2013 Challenge Wrap Ups

Even though I only signed up for 3 challenges in 2013, I still had a hard time keeping track of everything. Evidently I suck at keeping track of books I've read! I definitely need to stay on top this year and make things easier on myself.

2013 YA Contemporary Challenge hosted by Katie's Book Blog

My goal for this year was 40 books, and I only reached 32. Kinda sucks for me, but I read quite a few New Adult and Adult contemps that didn't qualify. So I'll have to take that into account when I set my goals for 2014.

  1. Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman
  2. Burning by Elana K. Arnold
  3. Made of Stars by Kelley York
  4. Fault Line by Christa Desir
  5. Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
  6. The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1) by Ashley Elston
  7. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
  8. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  9. Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding
  10. When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
  11. Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  12. Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce
  13. All I Need by Susane Colasanti
  14. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
  15. The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik
  16. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
  17. Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  18. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
  19. Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  20. Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
  21. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
  22. Golden by Jessi Kirby
  23. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  24. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
  25. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
  26. Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman
  27. The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace (Pseudonym), Mandy Hubbard
  28. Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn, Jolene Perry
  29. Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles
  30. Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
  31. Nantucket Blue (Nantucket #1) by Leila Howland
  32. The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

2013 Standalone Reading Challenge hosted by Icey Books.

The challenge was to read 15 Standalone Young Adult books released this year. I did great on this challenge by reading 26 books.

  1. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  2. Going Vintage by Lindsey Leavitt
  3. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
  4. The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
  5. Golden by Jessi Kirby
  6. Hysteria by Megan Miranda
  7. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
  8. Falling For You by Lisa Schroeder
  9. The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
  10. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  11. Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  12. When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
  13. Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  14. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
  15. Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
  16. Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
  17. Thin Space by Jody Casella
  18. The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace (Pseudonym), Mandy Hubbard
  19. Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
  20. Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn, Jolene Perry
  21. Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
  22. Burning by Elana K. Arnold
  23. All I Need by Susane Colasanti
  24. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
  25. Kindness for Weakness by Shawn Goodman
  26. The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

2013 Debut Author Challenge hosted by Hobbitsies.

I picked 10 books as my goal and I easily reached it. Some of these books were my favorite reads this year!

  1. Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
  2. Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
  3. Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) by Laurie Boyle Crompton
  4. Taken (Taken #1) by Erin Bowman
  5. Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce
  6. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  7. The Rules for Disappearing (The Rules for Disappearing #1) by Ashley Elston
  8. Nantucket Blue (Nantucket #1) by Leila Howland
  9. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
  10. Thin Space by Jody Casella
  11. Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis
  12. All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1) by Cristin Terrill
  13. Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair
  14. Fault Line by Christa Desir
  15. After Eden (After Eden #1) by Helen Douglas

2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge

This was an easy challenge. I was in really bad shape at one time earlier in the year because I was in a semi reading slump. But I managed to catch up without any extra effort and finish the year right on my goal of 75 books. So YAY me!

2014 isn't too far away and I am researching which challenges I want to participate in. I don't know if I should keep the same challenges or shake things up this year.
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Review: A Little Too Much (A Little Too Far, #2) by Lisa Desrochers

A Little Too Much (A Little Too Far, #2)A Little Too Much by Lisa Desrochers

Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Page Count: 416
Published by: William Morrow Impulse
Source: Review copy received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
New Adult Contemporary Romance **Contains Mature Content**
Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.

Synopsis From Goodreads:

In the follow-up to Lisa Desrochers’ explosive New Adult novel A Little too Far, Alessandro Moretti must face the life he escaped and the girl he loved and left behind.

Twenty-two year old Hilary McIntyre would like nothing more than to forget her past. As a teenager abandoned to the system, she faced some pretty dark times. But now that’s all behind her. Hilary has her life on track, and there’s no way she’ll head back down that road again.

Until Alessandro Moretti—the one person who can make her remember—shows up on her doorstep. He’s even more devastatingly gorgeous than before, and he’s much too close for comfort. Worse, he sees right through the walls she’s built over these last eight years, right into her heart and the secrets she’s guarding.

As Hilary finds herself falling back into love with the man who, as a boy both saved and destroyed her, she must decide. Past or future? Truth or lies?

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Oh my. I am so disappointed with this book. I had such high hopes for Alessandro's story, and I'm seriously feeling like A Little Too Much was a huge letdown.

