Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)About the Book:
Title: The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes #2)
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Pub. Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 336
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter-break reprieve after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But Charlotte isn’t the only Holmes with secrets, and the mood at her family’s Sussex estate is palpably tense. On top of everything else, Holmes and Watson could be becoming morethan friends—but still, the darkness in Charlotte’s past is a wall between them.

A distraction arises soon enough, because Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring. The game is afoot once again, and Charlotte is single-minded in her pursuit.

Their first stop? Berlin. Their first contact? August Moriarty (formerly Charlotte’s obsession, currently believed by most to be dead), whose powerful family has been ripping off famous paintings for the last hundred years. But as they follow the gritty underground scene in Berlin to glittering art houses in Prague, Holmes and Watson begin to realize that this is a much more complicated case than a disappearance. Much more dangerous, too.

What they learn might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.
 

Review:

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with all things Sherlock Holmes, and I loved Ms. Cavallaro's debut, A Study in Charlotte. While this book wasn't everything I was expecting, I still enjoyed it a great deal. I liked where Ms. Cavallaro went with the characters and the story, and I'm definitely still excited to check out the third book in this series. 

The plot of this story was good, but not really what I was expecting in the sequel following such a strong start. There wasn't really as much 'solving mysteries,' and doing what Holmes and Watson do best. There was much more focus on more romantic relationships and teenage angst. Now don't get me wrong, it was fine and still enjoyable, but not what I thought I would get from a Sherlock Holmes themed story. There was much more in this book that I could figure out in regards to the mystery of the missing uncle. Again though, I still enjoyed the mystery because it was very well written. It kept me interested until the ending. 

I think if I would have known from the get go that this book was going to serve the purpose of developing the characters more, I would have gone into the book differently and perhaps given it a higher rating. But ultimately, that was the reason I gave it 3.5 stars. Regardless of this though, I really like where Ms. Cavallaro is taking Holmes and Watson. I found myself caring much more about them than I did in the first book. I love that Jamie is the main narrator of this book with Charlotte occasionally taking over the story. It's a unique way to tell the story and allows the reader to get into the mind of Charlotte Holmes. We definitely see a more vulnerable side to Charlotte in this story which was a nice change of pace. But don't worry, she's still a Holmes through and through. Since I've been shipping Jamie and Charlotte since basically the very first page of the first book, I was hoping that there would be a little more development in regards to their relationship, but it was still slow as ever. There are definitely some great moments with them together and I'm happy with where I see their relationship going. Those small moments made everything worth it. You see how much they truly care for each other, and although they both can be a bit (okay...a lot) stubborn, neither wants to hurt the other. 

Overall, I would say check this out if you were a fan of the first book. Be aware that it's much more character driven than the previous book, and because of that it is a little slow. While it was a bit lacking, it was still an enjoyable story that leaves me ready for the third book! I am excited to see where Ms. Cavallaro takes this series and these characters!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Review: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts

The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables, #1)About the Book:
Title: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts (The Unbelievables #1)
Author: K.C. Tansley
Pub. Date: August 1, 2015
Publisher: Beckett Publishing Group
Pages: 242
Rating: 4/5 stars


Synopsis:

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut. 

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton. 

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

Review:

I'm always a sucker for ghost stories, and with it being Fall, I knew this was going to be the perfect read! I enjoyed every second of this book and am glad that I had the second book on hand to read right after finishing this one because I definitely wanted to stay in the Unbelievables world a little longer. Even though this is a pretty quick read, Ms. Tansley creates a classic ghost story that has all the right elements to make you fall in love. 

This book is very reminiscent of a classic gothic ghost story that you hear about growing up....which how can you not love that sort of thing? Especially at this time of year. The atmosphere really made this book for me and Ms. Tansley writes it perfectly. You feel the spookiness coming off the page. The one thing I loved is how Ms. Tansley really delved into the spirit world/lore. She took the time to go in depth about the paranormal elements to make sure we understood things and the world she was creating. I found her spin on things like the spirit world, reincarnation, souls, and possession unique and frankly, it just made sense. I was very intrigued while reading because I couldn't wait to learn more about the world she created. I also loved the time traveling element to the story. Although in some books the addition of time travel might not have fit, again...it just made sense in the story. I adore when authors can seamlessly blend genres like this and have it feel so natural.

