Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Waiting On Wednesday (141)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

The Secrets of Lily Graves
by Sarah Stroyhmeyer
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Summary: With the intrigue of Pretty Little Liars and plenty of romance, bestselling author Sarah Strohmeyer weaves a story of secrets and lies—set in a funeral parlor.

Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them—something Erin definitely did not like.

But secrets, even ones that are long buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily's and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship—which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous—makes them both suspects.

As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim.


I love it when books claim to be as intriguing as Pretty Little Liars. You know you're in for a wild ride full of suspense and secrets. Oh, and the promise of romance? A definite plus in my book! But nothing can ruin a romance faster than being accused of murder! I can't wait to see where this story goes and if it can live up to it's suspenseful claims. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books If You Like Any Jennifer Lopez Movie

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Books If You Like Any Jennifer Lopez Movie

You know the movies I'm talking about…The Backup Plan, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, Monster In Law, What to Expect When You're Expecting…basically you're typical romantic comedy that I absolutely love. So it's no surprise that I love my books the way I like my movies! There's got to be a super cute romance with some adorable moments thrown into the mix. So here are books I think you'd love if you enjoy Jennifer Lopez's romantic comedies…

1. Undone by Shannon Richard
2. Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
3. Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

4. All Fired Up by Kate Meader
5. Melting the Ice by Jaci Burton
6. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

7. Tangled Up in Love by Heidi Betts
8. Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey
9. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

10. Curveball by Kate Angell

Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Review + Giveaway: A Beautiful Distraction by Kelsie Leverich

A Beautiful Distraction (Hard Feelings #3)
By Kelsie Leverich 
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Publisher
Summary: A brand new novel in the New York Times bestselling Hard Feelings series—where nothing’s more dangerous than a bad boy with a broken heart…

First Sergeant Rafe Murano did everything to the extreme. He trained harder, he fought harder, and, unfortunately, he loved harder. And falling for the wrong woman nearly destroyed him.

Home from a deployment, and without his missions to consume him, Murano is ravaged by memories of his heartbreak. So he drinks until he’s numb and drowns himself in meaningless one-night stands. But they only take the edge off…

Until he meets Fallon.

Haunted by her past, Fallon Kelly knows all too well about the desperate desire for an escape. So when she sees the tatted-up bad boy who’s one punch away from a ride in the back of a squad car, she offers a distraction—one that quickly becomes an addiction.

Little does she know, this bad boy can love so hard, it can break her…

Review: I haven't read the first two books of the Hard Feelings series, but when I read the synopsis of this one, I couldn't help myself from reading it right away. Rafe and Fallon sounded like two people who had trouble letting others in, but when they do they love them with all of their hearts. 

After falling for the wrong woman, First Sergeant Rafe Morano is determined never to let a woman take his heart again; never getting attached means he can't get hurt. But when he sees a beautiful ballerina dancing on stage at an upscale club, he has to know who she is. Fallon Kelly is never distracted when she dances at the club she owns, but when she catches Rafe's intense gaze when she's performing, she can't get him out of her head. Used to being on her own after her parents kicked her out, Fallon hasn't realized she's ever needed someone to keep her steady. When Rafe and Fallon finally connect, though, they both fall deeper than they had ever thought possible…

Wow, Fallon and Rafe are definitely two people who can love and love hard. Both of them have very rough pasts, so the people they care about are very important. While they banter and flirt with each other, they really end up caring about each other and would do anything to support the other, even if they'd only known each other for three days. Their connection was just so intense and I loved how Rafe wouldn't let Fallon push him away, no matter how hard she tried. 

As a main character, Fallon was so awesome. Not only was she very passionate about what she did, she was such a headstrong woman that took no crap from the men in her life. Even when Rafe was being mean when they first met because he didn't really trust her yet, she held her own and fired her own shots that made him respect her. A girl who can hold her own against such an intimidating bad boy like Rafe is definitely fun to read about. And even though he looked like a bad boy on the outside with his tattoos and all, Rafe was definitely a sweetie underneath as he really cared about Fallon and did everything he could to look out for her and make her feel safe and comfortable. Oh, and I loved how we got to see Rafe's family and Fallon's friends and really care about them too, instead of being stuck in the world of the two main characters. Rafe and Fallon had real lives and real people they cared about too, and those elements made the story that much better. 