It's very unfortunate that the author chose to write A Little Too Much from Hilary's POV. Experiencing this story through her eyes made it less appealing to me. I thought Hilary was really lacking any personality traits that I found pleasing, and giving her so many problems didn't make me have any feelings for her other than dislike. I never really connected with her at all, and I spent most of the book wishing I wasn't reading about her.

I was introduced to Alessandro in A Little Too Far, and I thought he was a fascinating character and I absolutely loved him. I couldn't wait to read A Little Too Much and spend more time with him. He completely captivated me and left me wanting to dive deeper into his story. I wanted to get inside his head and see what he was thinking and feeling. Alessandro was such a tortured soul in A Little Too Far, and I felt that he was just a shell in this book and only there to give Hilary a love interest. The previous version of Alessandro that I adored was nowhere to be found. I needed for him to have a stronger presence in this book, and for him to be able to clear up his past so he could move forward, and that didn't happen.

Despite their past together, I couldn't see or feel any kind of emotional attachment between Hilary and Alessandro. They had zero chemistry in my opinion, and their interactions were completely bland. I also couldn't understand what Alessandro saw in Hilary. I wanted Alessandro to be happy and loved like he deserved, and I didn't feel that Hilary was the right person for him. Even though this book had a HEA, I couldn't get behind it because it seemed really forced and I wasn't feeling it.

The writing itself was fine, but the plot was so slow at times that I really wanted to skim and get to the good stuff. That's never a good thing. So overall, this was a huge let down. I had such high hopes and I was really looking forward to getting to know Alessandro more. Obviously, there are things that could have made this story more enjoyable for me. But I am sure that some will like this story just as it is.

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (110) Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater @mstiefvater

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: July 1st 2014 by Scholastic Press

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?

I wonder how many bloggers have Sinner as their WoW this week? I chose this despite my bitter hatred of the ending of The Shiver Trilogy. Yes, you read that correctly. The ending sucked big time. I wrote a scathing review that I never posted because it was extremely harsh and truly heartfelt. Am I the only one who thought the ending was the definition of ambiguous? I could have stopped reading after the 2nd book if I knew how much the third book would blow. Gah. See? It still upsets me! I could go on and on with things I didn't like with the last book of the trilogy, but I must somehow move on.

I'm willing to give Sinner a chance, only because I'm hoping it can bring me back around to have some good memories of The Shiver Trilogy. Somehow my hatred of book 3 and the ending is overshadowing my love of the first 2 books. It's redemption time, so don't disappoint me.

What are you waiting on this week?
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Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends!
Be safe, and don't overdo it on the egg nog and cookies!

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Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The NaturalsThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Page Count: 304
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

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I was really excited to read The Naturals, and I have to say that I was not disappointed! I thought it was a well written and engaging story with enjoyable characters and an exciting mystery. The plot had great pacing, and there were enough twists and turns to keep the story interesting and to keep me reading. There was a bit of suspense and intrigue, and I enjoyed trying to figure out where the story was headed next. I felt immediately drawn into the lives of these 5 teens who have been recruited to work cold cases for the FBI due to their 'natural' abilities. I thought the teens' differing abilities were fascinating, and I liked how they all worked together while analyzing cold cases.

I thought the protagonist, Cassie, was an okay character, but for some reason I wasn't overly impressed by her. Sloane, Lia, Michael, and Dean were the other naturals working alongside Cassie. I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters, but I didn't think they were all fully developed. Perhaps more fleshing out will come as the series progresses. I wasn't a huge fan of the wanna-be love triangle between Cassie, Michael, and Dean because it seemed forced and out of place considering the serious nature of their business. With that being said - I did have a preference. Dean. I was really feeling the whole dark brooding loner thing he had going on. Shallow of me, I know. But I think that a relationship between him and Cassie has the potential to be quite complex.

Overall, I thought The Naturals was pretty darn good. Despite a somewhat lack of character development and an attempted love triangle that I could have done without, I still thought this was a very entertaining read. It's a great first book in (what I hope is ) a new series, and I can't wait to find out what happens next with these characters.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (109) Alienated (Alienated #1) by @Melissa_Landers @DisneyHyperion

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Disney Hyperion

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara's classmates get swept up by anti-L'eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn't safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara's locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she's fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

This sounds awesome! And on a shallow note, I love that cover. I'm so excited because I have an eArc of this that I will be reading soon!

What are you waiting on this week?