The characters were well written for the most part as well. Kat is strong-willed and despite knowing how much danger she is putting herself in, knows that she has to do what is right and figure out the mystery. Kat was an enjoyable character from the get go for me and I liked how relatable she was. Evan, while a bit haughty at the beginning, really loosens up and becomes a likable character by the end. By the end I was shipping Kat and Evan pretty hard (and believe me...you will too). However, one thing that was a little off to me was the fact that the 19th century characters were more well-developed than the modern day characters. By this I mean, I felt like I knew all of the characters in the 19th century better than Kat, Evan, or any of the other characters that we were originally reading about. While the majority of this story takes place in the past, I would have liked a little more characterization for the 21st century characters as well. 

There was one other small thing that made me lower my rating, and this was how Kat was able to "get rid of" the ghosts when they started appearing to her. I found it incredibly difficult to believe that by just repeating the phrase, "ghosts don't exist" over and over again would suddenly cause a firm believer to be "ghost-free." If the author would have said that Kat found some other way to rid herself of the ghosts, it would have been more in line with all of the other elements that Ms. Tansley incorporated. This concept just felt so unnatural in such a well-crafted storyline. However, it didn't bother me too much because it basically made me go from 4.5 stars to 4 stars.

Despite a couple of little things, I highly recommend checking out this novel by K.C. Tansley! It was a fantastic start to a new paranormal series and it sure to be a major hit with a little more attention. With Halloween coming soon, this is the perfect spooky October read!

Happy reading :)

Thank you to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Come back this Friday to see my review for the second book in this series, The Girl Who Saved Ghosts as part of the the Blog Tour :)

~Cassie

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: Till Death

Till DeathAbout the Book:
Title: Till Death
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: William Marrow
Pages: 400
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last.

Review:

Till Death is yet another absolutely amazing read from Jen Armentrout! I will never stop loving JLA, and with every book, her writing gets better and better! She is such an incredibly versatile author, and it makes her stories even more exciting every time you sit down and read one of her novels. I didn't even have to read the synopsis to know that I was going to read this book, but after I did, I was immediately intrigued. And that's the beauty of this book...there is a lot of intrigue and suspense and you are always on the edge of your seat. JLA does what she does best, and keeps you guessing until the end. She is one of the few authors that can still surprise me, which is something I adore!

All we know when the story starts is that something terrible happened to Sasha, but we don't know what exactly. We know it involves "The Groom" and that Sasha somehow managed to survive this serial killer, but we don't know specifics. I loved that Jen did this because it built the suspense even more. It kept me reading because I had to know what happened to Sasha. I personally loved Sasha as the main character. She was so strong and brave, yet kind and selfless. Even though what happened with "The Groom" happened 10 years ago, Sasha is still coping with everything that happened...especially when new "surprises" keep coming into her life reminding her of that terrible time. I liked that Sasha could defend herself. She knew how to handle herself and wasn't a damsel in distress type. 

Now, this review wouldn't be complete without talking about Cole. Lordy be...that man is like sex on a stick. Can you tell I liked his character? He was the perfect hero and perfect balance to Sasha's character. I loved how protective he was of her, yet he still let her do her thing. Cole was everything you could want in a man, and I loved the chasing Sasha made Cole do before she let him back into her life. 

The plot was absolutely fantastic! I loved how everything was revealed slowly over the course of the story, and it was a true mystery from start to finish. It was fun to slowly put the pieces together and try to pick up on clues throughout the story. I definitely didn't figure it out though, which is always refreshing. There are some major twists and turns that will leave your head spinning and keep you guessing until the end. 

I highly recommend this book to everyone if you are a fan of these types of books. With just the right mix of suspense and romance, this is the perfect read to end your summer!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cover Reveal: Fire and Bone

About the Book:
Title: Fire and Bone (Otherborn #1)
Author: Rachel A. Marks
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis: 
In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.
Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.
Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she’s of age, she’s asked to pledge her loyalty to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means necessary. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glamour, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could give her more than she ever imagined.
As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out who to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

Read a sample chapter here!

Author Bio:
Rachel A. Marks is a cancer survivor, a writer and artist, a surfer and dirt-bike rider, chocolate lover and keeper of faerie secrets. Her four kids and amazing hubby put up with her nerdiness with tremendous grace, even when she makes them watch Buffy or Smallville re-runs for days on end. She was voted: Most Likely To Survive A Zombie Apocalypse, but hopes she'll never have to test the theory.



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~Cassie

Friday, October 6, 2017

Book Trailer Reveal: Dark Paradise

I am so so excited to take part in the trailer reveal for Randi Cooley Wilson's new book, Dark Paradise!!! As you guys know, I'm a huge fan of Randi and love her to death.  She's an amazing person, and knows how to write an awesome story.  Plus, this is all about Gage...and who doesn't want to read about that hottie gargoyle!!  Without further ado...here's Dark Paradise!!