In the end, I really loved Rafe and Fallon's story and how intense their relationship was. They couldn't deny their attraction to each other, but their relationship ended up going much deeper than just the physical factor. I definitely can't wait to pick up the first two books in this series. This one can be read as a stand alone, but I loved Kelsie Leverich's writing that I'm just dying for more!

About the Author

Kelsie Leverich lives with her husband, two children, and their three pets. She loves stories that can sweep you off your feet, make you fall in love, break your heart, and heal your soul.

One lucky reader will get to win a copy of A Beautiful Distraction by Kelsie Leverich! Just fill out the rafflecopter below! ***US Only*** Ends 5/5

Weekly Roundup [4/22-4/28]

Happy Monday! Wow, this weekend was definitely a busy one! On Friday and Saturday, I participated in a 24-hour scavenger hunt around campus, so I was awake for a solid 36 hours. This is my third year participating and we've come in first place two years in a row. We'll see if we continued our record or not sometime next week! Other than that, I've been working on my final papers and projects as the semester is finally coming to a close. Only two more weeks! Also, I have my half-marathon this Saturday and I'm so excited to run. Hopefully it goes well and I make my goal time! If you can't tell, these next three weeks are definitely busy ones for me. I just hope I can make time for reading because I have some pretty awesome books begging to be read. 

Book Reviews
Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier



Sunday, April 27, 2014

Book Review: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Wildwood Dancing
By Juliet Marillier
Release Date: January 23. 2007
Source: Library
Summary: High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm. 

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.

Review: For my young adult lit class, I had to choose a book that is considered international literature to read. I found this one on a YALSA list and had no idea it was Australian. Since it had over a four star rating on Goodreads, I decided to give it a try. 

Jena and her four sisters live in castle Piscul Draculi in the Transylvania woods. Every full moon, the sisters open up a secret portal that lets them into the Other Kingdom where they can dance with the magical creatures of the forest. But when their father becomes ill and their cousin is determined to kill the magical folk of the forest, Jena has to take charge and protect her family. When her older sister falls in love with a creature of the Night People, Jena doesn't know how to protect her sisters anymore. Jena must try to save not only her sister, but the creatures she has come to love from her power hungry cousin and the dangerous creatures of the Other Kingdom. 

What really drew me into this book was that it's a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses and The Frog Prince. While I'm not familiar with the fairytale, I absolutely love fairytales, so I was excited to see what world the author could create from the story. When I started this book, though, it was so hard to get into this story and I didn't fully understand things until about 100 pages in. After those 100 pages, I finally grasped the world Jena lived in and the troubles she was facing with her duties to her family and her love for the Other Kingdom. 

I really loved the various creatures found in this book. Gogu is such a cool character and I loved how Jena had a frog as a best friend. The various characters that guided the sisters across the river were very unique too and really brought the Other Kingdom alive. And you can't have a story without some forbidden romance thrown into the mix. While Jena's sister's complete dependence on the forbidden vampire-like man got a bit annoying, their romance was sweet and you could see them truly falling in love. 

Overall, this was a cute book that was very unique with its fantastical world. I just wish, though, it didn't take so long to get into and that we only really got to know Jena and her older sister. With five sisters as the central focus, I wish we got to know them all a lot more than we actually did. While the story was unique and magical, I was left watching more from the story.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Follow My Book Blog Friday (133)

This is a meme hosted every Friday by Parajunkee, where book bloggers answer a question each week and check out how others answered it. It's a cool way for bloggers and viewers to connect and learn more about each other!

Question: Have any pets? Tell us or show us!

Answer: Ha, do I have any pets? You bet I do! One adorable Yellow Lab named Rosie! 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know how obsessed I am with this girl. She's ten years old now, but she still acts like a puppy. While it may be annoying when she decides to whine for food when it's two hours before her dinner time, I absolutely love her. Isn't she cute? Being away at school is hard because that means I have to go weeks without seeing her! But I know she loves being smothered with kisses and attention every time I come home :) 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Book Night 2014

Yesterday was World Book Night and it was an absolute blast! This is my third year as a book giver for World Book Night and I can't believe how far it's come! This year, it occurred on Shakespeare's birthday and over 500,000 books were given out. I was given 20 copies of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs to give out to people. I was so excited to get this book because, while I haven't read it, I've heard it's awesome and that cover is just too cool not to love. 