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Review: Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

Another Little Piece of My HeartAnother Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Page Count: 304
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis From Goodreads:

What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.

At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.

The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?

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I loved this book so much! It was such a pleasantly delightful story. Another Little Piece of My Heart is a modern day retelling of Persuasion, my favorite Jane Austen novel. I'm not capable of comparing this to the original, and I wouldn't want to. This was a terrific read on it's own, made all that more enjoyable to me because it had elements from Persuasion.

I think the author managed to perfectly capture the ups and downs of Claire and Jared's relationship. Music played a big part in Claire and Jared's lives, and I loved how all of the musical elements were woven into the storyline.

I really loved all of the characters. I thought Claire was pretty strong for taking the high road, both with her family and with Jared. She was dealing with a lot of changes in her life, and I thought she handled herself very well. Her father was more concerned with appearances, but Claire was all about being happy. It took a lot of growing up, but Claire finally realized that being with Jared made her happy.

I had all sorts of feelings about Jared. It was so easy to like him and hate him at the same time. He was perfect as a modern Wentworth, and I thought he did a great job masking his true feelings and showing such indifference towards Claire. But in the end, I really loved him. How could I not? He's modeled after my favorite literary character ever!

It was so easy to find myself rooting for Claire and Jared and want them to get back together. They had obvious chemistry, and you could tell that they still had strong feelings for each other. I enjoyed their interactions and I thought they were so sweet and adorable together.

I really loved reading Another Little Piece of My Heart. It was light and funny with a sweet and clean romance, and it was the perfect contemporary book for me. It was a terrific modern retelling that completely satisfied my romantic side. Highly recommended for everyone - but especially for fans of Persuasion.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Waiting On Wednesday (108) #scandal by Sarah Ockler @sarahockler

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by Simon Pulse

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...

This contemporary sounds like something I will enjoy reading. My request got approved the other day, so now I can't wait to read it!

What are you waiting on this week?

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Review: Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Isn't She LovelyIsn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: October 28, 2013
Page Count: 243
Published by: Random House LLC
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis from Goodreads:

"Who knew that pretending you're not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?"

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she's pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn't exactly Ethan Price's type, either. He's probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund... or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie's a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan's brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan's privileged world, the "acting" begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating "them." And Stephanie faces a question she's too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

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This is such a cute and fun story. I didn't know what to expect going into it, and I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it!

Stephanie and Ethan are spending their summer trying to avoid their families, but for different reasons. They meet when they are assigned as partners in a summer class they are taking at NYU. For their assignment, they must write a screenplay about a modern version of Pygmalion. They come up with a plan to write a true to life screenplay based on Stephanie changing from a moody goth chick into a dress and sweater wearing socialite and trying to fit into Ethan's life of wealth and privilege. As they spend more time together and grow closer, Stephanie doesn't know if Ethan likes her for her true self, or if he only likes the fake version of her.

From the first time they met, I enjoyed the chemistry and witty banter between Stephanie and Ethan. I loved the dual POV and felt that it really allowed me get to know both characters very well. I loved seeing the story through both of their eyes! They are complete opposites - from backgrounds, to interests, to looks. But despite their differences, they had that indescribable something that made sense when they were together.

My favorite thing about Isn't She Lovely was the communication between Stephanie and Ethan. As they grew closer they were able to open up and be honest with each other. They had wonderful conversations and learned so much about each other. I loved the way their relationship progressed - it felt natural and right. They both had tremendous growth, and they made such an impact on each others lives. I enjoyed going on this journey of self-discovery with Stephanie and Ethan.

Overall, I enjoyed everything about this book. It was very entertaining, with tons of humor and really great dialogue. Isn't She Lovely really left me with a lot of good feelings and a smile on my face.

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
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Sunday Updates (39)

Inspired by features from The Sunday Post from Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sunday Summary from Book Twirps.

I've been trying to be good and limit my review requests, but I couldn't help getting a few that I was already pre-approved for. Here is what I got in the past 2 weeks:

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Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt (eArc Thanks to Bloomsbury USA Children's Books)
(Don't You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn (eArcThanks to Harper Teen)
The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik (eArc Thanks to Harper Teen)

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Fan Art by Sarah Tregay (eArc Thanks to HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books)
After the End (After the End #1) by Amy Plum (eArc Thanks to Harper Teen)

Totally not book related, but...........