About the Book:
Title: Dark Paradise
Author: Randi Cooley Wilson
Publication date: November 15th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Synopsis: 
When you lose the one person who gave your life meaning and purpose, how do you continue to exist without her? Your love. Your soul. Your only reason for breathing.
Dark, sexy, and dangerous Gage Gallagher exists in the shadows. A gargoyle cursed to live each moment of the rest of his existence with the death of his beloved mate, Camilla, eclipsing him. The wounds of his loss run deep and haunt him and to cope, he seeks answers. But this protector doesn’t play the rules. Gage could care less who he must hurt, or what he must do avenge his beloved. He’s reckless. A traitor amongst his kind. And he’s so far lost in the evil and darkness that rules his world, he doesn’t even see the bright light of innocence until she collides with him, heart first.
Nassa isn’t looking to be saved. The powerful sorceress of the Black Circles knows all about living with shadows that haunt your soul. She’s had a hard life and had to make tough choices, hardening her heart. And while her father is a demon king, she refuses to allow darkness to pull her down—until she meets Gage. Now, she drowns in it. Thrives in it. Craves it. And may even be falling in love with it.
When Nassa becomes captivated by Gage, she soon realizes the only thing they have in common is their undeniable mutual attraction. Yet, Gage clings to her because without his even realizing it, she’s become the reason he continues to breathe, and exist. When secrets are revealed and loyalties are tested, the two find themselves need each other in more ways than one. And Nassa soon finds out, Gage isn’t just hiding in the dark, he is the darkness. He’s her dark paradise.
Dark Paradise is the story of Gage Gallagher. It can be read as a stand-alone, or after the bestselling Revelation series and/or Royal Protector Academy novels. Intended for mature readers 18+ due to language, mild violence, and sexual situations.

BOOK TRAILER:

Author Bio:
Randi Cooley Wilson is the bestselling author of The Revelation Series, The Royal Protector Academy Novels, The Dark Soul Trilogy, and "Covetousness" a Havenwood Falls Novella. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and daughter.





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~Cassie

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blog Tour: Breakaway

About the Book:
Title: Breakaway
Author: Sophia Henry
Published by: Random House: Flirt
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

Synopsis: 
In a standalone hockey romance that tugs at readers’ heartstrings, a broken ex-pro learns to live and love again—all thanks to the complicated, wonderful nurse who gives him a second chance.
Brianna Collins needs to break away from her overbearing family. Her parents expect her to “fix” her brother after a series of concussions derailed his hockey career. Unfortunately, no doctor will give him clearance to play, and she’s finished with being the person they rely on to perform a miracle that will never happen. For Bree, a six-month nursing assignment at a hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the perfect escape.
Luke Daniels, former forward for the NHL’s Charlotte Aviators, has spent close to a year rehabbing a career-threatening injury—and distracting himself however he can. Worlds collide when Luke realizes that the girl from his latest one-night-stand happens to be the new nurse at the hospital where he volunteers in the pediatric unit. What’s more, Bree’s the only person who makes him excited about life again.
Despite her initial reservations, Luke can’t help pursuing sweet, beautiful Bree. Then he realizes it was her brother whose career he ended with an accidental hit, and he falls back on the thing that’s always helped suppress his demons: alcohol. But if Luke doesn’t kick his old habits, he just may lose the one thing he loves more than hockey.
Don’t miss any of Sophia Henry’s exhilarating Pilots Hockey novels:
DELAYED PENALTY | POWER PLAY | INTERFERENCE | UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT | BREAKAWAY
Praise for Sophia Henry
“Sophia Henry’s hockey novels are fun and flirty, warm and sweet, with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy hockey heroes. They’ll bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.”USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson

Author Bio:
Award-Winning Author, Sophia Henry, is a proud Detroit native who fell in love with reading, writing and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
She spends her days writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts.
Review:

Although I have not read any of the other Pilots Hockey novels by Sophie Henry, I definitely am interested in checking out the rest of them! I'm always a sucker for hockey romances, so I knew this book would be right up my alley. I was happy to see that it was also a standalone so while reading I never felt like I was missing out on anything. Sure, it would have been nice to know some of the characters prior to reading this, but the story focuses on Luke and Brianna. The side characters have intrigued me enough that I want to check out the other books in the series and that is always one of the things that make me love a book more. If the author can automatically make me want to learn more about the other characters, I know I'm in for a good read.