I went to my film studies class on Monday morning with a bag loaded up with all of my copies of this book (you try walking 20 minutes to class with a bag that felt like it weighed fifty pounds…pretty hard! But so worth it!). Good thing I was given such a creepy book (it's about a boy who discovers the abandoned home for peculiar children) because almost everyone in my class loves horror/thriller kinds of movies. While I'm not sure if Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is that scary, they all were really excited about the book and took a copy home with them. I even started talking with some of my classmates about the books they've read and loved, and it was so fun! Nothing beats talking about books you love with other people. Yay spreading the love of reading!

I had a few extra copies left after my film studies class, so I took them to my next class (my grammar class) and gave them to a bunch of my fellow English Ed students who were excited to add this book to their growing classroom libraries, which we've all starting to obsessively hoard books for. Overall, I was so excited to see everyone who received this book excited for the chance to read it. I hope they all enjoy the book and that everyone around the US felt the magic of World Book Night as well! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton

Hope Ignites
By Jaci Burton 
Release Date: March 25, 2014 
Source: Publisher
Summary: Logan McCormack likes his isolated life on the ranch, until a movie crew starts filming there. When actress Desiree Jenkins blows into his life, she wrecks it harder than the Oklahoma winds with her brutal honesty and soft touch. Des knows this is a temporary stay, but she loves the open freedom of the land, and for the first time in her life, Des feels like she might have found a place she can call home, with a man she might be falling in love with. But Logan’s heart is tougher than the soil beneath them—can she convince him that they belong together?

Review: I absolutely loved Luke and Emma's story in Hope Flames, the first book in this series. And when we met Logan in that book, I instantly fell for Luke's brooding cowboy character. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to read his story in Hope Ignites. 

Logan has dedicated his life to running the family ranch after his dad died and mom left to start an entirely new family that had nothing to do with raising animals and working the land. Hurt from his mom's hatred for their livelihood, Logan can't imagine letting any woman into his life, only to have her hate the ranch and abandon him yet again. But when Logan agrees to let a movie production company use his land for their latest film, the last thing he expects to find is to be enticed by the lead actress Des. Des is a fiery woman who speaks her mind and puts her heart and soul into her career. And when she meets Logan, she can't wait to see what lies under that hard exterior and figure out the mystery to the stubborn man. Logan starts to enjoy the time he spends with Des, despite pushing her away when they first meet, but can he doesn't know if he can truly trust she won't leave him when he needs her the most. 

Gah, these men in Hope are just so yummy! Seriously, first a police officer and now a cowboy? They're definitely doing something right in that small town! And while I normally don't like books that have to do with "celebrities," I really liked Des's character. She didn't let fame get to her head and she was a really headstrong girl. Even when Logan was pretty rude to her, she didn't let that faze her at all, but rather met his stubbornness head on. I loved how she could break down Logan and really get to know the man who has become so closed off to the rest of the world. 

With two strong characters who were very dedicated to their own livelihood, it was great watching them finally learn to share their lives with someone else. Des realizes that a career as an actress is great, but not something she can see herself doing forever. What about a family? What about having an actual home? Logan has all of that, but he's definitely not ready to trust a city girl who can end up being just like his mother. Logan and Des are two people who have met their match with each other, and it's up to them to decide if they're finally ready to let someone else in. 

While Hope Ignites has the small town romance that I love, it also brings in two dynamic characters who really test each other. The passions were strong, the emotions were real, and the characters were fun to follow. And we even get a bit more of Luke and Emma from the first book, which made me super excited. Any fan of contemporary romances needs to pick up a Jaci Burton novel right away. If you haven't read this series yet, your definitely missing out! So pick these books up now so you can catch Carter's story when it comes out in September. I can't wait!

Waiting On Wednesday (140)

This is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where every Wednesday bloggers highlight a book that they are eagerly anticipating the release of!

Royally Lost
By Angie Stanton
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Summary: Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?


How adorable does this book sound? First, it takes place in Europe, and I love books that have to do with traveling abroad. Then, throw in a runaway prince, and I just have to get my hands on this book. I love the idea that Becca meets Nikolai and they spend their time having adventures around Europe while trying to dodge his body guards. I have a feeling this is going to be a super sweet contemporary romance that I'm going to love! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Love to Be Best Friends With

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Characters I'd Love to Be Best Friends With

1. Cath from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
2. Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. Hermione from Harry Potter by JK Rowling 

4. Simon from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
5. Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
6. Hazel and Augustus from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

7. Sky from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
8. Caroline from Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
9. Katy from Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout

10. Jane Jameson from Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper

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