I am the best MOM EVER!!!!
Because I, #1 MOM, purchased One Direction concert tickets for my daughter. And I snagged them on Tuesday during the pre-sale, so they are GOOD tickets! What's that you say? Yes, I agree. I am indeed the best Mom ever. I'm not smug at all. Nope. How much gratitude will I be shown between now and August (when the concert is)? You bet I will get a lot of mileage out of this good deed!

However, I have been banned from attending said concert because I may (gasp!) dance and/or sing and embarrass her. Whatever. She can go with her dad who is evidently much cooler than I am. Even though he doesn't appreciate the hotness that is Louis, Niall, Harry, Liam, and Zayn. Hmph.

Plus, if you are still looking for Christmas gifts, I am having a sale in my Etsy shop. Everything is made and ready to ship!
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Waiting On Wednesday (107) The Last Best Kiss by Tracey Martin @TA_Martin @harperteen

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 22nd 2014 by HarperTeen

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.

Another Jane Austen retelling. This time Persuasion. How could I not want to read this? I mean, HELLO, have you seen the name of my blog? It's a no brainer.

What are you waiting on this week? Be sure to leave me a link so I can check out your WoW.

(On a side note, I am currently reading Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin, which is also a Persuasion retelling. It's so cute! It's also sweet and fluffy and super clean.)
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Release Day Blitz: OUT OF TIME by Jen McLaughlin

221 pages
Published December 1st 2013

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Desperate to keep him...

I've finally gotten everything I ever wanted: love, freedom, happiness, and, most importantly, Finn. Our love is everything I expected it to be and more. We've finally found each other, but the world seems determined to tear us apart. We thought my father was the only obstacle between us, but now it's the military. With Finn’s departure looming, we’re squeezing in every moment together before we run out of time.

Trying to make every moment count…

Being Carrie’s bodyguard was one thing. Being her boyfriend is another. Every day she’s mine is a day the sun shines in my life. Yet our time together is running out. Her father will never think a tattooed Marine will be good enough, so I’ll do whatever it takes to be worthy of her love. But the road will take me away from the girl who makes me feel alive--the girl I can't live without.

Time only gets us so far...

Author Information:

Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Book Release and Sale:

OUT OF TIME is actually available now! Jen released it a bit early to try to avoid any upload issues with the retail sites. And if you, or someone you know, hasn't had a chance to read book 1, Out of Line, it is currently on sale for .99 cents!

Facebook Party:

But first, Jen is having a Facebook Party!! You can stop by any time on Tuesday, the 3rd and join in! She is having a giveaway for a diamond necklace, too! And, there will be several other authors stopping by to chat and give away more prizes.

Blog Tour Giveaway:

Jen is giving away 4 $10 Amazon Gift Cards and an amazing grand prize! The grand prize winner will get to help name a character in book 3 of the series, and will get their name in the acknowledgement section of the book! Contest is international.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: Fault Line by Christa Desir

Fault LineFault Line by Christa Desir

Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Page Count: 240
Published by: SimonPulse
Source: Review copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

**WARNING: Review contains possible storyline/ending spoilers.**

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ben could date anyone he wants, but he only has eyes for the new girl — sarcastic free-spirit, Ani. Luckily for Ben, Ani wants him too. She’s everything Ben could ever imagine. Everything he could ever want.

But that all changes after the party. The one Ben misses. The one Ani goes to alone.

Now Ani isn’t the girl she used to be, and Ben can’t sort out the truth from the lies. What really happened, and who is to blame?

Ben wants to help her, but she refuses to be helped. The more she pushes Ben away, the more he wonders if there’s anything he can do to save the girl he loves.

I don't like writing reviews that contain spoilers, but in this case I thought that I really needed to express my feelings on why I didn't enjoy Fault Line like I had hoped I would.

Wow. I don't even know where to start with this review. I knew the backstory behind Fault Line, and I knew the author had first hand experience with the subject, but this book is really hard to take. I'm still trying to process everything that happened.

I don't even know what I think about the storyline. The rape and it's aftermath are written very heavy handed and dramatic, but it failed to deliver an emotional impact.

I never really liked Ani. She was described as being honest and outspoken (straightforward?), but I thought she came off as being rude and too direct. I didn't agree with her decisions, and I couldn't understand her way of thinking. I really loved Ben from the beginning. I can't put my finger on what it was exactly that made me like him so much. He really came off as being a great friend I felt a lot of sympathy for him and what he was going through. I loved how hard he tried to help Ani. He was so loyal and supportive, even when Ani tried to push him away. He put up with a lot, and I thought he handled things the best he knew how. I never enjoyed Ben and Ani as a couple. I just didn't get them, so it was hard for me to root for them and wish for them to have a happy ending.