As I said, this story revolves around Luke Daniels, a former NHL player for the Charlotte Aviators, and Brianna Collins, a traveling nurse who has a job at Charlotte Children's Hospital. Even though Brianna, who has been surrounded by hockey all her life has sworn off dating hockey players for the rest of her life...the minute Luke comes into her life, she finds him hard to resist. What starts off as just fun becomes something much more, and I loved every second of it. The connection between them is palpable and the sparks fly off the page! Let's just say it's HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I loved watching their relationship develop and grow. Even though both brought their own baggage to the relationship, they continually supported each other and built each other up. Luke and Brianna were faced with some tough situations and they got through them together. 

Sophia Henry's writing was fantastic and really made this story for me. I was instantly swept away into Luke and Brianna's romance and the story itself. Ms. Henry's writing is real and emotionally charged. Your heart breaks for the characters at times, and when they feel joy...you feel just as much joy. I definitely need to check out more of her novels because she could easily become a new favorite author! 

There were only 2 things that I wasn't totally happy with, but both were pretty minor and didn't ultimately affect how I felt about the book. First was the fact that Brianna constantly says that she no longer wants to date a hockey player, yet the first (and only) person she hooks up with/dates is a hockey player. I kind of wish she would have held firm with her decision at first and that there would have been more of a struggle between her attraction toward Luke and not wanting to date another person in hockey. But at the end of the day, this part was okay and didn't bother me that much. Second, I found it hard to believe that no one knew who hit Brianna's brother. When something like that happens in hockey, you know that sort of thing. I know that this whole aspect was added as a twist to the story, which again...didn't bother me that much...but it just didn't really make a whole lot of sense to me. 

I highly recommend checking out this book when you are able!! It was a fantastic standalone non-traditional hockey romance that is a fast-paced read. I enjoyed the story from start to finish and I loved how everything ended. I will definitely be checking out more from this author in the future!



Happy reading :)

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~Cassie

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday # 118



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


Cassie's Waiting On: 
Siege of Shadows (Effigies, #2)
Siege of Shadows (Effigies #2) by Sarah Raughley
Publication Date: November 21st, 2017

Synopsis:


There’s nowhere to hide.

Not when you’re an Effigy. No matter where they go, Maia and the other Effigies can’t escape the eyes of the press—especially not after failing to capture Saul, whose power to control the monstrous Phantoms has left the world in a state of panic. It’s been two months since Saul’s disappearance, and there’s still no sign of him, leaving the public to wonder whether the Sect—and the Effigies—are capable of protecting anyone.

When Saul suddenly surfaces in the middle of the Sahara desert, the Sect sends Maia and her friends out after him. But instead of Saul, they discover a dying soldier engineered with Effigy-like abilities. Even worse, there may be more soldiers like him out there, and it looks like the Effigies are their prime targets.

Yet the looming danger of Saul and this mysterious new army doesn’t overshadow Maia’s fear of the Sect, who ordered the death of the previous Fire Effigy, Natalya. With enemies on all sides and the world turning against them, the Effigies have to put their trust in each other—easier said than done when secrets threaten to tear them apart.


I'm super excited to check out this sequel to Fate of Flames.  The first book was a lot of fun and a mix of Pacific Rim  and The Avengers, so I'm hoping this one is another hit! Her writing is amazing and this one sounds like a fast-paced follow up to the previous story.  Plus, that cover is gorgeous <3 I can't wait to see where the story goes!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Review: Unrest (Unknown #2)

Unrest (Unknown #2)About the Book:
Title: Unrest (Unknown #2)
Author: Wendy Higgins
Pub. Date: February 9, 2017
Publisher: Wendy Higgins/Createspace
Pages: 282
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Wendy Higgins brings you the second book in this thrilling war-torn world... Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse. Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they've been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities...lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can't escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times. In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that's ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy's identity would give them the edge; instead it's revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.

Review:

description

Wendy Higgins has done it again!! She has given me everything that I could possibly want in a sequel and then some! I loved everything about this book, and wanted to have the third book in my hands as soon as I was done (which yes...that means there's a killer cliffhanger). Everything about this book was perfection and I seriously can't wait to find out what happens next!

