say I was excited for this book is an understatement.

I should have lowered my expectations.

Not to say I didn’t enjoy this book, I did. Some parts. Like as a whole of the 640 pages, I enjoyed about 250. That’s not horrible right? So I’m gonna break it down into what I did and didn’t like.

Dislikes:

-The way the author tossed aside old characters for new ones: like this really upset me. Many have also expressed dislike at the way Tamlin was portrayed in this book. I know he wasn’t perfect in the first book, but it felt like the author blatantly sabotaged him and turned him into something he wasn’t so that the readers would hate him. And while it worked, it also made me hate the author a little bit too. Cause it was a quick hack job to quickly get the readers to switch sides and I feel Tamlin was worth more than that.

Plus on top of that I hated Lucien too. And then she introduces new characters and we are supposed to immediately love them? yeah that didn’t work. I just didn’t care. Cause if you are tossing aside characters, I now know not to form attachments.

-Boring long bits: As I said before, I enjoyed only about 250 pages total of this long 600+ page book. It could have used a healthy dose of editing. Like, a really healthy dose.

My last reason, it read like a whole different book rather than a sequel. And by that I mean I wish ACOTAR had been a standalone and that this book was a different series with different characters. Because it was so out of left field I can’t even handle it right now.

***Bonus: random sex scenes. Coming from the romance junkie I am, I felt they didn’t enhance the romance in the story in any way, it was just a weird animalistic bonus(?) thrown in. It didn’t feel natural to the story for me. And considering this is published by a children’s publisher and marketed towards teens, I was shocked at the graphic details.

Likes:

-The writing style: Sarah J Maas never fails to deliver an enchanting way with words. She’s able to weave them in a beautiful way and I can always appreciate that from her as a writer.

-Rhys: To be completely honest, he’s the only character I genuinely liked in this whole book. Everyone else is cannon fodder for all I care at this point. I love misunderstood heroes so he fit quite nicely into that category for me.

-The last 150 pages: this is what saved the book from being a complete 1 or 2 star rating for me. After a BORING bout of 300 pages, I finally found myself caring again about what happened to the characters. The last 150 pages also has me wanting to read the next book. Something I had given up on in the middle of this one.

Anyways, as always, I recommend you read this book and make up your own mind. Even though I didn’t love it many others did, and I still love this author despite not loving this book.

Lying Out Loud

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

3.5 LOL stars!

Kody Keplinger is an author I turn to whenever I don’t know what to read. She has such a great voice as an author, laced with wit and humor and I always enjoy her books. Lying Out Loud was a fun read, but not my favorite by her. Not because of the writing, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Lying Out Loud is the story of teenage girl Sonny who is a compulsive liar. It’s been a kind of survival technique for most of her life when avoiding the bigger issues. Now as a senior in high school, she’s crashing at her best friend’s house because her mom “kicked her out” (or so we are told). When Sonny accidentally IMs a guy using her friend Amy’s account, she finds herself stuck in another position where she is lying to them, even as she is falling for him.

This book was good, I just didn’t love it. Mostly because I felt the main character was a really shitty friend, and while I understand why, it really bugged me. For someone who was so affected by the actions of others, she didn’t think about how her own actions affected others, most of the time in a negative manner. Plus, I didn’t love the romance aspect of this book, it could have been more developed.

Like I said before, I did enjoy the book and the writing style, but this would probably be my least favorite of all of Keplinger’s works I’ve read so far. Not even the cameo of Wesley could bring this book up more.

Lingus

Lingus by Mariana Zapata

4.5 stars!!!

“I’d do this all over again a hundred times as long as I met you in the end.”

Well I learned a valuable lesson. When my friend Nareh recommends me a book, I shouldn’t wait 2 years to read the dang thing! Because I flippin loved this gem of a book and I’m genuinely shocked that more of my book friends haven’t read it! Like the bloody diamond in the rough this book is.

Kat Berger is dragged (willingly) to a porn convention by her best friend. There she meets Tristan, an attractive yet mysterious guy who she has an instant connection with. By the end of the day she’s learned her new friend Tristan is also known as Robby Lingus, an adult film star. Tristan and Kat decide to continue a friendship between the two of them, and Kat doesn’t hope for a relationship between them as Tristan cites his job stands in the way of that.

Over time the two become close friends, and Kat is left struggling with her feelings for Tristan. He doesn’t feel like her other friends, but she doesn’t dare dream for more to protect her own heart.

“No one I’d ever met made me feel a fraction of what he did. No one. I doubted I’d ever meet anyone who could even be half the man and friend he was to me.”

Like Zapata’s other works, Lingus is a slow burn romance. Those of you who enjoy the friends to lovers trope will love this book because Kat and Tristan really were true friends before anything else developed between the two of them. I will say I liked that the characters got to know each other before anything romantic happened. It made it that much more special between the main characters, and later when the steam came in (yes there is steam WOOT!) it meant so much more between the two of them and it showed.

This book was also a lot steamier than anything I’ve read by this author, most of hers have a slow burn and some steam, but that wasn’t the case here. Lovers of the sexy times will enjoy this book very much, they’ll just have to read the majority of the book before doing so.

I cannot recommend this book enough, and for those of you who need more convincing, it’s on Kindle Unlimited OR it’s 99 cents. So even if it’s not your cup of tea, you don’t have that much to lose. But honestly, this was an excellent book so please give it a chance!

“I’ve loved you way longer than you’ve loved me.”

The Bad Ones

The Bad Ones by Stylo Fantome

3.5 stars

“Don’t be scared,” he said, then he leaned in and kissed a tear away. “Don’t ever be scared. It kills me. From now on, tell me whenever you’re scared, and I’ll take away your fears. Tell me when you’re hurting, and I’ll bleed for you.”

Whelp this was quite a book! I went into this book completely blind, didn’t read a synopsis or anything which is rare for me (I’m normally a spoiler happy kind of gal). So when I discovered that this book was completely CRAZY, it came as a shock. It was after I finished the book and read the synopsis that I went “oh yeah, those warnings would have been handy” LMAO!

So this is my warning: This is a dark book with unconventional heroes. If you are the least bit squeamish, this book isn’t for you. So be warned!

The Bad Ones is about Dulcie and Con, a girl and a boy from a small town with one thing in common: they’re sociopaths. When they were in high school they felt a connection between them, but Con left Dulcie behind in a horrible and simple town after a night that they will never forget. Years later he returns and the two are thick as thieves, wreaking havoc wherever they can.

“I want to know,” he breathed, his tongue moving between her breasts.
“When do we get to be bad again?” She smiled big.
“Baby, I thought you’d never ask.”

My favorite part of this book was the way it was written. Having never read a Fantome book before, I was enraptured by her writing style and way with words. The books I’ve been reading recently left me bored, but this one had my attention until the very end and this means a lot to me as a reader. I wasn’t once bored and I wanted to keep reading. She’s an extremely compelling writer.

So why not a higher rating than 3.5 stars? Well…. I didn’t really like the characters. Anti-heroes really aren’t my thing unless there is something redeemable in them. And I really didn’t care for Con and Dulcie. Sure they were interesting and a new kind of MC, but ultimately I did not want to know what happened to them in the end. I couldn’t root for them and I need to be able to do that with my book couples.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book, but I wouldn’t reread it. I think fans of dark books and Tarryn Fisher novels would really enjoy the feel of this book.

“So much darkness. Falling in love with this chick would be easy, but surviving each other … that’s an entirely different story.”

Copy received in a giveaway from Night Owl Reviews. Thank you Bex!!! xoxo