I don't agree with the way the ending came about, and I don't like the message that was sent that there is no hope for rape survivors to have a normal life. I thought there should have been a message of empowerment and being strong and having a support system... all of that was talked about, but it wasn't applied to Ani's story. Instead, she got a horror story and an unhappy ending, and took Ben along on her downward spiral.

I don't regret reading Fault Line. It left me with all sorts of feelings that I don't know what to do with. While I can appreciate the effort the author made to write a realistic story, I wish there had been something positive in there to balance all of the bad stuff.

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
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November Recap and December TBR

I have a really good reason for not reading very much in November. I was super busy getting new items made and listed in my Etsy Shop. And I will continue being pretty busy for the next 3 weeks or so. Then I can relax a little and catch up on some reading. I have another ambitious month planned, and no idea how much reading I will actually get done.

Read in November:

Snowed Over by Angie Stanton
Fault Line by Christa Desir
Try Me (Take a Chance #1) by Diane Alberts
Love Me (Take a Chance #2) by Diane Alberts
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
After Eden (After Eden #1) by Helen Douglas

Total Pages Read: 1157

December TBR:

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Being Sloane Jacobs by Lauren Morrill
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott
Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin
Ink is Thicker Than Water by Amy Spalding

 photo TheseBrokenStars_zpsa7724115.jpg photo ThePromiseOfAmazing_zpsdc5fdd8d.jpg photo BeingSloaneJacobs_zpse2a5c5ec.jpg photo NoOneElseCanHaveYou_zpseae84872.jpg

 photo Heartbeat_zpsc24fff43.jpg photo AnotherLittlePiece_zpsd1c1d902.jpg photo InkIsThickerThanWater_zps19000c35.jpg

I can't wait to read all of the books on my tbr this month!
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Waiting On Wednesday (106) Something Real by Heather Demetrios @HDemetrios

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.

Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because I get to share books that I am super excited about and can't wait to read.

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Hardcover, 416 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Henry Holt BYR

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show's cancellation, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it's about to fall apart . . . because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™'s mom and the show's producers won't let her quit and soon the life that she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.

I don't watch reality tv, but this sounds like it will be quite good! I have an arc that I plan on reading soon, and I hope I enjoy it.

What are you waiting on this week?

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Entangled Publishing Introduces Flaunt Novellas and a Giveaway!

Entangled Publishing is proud to launch Flaunt, an Entangled Publishing imprint. Flaunts are palate-teasing novellas designed to satisfy readers’ cravings for romance without the time commitment required to invest in a full-length novel. This line focuses on SUPER SEXY contemporary and historical romances – from classic styles to category romance to off-beat stories with a unique twist – they all have one thing in common: a happy ending and the promise of love.

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


What happens in Vegas...can lead to romance. It took one wild night for Sergeant Jeremy Addison to realize that Vegas? Was a bad idea. Bloody. Bruised. Dehydrated. Abandoned in the desert, and left to stagger down the road. The only way this leave could get worse was if his savior was his ex-best friend's sister...and the girl he'd loved since childhood.
The last person Erica expected to find on the roadside was her high school crush. She hadn't seen Jeremy in seven years—ever since the night he said he loved her, and she ran away. Losing him then had been a mistake, but wanting him now could be catastrophic if he discovered the secret that chased every other man from her life. But with a tall, tattooed Marine determined to prove he's always been faithful, can Erica resist his advances...or will she surrender ground and give love a try?

Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Falk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get closer to her. Yet she resists his charm. Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. Single-mom Kiersten Worth knows a bottle of champagne and night of hot, no-strings-attached sex is the perfect solution to her jilted bride blues…and Garrett Kelly, long-time friend and her teenaged son’s sexy basketball coach, is just the stud for the job. Garrett wants more from the elusive temptress than a casual affair, but he never expects it to come in the form of an unexpected pregnancy. When he proposes an unorthodox solution—move in and raise their baby together—Kiersten has to decide whether to let down her guard and open her heart to the man who secretly loved her for years, or risk losing his tender embrace for good.