Unrest picks up right where the first book, Unknown, left off. Amber and her friends/crew have to take a risk and venture into the unknown to try and find some sort of help/shelter. But when they do, it's not a question of do they go, it's a question of who can they trust there? There is a lot of action and adventure throughout the entire story, but it's nicely balanced with romance and the underlying plot of why everything is happening. Most of our questions are answered in this book, but trust me...you're left with plenty more by the end. 
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Amber was fantastic as the main character once again, and I truly enjoyed her characterization in this story. I thought Wendy Higgins did an excellent job at further developing not only her character, but the others as well. Rylen and Amber though seriously kill me every time. Their relationship is such a roller coaster, but I love every single second of it! They both have gone through a lot though so it's understandable why they feel guilt with their feelings toward each other. Tater and Remy also are undergoing a grieving process in this book, and it was interesting to see how they each handled it. They react so differently, but they also help each other get through things. 

Overall, I highly recommend reading this book as soon as you can! In fact, why are you not reading it now?? This entire series is an exhilarating thrill ride with the perfect balance between action, adventure, and romance. You might think you have some things figured out, but trust me...by the end you're head will be spinning with possibilities and you'll want that third book in your hands immediately. Check this out now!



Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Blitz: Malachi and I

About the Book:
Title: Malachi and I
Author: J.J. McAvoy
Publication date: September 27th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis: 
A Contemporary Mystical Romance
What if I told you the greatest love stories ever told—Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Salim and Anarkali, Romeo and Juliet and so many more—are far greater tragedies than anyone has ever realized?
What if I told you that you haven’t been reading a new story… just a new chapter in one epic saga?
If I told you…all of those lovers…were actually the same two souls seeking their happily ever after over and over again, would you believe me?
Would you believe them?
Born again, Love again, Part again, Was their curse.
In this modern era, will they find eternal love or will they be doomed to repeat the cycle forever?
EXCERPT:

MALACHI
Apples.
I hate apples.
I hate them for no other reason than the symbolism they invoked. Throughout literature, apples have taken on the symbol of sin, the forbidden fruit, the start of chaos, the undoing of man. The most famous stories are that of Adam and Eve, a single apple caused them paradise and peace.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs—an apple laced with poison that caused Snow White to fall into a coma until a random man awakened her with a kiss. A happy ending, unless you knew that Snow White was Margarete von Waldeck, a sixteenth-century German countess who was banished to Brussels by her step-mother. The poison came from the King of Spain, the father of her prince, and yes, with a damn apple. But she didn’t fall sleep, she died.
Then in Greek Mythology, at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord, who understandably was not invited to the wedding but lacked the rational capacity to figure out why, decided to throw a golden apple onto the table at the feast to the most fairest one of all. One apple, dozens of vain goddesses, and just like that a wedding was destroyed and a war began.
If I could take every bloody apple and shoot them to the moon, I would. Maybe if I’d thought about earlier then I wouldn’t have been in my current situation—I wouldn’t have been covered in smoke, sweat, and blood. I wouldn’t have tried to save the old woman from her burning car. Burning because a chain reaction of events that began with the younger woman who was crossing the crosswalk in front of my car, and the impatient fool who ran out of the store. As he barreled into her and knocked her over her bag fell and sent a slew of apples rolling into the street. Apples her daughter then broke free of her grasp to chase after which caused the oncoming pick-up truck to swerve left and straight into the old woman’s car as she was pulling out of her parking space at Spencer’s Grocery Store.
The sight and sound of the accident startled the teen driver who was pulling up behind me, causing him to step on the accelerator instead of the brakes. As his car slammed into mine, my head snapped forward and smashed into the steering wheel as my seatbelt dug its way into my shoulder.
“Dude are you okay?!” The teen moron, screamed as he rushed from his car to mine.
“Help!”
“Oh my god!”
“It’s on fire!”
Even though my vision was blurred I saw the car—a silver BMW—and the bloodied woman who lay unconscious inside of it, and without thinking I pulled off my seatbelt and ran towards the car. I felt nothing as I yanked on the door repeatedly while the smoke rose into my face. Even when she was in my arms and I was dragging her from the car I felt nothing. Nothing, until I looked around screaming for help, only to see, the now bruised and chipped and deformed but no longer rolling…a bunch of fucking apples.

Author Bio:
J.J. McAvoy was born in Montreal, Canada and is currently studying Humanities at Carleton University. She is the oldest of three and has loved writing for years. She is inspired by everything from Shakespearean tragedies to Pop Culture. Her novel "Ruthless People", out July 17th, hopes to push boundaries and take her readers on a ride through the dark side. Please feel free to stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and youtube, where she video blogs.