Married in the morning…Professional heartbreaker Mike Worth thrived on the chase—and dancer Morgan Collins represented the ultimate prize. But there was no way he was going to throw away his single-man status…not even for an elusive redhead with sparkling eyes and mile-long legs. So how did he let one drunken Vegas night end with I do instead of hell no?
Morgan’s life revolved around her career and she had no intention of letting a man interfere—even if Mike made her question all her rules about love. At his urging, she reluctantly agreed to give their spur-of–moment marriage a chance. But once their trial-honeymoon ended, would she choose to follow the dance and leave her unforgettable husband behind?

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble


Human sexuality professor Cricket Malloy typically likes bad boys, but when buttoned-up science teacher Tucker Lamb needs help with an experiment on aphrodisiacs, she goes the extra mile to help him out. After all, what could go wrong? He’s totally harmless…
Tucker Lamb was born into a life of a grifter. He used to pride himself on his fast fingers and quicksilver tongue, but ever since being placed in the witness protection program, he’s been on the up and up. Still, something about Cricket Malloy makes him ache to see if his tongue is as fast as it used to be.

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Sports medicine doctor and weekend cowboy, Chase Cooper, is ready to settle down, and he’s beginning to wonder if his best friend from high school, Mari Blair, could be the one that got away. Coop and his buddies have come up with a plan, but he never imagined it would be Mari’s sister, Julia—the girl who was always off-limits—, who would take him up on his invitation.
When lawyer, Julia Blair, finds herself on a dude ranch half way across the country, only to discover the invitation was meant for her vivacious twin sister, she knows she has two choices—go home alone or walk a day in her sister’s shoes. When she sets eyes on sexy cowboy Chase Cooper, the choice becomes easy. She's determined to stay and have some carefree fun while at the ranch.
Coop can’t believe the mix up, but when he discovers Julia wants to play, then play they will. When things get steamy and playtime becomes so much more, he’s determined to prove she’s the girl for him. And he’s not above using a few tricks of the trade to get his point across…

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Finance genius Meredith Klaus prefers numbers to people, especially around the holidays. At least the large sum of money that’s mysteriously vanished from the company accounts will distract her from the ghosts of Christmases past. Until her sexy boss asks her to be his last-minute date to a fundraiser gala, that is, and the promise of a special evening calls to something long-buried in her.
Andrew Stanton, Manhattan’s best-known philanthropist, has worked hard building his reputation in the industry. He offers to work closely with Meredith to fix his company’s financial crisis, but the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to look at her as just a colleague.
A beautiful dress. A handsome man on her arm. A challenge she can’t refuse. Can they find the missing money and fulfill their holiday wishes, or will Meredith be unable to overcome the demons of her past and lose her chance at happiness?

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Lily McIntire is tired of losing every office wager to her overly cocky—and yeah, devilishly handsome—coworker, Marcus Black. After a few too many tequila shots, and a taunt from Marcus that she's a wuss, Lily lays down a bet he can't refuse: One night in the abandoned and spooky Willow Mansion alone for his recent office win, a trip to Hawaii.
There's only one thing Marcus wants more than his upcoming vacation to Hawaii, it's to take his sexy coworker on a real date. Every time he's tried to get close to her, she's shut him down cold. Too bad the sexual tension just keeps climbing the charts. Now, he'll have to scare her out of the mansion if he has any chance of going out on a real date with her any time soon.
But in between trying to scare Lily out of her pants and get his hands into them, Marcus realizes there’s more to Willow Mansion than either of them counted on. Suddenly, it’s not just he and Lily that are going "bump in the night". If they manage to survive the night and escape the mansion unscathed, can they survive each other in the light of day? Or will what happens at Willow Mansion stay at Willow Mansion?

Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

When a fellow RN jokingly predicts that Beth Roberts will meet a tall, ripped and totally lick-o-licious stranger who will fulfill her deepest desires, it’s supposed to be from across a crowded room, not giving CPR to a wedding guest. Given her tragic love life, Beth has no desire to become involved again, but who could have predicted the ponytailed doctor with the mischievous smile would break through her defenses?

Dr. Gabriel North blamed himself for his wife’s death. Now, after two years of battling guilt and meaningless hookups, he’s ready to move on. When he sees the sexy brunette at his friend’s wedding, his attraction is swift and strong, and he wastes no time in pressing his advantage. One night with the woman who makes him feel alive again isn’t enough, but gaining her trust as a man was going to take more than medical school had prepared him for.

Grand Prize: Kindle Fire
Second Place: $50 Victoria Secret Gift Card
Third Place: $25 Amazon/B&N Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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