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~Cassie

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #117

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Cassie's Waiting On: 
Nox (The Royal Protector Academy #3)
Nox (The Royal Protector Academy #3) by Randi Cooley Wilson
Publication Date: November 15th, 2017

Synopsis:


Love has revived an ancient war
Jealousy has risen and torn lives apart
And one prophecy demands the ultimate sacrifice

What if rewriting your destiny means that you must sacrifice the one you love? Serena St. Michael has forsaken her future—for him. Tristan Gallagher has renounced the throne—for her. The Vergina Sun prophecy has been fulfilled, but at what cost? Their love has renewed an ancient war. With Serena gone, will Tristan save her in time? Or will the dark army of Diablo Fairies descend upon the Royal Protector Academy, destroying the London clan’s legacy and ending the existence of the gargoyle race forever?


I honestly can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for this novel by one of my all time favorite authors, Randi Cooley Wilson!!! She always writes such amazing stories, and I am incredibly excited to see how she decides to end this fantastic trilogy and the story of Tristan and Serena!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Book Review: Letters to the Lost

Letters to the LostAbout the Book:
Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Pub. Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 400
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Review:

“We're all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing.” 

I have been a fan of Brigid Kemmerer for a long time, so I knew without a doubt that I would be reading this book. But what I wasn't expecting was to enjoy it as much as I did! This book truly blew me away from start to finish and I couldn't help but finish it in one sitting. There are some very heavy topics in this book, but everything is written incredibly well and this is easily a book that could be a good starting point to talk about the things that come up with teens and adults alike.

“Can I tell you one thing?” Melonhead says.
I swallow. “Sure.”
“One day isn’t your whole life, Murph.” He waits until I look at him. “A day is just a day.” 

This book is written in dual 1st person perspectives (Juliet and Declan), and it works perfectly. Sometimes when there's dual POVs I end up liking one of the POVs but not the other. That was not the case in this book at all. I easily connected with both characters, and their emotions bled through the page. Their stories, while seemingly separate yet ultimately connected, were raw and real, and didn't shy away from being tough. Honestly, this is exactly how this story needed to be written because of the subject matter but also to help the reader connect to the characters more. You feel like you know these characters--you know their feelings, their truths, their hardships, etc. --and it makes for a much more powerful story. 

“You want to know what I believe? I believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Meaning, there's a path, but we're free to veer away from it. The only problem is that there's no way to know whose path we're following on any given moment. Our own? Our fate's? Other people are on their on paths, too. What happens when we intersect? What happens when someone else wipes our path clean, and we're left with no road to follow? Is that fate? Is that when free will kicks in? Is the path there, but invisible?
Who the hell knows?” 

Juliet is an amazing character that I connected a lot too. She is overwhelmed by the grief following her mother's death, and is understandably having difficulty letting go of things that she associates with her mother. She has become a shell of the person she used to be, refusing to even pick up a camera anymore because it's enough to send her into a panic. Juliet was such a strong character, but the one little thing that upset me about her was how judgmental she was toward Declan. In general, she isn't that judgmental toward others, but with Declan she was, and I just didn't get it (more because it didn't fit with her characterization). Declan on the other hand was someone that I actually loved a little more than Juliet. He is constantly misjudged as the thug/criminal sort who isn't going anywhere in life. I hated how he had to deal with this every single day and how people treated him. Yes, he has an attitude and some anger issues, but with everything he has dealt with in his life, it's actually completely understandable. Declan is a great person with a strong sense of self and morals. He goes to great lengths for people that wouldn't do the same for him, and that says a lot. 

“When everything goes to hell around you, the only way to go is forward.” 

Brigid Kemmerer developed these characters extremely well, and I adored the addition of the letter writing to the story. While this isn't anything new in YA fiction, it's not done that much....but it's something I love. It added another element to the story because the letters tended to be more open than even the character was during the story. There is something about a letter that just lets the person be more raw and real, and it truly pushed this story to another level. The minor characters were fantastic as well and I'm excited to be able to read more about them!

“I want to fall into him. I want to let someone else carry this weight, even if just for a little bit. But it's been too long.” 

As I mentioned, there are a lot of heavy subjects in this book, but all of it is very thought-provoking. The resounding theme about misjudging people is evident from page 1, and both of our main characters are guilty of it. I do think in many ways this is Ms. Kemmerer's best book because she doesn't shy away from those hard issues (which are extremely prevalent in today's society) but also because she shows that things don't get fixed overnight. She shows that you have to start with baby steps that can progress into something more. 

I highly recommend checking out this novel! Even if you aren't a fan or have never read Brigid Kemmerer before, I think you should read this book. It is incredibly real and tears your heart open a little bit. You easily get swept up in these characters' stories, and will find yourself thinking about them long after you finish reading! Buy this now!


Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Blitz: Mad Love

About the Book:
Title: Mad Love (Guns & Ink Series #1)
Author: Shana Vanterpool
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: September 25th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis: 
She was a disruption he never wanted.
He was everything she distrusted.
Klayton Caldwell owns a tattoo shop in Denver, Colorado, and has seen just about everything and met just about every kind of person. And they all have one thing in common. Ink.
He isn’t complicated. What you see is what you get. Sex? Always. Relationships? Never. Pleasantries? He doesn’t do that either. Those who can’t handle his mouth get inked elsewhere. Klayton holds everyone at a distance, even his friends. He doesn’t do “close.”
Until Madison ends up in his tattoo parlor, broken, afraid and alone. There’s something about her, and almost immediately, Klayton’s guard drops. Now, everything he knows about himself changes as his life begins to unravel.
Twenty-year-old Madison Hart’s future was taken from her the moment she was abducted from her college campus and held captive by a sicko. After escaping, she flees, running into a stranger. A stranger who shares a similar past. Someone who might be able to help her heal. If she’ll let him.
Madi comes into Klayton’s life like a storm. She’s beautiful. Pitiful. Dangerous. Her pain runs deep enough that she may never be able to talk about what she’s experienced. Her refusal to talk takes a level of patience Klayton’s not sure he has.
He must navigate her broken pieces by changing everything he is. Who he’s been all these years won’t work anymore. But Madi fights him, she fights herself. She fights the madness.
She refuses to talk. He can’t control his mouth. She doesn’t want to be touched. He can’t help himself. They don’t want love. Inside this storm, is a love so mad it might destroy them both.
MAD LOVE is book 1 in the Guns & Ink series from Shana Vanterpool. Look for the rest of the Guns & Ink series coming soon from Swoon Romance.
Book #2 Hard Love – Cat and Brando; Book #3 Bad Love – Isaiah & Bell
When love hurts, heals, begs, and steals, the only way to deal is to ink up.
EXCERPT:

Life had a way of expunging your expectations.But it also had a way of rebuilding them.I met a hero the day I walked into Klayton’s tattoo shop, broken and terrified. My heart was tattered, and my mental state was a plain of rubble in my skull. He wasn’t your typical hero. But atypical was exactly what I needed. I needed strength to combat my weaknesses. I needed love to fight my terror. And I needed someone to look at me like I was whole, when I feared I never would be again.I sometimes wished we could have a do-over. That I could walk into his tattoo shop smiling, clean, and glowing. But that would only erase the brutal, beautiful truth of us. I didn’t walk into his tattoo shop smiling, I wasn’t clean, and I was severely damaged.But Klayton loved me anyway. Even when I was empty, even when I was broken.Even when I was mad.

Author Bio:
When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things.


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~Cassie

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cover Reveal: Sleeping Dragons Series

About the Book: 
Sleeping Dragons Series
Ophelia Bell
Publication date: October 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Erika’s spent her entire post-graduate career searching for it. The elusive dragon stronghold her archaeologist professors scoffed at as being only a myth. Now she has the perfect team and has led them into the deepest reaches of the Sumatran jungle. At the edge of the discovery of the century, she’s finally about to prove to everyone how wrong they were.
But when the seven intrepid explorers pass through the doors, they’re barely prepared for the conflict of lust versus logic they’re faced with on the inside. Ages-old magic lingers in the stronghold, dictating that they perform a ritual to awaken the long-slumbering beasts within. And beasts that beautiful only awaken to one thing: the unbridled release of their fated mates in the throes of ecstasy.
The Sleeping Dragons Omnibus is a series of six novelettes. It includes all kinds of fun kinks involving shapeshifting mythical beasts who breathe magic smoke and have very long, prehensile tongues.


Author Bio:
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren't apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don't mind being with a woman who's in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.
Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.
If you'd like to receive regular updates on Ophelia's publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/


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~Cassie

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Blitz: Covetousness

HavenwoodFalls-NA-Wilson_ebookLg

COVETOUSNESS By Randi Cooley Wilson Series: Havenwood Falls Genre: Paranormal Romance Cover Design: Regina Wamba, MaeIDesign.com

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo | Google Play

Welcome to Havenwood Falls, a small town in the majestic mountains of Colorado. A town where legacies began centuries ago, bloodlines run deep, and dark secrets abound. A town where nobody is what you think, where truths pose as lies, and where myths blend with reality. A place where everyone has a story. This is only but one… Graysin Ravenal hasn’t seen her sister in years, but when she learns Jenni has mysteriously died in a library fire, she leaves her upscale beach community for the mountains of Colorado in search of answers. She needs a job, and Havenwood Falls happens to need an interior designer for the new library. The last thing she needs, though, is to fall for the dark and sexy Everett Weston, aka her new boss. Their undeniable mutual attraction aside, keeping their relationship professional proves impossible as their lives collide in more ways than one. Graysin finds herself immersed in a world heavily guarded by secrets and lies—a world Everett seems to know quite well, making him her only hope in finding the answers she seeks. As they work together to unlock the mystery surrounding Jenni’s death, their ever-increasing passion must be denied, no matter what their hearts say. Because the story they’re thrown into is one of desire and danger that not only uncovers a centuries old secret that could destroy the town, but also reveals the darkness of Graysin’s family’s past—a darkness that changes her life forever. And some secrets just can’t be forgiven. This is a New Adult paranormal romance in the Havenwood Falls series of New Adult and Adult fantasy novellas featuring a variety of supernatural creatures. The series is a collaborative effort by multiple authors. Each book is generally a stand-alone, so you can read them in any order, although some authors will be writing sequels to their own stories. Please be aware when you choose your next read. We do recommend that you read Forget You Not first as an introduction to the town and its eccentricities. Other books in the main Havenwood Falls series: Forget You Not by Kristie Cook Fate, Love & Loyalty by E.J. Fechenda Old Wounds by Susan Burdorf Books are released on a monthly basis. Coming soon are stories by Lila Felix, R.K. Ryals, Belinda Boring, Heather Hildenbrand, and more. Watch for Havenwood Falls High, a Young Adult series launching in October 2017. Immerse yourself in the world of Havenwood Falls and stay up to date on news and announcements at www.HavenwoodFalls.com. Join our reader group, Havenwood Falls Book Club, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HavenwoodFallsBookClub/

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Review: Me & Milo the Great

Me & Milo the GreatAbout the Book:
Title: Me & Milo the Great
Author: Michelle Schlicher
Pub. Date: September 14, 2017
Publisher: Michelle Schlicher
Pages: 256
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.

But I'm not the only one.

There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I'll finally get past it.

Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.


Review:

I am absolutely blown away by this novel!! Me and Milo the Great was a beautifully written and touching read that is sure to be a major hit! I have never read a novel by Ms. Schlicher previously, but I am definitely going to check out her past novels (and any future ones) as well! Everything about this book was amazing, and even though the story itself hits on some tough topics, they're handled extremely well and I was incredibly impressed from the very first page!

At times feeling like a memoir, this novel follows Holiday, a young women with debilitating anxiety who has lost so much. Her story is very moving and I easily connected with Holiday right from the start. Michelle Schlicher certainly has a way with words, and her portrayal of Holiday and her anxiety was spot on. Holiday's story is raw and real...2 things that are often not written well in novels, but in this novel were done perfectly. You're heart broke for Holiday, and for those that suffer with anxiety (whether it is as debilitating as Holiday's or not) understood what she was facing every day. This is a very eye-opening look at how severe anxiety can be for a person. I think what made it even better was the concise way Michelle Schlicher wrote Holiday's words. She didn't fill the story with fluff. It's right to the point and there's no shying away from anything. 

When Holiday meets Milo, magic happens. I instantly loved Milo and I loved how much her cared for Holiday. Although their relationship is a bit "insta-lovey," it actually works in the story and I didn't mind it. Milo, along with other side characters (who I loved as well), help Holiday realize the importance of healing and forgiveness. It's definitely very touching to say the least. The story shows the importance of having even that one person in your life that can help you heal and come to terms with things that have happened in your past. 

The story does go back and forth between present day and past, and because of this we find out about what exactly happened to Holiday in small increments throughout the book. The transitions between past and present were seamless and added such a great element to the story. I loved that we went back and forth (which sometimes can be very annoying to me if not done well), and it was never once confusing. The small reveals throughout the story actually showed the reader why Holiday, acted the way she does and revealed her motivations behind finding different people. I will say that I did figure the one big twist out, but the only reason is because I caught one line earlier in the story that got my gears turning and from then on was able to put things together. And even though I knew the twist that was coming, it still was shocking reading it. 

I highly recommend this book for EVERYONE!! You need to check this book out when you get the chance. It's beautifully written and a very poignant read. It shows that love can come in many forms and that it can find you in the way you least expect it. Read this book as soon as it hits shelves!!

Happy reading :)

I was given an advanced copy of this novel by the author in exchange for an honest review.

~Cassie